How your Ayurvedic Dosha affects your hair (and what to do about it)
Tuesday, 21 December 2021
If your hair is looking less than perfect right now, but you’re looking for a routine that works in harmony with your body and emotions, look no further.
What is Ayurveda
Ayurveda in an ancient ‘whole-body’ system of wellbeing and healing. It comes from India and believes that creating health from the inside out proactively, is better than treating ill-health after the fact.
The idea is that we’re all connected, and if your mind, body, and spirit are in the correct balance, you’ll feel (and look) well. If not, ill health can occur.
The belief is that all humans are made up of the key elements of fire, earth, water, air and space. Combined, these make our three main ‘doshas’ or life force energies.
· Vata Dosha – Space and Air
· Pita Dosha – Fire and Water
· Kapha Dosha – Earth and Water
We all inherit a different mix of this, and if they become out of balance, or too dominant, that’s when we can become sick.
How Your Doshas Affect Your Hair
For those who prefer a natural approach, or have tried everything to no success, Ayurveda offers a way to manage hair care holistically.
In Ayurveda, all external tissues (hair, bones, skin and teeth) come from bone health, so if our internal health is poor – for example we don’t receive enough calcium or nutrients, or if there is excess pitta dosha leading to the body have too high an acidic PH, then our hair will be compromised.
The bio energies that determine your Ayurvedic hair type sit between two states:
· Prakriti, which means you are in balance
· Vikriti, which means out of balance
Choosing Your Dosha
· Kapha-Type Hair when in prakriti is the hair we all long for. Thick, lustrous, and wavy but can be straightened or curled easily, it shines with health.
If your Kapha is in vikriti, your hair will be greasy and lank. This is most often the case for teens and post-natal women.
· Vata-Type Hair when in prakriti is thinner and coarser. It may be straight, curly, or a combination of the two, grows quickly and is harder to style. It’s most likely to be affected by humidity and wind.
· If your Vata is in vikriti (usually called an excess of Vata) it will be dry, brittle, prone to breaking and very difficult to grow. It won’t reflect light well and may frizz.
· Pitta-Type Hair when in prakriti is naturally straight, very fine and soft, with a natural shine usually.
· If you have too much Pitta and are in vikriti, you may be a hot head in more ways than one. You are considered to have too much fire going to your head, which leads to thinning, premature greying, and even baldness and conditions like Alopecia.
The Vata haircare regimen
Care: Experts recommend treatment with natural hair oils, preferably warmed, at least twice a week. Vata is a cold and dry dosha, so anything with an element of heat is ideal.
Bhringraj is a key ayurvedic ingredient that Vata types can hugely benefit from. It can be blended as a powder to a mask that treats hair, returning it to a softer texture.
Dietary additions: Anything grounding and rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, like nuts and seeds, are necessary for the Vata type.
The Pitta haircare regimen
Care: Use soothing, alkaline hair treatments with ingredients with a natural element to treat and mask the hair. Shampoo should be PH balanced – Pitta has too much fire so anything too acidic will affect the balance further.
Dietary additions: Those with a strong pitta should ease off the curries and spices and anything heavily citrus and look for cooling, astringent foods. Mint, lemon balm and green tea are all helpful to soothe and can act as a rinse for the hair too.
The Kapha haircare regimen
Care: “The Kapha hair care needs are on hair and scalp cleansing two to three times a week with natural hair cleansing herbs like reetha, and shikakai powder. The focus is on gentle purification, so those with a kapha prakriti can oil with neem oil.
Dietary additions: Those with the kapha dosha should focus on warm, light, foods, like fish and vegetables, cooked in a dry way (grilling or baking).