When it comes to beauty, are you more yin or yang?
- One of the ways that the imbalance between yin and yang can show up is in the hair; premature greys, dullness, breakage, poor scalp health and excessive hair shedding can all be symptoms of a yin and yang imbalance.
- The meaning of yin and yang is fundamental to the practice of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). The balance of these energies supports a healthier flow of Qi (pronounced ‘chee’) that brings blood flow and nutrients where they need to go.
- Healthy blood flow is key in supporting strong, shiny hair. Combining a diet and lifestyle that promote the yin and yang balance can support the healthy growth and condition of the hair.
If your hair has been looking dull, breaks easily, you’re noticing more hairs in the brush than usual, weaker nails or dull skin, these could all be due to an imbalance of yin and yang . Yin and yang is an ancient concept that is used to explain the importance of maintaining balance in all things in life - and dull, lifeless hair and skin or weak nails are one of the most obvious signs that the internal systems of the body have fallen out of balance.
Why yin and yang are so important in traditional Chinese medicine
The yin and yang symbol captures the balance found everywhere in nature, including in our own bodies. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) works on the concept of yin and yang - finding balance in everything we do - from our dietary habits, the way we move, our work schedules, relationships and emotional wellbeing.
When these energies fall out of balance (which can happen for many reasons) the body gives clues - some subtle, some not so subtle - that it’s time to check in and rebalance our yin and yang. The health of your hair is one of the most obvious signs that it’s time to tweak your habits to shift these energies.
Check out our article on the importance of yin and yang in Chinese culture and medicine to learn more. We’ve included plenty of practical diet and lifestyle tips on how to bring yin and yang back into balance.
Healthy hair in traditional Chinese medicine
In TCM, hair health is considered a reflection of blood health. This is because blood is responsible for supplying the tissues surrounding the energy channels, including hair. Therefore, healthy blood flow equals healthy hair that grows well, is shiny and doesn’t shed excessively. Poor blood health including excess heat and stagnant blood flow to the scalp can result in lacklustre hair that is more prone to breakage, excessive shedding, dryness and poor scalp condition.
Yin and yang in hair and beauty
When it comes to maintaining your physical appearance, maintaining the yin and yang balance matters. Like all aspects of the body, those we consider physically ‘beautiful’ - clear skin and healthy hair - need to be in balance for that healthy glow, clarity and shine that can’t be faked. Far from being superficial, the skin and hair are external indicators of internal health or imbalance.
Signs of yin and yang imbalance in hair, skin and nails
The hair, skin and nails are all external indicators of overall health, including circulation, digestion, and detoxification. If you’ve noticed changes to the appearance, condition and integrity of your hair, skin and/or nails, you may have an imbalance between the yin and yang energies.
Quiz – when it comes to beauty, are you more yin or yang?
Figuring out if you are more yin or yang can help you to make more mindful choices to bring harmony to the yin and yang energies that can impact your hair, skin and nails.
1. Is your hair more
2. Which do you notice more about your skin?
b) Pale, dull complexion
3. Are your nails more
a) Dry, brittle
b) Slow growing
4. Which of these are more common for you?
a) Hair breakage and shedding
b) Skin puffiness and swelling
Mostly A’s: You are more YANG
You are full of energy and plans, and ready to go! But too much yang can sometimes lead to anger and frustration, and you might find it difficult to slow down and relax. You can experience drier hair and skin and might be prone to dry and brittle nails and hair that is weak and easily shed.
Try cooling foods like salads and greens and go for more gentle exercise like walking and swimming to balance out that excess yang energy and encourage shiny hair and healthy and strong hair and nails. Avoid overdoing social activities and make sure to make time for me time in the form of meditation and relaxation.
Mostly B’s: You are more YIN
You’re as cool as a cucumber, but sometimes need an extra push to get moving as you are prone to stagnation in both the body and mind. Excess yin energy can manifest as lacklustre hair, a pale, dull complexion, and slow growing nails.
Give yourself the extra oomph you need for a glowing complexion and healthy hair skin and nails by balancing out the excess yin energy with warming foods like soups and tea, and exercising outdoors during the ‘yang’ daylight hours. Say yes to social activities to get you moving and out and about to counteract that tendency to stagnation.
For more diet and lifestyle tips on balancing your yin and yang energies in other areas of your life, check out our article - Are you more yin or yang?
Want to know how the rest of your yin and yang energies stack up? Take our quiz - Are you more yin or yang?