The feeling when someone compliments your beautiful mane is beyond words, isn’t it? But have you ever wondered what is that magic element that makes it soft, shiny, and healthy? Well, it’s good nutrition  and nothing else!
Whether you derive the vital nutrients from your diet or various topical treatments, proper nourishment remains the first step towards achieving healthy hair.
In this article, let’s explore the different ways you can keep your hair nourished.
What Does It Mean To Nourish Your Hair?
In simple terms, hair nourishment means providing essential and micronutrients such as vitamins, minerals, protein, oxygen, etc. to your hair follicle cells.
The dermal papilla in your hair follicles is connected with blood vessels which supply oxygen and digested nutrients from your food to your hair stem cells. This is a continual process that should happen across your scalp tissues to maintain your hair healthy. Lack of nourishment to your hair cells causes the premature entrance of your hair into the telogen phase  of its growth cycle. This in turn results in telogen effluvium type hair loss.
Ayurveda describes the scenario of the lack of nourishment to your hair as the result of vitiation in doshas levels: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, the vital energies that rule your bodily activities.
1. The primary cause for lack of nourishment to your hair is your poor diet . Not just your hair cells, but your whole body cannot function properly when your diet does not contain all the necessary nutrients. As per Ayurveda, this condition results in the spike of Vata dosha levels in your body that results in making your scalp and hair extremely dry, brittle, and frizzy. Thinner hair growth which is prone to breakage causes too many split ends in this condition.
2. Your hair can lack nourishment even though your diet includes all the essential nutrients. This happens when your body fails to digest the nutrients from the foods you intake. This is the result of an imbalance in Pitta dosha, which is responsible for metabolism and digestion activities in your body. Factors such as lack of sleep, stress, a diet which causes extreme heat in your body like over spicy and fried foods, etc. lead to the derangement in Pitta dosha. Hair fall along with scalp inflammation conditions and premature greying are the indications for raised Pitta levels in your body.
3. If your hair fails to receive nutrients despite having a good diet and proper digestion in your body, then it can be due to blockage of blood supply to your hair follicles. This occurs when the Kapha dosha aggravates causing overproduction of sebum on your scalp. The excessive sebum blends with dirt over your scalp, which accumulates in your follicles and occludes the necessary blood flow into the dermal papilla. Factors such as a sedentary lifestyle, junk diets with high cholesterol, hormonal imbalances caused by vitiated Pitta, etc. can result in derangement of Kapha dosha. Oily dandruff and other types of microbial infections on your scalp are the indications of increased Kapha dosha in your body.
Thus, it is necessary to maintain the balance of doshas levels in your body to maintain the necessary nourishment for your hair. Now, let’s know how you can achieve it.
How To Nourish Your Hair In Ayurvedic Ways?
1. Scalp Massaging With Ayurvedic Oils
Your scalp consists of marmas, the pressure points that can act as gateways to balance your aggravated doshas with hair oils with the right herbal formulations. Ayurveda recommends you to massage your scalp and hair thoroughly with warm herbal oils at least twice a week before your hair wash. While the carrier oils penetrate deeply into your scalp tissues and nourish your hair follicles with rich phytonutrients, the dosha-specific herbal elements in oils work to control the elevated doshas on your scalp.
- Yashtimadhu, palandu, gunja, krishna tila, sariyaka, methika, jatamansi, etc. are some of the Vata pacifying herbs that your hair oil can include if you have increased Vata levels.
- Kamala, shatavari, amalaki, usheera, verivar, nimba, etc. are some of the Pitta pacifying herbs that your hair oil can include if you have increased Pitta levels
- Karpoora, jyotishmati, japa, tulsi, vata, daruharidra, karanja, etc. are some of the Kapha pacifying herbs that your hair oil can include if you have increased Kapha levels.
“Also, massaging your hair with oil increases the blood circulation in your scalp tissues, thus enhancing the internal nutrient supply from your diet,” says Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix.
2. Hair Wash With The Right Shampoo
Regular hair wash with mild herbal shampoos keeps your scalp clean and prevents the blockage of your hair follicles. Thus, your hair follicles can receive unhindered nutrients and oxygen supply from the blood vessels.
Apart from cleaning agents, make sure your shampoo consists of herbs such as bhringraj, kumari(aloe vera), yashtimadhu, etc. that are enriched with essential vitamins, minerals, and proteins.
During your hair washing process, massage your scalp with shampoo for 2 minutes to exfoliate your scalp skin. Avoid using sulfate-based shampoos for your hair as sulfates and other chemicals strip off the natural oils that nourishes your scalp tissues. Herbal shampoos with mild cleansing agents are your best choice. Also, ensure to use lukewarm water for your hair wash while you do it not more than thrice a week. However, if you have an extremely oily scalp and hair (increased Kapha), you can wash your hair on alternate days until the Kapha dosha is balanced.
