Ayurvedic Expert Shares Complete Guide to Summer Skin and Hair Care
In most parts of India, the summer season is extreme, with skyrocketing heat, humidity, drought and pollution. Outraged improve your health routine and stay safe in extreme weather conditions you also need to give your skin a lot more TLC. The combined effect of sun, pollution and dryness can take their toll and lead to irritated skin and a compromised barrier. The same goes for your hair, which might seem curlier, drier and duller during the summers.
“In summer, the body’s mechanisms are affected in many ways as the influence of sun and wind becomes relatively strong,” said Ayurvedic expert Varalakshmi Yanamandra. “The fire element of the body, that is to say pitta dosha is influenced by summer heat. Hair being the by-product of bone tissue is related to gut health. During the summer, the digestive fire goes out of order and the nutrition of the body’s tissues deteriorates, thus leading to an alteration of hair growth and impacting both appearance and strength. She said it’s so important to keep pita in balance because there is more heat and intensity in the body. “When kept in balance, it will maintain physiological functions and keep skin and hair healthy.”
When we talk about skincare and summer, it goes beyond apply sunscreen and wear sunglasses; diet and seasonal hair and skin care regimen we follow is also just as important, if not more so. Yanamandra shared the following Ayurvedic rituals that will help your skin cope with the summer:
Abhyanga – Ayurvedic oil massage is ideal for supporting your body from within. Applying cooling oils to the body daily and massaging it gently with more focus on the head, ears and feet before bathing can create a protective shield. Any coconut-based skin oil can be used in the summer as it has cooling properties.
Hair brushing – Brush your hair daily. Scalp brushing stimulates blood circulation and promotes hair growth.
Nasiya – The instillation of medicinal oils or ghee in the nose is another healthy practice.
Hydration – Ayurveda recommends drinking enough water. It’s important to stay hydrated all day. Boiled and cooled water can be infused with cooling herbs that can help beat the heat and keep the body hydrated.
Meditation – Stress plays an important role in hair health. It is important to keep a calm mind and without stress while meditating.
Breathing – Sheetali Pranayama, known as cooling breath, helps cool body temperature. It keeps the mind calm and is also beneficial for maintaining a digestive fire.
As for keeping your healthy hairsuggested Yanamandra protection of the scalp from the sun during outings. She also shared that Ayurveda recommends deep massage with coconut hair oil as it helps improve blood circulation, reduce inflammation, nourishing hair follicles and stimulating hair growth. It helps to protect the hair from external aggressions such as pollution. Applying cooling herbal pastes like sandalwood also keeps the scalp cool. Also, be sure to carry an umbrella when you go out of the house to protect your head and body from the sun’s rays.
Besides oil massage, Yanamandra shared the following hair rituals:
- Eat a nutritious diet by eating fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables
- Stay hydrated with coconut water or water from the clay pot
- Practice leafali and nadi shodhana pranayama
- Adding good herbs in foods like aloe vera, sandalwood, neem, holy basil brings cooling effect
Food also plays an important role in protecting and nourishing hair and skin against external aggressions, sun, dryness and humidity. When summer came, Yanamandra suggested adjusting the diet to include more pita and vatasoothing foods.
For the skin :
- Avoid spicy, salty and acidic foods. Example, pickle, tamarind, raw mango, sour fruits, etc.
- Consumption of sweet-tasting foods maintains pita and vata in balance
- Include healthy fats to counter summer dryness and avoid fried foods, junk food and heavy foods
- Drinks made from fresh fruit added with lemon, sugar, salt help fight dehydration
- Well brewed Buttermilk is recommended in the summer. Coconut water is also beneficial as it is gentle and nourishing
For hair :
- Green leafy vegetables like mustard, cilantro, and sweet, bitter, and astringent tasting foods have a cool, light, and oily quality
- Eat less pungent, acidic, hot and dry quality foods such as spicy foods or hot drinks
- Oils such as virgin coconut oil, olive, ghee are recommended
- Eating dates in the morning keeps your body nourished
- Avoid refrigerated, canned and packaged foods that are processed
- Consuming buttermilk is very beneficial
- Adding spices while your food is cooking aids digestion and assimilation of nutrients