Did you know that your scalp naturally loses 50-100 hair strands in a day? Yes! You need not go into panic mode every time you notice hair on your floor or comb. Because normally, new hair starts growing out of those follicles within no time.
But, has your lost hair not been replaced with new hair growth for a long time? If yes, you might be experiencing actual ‘hair loss’ or alopecia. In this article, let’s discuss in detail about various factors that trigger hair loss and how you can control it with time-tested Ayurvedic practices and remedies at home.
- Types Of Hair Loss
- What Causes Hair Loss?
- Hair Loss Signs & Symptoms
- How To Cure Hair Loss?
- How To Prevent Hair Loss?
- How To Diagnose Hair Loss?
Types Of Hair Loss
- Androgenic Alopecia
This is also called hereditary thinning. It is a genetic condition  that affects both men and women. Patients can notice a receding hairline or gradual hair thinning from the frontal scalp and crown region.
In the case of men, it is called male pattern baldness, which can begin as early as teens or early twenties. In the case of women, it is called female pattern baldness, which usually occurs at the age of forties and later.
- Alopecia Areata
It is an autoimmune disease that causes round and smooth patches of hair loss on the scalp along with other body parts. ‘Indralupta’ in Ayurveda is often correlated with alopecia areata.
In about 90% of people with alopecia areata, hair regrows after undergoing appropriate treatments. However, in some cases, it may lead to complete baldness called ‘alopecia totalis’.
- Researchers claim that about 25% of men, who are going to be affected by hair loss, notice the first signs of the condition before they turn 21 years old.
- Cicatricial (Scarring) Alopecia
This is a rare condition in which the hair follicles get destroyed due to high inflammation (aggravated Pitta) in the body. Scarring alopecia  has symptoms like a burning sensation, tingling, pain, or itchy scalp conditions.
This kind of hair loss can be rapid or gradual. It may result in permanent hair loss as scar tissues replace your hair follicles. Ayurvedic treatments can promote hair regrowth only if scarring has not occurred.
- Involutional Alopecia
It is a natural condition in which the hair starts gradually thinning out as you age. In old age, the duration of anagen (growing phase) of your hair decreases naturally. Thus, the amount of hair that goes to the resting phase increases due to an increase in Vata levels in your body.
- Alopecia Universalis
It is a condition in which the hair starts to fall out from all parts of the body  including eyelashes, eyebrows and pubic hair. Genetic factors in combination with other hair loss factors can result in alopecia universalis.
Hair regrowth in this condition varies from person to person. The patient may find positive results in treating the condition through Ayurvedic practices. However, the hair may not grow back in some people.
This type of hair loss is usually observed in children with psychological disorders. The child feels a constant urge to pull out the scalp hair.
- Telogen Effluvium
It is a temporary hair loss condition caused due to abrupt changes occurring in your hair growth cycle. In telogen effluvium, a large amount of hair prematurely enters the resting phase at the same time. This eventually results in hair shedding and hair thinning.
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What Causes Hair Loss?
Ancient Ayurvedic scripts termed baldness or alopecia as ‘Khalitya’ if the hair is lost gradually. In case of the occurrence of sudden hair loss, it is termed as ‘Indralupta’.
According to Ayurveda, the condition of your hair and scalp depends on the harmony of vital biological energies in your body: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Any imbalances occurring in these tri-doshas would lead to a variety of scalp and hair problems.
In other words, all the reasons behind your hair problems, which eventually lead to hair loss, can be narrowed down to the root cause – vitiation in your dosha levels.
Now, let’s understand various factors that disrupt the balanced state of your dosha levels, in turn causing hair loss.
- Underlying Medical Condition
Your hair loss can be the first sign of an underlying disease. Almost 30+ diseases like thyroid-related conditions, anemia, etc. can result in hair loss. When the disease is addressed by bringing the deranged doshas to a balanced state, the hair loss stops automatically and it starts to regrow.
