‘’Besides damaging your lung health, the harmful chemicals in cigarettes also cause severe damage to your hair, which may lead to hair loss eventually,’’ says Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix.
In this article, let’s understand how smoking contributes to your hair loss and how you can deal with it efficiently with the help of Ayurveda.
Ayurvedic Doshas And Smoking
As per the traditional Ayurvedic system, everybody is the congregation of three vital life energies: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha doshas. Any person is in perfect health when all these three doshas are in a balanced state. And, elevation occurred in any of these doshas leads to various diseases including scalp and hair related problems.
According to Ayurveda, dhumapana (smoking) with tobacco causes an imbalance in all the three doshas in your body.
What Smoking Does To Your Hair?
1. Poor Blood Circulation
Your follicles need essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and oxygen to produce healthy hair. And these nutrients are supplied to your follicles through blood circulation.
Cigarette smoke contains toxic chemicals that cause shrinkage in your blood vessels and block the blood circulation to your hair follicles. As your hair follicles fail to receive the necessary nutrients from blood, your hair growth cycle is disturbed, in turn leading to noticeable hair loss.
2. Weak Immune System
The occlusion of blood supply to your follicles leads to an increase in Kapha dosha levels on your scalp, which results in excessive oil production. This, in turn, causes conditions like dandruff (seborrheic dermatitis) or other scalp infections, which further aggravate your hair loss.
Also, smoking causes damage to your internal immunity to fight such pathogenic infections. This further aggravates your condition and results in severe hair fall.
The toxins present in cigarettes not only cause hair loss in people who smoke, but also induce hair fall in the people who undergo passive or second-hand smoking .
Harmful pollutants like nicotine and cotinine released into the air by cigarette smokers deposit in the hair shaft. This results in permanent damage in the hair structure of the people who are exposed to that polluted air. And, the alkaline nature of the toxins released from cigarette smoking can disturb your scalp pH, which affects your hair growth finally.
Also, pollution caused by smoking can intensify your genetic hair loss while the carcinogens present in the contaminated air block the mechanisms in your hair follicles that produce hair protein.
Recent studies have found that besides causing hair loss, smoking can also result in premature greying in youngsters.
How To Stop Hair Loss Due To Smoking?
1. First, Stop Smoking
Quitting the habit of smoking is the best way to reverse your hair loss caused by it. Your body promotes hair regrowth by its natural rejuvenation mechanism once you stop the contamination of your hair and scalp tissues from the toxins in cigarettes.
We understand, it is not as easy as said to quit the highly addictive habit. But, you can be successful over several trials without giving it up.
2. Eat Nutrient-Rich Diet
According to Ayurveda, eating the right and nutrient-rich diet based on your dosha levels plays a critical role in bringing back your deranged dosha levels to a balanced state.
Ensure your diet includes foods that are rich in Vitamins-A, B, C, D, E, K, iron, zinc, folic acid, proteins, etc. Include herbs like Indian gooseberry (Amla), fenugreek, coriander, turmeric powder, Jeera, etc in your everyday diet as they not only promote your hair growth, but also strengthen your immunity while maintaining your dosha equilibrium.
3. Opt For Ayurvedic Hair Care Routine
‘’Including powerful Ayurvedic herbal formulations in your everyday hair care regimen aids in detoxification, balancing and rejuvenation processes,’’ says Dr. Zeel.
Ensure you massage your scalp hair with medicated herbal oils at least twice a week before you wash your hair with an Ayurvedic herbal shampoo. And, regular application of Ayurvedic hair masks, serums, and hair rinses provide deep conditioning and nourishment to your hair, while keeping the microbial infestations at bay.
4. Ayurvedic Practices To Reverse Smoking Effects
- Drink an adequate quantity of water every day from a copper vessel. This practice aids in the accumulation and elimination of wastes from your body.
- Ensure you perform Neti kriya regularly under the guidance of your Ayurvedic consultant. Neti kriya involves inhalation of saline water through one nostril and releasing it through the other, and vice-versa.
- Perform Bhastrika Pranayama in the morning as well as in the evening.
- Consumption of 1 tsp of triphala powder every night before sleeping helps you in eliminating the nicotine tar deposits from your system.
- You can also enhance your detoxification process by consuming herbs like ashwagandha, shatavari, ginseng, and bala in the appropriate measures suggested by your Ayurvedic doctor daily.
- According to Ayurveda, having 1 tsp of ajwain and cinnamon everyday controls the cravings of smoking.
- Eating 2-3 basil leaves every morning will pacify the ill-effects of smoking and help you in controlling the tobacco addiction.
5. Consult Doctor
Smoking is linked to both temporary hair loss (khalitya/telogen effluvium ) and long-term conditions like DHT hair loss . Though you may not have the conditions at present, smoking can cause the early triggering of hair loss if you have a genetic predisposition to it. If these conditions exist already, then cigarette smoking increases the rate of hair shedding.
We recommend you take prior consultation with your doctor or Ayurvedic practitioner to identify the type of hair loss triggered by smoking through a professional diagnosis. Once you understand the kind of hair loss you have, your current dosha levels, and underlying root causes for the condition, you can opt for personalized and specific Ayurvedic treatments to revive your hair growth.
Also, you need to consult a doctor or Ayurvedic practitioner to ensure that the herbal formulations you administer are suitable for your body based on your medical history.
The Last Word
Smoking causes damage to your hair at the cellular level while weakening your immune system. The carcinogens present in cigarettes attack and alter your DNA structure , which not only leads to severe hair shedding, but can cause different types of cancers. Incorporating the Ayurvedic lifestyle and regimen is an essential task in your hand to control the ill-effects of smoking and promote healthy and stronger hair regrowth.
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