Topic of the Month
a complex and delicate part of your body. Keeping it healthy and
beautiful is a challenge. Here's a guide that will help you do
just that .
Hair is cylinder of dead
tissue. Damaged hair can never be fully restored to its original
condition. The main factor in growth of the hair is the kind of
cells that exit in the hair follicles from which the hair grows in
the individual person. Each individual hair is also different in
one individual .Hair- care products are intended to promote
certain favorable conditions of hair and to reduce of eliminate
properties of hair, which are regarded as undesirable.
Causes and symptoms:
Reasons for Hair Loss
Both men and women lose hair for similar reasons. Hair loss
in men is often more dramatic, and follows a specific pattern of
loss which has been termed "Male Pattern Baldness". This loss is
caused by dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
Factors for male hair loss include: heredity, hormones, and aging.
This may also apply to women but to a lesser degree. Women may
experience loss of hair after menopause and 2-3 months after
having a baby. Other contributing factors include: poor diet, poor
circulation, acute illness, radiation, chemotherapy, high stress,
thyroid imbalance, certain drugs, coming off the contraceptive
pill, diabetes, high doses of vitamin A (more than 100,000 IU),
sudden weight loss, high fever, iron deficiency, ringworm, some
fungal infections, chemicals and hair dyes, vitamin deficiencies,
and lack of proper nutrition
Drastic or premature hair loss may be caused by:
Stress and bodily weakness from overwork.
- Dietary imbalances or nutritional deficiency.
- Using chemical based shampoos, hair lacquers, dyes and bleaching,
- Endocrine disorder.
- Genetic factors.
- Infectious diseases.
- Hormonal metabolic changes in lactating women.
- Nutrient and protein deficiencies in the hair cells.
In Ayurveda texts there are many reasons found responsible for
hair loss :::
- Excessive use of salts in diet.
- Excessive use of alkaline substance in diet.
- Improper intake of food leads to Kapha and Pitta vriddhi resulting in agnimandya (loss of appetite). Hence, proper nutrition is not obtained.
- Suppression of urges.
- Sleeping in day.
- Bad smells.
- Undigested food.
- Food and wearing against the season and place.
- Fumes and pollution
THE HAIR CYCLE
The normal life span for each hair is from three to six years.
Each hair grows in a hair cycle that can be divided into three
stages: the growing stage (Anacin) lasting from two to six years,
the partial degeneration stage (Catalan) lasting between 10 and 14
days, and finally the resting phase (Telogen) during which time
the hair is shed and there is an involution of the hair follicles
lasting about one hundred days.
Routine care of scalp and Hair:
It is very important to have
day to day care given to hair and scalp to maintain its health and
to increase its beauty. This routine includes brushing, combing,
cutting, shampooing, massaging and application of hair
Brushing & Combing:
Importance of brushing and combing
Many sebaceous glands are
distributed over the scalp. When the hair is brushed, sedum
secreted from these glands spreads over the surface of the hair
and makes it glossy and supple.
Brushing and combing
temporarily affects the blood circulation of the scalp.
Care in selection and use of brush and comb
Well spaced bristles.
Individual use to avoid
spread of disease.
For long hairs brushing
should begin at near the bottom of each strand and slowly reaching
the top and then beginning from scalp and sweep down the entire
strand of hair without encountering any tangle. Careful treatment
of this nature excludes the breaking and tearing of hair.
When the hair is weakened and
its attachment is less the normal, frequent and vigorous brushing
may increase hair fall resulting in further damage. Under such
condition gentle massage of the scalp could be done and daily
vigorous brushing should be avoided.
Management of hair ::
- The cogs of the combs and the bristles of the brushes must be very hard and sharp and round ended. They must be blunt at the tips.
- Hair should be combed or managed with soft and light hands.
- The hair must be combed and managed properly before going to bed at night.
- The brushes, combs etc must be kept separate for each individual and they must be washed with the help of germicide at least once in week in hot water.
- The brushes, Clips, Combs etc should not be borrowed from others.
