Hair and Scalp are Just an Extension of Skin—Feeding and Care for the Hair
Dr. Prana Chee and I were taking a leisurely stroll in the back field one wild, windy spring day. I began to complain. “Rats, this wind is pulling out my natural curl and I’ll just be a frizzy, flat head for my meeting this afternoon. This wind is so drying.”
Dr. Chee began to sing, “We love our vegetables, yes we do. We love our vegetables, they’re good for you!”
“Did you hear me?” I asked.
“What is the difference between the sunshine and the harsh hot blow dryer and the indoor air in the buildings we work and live in?” he queried and went on. “Pure dehydration! You know,” he said, as he scampered along side, “fresh air in your hair is good for the scalp and letting the hair blow in the breeze is a good thing. Hats are fine for hot sunny days, for keeping the scalp warm, and for protecting serious dry hair conditions, but an air bath for the scalp and hair can be lovely.”
“Easy for you to say,” I piped.
“Hey, just wait a minute,” he spoke as he hopped onto a large rock. “Just sit a bit and listen.
Healthy hair is a mirror of both good health and common sense! Your hair and mine consists of protein layers called keratin. In healthy hair the cell walls of the hair cuticle lays flat, like shingles on a house, leaving hair soft and shiny. With damaged hair, the cuticle shingles are broken and gaps are created that make hair porous and dull. In fact, my professional opinion is that hair problems indicate basic body issues like nutritional imbalances.”
“I get it... you were entertaining me with the vegetable song because...”
“Because,” he interrupted, “like the skin, we must feed the hair a high vegetable protein diet. Hair just loves carrots, green peppers, lettuce, bananas (eaten alone), strawberries, peas, onions, eggs, cucumbers, and sprouts.”
“What can I feed this dry frizz?”
“All hair relishes wheat germ, black strap molasses, brewers yeast, and sesame seeds. A low fat protein drink daily can create a dramatic change for lifeless hair. Rosemary tea assists the body in its maximum uptake of minerals.”
About that time it began to sprinkle. “Let’s head back to your kitchen,” squealed the Doc. “I want to show you a few things.“
“I’ll give you a lift,“ I responded. “Hop in my pocket.” I ran through the intensifying rain enjoying the moisture bath. Back in the kitchen my hair had kinked back up again.
“Now try taking that wet hair and add 4 tbls. of mayonnaise and wrap a towel around your head for 30 minutes, rinse and shampoo! Then put some essential oil of sandalwoo
d or rosewood on those ends. Another feast for the follicles is taking a mixture of egg and yogurt, wrap for thirty minutes, then rinse and shampoo.”
“Wow,” I commented. “How fun! What can I do that helps dry hair on a daily basis?”
“Eating fish twice a week and taking flax oil can really help you out. From the Ayurvedic perspective, the dry hair of vata is nourished from sesame seed oil massaged into the scalp at least twice a week. Essential oils of lavender, yarrow, sandalwood, lemon balm, lemon, neem and cypress are all beneficial. Take your favorite, pH balanced shampoo and add a few drops. Shampoos containing aloe vera and joba, joba are also extremely good.”
“You are my hero, Dr. Chee! You know it all. Let’s not forget those yoga poses,” I said. “I know that all inversion poses, even legs up the wall (viparita karani) are good for circulation of the scalp and the feeding of the hair. Headstands, dolphin, handstands, and shoulder stands for the more open bodied can be just what the hair doctor ordered (or the hairy mouse).”
“And, oh, for my name’s sake,” said Chee, “Let us not forget the art of pranayama. Breathing the body, breathes the hair. Moving the chi energy by activating the organic body, breathing prana (the life force) more evenly throughout the system makes you glow from your hair to your toes.”
“I’ve really got to get scampering,” said Dr. Prana Chi. “It’s my night to be on call at the Rodent Recovery Center, and you better get to that meeting, Curly Locks. Let’s meet for a night cap before bed, eh? Warm up a cup of water with black strap molasses. I’ll leave you a list for your oily headed, balding and graying friends.”
I grabbed my jacket and headed out the door. Dr. Prana Chee dropped a piece of paper and scampered under the heat vent, no more to be seen. “Until next time,“ I hollered as he scurried beneath the floorboards. I picked up the list, wondering how this magical mouse always has just the right information. I’ll send this memo right out, I thought—after the meeting.
I massaged my scalp and tapped it with my fingers, grabbed my briefcase and headed out. In the wind my hair swirled, and I savored the warm air blowing through every strand. “It’s going to be a hairrific day!” I shouted on the way down the stairs. I couldn’t help singing either. “We love our vegetables, yes we do...”
Recipes for healthy hair
All hair types: Use acid balanced shampoos and conditioners, adding twenty to thirty drops of your favorite essential oil in each (per 4 oz.)
For Pitta and Vata types who gray easily, add oil of cedar, lavender, lemon balm, or sage.
For hair loss (often Kapha) add oil of birch, brahmi, chamomile, coriander or peppermint. Rose and rosewood is also nice.
Fun Hair Rinses:
-Use nettles to darken
-Rosemary/Sage to shine dark hair
-Kelp and sea water for strength
-Cider vinegar for pH balance
-Calendula/lemon to tint blonde
-For shine, put coconut oil in your palms, rub and apply to hair
-Use chamomile to brighten
-Egg yolks in your second shampoo will add bounce and protein!
Try a hot oil treatment of olive oil with drops of lavender and rosemary!
Want a non-toxic hair coloring experience?
Try Aubrey Organics Henna, one step process! To order call 1-813-877-4186 or purchase Light Mountain Henna ( 2 step) at your local health food store or co-op. Henna is good for your hair and the color lasts 6-8 weeks before fading.
Supplements that support healthy hair color and growth:
Molasses 2 TBLS
Pantothentic acid 1000 mcg
Folic Acid 800 mcg
Avoid: alcohol, caffeine, drugs
Recipe for Dandruff
(Adding to a pH balanced shampoo & cream rinse)
To 4 oz coconut oil, add:
10 drops chamomile
10 drops coriander
10 drops rosewood
10 drops birch
Recipe for Hair Growth
To 4 oz. sesame oil, add:
10 drops lavender
10 drops yarrow
10 drops cypress
10 drops sandalwood
Originally published in Healing Garden Journal
Image from: www.revitaliseyourhealth.com