Ayurvedic Tips For Healthy Hair
Hair and History
Though not considered essential for existence, human hair has had an important social significance throughout the history of mankind. All old traditions have regarded hair as a symbol of respect and love. In the Hindu tradition, upon the death of the father or mother, the eldest son in the family tonsures his head. This is done on the day of cremation. The mustache is shaved off as well. This is done as a symbol of mourning and respect for the deceased. The next day the son is taken in procession to the crematorium to partake in the rites and ceremonies performed there. This giving away of hair as a sign of respect, mourning etc can be seen in all traditions.
The Old Testament has the story of Sampson and Delilah. The power of Sampson was said to be in his hair and he lost the power when the hair was cut. Once the hair grew back, he regained his power. In Judaism, the rabbis had long hair and beard. So were the great Fathers of the Church. Jesus Christ is depicted in pictures with shoulder length hair.
In India, the Hindus tonsure their head at various temples and offer their hair as offering to the deity. In some traditions like the Sikhism and Orthodox Judaism some men do not cut or shave their hair. The great saints in Hindu tradition had long hair and beard. Womenfolk in Judaism, Orthodox Christianity and Islam cover their heads as a sign of modesty. Cutting off hair in public was meted out as a punishment.
During the second world war, heads were shaved in concentration camps. Women were punished by way of cutting their long hair. The hippies of the 60s and 70s grew long hair and beard to display their antipathy towards the mainstream society.
Hair Care in Traditional Systems
All traditional medicinal systems prescribe various remedies for hair growth and hair care. Ayurveda and Siddha systems adopt a holistic approach in treating hair loss and other related problems. They insist on balancing the doshas that may have been vitiated due to various reasons like stress, hectic lifestyle, inadequate nutrition etc. Generally a healthy body will have healthy hair.
Ayurvedic Hair Care
Some of the common problems are hair loss, premature gray, dandruff, split ends etc. A judicious intake of necessary nutrients as well as external application of oil based on the individual dosha will help restore hair growth in many cases.
Some common herbs found to be useful in hair growth are henna, shoe flower and its leaves, curry leaves, karisalankanni or false daisy etc. One well known Ayurvedic preparation is neelibringadhi hair oil. This oil can be applied on scalp and massaged gently. Regular application of this oil is found to arrest hair loss and aid hair growth. This should be complemented with intake of 'narasimha rasayanam' which is a rejuvenator and helps in hair growth.
How To Make Ayurvedic Hair Oil
Human hair is found to grow as much as half an inch a month. Excessive hair loss can be due to heredity, side effect of drugs, hormonal imbalances, chlorinated water, environmental pollution, some diseases like typhoid etc.
Regular application of the hair oil, preparation of which is given below, helps in arresting hair fall and regaining luscious hair growth.
The herbs required for the preparation are henna leaves, curry leaves, shoe flower (hibiscus) & buds and karisilankanni (false daisy) leaves.
Crush the above mentioned leaves separately and collect the juice 200 ml each. They are then added to 800ml of coconut oil and heated.
Anjana kall, a soft of black stone, this is meant to add color to the hair and available at local herbal stores, 40 gm of this stone is ground to a fine powder. Also 40 gm coconut shell ash is taken and kept aside.
Once the oil is heated to the required level (just before it starts boiling) it is removed from heat. Meanwhile, place the anjana kall and the coconut shell ash in a wide mouth steel vessel and cover the mouth of the vessel with a piece of cloth (the cloth will be used as a sieve). Now pour the hot oil into the steel vessel. As the oil passes through the cloth, the frothy part gets filtered out.
Allow the oil to cool and bottle it and store it in a cool dry place. Apply this oil as needed to the scalp with a gentle massage. This helps in luscious hair growth.
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