There are these women with naturally full, luscious, long and shiny hair which bounces as if it has been styled for a VIP brand shampoo commercial.
I’m so not one of them.
In fact, my hair is very fine, naturally styling-repellent. It never used to grow beyond a certain length. In fact, I had to cut off inches of split ends even before it could reach that point, and at some point during my first pregnancy, I even got dandruff! And let’s not talk about the hair loss! As we grow older, it is but natural to start losing hair. Women start to see signs of hair loss from the age of 30, and lose most of their hair by the time they are 60. Here are a few reasons for the hair loss:
Causes For Hair Loss:
- Medical condition
- Nutritional deficiency
- Fungal scalp infections
- Over treating hair
Most of the time, the reason behind your hair loss is a combination of a few of the above reasons, which makes it very hard to stop the hair loss. Some treatments work and some don’t. Our lifestyles are a picture perfect example of excessive stress and unhealthy living. And as the saying goes, healthy inside is healthy outside.
Yet, I’ve been able to put an end to my bad hair days ever since I ditched my regular hair products and started using my own DIY recipes and all-natural cures.
Here are my tips to get strong and beautiful hair:
1. Use An All-Natural Shampoo & Conditioner:
After getting rid of all the chemical hair products, the first thing I needed was a decent DIY shampoo which wouldn’t take hours of preparation.
Washing my hair with
- 1 part baking soda,
- 3 parts water and
- a few drops of vitamin E
mixed in a squeeze bottle turned out to be the ideal solution.
This shampoo is quick and easy to prepare, and effectively gets rid of dirt – even though it doesn’t foam at all.
Good to know: Your hair might seem oilier than usual during the first two weeks or so, because your scalp needs to adjust to no longer being stripped off its natural oils by foaming chemicals.
After rinsing, apply a vinegar conditioner consisting of:
- 1 part apple cider vinegar, mixed with
- 4 parts water and
- a few drops of your favorite essential oil (I like lavender and vanilla).
Tilt your head forward, pour the mix all over your hair, and rinse with cold water to add shine and moisture.
2. Mix Things Up With A Vitamin E Shampoo:
If you use only baking soda and ACV, your hair might become a little dry after a few washes.
This is why I mix things up with another shampoo chock-full of nourishing vitamin E – castile soap.
Castile soap, also called “magic soap”, is completely natural. You can either buy it in liquid form or as a soap bar. It pampers your hair with nutrients like olive oil, hemp oil and jojoba oil.
Depending on how oily your hair’s natural state is, you might need to use either the baking soda/ ACV combination or the castile soap more often – but together, these two shampoo alternatives will leave your hair shinier and stronger than anything you’ve tried before.
3. Avoid Split Ends With Olive Or Coconut Oil:
Did I say I used to have trouble growing my hair because the ends would break all the time? Ever since I started applying a little bit of olive or coconut oil into the lengths about 30 minutes before washing my hair, my ends have become soft and shiny.
4. Deep-Condition Your Hair With A Hot Oil Treatment:
Even though store-bought hot oil treatments can do wonders for your hair, they often come with a heavy price tag.
But have you ever thought of using ghee as a hot oil treatment?
- Mix 1 cup olive oil with
- 2 Tbsp of melted ghee
Heat the mixture. Apply on damp hair and leave it on for 20 minutes.
5. Use Magnesium Oil For A Dandruff-free Healthy Scalp:
Studies have shown that a flaky scalp loves magnesium oil applied topically. Massage onto wet hair and wait for 10 minutes before rinsing it off.
The oil will not only soothe your scalp but also thoroughly clean your hair follicles.
I’ve been using my DIY recipes for a couple of years now, and I can tell you one thing – even if most of them are way less expensive than regular products, their effect is priceless!
What To Eat For Healthy Hair?
Your hair is essentially protein-based and requires the right nutrients and vitamins to grow. The next obvious question will be – what are the nutrients? Here is the list:
[ Read: Healthy Hair ]
- Zinc and Iron
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Yes, vitamins top the chart. They are essential for good hair. Consuming adequate amount of vitamins ensures that there is reduction of hair fall.
Here is the list of the most vital vitamins for hair growth.
[ Read: Best Vitamins for Hair Fall Control ]
Vital Vitamins For Hair:
1. Vitamin A:
Vitamin A plays an important role in hair growth. It makes your hair glossy and shiny. Vitamin A contains antioxidants that moisturize the scalp and prevent the hair from drying out. Vitamin A also helps in strengthening and thickening the hair.
