Structure of Hair – Ayurveda way
As per ayurvedic principles, our body shall be in harmony with nature. This applies to all body parts including hair. Like in Summer or autumn, tree become listless and shed leaves, similarly our hair also feel the brunt of summer and become dry with rough edges.
Our hair can be divided in two parts – the root and shaft. The root part of hair is in the scalp and hair shaft is what is visible to us. Root of the hair is in the shape of a bulb and is surrounded by follicle. The new hair cells are formed in the root regularly and these cells push the previous cells up. Cells that move up die and form the hard hair shaft.
While Cuticle decides the shine, appearance of hair, cortex determines the bulk and strength of hair.
Why do hair fall happen?
On an average people lose 50-100 strands of hair per day. This is quite normal because new hair replace what is lost. At any point in time, approx 90% of hair on our scalp are in growing phase. During this phase, they grow by approx 1 cm/month.
However, if more than normal Hair loss happens, it could result in Hair thinning of decrease in Hair density. While some experience it on temporary basis during hormonal changes or change of Monsoon, for some other, Hair fall duration lasts for a longer duration. This could be happening due to reasons given below. While it is impossible to identify reasons for Hair fall, but this shall send a warning signal to review our dietary habits and lifestyle.
How does “hair straightening” or “hair rebonding” harms the hair?
Hair like any other part of body has the ability to treat itself on its own. Any artificial and chemical induced treatment is bound to introduce synthetic elements in hair and take it far away from fundamental Ayurvedic concept – to be in synch with nature. Chemical straightening & perming works by breaking the existing bonds in hair and then re-attach the broken bond. Strong alkaline solutions (pH of 13+) like Lye, Guanidine hydroxide and Ammonium thioglycolate are applied to hair. These chemical compounds break the disulphide bonds even more efficiently compared to heat. In fact these solutions are so efficient at breaking the hair bonds, that if hair is allowed to stay a little longer, it will dissolve its structure permanently and cause it to break and fall off.
The other main damage that occurs is the removal of the monomolecular layer of fatty acids that is bound naturally to your hair cuticle. This fatty acid layer is a water repelling layer. It stops water from penetrating your hair shaft, making your hair swell unnaturally and helps retain elasticity and shape of hair.
When this layer is removed by chemical straightening and smoothening treatments, your hair becomes dull, frizzy and is more susceptible to static electricity.
Why do Hair become Grey?
Hair color is a factor of melanin and premature graying occurs due to melanin deficiency. This totally depends on how well do you care for your hair!
Few common reasons why melanin deficiency occurs resulting in graying of hair:-
- Improper nutrition or food supplement in take
- Not providing additional supplement to hair like Oil or Serum
- Hereditary or genetic reasons
- Excessive intake of fast and junk foods
- Excessive use of cosmetic and chemical products
- Excessive consumption of alcohol and smoking
- Medication reaction
As per Ayurveda, hair is considered as a tissue that uses the same nutrients of bone. Therefore, like we take care of joints/bone, we need to take care of hair. Or else, like bone fracture, we may have hair fracture that will result in hair loss ultimately.
The hair follicle contains oil secreting glands that makes the hair shiny. Stress and illness diminish secretion of oil and pigments causing greying of hair.
What you sow, you shall reap
Laws of nature applies to every tissue of our body and hair is no different. Well combed, oiled hair has better longevity and healthy lifespan as compared to hair exposed to chemicals without proper care etc. It’s a perfect example of a good debate on whether Science is a boon or bane!
While advancement of science has created chemicals that make hair look good, shiny, flowy, jet black or purple red or velvety blue etc but in longer terms these chemicals strip hair of its nutrients and limits ability of hair to produce oil to keep it healthy and lively. Chemical treated hair tend to become dull, damaged or Dry & Frizzy. It is important to not to let science interfere with our nature of hair and let it be in harmony with nature. Keeping these principles in mind, there are natural ayurvedic ways to ensure that Hair loss is prevented or hair graying is prevented.
Nevertheless, if you are still the one with adventurous streak and do want to experiment with your hair, be ready to invest more effort in maintaining them post your adventure. Like post a mountaineering adventure, our muscles and joints demand special attention, similarly post hair color sojourn, be ready to nourish hair with good oil, massages and other ingredients.
How to prevent Hair fall?
First step in preventing hair fall is to accept the fact that it is not 100% in our control. As described above, we reap what we sow. Ill treatment of 10-20 years can not be reversed in 6 months time.
Key points to keep your hair happy and natural are:-
- Proper diet– Balance and proper diet to be eaten at the right time of the day, in the right sequence and with right combination. E.g.
- Salads and fruits to be eaten 20-30 min before meal.
- Water to be consumed 20 -30 min before meal and not immediately after the meal.
- Dinner shall be taken before 7 PM. Avoid sweets in dinner.
- Hydration– Drink approx 3-4 ltr of water per day. This will provide natural sheen and moisturiser to hair.
- Head Massage- Take out time every 2-3 days to massage your hair with good head massage oil like Briganantadi --Hair Repair & Treatment Oil (https://www.bluenectar.co.in/lush-hair-24/briganantadi-hair-repair treatment-oil-63.html). It nourishes and moisturises your hair. Wash after a gap of 30-45 min.
- Use mild Sulphate and Paraben free Shampoo and Conditioner. Shampoo shall not be used too often. Blue Nectar is very soon introducing Ayurvedic and Chemical free Shampoo along with Conditioner