Ayurveda teaches us that the way to remain balanced and vibrant is to align our rhythms with the rhythms of Nature. The way we do this is by following a daily routine that suits our unique constitution and remains in harmony with the current season.
Hair care is an important component of your daily routine. Here are some practical tips for gorgeous, healthy hair:
Wash your hair less. We all have varying degrees of normal, oily, or dry hair, and you may not need to wash your hair as often as you think. The more frequently the hair is washed, the more oil gets produced, requiring it be washed more often. It’s a cycle! For many people, washing the hair 2–3 times per week is plenty.
Massage your scalp. While washing your hair, massage your scalp in an invigorating way. This can stimulate circulation to the hair follicles and encourage hair growth. You can use the tips of your fingers or a rubber scalp stimulator.
Avoid all chemicals and surfactants in your hair products. Just like anything that we apply to our skin, these chemicals get directly absorbed through the scalp and enter the bloodstream. Choose natural products or make your own!
Apply oil to your hair and scalp at least once per week. Massaging the hair and scalp with herbal oils is an Ayurvedic practice that has been used for centuries to maintain thick, healthy hair. This practice provides deep conditioning and nourishment to the hair. It also calms the mind and encourages sleep. If you are leaving the oil in your hair overnight, place a towel over your pillow to protect linens. I really like Healthy Hair Oil, which is a wonderful tridoshic blend to nourish and rejuvenate the hair. It contains amalaki, brahmi, and bhringaraj—three powerful herbs for healthy hair.
Oil your hair before entering chlorinated pools or the salty ocean. Applying a moderate amount of oil to your hair helps to protect it from getting damaged from chlorine or salt water.
Braid long hair before bed. If you have long hair, tying it into a loose braid at night will prevent it from getting tangled or damaged while you sleep.
Strengthen your bones. According to Ayurveda, hair is a product of the bone tissue. When we nourish the bone tissue, the hair is likewise nourished. Some foods to nourish the bones and hair are sesame seeds, almonds, leafy greens, broccoli, lentils, seaweed, whole grains, organic dairy, and pineapple.
Take herbs that support hair health. Healthy Hair tablets cleanse the liver and support robust hair growth. Suggested dose is 1–2 tablets, taken once or twice daily with water. A good single-herb option for the hair is amalaki. Amalaki is a highly-concentrated source of antioxidants and deeply restorative to all tissues. Suggested dose is ½ teaspoon, taken once or twice daily with warm water.
Treat yourself to an amalaki hair mask. Amalaki enhances the hair’s strength, shine, curl, and hair volume. Mix 3 tablespoons amalaki powder with filtered water until it forms a thin consistency. Apply to the roots and work your way to the tips, applying the amalaki paste throughout your hair. Let it sit for 30 minutes and then thoroughly rinse. Shampoo and conditioner are not necessary after this. Your hair will shine radiantly!
Keep your stress levels in check. Stress, worry, and anxiety can lead to hair loss and premature graying. As an Ayurvedic practitioner, I have directly seen this to be true, both for myself and my clients. Once stress is addressed, hair can literally regain its strength, and graying of the hair slows down. Daily stress management practices might include: witnessing awareness, silent meditation, Nadi Shodhana Pranayama, yoga for your constitution, and walking in nature.