In my last article, “The Secret to Beautiful Hair”, I discussed some of the things you could do to help give yourself beautiful hair. I discussed mostly exercise and lifestyle. Here I will talk about healthy hair habits and diet. Diet is ultra important. You are what you eat, as the old saying goes.
So here are a few more of my “secrets” to beautiful hair:
Brazil nuts: high in selenium, which is needed for strong flexible hair.
Walnuts: alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid – Sprinkle them on your salads for a great texture and taste.
Don’t overdo the nuts (or anything else for that matter). They are high in calories, so don’t make a snack of them.
Remember, the idea is to maintain balance. You should only eat about 1500 calories a day when you are at your ideal weight. You might need more or less, depending on your size and lifestyle, but you will be surprised at how little you need to eat and still be very healthy.
Dark green vegetables: Leafy greens like spinach, collard greens, chard and others all contain high amounts of iron and other essential minerals that are great for healthy hair. You can also include broccoli in this group. They are all high in vitamins A and C. Your body uses these to produce sebum, your natural hair conditioner.
And don’t forget carrots. These are a great source of vitamin A, which gives great flexibility and strength to hair. It also adds that extra sheen that makes your hair glow.
Poultry: Turkey and chicken are high in healthy protein. You need this for healthy hair. Hair is mostly Keratin, a protein that makes up skin, hair and fingernails. They are also low in fats, so they don’t affect your heart in a bad way.
Fish, especially salmon or mackerel: These oily fish contain lots of omega-3 fatty acids that keep your scalp and skin healthy. They also strip cholesterol from the blood and keep your heart healthy. Try to eat fish 2-3 times a week. If you can’t or don’t eat meats, then you can substitute flaxseed. Toss a hand full on your salads and pastas.
Grains, especially oatmeal: My grandmother used to make a skin conditioner out of cooked oatmeal and apply it to her face, hands and arms. She still looked young and healthy well into her 90s. But you can just eat it. Have it for breakfast with blueberries for sweetener. It is wonderful. It is also great for the hair, as it also contains soluble fiber, vitamins and minerals. Along with fish, it is also one of the best foods for reducing cholesterol.
Blueberries are one of the most effective anti-oxidants. Oxidants are the result of the body’s process of converting food to energy. They are also called free radicals. These elements combine with other cells in your body and cause damage to the cells. It is the primary cause of aging. Antioxidant foods like blueberries soak up the oxidants and keep them from damaging your skin and hair.
Green tea: keeps your arteries open and flexible for good circulation. This is essential for the production of healthy hair.
Reduce the amount of meats you eat to about 25% of your diet. Stay away from the burgers and fries! Eat less and you will live longer, and that is a proven fact.
Oh yes. Cut out salt. I call it the White Death. If you use spices and seasonings, you won’t need it. Your food already contains all your body needs. Salt just stiffens the arteries. Remember it is used as a preservative for meats. It dries them out and it will dry you out too.
Get plenty of exercise. Start out slowly. Go for a walk. Walk about half as far as you think you can. Remember, you have to walk back. Make it a habit. Once you get used to doing it every morning or evening, you will find you relax more. Tension and stress are hair killers.
Keep tight things away from around your head. You need the circulation for healthy hair. Wigs can be a killer in this regard. The skull cap fits tightly around the head. This limits blood circulation, which is something you don’t want. It also traps heat and chokes off air circulation, which is also needed for healthy hair. If you wear a wig too often, you may find that your hair is becoming thinner or weaker. If you notice extra shedding or changes in the quality of your hair, it might be time to switch to another solution.
Wigs are great for an occasional evening out, but if you really need to wear them on a regular basis, give your head and hair a break at every opportunity. Either let it go natural or wear a scarf or something light when you are out running errands or shopping. At home, don’t put anything on your head. Comb your hair out and let it fly. Just try not to scare old people or little kids.
Wherever possible, use hair extensions rather than a wig. They may be a bit more inconvenient to put in, but they allow for good circulation, both for blood and air. Just make sure the braids aren’t too tight. If they are not comfortable, have them loosened a bit. They should be firm, but not pulling or painful.
Get someone to gently massage your scalp, or brush your hair gently to pull the natural conditioning oils out along the hair shaft. If you have straight or wavy hair, this can be done on a daily or at least regular basis. But if you are of African descent, be careful not to overdo it. Because of our tight coils, the hair is easily broken and knotted, so do this sparingly.
Keep the ends trimmed. Split ends will tear further along the hair, so when you notice you have them, trim the ends just above the splits.
Remember, the secret to beautiful hair is a healthy you. Maintain a balance in all you do. Balance activity with relaxation, eating with exercise. And be sure to include lots of peaceful moments. Instead of TV, read a book. It is better for the mind and the quiet will help settle the nerves. Spend time with friends and the ones you love. Most of all, love yourself.
I am Casey Lee, CEO of Remy Hair Discounters [http://www.remyhairdiscounters.com/IndianHairExtensions.htm], a supplier of Indian Remy hair extensions. I am the owner of Remy Hair Discounters.
I first became interested in hair extensions because my own hair is very stiff and hard to handle. Nothing short of cement will make it stay where I want it. It sticks out everywhere and doesn’t look good no matter what I do. So I turned to hair extensions as a way to give myself a smoother, more beautiful look.
When I started looking for hair, I tried all the cheapest things I could find. But they all had problems. They shed, or worse, they tangled and matted so badly I couldn’t get a comb through the hair. The hair turned dull and lifeless. Synthetic hair was too shiny and didn’t look natural. But the worst thing was that the poor quality meant that they didn’t last very long, so I spent more money buying new extensions.
Then I found Indian Remy Hair. This stuff is wonderful! It always looks great. It doesn’t tangle and just combs right out, better than my own hair. I can wear it in the shower just like my own. True, it is a bit more expensive than all the other junk I tried, but in the long run it is well worth it. So I started Remy Hair Discounters so that I can bring beautiful hair to others who have problems with what nature gave them. Or even those who just want a change once in a while.