When you meet a person for first time or you meet your friend after a long time and find out that their hair is extremely beautiful and voluminous, it’s tough to take your eyes off their Hair. No wonder, hair plays an important role in overall look of a person. It compliments your features and builds confidence.
Ancient Indian women are known for their thick and long hair. If we dig deeper into their hair care routine, we understand what gives them such a beautiful hair. They used to use Ayurvedic hair oils specially made for their hair care needs, Herbal home made shampoos, Steaming, balanced diet etc… But with fading traditional practices, long and strong hair has becoming the thing of the past. Even if we want to, it’s impossible to comply with ancient hair care practices in this modern society. Keeping the constraints in mind, we came up with few practices that suits the best for any hair.
Physiology of Hair: Understanding our Hair
Hair is made up of protein called Keratin. Melanin is the pigment that determines the color of the hair. Hair is a derivative of Epidermis (Outer Layer of the skin). Though it’s structure is simple, it’s function is complex in Social life. It has only 2 parts One is Hair Bulb and another is Hair Follicle. Hair Bulb is the base of the hair follicle and Hair follicle anchors each hair strand into the skin. In the hair bulb, living cells divide and grow into hair strands. Blood vessels nourish hair bulb and help the growth of hair.
Now let’s list out the reasons for hair fall
Reasons for Hair Fall
1. Hereditary Reasons
Genes determine the characteristics of a person. Hair is not an exception. The type, volume, density, color & texture of hair are determined by genes that a person carry. Hence, if ancestors or parents are having problems like bald head or hair shedding after certain age, being the carrier of same genes; your hair also starts to disappear the same way. In cases like this, we get minimal help.
2. Food Intake
In the name of Dieting, people are not taking balanced diet. As mentioned earlier, hair is made up of Protein called Keratin. If there is a lack of protein intake, it eventually leads to hair loss.
3. Chemical and / Hormonal Imbalance
Blood supply to the hair bulb determines the growth of the hair. In a healthy human being, hair grows at 1.5 inches a month on an average. And 100 hair strands fall everyday. In that place new hair develops. If there is any chemical imbalance in the blood, hair growth and new hair development are affected. Chemical imbalance also increases heat production in the body which leads to hair loss. Hence, both chemical and hormonal imbalance in the blood affects hair growth and development.
Maintaining the hygiene of the scalp is very important. If the scalp hygiene is poor, it leads to Itchy scalp and Dandruff. Dandruff is a fungal infection that weakens your hair bulb resulting in hair shedding. It also affects the development of the new hair follicle which leads to hair thinning.
Now let’s take a look at ancient Indian Hair care practices for healthy hair
Hair Care Tips
- Embrace Hair-Healthy Diet
- Protein, Biotin, Iron, Omega-3 fatty acids, Vit C, Vit A & Vit E is all your hair needs.
- Eggs are rich in Protein and Biotin
- Sprouts are rich in Protein, Omega-3-Fatty Acids, Biotin , Folate, Zinc, Selenium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Manganese, Vit A, C and K
- Spinach and all other Green Leafy Vegetables provide Iron, Vit A & C
- Citrus fruits like Lime, Lemon, Grapefruit and Oranges are rich source of Vit C, which is essential for Iron absorption
- Whole Grains and Nuts are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, anti-oxidants, Biotin and Vit A
- Vegetables like carrot and Beetroot are rich in Vit A and anti-oxidants
As it is tough to include all the above listed food in everyday meal, make sure that you eat Sprouts in one meal a day. Sprouts have everything that your hair needs. There is no better hair-healthy diet than Sprouts.
2. Regulate Chemical & Hormonal Imbalance
Hair & Skin are the mirrors of chemical and hormonal changes inside the body. If there is any imbalance in the body, skin starts to look dull and lusterless; hair starts falling and thinning. The best ways to treat imbalance is to
- Exercise regularly. Make your body sweat. It opens up the pores on the skin and over the scalp gushing out the toxins and dead cells. It results in new cell development increasing the development of new hair follicles.
- Consuming Vegetable and Green leafy Juices 3 times in a day works wonders in regulating imbalance in the body.
Understanding the hygiene needs of the hair is vital. Even though you eat hair-healthy diet and maintain hormonal balance, if you don’t keep your scalp clean you still face hair loss problem. For this, you need to understand the right way of keeping your scalp clean.
How to Maintain Healthy Scalp
a. Oil Massage:
Oil massage brings with it essential nutrients thus nourishes the scalp and improves the blood circulation to the roots. It helps the follicles and hair bulb to breathe. 5 minutes of Oil massage once in a week exfoliates the dead cells and flakes that are clogged at the pores and promotes the regrowth of hair follicles.
Which Oils are Best
Ancient Indians preferred to use Pure Coconut oil, Sesame seed Oil and Mustard Oil infused with herbs like Hibiscus, Amla(Indian Gooseberry), Curry leaves, Brahmi and Rosemary. Always massage your hair with Warm oil. Use your finger tips to massage. A gentle massage of 5 to 8 minutes is ideal. A rigorous and excessive massage may again lead to hair fall.
b. Wash Hair in Right Way
People sweat based on the activity they do. Some sweat a lot and some sweat less. Sweat has Water, Salts and Toxins in it. Bathing removes all the dirt and toxins accumulated on the body. Accumulated sweat on the scalp leads to itching, dry scalp, Dandruff etc. Hence, Sweat over the scalp should also be washed off everyday or alternate days based on convenience. The best solution to get rid of dandruff is to wash hair with water everyday (Works the best. Give it a try)
- Prefer Luke warm water to wash hair
- Don’t use shampoo everyday
- Shampooing once or twice in a week is ideal
- Don’t use anti-dandruff shampoos (They take off essential oils over the scalp which leads to more dandruff)
- Use Mild shampoo
- Air dry the hair (No heat treatments on hair)
c. Use Natural Conditioners
Conditioning your hair gives that beautiful look. Using more chemical treatments on hair leads to hair thinning and frizzy hair. Try to use natural hair conditioners. Some of them include
- Aloe vera
- Egg White
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Indian Gooseberry (Amla)
Apply them as a hair mask, leave it on for about 30 mins and wash with Luke warm water. Using natural conditioners once or twice in a week give extra-ordinary results in giving silky smooth look to your hair.
In these busy days, we can’t give much attention to our hair care needs. Yet, we all want to have beautiful hair. As we can’t follow everything that has been mentioned earlier, 4 simple tips are here that do wonders on your hair
- Take sprouts in one meal
- Wash hair on every alternate days with just water. If you sweat a lot, wash every single day
- Limit usage of shampoo once or twice in a week. Use mild shampoo. Say big No to Anti-dandruff shampoos
- Once in a week apply Yogurt/Egg White/Apple Cider Vinegar/Aloe Vera
It’s Time for Some Show-off