- The use of clips, Curling the hairs and the use of hot dryers is harmful to
- Repeated use of hair dyes, change of hair styles, use of various hair sprays etc are harmful for
Massage with Hair oil:
Hair oils especially those containing herbs are very
important in hair care. They should be used several times a week and
left overnight. Oil
should be massaged lightly by finger tips for at least 5 to 1-
Herbal oils penetrate into the
surface of the scalp with nutrients. Any oil soluble active
substances then gets dissolved in the fatty covering on the scalp skin. This also helps in increasing the blood
circulation. These nutrients along with various vitamins are then
transported into the deeper layers. From the blood capillaries are
then transported into the deeper layers. From the blood
capillaries are then transported to the cells involved in the
syntheses of keratin (hair protein) and thus increasing the hair
Washing the Hair ::
- Hair and scalp must be oilated daily
- Oiling the hair before washing them is a must as washing dry hair is harmful
- If possible, the tender and warm rays of the sun of early morning should be seeked after massaging oil all over the
- The massage must be done with fingertips all over the scalp especially
around the hair roots.
- Vigorous massage or rubbing must be avoided
- The use of artificial chemical hair cream, hair lotion, hair dye etc. must be
- Always luke warm water must be used to wash the hair according to the season
- Washing of hair with hard water should be avoided, because the
hard contents of
water are harmful for hair.
- If the hair is greasy and itching is persistent, then it should be washed with slightly hot water.
- While washing the hair, they must be rinsed by the tips of the fingers.
- The hair should be dried with the help of a clean towel, with very light hands, in open air.
- Vigorous jerks or rubbing must be avoided.
- The use of chemical based shampoo, strong soap etc should be
avoided for washing the hair and instead Triphala Powder or Shikakai or herbal shampoo must be used.
- Hair must be washed regularly twice to thrice in a week
Should use a light herbal
shampoo. Primary objective is to clean
hair and scalp of all foreign matters. The ideal shampoo should
clean the scalp without producing irritation or causing excessive
reduction of the natural oils, they should have pH less then
Importance of pH for hair shampoos:
Dry hair has no pH. Only when
the hairs are wet and in water they have acidic pH (between 4.5 to
5.5). Acidic products give astringent effect on the hair outer
Decreasing the evaporation of
moisture and dissolution of proteins.
Imparts natural shine to the hair.
After shampooing proper
drying is necessary since the tensile strength of hair is at its
lowest when it is wet. Brisk rubbing should be avoided. Idealy
hair should be exposed to low heat such as sun or mild heat of
drier. Hot drier should not be used.
Modern Day problems Associated with Hair and
For most hair related problems, internal
medicine also plays a role. In recent
times hair & scalp have become target of many ailments. There are
many problems that can be associated with hair & scalp due to:
1. Air and water pollution.
2. Use of shampoos and conditioners containing harsh chemical.
3. Use of common combs and brushes in establishment such as
barbershops and beauty saloons. Problem associated with scalp
due to lowering of the resistance may be because, frequent
with the strong soaps and shampoos, excessive secretion of
sweat glands, over exposure to sunlight. There are three
diseases associated with scalp.
It is an excessive secretion of sebaceous glands giving hair oily
looks. This condition may also be related to the hormonal
secretion of an individual. It is excellent medium for bacteria to
grow the causing pathological conditions leading to dandruff and
hair fall. The most important treat is the removal of excess fat
and maintenance of clean scalp.
Cause of dandruff is still debatable. It may be due to :
Excessive sebum secretion (this leads to the
growth of micro-organism irritating the scalp causing itching)
Physiological error in the shedding of the
dead cells, which are then stick together and fall off in the form
of flakes. Control of dandruff enquires unique combination of
different mode of action such as:
Effective removal of existing dandruff from
the hair by use of a good herbal shampoo like Aloe Vera Shampoo.
Inhibition of excessive production of new
cells in the uppermost layer of the scalp.
Control of excessive sedum production .
Use of hair products with microbial, anti-
inflammatory and soothing action.
When people reach their thirties, regardless of
their sex, signs of aging begin to show on their scalp, with
receding hairline, thinning hair, and especially in the crawl
area. From the first hint of hair loss to complete baldness can
take a long time, but it can also happen in just a few years.
How to achieve and maintain a healthy head of beautiful hair.
Six main things are needed for a good-looking
head of hair -- good health, the right attention to cleanliness,
and caution when using cosmetic treatments, avoid chemicals,
massage your hair regularly with a herbal oil and use a light herbal shampoo.
