Hair protects the head and scalp and can dispel or preserve heat, depending on the season. Everybody desires healthy hair, but some people have hair which is loose, damaged or slow growing. Some people are born bald, and others with a full head of hair. In this article, I will share the Chinese medicine view of hair growth.
Loss and growth of hair and blood
Traditional Chinese medicine considers hair growth to be closely related to the health of the blood (both amount and circulation). An ancient Chinese wisdom says the body uses extra blood, not used to nourish the organs and body, to strengthen hair. This is why people often lose hair due to physical or pathogenic conditions where they lose much blood, such as labour, long illness, car accidents, big operations, chemotherapy.
That means if you want to have healthy hair, you should care about the quality of your blood and its circulation.
Which organs are affect hair growth?
The spleen is a major organ which dominates food digestion, transportation and absorption and produces blood. If your spleen is weak, this will affect the quality of the blood, and cause hair to be thin, slow growing and easily broken. You will also lack energy, feel tired, experience stomach bloating, fullness, arm and leg puffiness and iron deficiency.
Traditional Chinese Medicine knowledge says the liver stores blood and circulates blood to the sides and top of the head. If the liver is stressed or under pressure it will dysfunction and decrease blood flow to the head, causing hair thinning and greyness in these regions. People with affected livers will feel stressed and emotional, experience insomnia, migraine headaches, stiff neck and shoulders, pain and bloating at the sides of the abdomen. If these symptoms are not treated, high blood pressure and a hyperactive thyroid may occur.
Kidneys dominate the growth and development of the body, including hair. If someone has a strong kidney essence (kidney Qi or energy), hair is shiny, thick, strong and healthy and they will have fewer grey hairs when they are old. Thick hair at birth is an indication of strong kidney essence or Qi. If you have decreased kidney function, this affects hair growth and is associated with the following symptoms: tiredness, poor memory, frequent urination during the night, irregular periods, lower libido, impotence and early menopause.
Conditions which affect healthy hair
Hair growth is also affected unsuitable shampoo, change in living conditions, medications which affect health, an irregular or unhealthy lifestyle. These conditions can reduce the quality of the hair. If you have problems with hair growth, consult a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner who will check your pulse and tongue to determine the internal causes.
How to look after hair
Ensuring you have good head, neck and shoulder circulation is essential for healthy hair. If pain arises in these areas get natural treatment, such as massage and acupuncture and increase exercise.
Care for the health of your internal organs, such as kidney, spleen and the liver. Keep your Qi and blood healthy. Keep a balanced lifestyle. Do not work too hard or get stressed to often. Look after your happiness and sense of well being.
Additionally, gently brush your scalp as well as your hair for five minutes about three times weekly. Don’t wash your hair every day. Once or twice a week should suffice. More will make your scalp dry. Choose a suitable shampoo and conditioner for your hair type.