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3 Effective Herbs To Prevent Premature Hair Loss

Ayurveda states that hair loss is caused due to an imbalance in pitta and vata while improper functioning of shleshma (mucous substance) and shonita (blood) stops hair from regenerating. Ayurveda recommends diet and lifestyle changes as per seasons, oiling, medicated nasal drops, panchakarma, medicated smoke, and using herbs like amla, ashwagandha, and bhringraj.

herbs for hair loss
Noni-Ingredient-Kapiva

Have you been noticing that you are losing more than a few strands of hair when you brush? It’s actually normal to lose around 100 hairs in a day. Typically, this hair grows back. But sometimes hair doesn’t grow back at the same rate and you experience hair loss.[1][Hair Loss](https://medlineplus.gov/hairloss.html “Hair Loss”). U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Why Am I Losing So Much Hair?

This can happen due to many reasons such as:

  • Heredity: Male pattern baldness as well as female pattern baldness which leads to a receding hairline, loss of hair along the crown, or bald spots can happen with age in people who have a family history of it.
  • Medical conditions and hormonal changes: Immune disorders, scalp infections, and trichotillomania (a condition where people have the urge to pull out their hair) can cause hair loss. As can hormonal changes due to menopause, childbirth, pregnancy, or thyroid problems.
  • Medicines: Certain medicines used for depression, high blood pressure, cancer, heart conditions, arthritis, etc.
  • Stress: Severe emotional or physical stress can lead to temporary hair loss.
  • Poor nutrition: Low levels of protein as well as iron, biotin, or zinc may also cause hair loss.[2][HAIR LOSS: DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT](https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/hair-loss/treatment/diagnosis-treat “HAIR LOSS: DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT”). American Academy of Dermatology Association.
  • Hair treatments and hair styles: Hairstyles that pull your hair too tight may lead to hair loss. As can getting a perm or hot oil treatment.[3][Hair loss](https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hair-loss/symptoms-causes/syc-20372926 “Hair loss”). Mayo Clinic.

How Can I Stop Hair Loss?

Now we know that hair loss can be caused by many conditions. You’ll need to adapt a suitable approach for tackling it based on why you’re experiencing hair loss.

  • If you’re experiencing hair loss due to a medical condition then you need to treat the cause to tackle hair loss.
  • Meanwhile, in some cases it may grow back by itself. For instance, if you’ve experienced hair loss after pregnancy, recovery from an illness or surgery, cancer treatments etc.
  • It is also important to make sure that you have a well-balanced nutritious diet. If you’re deficient in certain nutrients your doctor may prescribe a supplement.
  • Avoid hair styles such as tight ponytails, braids, or cornrows that cause damage to hair roots. And remember to wait till your hair dries partly before brushing it. Excessive brushing and brushing wet hair can cause hair to break off.
  • Minimize use of “long-lasting hold” products as they may cause hair to break when you brush.[4][HAIR STYLING WITHOUT DAMAGE](https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/hair-loss/hair-care/styling “HAIR STYLING WITHOUT DAMAGE”). American Academy of Dermatology Association.

What Does Ayurveda Say About Hair Loss?

In Ayurveda, excessive hair loss is described as khalitya. It is thought that an imbalance in pitta (which is associated with the element of fire) and vatta (associated with air and space) leads to hair loss while improper functioning of shleshma (mucous substance) and shonita (blood) stops hair from regenerating.[5]Jain, Sanchit, and Sharma Anita. “Elixir action of ayurveda in khalitya.” An International Journal of Research in AYUSH and Allied Systems ISSN (2016): 2393-9583. [6]Sharma, Shikha, Seema Puri, Taru Agarwal, and Vinita Sharma. “Diets based on Ayurvedic constitution–potential for weight management.” Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine … Continue reading

Another term used in texts for hair fall is Indralupta. There are some differences between khalitya and indralupta.
While in khalitya, hair loss is gradual and generalised over the scalp, in indralupta hair loss is sudden and falls patch by patch. When the kapha dosha combines with rakta dhatu it results in degeneration and shutting down completely of hair follicles thus leading to baldness.

  • When khalitya is due to vata it causes burning over the scalp
  • When due to pitta it causes sweating
  • When due to kapha it causes thickening of skin

What Is The Ayurvedic Remedy For Hair Loss?

