Dr Greeshma Nair

Nov 302017

Let me tell you the truth.

One of these Ayurvedic hair oils is certainly going to rescue your hair!

Hair loss and thinning hair, baldness, dandruff and scalp problems, split ends and premature graying of hair are common hair problems. If you suffer from any of these woes, then it is time to reconsider your regular hair oil for an ayurvedic hair oil.

Coconut oil is known to be the best for hair. And herbal infused coconut oil? Even better! If you are wondering what exactly is an Ayurvedic Hair Oil, then I am going to tell you exactly that. For that, let me address your queries one by one.

 What might be the reason for your hairfall?

  • Stress: stress relates to about 30% of the total causative factors of hairfall. This can be temporary unless you take a serious step in managing your stress levels. “When you have a really stressful event, it can shock the hair cycle, (pushing) more hair into the shedding phase,” explains Marc Glashofer, MD, a dermatologist in New York City.
  • Genetic factors: Genes play a role in the hair fall as well. This is likely to happen in the middle age or later years.Unlike men, women don’t tend to have a receding hairline, instead their part may widen and they may have noticeable thinning of hair. But this can be kept in control if one applies oil on the hair and takes care of the roots.
  • Hormonal changes : This might be a major issue especially if you are a female. Generally women with PCOS, Hypothyroidism. Hair fall is also very common during pregnancy as there is a shift in the normalcy of the hormones. Also hair fall is reported with the women using oral contraceptives and the reason is hormones again!
  • Nutritional deficiencies: Anemia and deficiency of vitamin E and B are known to cause hair fall and it is reversible.
  • Chemotherapy and other drugs: Some of the drugs used to beat back cancer unfortunately can also cause your hair to fall out. “Chemotherapy is like a nuclear bomb,” says Dr. Glashofer. “It destroys rapidly dividing cells. That means cancer cells, but also rapidly dividing cells like hair.” Certain other classes of medication may also promote hair loss. More common among them are certain blood thinners and the blood-pressure drugs known as beta-blockers. Other drugs that might cause hair loss include methotrexate (used to treat rheumatic conditions and some skin conditions), lithium (for bipolar disorder), non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) including ibuprofen, and possibly antidepressants.
  • Styling products: This is an inevitable cause indeed. Hair fall and dandruff occurs to the harsh chemicals in the shampoos, hair dyes, serums, styling products and chemicals used for smoothening or rebonding the hair.

How does Ayurveda explain hair loss?

According to Ayurveda, hair loss (fall) occurs due to excess of Vata. This vata aggravation is in the site of kapha (as head is the site of kapha). The treatment principle therefore adopted is to regulate Vata and strengthen Kapha. It can also occur due to rasa vaha srotodushti which is blockages in the channels carrying the rasa/lymphatic fluid leading to undernourishment of the hair follicles. (I know that’s a bit of techy! But that’s how serious Ayurveda is about hair loss.) A hair oil is selected depending on the root cause of hair fall.


  • Loss of clumps of hair from your scalp
  • Excessive thinning of your hair/ receding hairline – you may confirm this from your past photographs.
  • Unexplained loss of hair from any part of the body
  • Incomplete hair loss on the scalp and/or eyebrows
  • Flakes or skin on the scalp
  • Dry scales or dust falling to your shoulders
  • Acne on the fore head region
  • Itchy scalp.
  • Unusual change in the colour of the hair.
  • Splits at the end of the hair giving it a rough and shabby look


Do’s and Don’ts for a healthy hair


  • Use a mild herbal based shampoo
  • Prefer a natural hair colour such as henna or Bringaraj to synthetic hair dyes.
  • Take nutritious diet and drink enough water
  • Make oiling your hair as a part of your routine
  • Keep your stress levels down
  • Identify and treat your underlying health issue.


  • Tying the hair tight for a long time. This might damage the shaft of the hair
  • Rubbing your hair when it is wet because wet hair is the most vulnerable to damage
  • Using a lot of hair styling products and creams
  • Overuse of blow dryers and straighteners
  • Alcohol, soda and smoking
  • Usage of oral contraceptives
  • Using combs or hair brushes used by another person.

Recommended diet for a healthy hair

A balanced diet with carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals and fats is essential. Some food stuffs that are beneficial include

  • Amla
  • Curry leaves
  • Eggs
  • Walnuts, Almonds and Raisins
  • Lentils
  • Spinach
  • Yogurt
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Bananas
  • Guavas
  • Green tea

Foods to avoid:

  • Sugary drinks/soda/alcohol
  • Strong tea and coffee
  • Fast food
  • Low carb/Low protein/ Low fat diet

Recommended Lifestyle changes

  • Get enough sleep of around 6-7 hours preferably during the night.
  • Regular exercise and healthy sleep habits will increase circulatory and overall health, promoting healthy hair.
  • Take measures to beat the stress.
  • Make oiling the hair a routine and wash it with a very mild herbal based shampoo.
  • Use natural dyeing products like Bringaraj, Amla, Hareetaki and henna.
  • Limit grooming. Do not over brush your hair.
  • Avoid exposure to chlorinated or excessively salty water.
  • Protect your hair from pollution and the sun when you step out.
  • Don’t smoke. According to one report, smokers were four times more likely to have grey hair than non-smokers and were more prone to hair loss.
  • Practice Bhramri pranayam, Uttanasana, Pavanamuktasana, shirasasana, Vajranasana and Ushtrasana helps in increasing the blood circulation to the scalp and helps in hair growth.
  • Love your hair. Gently massage the cuticles, hair shaft and the roots with your finger tips to improve blood circulation and to maintain a healthy hair.

