Sunday, February 25
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How to Reduce Hair Fall Through Yoga

Is it really possible to reduce hair fall through yoga?

For some, the prospect of stopping hair loss through yoga might seem too far-fetched, but many yoga practitioners would argue the opposite. Then there are some yoga enthusiasts who like to believe that yoga is the answer to every problem. Therefore, before making bold claims, let’s see what science says.

In this article, we’ll share everything we know about the relationship between yoga and hair fall. We’ll take a look at some empirical studies and try to explain the underlying mechanisms of how (and if) yoga can reduce hair fall. But first, let’s see what causes hair loss.

What Causes Hair Loss?

There are several reasons behind hair loss:

  • Genetics
  • Hormonal disbalances
  • Medical conditions and their treatment (e.g., cancer and chemotherapy)
  • Medication
  • Scalp infection and scalp psoriasis
  • Childbirth
  • Hairstyle (e.g., tight ponytails – they pull your scalp and rip your hair out)
  • Lack of zinc, protein, or iron
  • Aging
  • Stress

Although both genders suffer from it, hair loss affects males much more than females.

How Can Yoga Help With Hair Loss?

Certain hair loss factors are out of our control, like genetics and aging. But factors related to lifestyle are something we can work on.

A 2017 study showed that high levels of perceived stress correlate with hair loss. Stress can also be an underlying cause of psoriasis, which is a skin condition known to be associated with hair loss. So, it’s clear that there are many direct and indirect ways in which stress may lead to hair loss.

Here’s where yoga kicks in.

In 2016, a study showed that yoga can reduce the levels of experienced stress (lower cortisol levels observed). Another study showed that continuous yoga practice lowers inflammatory stress markers in the body. This means that yoga could indirectly reduce the probability of a person experiencing hair loss by reducing their acute and chronic stress levels.

Besides calming down our nerves, yoga also improves our circulation and encourages blood flow to the head. Upside-down poses are perfect for bringing blood flow toward the scalp. Some of the most popular anti-hair loss medications, like Minoxidil, work in this exact way – increasing blood flow to the head.

However, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. It’s worth mentioning that the effects of yoga are temporary and milder. For yoga to show continuous results regarding your blood circulation in the scalp, you need to exercise for one hour each day, according to the studies.

Yoga rejuvenates the body and promotes balance between the mind and the body. So, if your hair loss was caused by bad lifestyle habits, physical practice, along with pranayama (breathing exercises), proper diet, and regular consultations with your physician can make a real difference in reducing or reversing hair loss.

Yoga Poses That Help Reduce Hair Fall

Even if you go to a studio every day, the benefits will be minimal if you don’t practice inversions (poses specifically helpful against hair loss).

So, let’s share some of the most popular inversions in yoga that are great for directing blood flow toward the head.

The Sun Salutation Sequence

Most poses from the Sun Salutation sequence help against hair fall because they include many bends and folds.

We recommend performing the Sun Salutation sequence every morning for the best results.

Here is a helpful video on how to perform the Sun Salutation A sequence and another one for the Sun Salutation B sequence.

The most helpful pose from both sequences is Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend), where you make a forward fold from the hips up, with your head folded and your hands touching the ground or your feet, if that’s comfortable for you. If not, place your hands behind the knees as if you’re hugging your legs.

Then, there are the Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog) and Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog) positions that activate your whole body, relax your neck muscles, and increase blood flow in your scalp by positioning your head upside-down.

Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend)

Another pose that enhances the blood flow through the scalp is Prasarita Padottanasana, or Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to perform it at home.

First, position yourself properly with your feet facing forward and slightly wider than the width of your hips. From here, spread your legs wider than your hips. Strengthen your back and maintain an upward posture as you engage your core muscles.

Begin the forward fold by moving your hips. Slowly lower your torso towards the floor while maintaining the length of your spine. As you fold forward, keep your back straight and avoid rounding your shoulders.

Go as far as comfortable. Don’t force yourself. If you can, allow your head to gently fold towards the center of your legs. If not, rest your palms on the floor while still maintaining a straight back.

Remain in the pose for approximately 10 breaths, focusing on deep, rhythmic breathing. Allow your body to relax and release any tension as you focus on your breathing.

Sasangasana (Rabbit Pose)

This pose brings you completely upside-down and is a great way to simulate blood flow toward the head. Here’s how to do it.

First, kneel with the top of your feet touching the floor and your thumbs pointing straight back. Bend forward in the hips and rest your forehead on the floor. You should be looking at your thighs.

If this is uncomfortable, use a yoga brick to raise the head a little bit.

Let the hands rest behind the back, and try to bring the arms up to stretch your shoulders and chest. Rock back and forth from the hips – this will massage your scalp.

Hold for five breaths if comfortable.

Pawanmuktasana (Wind-Relieving Pose)

Rocking on your back improves circulation through the whole body, the scalp included. Because of this, Pawanmuktasana could be an awesome addition to your hair-protecting yoga sequence.

To perform this pose, lay on your back and take a deep breath. While you exhale, lift your legs by 90 degrees. Bend them on the knees and rest them on the abdomen. Keep your ankles and knees together.

Hold the knees with your arms like a self-hug. Then, bring your head toward the knees and try to touch them with your forehead (if comfortable). From here, rock your body gently in all directions – front and back and to the sides.

Maintain the asana for at least five breaths or as long as it’s comfortable.

Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)

Besides activating the whole body and improving both balance and posture, this pose is quite good at enhancing blood circulation through the scalp.

To start, lay on your back and lift your legs 90 degrees from the hips. Then, lift the hips off the floor, engaging the core and flexing your glutes. Place your palms on your back to support yourself if needed. If not, your hands can be on the ground providing resistance.

Keep your feet pointed toward the ceiling as if you’re trying to touch it, lifting your body as much as you can. Most of the weight should be on your shoulders.

Keep your chin down and close to your chest. Don’t move the head left or right; keep it still.

Stay in this position for five breaths.

Disclaimer: Women on their periods and those suffering from spine injuries, high blood pressure, or other heart problems should consult a doctor before performing this pose.

Conclusion

Many different factors affect the rate and intensity of hair fall, but luckily, scientific findings back the claims that the holistic practice of yoga can address those related to stress and lack of blood circulation.

With regular daily practice (approximately 1 hour per day), yoga can mitigate the adverse effects of stress and improve the blood flow through the scalp, slowing down or stopping hair loss induced by these factors.

However, remember that yoga can’t stop or reverse hair loss caused by aging, genetics, medical conditions, or medication.

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