3. Nutritious Diet
Vitamin A, B, C, D, E, and K, along with protein, iron, zinc, omega-3 fats, calcium, magnesium, etc. needs to be supplied to your hair for its stronger and healthier growth . According to Ayurveda, a well-balanced diet is not just the foods that contain the above nutrients, but also maintains the equilibrium of your doshas.
For example, nuts such as peanuts, walnuts, almonds can be rich sources of biotin and vitamin E. But, it is mostly recommended for people with Vata dominant Prakriti to consume nuts while it may lead to an increase in Pitta and Kapha doshas in others. Hence, you need to be aware of your dosha levels to plan your diet with dosha-specific foods for maintaining your dosha balance.
“Ayurveda suggests intake of fenugreek, cumin, coriander, turmeric, black pepper, asafoetida, Indian gooseberry in your regular diet along with seasonal fruits (especially citrus fruits) for healthy hair growth. This is for everyone, irrespective of the dominating doshas in the body and age group,” says Dr. Zeel.
Researchers claim that lack of vitamin B, especially vitamin B12 increases the process of hair greying.
4. Right Dietary Habits
Your dietary habits play a prominent role in maintaining the dosha balance, thus ensuring proper nourishment of your hair.
A. Eat your food in a quiet corner that has proper ventilation.
B. Avoid drinking too much water while you eat your meals. Drink water half an hour before or after your meal.
C. Avoid watching TV, talking, and doing any other chore while you eat. Just focus on what you eat.
D. When you have spicy, oily, and non-vegetarian foods, drink lukewarm water half an hour post your meal.
E .Avoid excessive intake of coffee, tea, meats, smoking, and alcohol. This increases the toxin levels in your body, which in turn causes hindrance to your hair nourishment.
F. Also, avoid excessive oily, spicy, acidic, sour, fried foods, and food items with artificial sweeteners and preservatives.
5. Home Remedies For Hair Nourishment
A. Combine a spoon of honey with one full egg yolk and one spoon of apple cider vinegar. Blend well and apply the mixture to your scalp and hair. Leave it for half an hour and wash it properly using normal water. Repeat this once a week.
B. Mix cinnamon powder and coconut oil in equal quantities. Massage and exfoliate your scalp with this mixture for 2-5 minutes. Wash your scalp and hair thoroughly after 30-45 minutes. Repeat this once in two weeks.
C. Blend equal parts of freshly extracted aloe vera gel and water. Use this mixture as a natural conditioner after your hair wash. Spray the aloe vera solution all over your scalp and hair. Wash it off with cold water after 10-15 minutes.
D. Adding a few drops of essential oils made of herbs such as lavender, rosemary, peppermint, cedar, tea-tree, etc. to your hair care products such as oils, shampoos, serums, and conditioners can help in increased nourishment and conditioning of your hair.
6. A Regular Detox
Regular detoxification with panchakarma along with Ayurvedic head massage therapies such as shiroabhyanga, shirodhara, shirolepa, shiropichu, etc. is a great way to deal with your imbalanced dosha levels while enhancing your hair nourishment. These therapies are administered by experienced Ayurvedic practitioners with medicated herbal oils and liquids that are formulated based on your dosha levels.
7. Sufficient Sleep
The quality of your sleep is one of the prominent deciding factors for how much your hair follicles get nourished as your sleep cycle is closely linked to your dosha levels. Ayurveda recommends you to hit the bed 2 hours after your dinner and mostly by 10 pm.
Vedix Tip: Drink a glass of warm milk an hour after your meal and an hour before your sleep. This induces good quality sleep.
8. Stress Management
Stress causes vitiation in your doshas, which in turn leads to malnourishment of your hair follicles. Thus, stress  can result in a variety of issues such as hair fall, lifeless hair, premature greying, etc. Regular exercising, yoga, pranayama, and meditation can be of great help to manage your stress levels. Also, ensure you spare some time in a day to spend with your loved ones and indulge in mind-refreshing hobbies such as book reading, gardening, etc.
“Ayurveda recommends regular intake of herbal teas made of mandukaparni, jatamansi, ashwagandha, brahmi herbs to control your stress levels naturally,” says Dr. Zeel.
Benefits Of Hair Nourishment
1. Thicker hair growth with stronger roots
2. Reduced hair fall and hair loss
3. Smooth and shiny hair texture
4. Longer hair with optimal rate of hair growth
5. Healthy scalp with no itching or inflammation
6. Clear scalp which is free from dandruff and other microbial infections
The Last Word
Besides, nutrient-rich diets and topical herbal treatments, a stress-free lifestyle designed based on Ayurvedic dinacharya and ritucharya rituals can provide wholesome nourishment to your hair, body, mind, and soul. At Vedix, we evaluate the current status of your doshas and customize an Ayurvedic hair care regimen that brings your elevated doshas to a balanced state and resolve your unique hair problems.Know Your Dosha Now