  • Nidan parivarjan: It means to avoid the known disease-causing factors in one’s diet and lifestyle. Since those with a pitta prakruti are more prone to hair loss, they should stick to an ayurveda-prescribed diet. Moreover, pitta dosha tends to accumulate during the rainy season and further deteriorate in autumn, so those prone to hair loss or having pitta prakruti may notice an increase in hair loss during these months.
  • Moordha tail (oiling): Regularly applying oil on the scalp provides nourishment to the hair follicles and also gives strength to the cortex and fibre of hair. This in turn helps prevent hair loss, baldness. It also helps the hair grow long and deep-rooted.
  • Nasya (nasal drop): It is advised that everyone take a nasal drop of Anu taila – an oil that has a combination of several medicinal herbs like cinnamon, mulethi, devdaru, jivanti, etc., every year during the rainy, autumn and spring season. Along with many other benefits, it prevents hair loss and also accelerates the growth of hair.
  • Snana (taking bath): According to Acharya Sushruta, the head and hair should not be washed with warm water or with very cold water. Pouring warm water over the head reduces the strength of hair and eyes. Hair should be washed at least three times in a week.
  • Dhoomapana (medicated smoke): It is beneficial for the senses and the head. It cures the problem of hair loss by clearing the dosha from the head region and also improves the firmness of hair on the head.
  • Panchkarma (purification procedure): Those affected with hair loss should undergo panchkarma based on the dosha involved. The treatment involves five purification processes namely Vaman, Virechan, Nasya, Vasti and Rakta mokshana. Since hair loss and baldness are related to pitta dosha, the two commonly recommended procedures are virechana and rakta mokshan.
  • If hair loss is due to premature aging, rasayana therapy is recommended.
  • Those suffering from excessive hair loss should try to reduce their salt and alkaline food intake.[7]Purwar P, Yadav SS, Gangele P. Khalitya (hair fall) management – ayurvedic perspective. Int J Health Sci Res. 2019; 9(4):255-260

Apart from these, there are herbs that can help manage hair loss.

3 Effective Herbs That Fight Hair Loss

Traditionally, various herbs have been used to tackle hair loss, we look at the three most effective herbs:

1. Amla

Amla (Phyllanthus emblica ) or Indian gooseberry has been traditionally used as an ingredient in hair tonics for promoting hair growth and healthy hair. It’s considered to be great for balancing pitta dosha.[8]Kumar, Anil, Anup Singh, and Jyotsna Dora. “Essentials perspectives for Emblica officinalis.” International journal of pharmaceutical and chemical sciences 1, no. 1 (2012): 11-18.

Research indicates that it stimulates the growth of cells known as dermal papilla cells which promote hair growth. Derivatives of vitamin C and polyphenols present in amla are thought to be responsible for this effect.[9]Luanpitpong, S., U. Nimmannit, V. Pongrakhananon, and P. Chanvorachote. “Emblica (Phyllanthus emblica Linn.) fruit extract promotes proliferation in dermal papilla cells of human hair … Continue reading It has also been shown to impact hormones that can contribute to hair loss.[10]Kumar, Naphatsorn, Wandee Rungseevijitprapa, Nual-Anong Narkkhong, Maitree Suttajit, and Chaiyavat Chaiyasut. “5α-reductase inhibition and hair growth promotion of some Thai plants … Continue reading And that’s not all. One study found that boiling dried amla in water and applying the strained solution can make your hair stronger and prevent it from breaking easily. Both bleached and unbleached hair benefited from this application.[11]Tiampasook, Pratya, Chaiyavat Chaiyasut, Bhagavathi Sundaram Sivamaruthi, Thanaroat Timudom, and Duangporn Nacapunchai. “Effect of Phyllanthus emblica Linn. on tensile strength of virgin and … Continue reading

How To Use Amla To Prevent Hair Loss?

  • Apply amla coconut hair oil: To prepare the hair oil, slice amla thinly and shae dry them. This might take 3-4 days. Make an amla paste and add it to the coconut oil. Cook it on a mild flame until all the moisture evaporates and attains a thick and dark consistency. Allow it to cool, strain oil. This can be massaged into your scalp. Leave it in for about half an hour before washing it off.
  • Apply curry leaf amla oil: Add ¼ of a cup of chopped amla and a fistful of curry leaves to coconut oil and heat the mixture till it turns brown and is thick in consistency. Then take it off the heat and allow it to cool down before straining it. Gently massage this oil into your scalp and let it sit for about half an hour before washing it off.
  • Apply amla infused water: You can also soak dried and chopped up amla in water overnight to prepare a hair strengthening tonic that can be applied to your hair.[12]Kumar, Anil, Anup Singh, and Jyotsna Dora. “Essentials perspectives for Emblica officinalis.” International journal of pharmaceutical and chemical sciences 1, no. 1 (2012): 11-18.

Precaution To Take While Using Amla

  • Rule out allergy with a patch test: It’s a good idea to apply amla and other ingredients in your hair oil or tonic to a small patch of skin first. This is to make sure that you don’t experience an allergic reaction to any of the ingredients before using it on your scalp.

2. Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) has been used extensively in Ayurveda for its many health benefits. This amazing herb is said to have anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, sedative, anti-stress, antioxidant, and hepatoprotective properties. This makes it useful for a range of inflammatory, cardiovascular, and nervous disorders.
But, can it prevent hair loss? One animal study looked at the effect of applying ashwagandha extracts in an aloe vera gel base to promote hair growth. It was found to stimulate hair growth as animals treated with the extract showed more advanced hair follicular development. The researchers suggest that the hair growth properties of this herb could be related to its phenolic compounds and antioxidant activities.[13]Pandey, Mukesh, Lokesh Adhikari, Rupali Kotiyal, Ajay Semalty, and Mona Semalty. “Research Article Preparation and Evaluation of Hair Growth Formulations of Indian Ginseng (Withania somnifera) … Continue reading Another mechanism that Ashwagandha can tackle hair loss is by helping combat stress. We all know that extreme stress can cause hair loss. Stress hormones act on dermal papilla cells and slow down hair growth.[14][How chronic stress leads to hair loss](https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2021/03/researchers-discover-how-chronic-stress-leads-to-hair-loss/ “How chronic stress leads to hair loss”). The … Continue reading And research has found that taking ashwagandha extracts can reduce stress hormones and ease anxiety and stress.[15]Chandrasekhar, K., Jyoti Kapoor, and Sridhar Anishetty. “A prospective, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of … Continue reading

How To Use Ashwagandha To Prevent Hair Loss?

  • Use as a hair mask:
    • Mix 2-3 teaspoons of ashwagandha powder in ½ a cup of slightly warmed water to make a paste.
    • Massage this paste into your scalp in circular motion and leave it on for about half an hour before washing it off.
    • If you have dry hair add hibiscus powder (1-2 teaspoons) also and substitute coconut milk for water to prepare your hair mask.
  • Drink ashwagandha tea for stress relief:
    • Boil water and add ashwagandha roots to it.
    • Let it steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain and enjoy with a splash of lime juice and honey.

Precautions To Take When Using Ashwagandha

  • Make sure that you’re not allergic to ashwagandha by applying it to a small area of skin as a test before using it on your scalp.
  • Ashwagandha tea is typically considered safe. However, it should not be taken by people who have hormone-sensitive prostate cancer or use anticonvulsants, barbiturates, or benzodiazepines.
  • Do not take ashwagandha if you’re pregnant.
  • Some people may experience side effects like nausea, headache, stomach irritation, drowsiness, or diarrhea when they take ashwagandha.[16][Ashwagandha](https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/ashwagandha “Ashwagandha”). Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
  • Consult a doctor before taking an ashwagandha supplement as they may contain higher doses of ashwagandha extracts. Also, speak to a doctor before taking ashwagandha for more than 3 months.

3. Bhringraj

Bhringraj (Eclipta alba or Eclipta prostrata) is another herb that has traditionally been valued for its hair growth promoting properties. With cooling properties and a bitter taste, this herb is a great choice for tackling excess pitta.[17]Anne McIntyre. Herbal Treatment of Children: Western and Ayurvedic Perspectives. Elsevier Butterworth Heinemann. 2005. This ayurvedic wisdom is backed up by scientific research too. β-sitosterol, a compound present in bhringraj, is thought to contribute to its ability to combat hair loss. An animal study observed that the topical application of bhringraj cut the time taken for new hair to start growing again by half in comparison to a medicine used for hair loss. The time taken to complete hair growth was also reduced significantly.[18]Roy, R. K., Mayank Thakur, and V. K. Dixit. “Hair growth promoting activity of Eclipta alba in male albino rats.” Archives of dermatological research 300, no. 7 (2008): 357-364.

Meanwhile, another study on people in their 20s and 30s showed that bhringraj was effective at significantly increasing hair thickness. So, if you’re looking for a thick gorgeous mane this ancient remedy is a good bet.[19]Lee, Chang-Seok, Joo-A. Kang, Gyeong-yeon Kim, and Gyu-Ri Kim. “A study on the effect of Eclipta prostrata extract and MTS on the improvement of scalp health and prevention of hair loss for … Continue reading

How To Use Bhringraj To Prevent Hair Loss?

  • Apply bhringraj hair oil:
    • To prepare the oil, first, dry bhringraj leaves for 2-3 days in the sun.
    • Then soak the dried leaves in coconut or sesame oil till you get a light green oil.
    • You might need to leave the solution in a sunlit area for 2-3 days before it is ready.
    • You can also mix powdered bhringraj leaves and coconut oil and heat the mixture to prepare hair oil.
    • Massage the oil in for at least 10 minutes using a circulatory motion and let it sit for around an hour before washing it off.
    • Remember to warm up the bhringraj oil slightly before using it by placing the bottle in a container of hot water.

