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Hair Care

Dr. V. S. Chauhan

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Hair is an important organ of the body; although, basically of an ornamental value to the scalp. Despite being a non-cellular structure, the growth, texture and colour of the hair is indicative of good health and nutrition. Depending on the genetic features the colour of the hair may vary a lot, i.e., from dark black to almost pale. But while it may be physiological in case of a oriental blonde person to have golden or coppery brown hair, the deviation from black to golden in case of a young Indian boy / girl suggests nutritional deficiency. Similarly, slight recession in the hair line in case of a young adult highlights the effect of increasing levels of testosterone but fast receding hairline leading to baldness would never be welcomed by any one. In short, naturally dense, shiny and properly growing hair in its natural colour is a sign of good general scalp-health. One of the major plus point of hair is that, regardless to day-to-day abuse and minor alterations in the nutritive values of food, it keeps growing; however, prolonged disrespect may spoil the whole cosmetic value of one’s facial charms and hence, the care. It would be worthwhile to note that our scalp which nurtures the hair is one of the most exposed part of the body continuously molested by the dust, dirt, fumes, microbes & fungi, pollution, stress and last but not the least, unfriendly chemicals that we unknowing use through hair-dressing oils / creams. Therefore, the care of the hair involves the intake of all those nutrients that maintain the colour, texture, density and growth of the hair besides providing best possible care to the scalp skin which may be by means of ideal nutrition and also, application of the external oils, lotions, conditioners that are absorbed well and help in strengthening hair roots and getting rid of hostile substances which affect their health negatively.

Negligence of the scalp and failing to nourish hair by way of the adequate supply of essential proteins (sulphur containing amino-acids) and oils may result into – i) untimely graying, ii) split hair, iii)lack of lustre and iv) loss of hair. Similarly, regular exposure to hostile forces such as pollutants, parasites, fungi, etc. results into – i)dandruff, ii)alopecia, iii) tinea capitis and iv) lices, etc.

Cosmeticology part of many ancient medical systems have been discussing a lot of hair and scalp care, specially in the context of the women’s hair. Ayurveda, the traditional Indian medical system has suggested the use of umpteen number of herbal combinations for washing the scalp as a preparatory measure and then, using different hair oils for different purposes. Quite a few have been claimed to be endowed with hair care or growth / health improving properties.

We have carefully chosen couple of hair-friendly herbs which are well-known fro their therapeutic efficacy, safety and aroma to design 2 different products – i) a herbal oil for better scalp and hair of women of any age and ii) a hair cream made by blending few nourishing and conditioning herbs for men to prevent premature greying or loss besides masking mild greying.

Composition

  • Manduk Parni (Centella asiatica): This time-tested memory / intellect enhancing herbs, if processed logically in sesame / coconut / castor oil not only restores or maintains the health of the hair but is claimed to significantly curb the ill-effects of stressors (after getting absorbed by the scalp skin) and thus ensures restful sleep and good health.
  • Bhringraj (Eclipta alba) : This herb growing near the ponds having dark coloured leaves is well-acclaimed in India for more than three centuries for its ability to hold and retrieve the darkness of the hair colour. Presumably, the phyto-nutrients back-extracted in a hair oil formulation (such as wedelactones) have a tendency to get absorbed and help maintain the capacity of hair roots to imbibe the right nutrients from circulating blood. This herbs, otherwise, is a liver tonic.
  • Aamla (Emblica officinalis) : Fruits of Amla, well-known for their high and stable ascorbic acid content are reputed adaptogenic anti-oxidants. Well-assimilated tannin content of dried fruit rind in a medicated hair oil (attached with traces of Vitamin C), perhaps helps in promoting healthy hair growth.
  • Manjishtha (Rubia cordifolia): Root of this perennial herbacious climber is used in almost all the Ayurvedic skin applications as this is claimed to have a property of eliminating any extrinsic abnormality and restore the colour and texture of damaged skin. The objective of using the same here is to ensure the good health of scalp skin so that other nutrients are absorbed well and thus support the growth of healthy hair.
  • Kapoor-kachri (Hedychium spicatum) :
  • Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi) :

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