Have you seen these viral recipes using seeds and oils you’ve never heard of, to make protein treatments, and you always wonder what it is: ayurvedic treatments. This is the right place to get to know the process in depth!
Ayurveda originated in India more than 5,000 years ago. Ayurvedic medicine states that all areas of life impact one’s health, meaning your mental, physical and spiritual and emotional well-being are linked and should be balanced. If those elements aren’t balanced, you get sick. In modern-day medicine, this type of theories is considered an alternative. For instance, if you’re physically well and emotionally unwell, your energy is disrupted and it needs to be rebalanced using ayurvedic treatments and herbs. Read more on Ayurveda medicine and evolution here.
Ayurvedic medicine believes your hair health is attached to your physical well-being, and hair type and body type are one and the same, hence two people can have hair loss due to different reasons. For someone to resolve a hair issue, they have to treat it at the core, resolve the body issue. The issue could be blood circulation or poor dieting. Ayurvedic herbs will each have different properties.
Ayurvedic herbs and treatments have been found to be anti-inflammatory and rich in anti-oxidants, it is therefore highly encouraged to incorporate them in food recipes, skincare and hair treatments. Anti-oxidants are compounds that combat and help prevent harmful agents in your body known as free radicals. Every time, you hear that food can help prevent cancer, it’s for its anti-oxidants. Substances rich in vitamin C and E are anti-oxidants.
We’ve compiled just a few of these herbs that are beneficial for hair growth and thickness and can be easily be found in Nairobi and Africa. If you’ve read our traction alopecia blog and is wondering where to start to boost hair growth, read on.
Turmeric is a root plant that looks like ginger but has an orange colouration inside.
Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory that’s it is believed to match certain drugs. Its main active ingredient, curcumin (Curcuma) has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant. It has been studied by scientists for long and is believed to halt the hormone responsible for hair loss. Turmeric also has anti-microbial properties. It will combat dandruff and improve your scalp conditions, removing the dryness, itchiness and flakiness.
How to use: Add a spoonful of turmeric powder to a cup of olive oil or coconut oil and heat slowly. Use it on hair as a treatment before shampoo. Careful on the colouration, it’s bright orange so it needs to be handled carefully.
The powerful antiseptic and anti-infective agent, it purifies your blood and wards off infection and associated hair loss. Regular use of neem on the scalp improves blood circulation and strengthens the roots. Neem has soothing abilities and is often used to treat eczema, psoriasis and dandruff. By using neem oil or neem powder, your scalp will be soother thus allowing hair growth.
How to use: usually neem oil is easily accessible in Nairobi and can be used on the scalp regularly or as part of a hot oil treatment. If you find Neem leaves, you can boil them for 15-20 minutes, let the infusion cool down and it to rinse out your hair after shampoo.
Growing up in Africa, we’ve all seen those bottles of amla oil with an Indian woman, with long thick hair. Now we know the science behind this ayurvedic herb. Amla, also known as the Indian gooseberry, is loaded with vitamin C (one of our anti-oxidant agents, see above). Amla is also used to treat indigestion and purify the blood from toxins. Its anti-oxidants help avert the free radicals causing hair loss.
How to use: Amla, is also easily accessible in Nairobi. Use some amla oil as part of a hot oil treatment every other month. You can also use it weekly to seal in your moisture as part of LOC/LCO method.
Fenugreek improves cholesterol and blood pressure. It’s a seed that is also used to increase milk supply in breastfeeding mothers. For those of you who are experiencing postpartum hair loss, this might be a good herb to start with. Fenugreek reduces blood sugar levels and is known to help fight dandruff.
How to use: Finding it in Nairobi might be harder if you don’t know where to look. You can try Chandarana or any Indian supermarkets since it’s used in their cuisine. Grind the seeds into a fine powder, add two tablespoons of fenugreek powder to a cup of lukewarm water. Apply to your scalp for 15-20 minutes as a pre poo and then rinse it off.
Hair growth doesn’t work overnight, you need to use your chosen treatments for a considerable amount of time to see results. Whether you’re doing rice water rinses or ayurvedic treatments, consistency is essential to see improvements. Be patient and it will pay off.
Your lifestyle is a big component of hair growth/loss. As we explained above, ayurvedic treatments want to treat the problem from the core, however of stress is the reason behind your hair loss, you have to start treating that issue before going forward with these hair growth treatments. You have to be willing to tackle the root of the issue, before starting to use necessary products for your hair growth.
Last but not least, your genes influence how your hair grow. Do not compare yourself to someone else, what works for them might not work for you. Understand your body type and your hair type first, then use the product that fits best with your hair type. There’s no competition in hair growth.