January 23 2017
Hair is something that (let’s be honest here) many of us are a little vain about. We want to have shiny, smooth, healthy, beautiful hair, regardless of what fashion, we want our hair to look nice. We do all sorts of things to maintain texture, to have it the length and style we want, we experiment with colours and treatments, but at the end of the day, how healthy is all that stuff that we do to our hair? How healthy is our hair anyway? How can we make it so that we can still play with our hair, but keep it healthy and not worry about product build up and damage? How can we repair our hair from damage naturally? For centuries, people have used natural means to help keep beautiful healthy hair; many of these methods are still used today. These natural means range anywhere from certain vitamins and minerals found in food or supplements to certain oils and hair treatments you can even do for yourself at home!
The key to having healthy hair is to, of course, consume healthy food. However, one of the key elements is to stay hydrated. If you keep yourself hydrated on the inside and drink about 8 glasses of water a day, it will definitely show on the outside as well. Drinking water will help to detoxify your body of any waste or impurities that can make your skin and hair look less than healthy. When you keep hydrated, it helps to also eliminate excessive acidic build up in your body that can dry out and prematurely age your hair which is why it is also important to try to keep a balanced PH level through what you consume. When it comes to vitamins for your hair, vitamin B reigns supreme, especially biotin. Biotin (vitamin B7) is a particular type of vitamin B that has amazing effects on hair and nail growth. Biotin acts as a coenzyme and helps to break down the protein we consume into amino acids and produces glucose which helps with hair growth and strength. Biotin can be found in foods like eggs, fish (especially fatty fish like salmon), peanut butter, avocados and mushrooms. Niacin is another essential vitamin B for healthy hair. Niacin (also known as vitamin B3) nourishes your scalp by improving blood circulation through maintaining blood cell structure. If you lack niacin in your body, you risk losing your hair! Niacin can be found in most poultry, avocados, tuna and mushrooms. Vitamin C also plays a crucial role in healthy hair development. Many people tend to focus on the immune system boosting aspects of vitamin C and completely negate the fact that vitamin C helps with the metabolization and production of collagen while being an antioxidant that can fight off free radicals which can damage your hair. Foods rich in vitamin C include oranges, broccoli, bell peppers (especially the red ones), Brussels sprouts, strawberries, kiwis and papayas. Minerals also play an important part in hair growth and maintenance. If you have an iron deficiency one of the initial signs would be brittle, dry hair which is why it is important to load up on leafy green vegetables such as spinach and lean proteins like poultry. Zinc plays a crucial role in hair health and appearance. A lack of zinc can result in dull, dry hair with little volume. Foods full of zinc include spinach, mushrooms, garlic, chickpeas and pumpkin seeds. Omega 3 fatty acids are crucial if you want to have moisturized, shiny, healthy hair as well. Omega 3’s are only found in food and supplements, our body cannot make them on their own so it is important to have a diet rich in them. This includes eggs, fish (especially fatty fish like salmon) or supplements like evening primrose oil.
There are, of course, many things you should also do externally to help keep your hair nice and healthy. There are many essential oils that you can add to your shampoo or conditioner or even to a hair mask to help stimulate hair growth and maintain health. Rosemary tends to come to many people’s minds when they connect the words essential oil and hair. Rosemary is full of antioxidants which can help prevent your hair from getting excessively thin and helps to stimulate hair growth and preventing oily build up on the scalp. Lavender is more than just a soothing essential oil that helps with anxiety problems; it is also really good for enhancing circulation in the scalp as well as evening out mixed skin type scalps. This essential oil also does very well when mixed with a hot castor oil mask. Ylang ylang essential oil is particularly good for those who have dry, flat hair. Ylang ylang helps to moisturize the scalp and helps improve sebum production in the scalp. This oil is best mixed with your conditioner. These are all fantastic, viable, natural options to help develop and maintain beautiful, healthy hair.