Do you keep staring into the mirror, sighing at your thinning hair? If your receding frontal hairline is stressing you out, take a moment and breathe.
Ayurveda has a plethora of magical herbs and treatments that work better than any store-bought products.
Dr Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix, says, “Ayurvedic herbal combinations are designed like healthy balanced meals. They consist of a little of everything the hair needs. Traditional and authentic Ayurvedic therapies in essence are customized. Because each hair’s need is different.”
In this article, let us understand the natural phenomenon of hair thinning and how you can apply Ayurvedic principles for fuller and voluminous hair.
- What Is Thinning Hair?
- Where Does Thinning Hair Start?
- Symptoms & Signs Of Thinning Hair
- What Causes Hair Thinning?
- Factors That Speed Up Hair Thinning
- How To Treat Hair Thinning?
- Tips To Prevent Hair Thinning
- Hair Loss Vs. Hair Thinning: What's The Difference?
- At What Age Does Women's Hair Start Thinning?
- How Long Does It Take For Thinning Hair To Grow Back?
- Does Menopause Cause Thinning Hair?
- Is Hair Thinning The Same As Balding?
What Is Thinning Hair?
Follicles produce hair just like a seed sprout. The miniaturisation of hair follicles results in a gradual reduction in the diameter of individual hair strands. Hair thinning is a transformation of ‘terminal hair’ (thick) to ‘vellus hair’ (thin).
Your hair goes through a natural cycle of growth and shedding. Here are its four phases:
1. Anagen (Growth Phase)
Lasts for 2 to 7 years, depending on the maximum length your hair strand can grow.
2. Catagen (Transition Phase)
Lasts for 2 to 3 weeks. Growth stops and hair detaches from the blood supply.
3. Telogen (Resting Phase)
Lasts for three months. While the old hair is resting, the new hair starts to grow. 10% to 15% of your hair is in this phase.
4. Exogen (New Hair Phase)
This is a part of the resting phase when the grey hair sheds, the new hair continues to grow.
The number of hair follicles on your scalp is around 1,00,000, which matches the average number of hair strands too. About 50 to 100 of your hair strands shed every day naturally.
Where Does Thinning Hair Start?
Hair thinning occurs for all the hair strands over the scalp area. However, the first signs of hair thinning appear as described below:
- A characteristic pattern in the frontal hairline that begins to recede into the crown part of the scalp.
- An M-shaped hairline around the temples.
- People also notice a horseshoe-shaped pattern that leaves the crown of the head exposed.
- Few people also notice that the partings between the hair gets wider.
Symptoms & Signs Of Thinning Hair
- A visible scalp as your hair is transparent.
- Appearance of thinner spots and weaker shafts on your head.
- Hair is more fragile, shorter and brittle.
- Hair is less in density, volume, thickness and weight.
- Hair starts to lose its colour.
- Mild growth of dandruff starts showing up.
- Few people notice curly hair on the scalp.
Hair Thinning At Crown In Males
- A visible bald spot that grows slowly by each passing year.
- Gradual thinning of hair on your head that appears like a hair loss.
Hair Thinning At Crown In Females
- Hair clumps on your comb.
- Thinner ponytail.
What Causes Hair Thinning?
Generally, follicle miniaturisation progresses with increasing age. Irregular functionalities in your body trigger an early reduction in the size and strength of hair follicles.
Hormones play a prominent role in triggering the functions of a human body. Imbalance in the hormone levels affects the lifecycle of hair growth.
Excess Androgens (male hormones) in your blood affects hair growth.
- Vata Dosha ( Ether and Air dominant )
- Pitta Dosha ( Fire )
- Kapha Dosha ( Water and Earth dominant )
Each Dosha exhibits unique characteristics. Every human body consists of individual compositions of the three doshas, with one Dosha being dominant. Imbalance in the ratios of the five energies disturbs the standard functionality of your body. Ayurveda studies the degree of deviations of your dominant doshas before deciding the right treatment for your body type.
According to Ayurveda, the hair of a person who is a Pitta Dosha dominant is thin and brownish. If the person has an imbalance in the proportions of Pitta Dosha, his/her hair develops a thinning texture, and his/her frontal hairline starts receding.
However, one of the reasons for thin hair is hereditary, a genetic inheritance by birth. If you inherit thin hair from your ancestors, remember that your natural look is always beautiful.
Factors That Speed Up Hair Thinning
1. Internal Factors
Sahasa in Ayurveda reduces immunity and increases susceptibility to the dosha imbalance that leads to hair thinning.
According to Ayurveda, when excess Vata Dosha accumulates in the nervous system, it creates tension, fear, and disturbs your peace, which affects hair growth.
C. Inadequate Sleep
Increase in Pitta Dosha harms your ability to sleep, and excess Vata Dosha interrupts your sleep, reflecting an imbalance and resulting in hair thinning.
D. Eating Disorders
Consuming fast foods, instant foods and eating at the wrong time in a day are negative food habits that can lead to imbalance in your Doshas.
