Does summer turn your gorgeous hair dull and lifeless? The culprit is the oxidative damage caused to your hair by the hot weather conditions.
"Ritucharya is a prominent feature of Ayurvedic preventive medicine. Altering one’s lifestyle in accordance with the season enables the human body and mind to contend with the challenges that our environment brings,’’ says Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix.
Here are some valuable tips from Ayurveda that will help you prevent the ill-effects of summer heat on your scalp and hair. Read on.
Does Hot Weather Cause Hair Fall?
During summers, the scorching heat causes your skin pores to release more sweat to cool down your body. Unlike your other body regions, the sweat released on your scalp region does not evaporate easily. This is because it is covered by your hair, which obstructs the airflow.
The accumulated sweat attracts dust and dirt, which clogs your hair follicles. This weakens your hair roots and it eventually leads to hair fall.
After monitoring around 800 women over 6 years, Swedish researchers found that a greater proportion of hair follicles enter the telogen phase (resting) prematurely during summer.
Effects Of Summer On Your Hair
1. The UV rays of the sun cause dry and brittle hair by penetrating and damaging your hair cuticles .
2. The UV rays cause severe hair damage by triggering protein degradation and pigmentation loss .
3. Your hair becomes lifeless and limp as the high humidity in the atmosphere may weigh down your hair by settling on it.
4. Conditions like hair fall along with frizziness, split ends, dandruff, etc. worsens due to the increased sweat and dust during summers.
5. Extreme hot weather conditions may lead to scalp dryness and sunburn, which damage your hair roots severely.
Hence, it is very important to prevent overexposure of your scalp and hair to the sun's rays by taking necessary measures in summer.
How To Take Care Of Hair In Summer?
1. Ayurvedic Hair Care Tips For Summer
According to Ayurveda, your body, mind and soul are governed by three vital energies: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. You are in perfect health as long as these energies are in balance. Any derangement occurring in these tridoshas leads to various health issues including scalp and hair problems.
‘’During summers, the increased temperatures cause aggravation in Pitta (Agni) levels in your body. This vitiated Pitta can also disrupt Vata in your body,’’ says Dr. Zeel.
As a result of deranged Vata, you may experience dry scalp, split ends, hair thinning, dandruff, etc. The deranged Pitta also causes scalp inflammation, greasiness, weakening of your hair roots, etc. These conditions eventually lead to severe hair fall and hair loss.
To control your hair problems during summer, you may need to maintain the harmony of your tri-doshas by incorporating Pitta and Vata pacifying herbs in your hair care regimen.
However, you need to understand your Prakriti and current status of doshas before opting for your Ayurvedic products.
A. Regular Oil Massage
During summer months, make sure you massage your scalp regularly for 15 minutes with dosha-specific Ayurvedic oils. You can massage your scalp and leave it overnight before shampooing the next day.
The nourished follicles, with regular oiling promote thicker hair growth, which in turn prevents the accumulation of dirt and dust in your hair follicles and clogging of the hair roots during summer. While the dosha-specific herbs balance the vitiated doshas on your scalp, massaging increases the blood circulation  to your follicles and strengthens your hair roots.
If you have both elevated Vata and Pitta doshas in your body, herbs like yashtimadhu (licorice), shatavari (wild asparagus), vetiver (khas khas grass), etc. in your Ayurvedic hair oil works best for your hair needs.
If Pitta levels are vitiated predominantly, make sure your hair oil contains cooling herbs like nimba (neem). Herbs like palandu (onion) work well when Vata is predominantly vitiated during summer.
B. Shampoo And Conditioning
Ensure you clean your scalp and hair regularly with Ayurvedic shampoo to unclog your follicles from accumulated dirt during summers. However, too much hair washing is also not recommended as it may lead to scalp dryness.
Therefore, restrict your hair wash to twice or thrice a week. Also, using a herbal conditioner after your hair wash may help you retain the moisture in your hair when you go out during scorching summers.
Amalaki  (Indian gooseberry), kumari (aloe vera), yashtimadhu (licorice) are some of the powerful herbs you can seek in your Ayurvedic hair cleansers to bring balance to your elevated doshas.
C. Appropriate Diet
Ensure you choose your Ayurvedic diet based on your dosha levels while it contains all the necessary vitamins and minerals for your healthy hair growth. During summer, try to include dairy products such as paneer, yogurt/lassi, organic milk, etc. in your diet. Pumpkin seeds, walnuts, almonds, fresh coconut also helps you to a great extent to bring balance to your vitiated Vata.
