Hair Care and AYURVEDA
AYURVEDA considers hair as the by product of the metabolism of Bony tissue (Asthi Dhatu). Ayurveda explains that the food we eat undergoes metabolism by the action of the digestive fire at the level of the gut and at the level of tissues.
It starts from Rasa tissue (blood plasma & lymph) followed by rakta (blood tissue), mamsa (flesh tissue), Meda (fat tissue) and finally asthi (bone tissue). The food gets metabolised and nourishes the tissues, through body channels meant for the particular tissue system called “Strotasa,” in this order.
So, to nourish the hair, food and its nutrients should pass through all these stages to the Bone tissue. This process can be disrupted at any stage due to inadequate nutrients, insufficient metabolic fire at the level of gut (Jathragni) and metabolic fire responsible for breaking macro nutrients (bhootagni) and/or at the level of tissues (Dhatwagni), and blocked channels due to accumulation of metabolic wastes.
The local application of hair oils, and pastes offer partial help to nourish the hair. The same recommendations applicable to skin care are advocated in maintaining a disease free scalp and lustrous hair.
Nutrients needed for hair care as per Ayurveda:
For proper hair care a balanced diet is needed. Carbohydrate rich foods particularly nourish the Rasa, Proteins and iron nourishes the rakta, proteins nourishes the mamsa dhatu, fats nourish the meda and calcium and phosphorus nourishes the asthi. And the fat & water soluble vitamins and various micronutrients, that go along with a balanced diet, play their role to nourish the tissue systems. Hence we can see that healthy and lustrous hair is the reflection of a well nourished and healthy body.
What causes hair problems?
According to Ayurveda, hair problems can occur if hair is exposed to smoke, harsh sunlight, strong breeze, water and other pollutants. In addition, Irregular eating patterns, excessive sweating, unhygienic ways of living, suppression of natural urges, anxiety, depression, chronic ill-health, incompatible foods, intestinal worms and irregular food habbits, lack of nutrition and proper assimilation of food contribute to hair problems.