After certain illnesses like a major surgery, severe infection, high fever, or flu, you may experience a temporary hair loss (telogen effluvium).
- Some Cancer Treatments
Chemotherapy and radiation therapy can also cause sudden hair loss (alopecia areata) with great distress. However, it is often a temporary condition.
- Ringworm On The Scalp
It is a contagious fungal infection that is common in children. If neglected, it may lead to hair loss and balding on the scalp.
After giving birth to the child, new moms notice severe hair loss. This is due to the sudden drop in estrogen levels . Postpartum hair loss is temporary and with proper Ayurvedic hair care, it starts to regrow within a few months.
Due to sudden alterations in the hormone levels during menopause, the doshas are vitiated causing a temporary hair loss. Although the hair starts to regrow after a while, it may not be as voluminous in your 40s.
Experiencing stressful events leads to an increase in Pitta dosha drastically. This in turn causes severe hair loss.
- Weight Loss
A sudden decrease in weight can also cause hair loss, which often occurs 3-6 months after a weight loss. It is a temporary condition and the hair grows healthily with a proper diet and Ayurvedic hair care.
- Excess Vitamin A
Excess intake of vitamin A can lead to hair loss. It can be controlled by cutting down the intake of too much vitamin A.
- Improper Diet
When your diet lacks essential vitamins-A, B, C, D, E, K, proteins, and minerals like iron, magnesium, zinc, etc. , it affects your hair growth and may result in hair loss.
- Eating Disorder
Some eating disorders like anorexia (not eating enough) and bulimia (vomiting after eating) can result in hair loss due to insufficient supply of essential nutrients to your follicles.
- Some Medications
Medicines which contain blood thinners, high vitamin A doses, birth control pills, anabolic steroids, antidepressants, etc. can cause hair loss.
- Chemical Hair Products
Frequent use of chemical-laden hair products like sulfate-based shampoos, dyes, relaxers, gels, hair sprays, etc., can cause severe hair damage, which may eventually result in hair loss.
- Heat Styling And UV Radiations
Regular use of blow dryers, straightening irons and other devices can also cause a high increase in Vata dosha, leading to hair loss. Also, the UV radiation  from the sun can take a toll over your hair growth.
- Seasonal Changes
Changes in seasons often result in the varied influence of tri-doshas in your body. You may observe hair loss at the beginning of every season, as your dosha levels may get disrupted due to the change in weather.
- Bad Hair Habits
Improper hair brushing, rubbing wet hair vigorously with a dry towel, tight ponytails, etc. can also lead to the condition of traction alopecia.
Hair Loss Signs & Symptoms
- In Men
- Receding hairline
- Horseshoe-shaped pattern exposing the crown region of the head
- Hair thinning
- In Women
Hair thinning out above temples and in the crown region of the head
- In Children And Young Adults
- Sudden hair shedding
- Excessive hair shedding with partial baldness. This usually occurs after different illnesses and drug usage, anemia, stress, or rapid weight loss
- Broken hair patches and partial hair loss on scalp and/or eyebrows
How To Cure Hair Loss?
- Ayurvedic Treatments For Hair Loss
In Ayurveda, your hair texture and hair problems can be used to determine the imbalances present in your dosha constitution. To pick the right Ayurvedic herbal remedies to treat your hair loss, you need to first identify your innate Prakriti and status of your doshas.
- If you have elevated Vata dosha, your hair can be excessively brittle, dry, and frizzy.
- If you have imbalanced Pitta, then you are most likely to have premature greying, scalp irritation with greasy dandruff, and receding hairlines with thin hair texture.
- If you have imbalanced Kapha, then you are most likely to have excessively oily scalp and greasy hair. This can lead to clogging in your hair follicles and eventually hair loss.
- Ayurvedic hair loss treatments mainly focus on achieving immunomodulation, stress reduction, and controlling local scalp conditions by bringing balance to vitiated doshas.
