Men across the world face hair loss due to several reasons. This may include impairment of the follicles or shafts, fungal infections and other conditions. It is caused by a combination of three factors – the male hormone known as testosterone, age and heredity. There are basically two recognized types of alopecia, known as Khalita in Ayurveda.
The first is alopecia areata, which according to ancient texts is called Indraulupta. It happens when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the follicles and causes the hair to fall out. The second condition is the reason for common baldness and is also called androgenetic alopecia. It is usually referred to as male-pattern baldness, or permanent-pattern baldness.
It has been observed that men who have this type of hair loss have inherited the same genetically. They start losing their hair at an early age and develop more pronounced baldness. The hair loss normally creates a notable receding hair line and baldness on the top of the head. 60% of the victims of this disease are men. Women are few and far and usually get suffer from hair loss and thinning much later in life, whereas men are easily susceptible from the twenties itself. Malnutrition, stress, autoimmune disorders and certain medical treatments like chemotherapy can also cause situational hair loss. The Ayurveda system of solutions for holistic wellbeing offers several significant treatments for overcoming all kinds of hair loss.
According to Ayurveda our hair consist of keratin, which is derived from the asthi or bone tissue. To treat hair loss medication can be targeted to strengthen bones. These can be orally consumed. There are also certain enemas with medicated milk for extreme hair loss conditions. There is also some dosha attributed involvement. The vitiation of Pitha dosha is the the main reason for baldness and scalp disorders. Even bad bowel movements and constipation had impact hair health. Mild natural laxatives help in such cases.
Shirobhayanga involves the massaging of the scalp daily for 10-15 minutes after rinsing with water. The mechanical action stimulates blood circulation and scalp activation. It enhances the awakening of the sebaceous gland. One can also massage with either coconut or almond oil or any oil with vitamin E before prior to bed. This procedure is known as Sirolepa. It significantly slows down hair fall. Vitamin E oil reinforces limp hair and also helps nourish dry flaky skin. One can also try herbal hair packs for about 30 minutes and then wash it off. Such a routine for 21 days will produce desired results. Washing one’s hair with warm water boiled with lemon leaves is also good. Ayurveda based hair serums also penetrate deep and fortify follicles thereby restoring hair health. Regular washing and conditioning is very important. There is also what is known as dhara or pouring certain medicinal liquids. Aloe Vera is also an ideal component for hair loss treatment as it heals the scalp and cleanses the pores. Hair can also be rinsed with apple cider and sage tea to stimulate growth. Tea made from marshmallow root and burdock is effective to treat baldness. Licorice is a good option too. For strong and shiny hair one can also apply horsetail, which is full of silica.
The there is also another treatment known as Prachaana. This is done by specialists who poke needles into the scalp and let out some blood. Steaming and heating procedures great for removing blockage of channels called strotas. This is also a popular therapy. Another treatment is the oral administration of ghee, bitter and astringent herbs. It’s the first step of Panchakarma and is useful in baldness due to Pitha predominant conditions or dhatu imbalance. One can also try medicated purgation for inner cleansing to pacify the pitha aspect. Nasya can also be performed from time to time. Other popular methods include vasthi or enema for regeneration of bone dhatu (brimhana vasthi), Rasyana therapy and herbal therapy. Managing anxiety is important. One must be stress free and should sleep well. Meditation and relaxation techniques can be integrated into one’s daily routine. Stress and anxiety are common causes of hair loss and should be dissipated.
One must avoid oily, acidic, spicy foods that aggravate Pitha. Beverages like tea, coffee and alcohol, as well as smoking must be avoided. One must streamline one’s diet and lifestyle which are responsible in increasing the Pitha aspect. Important foods include beans, milk, raisins, bean sprouts and basically all protein rich foods. A protein rich diet is apt as hair requires the same. Plenty of healthy foods can be included such as fresh leafy vegetables, legumes, soy, fruits, wheat germ, whole grains, butter milk and yogurt. One must consume foods that contain sulfur, zinc, vitamin-B complex, vitamin C and essential fatty acids. One must eat a handful white sesame seeds, as they are replete with sufficient proportions of magnesium and calcium needed for fighting baldness. There are also foods to avoid such as: green chilies, eggplants, curd (yoghurt), peas, peanuts, bakery products, readymade garam masalas mix and junk food. Salt must also be used sparingly in cooking.
Yoga is also beneficial for aiding hair growth. It promotes blood circulation to the head and the scalp area. Ayurveda recommends certain stances for treating balding. The diamond or kneeling pose called Vajrasana is a useful for the treatment of hair generation. Sarvangasana or the shoulder stand asana bolsters the blood supply to the scalp region and thus helps in preventing hair loss. Then comes the cobra pose called Bhujangasana that improves blood circulation in vertebral column enabling superior communication and coordination between the brain and body. Anuloma viloma or alternative breathing can refresh entire body, especially the brain help in firming hair follicles. The practice of Kapalabhati, which is a frontal lobe cleansing technique also rejuvenates the mind and unblocks the frontal lobe of the brain by accelerating the blood circulation. Pranayama is also highly beneficial in curing baldness. Thus yoga is a great support to the Ayurveda dietary plan, medicines and treatments.