If you have searched for alternative medicine before, then you might have heard of Ayurvedic hair growth practices.
Ayurveda is an ancient Indian natural medicine practice that dates back to 3000 years ago. The term is derived from two words Ayur and Veda which mean life and knowledge respectively.
According to this practice, disease is caused by an imbalance in a person`s consciousness. The remedy therefore focuses on harmony between the universe, the life forces (dosha) and the body’s constitution (prakriti).
This is achieved through natural therapies and lifestyle interventions that include special diets, massage therapies, yoga, herbal remedies and meditation.
What is Ayurvedic Hair Growth?
Ayurvedic hair growth is a holistic approach to hair care. This approach focuses on natural remedies and creating a harmony in various hair components.
In this system, hair loss is described as being caused by an imbalance between the body`s constitution (prakriti).
Ayurveda therefore uses a combination of herbal treatments, and therapies aimed at promoting hair growth. 
Ayurvedic hair types
The first step in understanding how to use Ayurveda for hair growth is determining your specific Ayurveda hair type.
These hair types are split into three differentiated by three different life forces (dosha): Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
Cumulatively, these life forces make up an individual`s body constitution (prakriti). The most dominant of the life forces however, is the one that determines the hair type and characteristics as shown below:
1. Vata hair type
Because of the property in the Vata dosha hair type that causes dehydration, the texture will most likely be rough.
It is also likely to have thin strands, a darker (dull black or brown) hair, high porosity, a low moisture content and generally, a wavy hair shape.
2. Pitta hair type
Pitta dominant hair types have a property that is responsible for metabolism hence will likely have healthier hair with a smooth texture.
Additionally, they are likely to have medium thickness in hair strands, red hair color, normal porosity, moderate moisture levels, and straight hair
3. Kapha hair type
Because of the property of the Kapha dosha hair type that controls oil and sebum production in scalp tissues, the hair is likely to be shiny and lustrous.
Kapha hair types are more likely to have thicker hair strands, jet black hair color, low porosity, high moisture content and curlier hair.
It is however important to note that one can have two or even three major dominant doshas which also influence your hair type. In case you are curious about which dosha hair type you are, take this test to find out.
All three types are prone to experiencing an imbalance that affects the strength and appearance of hair.
An excess of Vata dominance for instance is likely to cause hair to be dry, brittle, dull and frizzy. Additionally, the hair is more likely to shed more, be of a shorter length, and have split ends.
An excess of Pitta dominance causes excess heat which leads to hair damage and subsequently premature thinning, greying and baldness.
With the Kapha hair type, an excess is likely to cause excessive heaviness, oiliness, and thickness of hair strands. 
Ayurvedic hair care practices
Ayurvedic hair care practices constitute changes in food, hair care products and lifestyle practices to regain the balance that is needed to promote healthy hair growth.
Ayurvedic hair care practices include:
1. Ayurvedic diet for hair growth
Eating a healthy fresh and nutritious diet optimizes the body`s digestive and circulatory treatment which then improves scalp nutrition supporting the growth of healthy hair.
An Ayurvedic approved diet includes fresh whole foods with adequate fiber while minimizing processed foods.
Specifically, these includes incorporating fresh fruits, vegetables, organic dairy products such as whole milk and cheese; vegetables such as carrots, spinach, beets and kales; seeds including coconut, sesame and sunflower; and spices such as black pepper, cumin and turmeric.
In case you are aware of your Ayurvedic hair type and imbalance, you can go ahead and follow a specific diet (Vata pacified, Kapha pacified and pitta pacified) tailored to your imbalance.
A Vata pacified diet for instance will normally have heavy nourishing foods, a Kapha one will have bitter and astringent foods while a Pitta pacified one will have more of cooling and calming foods.
2. Ayurvedic herbs for hair growth
In Ayurvedic hair care practices, herbs are highly recommended for their rejuvenation properties and the deep nourishment they have.
These herbs promote the strength, thickness, shine and health of hair and include:
This herb is well known for promoting hair growth, cooling the head, and protecting the hair’s shine and natural color.
These properties make it work great as a Pitta-pacifying treatment though it works great for all hair types.
Amalaki has high amounts of antioxidants, and has a cooling effect on hair.
This also makes it a great Pitta-pacifying treatment as it targets excess heat from the body and additionally works to remove toxins.
This herb works to rejuvenate and detoxify all three hair types. Triphala is great for supporting digestion in the body which promotes scalp nutrition and rejuvenation of the scalp and hair.
The Brahmi is great for cooling hair, promoting great digestion and nourishment of the scalp and hair which makes it a great herb choice for all hair types.
Apart from these traditionally Indian herbs, some other great herbs to incorporate into hair include aloe for itchy scalps, henna to cool the scalp, rose for an irritated scalp and neem for an oily scalp.
Herbs can be used in form of herbal oils or when mixed with other ingredients to form a rinse or mask for hair.
3. Ayurvedic hair oils
Ayurvedic hair care recommends applying healthy hair oils to your hair once a week.
This can be done by parting sections of hair to ensure the entire scalp is covered. Once this is done, massage the scalp for a few minutes in small circular motions to encourage the absorption of oil.
You can also massage a bit of oil into the hair strands and let it stay from about 30 minutes to overnight before washing hair.
Massaging oil onto the hair and scalp nourishes cells, stimulates circulation to the scalp, rejuvenates dry hair and promotes hair growth.
Just like with the other hair care practices, there are different preferred oils for different dosha dominant hair types.
Vata dominant hair types benefit more from almond and sesame oil, Pittas benefit from coconut and almond oil while Kapha dominant benefit more from olive oil.
4. Ayurvedic lifestyle
Just like a healthy diet, a healthy lifestyle is likely to promote overall health and harmony.
The Ayurvedic lifestyle recommends making time to do appropriate exercise for instance yoga, even for as little as 10 to 15 minutes.
This lifestyle also recommends healthy mental practices that include meditation or yoga breathing exercises (pranayama).
Some breathe work practices that come highly recommended include Sheetali Pranayama that balances excessive heat in the body and Nadi Shodhana that balances the male and feminine aspects and promotes overall stress reduction.
The ideal time to conduct these practices is early in the morning though there are still beneficial when done at other times.
They are beneficial for reducing stress, improving clarity, and balancing the mind which all promote optimal tissue nutrition in the body.