Wednesday, May 27, 2015

How To Have Healthy Hair Again The Natural Way

Welcome back :)

I was posting a hair and scalp mask DIY picture on Instagram and suddenly the idea hit me, I ought to make a blog post about healthy hair, or rather how to have healthy hair again. Rather I should explain I lost 50% of my hair once i stopped breastfeeding, and my doctor brushed it off as "it will grow back".. So as the months passed and it didn't grow back, I decided to take matters into my own hands and do it natural way.
By the way, are you following me on Instagram? If not, you should :) here's the link :)
Back to business! Do you have frizzy hair and endless dandruff that is not going away no matter what you do or what expensive medical shampoo you buy? Guess what? You weren't born that way honey! It is the products you use that is the source of your problems. Yes, you read that right, your eyes aren't deceiving you. It took me a long time time to realise this and get to where I am today, so if you want to make a shortcut and save yourself ten years or experimenting and research and just jump straight to the good stuff and my two cents on it, aka advice :)

Switch to natural shampoos (no sls)
That is non negotiable! Let me tell you what conditions cured themselves almost overnight what i ditched sls (aka sodium laureth sulfate or sodium lauryl sulfate) - frizzy hair, dandruff, itchy and sensitive scalp AND backne! If that doesn't convince you, just go on and check the ingredients label on your dish washing soap or washing powder. Yes, there is a method to my madness - these products AND your shampoo have the same ingredients in them, yes, you guessed that right, SLS. What is it? Cheap harsh detergent that washes everything right off, so you are left with scalp that is squeaky clean, with no natural oils left on it. Yes, you will have clean hair, but at what cost? And especially if you do that every day? You can't expect your hair and scalp to be in their best condition if you take away all the natural oils that are there for a reason, can you? And what's worse, your scalp is one of the most absorbent places of your skin, so all the "lovely" bunch of chemicals get absorbed into your head every day.

Cut down on heat
It damages the hair big time, and gives you brittle hair and split ends! If you can't give up it all together, please just promise me don't do it two days in the row, as the second time you do it, the moisture is pulled out of your hair and it will become straw like. Nobody wants that, right? also I recently learned from Whitney or Eco-Vegan Gal from youtube (check out her youtube channel and a video on haircare) that the hair dryers and styling products emit the same high level of radio active waves as the microwave, so basically we ladies are successfully microwaving our heads every day! How scary is that?
There are lots of unnatural supplements to choose from, but I wanted something natural, so I will tell you what I used and you can pick and choose what you want to try.. I tried amla (same powder as I used for hair masks can be taken internally, since it's food grade.) it's sour-ish powder that you take a teaspoon or so per day, try to bump it up as it's packed full of natural vitamin C. I just mixed it with water and drank quickly but you can add it to your smoothies or yogurt. Next is MSM, I got mine in raw form from Nourish, and it definitely made a difference, just it tastes quite nasty sour and to be honest l never repurchased it after my course. Biotin is a form of vitamin B and it is also fabulous for the hair, makes it grow so fast! One of my recent discoveries is baobab powder, which has more vitamin C than oranges, more iron than red meat and is a source of alkalising minerals including calcium, potassium (gram for gram, five time more bananas) and magnesium. But as I mentioned, it's new to me so l want to give myself time to see if I recommend it or not, in theory it should be good.
And let's not forget, to have healthy hair you need protein, so consume your fair share of proteins, preferably in food form, not those powdered ones. I like to eat nuts and seeds too, as they have lots of proteins (one tablespoon of sunflower seeds will have your daily quota). Eat them as a snack or sprinkle on yogurt or salads.

 Hair masks
 Here is my usual arsenal of hair loving ingredients, and you can pick and choose what do you want to use and off you go to mix your own concoctions ;)
Rosemary (fresh or dried), egg, yogurt, honey, banana, avocado, amla (none other than gooseberry), neem powder, coconut oil, water and milk, castor oil.
There are no specific measurements here, but if you want recipes, l will tell you a couple of one I am using, but to be honest here I am using whatever I do have on hand at the time. 
All these masks should be kept on for at least 20 mins, with oil masks the longer the better!
Coconut water and milk mask. Take some coconut milk from a can - scoop the thick part from the top and mix it with coconut water, and apply to the scalp and the hair. Keep it on for at least 20 mins, the longer the better. You can totally use coconut milk by itself, next time you are making your family curry, save a spoon or two for your mask. I usually have those two ingredients frozen in the ice cubes in my freezer and defrost only the amount I need.
Coconut oil and amla mask. You may want to add a few drop of rosemary essential oil too, as this ingredients is amazing for your hair! For a mask you will need a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil and about a teaspoon of amla (or neem, esp if you are trying to regrow your hair). 
Egg, honey and oil mask. Take an egg, and equal amounts of honey and egg and after mixing everything together apply to your hair. When washing this out, make sure to use lukewarm water if you don't want scrambled eggs in your hair!
Avocado or banana mask. Take a very ripe banana (or avocado), mash it up and apply to the hair. I have to tell you I haven't done these in a while, because these masks are a pain-in-you-know-what to wash out! But your hair will be happy, believe me!!

Scalp masks
 All the mentioned above masks are good for the scalp, so don't forget to rub it into the scalp too! I am a big fan of oiling the scalp and try to do a coconut scalp & hair mask at least once a week. Think of your scalp and hair as a soil and the flowers, to have beautiful flowers you need healthy soil, and for some reason or another we tend to overlook the scalp more often than not.

Herbal Rinses
Nettle is a fabulous hair friend, and it makes a perfect a perfect rinse. Take a handful of dried nettle (a few handfuls if using fresh) and steep in the boiling water for 30 mins. When cooled to the room temperature, use as a final rinse for your hair. You can rinse it out, but I usually don't.
Rosemary or sage rinse. Use the same way as a nettle rinse.
Rosewater rinse or spray. I recently found out that Indian beauties spray rosewater on their hair to make it shiny and beautiful, but i need to research a bit more about it. Inspired by this fact I made this little spray I try to use everyday if I remember  - equal parts of rosewater, rosemary and nettle. I spray it on my scalp and massage it in to lock the goodness in :)

Scalp massage
Let's just agree that is important to give the hair follicle the oxygen, so let's massage the scalp from time to time, or lay on the bed with your head hanging down from the side of your bed for two minutes each day (the flow of blood surely will benefit your hair) or even do like your grandma used to do and "brush your hair 100 times a day" with natural bristles brush. (speaking of brushes, l noticed tremendouss difference in my hair health and shine levels once l swapped my plastic brush to boar bristles brush. Choose wooden brush if you don't want animal products)

*Disclaimer: consult with your doctor before using supplements first. I am only telling you what worked for me and can not be held responsible for what you will do with this information. 

That is all my friends :)
Take care, 
Lots of Love,