Herbs which is useful
in hair loss :
Bhringaraj ( Eclipta
The Bhringraj is well known as hair tonic & helping to stop
hair loss. It is the best known herb for preventing balding and
premature graying. The whole plant and seeds of bhringraj have
great medicinal value. Bhringraj is equally useful both,
internally as well as externally. A black dye obtained from
Eclipta alba is also for dyeing hair and tattooing.
Eclipta is also used to enhance the memory and has a reputation
as an antiaging agent in Ayurveda which increases R.B.C. in
It helps in healing the scalp, balances the PH level of the
scalp and cleans the pores. A mixture of Aloe Vera gel with
wheat germ oil and coconut milk promotes hair growth and reduces
cordifolia has been described as best blood purifier in Ayurveda
and therefore, it has been useful in various skin diseases, help
prevents dandruff etc. It is a great agent to lower down Kapha
and Pitta. It opens blocked capillaries thus improves the blood
circulation of the scalp that gradually restores lost color
& prevent further grey hair. It gives necessary nourishment
to the roots of hair, moisturize the hair and scalp which helps
to prevent the further graying of hair.
The name lodhra in Sanskrit means "that which makes
the body firmer." This is due to the strong grahi
(absorption enhancing) property of lodhra. Grahi herbs help
absorb fluids in the body or scalp thus it help promotes hair
growth absorbing the nutrition for the hair from daily intake of
food. Lodhra is not only grahi but also sheeta (cooling) and
laghu (light). This is an unusual combination which makes lodhra
very helpful for reducing inflammation and heaviness in the body
or scalp due to excess fluid. The result is a firm, attractive
Diet for good hair
Hair growth depends on an adequate diet. A widespread diet
problem, which causes loss of hair, is iron deficiency Anemia. The
cause is too little iron in blood, brought on by a diet containing
too little meat, eggs, cereals or peas and beans. Fresh fruits and
vegetables are also needed to provide vitamin C, which enables the
body to absorb iron.
Cutting the hair
Although cutting the hair is not essential to its well being,
it is easier to keep the scalp clean if the hair is kept
reasonably short. Regular cutting does not make the hair grow
strong or faster.
How hair is be damaged
Although scalp hair is hardy, and can withstand a lot of abuse,
it can be damaged by too much or inexpertly applied perming,
dyeing, bleaching and harsh massage. The amount of beautying the hair
can vary from person to person. Occasionally the scalp is
allergic to the dye and becomes inflamed and swollen. To prevent
this occurring, applying it to a small area on the arm should test
the dye. If a patch of inflammation has developed, the dye must
not be used on the hair.
Most people who bleach their hair do so with hydrogen peroxide.
If the peroxide is repeatedly applied, it may make the hair
brittle. If this happens the hair may turn rough, develop split
ends, or become thinned or shortened.
How To Deal With Dandruff
Some are of the opinion that at the early
stages of hair loss, dandruff begins to increase. However, an
increase in the amount of dandruff does not necessarily mean that
there is a "cause-effect" relationship resulting in the thinning
You should think of excessive dandruff as a warning sign as far as
the health of the hair is concerned.
Dandruff is made up of bits of dead skin that
peel away from the scalp as a result of the effects of metabolism.
Normally, dandruff, in its early stages of growth, is not visible
to the naked eye. It becomes visible only after enlarging into
pieces of dead skin (what we normally call "dandruff") as a result
of the propagation of bacteria and/or problems with seborrhea
Persons suffering from prolonged dandruff are
said to have a dandruff ailment. This type of ailment, accompanied
by itchiness, can lead to eczema if it worsens. Suppressing the
propagation of bacteria is one means of dealing with fatty
dandruff. This is because bacteria are one of the causes of this
If possible, try to shampoo (mild shampoo) on a daily basis to
prevent bacterial propagation. One effective means of dealing with
dandruff is to disinfect the scalp area with commercially
available herbal shampoos specifically designed for dandruff
removal. However, daily shampooing can lead to eczema for persons
who suffer from dry scalps. Shampooing once every three days may
be ideal for such persons.
Life style solution:
The foremost consideration in the treatment
of this disorder is to keep the hair and scalp clean so as to
minimize the accumulation of dead cells.
The hair should be brushed daily to improve
the circulation and remove any flakiness.
The most effective way to brush the hair is
to bend forward from the waist with the head down towards the
ground and brush from the nape of the neck towards the top of
Yoga to prevent Hair Loss:
Ayurvedic Supplements :