Stress, worry, anxiety, and inadequate nutrition lead to hair loss and premature graying of hair. A certain amount of hair loss is considered normal, as old strands are replaced by new. When hair loss is excessive, care must be taken. Similarly, the graying of hair after a certain age is a normal phenomenon, but when this starts in the early years of life, one should look into for remedies.
Increased intake of fried, sour, spicy, salty, and fermented foods, as well as tea and coffee, aggravate the Pitta Dosha (Ayurvedic humor representing Fire) in the body. This Pitta accumulates in the skin of the scalp, leading to hair falling out and graying prematurely. Factors like excessive anger and stress are also responsible. Excessive consumption of alcohol and meat also aggravate Pitta.
The only symptom is loss of hair whenever one combs the hair and graying of the hair at an early stage of life. Some systemic symptoms of Pitta aggravation might also be present like acid stomach, nausea, excessive sweating, and intolerance to heat.
Hair loss is known as Khalitya Paalitya in Ayurveda. According to Ayurveda, hair is a byproduct of bone formation and the tissue responsible for building bones is also responsible for the growth of hair. Early hair loss is related to body type and the balance of the mind-body constitution (doshas). People who have excess Pitta in their body are likely to lose their hair early in life, or have prematurely thin or gray hair. Excess Pitta in the sebaceous gland, at the root of the hair, or folliculitis can lead to hair loss.
Ayurvedic treatment of hair loss is aimed at pacification of Pitta through a customized diet and lifestyle regime, along with medication. A combination of diet, herbs, oil massage, meditation, aromatherapy, breathing and yoga can be beneficial in addressing the problem of hair loss and premature graying of hair.
Diet and Lifestyle Advice
- Avoid Pitta-aggravating foods like spicy, heavy, and oily foods, as well as tea and coffee.
- Avoid refined foods, refined sugar, junk food, and alcoholic and carbonated drinks.
- Increase intake of fresh fruits, green leafy vegetables, and vegetable juice prepared from lettuce, carrot, capsicum, and alfalfa.
- Avoid using chemical products on the hair. Try herbal oils and shampoos instead.
Some Home Remedies
- Mix powdered Indian gooseberry (amla) and sesame seeds in equal amounts. Take 1 teaspoon twice a day with water.
- Heat 250 milliliters of coconut oil in a pan, and add 3-4 Indian gooseberries cut into pieces. Heat until the gooseberries turn dark brown or black. Use the oil for a hair massage 2-3 times a week.
- Take 1 cup of curry leaves and grind them with 1 cup of buttermilk. Apply this to the hair for 1 hour, and then wash the hair with an herbal shampoo.