The Surprising Connection Between Your Gut & Hair (And How Ayurveda Can Help)
Great hair is more than skin deep, even more than scalp deep. Within Ayurveda, it's actually gut deep. Many Ayurvedic suggestions and remedies for hair growth start with foods you should consume—and avoid!
Hair maladies are often attributable to an imbalance in pitta dosha, so when experiencing excessive hair fall or breakage, considering starting a pitta-balancing diet: avoid excessively sour, acidic, oily foods, choosing to favor blander varieties of vegetables such as zucchini and asparagus and sweeter fruits such as pomegranates and pineapples.
Diets higher in protein—but while also being mindful of balancing pitta (so avoiding beef and seafood)—are also great for hair regrowth. Pick tofu, tempeh, cottage cheese, and white meats. Greens such as broccoli and lettuce provide a rainbow of nutrients—especially iron—believed to be necessary for stronger, fuller hair.
To superpower your quest for stronger, shinier, healthier hair—here's my list of favorite Ayurvedic superfoods:
For great gut health that has a direct correlation to the health and pH balance of your scalp (necessary for ensuring stronger roots) pick yogurt, buttermilk, and foods rich in probiotics.
Sesame seeds and nuts can be excellent sources of important hair support minerals such as magnesium. Almonds and cashews can be good sources of vitamins E and iron, respectively. Both are excellent for hair shine and strength.
Many don't realize that vitamin C is not only great for skin and hair function but also enhances the absorption and metabolism of minerals (such as iron) into the system. Seek sweeter varieties of fruit (to keep pitta in check) to get your daily dose of vitamin C—mangos and sweet tangerines are some of my favorites.
Coconut water is a great source for superior hydration—and hair health! The natural electrolyte balance in coconut water (including a healthy dose of potassium) restores hydration to the body, skin, and scalp, providing superior defense against daily environmental stressors, which lead to—you guessed it—hair fall and worse.
Aloe vera is a wonderful remedy for preventing hair loss. Slice a thick chunk (half the size of a slice of bread), garnish with cumin, and gulp down for renewed hair vitality (and glowy skin).
Herbs such as Bhringraj and Brahmi are celebrated in Ayurveda for their hair renewal properties—and now available at most health stores and trusty Amazon—in powder or capsule form. Take with food once or twice a day, or in your smoothie—and watch your mane grow shiny and strong!
Note: Pregnant women should consult with their doctor before starting on Bhringraj.