Ayurvedic Hair Care Regimen

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I've recently become intrigued with ayurvedic hair care, a natural alternative hair treatment method using India herbs and oils. 



Ayurveda is a 5,000 year old system of preventive medicine and healthcare that originated in ancient India. Ayurveda means "knowledge of life span". The book, The Way of Ayurvedic Herbs: The Most Complete Guide to Natural Healing & Health with Traditional Ayurvedic Herbalism, explains:
 
Ayurveda looks to create a balance between body, mind, emotion, spirit and environment, and places emphasis on the ability of the human body to heal itself, with the assistance and support of a variety of non-toxic therapies, including medicinal foods, dietary programs, and herbal medicines. Today, many of the health and medical "discoveries" being heralded as breakthroughs by scientists every day were long ago observed and documented by the Ayurvedists.


AyurBalance suggests the following as part of your ayurvedic hair care regimen:


Start with a nutritious diet: A balanced array of nutrients is necessary to prevent hair loss and premature graying. Good-for-your-hair foods include white sesame seeds, shredded fresh coconut, green leafy vegetables, whole grains, dates and raisins, fresh yogurt or lassi (during the day), bean sprouts, nuts and seeds and healthy fats such as ghee or olive oil. Cook with spices that enhance digestion and purify body tissues: turmeric, black pepper, fenugreek,coriander and cumin are both flavorful and digestion-enhancing. Amalaki Rasayana helps digestion for all doshas. Avoid bad fats, alcohol, caffeine and nicotine.


Practice mindful eating: Healthy eating habits are just as important for effective digestion and absorption as the diet itself. Food should be fresh and whole, and prepared lovingly. Eat with your attention on the food, in a calm and serene frame of mind, and sit quietly for five minutes after your meal to start the digestion process before dashing off to the next task of the day.


Keep your hair and scalp free of ama: If digestive toxins build up in the body, they prevent nutrients from reaching the cells and tissues of the body. Especially after the age of forty, it is important to undergo periodic internal cleansing to flush away toxins. Triphala Rasayana is a gentle, non-depleting cleanser that can be taken everyday to tone the digestive system and promote regularity.


Get plenty of sleep: 10 p.m. marks the start of the Pitta period of the night. Since Pitta dosha is related to activity, heightened digestive fire and awakened physical and intellectual energy, it is not the ideal time to try to fall asleep. Go to bed before 10 p.m., during theKapha time of the evening, to be able to fall asleep easier and get better quality of sleep. Lack of sleep can lead to poor hair health and appearance.


Manage stress: Ongoing high levels of mental and emotional stress can lead to falling hair, premature graying and dull-looking hair. Brahmi and Ashwagandha support your natural ability to manage stress. Take time out to relax, and practice relaxing yoga poses and meditation to keep stress from ballooning out of control.


Make a weekly hair and scalp massage part of your hair care routine: Topical nourishment can help keep your hair strong, shining and thick. The warm oil head and scalp massage, especially when done with oil infused with hair-friendly ayurvedic herbs, nourishes the hair and scalp, alleviates dry scalp, enhances circulation and helps balance Vata dosha.Coconut oil or sesame oil, infused with herbs like Amalaki, Brahmi, Bhringaraj or Hibiscus, helps maintain the color and luster of hair. Ayurvedic tridoshic herbal hair oils, balanced for all doshas, generally contain a blend of hair-friendly herbs. If you can, do the scalp massage two or three times a week for intensive nourishment.


Offer supplement support from the inside out: Amalaki is excellent for pacifying Pitta dosha. An aggravated Pitta dosha is linked to premature falling and graying of hair. Brahmi is excellent nutritional support for balancing Vata dosha and Bhringaraj for pacifying Pitta. Bhringaraj literally translates to "king of tresses" and has been used in the ayurvedic tradition for centuries to promote hair health.


Follow a gentle but regular cleansing routine: Keep your hair and scalp clean to avoid itchy scalp and clogged hair follicles. Cleanse with a gentle herbal shampoo every other day. Over-shampooing, especially with a harsh product, can dry out the scalp and damage hair. Use lukewarm water to wash your hair, and follow with a natural conditioner or detangler if your hair knots up during cleansing. A final neem water rinse will leave your hair soft and shiny.


A little TLC goes a long way: Never comb or brush wet hair, because your hair is most vulnerable when it is wet. Gently run a wide-toothed comb through it when it's almost dry to remove any knots and style it into place. Whenever possible, let hair dry naturally rather than blow-drying it. Trim hair regularly to take care of split ends and natural wear and tear.


Seems simple right? Well, I'm stuck on the oils and herbs. The information is bit overwhelming but as a newly natural, my goal is to have strong, healthy hair - organically as possible. 


Do you know much about ayurvedic hair care? Would you consider testing this type of regimen out?