16 Dec Hair Disorders & Dinacharya
Maintenance of any kind be it for man or machine ought to be done simultaneously when the machine is being used. In doing so, you lessen the trauma which comes with a sudden, unexpected and sizable break-down. The same can be said of the body too. And of it, the hair which is there on top of our heads and tell the world everything about us- including our health status!
Dr Madhura Bhide of Recova Life here. And today I tell you things about our daily lives, our “Dinacharya” and how we can do things to our hair while living our lives which are sure to make things really gorgeous “up there”!
1. Rising up for the day
Ideally most organisms are attuned to the sun for their sleeping and awakening patterns. It gets disturbed in certain places like in the poles. As for those places which get ample sunlight, it IS the sun which finally tells us when it is time to relax and when to start life. Ayurveda being a science closely entwined with nature, it’s natural that it recommends getting up right at the time when the sun is just about to rise i.e., at dawn. Getting up early and being bathed in early-morning sunlight means our body including the hair and scalp are getting just the right amount of sunlight as also getting liquids to flush out toxins that have accumulated overnight. It may not seem so obvious, but the scalp too accumulates more than its share of toxins! Water helps break it down for easier and fuller flushing!
2. Answering nature’s call
Vata dosha is the ruling entity which has to do with purging the body’s waste and ideally what better time to do so than at sunrise when the ambient temperatures aren’t high to cause the toxins to rot (yes, they rot in the gut if not removed in time!). It is for this reason that people with good bowel movements, besides other factor, seem to have good hair. Where defecation in its correct quantity and volumes takes place 1 to 2 times a day, it rids the body of toxins. Our waste is also known to soak out water from its surroundings which means one with bad bowels will have drier and scalier scalp than normal. So, drink water, eat things with high water content. And answer nature’s call in the easiest possible way. Your hair and scalp shall always thank you for that!
3. Cleaning the mouth & other places!
Most diseases and problems including those of the hair, scalp and skin are a result of unclean living which results in us catching infections. One such area which should be kept on high-priority should be your mouth i.e., teeth, tongue and the inner sides of the cheek. Most of us clean the mouth just once every day i.e., in a period of 24 hours. Imagine the kind of bacteria and organisms accumulating there and the mayhem that may cause if not treated on time! So, as a part of your dincharya, you ought to clean your mouth by brushing the teeth and scraping the tongue- at least once a day. An occasional (2-3 times a week) warm-water gargle with just a pinch of salt & turmeric is Ayurveda’s first line of defence against oral problems. Strictly speaking, this may not affect your hair and skin directly but an infection in any one part of the body if left unattended does have the tendency to manifest itself elsewhere. As a general rule, it makes sense to keep your oral hygiene to the highest standards on a daily basis.
4. Clip your nails!
From history and mythology, it’s amply clear that our ancients valued personal hygiene and went to great length to enforce it. One place where it all started was the Gurukuls where children were sent at a tender age to get education. And one thing which was greatly stressed on them there was the clipping of finger and toe nails. Fingernails in particular and one of the favourite places of bacteria to lodge itself and when situation permits, go places all over the body, including the hair and scalp. Dincharya thus demands that along with brushing your teeth and doing the rest, one carefully examine one’s fingernails to see if anything is stuck there. And of course, clip it so that the chances of accumulating offending stuff gets reduced.
5. Exertion and exercise and yoga
If you thought exercise and yoga has nothing directly to hair-growth, you could be dead wrong!
Two things in particular that yoga and vigorous exercise does is to stimulate blood flows throughout the body- including the scalp which promotes hair follicle growth and helps regenerate dead scalp skin. The second thing that exercise does is to make you sweat which itself is a healthy way to expel toxins which build-up under the skin. The scalp in particular benefits greatly from mild sweating as it helps release all the accumulated “ama” just under the skin. With all toxins gone from the pores and roots of the hair, it breathes better and hair-growth and scalp feel rejuvenated!
Another thing about how yoga helps is that certain poses which sends blood gushing towards the head and scalp which further helps hair growth. These poses include shirshasan, shoulder stand (sarvangasana), plough pose (halasana), downward facing dog stretch (adhomukha svanasana), Big Toe Pose (Padangusthasana), forward stretch (uttanasana), and sun salutation (surya namaskar).
Also remember that these are stressful times and stress is one of the main reasons for hair fall. Stress produces chemicals which stops hair-growth and in fact makes it fall. Yoga in particular and more so those exercises which send blood to the scalp, are very, very helpful.
6. Oh, for the love of massage!
India in most parts is a dry country. It thus helps where people take a head-to-toe oil massage at regular intervals to keep off the dryness i.e., the effects of Vata Dosha. For those too who live in moist areas, a morning massage of warm oil (coconut and sesame oil are common and preferred) helps loosen the effects of Kapha Dosha which otherwise leaves the feeling of heaviness and slowing down. As for the hair and scalp which are first to face the vagaries of the atmosphere and climates, a massage of warm oil helps bring back essential moisture and lubrication to the scalp and hair. It takes away the hair’s coarseness and lifelessness and replaces it with sheen, shine and life! As for the scalp, there is another essential that the massage does. It loosens dried and dead skin and opens up the hair roots to newer and better growth! The massage should of course be followed by a well-deserved bath in warm water. Chemical soaps to the extent possible should be avoided. Instead, use a good Ayurvedic concoction of Trifala and Shikakai which should help take off the oil and all the dead skin and also be nutritional and rejuvenating.
