The dream of long, lustrous hair and youthful, glowing skin is a reality for some, but a fantasy for most. But would it be an impossible feat? The cosmetics industry today produces miracle products that change skin tone in just a week or two and hair shampoos that stop hair loss in three uses. Despite knowing these “tricks of the trade”, we still fall into the trap and buy expensive chemicals. “Hair and skin care” has become an important topic in today’s world, where every person has at least one skin or hair problem.
Prematurely grey hair, dull-lack lustrous or split hair, dandruff, baldness, aging skin, pigmentation, acne, blemishes, etc. are as common today as ever before. This can be attributed to erratic lifestyles, pollution, haphazard eating & sleeping habits, drug & alcohol abuse, stress, and improper care.
Health is taken for granted mainly due to the hectic schedules that have made part of daily life. Another aspect of this is bathing and hair washing has become a ritual that is done for a namesake. The Indian subcontinent has such a rich heritage ofnatural hair and skin care that our ancestors seldom suffered from such issues. Even today some ladies boast of thick and black tresses beating their ages.
The incorporation of cosmetics in Ayurveda was mainly done for the achievement of longevity and good health unlike for an attractive appearance. There is evidence of highly advanced concepts of self-beautification and a large array of cosmetics used by both men and women in ancient India. Many of these practices depended on the season (Ritus) and were subtly interwoven with daily routine (Dinacharya). The whole range of cosmetic usage and its practice as conceived by the ancient Indians was based on natural resources. They were used as external applications in the form of packs, oils, herbal waters, powders, etc.
Ayurveda considers the skin to be formed of Mamsa dathu (one of the 7 dathus or building blocks of the body). Mamsa dathu (roughly the muscular tissue) is the third of the 7 dhatus. That is why mamsa dhatu has to be in a state of health to have healthy and glowing skin.
Hair and nails are formed as side products during the formation of ASTHI dhatu (roughly bones). This fact signifies the importance of healthy bones for healthy hair and nails. VATA dosha plays a significant role in hair issues as well. An increase in vata initiates hair fall or greying in combination with other doshas.
It is important to know about the type of hair one has to understand its core problems and Eg. Hair in VATA-dominant people is naturally dry and tends to be frizzy or PITTA-dominant people have fair and warm skin which is prone to acne or breakouts. Thus it helps in their management.
The above information can be summed up as a daily, weekly, and monthly regimen for the face, body, and hair. The Daily Regimen for hair can have minimal oil application at the roots. For the body and face as mentioned earlier oleation with oil that suits your body daily is ideal. Weekly Regimen – Thorough oil application while massaging the scalp in a circular motion with the fingertips can be done once a week 2 hours before bath followed by a hair rinse with neem or green tea decoction. For the body or face, scrubbing or exfoliation can be done once a week. Monthly Regimen – A hair pack can be done once or twice a month according to the hair type and problem. Body/face packs can be done twice a month.
This regimen if followed consistently will save plenty of bucks on age-reversing therapies.
The next important part that can influence hair and skin management is the food habits and the regulations. The ideal way to follow for optimum hair and skin health are as follows:
|Dry, flaky, relatively clear, porcelain-like, darker complexion, thin
|fair, sensitive, soft, warm, and of medium thickness
|oily, thick, pale, soft, cool, tolerant to sun
|Aging, itching, dry eczema, etc
|Acne, hives, freckles, moles, sunburn
|Wet eczema, blackheads, pimples, oedema
|Dry, dull, brittle, scarce
|Straight, lighter-hued, thin, soft
|Lustrous, thick, curly, oily
|Hair fall, split ends, dandruff
|Hair fall, premature greying, get oily soon
|Itching, wet infections of the scalp
|Moisture & Nourish
|Sooth, cool & nourish
|Cleanse & nourish
|Warm, sweet, unctuous, less spicy foods
|Soothing, cold, bitter, sweet, astringent foods
|Warm, dry, bitter, astringent foods
In case of recurrent and chronic skin or hair issues, it is better to consult a physician and try to eliminate the root cause. Internally numerous formulations can be taken to purify, strengthen, and nourish the skin and hair. There are many wonderful treatments like Sarvang dharas, Shirodhara, Shiro pichu, Udwartana, Nasya, and Dhoomapan which go a long way in treating cosmetic issues. In chronic or severe conditions the doctor may prescribe SHODHAN (purificatory) procedures like panchakarma.
Lastly along with eating well, one should feed the mind well too. Positive thinking always shows on the outside. Regular pranayam, meditational activities and daily exercising help in mind cleansing and are mandatory to be healthy, feel good, and look great!
Strong hair and skin can show how healthy a person is and so it is important it is to spend time on their management and growth. Dr. Sujal Patil Torgal CMO at Traya Natural Health Centre