It’s All About the Hair: Basics Beauty

wellbeing narrative it's all about hair beauty illustration

Forget all the clichés, we all know a girl’s true best friend is her hair.  This relationship may not be the healthiest–after all, a bad hair day can easily turn even the most blissful, nurturing women into bitter and disgruntled curmudgeons…  

But before the $400 haircuts, blowouts, and endless styling and color treatments, there are some basics things we can do to help care for our hair. 

Promote hair growth

  • Hair expert Philip Kingsley believes poor nutrition is the most common cause of hair loss among women 25 to 35.
    • To maintain healthy hair, Kingsley advises a well-balanced exercise regime and diet of protein and complex carbohydrates.  F.Y.I. Over-exercising can increase testosterone levels, which causes hair thinning!
    • He believes a diet for optimal hair growth requires:
      • 120g of daily protein (The United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a daily protein intake of 46g for women and 56g  for men…so 120g of daily protein is intended to spur hair regrowth and is not sustainable long term. Click here for more information on protein from the CDC.)
      • complex carbohydrates (like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes)
      • eating every 4 hours (which sustains energy required to form hair cells)
      • maintain healthy iron levels (by eating red meat at least once per week or taking an adequate supplement)
  • Massaging the scalp increases blood flow and helps prevent blocked hair follicles.  Many experts believe massaging the scalp with an oil treatment can prevent two causes of hair loss, blocked pores and poor circulation.

Scalp treatment for normal hair

  • 1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 T. jojoba oil
  • 1 T. wheatgerm oil
  • 6 drops rose oil
  • 6 drops lavender oil
  • 6 drops rosemary oil

Coat your hair and massage the oil treatment into the scalp before going to sleep.  Use a towel across your pillow to prevent oil rub-off.

Minimize breakage (i.e. split ends):

  • After a bath or shower, use a wide-tooth comb to gently comb and detangle wet hair.  Comb the ends first, getting through tangles as gently as possible, then comb through from root to end.  This step is important for minimizing breakage, which will cause split ends.
  • Trim hair often to minimize damage!  For those with long hair, go to the stylist as often as needed, or just try giving yourself a simple trim every 5-6 weeks or so.  If I see a split end and am around cutting sheers, I will cut the individual strand.  If I start to notice multiples, I will put my hair in a high ponytail (that is perfectly centered on the top of my head) and trim an inch off the entire thing.  (If you have a structured haircut, this technique isn’t possible, so please call your stylist before you do something you’ll regret!) 

Maximize moisture & shine

  • Avoid drying ingredients in hair products, including:
    • Isopropyl
    • Ethyl alcohol
  • To maximize shine, rinse your hair with cool water to close the hair cuticles after cleansing and conditioning.  Always avoid using water that’s too hot!

Sources
Fairley, Josephine.  Organic Beauty.  Dorling Kindersley, London.  2001.
“The Model Effect: Body Image and Your Hair.” The Philip Kingsley Blog.  June 14 2012.  http://blog.philipkingsley.com/2012/06/14/the-model-effect-body-image-and-your-hair/.