I was talking with a client the other day. The conversation went like this:
“I’ve been losing hair over the past year. It’s so thin. Every morning when I see more hair on the pillow I want to cry. I went through some emotional upheaval 2 months ago and it started it in clumps. My hair stylist’s recommendations didn’t work. I know it’s an internal health issue… but is there also something I can apply to my poor hair?”
Ayurveda defines the multi-directional approach. We work solutions from the inside out, the outside in, sideways, and upside down. Let’s start with the outside in approach to reversing hair loss, or simply building stronger, healthier hair.
Hair Loss Prevention with Ayurveda
Your hair wants hair oil. Hair oil is such an uncommon concept in the western world, where we’re taught to get oil off our skin with soap, and oil out of our hair with shampoo. Yet, in the eastern world, hair oil has been around the block and back. The oil is infused with herbs that are particularly rejuvenating to the hair. Massage a small amount (even a few drops) to your scalp before bed. You’ll sleep better and the herbs and oils will do their magic overnight. Shampoo in the morning, if needed.
The benefit of Ayurveda’ long history with hair oil… is that it’s getting better all the time. For instance, MaaDisha is just now patenting Oil6. Oil6 is a herbal hair loss control remedy that blends six powerful organic, herbal ingredients with a newly discovered root extract from the Andes Mountain range which promotes hair growth in existing follicles. I wanted to try it, as I’m asked regularly which hair oil I prefer, and it’s by far the highest quality, highest integrity oil I’ve come across.
I also tried Shampoo9, which is MaaDisha’s answer to stimulating hair follicles and removing excess oil from your evening scalp massage. It has a light, stimulating smell and you only need to use a few drops.
So, for all those out there that have asked me which Ayurvedic hair care products that you can buy (and not have to make yourself!) to create a restorative, rejuvenative hair care regimen, try MaaDisha. Okay, now let’s look from an inside-out approach.
Cause of Hair Loss in Women
In Ayurveda, we have this way of understanding cellular nutrition through the layers of tissue. Ayurveda describes hair and nail tissue as a waste by-product tissue formed with healthy bone tissue (mala of the asthi dhatu). Now, the nerve tissue (majja dhatu) runs through the bone marrow. Put a low-grade, negative, low self esteem, or world-as-falling-apart vibe in your nerves and it’s going to vibrate the bones tissue into a depressed, sub-optimal state.
1. Stress seems to be a big factor. (Lack of a positive vibe in the nerve tissue).
According to Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M.D., in this article Can stress cause hair loss?, he explains in medical terms why stress causes these 2 types of hair loss. The first explains Alopecia areata, which is considered an autoimmune disorder:
“With Alopecia areata, white blood cells attack the hair follicle, stopping hair growth and making hair fall out. With Telogen effluvium emotional or physical stress pushes large numbers of growing hairs into a resting phase. Within a few months, the affected hairs may fall out suddenly when simply combing or washing your hair.
2. Lack of cellular nutrition in the bone tissue.
Lack of nutrition can reflect stress creating an sub-optimal state for cellular digestion and waste creation (hair in this case) in the bone cells. Besides stress, a simply not getting the best nutrients in the body and feces out of the whole body is a huge factor. The feces out of the body factor is huge. If you’re versed in Ayurveda lingo, here is a clear explanation from The Ashti Dhatu: A Closer Look by Dr. Marc Halpern:
“The purisha dhara kala is the membrane that holds the asthi agni. Purisha means “feces”. The term is also used to describe the large intestine as in the purishavaha srota. Here lies an important clue of the relationship between health of the large intestine and that of the bones. The large intestine is the home site of vata dosha. The close relationship between these two tissues reveals the susceptibility of the bones to vata disorders. When there is pathology in the large intestine (gas, constipation) the pathology is transferred to the bones which become more porous and air filled. Such is the case of osteoporosis.”
Such is also the case of hair loss… as the creation of high quality hair cells is dependent on high quality bone tissue (asthi dhatu). Of course, any of the doshas in the colon will affect asthi dhatu. This client above had pitta in hers, which caused havoc in the form of major inflammation of her peripheral nerve tissue, and her hair fell out. Kapha imbalances can be a huge back up of waste and ama in the colon which shuts down bone metabolism.
How to stop hair loss with Ayurveda
Simple hair care is an outside-in and inside-out matter. You know what products will help. You know you’ve got to do your stress management rituals (meditation, yoga, self-care, walking, having fun). You may need to detox if your colon is not nourishing your bones and hair adequately.