WRITTEN BY - Dr. CHAYA JAMBIGI
TAGGED AS - INDIAN EXPRESS
Our hair is an integral part of our self-image and sensuality, and of the way we present ourselves to the world. It also signals the health status of our body, mind, and emotions.
The longer the hair, the longer it has been exposed to harsh elements such as scorching sun and chlorinated pool water during the summer (as well as cold outdoor air and overheated indoor air during the winter). Over time, these conditions take their toll, zapping your hair’s lustre and sheen.
Ayurveda believes Ahara-Vihar (Diet and Lifestyle) are the two major factors that influence the health of the hair and the whole body.
Ahara (Diet) Ayurvedic knowledge teaches that there is a true digestive system that operates through the skin, including the scalp. This is why Ayurveda recommends putting nothing on the skin that we cannot eat.
You may be having a bad hair day because of what you put in your mouth. Deficiencies in essential fatty acids, the vitamin B complex, protein, zinc, iodine and other trace minerals may cause less-than-healthy hair. So, pay close attention to your diet during warmer weather when hair may be prone to additional nutritional deficiencies.
Sweating could cause a person to lose trace minerals if they don’t replenish them through healthy foods and drinks. Swimming in chlorinated pools may also deplete the body of iodine, which is needed for fast-growing, thick hair.
Vihara (Lifestyle-Yoga and Meditation for Healthy Hair)
Inverted asanas such as Sarvangasana that tend to reverse the gravity on the body are best suited for treatment of hair loss. They stimulate the flow of blood to the head. Make sure you practice such asanas under the guidance of a yoga teacher. What you must additionally do is practice deep breathing exercises to control stress, anxiety and keep your mind balanced.
From nutritional changes to scalp massage to essential oil use, a full, beautiful head of hair is the natural outgrowth of a health-conscious lifestyle. It’s never too late to possess flowing tresses that are kissed by the sun and tousled by the wind—without being mangled by either.
Lastly, for customised therapy, diet and exercise module consult the physician.
(The author is currently working as Chief Ayurveda Physician and Counsellor at Serenity Wellness Institute)