What should you look for in an Ayurvedic hair oil if you have hair problems?

Bhringaraja (Eclipta alba), Amlaki (Emblica officinalis), Bibhitaki (Terminalia bellerica), Aswagandha (Withania somnifera), Yashtimadhu (Glycyrrhiza glabra), Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia) and daruharidra (Berberis aristata),  are the main herbs used in most of the Ayurvedic oils.

  • Bhringaraja– Also known as Kesharaja or kesharanjan due to its unique quality to strengthen the hair roots and to impart colour to the hair at the same time. Tis herb helps prevent hair fall, rejuvenates the hair and restores the natural colour of hair. It is known to prevent split ends. It also makes hair more manageable and brings damaged hair back to life.
  • Amla(Amlaki/Indian gooseberry) reduces all the aggravated doshas by balancing them. Amla is a rejuvenator to the body so it does the same to the hair as well. It strengthens the hair follicles and reduces the inflammation of scalp. The juice of amla fruit reduces the burning sensation of the scalp.
  • Yastimadhu also balances the tridoshas, (mainly Pitta).  Yashtimadhu prevents baldness, greying and reduces hair fall.
  • Daruharidra – Aqueous extract of this drug called as ‘anjana’ is known to promote hair growth and impart colour to the hair.
  • Ashwagandha(Indian ginseng) pacifies vata dosha. It is indicated in various problems like stress,insomnia,which results in hair loss.
  • Bibhitaki is a rejuvenative to aid hair growth and acts as a natural hair dye to reduce premature graying of hair.

What are some classical Ayurvedic hair oils for hair problems?

You cannot make a choice of hair oil by looking at these herbs alone. Hence I am providing you with some top rated classical hair oils and combinations for a healthy hair.

  1. Kayyunyadi Tailam & Amla powder : A very popular hair oil, Kayyunyadi tailam is made of coconut oil using herbs like bhringaraja, guduchi, amalaki, yastimadhu, daruharidra and cow milk. This is right for you if you have split ends, grey hair and hair fall. This combination balances all the three doshas  and rejuvenates the dry and unmanagable hair.
  2. NeelibhringadiTailam & Bhringaraj powder: Another favourite of women, Neelibringadi oil is contains the extract of neeli (Indigofera tinctorea), bhringaraja, amla, liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) and daruharidra. It would surprise if I am to tell you that Neelibringadi contains not only the essence of coconut milk but also of the milks of cow, goat and buffalo. You should try this if you have itchy scalp, scalp related disorders, alopecia, premature graying, hair fall, and dandruff. This oil promotes hair growth and has cooling effects, best for pitta kapha doshas.
  1. Bhringamalakadi tailam & Brahmi Tablets: This is excellent for scalp problems and insomnia. With bringaraja and amla as the main ingredients, Bringamalakadi is soothing for the head and the eyes. It is also used in the treatment of eye disorders and head aches. Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), deservedly called as the Herb of Grace, is used in traditional Indian medicines for centuries for the treatment  blood cleansing , chronic skin conditions, constipation, hair loss, fevers, digestive problems, depression, mental and physical fatigue and many more.
  2. Durvadi kera tailam: Itchy head and dandruff? Durvadi it is! Prepared in coconut oil (or sesame oil), Durvadi relieves dandruff with the potent effects of durva leaves (Cynodon dactylon).
  3. Dhurdhurapatradi Thailam & Triphala Tablets : If you prefer sesame oil to coconut oil, then you can use Dhurdhurapatradi tailam to treat hair fall and dandruff. It is made of the juice extract of dhurdurapathra (Datura metel) and is good for itching of the scalp and dandruff. Just note that some companies do prepare this oil is coconut oil base too. This combination balances kapha and vata, dandruff, itching of the scalp, hair fall due to dandruff. Triphala is known to relieve digestive issues, constipation and increases the absorption of nutrients after digestion. Triphala contains gooseberry and hared that are beneficial for the hair.
  4. Chemparathyadi Thailam: I love this! My mother prepares a variation of this at home. Chemparathyadi is made of ingredients including the juice of hibiscus, leaves of bilwa (Aegle marmelos), paranti (Ixora coccinia), betel leaf, tulsi leaf, neeli, vasini, tamalaki, paste of jeeraka (cumin/ Cuminum cyminum)) and krishnajeeraka (Carum carvi). This is very effective for skin and scalp conditions like eczema, scabies, pruritis and dandruff. You may without doubt use this as your regular hair oil to prevent scalp problems and to promote hair growth.
  5. Malatyadi keram: Malatyadi is coconut oil infused with the extracts of malati (jasmin), naktamala (Pongamia pinnata), karaveera (Nerium indicum) and Chitraka (Plumbago zeylanica). It is very effectively used not only in hair fall but also aloepecia, dandruff and premature baldness. It promotes hair growth.
  6. Kunthalakanti Tailam: This is a highly cooling and soothing hair oil that mainly treats dandruff and premature graying of hair. The ingredients include vibhitaki, bhringaraja, amalaki, jambeera taila, neeli panchagandha and milk.

There are so many hair oils in the market. How to know what is genuine and what is not?

Every day there is a new product in the market and an exciting commercial to promote it. You are not going to get carried away by the words of your favourite celebrity talking about the product. You are going to look at the labels, identify the ingredients and consider the authenticity of the product. At best what you can do is to buy from a trusted dealer and of a known brand.

I feel you should opt for a classical Ayurvedic hair oil rather than follow the latest commercial.

Listen, your hair is waiting for you.

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