It should come as no surprise to you when I tell you that frequent chemical treatments tend to damage hair. You are probably nodding knowingly and with a touch of guilt as you are reading this. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, we persist with many hair experiments and continue to listen to the advice of the hair stylist for just 2 reasons:
- Wilful blindness: We underplay just how much damage we are doing by colouring / straightening / perming our hair. We are willing to ignore the obvious and take the advice of a stylist in a parlour and reassure ourselves based on his / her advice that this treatment is not too damaging to our hair. The wilful blindness we display allows us to filter out, temporarily, the obvious side effects of these treatments. We suspend our judgement and listen instead to the advice of a stylist whose salary and commissions depend upon him / her selling these services.
- Being naive about the side effects of chemical treatments on hair: Would you iron your skin with a device that reaches a temperature of 180 degrees centigrade regularly? If you manage to do this, would you not expect your skin to be damaged as a result of this? Just because keratin is not attached to nerve endings and we cannot feel pain on the hair surface, why does it become ok to regularly poor ammonia on the hair, inject carcinogenic colours into it, flat iron it and perm it?
- Making the best of a bad situation: Many of us are “told” and forcibly told certain facts. We begin aging irreversibly in our twenties. Our hair growth is slowing because we are eating junk food / getting stressed / genetics and this is not going to reverse. So we agree to colouring / cutting / straightening our hair to look better despite our flawed genes and our hair.
There is no doubt that even a single chemical treatment can set your hair back immediately. While some of us can “get away” with these damaging effects, all of us are subjected to it. If your hair quality is excellent to begin with you may be able to get away for the first few times without lasting chemical damage. However, the more frequent your chemical hair treatments become, the faster is the damage done to your hair. As you age, this damage becomes less reversible unless you take some serious effort.
Chemically damaged hair – symptoms
We spoke about the Krya conditioning hair oil in our last formulation update. The Krya conditioning system has been designed for hair that tends to be dry by nature. Today’s update discusses the Krya damage repair hair oil and its range of hair products designed to help chemically damaged hair detox and assists its recovery.
The obvious first step when your hair is damaged is to stop all further heat and styling treatments like blow drying, synthetic shampoos, colouring and even temporary flat ironing of hair.
Out of control pitta and vata dosha
Chemically treated hair usually shares a few characteristics: the pitta and vata of the hair system is high and out of control. This is probably why we hear certain specific terms used to describe the state of the hair like “fried”, “dry like straw”, “Rough and lifeless”, “texture like hay”.
The high heat and drying nature of the chemicals dries out the hair strands and damages the sebum balance in the scalp. So you can see thinning down of the hair, faster premature greying and dry scalp post chemical treatment.
The vata dosha in chemically damaged hair is also extremely high. The application of extremely high heat, nature of chemicals used, general lack of external nourishment in hair, and the drying up of natural sebum all contribute to vata dosha of chemically damaged hair being extremely high.
Scalp damage and change in hair texture and growth patterns
Chemical hair treatments are also excessively damaging to the scalp. We have found that there is a strong reduction in rate of hair growth and length of hair on non-virgin hair. The new hair that grows is usually much thinner, weaker, much more liable to breaking and usually much shorter than the original length. This change in quality of hair occurs even at a relatively young age – the damage depends solely on the quality of hair to start with and the amount of experimentation the hair has been subjected to. So even if you are in your late twenties, if you have been colouring and changing hair texture regularly for a few years, your hair has aged extremely rapidly.
The Krya Damage repair hair oil – a formulation update
It was not easy formulating hair oil for chemically damaged hair. Obviously the category does not exist in ancient Ayurveda, so we had to formulate the oil by studying the effects chemical damage has on hair.
Ayurveda lists keshya (herbs meant for hair care) into 3 categories: Keshya “sanjana” (to help hair originate or form), Keshya “vardhana” (to promote hair length and growth), and Keshya ranjana (to restore natural hair colour, improve hair darkness and delay hair greying). A lot of attention is paid in Ayurveda to reduce excess pitta from building up on the scalp. This is because as we have mentioned, the brain and the eyes are both originators of heat and this heat tends to accumulate on hair and scalp. When this excess pitta energy builds up in the hair, it accelerates hair greying.