7. Dhyana or Meditation
Things grow in the presence of peace and calm- including hair and scalp. In our “Dincharya” the value of Dhyana or Meditation is immense and cannot be valued in money terms alone. It gives us focus and helps us stay miles away from distractions. Meditation too are of various kinds and all that they do in a combined way is to look at things from an objective, dispassionate stand point while keeping emotions aside. That besides, Pranayam (a kind of breathing exercises) helps reduce vitiated Pitta and Vata Doshas which in turn improve the quality of hair.
Though not directly related to hair-growth, what meditation does overall is to reduce the build-up of stress and imparts a degree of calmness which in an overall sense, helps the body function better and overcome physical ailments including hair-fall and scalp issues.
8. Dressing our hair to look good!
In our daily lives, we do many things to appear good, be it to ourselves or to the world. In our Dincharya, clothing and accessories thus play an important role. From head to toe these days what goes in the name of ornamentation, is mostly artificial and factory produced, and thus in most cases against the tenets of Ayurveda which emphasises being close to nature and natural ways. In the arena of hair-care too, the concept of artificial hair-care isn’t exactly alien. Use of things like petroleum jelly, mineral oil, industrial chemicals etc. to give the “right results” at lesser prices does not shock anyone anymore. With time and experience, we move slowly to things Ayurvedic and Natural since they seem to go with our bodies, its rhythm and the environment around us.
Hair-oils, be it of coconut oil alone or in combination with herbs is Ayurveda’s best bet against harsh chemicals-laced oils and other hair-care products. That besides, Sesame oil processed with herbs is also good to treat scalp issues like dandruff and alopecia which are especially prevalent in dry climatic conditions.
9. Dincharya, our vocation and how it affects our hair!
If you think hair isn’t affected by our vocations, you could be wrong. Every job, vocation and employment has its set of complexities which affects the way our hair grows.
If you are a Vata person, whose characteristics include the feeling of lightness, dryness and air, you are by nature dry in terms of moisture and lubrication. Your hair too would not be any different. You would thus need to be in places that are soothing and without extremes of weather like extreme hot or cold. You should not work in windy places either and try to be temperate places with activities that do not take away your energy quickly.
If you are a Pitta person, whose characteristics include the feeling of Heat and water, you are by nature one with higher body temperatures. Anything that cools the skin (including scalp) should be tried. Specially formulated Ayurvedic oils can be of great help including those using coconut oil and aloe vera. Try and work in cool places, away from heat. Welding, furnaces etc are not for you. It is likely to heat up your body.
If you are a Kapha person, whose characteristics include the feeling of heaviness induced by its connections to water and earth, your hair too naturally would be heavy, oily and tangled. You ought to be in vocations with constant movement because that reduces the feeling of being slow. Your hair and scalp, likewise ought to be exposed to the elements so as to gain freshness and the outdoors! As for oils and the likes, you have plenty coming from within. What your condition needs is fresh air and the feeling of movements.
10. And finally, sleep!
Yes, sleep does constitute an important element in our “Dincharya”
How does sleep affect hair? The same way as nutrition! Less of it, and you have hair which resembles hay!
Most of our growth – including that of the hair happens in our sleep. Lesser the sleep, worse the hair. There IS a direct correlation between hair-fall and bad sleeping patterns.
Ayurveda thus prescribes that we sleep for a minimum of (6-7 hours) hours preferably starting from not later than 10.00 PM in the evening!
If you do not seem to get sleep at the right time, don’t pull on your hair. Instead do asanas like vajrasan, shavasan, mandukasan etc. Also, try pranayam which induces good oxygen levels into the cells besides providing a cooling effect. which relaxes and helps sleep instantly! Washing hands, feet and face immediately before going to bed is said to help get quality sleep.
Hair, like our limbs and organs, need attention, care and caution. Do let us know if there is something specific about it that you would like to know. We welcome you to our clinics in Pune. Where you need more details, do visit our website www.recovalife.com or #roadtorecova.com.
An important point we would like to add here is of our sessions in Pune on various activities under Ayurveda which range from teaching yoga to hair-care sessions to correct breathing techniques and so on. The list of our plans is long. But we will do it for sure! And if that interests you, do visit our website and register your email ID to get timely information on all our future sessions.
This article is meant solely to provide information about remedies under Ayurveda and is not meant to be used for diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease.
Where the reader or any other person has chronic and/or dire health issues, it is advisable to consult a trained and certified medical practitioner for a complete and comprehensive diagnosis which can address the underlying issues effectively.
Recova Life and its constituents are also certified medical practitioners who can be consulted. Our numbers are +91 83800-16119 and Email ID firstname.lastname@example.org
With respect to the consumption of any herbs, fruits, vegetables and the likes mentioned here, it would be advisable where you consult a certified medical practitioner for his/her opinion before-hand.