5 Ayurvedic secrets for hair health
Just until a few decades ago, South Asians were blessed with the most beautiful and thick hair that was as long as it was lustrous. The recent rise in pollution, lifestyle challenges, seasonal fluctuations caused by climatic imbalance, and increased stress have wreaked havoc with hair health. Fortunately, Ayurveda has lots of secrets and the power to restore our crown back to its timeless glory lie in the shelves and containers of our very own kitchens.
The Indian gooseberry is a fruit that refreshes and re-energises hair, and has a large number of other health benefits. Vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and active phytonutrients nourish the scalp and make hair strands strong. The fruit is full of antioxidants and fatty acids that help with reducing dandruff and are effective in removing dirt and excess grease from hair. Massaging amla extract in regular hair oil can boost blood circulation and accelerate hair growth. The ingredient can also prevent premature greying in young hair.
False Daisy (Bhringraj)
An herb that flourishes in moist areas, Bhringraj is also known as the "Hair King", thanks to several of its hair care properties such as vitamins, calcium, magnesium, and iron. The herb also contains flavonoids, phytosterols, and a variety of hair-friendly elements that reduce hair loss. Increased blood circulation in the roots activates follicles to induce hair growth naturally. Further, the herb contains anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties that reduce dandruff and other scalp infections.
It is readily available in powdered form at most superstores.
Methi is found year-round and is a common culinary ingredient. The seeds have tremendous medicinal properties and are extremely beneficial for the hair, containing iron, protein, and essential nutrients that nourish hair and promote growth. Nicotinic acid, found in the herb and its seeds, reduces dandruff and hair fall, vitamins A, C, and K, folic acid, flavonoids, and saponins have anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties that help heal scalp issues like dry hair, baldness, and hair thinning. The seed also nourishes your hair follicles for fast and healthy growth.
Aloe Vera (Ghrita kumari)
Known for being the best friend for the skin, and your best ally when trying to lose weight, aloe vera is also majorly beneficial for treating several hair conditions. The gel has fatty acid components that heal scalp infections and dryness. Aloe vera contains vitamins A, C, and E which accelerate hair growth, and repair and rejuvenate hair follicles. It is also a rich source of Vitamin B12 and folic acid, which can prevent hair fall and ease scalp issues such as itching, seborrheic dermatitis, and excess oil secretion. In addition, the gel has cooling properties that hydrate and moisturise the scalp.
Indian pennywort (Brahmi)
Usually used to promote brain function, the Brahmi plant also doubles as a hair tonic. The dried and powdered plant can be used as a mask that promotes hair growth and thickening. The Brahmi leaves can also be boiled in coconut oil and used as a hair oil to moisturise the scalp, reduce greasiness, and ease dandruff issues. The powdered form is available under Himalaya and Sahih Foods brands and available in superstores.