Hair loss, which is known as alopecia, is pretty common in men. By age 30, around half of all men start to notice hair loss and most have some balding by 60, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Women can also experience hair loss, especially with age. Some hair loss is determined by heredity or caused by factors like diseases or radiation therapy; yoga isn't likely to change these types of hair loss. However, practicing yoga might prevent or treat hair loss from certain causes.
Stress can play a role in hair loss, and stress is one of the main causes of hair loss that yoga can impact. Many yoga classes include components that relieve stress, such as deep breathing, visualization and meditation. These calming activities can balance the nervous system to help your body relax. In addition, research presented at a 2003 annual Endocrine Society meeting found that yoga reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the blood.
Boosting Blood Circulation
Increased circulation brings more blood to the hair follicles, which can help hair growth, according to the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. Art of Living explains that forward bend poses, such as Downward-Facing Dog pose and Standing Forward Bend pose, improve circulation to your head. Inversions or partial inversions can also improve blood flow to the head.
Yoga might help prevent or control hair loss by balancing hormone levels in the body, since hormonal problems or changes can cause hair loss. A "Yoga Journal" article notes that yoga can stimulate the endocrine glands, which are instrumental in hormone production. Particularly, inversion poses can provide this benefit because they bring you upside-down to help your body fluids flow in a different direction. Inversions include poses like Headstand and Shoulderstand. Beginners and intermediates can try lower-intensity inversions like Bridge pose, Supported Shoulderstand and Inverted pose.
Meditating for Autoimmune Conditions
Autoimmune conditions can sometimes cause hair loss. Meditative components of a yoga class seem to calm excessive immune responses that are characteristic of autoimmune conditions, explains Dr. Timothy McCall in his book "Yoga as Medicine." A 1998 study published in the journal "Psychosomatic Medicine" found that mindfulness meditation clears up lesions faster in participants with psoriasis, an autoimmune condition.
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Hair Loss
- Endocrine Society: ENDO -- Feeling Stressed? Try Yoga
- Yoga as Medicine; Timothy McCall, M.D.
- Yoga Journal: Strike a Royal Pose
- Pacific College of Oriental Medicine: The Benefits of Scalp Massage for Hair Loss
- Art of Living: Yoga Tips for Hair-Loss
- Psychosomatic Medicine: Influence of a Mindfulness Meditation-Based Stress Reduction Intervention on Rates of Skin Clearing in Patients with Moderate to Severe Psoriasis Undergoing Phototherapy and Photochemotherapy