This post was last updated on February 23, 2024 by Preethi Sukumaran
Hair thinning is an extremely common problem today. It affects nearly 60% of Men and half the adult female population. We used to see it post menopause a few decades ago, but now younger and younger age groups are experiencing this, thanks to issues like PCOD, stress, etc.
The internet is rife with articles on how to increase hair volume and thickness naturally. You might wonder is using Ayurvedic herbs like fenugreek, Amla, etc. can improve volume of your hair, promote hair growth or thicken hair naturally (as many articles online seem to suggest).
The problem is that using a herb, or an essential oil is only a small part of the problem of poor hair volume. Poor hair growth , hair thinning or other hair concerns is an outcome . An outcome of many small decisions we make everyday like what to eat, how to craft our day, how we respond to circumstances , apart from our genetics.
Looking at this problem of hair thinning through different lenses like diet, exercise, or lifestyle can lead us to different paths. A nutrition expert could suggest eating supplements that contain biotin that could add volume to hair. A beauty blogger may suggest using a home made hair mask remedy with ingredients like fenugreek seeds, curd, etc.
A lifestyle coach may suggest working on sleep issues. A yoga teacher may suggest doing asanas to balance kapha dosha in the body that may lead to hair balance.
All of these are one part of the answer, but not the complete answer. Ayurveda gives us a way to understand how all these parts can integrate and help us with our hair concerns.
Why does hair thinning occur according to Ayurveda?
Charaka Samhita –Chikitsa has a shloka which says this:
तेजो अनिलध्यु सह केशभूमिं दागढ़वा आशु कुर्यात् खाल्तीम नरस्या
किंचितु दगद्वा पलितानी कुर्यात् हरि प्रबतवं शिरो रुहानामCharaka Samhita Chikitsa Sthanam – 26
This can be loosely translated as:
“When high pitta combines with vata, it burns the hair from the roots very rapidly, causing baldness. If the pitta is not that high, it turns hair grey or fully white.
Therefore, we can understand that aggravated pitta affects hair in 4 ways:
· First it turns hair grey leading to premature greying
· Then it turns the grey hair completely white
· In the third stage, it thins down hair reducing volume and density and triggers hair fall
· Finally, it causes balding
However, it is not necessary that everyone experiences pitta aggravation only in this order. Sometimes if aggravation is very high, you could quickly go to hair thinning and hair balding stage. In many men with a genetic history of baldness, this is the case. The prakriti already has high pitta which is passed on by both parents. When this combines with high stress and unsuitable diet, we can see early manifestation of high pitta aggravation like balding.
How to increase volume of your hair – what to avoid according to Sushruta Samhita
Ayurveda explains that high Pitta leads to Hair thinning. So logically if we work on these causative factors, we can improve hair volume.
Acharya Sushruta outlines factors that can aggravate Pitta dosha in people.
We may, of course, already be prone to Pitta increase genetically. This is because Ayurveda tells us that we inherit prakriti characteristics from our parents like genetic traits. So if our Mother or father or both have dominant Pitta dosha, we are also likely to have this reflected in ourselves. This also explains why issues like balding and thinning are often genetic.
Besides genetics, food, and lifestyle choices and also circumstances in our life can further aggravate Pitta. Some of these factors explained in Sushruta Samhita are:
Excessive Anger (“Krodha”) can aggravate hair thinning
Anger Management issues directly aggravate Pitta which in turn leads to hair thinning and hair fall.
This is because Pitta has a close relationship with “Fire” or agni and blood and both of these are harnessed in responses of Anger.
Therefore if we are unable to handle anger or respond with anger, then we are likely to develop Pitta aggravation.
Here’s a video illustrating the importance of controlling Anger, using lessons from the Vishnu Purana.
Excessive Grief or fear (“Shokha” and “Bhaya”)
Grief and fear both trigger Rajas which is a mental manifestation of Pitta dosha. If we experience these feelings often due to distressing circumstances or under high personal stress, then again Pitta dosha is likely to aggravate.
