This might come as a surprise but do you know, according to the ancient healing system of Ayurveda, premature graying of hair is linked with mental stress; aggression; anger; salty, spicy and oily food; mental stress, irregular sleep, exposure to sun and pollution, improper protein synthesis in the body, thyroid imbalance and nutritional deficiency? And these reasons do not even include the obvious erroneous practices like overuse of heating devices for your hair, unclean scalp, and use of color dyes.
But based on the Dosha (referred to as humors in alternative healing) type, Ayurveda also offers plenty of healthy, natural and nourishing solutions to not just pause premature graying but actually reverse it, WITHOUT relying on hazardous chemicals present in dyes and lotions.
Ayurvedic Understanding of premature graying
Ayurveda terms it as Palitya or Akala Palitya and it is believed to be caused purely due to imbalance in Pitta Dosha(bio elements related to fire and water). So if your prakruti or bodily constitution is Pitta, chances of your hair graying prematurely are higher than in other body types.
Here are some of the signs of a Pitta person and what you can do about an imbalanced Pitta dosha.
According to ancient Ayurvedic scholar Sage Vagbhata, the three Doshas, when in balance and when out of balance, give specific qualities to your hair, and knowing the nature of these qualities helps you to work on the strength and manage the weaknesses imparted by the influence of the Doshas.
People with dominance of Vata Dosha will tend to commonly have dry texture and split ends. Color is shiny and more transparent.
People with dominance of Pitta Dosha- Burnt scalp, yellow colored hair
People with dominance of Kapha Dosha are likely to have thick hair.
Symptoms of premature graying
Check out for these signs of premature graying
· Frequent hair loss. (more than the average loss of 100 strands a day)
· Brittle hair
· Intolerance to heat
· Redness of skin
· Signs of Pitta imbalance as mentioned above
· Medication that increases Pitta imbalance
So what can you do to bring back your shiny, dark colored locks without spending through your nose on synthetic hair solutions and treatments?
1. Bhringraj oil or false daisies
Known as one of the best herbs for hair treatments in general and specifically for graying hair, bhringraj is the king of solutions you are looking for. This is yet another power medicine used most widely in Ayurveda for addressing hair problems. Bhringraj is rejuvenating for the hair and pitta calming. You can feel the calmness dawn in you as the oil trickles into your scalp. The herb also improves blood circulation there by supporting hair growth and preventing premature greying. Indirectly, it is also good for your liver and kidneys, which have a say in the health of your hair, their color, texture and overall strength.
2. Clary sage oil
is one of the more recently popularized exotic herb with its Egyptian roots in terms of usage. The leaves and flowers of the plant are steam distilled and diluted for use, given their high potency. Clary sage promotes the health of your scalp which is the first base for stronger hair that break less frequently. The oil stimulates hair follicles and ensures more effective blood circulation through the skin cells in the scalp. It adds a clear luminosity to the hair, strengthens the strands, at the same time balancing hormones that cause hair loss. It has anti-fungal properties and a pleasant fragrance that you don’t mind staying in your hair after a wash.
Used by the Egyptians in their medical formulations, for hormone regulating properties, ability to treat vision disorder and as a flavor of wine, clary sage has come to become an exotic herbal essence used in various premium herbal personal care products today for its aroma, flavor and therapeutic values. Studies on women undergoing postmenopausal syndrome showed, inhalation of the diluted clary sage oil produced calming and anti-stress effect (reduction in stress hormones like cortisol) and mood alleviation. Known for its excellent analgesic properties, it is known to help women manage menstrual pain, when combined with essences of marjoram and juniperberries. It has linalyl acetate which is anti-inflammatory.
3. Coconut oil
A time tested solution to hair dryness is massaging hair with half table spoon to one table spoon of coconut oil. Coconut oil is an excellent moisturizer for your hair and it contains lauric acid to stave off infections of the scalp that can potentially lead to hair breakage.
Massage the coconut oil covering all of the scalp and running your fingers in a quick a motion from scalp to shafts.
Leave the coconut oil in the hair overnight. Wash it off with a natural shampoo next morning.
4. Castor oil with coconut oil
You can also apply essential oils like castor oil mixed with olive oil or coconut oil (always use castor oil along with a carrier oil when applying to your scalp).Castor oil contains a good fatty acid like ricinoleic acid that aids blood circulation, that is needed for hair follicles to thrive.
5. Brahmi or gotu kola
Not just a super herb to improve brain functions, Gotu Kola or Indian pennywort is a popular Asian medicinal variety used in hair care. Studies have shown that use of gotu kola significantly helps resolve hair loss, increases length and volume of your hair. Hair oil infused with its extract nourishes the hair follicles and improves blood circulation.
6. Coconut oil with curry leaves
Applying curry leaves heated in coconut oil can be really nourishing for your hair fi your hair has been graying due to insufficient nutrients present to support healthy growth of hair.
Combined with the penetrative qualities of coconut oil which makes it a great carrier oil, curry leaves provide important micronutrients like vitamin B complex (needed for strong hair growth), zinc, and iron that reduce discoloration and pigmentation of hair.
7. Curry leaves with buttermilk
Applying a mixture of buttermilk with curry leaves blended in it can go a long way to ensure your hair do not gray quickly. Curry leaves stop and reverse pigmentation and buttermilk nourishes, conditions and smoothens your hair.
8. Onion juice
Yes, you read it right. Onion has generous amount of natural sulfur in it. Apply the onion juice to your scalp, moving downward from scalp to ends of hair strand. You can also add it to carrier oil like olive or coconut oil.
9. Scalp massage
Now the question arises, where can you find the goodness of all these exotic ingredients in a perfect blend curated to compound the individual benefits of all of the above?
Deep oil massage twice to thrice a week with Shankara’s Hair and Scalp Oil made from the richness of sesame oil, avocado oil, Jojoba oil, Vitamin E Tocopherol, gooseberries extract, sandalwood essential oil, bringraj extract, lavender essence, clary sage and rosemary, is specifically designed to fight premature discoloration, moisturize dry and damaged hair for more luminous, healthier, and voluminous locks. The oil is safe to use on colored hair. It deeply penetrates the hair shaft and conditions hair from the roots.
When you massage the scalp and hair, the oil nourishes the cells in the scalp, stimulates blood circulation in the head region, detoxifies the scalp and additionally causes the secretion of happy hormones like serotonin in the body giving you a relaxing and calming sensation. Oiling is a great way to have the rich nutrients and antioxidants present in the oil seep into the tissues for complete nourishment. But you must know your hair oil well and if it is suited for your hair and scalp type which could be weighing on the drier side or it could be sticky.
10. Deep tissue massage
The health of your scalp, quality and pigmentation controls of your follicles are directly linked to the health of your tissue systems. So if these deep tissues remain undernourished, it is likely to reflect in the quality of your hair and scalp. Abhyanga is one of the most popular and recommended therapies in Ayurveda that incorporates warm, aromatic oils, rhythmically massaged into your body, which loosen toxins, relax the nervous system, and provide rest, nourishment, and rejuvenation.
Take Ayurvedic Deep Tissue massages like Shankara’s Shiro Abhyanga Warm Oil Scalp Massage to make sure they are sufficiently oleated and nurtured.