E. Medical conditions
Conditions like PCOD/PCOS (PolyCystic Ovarian Disease/Syndrome), fungal infection on the scalp, skin disorders and immune system deficiencies can also cause hair thinning and loss. The same happens if you’ve recently been treated for an autoimmune disease, chemotherapy or radiotherapy. 
2. External Factors
- Exposure to pollution can damage your hair.
- Regular hair treatments like straightening, curling or coloring can weaken your hair quality and lead to thinning.
- Usage of harsh hair care products high in parabens and sulphates can also affect your hair volume.
Thinning Hair Is Also A Temporary Issue In The Following Cases:
- Lost above 20 pounds in a short time.
- Stopped taking birth control pills.
- Recently delivered a baby.
- Going through hormonal changes.
WORD OF CAUTION:
If you undergo any medical changes and your hair is thinning, consult a doctor before using any hair care product.
How To Treat Hair Thinning?
According to Ayurveda, the focal point of treating thinning hair is to balance your lifestyle with your body type. Observe your hair thinning symptoms, analyse and understand the modifications you need to apply to your daily routine.
Ayurveda advises a daily yoga practice to improve blood circulation to the scalp and balance the Doshas. Ayurvedic herbal treatments cure hair thinning by balancing the tri-doshic constitution in the body. Follow these simple proven Ayurvedic ways to treat your hair thinning:
1. Scalp Massage
It activates the hair follicles by improving blood circulation, which is the best way to relax from stress, anxiety, and lack of sleep by reducing Pitta and Vata doshas.
- Pour lukewarm essential oil mixed with carrier oil onto the scalp.
- Massage with your fingertips in a circular motion.
- Spread the oil all over your scalp.
- Continue massage in slow motion for 15 minutes.
2. Essential Oils
Herbal oils like lavender oil, peppermint oil and tea tree oil help moisturise your hair from root to tip. It prevents dryness of hair by reducing Pitta Dosha.
- Take an adequate quantity of essential oil, dilute it with a carrier oil like coconut oil and massage smoothly with your fingertips.
- Apply thoroughly to your hair ends.
- Do it at least an hour before shampooing.
- Leave it overnight for better results.
- Do it at least twice a week for better nourishment.
Shikakai, soapnut, triphala, and nirgundi are the herbs used in herbal shampoos, which help sustain moisture on your scalp, clean out pollutants, cure dandruff and balance Kapha Dosha to prevent thinning hair.
- The proper way of using a shampoo is to dilute a suitable quantity into a mug full of water.
- Don't rub your hair with your palms, just massage with your fingers gently into the hair from root to tip.
- Repeat the process if your hair is too oily.
- Wash your hair 2 to 3 times a week.
Ayurveda prescribes herbal combinations and rasayanas that provide hair the right nutrients and detoxify the doshas.
- Vitamin A rich herbs help your skin glands produce a sticky substance called sebum, which moisturises your hair. Carrots, leafy veggies, milk and eggs are rich in Vitamin A.
- The Vitamin B rich herbs family creates red blood cells that carry oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicles. Foods rich in this vitamin are nuts and seeds, fruits, whole grains, meat, milk and eggs.
- Vitamin C rich herbs are needed to make collagen that prevents hair from premature ageing. Citrus fruits like amla, lemon and guava are rich in Vitamin C.
- Vitamin E boosts hair growth and provides melanin content to sustain hair colour. Almonds and sunflower seeds are important sources of this vitamin.
5. Folic Acid Supplements
Folic Acid is one of the components of the Vitamin B family. B9 is essential for boosting cell generation and the growth of hair tissue. You can use folic acid supplements with Biotin or Zinc to prevent hair thinning, after taking medical advice. However, the best way to supply B9 to your hair naturally is through the intake of Folate-rich foods like beans, peanuts, sunflower seeds, whole grains, green veggies, seafood, and eggs.
Minoxidil and Finasteride  are the standard medicines prescribed by a doctor to cure hair thinning. Regrown hair may fall out if you do not continue to use them. However, it is dangerous to take these medicines if you are pregnant or under certain medical conditions.
Ayurveda stimulates hair growth with herbal supplements. A herbal supplement increases hair growth by reducing Pitta Dosha that maintains the levels of testosterone and androgen hormones. Ayurvedic supplements consist of herbs that support natural hair regrowth by strengthening the follicles. Consult your doctor before using supplements. 
7. Home Remedies
You can delay hair thinning by packing your hair up with external hair protectors that cool down your head by reducing excess Vata Dosha. Apply any hair pack once in a week. If you want better results, apply one type of hair pack twice a week for a month.
A. Amla, The Indian Gooseberry
It gives a dark shine to your hair and works as an antioxidant for hair follicles. However, citrus fruits tend to have side effects on some people. Perform a patch test before using it. 
