Seven Ayurvedic Herbs For Strong And Healthy Hair
If you are tired of experimenting with the latest hair treatments and expensive shampoos to fix your hair woes, it's time to switch to Ayurveda. But why Ayurveda? The ancient practices of this 5000-year-old science get to the root cause of issues and have herbs and remedies to deal with a wide range of hair problems. From premature graying to dandruff, Ayurveda offers ways to deal with such health concerns. So, rather than searching the internet for the best hair shampoo or conditioner, read along and learn more about ayurvedic herbs that can help support your hair health.
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Ayurvedic texts mention various herbs and treatments to deal with different types of hair concerns. These ingredients were used by our mothers, grandmothers, and so on. The effectiveness of these herbs is so evident that they are extensively used in shampoos, conditioners, and other hair products.
Hibiscus: Hibiscus is an Ayurveda favorite. Ancient texts highlight the Keshya (ability to improve hair quality) property of the hibiscus, which in the modern day translates into the ability to condition, strengthen, and maintain good hair health. Modern research highlights that hibiscus can support hair growth by providing nourishment and stimulating blood flow to the hair follicles, which can potentially help in the reduction of balding1. Furthermore, since hibiscus is associated with having Ranjana properties (ability to restore natural hair color), hibiscus can also be useful in restoring hair color2.
Therefore, Ayurvedic experts recommend applying a hibiscus flower and leaf mask with water to our scalp and rinsing it with lukewarm water. Experts also suggest that applying hibiscus oil twice a week can help reduce dryness and split ends and condition hair.
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Manjistha: Indian Madder, or Manjistha, is an Ayurveda-approved herb used to maintain hair health. It is an excellent ingredient to tackle hair loss and dandruff and acts as a natural hair dye due to the Ranjana property (ability to restore natural hair color). The powdered form of manjistha roots or manjistha oil can be used to promote hair health and deal with hair thinning. Ayurveda experts recommend using the herb thrice a week for great results. Modern research has also highlighted the effectiveness of using manjistha in place of chemical-based dyes3. People can take 2-5 drops of manjistha oil, mix it with coconut oil and apply it on the hair and scalp thrice a week.
Bhringraj: Bhringraj, or false daisy, is an excellent Ayurveda-approved herb for dealing with hair loss and promoting regrowth4. The ayurvedic herb is used to formulate hair oils and other products that help combat hair loss, dry scalp, and graying of hair. Ayurveda recommends using bhringraj oil, bhringraj powder, and other bhringraj-infused products for healthy and thick-looking hair. A nice head massage using bhringraj oil can help improve blood circulation, reduce hair loss, and provide nutrients to the scalp making them look thick.
According to Ayurveda, the Keshya properties (promoting hair health) of the herb and the Ranjana properties (properties associated with restoring natural hair color) can help promote hair health and reduce premature graying of hair. Mixing the herb in coconut oil and applying it to our hair can help us reap the benefits of bhringraj. People can take one teaspoon of bhringraj powder mixed in coconut oil to massage their scalp. After leaving it on for 1-2 hours, they can wash it off with water. Doing this thrice a week can help fight hair fall and premature graying of hair.
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Neem: Described as ‘Sarva Roga Nivarini,’ a universal healer or curer of all ailments, neem helps deal with multiple hair problems. Ancient Ayurvedic texts attribute antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties to neem. According to Ayurveda and the latest studies5, the regenerative properties of neem oil can help support and stimulate hair follicle growth, counter hair fall, and promote thick, strong, and voluminous hair.
The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of neem can help prevent baldness, treat scalp psoriasis, etc. Neem can also help nourish the scalp, and hair and revitalize and restore dry, rough, and undernourished hair.
A person can boil neem leaves in water, strain them and use it after shampooing. They may also make and apply a paste of neem powder and warm water for 30 minutes before shampooing. Lastly, they can prepare an oil by mixing neem oil with coconut or olive oil and apply on the scalp for around an hour and wash it off.
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Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha, also known as Indian ginseng, is an ancient herb that offers myriad benefits for our hair. The herb takes complete care of a person's hair health and ensures a reduction in hair loss, and it stimulates the production of DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone), a natural hormone in our body that helps combat free radicals and promote healthy hair growth.
Furthermore, the herb stimulates the production of collagen and sebum on the scalp, which keeps the scalp and hair conditioned and prevents sun damage. An amino acid called 'Tyrosine' found in ashwagandha can help stimulate melanin production in hair follicles and helps reverse premature graying. The same has been highlighted in Ayurveda by attributing it with Ranjana properties (ability associated with restoring natural hair color). People can make a fine paste by mixing warm distilled water with 2-3 spoons of ashwagandha powder and applying it to their scalp and hair. After massaging it, gently rinse it off well with normal water.
Amla: Amla or Indian gooseberry is one of the best ayurvedic herbs to ensure proper hair hygiene6. Ayurvedic experts consider it an effective hair growth medicine, dandruff-removing agent, and herb which can help ensure healthy blood circulation, dissolve grease and dirt from follicles, and offer nourishment to hair and scalp. This property can be translated to its Keshya nature (ability to improve hair quality).
Amla-infused hair products like masks, oils, etc., have the potential to stop hair loss and stimulate regrowth, strengthen hair, and prevent premature pigment loss from hair strands. It is a natural remedy that is believed to promote hair growth, premature graying, etc. Ayurvedic experts recommend using amla oil and drinking amla juice in the morning to care for hair health.
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Brahmi: Brahmi also known as Indian pennywort, water hyssop, and thyme-leafed gratiola, is considered a natural remedy for treating a variety of hair woes, according to Ayurveda. Derived from brahmi leaves, the herb is known to offer benefits that include the ability to provide strength and nourishment to the scalp. Further, research7 has suggested that the herb can help reduce dandruff. Since the herb helps strengthen blood circulation, it stimulates hair growth and prevents hair loss.
The herb's active ingredients are believed to promote thicker hair as they bind to the hair shaft. In addition, the herb is known to help naturally condition the hair from root to tip. Furthermore, modern-day research8 suggests that the herb can help reduce stress hormones called cortisol, which can further help reduce hair fall
So, if you are looking for a great companion on your healthy and thick hair journey, take brahmi with you.
Our hair reflects your constitution. At its root, hair care, according to Ayurveda, is about the rejuvenation of the hair and tissues that may be affecting it. Therefore, Ayurvedic records make extensive mention of herbs and other ingredients that can help us make our hair thick, lustrous, and protected from sun damage and premature graying. These remedies are time-tested and have been in use for quite some time.
- Jadhav V, Thorat R, Kadam V, Sathe N, Jadhav V. Traditional medicinal uses of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis. Journal of Pharmacy Research. 2009 [;2(8):1220-1222.
- Sharma L, Agarwal G, Kumar A. Medicinal plants for skin and hair. Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge.2003;2(1):62-68.