- A version of this post first appeared on The Fresh Method.
Hair, skin, and nails are often reflections of what’s going on inside our bodies. There’s a reason why thick, shiny hair registers as “healthy,” or that when you’re feeling exhausted and stressed, your skin looks drawn and lackluster. Getting your best hair or skin isn’t just about finding the right products for your area of concern, but making holistic changes that affect your entire body.
Even if your initial intention is just to get shiny hair, our system responds accordingly which often brings other positive changes. So let’s go create that positive feedback loop, shall we?! Follow these holistic hair care tips for lustrous, gorgeous mane, and you’ll be glowing in other ways too.
1. Incorporate vitamins and minerals that promote hair growth, strength, and shine. Specific nutrients are involved in producing keratin, the protein that makes up hair. Zinc, copper, manganese, iron, folic acid, vitamin B12, and biotin all play an important role in hair health. Before hitting the health food store to stock up on supplements, try increasing your nutrient intake with whole foods. The best food sources for healthy hair include:
cabbage, brewer’s yeast, green peas
NUTS, GRAINS, SEEDS
flaxseed oil, brown rice, lentils, oats
apples, avocados, bananas, cranberries, cantaloupe, dates, grapefruit, grapes, oranges
2. Shop around for natural hair products without chemical ingredients or additives (preservatives, sulphates, parabens, fragrance, and dyes to name a few). Our scalp absorbs these chemicals, increasing our body’s toxic load. This creates more work for our liver and puts stress on our – often already overworked – adrenals. Chemical additives have been known to wreak havoc on the body and express themselves as a host of different symptoms. Shampoos containing synthetic foaming agents also strip our hair of natural, protective oils leading to an overproduction of oil to compensate. Ready to make a healthy change for your hair? My favorite brand, Avalon Organics makes a beautiful line of hair care products. I use both shampoo + conditioner in Lavender.
3. Use natural hair treatments, straight from the cupboard! There are plenty of options but my two favorites are the simplest of all: coconut oil hair mask for shine and apple cider vinegar rinse for growth. For the hair mask, simply heat a couple tablespoons of coconut oil and run through hair, root to tip. Leave on as long as desired then wash twice with shampoo. For the apple cider vinegar rinse, mix 1 part ACV to 1 part water and use post-shampoo, then rinse.
4. Alternate hot/cold showers, ending with cold. To do this, simply alternate between temperatures in 20 second intervals, for about a minute or so at the end of your shower (extreme temperatures not necessary). Cold water encourages the hair cuticle to seal, thus strengthening the strands. This is especially beneficial after styling with hot tools. Alternating hot/cold showers are not only hair-supportive, they’re also invigorating for both the body and mind, promote circulation, and stimulate the lymphatic system.
5. Wash hair less overall. If you’re like most and wash your hair every other day, try for every third or fourth day. To avoid washing, play with different hairstyles; throw hair in a tight bun or tousled braid. Keep in mind it may take a little time for your hair to adjust to less frequent washing but in the end, this means less time in the shower, more money in your wallet, and healthy, lustrous tresses.
Do you have a holistic hair care tip to share? 🙂
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More hair care tips: Hair Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making
My Cruelty-free Hair Essentials
Photo: Jamie Lee Mock