Pitta is one of the three ayurvedic doshas, and is made up of fire and water elements. Pitta is considered to govern the health of skin and hair, and where there is an excess of Pitta, skin health can be adversely affected, and there is a tendency for early greying of hair, and premature hair loss as well.
Other symptoms of pitta imbalance can include sharp hunger and fast digestion leading to loose stools, high metabolism and body temperature, reflux and acidity, and irritability and short temper.
How pitta causes hair loss
Pitta is said to cause hair loss by overheating the hair follicles, often attributed to excessive mental activity. This can also be aggravated by hot weather, and washing the hair with hot water.
Balancing pitta to reduce hair loss
The way to balance pitta is to cool the body down.
Head massage with brahmi oil or amla oil at bedtime
Wash your hair in tepid water with a gentle shampoo. Then massage with coconut oil or amla oil which are cooling, or brahmi oil which is cooling and relaxes the brain from excessive activity.
Be active during cooler part of the day
Try to avoid exercise and going out during the hottest parts of the day. Use the morning and evening times for activity, and the midday to rest and shelter from the heat. Try to avoid too much multi-tasking and challenging yourself too much, the build-up of stress aggravates pitta.
Increase your intake of fresh vegetables and fruits
Eat lots of green vegetables and fruits that are sweet and juicy. The best citrus fruit for pitta is lime, so drink lots of fresh lime juice. Fresh coconut, almonds, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts are considered excellent “hair food.” Grate them and add them to your veggies. Whole grains and leafy greens such as kale, chard, collard, mustard greens, and arugula are also excellent for hair growth.
Eat cooling, nonspicy foods
Avoid lots of hot spicy curries, pizzas, and condiments. Eat cooling foods like milk, yoghurt, and grains like rice. Have a preference for sweet, bitter and astringent tastes.
Avoid fried foods
Try to reduce oil intake, especially during hot summer months, as the sebaceous glands can get clogged and cause hair loss. Coconut oil is preferred, as it has a cooling quality.
Avoid very sour and fermented foods
Avoid pickles, vinegar, wine, and sour fruits. Fermented foods like tempeh (fermented tofu) and cheese can also cause problems. Also, limit salty foods as they are heating and pitta-aggravating.
Use cooling spices
While you should avoid hot pungent spices, you can still use the cooling or slightly warming spices such as cumin, coriander, fennel and mint. Other good spices for hair growth are cilantro (coriander leaf), parsley, and turmeric.
Take it easy
Try to build rest and relaxation times into your day. Practise a calming, soothing form of yoga with cooling pranayama (breathing) like shitali and shitkari. Meditate on coolness and calming the mind.
Have a good sleep routine
Have a pre-sleep routine at around 9pm, to help you have high quality sleep. Dim the lights, do some gentle yoga stretches, pranayama, and meditation. Avoid stimulation like tv, computers, and smartphones, and take this time to review the day, set positive intentions for the next day, and feeling gratitude for what you have received. Go to sleep at 10 – 10.30pm, and make sure your room is well-ventilated and cool.
Do you need ayurvedic help?
If you have had hair loss for a long time, or have suffered serious hair loss, we can help you. Dr Priya Punjabi has been treating hair loss for several decades, and could help you regain your beautiful hair. Call us on (09) 829 2045 or email us for further info.