1. Take 5-6 amlas and shikakai. Remove the seeds.
2. Grind them without adding water.
3. Apply the pack to your scalp.
4. Wait for 30 minutes before washing it with water.
B. Aloe Vera
It acts as a hair moisturiser and nourishes the hair strands from root to tip. Aloe vera is already in a gel form. Just squeeze it off the leaves. Take a sufficient quantity of the gel for your hair. Apply it from the root to tip Wash it with water after 20 to 30 minutes.
Thinning hair also affects your hair colour. Hibiscus flowers are useful for retaining the hair colour, and the leaves make your hair thicker.
1. Take more leaves and fewer flowers for hair growth — vice versa for hair colour.
2. Grind them and mix with your hair oil.
3. Apply it on your scalp for hair growth. Apply it with Henna for hair colour.
4. Leave it for an hour before head bath.
Egg pack is a natural hair spa that gives a silky texture to your hair and strengthens the hair strands. Take 2 to 3 eggs for a medium length hair. It is your choice whether to remove the yolk or not. See that you cover each hair strand while applying. Wash it with shampoo after 30 minutes.
E. Fenugreek Seeds
Methi paste works well for the regrowth of frontal hairline and cures dandruff. Men experiencing hair thinning can use this from an early age to prevent regressive hair at the temples.
1. Soak the methi seeds overnight.
2. Grind them into a thick paste.
3. Apply it on your bald patches and spots on the scalp. Apply it all over the scalp for curing dandruff.
4. Wash it with water after 1 hour.
Have a balanced diet that contains proteins, nutrients, and iron. A balanced diet balances the constitution of Doshas that stimulates hair growth. 
- A protein called Keratin is the building block of hair. Almonds, whey protein, red meat, milk, and eggs are rich in Keratin.
- Nutrients like calcium, potassium, magnesium, fiber, and vitamins help hair grow better. Nuts and seeds, fruits, carrots, spinach, almonds, milk, fish, and eggs are rich in these nutrients.
- Haemoglobin deficiency is a factor responsible for hair thinning. Intake of iron increases the level of haemoglobin in your blood, which circulates blood to your scalp region. Dry fruits like apricots, sunflower seeds, dried peas and beans, cereals, eggs and meat are rich in iron.
- Dehydration results in dry scalp and brittle hair. Be well hydrated.
Tips To Prevent Hair Thinning
- Don't rub your hair with a towel. Just pat dry it.
- Don't brush wet hair. Gently remove tangles after your hair is dry.
- Don't over use hair dryers and hair sprays.
- Don't go to bed with loose hair.
Hair Loss Vs. Hair Thinning: What's The Difference?
It is a gradual process that decreases hair mass with an increase in age. It happens because of the reduction in the size and strength of follicles. Follicles stop producing hair at an early age, resulting in Female Patterned Hair Loss in women and Male Patterned Hair Loss in men.
It happens during the last phase of the hair life cycle, the natural shedding stage—hair attached to your scalp sheds. Excessive hair loss occurs due to underlying health conditions.
At What Age Does Women's Hair Start Thinning?
Hair thinning develops gradually with an increase in age. Only 43% of women live with a full head of hair throughout their lifetime. Women's hair starts thinning from the age of 20. In women, follicle miniaturisation increases to:
- 12% by the age of 29
- 25% by the age of 49
- 41% by the age of 69
- 50% by the age of 80
How Long Does It Take For Thinning Hair To Grow Back?
Generally, a hair strand grows by half an inch every month, i.e., 6 inches per year. Can thinning hair grow back? Yes. Since hair thinning is because of the reduction in follicle size, it reverses by improving follicle health. If you recognise hair thinning symptoms in an early stage before the follicle dies, treatments work faster to get back the healthy hair growth.
Scientific research proves that Ayurvedic treatments work effectively for reversing hair thinning within 16 weeks compared to Minoxidil. However, hair regrowth depends on the underlying cause of thinning hair. 
Does Menopause Cause Thinning Hair?
Yes, menopause is one of the phases in a woman's life when she undergoes hormonal changes. Hormones that stimulate hair growth in a woman's body are Oestrogen and Progesterone. During menopause, these hormones drop down, causing thinning hair. If you want to get treated for hair thinning during menopause, consult your Gynecologist. 
Is Hair Thinning The Same As Balding?
Hair Thinning is not precisely a balding process, but the miniaturisation of follicles may gradually lead to balding for most men. Balding is a process in which the follicles shut down entirely and die. 
In 20% of the men, the hair recession is only at the temples. In 70% of the men, balding progresses from the frontal line to the whole crown part in males. The entire head becomes bald for 10% of the men. Fewer women are affected by balding.
The Last Word
Hair thinning is not an unsolvable problem; it is a natural process that happens with ageing modifications of your body. A receding hairline is a visible symptom of hair thinning. Rapid hair thinning occurs due to deviations of Dosha levels in your body, which can be corrected with Ayurvedic remedies. If your hair is thinning because of underlying medical conditions, consult your doctor before taking a medicine.Know Your Dosha Now