- Warm Oil Massages
Scalp massage with warm Ayurvedic oils should be performed in the evenings or at night before sleeping. This provides deep nourishment and conditioning to your hair. Massage your scalp in circular motions using fingertips by spreading the Ayurvedic oil from the forehead to the neckline in the back of your scalp.
This boosts blood circulation in your scalp region and stimulates even the hidden hair follicles for healthy hair growth. You need to pick your Ayurvedic oil based on your imbalanced dosha levels.
Here are a few dosha-specific herbal ingredients which you can look for in your Ayurvedic hair oils:
- Vata Pacifying Herbs:Yashtimadhu, gunja, bhringraj, palandu, tagara, brahmi, devadar, krishnatila, sariyaka, kushta, methika, shatavari, etc.
- Pitta Pacifying Herbs:Yashtimadhu, japa, musta, chamomile, kamala, shatavari, amalaki, vetiver, nimba, karpoora, lavender, etc.
- Kapha Pacifying Herbs:Jyotishmati, japa, vata, tulasi, carrot seed, daruharidra, sariyaka, bhringraj, karanja, lodhra, citrus, etc.
- Essential Oils
Using essential oils mixed in carrier oils like coconut oil or sesame oil can be highly effective in strengthening your hair roots and activating your follicles. You can use essential oils like rosemary oil, thyme oil, lemon oil, lavender oil , peppermint oil, grapeseed oil, etc. based on your elevated dosha levels for regular scalp massage.
- Ayurvedic Hair Cleansing Shampoos
You need to keep your scalp and hair clean by washing it at least twice a week with mild Ayurvedic shampoos or natural herbal cleansers. This keeps your scalp oil-free, which in turn controls dandruff and itchiness on your scalp.
Here are some promising and natural herbal ingredients which you can use for hair cleansing:
- Shikakai –It is a cleanser with natural saponins. Shikakai removes excessively produced oil from the scalp, while it does not cause too much ripping. You can use it in combination with reetha, hibiscus, or amla if you have dry and frizzy hair.
- Triphala Churna –It contains three powerful herbs: haritaki, bibhitaki, and amalaki, which are very helpful in balancing all the three doshas. Mix a little water in triphala powder and make it into a fine paste. Apply the paste across your scalp and give it a gentle massage for a few minutes before rinsing off with water.
- Aloe Vera –It has cooling properties and can act as a soothing scalp cleanser. It is very effective especially if you have aggravated Pitta. Apply fresh aloe vera gel over your scalp and leave it for about 15 minutes before washing off with water.
- Hibiscus Leaves & Flowers –It is well known for its efficiency to promote longer and stronger hair growth. Grind hibiscus flowers  and leaves into a slimy paste. Apply this on your scalp and spread it nicely as it lathers well. Then, wash it off normally with water.
- Amla or Indian gooseberry –It is also a tridosha hara best known for its deeply nourishing properties. You can use amla in the form of a paste or decoction which can be combined with shikakai or reetha.
- Hair Masks
Applying hair masks regularly is also one of the effective Ayurvedic remedies to reduce hair fall and hair loss. You can try the following simple recipes at home at least once in a week to keep your hair in the best condition.
- Prepare fenugreek paste and add little çurd to it. Apply this mixture to the entire scalp and hair thoroughly. Leave it for 20 minutes and wash it off.
- Prepare a paste by mixing besan, tender coconut water, and lemon juice. Apply it over your scalp and leave it for a few minutes before rinsing off with water.
- You can also blend besan with reetha, amla, and shikakai.
- Blend walnut powder, amla, and curd into a paste. Apply it from the roots to the tips of your hair. Leave it for about half an hour and wash it off properly.
- Soak the amla in curd overnight and grind it into a fine paste the next morning. You can also add shikakai, reetha, neem, and fenugreek to it if needed. Apply the paste to your scalp and give a gentle massage for a few minutes before rinsing off with water.