Leafy greens, bottle gourd, snake gourd, cucumbers, cabbage, cauliflower, barley, etc. can help you cool down elevated Pitta levels in your body during summer. Also, avoid frozen foods, processed foods, and foods with artificial preservatives and chemical additives in your diet.
D. Sleeping Posture
During summer nights, you can stretch a little bit and get to bed around 11 p.m. And, try to sleep on your right side, which in turn opens up your left nostril. Your left nostril corresponds to the subtle energy channel, 'Ida Nadi', which corresponds to the cooling properties of the moon.
2. Home Remedies For Summer Hair Problems
A. Coconut Milk
Massage your hair regularly using coconut milk. It nourishes and softens your hair tissues to a great extent as it contains a good amount of fat. It also helps in controlling split ends and tangling of hair during summer.
B. Aloe Vera
Massage your scalp and hair thoroughly with freshly extracted aloe vera gel. Leave it for half an hour and then clean it off with water. Follow this at least twice a week during summer for the best results. Aloe vera adds sheen, repairs your infected scalp or dry hair while it prevents hair loss by strengthening your hair roots.
Grind neem leaves into a fine paste. Apply this paste throughout your scalp and hair. Leave it for 30 minutes and wash it off thoroughly using normal water. Neem acts as a natural hair conditioner while it restores your scalp pH. Also, it prevents hair fall and dandruff during summer.
Apply egg from the roots of your hair to the tips thoroughly. Leave it for 20-30 minutes and wash your hair properly using lukewarm water. This helps greatly to repair your damaged hair during summer.
Apply yogurt across your scalp and leave it for 15 minutes. Later, have a hair wash using an Ayurvedic shampoo. Yogurt is one of the best ingredients to repair your damaged hair, while it nourishes your hair follicles well.
3. Additional Summer Hair Care Tips
A. Use Hats And Scarfs
Make sure you cover your head with a hat or scarf when you step out in the sun. Thus, you can protect your scalp from UV radiations while it also aids in retaining moisture on your scalp. Moreover, a hat or scarf can prevent the damage caused by wind, particularly if your hair is more prone to tangling.
B. Hair Care Before Swimming
Avoid washing your hair with shampoo before swimming. Shampoos may eliminate the oils present on your hair, which act as a protection layer. This may make your hair vulnerable to the chemicals and salts present in the swimming pool water.
Apply a little amount of a herbal leave-in-conditioner before you wear the swimming cap. Also, make sure you wash your hair thoroughly after swimming.
Shampoos containing ethylene tetra-acetic acid can reduce the harmful effects of chlorinated water in swimming pools. However, this chemical has adverse effects on the environment .
Your hair tends to have more split ends during summers, which makes it an ideal time for hair trimming. Removing split ends by regular trimming brings back the liveliness and healthy look to your hair.
D. UV Protection
In case you don’t use a hat or scarf, you can protect your hair from the summer heat by using a leave-in conditioner with SPF. Opt for sunscreens made for your hair type with a good amount of SPF if you have to work outdoors and step out often.
You may also use special hair masks which imparts a protective layer against UV rays before the day you plan to go out. However, ensure you wash your hair thoroughly once you are home as most of these products can be chemical-laden.
E. Keep Your Hair Hydrated
"No matter how many hair care remedies you follow to protect your hair during summer, until you drink adequate amounts of water and keep yourself hydrated, the results will be zero,’’ says Dr. Zeel. Drinking adequate water and other fluids keep your hair healthy and lustrous.
F. Care For Your Color
Avoid exposing your hair to the sun, especially during peak hours, in case you have colored your hair in summer. The hair damage caused by chemical colors may worsen during summers. This may result in severe dryness and color fading. Hence, your hair needs extra care and protection if it is colored during summers.
Important Note: Please consult your doctor before administering any of the herbal formulations mentioned in this article to check if they are suitable for you.
The Last Word
Although it takes a lot of effort and time to reverse your summer hair fall and damage, it is not impossible. With the help of holistic Ayurvedic herbal remedies, you can heal your scalp and hair from summer damage quickly, while the natural herbal formulations do not cause any unwanted side effects.
At Vedix, we formulate a customized Ayurvedic hair care regimen based on your hair needs by analyzing your dosha levels.Know Your Dosha Now