Hair loss is a battle that humans have been fighting for – well – for as long as there have been humans. In ancient Egypt, a mixture of dates, donkey hooves and dog paws would be applied to the scalp, in the hopes that hair would grow. Three thousand years ago in Ireland, the Celts would bury mice beside a fire. A year later, they’d remove the contents and rub them into their bald spots.
It’s no secret that humans have been trying all manner of “remedies” to cure thinning hair and baldness for as long as human history has been recorded. Hair is a symbol of sexuality, of virility and, in some cultures, of spirituality. And despite the odd treatments for hair loss some cultures have devised throughout our past, there are some which actually work.
Yoga is one of those practices. Yoga helps hair growth in a number of ways, and it has deep roots in history. (Pardon the pun!) So how are yoga and hair growth connected? Here’s what you need to know, and how you can use yoga for hair growth yourself.
Yoga and Hair Growth: A Short History
Yoga has been practiced for a very long time. It’s known that northern Indians have been using the practice for at least 5,000 years, but some historians believe that number is closer to 10,000. The word “yoga” was first mentioned in the Rig Veda; the Rig Veda is an anthology of mantras, rituals and songs which were used by Vedic priests. These texts taught of self-knowledge, wisdom, and the sacrifice of the ego.
In its earliest days, yoga was a melting pot of traditions. But over time, it became much more defined as a practice. It became a path to enlightenment, then a cleansing practice. It remains all of that today, but the Western world has incorporated yoga into our routines as a means of attaining optimal health. You can see this by simply visiting a yoga studio.
Even though yoga methods have changed throughout the millennia, one thing remains constant: yoga helps hair growth. In addition to the dozens of other health benefits it provides, yoga helps prevent hair loss and promote hair health.
There are said to be 84 basic yoga poses, and each of those has variations of its own. It wouldn’t be possible to cover each of the poses in just one article. Instead, let’s explore the specific ways in which yoga benefits your body, and how it helps grow strong hair.
Yoga Helps Hair Growth: Here’s How
If you’ve ever read a fitness magazine, you’ve likely stumbled upon an article or two explaining the benefits of yoga. Here are just a few:
- Yoga helps you lose weight
- It will also increase your flexibility
- Yoga will help to strengthen your heart
- Your respiratory system will gain strength when you do yoga
- Yoga boosts your metabolism, allowing your body to absorb nutrients
- You’ll see improved strength, but you won’t “bulk up”
Yoga is one of the best exercises for your body, and it’s relaxing as well. But how does yoga help hair growth? The most specific way is that some yoga poses will increase circulation to your scalp. This stimulates the blood vessels in your head, and will promote healthy hair growth.
Asana, a sitting posture, will help your thyroid perform better. Your thyroid regulates the hormones which affect hair growth and hair loss. There are yoga breathing exercises for hair growth, as well. These exercises bring oxygen to your hair follicles; without that oxygen your follicles are restricted.
Of course, you know that there are natural supplements and vitamins you can use to avoid hair loss – read about them here. But yoga has so many holistic benefits, doesn’t it make sense to incorporate it into your hair care routine? Here are a few yoga poses you can try today for healthy, strong hair.
Uttanasana is a pose which will strengthen your hair – and your tummy! Stand with your legs close together, then reach into the air with your arms. Now, slowly exhale and bend at the waist until your hands are touching the floor. Remain like this for a few seconds while you breathe normally, then slowly rise back up.
This is another yoga pose to help hair growth, but it’ll also help to keep your reproductive system healthy. Lie down on a flat, supportive surface. Straighten your arms, placing your palms on the floor beside your hips. Stretch your legs out, and slowly raise them to about a 45 degree angle. Hold this pose for a minute, breathing normally. Then return to your beginning pose.
Vajrasana is a pose that just about anyone can do. First, kneel on the floor, and keep your spine nice and straight. Place your palms on your thighs. Your heels should be touching. Now just breathe. This is one of the best yoga breathing exercises for hair growth, and it’ll send critical oxygen to your scalp and hair follicles. Plus, it’s relaxing!
Here’s another breathing exercise you can do to help prevent hair loss. First, sit in the lotus pose. (Criss-cross applesauce is fine if you can’t do lotus yet. It takes practice!) Place your thumb on one of your nostrils, closing it, and keep your ring finger ready to close the other nostril.
Now, inhale through your open nostril. Take a deep breath! Then, close that nostril and open the other. Exhale through that nostril. Next, you’ll want to inhale through the nostril you’ve just exhaled from. Continue this pattern for several minutes to increase oxygen to your scalp and follicles.
Ustrasana is thought to be the best yoga pose for hair loss prevention. It stimulates blood flow to the scalp, and it also helps to regulate your thyroid activity. You’ll also increase your core strength and your flexibility with this pose!
First, kneel on the floor but keep your bottom elevated; you don’t want to sit on your heels. Your body should be an “L” shape. Now, arch your back and touch your heels with flat palms. Raise your face to look up to the ceiling. Hold this pose for a minute while you breathe normally.
If you don’t get these yoga poses for hair loss right away, that’s okay. They take practice. Take it nice and slow, and make sure you check with your doctor before you start a yoga routine. Before long, you’ll notice fuller, more healthy hair, and your body will feel stronger, too!