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  5. How To Determine Your Ayurvedic Hair Type?

You can identify if you have straight, wavy, or curly hair. But, can you tell us what could be your ‘Ayurvedic hair type’ just by examining it?

Now, you must be wondering what an ‘Ayurvedic hair type’ is, followed by the next question - ’How does it matter to you?’

With the help of Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix, we tell you exactly why you need to know your Ayurvedic hair type and how you can determine it easily.

What Is Ayurvedic Hair Type?

The individual manifestation of three life forces Vata, Pitta, and Kapha are expressed as a unique constitution or ‘Prakriti’ of a person.

This unchanging constitution of three doshas is carried by a person since birth and the doshas in the dominant proportion determine your physiological characteristics, including the hair features of the person.

The classification of these hair features based on your dominant dosha forms your ‘Ayurvedic hair type’.

Why Do You Need To Know Your Ayurvedic Hair Type?

Ayurvedic science believes a person to be healthy when the constitution of doshas in his body is in balance. Any imbalance occurring in the unique proportionality of doshas leads to the development of various diseases, even related to scalp and hair.

Ayurvedic treatments are holistically designed to fix the issues by bringing elevated dosha levels back to a balanced state.

"Also, your Ayurvedic Prakriti [1] can tell about your susceptibility to developing specific types of hair problems throughout your lifetime, "says Dr. Zeel.

For example, a person with Vata hair type is more prone to Vata-related hair problems. In such a case, Ayurvedic herbal formulations that increase Pitta and Kapha are used to balance the elevated Vata dosha.

Hence, to control any hair related issues, it is essential to know your Ayurvedic hair type to assess your elevated dosha levels and treat with specific Ayurvedic herbs that bring back harmony in your dosha constitution.

Knowing your Prakriti also helps you understand specific dietary regimens, herbs you need to prefer or avoid to keep your doshas in balance. Thus, it helps you maintain a lifestyle that is suitable for your hair needs.

Now, let’s understand how you can identify your dominant dosha or Ayurvedic hair type based on its physical features.

How Many Ayurvedic Hair Types Are There?

We can determine 7 different Ayurvedic hair types based on the proportionality combinations of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha doshas.

1. Vata hair type

2. Pitta hair type

3. Kapha hair type

When only one of the three doshas is dominant

3. Vata-Pitta/Pitta-Vata hair type

4. Pitta-Kapha/Kapha-Pitta hair type

5. Vata-Kapha/Kapha-Vata hair type

When any two doshas are dominant

7. Vata-Pitta-Kapha hair type

When all the three doshas are in equal ratio

Physical Features Of Ayurvedic Hair Types

1. Hair Texture

Your hair texture defines the integrity and the condition of the cuticle layers of your hair strands. Lack of moisture and nourishment break and lift your cuticle layers, which gives rough texture to your strands.

In individuals with Vata dominant hair type, the texture of hair generally remains rough as Vata dosha has a property to dehydrate your scalp and hair tissues.

In individuals with dominant Pitta dosha, the hair texture is observed to be smooth and silky as Pitta dosha is responsible for metabolism in your scalp tissues. With good metabolism, healthy hair strands with integrated cuticle layers grow from the follicles, thus resulting in smooth texture.

When Kapha plays a dominant role in an individual, the hair texture remains lustrous as Kapha dosha governs the oil and sebum production [2] in your scalp tissues. Thus, Kapha hair is shiny with an adequate supply of sebum to the hair strands.

2. Hair Structure

The hair structure [3] refers to the thickness of your hair strands; which can be categorized as fine (thin), medium, and coarse (thick). A strand of hair consists of a cuticle as an outer layer, cortex as a middle layer, and medulla as the innermost layer. The medulla is found to be absent in people with thin hair.

To find your hair structure, compare the thickness of your hair strand with that of a sewing thread by holding them side by side on a flat surface. If your hair is thinner than sewing thread, then you have thin hair, which is the characteristic of the Vata hair type.

If you find your hair is thicker than the thread, then you have Kapha hair type with thick structure. Anything in between can be Pitta dominant hair type, i.e; a hair structure with medium thickness.

Did You Know?

  • The diameter of hair varies approximately from 0.017-0.18 millimeters in human beings.

3. Natural Hair Color

Two types of melanin pigments [4], eumelanin, and pheomelanin that are produced in your hair follicles are responsible for your hair color. In Kapha hair type, the eumelanin is produced in larger amounts, which gives it the jet black color.

In Pitta hair type, the pheomelanin is relatively produced in larger quantities than eumelanin, which results in the reddish shade. In Vata dominant hair type, eumelanin is relatively produced in larger amounts than pheomelanin, which gives it a dull black or brownish color.

4. Hair Porosity

The natural ability of your hair to absorb and retain the moisture can be termed as ‘Porosity’ of hair. It also determines the ability of your hair to absorb the products. To determine your hair porosity, just put a hair strand into a cup of water.

If it submerges to the bottom of the cup, then you have Vata hair type with higher porosity. Thus, the Vata hair type is more prone to damage [5] as it can absorb toxic chemicals from products readily.

If your hair floats in between the surface and the bottom, then you have a normal or balanced hair porosity that indicates Pitta hair type. It is relatively less prone to damage as it takes in the right amount of moisture or product content.

If your hair floats on the surface, then you have Kapha hair type which usually has low porosity. Thus, Kapha hair takes a longer time to dry as it has a lower capacity to absorb water. Sometimes, it may also result in the product build-up on the hair strands.

5. Scalp Moisture

The moisture and oil levels in your scalp tissues determine the skin texture of your scalp. People with Vata hair type usually have a dry scalp with scaly dandruff as it lacks adequate moisture and sebum in the scalp tissues.

In people with Pitta dominant Prakriti, the scalp texture can be greasy that is often prone to boils and itchy dandruff. And, in a well balanced Kapha hair type, you may observe normal scalp texture with adequate levels of moisture. But, aggravation in Kapha dosha results in oily scalp with dandruff.

6. Hair Shape

People with dominant Kapha dosha have naturally curly hair as the distribution of sebum is easy and even from the scalp to the tips. Also, it is the most resilient hair of all types.

Pitta dominant hair types have straight hair. And, Vata hair types tend to have wavy patterns of hair.

Physical Features

Vata Hair Type

Pitta Hair Type

Kapha Hair Type

Hair Texture

Rough

Smooth and silky

Lustrous

Hair Structure

Fine

Medium

Coarse

Natural Hair Color

Dull black or brown

Reddish shade

Jet black

Hair Porosity

High porosity

Normal porosity

Low porosity

Scalp Moisture

Low moisture

Moderate moisture

High moisture

Hair Shape

Wavy

Straight

Curly

If you have the combination of these hair features, then you may have a Prakriti where more than one dosha plays a dominant role.

For example, a Vata-Kapha Ayurvedic hair type can have rough hair which is thick and curly. Or, a Pitta-Vata Ayurvedic hair type can have straight hair at the scalp and wavy in the strands.

The Last Word

Understanding your Ayurvedic hair type and dosha levels is the preliminary step in your journey to deal with your hair problems. Ayurveda brings you exotic and powerful herbal formulations that specifically target your hair problems based on your hair type without disturbing the equilibrium of your dosha levels. This is what we do at Vedix by customizing a hair care regimen for your specific hair needs by evaluating your Ayurvedic hair type.

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