Indulge. Rinse. Repeat.
Before you read this, go and check out Lock and Mane, a new website for fabulous hair products. Featured on Daily Candy Deals yesterday, and also my best friend’s new business, this site has made quite a splash already.
In celebration of Lock and Mane (of which Matt’s friends FRESHTHRILLS designed the site and Matt did all the copy) today’s post is dedicated to hair. My friend Jackie is blessed with the most beautiful hair that I can imagine. It shimmers, it bounces, and gently curls in all the right places. Unfortunately, my hair is not one of my favorite attributes, and I have spent countless hours and dollars trying to rule it. When she wakes up, it looks just as good as if she just styled it. I, on the other hand, look like a character from Where the Wild Things Are. When it’s humid outside, her hair gets volume. My hair, on the other hand, gets frizz. And lots of it. But then God delivered the Brazilian Keratin Treatment to me, and many of my troubles have since gone away (never mind the original formula was made from formaldehyde, the same stuff that is used as embalming fluid, but hey, there’s a price to pay for beauty)
Anyway, what you eat can have a huge effect on your hair health (and that of your skin, nails, etc) In fact, since your hair is basically dead, what matters is at the root—where strands of hair are created. Proper nutrition is CRUCIAL for beautiful hair. So, if fantastic hair is your goal and gets you to eat a healthier diet, so be it. Works for me!
Here are some of the vitamins and nutrients that are known to promote fabulous hair like my friend Jackie’s. But keep in mind, please, that if you are frying your hair every day with a hair dryer and iron (like I used to do), eating good food is NOT going to counter act that. Although I wish it did!
*Essential Fatty Acids (these are fats that your body needs from outside sources). These are known to improve hair texture and prevent dry, brittle hair. They also moisturize the scalp and help with dandruff and itchy scalp. Food sources: fatty fish like salmon, Omega-3 fish oils (distilled, purified, and you ALL should be taking them!), and flax seed (ground).
*Protein: Hair is made of keratin, a hardened protein. So without enough protein in your diet, your hair will grow slower and strands will be weakened. Food sources: Animal proteins like eggs, meat, and dairy and vegetarian sources such as legumes, nuts, and grains are all important for hair health.
*B Vitamins, especially folate (folate is found naturally in foods, while folic acid is the same thing, but the synthetic version found in supplements), biotin, B6 and B12 are probably the most important for the health and growth of your hair. A vitamin B deficiency can lead to hair loss, weak strands and slow growth. Folate foods: avocados, asparagus, artichokes, beets, oranges, broccoli, brussel sprouts, spinach, fresh peas, soybeans, chickpeas, lentils, turkey Biotin foods: cauliflower, carrots, bananas, cereals, yeast, soy flour, liver, salmon. Vitamin B6 foods: white potato skins, garbanzo beans, bananas, lentils, beef, pork, chicken, salmon. Vitamin B12 foods: beef, lamb, veal, liver, clams, oysters, fish, milk, egg yolks, cottage cheese
*Vitamin C aids in scalp circulation, maintaining the capillaries that carry blood to the hair follicles. I’m sure you’re getting your fill of C with all the wonderful summer fruits out there.
*Zinc and Copper: Zinc is important for tissue repair and growth in the body, including hair. Without enough zinc you could be prone to dandruff, hair loss, and slow hair growth. Copper is a component of melanin, a pigment found in skin and hair. Premature graying could be attributed to a copper deficiency. Zinc and copper should be taken together for best absorption. Zinc Foods: include animal proteins, shellfish, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, chickpeas, and wheat germ. Copper foods: found primarily in liver and oysters, which I know we don’t eat a lot of. So, get your fill with artichokes, avocados, bananas, garlic, legumes, mushrooms, nuts and seeds, potatoes, prunes, radishes, soybeans, tomatoes, and whole grains.
*Water, and lots of it. Our bodies are made mostly of water, and keeping your body fully hydrated will contribute to shiny, nourished hair.
Please keep in mind that the average shaft of hair only grows about ½” a month, so it will take about 6-12 months to see the effect of a good diet on your hair. So stick with it, and may you be blessed with fabulous hair like Jackie!