Precautions To Take While Using Bhringraj

  • Some people may experience a tingling or burning sensation when applying bhringraj products. It is best to apply bhringraj hair oil to a small patch of skin first to ensure that you are not allergic to any of the ingredients.
  • People with bleeding disorders and those taking blood thinners should not use bhringraj.
  • Topical and oral use of bhringraj needs to be stopped at least 2 weeks before any surgery to minimize the risk of excessive bleeding.[20][The Health Benefits of Bhringraj Oil](https://www.verywellhealth.com/the-benefits-of-bhringaraj-oil-88825 “The Health Benefits of Bhringraj Oil”). Verywell Health.

References

References
1 [Hair Loss](https://medlineplus.gov/hairloss.html “Hair Loss”). U.S. National Library of Medicine.
2 [HAIR LOSS: DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT](https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/hair-loss/treatment/diagnosis-treat “HAIR LOSS: DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT”). American Academy of Dermatology Association.
3 [Hair loss](https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hair-loss/symptoms-causes/syc-20372926 “Hair loss”). Mayo Clinic.
4 [HAIR STYLING WITHOUT DAMAGE](https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/hair-loss/hair-care/styling “HAIR STYLING WITHOUT DAMAGE”). American Academy of Dermatology Association.
5 Jain, Sanchit, and Sharma Anita. “Elixir action of ayurveda in khalitya.” An International Journal of Research in AYUSH and Allied Systems ISSN (2016): 2393-9583.
6 Sharma, Shikha, Seema Puri, Taru Agarwal, and Vinita Sharma. “Diets based on Ayurvedic constitution–potential for weight management.” Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine 15, no. 1 (2009): 44.
7 Purwar P, Yadav SS, Gangele P. Khalitya (hair fall) management – ayurvedic perspective. Int J Health Sci Res. 2019; 9(4):255-260
8, 12 Kumar, Anil, Anup Singh, and Jyotsna Dora. “Essentials perspectives for Emblica officinalis.” International journal of pharmaceutical and chemical sciences 1, no. 1 (2012): 11-18.
9 Luanpitpong, S., U. Nimmannit, V. Pongrakhananon, and P. Chanvorachote. “Emblica (Phyllanthus emblica Linn.) fruit extract promotes proliferation in dermal papilla cells of human hair follicle.” Research Journal of Medicinal Plant 5, no. 1 (2011): 95-100.
10 Kumar, Naphatsorn, Wandee Rungseevijitprapa, Nual-Anong Narkkhong, Maitree Suttajit, and Chaiyavat Chaiyasut. “5α-reductase inhibition and hair growth promotion of some Thai plants traditionally used for hair treatment.” Journal of ethnopharmacology 139, no. 3 (2012): 765-771.
11 Tiampasook, Pratya, Chaiyavat Chaiyasut, Bhagavathi Sundaram Sivamaruthi, Thanaroat Timudom, and Duangporn Nacapunchai. “Effect of Phyllanthus emblica Linn. on tensile strength of virgin and bleached hairs.” Applied Sciences 10, no. 18 (2020): 6305.
13 Pandey, Mukesh, Lokesh Adhikari, Rupali Kotiyal, Ajay Semalty, and Mona Semalty. “Research Article Preparation and Evaluation of Hair Growth Formulations of Indian Ginseng (Withania somnifera) for Alopecia.” (2019).
14 [How chronic stress leads to hair loss](https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2021/03/researchers-discover-how-chronic-stress-leads-to-hair-loss/ “How chronic stress leads to hair loss”). The Harvard Gazette.
15 Chandrasekhar, K., Jyoti Kapoor, and Sridhar Anishetty. “A prospective, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of ashwagandha root in reducing stress and anxiety in adults.” Indian journal of psychological medicine 34, no. 3 (2012): 255-262.
16 [Ashwagandha](https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/ashwagandha “Ashwagandha”). Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
17 Anne McIntyre. Herbal Treatment of Children: Western and Ayurvedic Perspectives. Elsevier Butterworth Heinemann. 2005.
18 Roy, R. K., Mayank Thakur, and V. K. Dixit. “Hair growth promoting activity of Eclipta alba in male albino rats.” Archives of dermatological research 300, no. 7 (2008): 357-364.
19 Lee, Chang-Seok, Joo-A. Kang, Gyeong-yeon Kim, and Gyu-Ri Kim. “A study on the effect of Eclipta prostrata extract and MTS on the improvement of scalp health and prevention of hair loss for workers in their 20s and 30s.” Medico Legal Update 20, no. 1 (2020): 1850-1856.
20 [The Health Benefits of Bhringraj Oil](https://www.verywellhealth.com/the-benefits-of-bhringaraj-oil-88825 “The Health Benefits of Bhringraj Oil”). Verywell Health.

Disclaimer: The information on this website is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. For more information pertaining to your personal needs please see a qualified health practitioner.

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