Excessive Physical activities, especially in strong sunlight
Outdoor games or strenuous physical activities in the strong sun (for example strong afternoon sunshine) can help the body absorb a lot of Pitta energy aggravating Pitta dosha. This is heightened when this is done regularly (example professional athletes and those who have a physically demanding job outdoors – architecture, construction)
Eating Pitta aggravating food can reduce hair thickness
Food which is extremely pungent, salty, and sour can aggravate Pitta. Similarly, high consumption of sesame oil, mustard oil, chilies, Curds, chocolates and alcohol can aggravate Pitta dosha. Many foods which we consider healthy are also surprisingly pitta aggravating – for example eating Idly or dosa regularly and frequently can aggravate the Pitta in your system.
Not following Dinacharya practices like Abhyanga regularly
Dinacharya practices like Abhyanga and Shiro Abhyanga are designed to give the body a dosha reset. When done regularly we help keep all 3 doshas in balance. Shiro Abhyanga especially helps Pitta energy stored in the head to dissipate naturally and safely and also helps cool and nourish the eyes and relieve stress in the head. If we do not oil the hair regularly or do not do full body Abhyanga, the Pitta energy stored in the body due to our day to day activity has nowhere to go and no way to exit the body. So over time we end up storing it, building on it and aggravating it!
While these are general body related Pitta aggravating factors, there are also a few specific ways we can aggravate Pitta in the head. We will tackle this in our recommendations below. But do keep in mind these Pitta aggravating factors. If you see a pattern emerging in your life around these, be aware of this and try to work on it.
Now that we understand that hair thinning is due to aggravated Pitta lets us understand how to balance this pitta and look at ways to increase hair volume naturally.
Increase Hair volume – Increase the volume and density of hair & boost hair growth with these lifestyle changes
1. Ayurvedic Hair care routine to increase hair thickness
Modern chemical hair products and skipping regular hair oiling don’t just play havoc with hair health. SLS and SLeS are both known protein-denaturing compounds. If you shampoo your hair very frequently, it can bring down hair density and cause the hair to thin in certain areas.
The silicones and other clogging substances present in shampoos and conditioners make the hair appear silky and glossy. but in reality they merely coat or wrap your hair with synthetics and can block the pores in the scalp. This prevents the proper release of excess Pitta energy. It keeps Pitta trapped in the scalp leading to aggravation and a drop in thickness and density.
Using an Ayurvedic choornam to wash the hair and an Ayurvedic hair lepa can clear the srotas of the scalp and cleanse the hair without stripping it of natural oils. To grow high qualty new hair, the scalp should be clean, uncoated and the srotas in the scalp should be functioning well, working to pull in nourishment to the hair follicle.
An ayurvedic shampoo is completely different from a synthetic shampoo. A synthetic shampoo can cause hair to become brittle and weak. It impacts the health of the hair and negatively impacts the density of the hair.
An ayurvedic shampoo (in powder form) is extremely gentle on hair. It cleans without stripping hair of natural oils. While it does not directly enhance your hair’s volume, it supports the scalp better and improves the scalp’s ability to absorb nourishment.
The second part to an Ayurvedic hair routine is the weekly or fortnightly use of a Hair Lepa. A Hair Lepa works by deep cleansing the scalp and improving the health of the srotas which are tubular structures that help absorb natural oils, and send out sweat, trapped heat, etc. In pitta aggravation, a Hair Lepa also helps bring down trapped Pitta in the scalp, improving eye and scalp health. If you want to work on hair fall and increase hair density, an ayurvedic Hair Lepa is a must in your routine.
Regular hair oiling works to nourish hair and helps hair appear fuller and voluminous. It does this by nourishing hair and hair follicles, and improves the health of hair. Regular hair oiling also works on the density of hair and helps hair to grow faster. It also improves the texture of the hair and protects it from water and chemical damage to some extent.
Therefore regular hair oiling with a well crafted ayurvedic hair oil is good for everyone. But the important thing from the perspective of this article is a hair oil ‘s effect on aggravated Pitta dosha. All the benefits we have outlined about the hair oil like improving hair length and thickness, improving texture of the hair , and helping hair look voluminous and decrease in hair fall all come as a result of balancing pitta build up in the head. When we balance pitta in the head, we help improve low hair volume, improve hair health from the root to the tips, and help solve a plethora of hair concerns related to pitta dosha.
