Falling of hair/ Baldness- (Alopecia)
Hair of the scalp is an important factor in an individual’s personality. Dark, dense hair is certainly important to beauty and attractiveness and is considered an asset. Falling of the hair is a natural phenomenon but if it exceeds beyond a normal limit, it leads to baldness, which in young or middle age is regarded abnormal. The cosmetic value of dense hair on the scalp is great, indeed. There is no doubt about it. And at the same time it is also true that alopecia, leading to partial or even near- complete baldness is very common among the younger male population in the age group of 30’s, 40’s or 50’s. Today, we find dozens of clinics mushrooming all over which professedly specialize in `cure’ of baldness. They perform different types of treatment-herbal, grafting of hair etc. Again, Allopathy is at a loss to explain in most cases the phenomenon of Alopecia and to suggest a practical, curative treatment.
In a normal person a daily loss of 20 to 50 strands of hair is considered a normal phenomenon. But when the hair loss exceeds 100, we could call it Alopecia, an abnormal condition. What, according to Ayurvedic School are the basic causes of Alopecia? We put them one by one below.
- Dandruff in the scalp
- Infestation with lice
- Excessive itching and scratching of the scalp
- Not maintaining proper hygiene in the scalp and hair
- Keeping hair dry always and not applying oil
- Keeping awake or working late into night
- Living in very warm, tepid surroundings
- Excessive consumption of tobacco and narcotic drugs
- Too much intake of liquor
- Excessive consumption of eggs and meat, especially in warm and tropical countries.
- Excessive intake of sour foods, fried foods, spicy foods and rich seasonal foodstuffs.
- Lack of proper nutrition.
- Debility caused by anaemia and other types of chronic illness.
- Excessive worry, grief, anger and mental tension.
- Prolonged consumption of synthetic drugs.
The true fundamental cause of alopecia and baldness known, the first aspect of treatment is prevention. By avoiding these causes to the extent practicable we can avoid alopecia or its progress in case it has already started. Other important points in the treatment are now presented below.
- Maintain cleanliness and proper hygiene in the scalp and hair.
- Completely avoid use of soap or shampoo for cleaning or washing hair. Instead use a mixture of the powders of dry Amla, Ritha and Shikakai in equal quantities. Put about the 5-10 grams of the mixture in 500 ml. of water at night. Next morning, filter out the water and wash hair with it. This should be done once or twice a week at regular intervals.
- Before going to sleep at night, take about 5 grams of ‘Triphala’ powder along with water. Triphala is an excellent tonic for the bowels, blood and skin. It helps to keep constipation at bay.
- Every alternate day, perform gentle massage of scalp and hair with pure coconut oil mixed with half the quantity of lemon juice. This is to be done at night time before going to bed. Next morning, hair may be washed with clean water.
- Here is another excellent home remedy for alopecia and baldness. Take a thick fresh onion. Peel off its skin and cut it into two pieces with a knife. Then, take the cut piece and gently rub it over the scalp. Continue rubbing with a mild pressure till the piece becomes flaccid. This should be done every day for at least 8 weeks.
- In case alopecia is the result of any other serious body ailment or disease the same should be properly treated first. Thus if baldness is due to anaemia, myxoderma or syphilis, these need to be tackled first.
- Take some twigs of the herb ‘Amarbela’ (Cuscuta reflex) weighing about 300 grams and boil these in water (400 ml). When the quantity of water has reduced to half, remove the heat. Cool and filter. Prepare the decoction at night and store the same overnight. In the morning, wash your hair with this decoction. Do this for six months or so. This remedy is proven for promoting luxuriant growth of hair and, of course, affecting cure of baldness. This is especially useful for ladies who keep long hair but suffer from loss of hair.
- Regularly apply pure mustard, coconut, olive or sesame oil at the roots of the hair or scalp region every night or every alternate night before going to bed.
- Eat amla in any form regularly– as raw or as amla powder, candy, marmalades/jam or amla juice.