Hair. Oh, the wacky things we do with our hair. Whether you are just trying to tame your fly-aways and frizzies enough to make it through the day or are scrolling through the infinite Hairstyle Boards on pinterest to create the latest gem-studded up-do, a lot of effort can go into creating lovely locks. One study recently reported that the average woman spends over $50,000 on hair products and cuts over her lifetime, with men not as far behind as they want you to believe. Instead of purchasing a mismatch of synthetic products to fill up your bathroom vanity and getting a lavish haircut to hide your hair insecurities, learn 3 easy tips to nourish your hair from the inside out. You can also make your own all natural hair gel...to make sure you are stylin' along the way of course!
All-Natural Hair Help
1. Eat a Traditional Whole Foods Diet
Like most things, the key to healthy hair doesn’t come all in one bottle. Your body requires adequate healthy fats, robust proteins, and a balance of vitamins and minerals to nourish the cells involved in growing and maintaining hair. While you will find countless top 10 lists and photo-montages detailing the best foods for beautifying your hair, simply following a traditional diet with phytonutrient rich superfoods will give your body the synergistic nutrients and cofactors that it requires. It is also essential that you have healthy gut function to properly absorb all of the vital nutrients in your food. Start by eating plenty of fermented foods, neutralizing anti-nutrients by soaking/sprouting nuts and grains, and taking high quality probiotics as needed to build your gut flora.
2. Filter your Shower Water
Another tip for healthy hair is to eliminate the chlorine from the water in your shower. Did you know that by putting your fingers into an ordinary glass of municipal tap water for just 15 seconds you absorb over 80 percent of the chlorine into your body? Imagine how much chlorine you absorb in a 10 minute shower! Not only does chlorine create dry and brittle hair, but it has been shown to cause flaky skin, accelerated aging from free radical damage, reduced oxygen transport in lungs, and generalized destruction of vitamins in the body. If your water has chlorine in it, consider a whole house water system or an efficient and affordable shower filter or dechlorinating bath ball- you will see and feel a difference!
3. Avoid Commercial Hair Care Products (as much as possible)
They are convenient and filled with fun scents, however most commercial hair care products also contain a hefty dose of questionable chemicals. According the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Database, some of the top chemicals to look out for in hair products include:
Fragrance: although “violet splash” and “passion flower sunrise” may sound intriguing, fragranced hair care products can contain any number of 4,000 different ingredients, many of which are synthetic chemicals. Listed among the top 5 allergens in the world, some fragrances are not just irritating, but have been found to act as hormone disruptors as well.
PEGs/Ceteareth/Polyethylene Compounds: this group of synthetic chemicals is often contaminated with 1,4-Dioxine, which the U.S. government considers a probable carcinogen that readily penetrates the skin. Although it is possible to remove this toxin from cosmetics, most companies do not take the extra step to do so.
Parabens (propyl, isopropyl, butyl, isobutyl): these estrogen mimicking preservatives have been frequently found in the tissues of breast cancer tumors. Other studies have suggested that these chemicals may disrupt endocrine function and contribute to reproductive and developmental disorders.
DMDM Hydantoin: a preservative that is known to decompose and release formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. 1 in 5 U.S. cosmetics contain a chemical that releases formaldehyde.
DIY: Homemade Hair Gel with Bovine Gelatin
Sometimes our hair just needs a little extra something. In a recent poll by Consumer Reports 44% of participants admitted that having a bad hair day affected their mood. Next time, instead of slathering on a helmet of chemicals to give your hair a boost, try some of this all-natural hair gel with high quality bovine gelatin. Who knew the health benefits of gelatin could extend to your hair! This is a DIY you won't want to miss, with a prep time of just 10 minutes. Thanks to the innovative folks over at DIY Natural for this great tip.
By Kayla- Radiant Life
1 cup filtered water, hot
1/2-3/4 tsp unflavored bovine gelatin
4-6 drops essential oil (optional)*
Heat 1 cup of filtered water on the stove until hot. In a small bowl, add bovine gelatin to water, stirring until completely dissolved. Refrigerate for about 4 hours or until set. Mix in essential oils of your choice if desired. *Some therapeutic options for essential oils include Lavendar for all hair types, Rosemary for dark, dry hair, and Chamomille for light, brittle hair. Use a funnel or baster to transfer your gel into a small squeeze bottle. Gel must be kept chilled in the refrigerator, and will stay good for about 2 weeks.
So what's my experience with this gel? I have a curly mop of unruly hair that I have always struggled to manage. After testing several natural products, I find that this gel works great as an everyday styler that doesn't weigh my curls down. I apply it to my wet hair and scrunch for an all-natural, soft look.Start with adding 1/2 tsp gelatin for an everyday gel, and add more for a stronger hold stylizing gel or as needed for your hair type. The only down side of this gel is that it has to stay in the refrigerator, so it doesn't travel well...but for when I'm at home, I prefer this to any expensive product for my hair any day!