So the first step, if you are wondering how to increase hair thickness is to choose the right set of Ayurvedic hair care products and follow this 3 part routine we have outlined above. If you use the right set of ayurvedic products, the routine will help stimulate hair growth, keep your hair and scalp in good health and also help increase the volume of your hair.
Give your hair the genuine ayurvedic hair advantage by choosing from our authentic range of ayurvedic hair care products for pitta balance. Explore our pitta balancing products which help increase the volume and growth of hair here. We can also customise the products if you have specific hair concerns and help you choose products that are suitable for your hair type. Please write to us or WhatsApp for a free consultation.
2. Pitta balancing diet to increase hair volume and density
We have touched upon the factors that can severely aggravate Pitta in our diet. This includes foods that contain the rasas (tastes) that are similar to Pitta dosha i.e. sour, salty, spicy taste. When pitta is severely aggravated, it is great to cut down specific high pitta foods like the ones listed below. This improves health of hair in the long term and also helps improve your overall health and balance.
We have a more detailed blog post in 2 parts on how you can modify your diet and balance Pitta dosha within it. Do take a look here and here. Following a pitta balancing diet help cut down pitta aggravation and can help grow thick hair that is also healthy.
The important thing to note here is that Ayurveda does not specify any particular superfoods or specific things that increase the number of hair strands or improve the length of your hair. In Ayurveda we do not rely on one superfood or one silver bullet for a hair growth-promoting effect.
Of course there are many excellent medicines, nutritional supplements and foods we can add to our diet and this will help in hair growth. But we have to work on issues like hair thinning in a holistic manner. When we work on balancing our diet by understanding the principle of pitta balance and we also follow the right order of eating, eat at the right time, we help the body process food better. We improve the supply of nutrients to different organ systems which will also make your hair thicker, stronger and longer.
3. Increase your hair volume by preparing your drinking water correctly
Drinking properly prepared water at the right time can also help in Pitta aggravation. Excess Pitta leads to “daha” and “trshna” (burning sensation and excessive thirst). If we drink unprepared water, the water is not well absorbed or used up in the body leading to further issues in Pitta.
Aggravated Pitta leads to excessive thirst. Drinking cold, unboiled water does not satiate the thirst. Instead, it further interferes with digestion and acidity in the body.
When we prepare water by boiling it for atleast 20 minutes, let it cool down and then drink it, the water is light, easy to digest and is well absorbed by the body. As it is well absorbed, it satiates thirst well. It brings down some of the symptoms of Pitta aggravation. Therefore, boiling your drinking water is a strong recommendation for Pitta aggravation. We have a longer video on the Ayurvedic science behind boiling your water.
Again , you might be wondering about why you are reading about boiling water when you are looking for help to increase hair thickness and improve hair health. Ayurveda tells us that the right food and lifestyle practices are the key to health. From health and balance we create material that helps all our organ systems grow and flourish including our hair. When we have balance, we help prevent hair loss and we work on the health of our hair every day naturally.
4. Balancing Pitta across the body through Abhyanga Snana to boost hair quality & hair growth
Pitta aggravation occurs due to genetic reasons, stress, environmental factors, diet and lifestyle issues. Therefore, we can understand that Pitta does not simply aggravate in the head. It aggravates throughout the body. Bringing down the overall volume of Pitta aggravation is one of the ways to increase the volume of our hair.
Bathing with Pitta relieving herbs, and doing a regular Abhyanga Snana helps control Pitta and vata accumulation in the body. A Snana with pitta balancing herbs helps reduce minor inflammatory responses and skin sensitivity due to elevated Pitta throughout skin. It helps the srotas function better and helps them regulate heat exchange bringing down Pitta.
When we work on bringing down elevated Pitta levels throughout the body, we bring down overall Pitta. This helps naturally thicken and increase hair volume, reduce premature greying and improve hair strength.
A regular abhyanga snana is extremely helpful in hair loss in women as well, especially if we are tackling PCOD related hair thinning. A regular abhyanga helps in hormone regulation which workds on the reproductive cycle and helps bring it to balance. Please read our detailed article on PCOD hair loss here. In PCOD, it is extremely helpful to consult a vaidya for internal medication, diet regulation and suggesting suitable lifestyle practices. Please contact us for a list of vaidyas in your city.
