Excessive shedding of dead skin from the scalp is known as Dandruff. Skin cells die and flake off, so a small amount of flaking is normal. Usually, the scalp skin dies and flakes off in a month, while in those suffering from Dandruff, this happens every 2-7 days. Apart from being a physical condition, dandruff is also associated with social and self-esteem problems in many individuals.
A variety of factors can cause dandruff in hair, e.g. increased intake of dry, cold, oily, spicy, and penetrating foods, hyperactivity of the sebaceous glands such as sweat glands, environmental allergens such as dust, cobwebs, sunlight, certain fabrics, soaps, shampoos and even certain types of food are sometimes responsible for dandruff. Some people have skins that are sensitive to seasonal changes. These people are also very vulnerable to dandruff. Stress is directly related to dandruff. People who live in a constant state of anxiety are prone to dandruff. Excessive cosmetic hair treatments such as hair-conditioning and hair-coloring, using hair curlers, perms and hair-bonding often result in a weak skin and eventually lead to dandruff.
· Appearance of white flakes on scalp
· Dryness of scalp
· Redness and irritation on the scalp
· Softness of the scalp skin
· Continuous itchy feeling on the scalp
Ayurvedic View :
Ayurveda places the problem of dandruff in the category of Shudra Roga, which appears due to an imbalance of all three doshas (Ayurvedic humor). The primary doshas involved are Pitta and Vata. Pitta is an Ayurvedic humor which symbolizes heat or fire and Vata is dry and rough in nature. In an aggravated state, both doshas cause production of specific impurities, called ama, which are dry and heating in nature. These impurities accumulate in the deep tissues of scalp and contaminate them. Contamination of the deep tissues and aggravated Vata-Pitta Dosha cause itching and patches on scalp. Due to these factors, the scalp sheds larger than normal amounts of dead epidermal cells, which leads to the problem of dandruff.
The Ayurvedic line of treatment is to generally pacify Pitta and Vata through herbal medicines, as well as a tailor-made diet and lifestyle plan. Also, special herbs are administered to cleanse the body of accumulated digestive impurities.
B) HAIR LOSS AND PREMATURE GRAYING :
Stress, worry, anxiety, and inadequate nutrition lead to hair loss and premature graying of hair. A certain amount of hair loss is considered normal, as old strands are replaced by new. When hair loss is excessive, care must be taken. Similarly, the graying of hair after a certain age is a normal phenomenon, but when this starts in the early years of life, one should look into for remedies.
Increased intake of fried, sour, spicy, salty, and fermented foods, as well as tea and coffee, aggravate the Pitta Dosha (Ayurvedic humor representing Fire) in the body. This Pitta accumulates in the skin of the scalp, leading to hair falling out and graying prematurely. Factors like excessive anger and stress are also responsible. Excessive consumption of alcohol and meat also aggravate Pitta.
· Loss of hair
Ayurvedic View :
Hair loss is known as Khalitya in Ayurveda. According to Ayurveda, hair is a byproduct of bone formation and the tissue responsible for building bones is also responsible for the growth of hair. Early hair loss is related to body type and the balance of the mind-body constitution (doshas). People who have excess Pitta in their body are likely to lose their hair early in life, or have prematurely thin or gray hair. Excess Pitta in the sebaceous gland, at the root of the hair, or folliculitis can lead to hair loss.
Ayurvedic treatment of hair loss is aimed at pacification of Pitta through a customized diet and lifestyle regime, along with medication. A combination of diet, herbs, oil massage, meditation, aromatherapy, breathing and yoga can be beneficial in addressing the problem of hair loss and premature graying of hair.