And nothing works.
This may be why…
According to ayurveda one of the reasons of hair loss is overactive pitta dosha. Generally, that means there is too much heat in the body. In fact the word pitta is derived from the sanskrit word tapa, which means to heat. Pitta governs our metabolism and digestion, and transforms food into the nutrients or energy that the body needs. When it is out of balance you see a flare up of heat in the mind & body, which might show up as anger, rashes, heartburn or acidity.
Some of the characteristics of Pitta dosha are:
High pitta makes the body acidic – in general body needs to be around 70% alkaline and 30% acid. And if tissues are too acidic, then minerals needed for healthy hair, such as iron, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, and zinc, are taken from the hair follicles to buffer this acidity.
Besides, excess pitta at the root of hair can cause inflammation of hair follicles (folliculitis) or of sebaceous glands, causing hair thinning or hair loss.
So what is the solution? Just cool down!
Since excess of pitta dosha overheats the mind and body, favour foods that are cooling, alkalizing, and sweet and astringent to taste. Some of the most effective pitta balancing foods are: Dates, Aloe Vera, and Munakka (black raisins). These foods not just reduce pitta, they are super nourishing to our hair as well as to our body. Let’s take look:
Munakkas have a cooling effect on the body and therefore highly beneficial to calm pitta dosha. Their seeds are particularly beneficial as they help stimulate the hair follicles, thereby promoting hair growth.
Munakkas are packed with proanthocyanidins which are powerful antioxidants – better than vitamin C and vitamin E. They protect our hair from free radicals – these can damage our hair cells, causing hair loss and thinning.
How to use: Rich in natural fructose and glucose, munakkas make an excellent snack to satisfy your cravings for sugar. Eat a handful every morning or you can also eat them post workout (as recovery food). Soak them overnight for more benefits.
With its cooling and soothing properties, aloe vera is another effective way to reduce pitta and preserve the health of your hair. I love aloe vera, it works incredibly well on many of my hair, skin, and health issues. This plant has immense healing and cosmetic properties. It stimulates production of collagen and elastin fibers, making the skin more elastic and less wrinkled.
It contains natural salicylic acids, phytosterols, and polysaccharides, all of which help relieve redness, irritation and itchiness, while nourishing the skin and tissues. Plus, aloe vera helps to re-alkalise the body – which is great, as acidic environment affects functioning of every cell of the body, including hair cells.
How to use: Take 2 tablespoon aloe vera juice (or fresh gel) every morning. You can also use aloe vera juice/gel on your hair as a pre or post wash conditioner. I have read that Caribbean women traditionally used fresh aloe vera gel to wash their hair.
Note: It’s best to use fresh aloe vera gel, straight from the leaf. But if you have to buy from the store look for ones with least additives, no water and a food grade preservatives.
Delicious to eat and high in natural sugars, dates are very effective in reducing pitta. The date fruit pulp contains some wonderful phytochemicals (plant nutrients) like polyphenols, carotenoids, anthocyanins, and flavonoids, plus minerals such as selenium and manganese – each of these play an important role in slowing down the aging process (including greying and hair loss). Dates are also a good source of iron, deficiency of which can cause hair loss and hair thinning.
Dietary fiber in dates binds to the bad cholesterol in the digestive tract and removes them from the body. Date fibers also help to move food slowly and smoothly through digestive tract – this helps to keep blood sugar levels steady, so you’re less likely to feel hungry and over eat. This is great for someone like me who has strong appetite and digestion.
How to use: Eat 4 to 6 dates every day as a snack. My favourite way to eat them is with a drizzle of some ghee (clarified butter). Makes them yummier!
*What is dosha? In Ayurveda, each of us is born with a unique mix of three body and mind principles, which create our specific physical and mental characteristics. These three principles are called doshas. Vata-Pitta-Kapha are present in every cell, tissue and organs. When in balance they create health and when out of balance they create disease.