Ayurveda classifies all of us as per our dominant dosha. All of us are made up of a unique combination of doshas which is determined at conception, and is further bolstered by the food we eat, the lifestyle we maintain and the place we live in.
Vata dominant prakriti (constitution) is characetrised by hair that is normal - dry. This hair tends to be wavy to curly, and tends towards dryness and frizziness. If the vata levels increase above normal, this hair can break due to excessive dryness, feel rough, look dry and generate static when brushed or combed. Dryness can also cause split ends along the length of the hair especially when teh hair is shampooed frequently with a synthetic shampoo.
Unchecked dryness can also lead to Dandruff No.2 - dry Dandruff.
Most times, Vata hair is followed by Vata skin. So the skin will also tend to be normal to dry with tightness or flaking around the eyes and mouth, especially in dry and cold climate /season.
Vata Dosha in our body: Vata dosha is made up of Vayu (wind) and Akash (space) and is an extremely powerful dosha in the body. It is the only dosha capable of movement, so it carries pitta and kapha dosha to their respective places to help them function. Without a properly functioning vata dosha, none of the other 2 doshas can do their work.
When vata dosha is unvitiated and balanced, it holds up all the systems and organs, initiates all normal upward and downward movements of the body, leads and controls the mind, employs all the sense organs well, carries all sensations to the brain, causes structural formation of all muscle, bone and joint tissue.
Healthy vata dosha promotes the coherent working of the body, promotes proper speech, is the seat / origin of touch and sound, is the source of courage and exhilaration, stimulates digestion, throws out ama and toxins from the body, shapes the foetus and maintains the ayu / life span of each individual. In nature, Vayu is said to hold up the earth itself, kindles fire, makes clouds, makes rain, initiates streams, helps plants, flowers and fruits sprout and grow, strengthens seeds and helps in normal transformation.
What happens to skin, hair and our body when vata dosha is aggravated?
Acharya Vagbhatta says that 50% of all diseases are caused by aggravation in vata dosha. At Krya, we have observed that almost 75% of the people who write to us with skin and hair disorders have aggravated vata dosha.
Skin and hair when vata is aggravated
When vata dosha is in excess, your skin will have unexplained darkening or tanning. It will feel coarse and flaky and look dull and lifeless. Aggravated vata dosha can also cause deep heel cracking where you can actually see the underlying layer of flesh as the cracks are so deep.
When vata dosha is in excess, your hair and scalp will suffer from extreme dryness. You may see scalp flaking where pieces of your scalp are getting dislodged when you comb or brush your hair. The scalp flakes will be white, powdery and dry. Hair suffering from aggravated vata dosha tends to be much more dry and frizzy compared to normal hair. This hair breaks easily and lacks elasticity – so it will break when you brush it, comb it, towel dry it, plait it or even wash it. This kind of hair is also very high in split ends, and will generate static when you comb / brush it. The hair tends to look dry, lifeless, and coarse and lacks gloss and shine.
Joint aches and dullness in the body – when vata is aggravated
As vata controls all joints and organs of movement, when vata is aggravated, you may notices catches, aches and pains in any part of the skeletal structure or in the legs. Lower back aches, neck catches, calf aches, ankle aches, knee pain and an unexplained dullness, and lack of energy may be noticed when vata is aggravated.
Vata dosha helps you stay longer, much like the energiser bunny. When it goes out of control, you might find yourself unable to switch off, having difficult falling sleep, have disturbed sleep where you wake up easily, and a general feel of ennui, and depression and dullness during the day.
7 critical practices to keep vata dosha in check
1. Add melted desi cow’s ghee to your diet – atleast 1 teaspoon per meal. Ghee is universally acknowledged in Ayurveda as being tridoshic , balancing to all doshas and is especially useful to control aggravated vata
2. Reduce the amount of tea, coffee, cola you are drinking – halve your cup size and ban colas and juices altogether
3. Control your meal times – we recommend breakfast at 8:30 am, lunch at 12:30 pm, a snack if you are hungry at 4:30 pm and dinner at 8:30 pm. As we have explained controlling one part of your life, particular meals, greatly helps control vata.
4. Add a pada abhyanga if your mental stress, commute is very high – we recommend a thrice a week pada abhyanga (foot massage) – This is to be done atleast one hour after dinner and atleast 45 minutes before sleeping. Massage your feet with warm Krya abhyanga oil and massage the soles of the feet very well. After 15 minutes, wash off with Krya Men’s ubtan or the Krya Women’s ubtan. Dry the feet well, before sleeping. The pada abhyanga reduces stress, balances vata dosha, and calms the body down and prepares you for sleep.
5. BE a MANIAC about your abhyanga: We recommend atleast once a week or ideally twice a week abhyanga for everyone. Tuesdays and Fridays are good for abhyangas for Women and Wednesdays and Saturdays are good for Abhyangas for Men. Do the Abhyanga with warm Krya Abhyanga Oil . Apply as hot as possible on skin and massage very briskly using long up down strokes. The massage should generate heat and sweat. After 20 minutes, wash off with Krya Men’s Ubtan or the Krya Women’s ubtan.
6. Oil your hair religiously. Apply ¼ tsp of Krya Conditioning Oil or our newly launched Krya Harmony Hair oil directly on the scalp and massage well. Do this at 7 pm to give the excess heat in the body enough time to come out. This will help you stay calm and focused and balances vata dosha.
7. Care for your hair well hair well. It needs to be oiled religiously 3 – 4 times a week, washed only with a gentle hairwash that will not further dry it and aggravate it and nourished regularly with a health giving hair mask. Our consumers swear by the health giving properties of our hair oils and how gentle yet effective our hairwashes and hair masks are.
The Krya Conditioning and Harmony Range of Products - ideal companion for Vata Prakriti - Normal - dry Hair The Krya Conditioning and Harmony Range of hair products have been ideally formulated for Vata Prakriti hair. The products are formulated using Vata balancing and scalp and hair nourishing herbs like Brahmi, Liquorice, Moringa and Ashwagandha and other classic Ayurevdic herbs. With regular use, our consumers have noticed a marked softeness and smoothness in hair, balanced sebum production, less hair breakage, reduction in split ends and excellent hair growth.
The Krya harmony hair range is specially designed for vata prakriti hair where the person is in a very demanding job with high mental stress. This range helps soothe and calm the brain and relax stress in addition to caring for hair.
For best results, we recommend use of the complete Krya Conditioning or Harmony hair systems. For details of the herbs that go into each indivdual product and how each product should be used, please vsit the individual product pages in the Krya website.