Keshya ranjana herbs, by definition, work to reduce excess pitta. Many of them also have mild – high dyeing properties, which can be transferred into oil – so consistent use brings down pitta and retains and darkens the hair colour.
For Krya’s damage repair hair oil, we used a combination of Keshya vardhana and Keshya ranjana herbs as defined in Ayurveda. We also used certain scalp detoxifying and clarifying herbs as listed in western herbalism to the mix. These herbs supported our classical Ayurvedic herbs in detoxifying and clarifying the scalp and stimulating both blood circulation and rejuvenating hair growth and well being.
In the current formulation of the Krya Damage repair hair oil, we used 25 different forest collected and organic herbs, fruits, vegetables and cold pressed oils. We have listed the properties of a few of these herbs below.
The beetroot (Beta vulgaris) is one such organic vegetable that goes into the Krya Damage repair hair oil. The roots and leaves of Beetroot have been used in traditional medicine across the world from ancient times to treat a variety of disease.
Beetroots are a very rich source of betains (the red and yellow pigment group) and carotenoids. This combination of coloured pigments has good anti inflammatory and detoxifying effects when consumed internally and also on topical application. Biotin supplements are now currently a range and are being prescribed for severe hair loss. Beetroot is a good source of bio available biotin and folate, and pantothenic acid (vitamin b5).
For chemically damaged hair, it makes a lot of sense to add beetroots into your daily diet to get its many nutritional benefits and help detox the system from within.
Ashwagandha is the Ginseng of Indian medicine. It is a famous rejuvenative, growth promoting and aphrodisiac herb. The herb is prescribed to build general immunity, for its anti aging (rasayana) effects and to build strength and well being in the body.
In the Krya Damage repair hair oil, Ashwagandha is of course used to detoxify the scalp and promote healthy growth of hair. As we have seen, frequent chemical damage affects the quality of hair post chemical treatment. Usually the new hair that grows is of much less length, thinner and easily prone to breakage, and hair growth itself is much slower.
Herbs like Ashwagandha help rejuvenate the scalp system and promote much better quality of hair growth.
We have written many times about the healing power of this tiny, power-packed amazing Ayurvedic herb. Brahmi is an important herb to nourish the brain and is used in Ayurveda to help children’s brains develop well and also in elderly people to support the nervous system and to retard diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Brahmi is a critical hair care herb which we use in oils like the Krya harmony hair oil and the Krya kids hair oil. In both these oils, we use a high proportion of Brahmi to reduce stress and to support the function of the young, growing brain.
Brahmi is very useful in the Krya Damage repair hair oil to reduce high Vata, and to improve hair texture and growth.
Besides these 3 herbs, the Krya Damage repair hair oil uses the following herbs, vegetables, fruits and cold pressed oils:
- Guduchi (forest collected)
- Khadira (forest collected)
- Liquorice (forest collected)
- Manjishta (forest collected)
- Nutgrass (forest collected)
- Rosemary (organically grown)
- Ram Tulsi (organically grown)
- Amla (organically grown)
- Bottle gourd (organically grown)
- Banana Stem (organically grown)
- Bhringaraj (organically grown)
- Moringa (organically grown)
- Almond (organically grown)
- Hibiscus flower (organically grown)
- Henna (organically grown)
- Curry Leaf (organically grown)
- Castor Oil (cold pressed and organic)
- Kokum Butter (cold pressed and organic)
- Coconut Oil (cold pressed and organic)
- Sesame Oil (cold pressed and organic)
- Tamanu Oil (cold pressed and organic)
- Apricot Oil (cold pressed and organic)
- (cold pressed and organic)
To sum up:
So there you have it: that is the Krya Tuesday formulation update for this week. We have discussed how we work on the Krya Damage Repair hair oil, a product that is much loved for its scalp detoxifying, hair growth promoting and hair quality improving properties and is formulated especially for chemically damaged hair. The Krya Damage repair hair oil is to be used along with the Krya Damage Repair hair wash and the Krya Damage Repair hair mask. Together these 3 products form the Krya Damage Repair hair revitalising system.
Our ongoing Formulation Tuesday series is designed to give you a glimpse into how we think about, research and work on our product formulations. We believe that it is imperative for companies to be transparent both about their products and their manufacturing process. This, we believe, helps consumers make better choices for themselves and be more involved in what enters their home, is applied on themselves and is released into the soil and water.