Above 50% of men suffer from thinning of hair or baldness. The percentage peaks to above 70% in older men and their female counterparts are not far behind. Are you one of them?
What does hair loss mean?
Every day, you find strands of hair on your comb, scrunchies or bath towel. You get worried about your thinning hair. You ask friends and search online for shampoos and hair products. What a waste of time!
Hair loss is a natural phenomenon. It happens to everyone. And it should happen to everyone. Old hair fall off. New hair grows in place. Winter brings on more hair fall. It is not a major cause for concern.
But, if you happen to find hundreds of hair strands on your pillow case every morning then that is definitely a reason to worry.
Buck up! Hurry! Consult a doctor.
Baldness, Suffering in Silence!
Male pattern baldness is normally dismissed as an unpleasant hereditary gift. It is because we believe that it can neither be prevented nor cured. Female pattern baldness is not really the same as Male Pattern Baldness.
Baldness (balding) occurs due to the shrinkage of hair follicles. The hair follicles shrink, shrink until they die. But, modern times offer hope. The death of hair follicles can be prevented with herbal remedies. This can happen new hair to regrow partially, if not fully.
Yes. There is hope. Balding can be reduced. There is some hope of re-growth of hair if the hair follicles are not completely dead but remain partially closed.
What does Ayurveda say about baldness?
In Ayurveda there are three types of hair fall. They are referred to as Indralupta, Khalitya and Ruhya.
- When hair falls suddenly in a ring shape (patchy), it is known as indralupta.
- And Khalitya is chronic but gradual process of hair fall or hair thinning.
- Ruhya is hair fall that affects the entire body and not just the scalp hair.
Hair follicles contain bhrajaka pitta. When Pitta present at the root of the hair increases in association with vata it presents as falling or thinning of hair. In other words, the vitiated Vata and Pitta affects the hair roots and causes hair fall. The vitiated Kapha and rakta obstructs the hair roots not allowing new hair to grow.
If the hair follicles remain partially open appropriate treatment may bring on results.
Ayurvedic Hair Oils to Treat Baldness
- Malatyadi Tailam – It is a great Ayurvedic hair oil which is effective in hair loss, dandruff, premature baldness and alopecia. Made in coconut oil, Malatyadi contains Malati (Jasminum grandiflorum), a species of jasmine as the main ingredient. Jasminum grandiflorum has many therapeutic effects including hair and beauty benefits. Malatyadi Tailam can be applied on the scalp and hair 20 minutes before bath.
- Bhringaraja Oil – Regular application of Bhringaraja oil is beneficial. Bhringaraj (Eclipta alba) is a plant flowers resembling daisies. It is a well known herbal cure for baldness in India.
- Bhringamalakadi Tailam – Bhringamalaka tailam is made with Bhringaraj and Amalaki (Indian Gooseberry) as the two primary ingredients. It also contains yashtimadhu churnam, cow milk and sesame oil, all of which help prevent severe hair loss.
- Chemparatyadi Tailam – Chemparatyadi is made in coconut oil base with Chemparathy (Hibiscus) as the primary ingredients. It is also effective for skin and scalp diseases. It can also help slow down balding and encourage hair growth if applied regularly.
Formulations that help reduce Indralupta type of baldness:
- Nasya with Mahatiktaka ghrita.
- Tila rasayanam
- Narasimha lehyam
Formulations for Khalitya type of hair loss:
- Mahatiktaka ghrita
- Yastimadhu churna
- Kanta sindoora
- Saptamruta loha
- Pravala bhasma
- Narasimha rasayanam
Now you would want to ask me the million dollar question – How can I determine my type of hair fall?
My answer is – You can’t, all by yourself. Only your doctor can.
Hair fall is common and reversible. A little tweak in the lifestyle and good food and care can take care of it. But in case of severe hair fall, receding hair line or balding you need to seek the help of an expert.
Your Ayurvedic Doctor would do Nadi Parishodhana (Ayurvedic technique of diagnosis through pulse) and physical examination to determine your general health. On examination of your scalp, the doctor might be able to tell you whether the hair roots are partially open and if there is scope for regrowth of hair. If your hair loss appears to be linked to iron deficiency then formulations like Kumaryasavam or Lohasavam may also be prescribed for you along with other Ayurvedic medicines.
(My sincere thanks to Dr. Arati Varma who provided all necessary information on Ayurvedic herbs and oils for this article.)