The Ayurveda lifestyle, or Dinacharya, came from the combined words “Din” meaning day and “acharya” meaning to follow. It literally means to follow in a day or a better translation is routine or daily regimen. The Ayurveda principle believes that in order for a person to achieve optimal health, healthy living/lifestyle must be a part of one’s daily schedule.
This also applies to having healthy hair. Your diet should become a healthy routine of eating plenty of fresh food, such as vegetables, fruit and legumes and drinking plenty of fresh water. The above recommended massages with medicated oils should be performed regularly. Hair hygienic practices using herbal ingredients should become a daily routine. Ayurveda is not a one-time treatment. It is a lifestyle ensuring health and vitality.
Aside from the above mentioned lifestyle modifications, here are other things I recommend that you observe to guarantee not only prevention of hair loss but also a total sense of well being.
- Cessation of smoking. Hundreds of studies have linked cigarette smoking (specifically its nicotine content) to various medical disorders. Smoking can damage the hair because it causes constriction of vessels, making it more difficult for the blood to flow. This decreases the supplies of nutrients and oxygen to the hair follicles.
- Stress management. Stress affects the overall well being of the person. Physically, aside from hair loss, one can experience palpitation, shortness of breath, dry mouth and skin, disruption of the digestive system, headache, and other symptoms. Stress can also cause mental fatigue, emotional instability, anxiety, sleep disturbance, poor appetite, and poor decision making skills. It affects one’s social life too. A stressed person tends to withdraw himself from others. In addition, that would also affect his performance either in school or work. Therefore, it is vital that a person knows how to manage stress. There are many relaxation techniques that one can practice. Below I have listed recommended Ayurveda stress management techniques that will not only prevent hair loss and ensure hair regrowth, but also maintain the overall health of the individual.
- Yoga. This is divided into three types, according to the three Ayurveda principles, which are vata, pitta and kapha (discussed in Chapter 1)
- For Vata, the recommended yoga would include meditative practice, Tadasana or mountain pose, Paschimittanasana (seated forward bend), Vrkasana (tree pose) and halasana (plow pose).
- For Pitta, mild, restorative yoga that includes Baddha konasana (bound Angle Pose), Paschimittanasana (seated forward bend), and Janu Sirasana (a head-to-knee- pose).
- For Kapha, the recommended yoga is heat producing with vigorous movement. Included in this are backbends, sun salutations, chest-opening poses such as Ustrasana or Camel pose and Dhanurasana or Bow pose.
- Aromatherapy and healing herbs.
- For Vata – cardamom, cinnamon and ginger
- For Pitta – Rose, jasmine and lavender
- For Kapha – Frankincense and Rosemary
- Deep breathing exercise
- Have adequate rest and sleep. The body needs to rejuvenate and recharge itself. It can do this when the person rests and sleeps. The hair greatly benefits from this healthy lifestyle as the cells of the hair follicles are repaired or reproduced during resting and sleeping periods.
- Limiting alcoholic beverages. Alcohol has been linked to numerous medical ailments. A social drink of 1-2 glasses a week is tolerable. However, daily consumption can be hazardous to your hair and of course, your overall health.
- Daily bowel movement. The accumulation of wastes and toxins in the body greatly contributes to hair loss. Therefore, expulsion of these wastes will result in radiant hair. A person should have at least one bowel movement a day. It should be soft and well-formed, easy to pass and not foul smelling. If you are constipated, harmful toxins build up inside of your body. To fight constipation, increase your fiber and water intake and physical activity. I highly recommend a juicing routine (see book recommendation in Appendix). Having diarrhea may seem better than constipation but it is actually just as harmful. Diarrhea can lead to poor absorption of essential nutrients. Having a regular, healthy bowel movement is the ideal scenario for a healthy life. A healthy gut is a healthy person. It was Hippocrates over 2000 years ago who believed that all diseases start in the gut.
- Avoiding too much direct sun exposure and other heat-causing agents. Pitta dosha or excess heat in the body can cause hair loss, according to Ayurveda belief. Therefore, one must avoid foods that can cause elevation of heat of the body. Maintain a cool body by staying indoors or avoiding the harsh direct sunlight. During summer, wear clothes made of light material and color. In addition, increase the fluid intake to refresh the body and replenish fluid losses. Avoid saunas and other warm places.
Having a healthy lifestyle is a major factor in having beautiful, full head of hair. Listen to your body, mind and heart. As you follow the Ayurveda lifestyle, you will not only look more attractive (because of your shiny and lustrous hair) but also be more radiant, healthy and happy, which is the most important aspect in someone’s life.