I am in a lot of natural hair groups on Facebook. Mainly because when I started my natural hair journey I was clueless about a lot of things and these groups helped me so much. I would follow people's hair care questions and the comments. If I didn't get much clarity I'd take it further to research on the subject matter. The groups really helped me with the basics and also fueled my interest. Someone posted in one of the groups about Ayurveda. To be honest I thought it was another natural hair brand (I was completely clueless 🙈) until I read further in the comments and looked it up on google. I didn't really find many articles that explained in detail what Ayurveda is in relation to hair. Most were just lists of Ayurvedic herbs to use for hair and their benefits or a holistic definition which really didn't exactly answer my particular question. I then tasked myself to look into Ayurveda as a whole and then narrow it down to hair in particular in order to give other people like me a much better understanding. This can easily turn into a boring article that's why I decided to split it into parts so you can take breaks in between and resume later. I pray I keep you engaged. I do not want to exhaust you!!!!!!
WHAT IS AYURVEDA?
Ayu meaning life;
Veda meaning sacred knowledge
It is traditional Hindu medicine based on balancing the body's system using diet, yoga and herbal treatments. It is the herbal pastes and oil treatments in particular that are used for hair growth.
Doshas are three substances believed to be in the human body. Ayurveda is based on the tenate that the body is healthy when the three doshas are balanced. The three elements are:
Responsible for movement in the body
Responsible for digestion
Responsible for immunity
I will explain the vata in detail as it contributes to hair growth.
THE ROLE OF THE VATA DOSHA
The vata dosha is responsible for the transportation of nutrients in the body. An imbalance of this dosha may result in the inhibition of nutrients to your scalp and hair cells. According to Vaidya Manohar this lack of nourishment may lead to , "dry scalp, dry hair, split ends, and finally, thin hair or hair loss".
There are several panchakarma treatments one can use to increase and restore hair growth. These include the Shiroabhyanga and Shirolep.
WHAT IS SHIROABHYANGA?
It is an Ayurvedic head massage performed using scented oils. This hair and scalp treatment nourishes the roots and prevents excessive hair loss. The warm oil prevents a dry scalp. It also gives the hair lustre. They use oils like:
- Coconut oil
- Almond oil
- Olive oil
- Sesame oil
These oils are infused with a few drops of essential oils like:
- Rosemary oil
- Lavender oil
- Jasmine oil
- Rose oil
- Peppermint oil
- Neem oil
I have shared some oil combinations you can use and their benefits in part 2.
WHAT IS SHIROLEP?
It's the application of medicated herbal pastes to the scalp and hair to promote hair growth. Examples of the herbal powders are:
These powders are mixed with water, coconut milk or oils to make a smooth paste.
I hope you found this article captivating and helpful. I have posted some DIY combinations of shirolep and shiroabhyanga here. Happy hair growing!!!!!
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