Wednesday, April 8, 2015

FARMACY: HAIRCARE №2


This is the second part of a series on restoring the health, luster, + shine of our locks . . .

HEALTHY FATS | I cannot stress enough the nourishment that healthy fats provide for the whole body, beyond just hair, skin, + nails. It frustrates me deeply that most people are not only fat-phobic but consume unhealthy fats when they don't restrict their intake. This not only deprives the body from functioning at its prime—our brain is composed of 70 percent fat—but the unhealthy fats strip the body further of the steam its running on. It creates toxins in the body + puts it on reparative overdrive. The hair consequently gets limp, dry, + brittle, which even applying pumpfuls of oils will not cure.


Supplementing with + regularly consuming healthy fats such as raw organic coconut oil, high-quality olive oil, grass-fed ghee or butter, + wild-caught seafood [oysters, which are packed with zinc, are a great option] is essential. Snacking on raw, sprouted nuts + seeds if tolerated also feeds hair, skin, + nails: think chia seeds, walnuts, almonds, + macadamia nuts. Sprouted pumpkin seed milk is an easily-assimilated mylk to support hair growth as it is an abundant source of zinc, sulfur, + vitamin A. It is deeply mineralising. I also always keep coconut products at hand, such as packets of raw + organic coconut butter/coconut oil or snacks with shredded coconut, for a quick source of high-quality fats. The saturated fats in coconut also support healthy hormone levels which in return support healthy strands.

VITAMINS | many people suffering from brittle hair, split ends, + slow hair growth are lacking in essential minerals + vitamins. Two of these compounds are zinc + b vitamins, which is a source of biotin + niacin. Ensuring an adequate consumption of these regenerative vitamins through foods such as oysters, nuts + seeds, and organ meats will aid in the repairing of unhealthy hair + support lustrous locks. I love this b vitamin for supplementation.
COLLAGEN + GELATIN | traditional + native diets of our ancestors used to include plenty of dietary sources of gelatin + collagen with regular consumption of bone broth, calves foot jelly, + organ meats. Collagen hydrolysate + gelatin are composed of 35 percent glycine and 21 percent proline + hydroproline. It lacks, however, the amino acid tryptophan. This higher levels of lycine + proline to tryptophan makes it not only deeply healing for the hormones, the gut lining, + the musculoskeletal structure, but balances out the higher amount of tryptophan that we ingest through the consumption of muscle meats.
DIGESTION | There are innumerable ways that digestion + gut health affect our health that has been researched but is also still beyond our understanding. Adequate consumption of high-quality protein—grass-fed + pasture-raised meats as well as wild-caught seafood—is necessary for healthy hair growth since hair is composed of protein (keratin). Yet, in order for our bodies to assimilate protein, we first need to have a strong digestive system + healthy levels of stomach acid. The breaking down of protein and its composing amino acids require adequate levels of stomach acid + digestive enzymes. A high-functioning digestive system would not only stimulate hair growth but also heal hormonal imbalances + restore the metabolism. If you suspect an indigestion of protein or in general, I recommend speaking with your health practitioner about supporting your diet with high-quality digestive enzymes.

HORMONES | Hormones have a significant impact in the health of our hair, skin, + nails. It is not unexpected to see a halt in the healthy growth when the body is under stress. The stress hormone cortisol plays a vital role as both elevated levels + the depletion of it affects hair growth. It's therefore essential to maintain a homeostatic balance of cortisol, and I see the most beenfit out of kundalini meditations or my recent favourite, Art of Attention by the ever-radiant Elena Brower.

Estrogen is also a hormone that must be kept in balance. Elevated levels of estrogen, or estrogen dominance, is a widespread issue for both men and women with the high amount of environmental toxins + the consumption of foods that have estrogenic effects on the body. These consequently lead to hair loss amongst many other issues. 

Thyroid function is also an area that could be investigated with your health practitioner. Thyroid hormones maintain metabolism and thus assimilation of nutrients that promote hair growth. 

HYDRATION | Another measure that I cannot stress enough + one that builds nourishment from the inside out. Make sure that you are supplying your body + strands with adequate amount of hydration. Easier ways to do this is flavouring your water with herbs such as fresh organic mint, rosemary, or cucumbers as well as sipping on warming herbal teas or tonics throughout the day. Also, yes, having a beautiful glass bottle to carry it around it in also helps!

HEALTHY SCALP | I highly recommend a weekly scalp massage + mask for those who seek to stimulate faster hair growth. We need to feed our hair not only from the inside through a nutrient-dense diet but also from its roots. I love doing this scalp massage daily  but also while applying my weekly hair mask. Mix the ingredients below + massage it into the scalp.

AYURVEDIC HAIR MASK
A heaping spoonful of raw honey
A tablespoon of amla powder
Three heaping spoonfuls of unrefined sesame seed oil or raw organic coconut oil
One drop dōTERRA Rosemary essential oil

Photo source unknown, via Pinterest