Each one of us has different types of hair. Thick. Thin. Wavy. Straight. Silky. Black. Brown. And more. It is no exaggeration to say hair is your individualised crown. It adds beauty. It adds confidence. It adds to your uniqueness. Hence, when you face hair problems such as hair fall or hair thinning, you get so upset. Don’t worry, though. Ayurveda will be able to help combat your hair problems.
If you had visited an Ayurveda expert earlier for a certain issue, you would know their diagnosis includes hair as well. The stories your hair tells about your mind and body are huge, and when there is a hair problem, there is likely an imbalance in your Prakriti.
Ayurveda attributes every aspect of an individual to their dominant dosha. The same applies to your hair as well. The characteristics of your hair depend on your natural Prakriti (the harmonious state of an individual with Tridoshic balance). And when there’s a dosha imbalance (Vikriti), you may experience hair problems, including hair fall, split ends, dandruff, etc.
If you always had thick, shiny hair, that’s your Prakriti. When your hair loses its thickness or lacks shine, there’s a Vikriti. Similarly, if you always had straight, thin hair, that’s your Prakriti. When the hair turns wavy, there’s a Vikriti.
Understanding dominant dosha
Every person has a mix of the three doshas – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha – and this is the natural state of the individual. This state of balance is called Prakriti. Though every person has three doshas, they may have one dominant dosha or two dominant doshas, and some may have all three in dominance. Accordingly, we identify them as Kapha-dominant persons or Pitta-dominant persons, etc.
Interestingly, as we age, the dominance of doshas changes, which is natural. In your middle age, Pitta aggravates, and as you age further, Vata aggravates. Accordingly, the nature of your hair will change as well.
However, Ayurveda can help balance doshas, though not completely but to a larger extent, saving you from hair problems.
- Also Read: Panchakarma – All You Need To Know
Significance of Doshas in determining hair characteristics
Kapha dosha is behind the strength, structure, and hydration of hair.
The ones with Kapha as the dominant dosha have the healthiest-looking hair – thick, smooth, well-hydrated, shiny, and lustrous when in balance.
When Kapha is out of balance, your hair gets too oily and appears heavy. Kapha imbalances are usually associated with poor agni (Manda agni), which can lead to toxin buildup (ama), and this can affect hair growth.
Pitta dosha governs the metabolic activity of hair, which includes producing hair proteins and pigments.
A Pitta-dominant person will likely have medium-thick and straight hair.
A Pitta imbalance usually has excess heat associated with it, which can damage both hair structure and colour, leading to hair thinning and dull hair. When this imbalance is not attended to, it can also cause balding.
Vata dosha is responsible for movement and motion.
A Vata-dominant person tends to have thin hair that grows faster. This hair will grow straight near the roots and gets wavy towards the end.
An imbalance in Vata causes dryness and depletion of nutrients, leading to split ends and frizzy hair.
Dosha imbalance and how it affects hair
If you are a Kapha-dominant person, it’s not that your Kapha alone can go out of balance. There may be a Pitta imbalance or Vata imbalance. And, the dosha that is out of balance will accordingly reflect in your hair.
However, hardly anyone presents with one particular dosha imbalance. Often, it is an imbalance of two or even all three doshas.
Thus, understanding what a Kapha imbalance, Vata imbalance and Pitta imbalance look like is hugely helpful. That is easily said, but it is very difficult because the imbalances are really complex and are not easy to understand.
Hence, it is wise to consult an expert and treat the imbalance, aiming for the Tridoshic balance.
When your hair problems are not very noticeable but still bothering you, such as a dry scalp or dull-looking hair, here is a simple routine that works wonders – Oiling your hair twice a week.
Oiling – The simple routine that works wonders on your hair
Indian mothers and grandmothers have long been obsessed with oiling hair for centuries, and their hair’s dark colour and lustre are because of this Ayurvedic routine.
Oiling your hair is undoubtedly beneficial for your hair. Warm oil, when massaged into the scalp, pacifies dosha imbalances. It can also activate agni, thus ensuring good digestion, which means good nutrient absorption and less accumulation of ama (toxins).
Ayurveda Dinacharya suggests Abhyanga (massaging the body and head with oil) every day before you bathe in the morning.
Practising Abhyanga every day may not be practical. So you may aim for a bi-weekly oiling routine.
An equal mix of sesame oil and coconut oil is great for the massage as it suits all hair types. This oil nourishes your hair from the roots to the ends and can get rid of split ends, provide shine and lustre to the hair, and promote hair growth.
- Take the massaging oil in a bowl.
- Warm the oil mix before applying.
- Part your hair at the centre.
- Dip your fingers in the oil and gently massage, working from the centre to the sides and the back of your head.
- Do not apply force. Massaging gently with fingertips is sufficient.
- Wrap your hair in a bun and let the oil soak for about one hour.
- Wash off with a mild shampoo or a natural hair cleanser.
The bottom line
A Dosha imbalance triggers hair problems, such as hair loss, dandruff, dry scalp, dull hair, split ends, hair thinning, etc. By adopting a healthy Ayurvedic lifestyle and by practising Dinacharya, your doshas remain in balance. However, when they are out of balance, and your hair problems appear distressing, visiting an Ayurveda expert and following their advice will yield good results.