Taking care of our hair is a challenge. We all know this. From thinning to frizzing to falling to greying, we face multiple difficulties trying to maintain a full, healthy head of hair. Our hair takes a beating every single day. The scorching sun, the blistering cold, air pollution, lifestyle, lack of proper nutrition – these can all take a tremendous toll on our hair.
Healthy hair requires a proper hair care routine, one that is guaranteed to succeed without any detrimental side effects. With its focus on natural ingredients and its holistic approach, Ayurveda is the safest and most effective form of hair treatment. Here are some useful and easy-to-follow Ayurvedic hair care tips.
One of the main reasons for hair to become damaged is the many chemicals used in today’s shampoos and conditioners. Regular blow drying and ironing can exacerbate the situation leaving the scalp dry and the hair brittle. Many hair dyes also contain harmful elements like P-phenylenediamine (PPD), Resorcinol, Aminophenol and Ammonia. In fact, most synthetic hair products are, in general, harmful to your hair and scalp. So, the first step in a proper hair care routine is removing these chemical-based items from your shelves and cupboards. Switch to hair care products that use natural ingredients. The herbs and essential oils in our hair cleansers and hair conditioners work to ensure the right balance in your hair, soothe the scalp and calm the senses. You can choose what works for you for you depending on your hair type: Neroli Jasmine works well for normal to dry hair while Aloe Vera Watergrass is best suited for normal to fine hair. If you have normal to oily hair then you should go for Sandalwood Vetiver.
One form of hair treatment is topical applications. This is very effective as the scalp and hair, just like the skin, can easily absorb moisture and nutrients. Although applied at a seemingly superficial level, the benefits penetrate deep into the body and mind. Because the scalp has many energy points or marmas, there is access to deeper energy channels. In this way the nourishment and positive effects are carried well beneath the surface of the scalp, triggering a profound and powerful restorative effect.
Thus, one of the primary hair care tips of Ayurveda is applying oil to the scalp. An extremely potent form of hair treatment, oil massages have wide-ranging benefits including improved circulation, nourishing the cells on the scalp, encouraging hair growth, rejuvenating dry hair and detoxifying the scalp.
It is recommended that you oil your hair and scalp at least once a week in order to promote hair health. The method is very straightforward. Use one hand to part your hair and the other to apply the oil directly to the scalp. Go section by section until the entire scalp is covered in oil. Next, rub oil onto the hair and gently massage for about five minutes. Leave the oil in for around half an hour and then wash. It is best to apply shampoo before wetting the hair and wash it out in the shower. If needed, use a second round of shampoo.
Start your oil massage routine by choosing one of the three oils we offer - Neroli Jasmine Oil, Aloe Vera Watergrass Oil or Sandalwood Vetiver Oil. Each one comprises a calming blend of essential oils and hydrating Ayurveda herbs infused in vitamin rich virgin coconut oil. They are multi-functional: hydrating, nourishing, strengthening and stimulating growth. Use the oil most suited to your hair type and watch your hair become fuller, stronger and longer.
While topical applications have been proven to have positive effects, in order to ensure a more lasting impact you need to take a holistic approach to hair treatment. This is, in fact, a basic tenet of Ayurveda: while targeting the specific ailment or problem, you also need to tend to your overall health and wellbeing.
A good starting point for this is diet. Ayurveda believes that the nutrition received by the organs and tissues in our body is determined by the strength of the agni, or digestive fire. This holds true for the hair as well. Thus, it is important to take care of our gut so that our hair will be able to absorb the necessary nutrients to stay healthy and glowing.
Ensure you get plenty of whole foods and reduce your intake of processed foods and sugar. Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables so that your body receives the fibre it needs. Some of the foods that contain nutrients that directly support hair health are organic dairy products, carrots, beets, coconut, sunflower seeds and greens like kale and spinach. Drink plenty of water as the body needs sufficient water to ferry nourishment to the different parts of the body.
We already know that stress can have a detrimental impact on our general health and anyone who has experienced high levels of stress will no doubt have noticed a sudden increase in hair loss. By managing our stress levels we also encourage healthier hair. Practice mindfulness and meditation. Engage in pranamaya or yogic breathing. Take some time each day for yourself and give yourself an opportunity to rest and relax. When you are grounded and at ease your body is able to function properly and your overall health will improve – including the quality of your hair!
Along with our face, our hair is one of our most prominent physical features. The common complaint, “I’m having a bad hair day,” is enough to establish just how vital hair is in our appearance. We spend hours styling our hair because when our hair looks good we feel more confident and self-assured. With so much riding on our hair, we need to take good care of it. Ayurveda offers a well-rounded hair care routine that is both safe and successful.
- Marissa Jansz