Mane Attraction: Ayurvedic Hair Care

Were Rapunzel a modern princess, she would no doubt have a hard time keeping her locks lustrous. Luckily for her, she is supposed to have lived in times when the forests were lush, the air was clean, and life was fairly uncomplicated.

The problem with hair today is that it is besieged by enemies of all kinds. How long, after all, can a delicate strand withstand assault from mighty foes like these:

  • Aging
  • Hormones
  • Heredity
  • Trauma
  • Autoimmune Disorders
  • Thyroid Disease
  • Prescription Drugs
  • Pollution

Of course, scientists and product researchers are fighting back valiantly. Every month, if not every day, a new product is launched, a new drug researched, and a new finding announced. The effort worldwide is to keep hair from falling, thinning, graying, or even dulling. If you've been suffering from chronic lock-loss, for example, you have a host of hair-repair options to choose from, such as hormone replacement therapy, prescription drugs, hair transplant surgery, and non-prescription options such as anti-fungal shampoos and irritation-soothers.

But each of these therapies/remedies has its drawbacks, ranging from dangerous side effects to expense. So where does that lead you? Straight into the arms of ayurveda. The solution for most hair problems is really quite simple. Give your hair tender loving homegrown care, every day. No side effects, no staggering expenses, no need to depend on someone else to restore your crowning glory. Just follow some basic lifestyle tips, and you will soon own hair that turns heads.

The Council of Maharishi Ayurveda Physicians shares seven easy tips that will transform your locks from lackluster to lush:

  • First, try to figure out why your locks are losing their sheen or volume. Sometimes, something as simple as a drop in daily temperatures can cause hair to suffer. Cold weather slows down circulation, robbing the roots of your hair of essential nutrients. The solution is an energizing and circulation-boosting pre-bath scalp massage with warm oil. Whatever the weather, oil works wonders for the health of your hair. Try almond, coconut or olive oil, gently warmed. Massage the scalp as well as the strands of hair, and leave the oil on for as long as you can before you shampoo.
  • No amount of coloring or highlighting can hide the fact that your hair is less than healthy. Instead of looking for stopgap measures in expensive salons, find alternative ways of removing problems like dandruff and hair loss at the root.
  • The rich lather and strong fragrance of a regular shampoo no doubt feel good. But most often, such products are laden with chemicals like sodium lauryl sulfate, DEA, and/or propylene glycol. Unfortunately, even those brands that claim to be "natural" can contain some toxic substances. The solution is easy. Use shampoos and conditioners that are really and truly natural. Read labels carefully, and choose a product that suits your hair-type best.
  • If you tend to grab greasy burgers for lunch and guzzle soda pop between meals, your hair is bound to give you away very soon. And when your locks are limp and lifeless, your whole approach to life can turn pessimistic. Counter the problem by paying attention to what you put inside your body. Build small changes into your daily menu. Instead of popcorn, eat fresh fruit. Don't snack on candy: eat soaked blanched almonds instead. Read our Ayurvedic Recipes section for hundreds of ideas on fresh ways to cook with fruits, vegetables and spices.
  • Give your hair Amrit power. A balanced antioxidant rasayana, Maharishi Ayurveda's Amrit is excellent nutritional support for both body and mind. The combination of the ingredients in Amrit Kalash is precise as a number lock: they fit perfectly together to open the door to good health and radiant beauty. Amrit includes natural antioxidants — vitamins, beta carotene, polyphenols and bioflavonoids — in high concentrations. It also includes a myriad of substances not yet isolated and examined in the laboratory. When such a synergy of herbs is at work, one of the first parts of your body to signal the happy difference is your hair.
  • Get good sleep, and enough of it. Ayurveda believes that mind, body and spirit are all intimately linked; therefore what is good for one is also good for other aspects of your life. Sleeping well will not only make you feel rested, but also nourish your physiology from within. This means all areas of your being benefit — including your hair.
  • See a vaidya (ayurvedic expert) if your hair problem is severe. Ayurvedic physicians use the excellent technique of pulse diagnosis to determine your individual imbalances. Based on his or her findings, a vaidya will recommend the kind of diet, herbs and general lifestyle that will rescue your tresses from distress.

Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.