5. Stress and Eye Care – pitta relief and not just for hair volume and thickness
In high hair thinning we can see the concentration and elevation of Pitta in the head area. Regulating the diet, and regular hair oiling + Abhyanga Snana can greatly help bring down this elevated Pitta regularly. When we tackle Pitta aggravation we boost hair growth, improve scalp and hair quality and control hair fall.
However, it is important to tackle the primary cause of Pitta build up. If you have a high stress job or are having high personal stress, excessive thinking and worry can easily aggravate Pitta. Knowledge workers and those glued to screens can also suffer for elevated Pitta due to eye overwork.
So a stress balancing program is extremely important. Moderating work, maintaining balance between different parts of your life is important.
Controlling screen time is also important. As excessive screen time can aggravate the eyes which are a direct Pitta organ.
A nightly pada abhyanga is excellent at reducing stress, relieving fatigue from the legs, and nourishing the eyes. Here’s a longer video which explains the exact technique you can use. Regular hair oiling with a stress-relieving hair oil is extremely important here too.
You might be wondering why we are emphasising the role of foot massage here and not just a hair massage. Ayurveda explains that a nadi from the eyes is directly connected to the foot. Therefore we can control the nourishment of the eye and have an impact on the head from the foot itself. This is why an ayurvedic foot massage is such an unusual way to balance pitta and help you get the voluminous hair you are looking for.
For Pada abhyanga, we suggest the Krya Classic Abhyanga Oil.
6. Rest & non-competitive hobbies | an unusual way to increase the volume & improve hair
One of the tips to increase hair volume we often come across is to blow-dry your hair upside down. This definitely helps create fuller-looking, bouncy hair, atleast temporarily. But Krya is an Ayurveda-first company. So we only share lasting, holistic suggestions that get to the root of the issue. This is the hallmark of Ayurveda. This article attempts to answer both fully and deeply the question of how to increase hair volume. So in this last point, we talk about your Mental health and how a Pitta imbalance can affect it.
Competitiveness, keeping score and jealousy are all Pitta-related mental traits. When we become too worked up, attached to an outcome we desire or are competitive, we end up aggravating Pitta dosha.
Taking up non-competitive hobbies, inner reflection and spending time with ourselves to observe and understand our behavior is a part of the inner work we need to do when we have dominant Pitta dosha or when Pitta is severely aggravated. Thinning hair is a sign of severely aggravated Pitta dosha.
This affects us at a much deeper level and not just in our skin or hair health. Every dosha imbalance causes both mental and physical issues. Pitta dominance may see us trapped in vicious cycles of being unable to let go, toxic anger and jealousy, one-upmanship, and cutting sarcastic speech that alienates us from our near and dear ones.
The physical and mental balance we suggest in this article has an impact on all parts of our being. Bringing down sour, salty and spicy tastes can help control our extreme anger. Fueling our competitive nature into nurturing and nourishing hobbies and time spent in reflection can help our mind quiet down and quell the fire, burning forces within us.
Any hobby which is meaningful, non-competitive, and helps us find balance and peace can be followed. Gardening, painting, and journaling are all suggestions. You can further reflect and find the right activity for yourself.
Sum up: How to increase hair volume and density
In this article, we discussed the causes behind hair thinning from Ayurveda and explored diet, lifestyle and product suggestions from Ayurveda to improve hair thickness. We didn’t focus on temporary fixes that are useful only in making your hair look thick. We focussed on integral changes that you should make to your diet and lifestyle and routine that help with hair concerns by tackling the root of these issues – pitta imbalance.
Hair is highly affected by the kind of food we eat, our stress levels, and the way we live each day. We hope this compilation gave you food for thought and have you a few answers to your question on how to increase hair volume naturally and effectively.
We spend a lot of our time at Krya working on creating content that is useful and is genuinely from the Ayurvedic texts. The Ayurvedic acharyas have gifted us with a science that is deep, insightful and holistic. It helps tackle many aspects of our life and manage mental, physical & emotional health. we hope you found this piece useful and also hope that it will provide a good starting point to help you craft your own ayurvedic routine.
Please do let us know your thoughts on this article and do feel free to drop your suggestions on other topics we could write about or make content pieces on. Thank you!