Foods Rich In Vitamin A:
- Sweet Potatoes and Carrots
- Egg yolk
- Dried Apricots
2. Biotin Or Vitamin B71:
Biotin is called the ‘hair growth’ vitamin by people around the world. It is one of the 12 vitamins in the Vitamin B family. It repairs brittle hair and improves the health and texture of the hair.
Biotin is known to work wonders for hair volume and thickness. It aids in the production of fatty acids within the cells and facilitates their growth. It works in collaboration with amino acids and fats. Amino acids, as we all know, are the building blocks of proteins. They also play an important role in the process of glucogenesis as well.
Biotin intake results in the following:
- Rapid increase in the growth rate of your hair
- Thicker hair
- Strengthening of hair
3. Vitamin B12:
As the name suggests, this one is also from the Vitamin B family. It helps to prevent hair loss. Vitamin B12 aids in the absorption of iron , a deficiency of which can lead to hair loss.
[ Read: Vital Nutrients For Hair Growth]
Foods Rich In Vitamin B12:
- Whey powder
4. Vitamin C:
Vitamin C is a hair growth vitamin that has the ability to prevent premature graying of hair and hair dryness efficiently. Daily intake of vitamin C through food items or supplements is necessary to maintain the health of your hair.
Foods Rich In Vitamin C:
5. Vitamin E:
This is another vital vitamin for hair growth as it beats all dry and rough hair troubles! It locks in moisture and protects your hair from drying out. Apart from this, it also keeps the scalp healthy and promotes blood circulation.
Foods Rich In Vitamin E:
- Cooked spinach
- Sunflower seeds
- Dried herbs
6. Folic Acid:
This vitamin plays an important role in making your hair thicker and shinier, while adding moisture. It also helps in preventing graying of hair.
Foods Rich In Folic Acid:
Usually, any source that gives you vitamin B will also have folic acid as a component. All whole wheat grains and cereals contain folic acid. So now you can go ahead and consume carbohydrates without any guilt! But if you feel the need to consume supplements, then a vitamin B complex would be appropriate. It is sometimes very hard to find the natural sources of some vitamins and that is when you need to consider the use of supplements. Supplements are basically a mixture of various vitamins and minerals in the right proportions.
[Read: Vitamin E For Hair Growth]
Pre- Natal Vitamins:
These are similar to the other vitamin complex supplements that are given to women. The only addition being that Pre- Natal Vitamins have an additional dose of iron and folic acid.
This supplement has a high content of vitamin C and omega 3 fatty acids. Experts that say that it works miracles!
This has a healthy dose of keratin in addition to vitamins. Keratin is the building block of hair follicles. No harm in trying this out either!
There are several other nutrients that play a major role in keeping our hair healthy.
Zinc And Iron For Healthiest Hair Ever:
Like beautiful nails, luscious hair is also about providing your body with the right nutrients.
Iron and zinc are two micronutrients that help hair follicles grow, so make sure that you eat plenty of
- Organic almonds or plain organic almond butter
- Spinach, kale, watercress, broccoli or collards
- Carrots, pumpkin seeds or sweet potatoes
- Chia seeds
- Dark chocolate and cacao powder
- Red meat
- Green leafy vegetables
Foods Rich In Iron:
To improve iron absorption, have these foods along with vitamin C-rich fruits and veggies.
Researchers have found that conditions like alopecia, severe hair loss and breakage are caused due to iron deficiency. Iron regulates blood circulation and increases the hemoglobin level in the body. Not only that, it also helps in the re-growth of your hair.
Repair Hair Damage With Protein:
Protein keeps you satiated, helps you to lose weight and build muscle, and strengthens your hair follicles.
Personally, I like to get my protein from plant sources, such as
- Nut milks and nut butters
But of course, there’s also plenty of protein in
- Lean chicken and beef
- Greek yoghurt
Protein is essential for lustrous looking hair. Without this strengthening agent, your hair will be left dull and lifeless, prone to split ends and falling!
Silky Shine Thanks To Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
Omega-3 fatty acids are known to relieve depression, fight inflammation and support heart health. Beauty-wise, they plump up your skin and add a silky shine to your hair.
If you want to make sure you’re getting enough Omega-3 fatty acids, put the following on your shopping list:
- Flaxseed and flaxseed oil
- Fatty fish such as salmon or mackerel
- Chia seeds
Of course, you can also consume a supplement of up to 1 gram of a DHA and EPA product daily. Consult your dietician before starting any vitamin supplements. Good luck!
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