- Ayurvedic Diet
To keep your doshas in balance, a nutritious diet with dosha-specific foods is very important. According to Ayurveda, any dosha or biological energy can be strengthened or weakened by a specific type of food. For example, to activate Pitta, you need to have hot, salty, spicy, and sour foods. To pacify Pitta while treating hair loss, you need to avoid the same types of foods.
In general, include lots of cucumbers, leafy vegetables, potatoes, pumpkin, peppermint, coriander, yogurt, sprouts, sesame seeds, etc, in your diet, which provides you with all the essential nutrients required for healthy hair growth.
Also, you need to avoid overconsumption of coffee, fried foods, cool drinks, junk, and baked foods.
- Ayurvedic Lifestyle
- You need to have sound sleep for at least 6-8 hours to keep your doshas in balance.
- Consume water in adequate amounts as it flushes out toxins from your body.
- Allot time for regular exercise and meditation to keep your stress levels in control.
- Incorporating Yoga into your life can bring you benefits that last for a lifetime.
The following are some of the powerful Yoga asanas that boost your hair growth by improving blood circulation to your scalp region.
- Vajrasana complements your Ayurvedic hair loss treatments.
- Sarvangasana (shoulder stand pose) is quite effective in enhancing blood supply to your scalp and controlling hair loss.
- Bhujangasana (the cobra pose) increases blood circulation in the vertebral column, in turn, facilitating better communication between the body and brain.
- Kapalabhati (frontal lobe cleansing technique) speeds up the blood flow and revitalizes your mind. Also, it clears the toxins from the frontal lobe region of the brain.
- Anuloma viloma (alternative breathing) can rejuvenate your entire organs in the body, especially the brain, and contribute to strengthening your hair roots.
- Pranayama is beneficial in curing baldness as it is very effective in reducing hair fall.
- Ayurvedic Massage Therapies
Having a regular Panchakarma, including Ayurvedic head massage therapies like shiroabhyanga, shirodhara, shirolepa, basti, nasya, etc.may help you keep your doshas in balance to a great extent. The medicated oils and liquids used in these therapies offer deep rejuvenation and detoxification.
These classical Ayurvedic therapies can be of great use to control anxiety, stress, migraine, and other psychological disorders that contribute to hair loss.
- Other Chemical Drugs
Your doctors may prescribe Minoxidil (Rogaine)  in the form of a topical cream or ingestible medicine in a variety of hair loss treatments. Finasteride (Propecia) is often prescribed to treat male pattern baldness. And you may be recommended to use corticosteroids like prednisone if you are experiencing autoimmune hair loss conditions like alopecia areata.
However, these chemical drugs may have side effects like scalp irritation, hair growth in unwanted areas, etc.
How To Prevent Hair Loss?
- Avoid using chemical hair products.
- Avoid using styling devices and hair dryers excessively.
- Do not rub your hair harshly.
- Comb your hair twice a day gently.
- Avoid consuming unhealthy foods like junk and baked items.
- Avoid consuming excessive salt.
- Don’t wear your braids, buns or ponytails tightly.
- Protect your hair from the environment and pollution by using a scarf or a hat.
- Avoid alcohol and cigarette consumption.
How To Diagnose Hair Loss?
To diagnose hair loss, your doctor may physically examine your scalp to check for symptoms like redness, sores, inflammation, or scarring. A close examination of your scalp gives your doctor a clear picture of how much hair has been lost, the pattern of your hair loss, and if there is any hair breakage.
Furtherly, to learn more about your type of hair loss and other health conditions, doctors may suggest you undergo a blood test, pull test, scalp biopsy, and light microscopy  as per the requirements.
The Last Word
Unless it is a genetic hair loss or scarring baldness, you can reverse the hair loss condition through holistic Ayurvedic procedures with dosha balancing herbs. In fact, by incorporating an Ayurvedic lifestyle, diet, and hair care, you can even delay the occurrence of genetic hair loss.