Over the past ten years I have learned a lot about my hair. The main lesson that I have learned is that what you put inside your body is as important as what you put on the outside of your body when it comes to hair care. I learned this lesson the hard way. When you are older and you don’t have as much time to spend on your hair as you did when you were younger (as in my case), it is easy to overlook things that can end up having a detrimental effect on your hair. In my case, I have food sensitivities, and because of that I had eliminated a major source of protein (in the form of yogurt) from my breakfast (I am allergic to milk). I had also eliminated my favorite source of iron (Malt-O-Meal cereal) from my breakfast because of a slight wheat sensitivity. (I’m allergic to dietary wheat, not wheat based products applied to the skin and/or hair). I eliminated these two sources of nutrients, and didn’t replace them adequately, and as a result, my hair suffered. Even though my multivitamin has 100% if the daily RDA of iron for women, this form of iron doesn’t absorb as well as food sources of iron. I know because I can tell the difference in my hair now that I have added a food source of iron back to my diet (see below). Hormonal changes (those that come with age) also affected my hair. It took several years, but even with taking care of my hair on the outside, the elimination of important nutrients affected my hair from the inside. My hair became dry and brittle, and it broke off and thinned. I knew something was going on, but again, being very busy, I didn’t take the time to really look at my hair until the damage was done.
So phase two of my hair journey is the process of me nurturing my hair back to health from the inside out. These are the things that I have started to do to nuture my hair:
- Eat two hardboiled eggs a day (for protein). Based on what I am seeing with my hair I think that the eggs are better than the yogurt I was eating previously. According to Dr. Mercola “Eggs are a phenomenal source of protein, fat, and other nutrients, including choline and the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. They are so good for you that you can easily eat one dozen eggs per week, which is actually a simple and cost-effective way to add valuable nutrition to your diet.”
- Take 1 tablespoon of organic blackstrap molasses a day for iron. According to what I have read, food sources of iron are much safer than supplements. The brand I take is Plantation. Their organic blackstrap molasses is rich in iron, calcium and magnesium. I mix it with almond milk for a beverage, or almond butter for a creamy treat.
- I’ve changed my hair routine to go heatless. I have challenged myself to do my hair without any form of heat. I still believe that pressing hair has its place (see my earlier posts) and I am not against hair pressing as a way to manage natural hair, but I think that it is good to have multiple options when dealing with natural hair, and for my needs at this point in my life I have decided to go without heat. As a result, I am learning to do two strand twists on my hair, and have developed a couple of new products to help with this process (I will talk about my experience doing two strand twists and a twist out in an upcoming post).