Our hair is so important to most of us – we all want to have gorgeous, stylish hair and lets face it – healthy hair enhances and adds to our natural beauty – men or women. Hair can be a reflection of an individual’s overall health. If we mistreat our hair and don’t respect its natural needs by using chemicals such as dyes, harsh shampoo, alcohol, bleaches, soaps. too much heat in hair drying, sun damage, chlorination from swimming or sudsy water from over-shampooing we can damage our hair from the root to the ends. Our hair needs the proper diet of vitamins and nutrients and the proper care.
The average head has 150,000 hairs and I believe is in extremely important to protect every one of those hairs.
Causes of poor hair health:
Healthy hair starts from the inside out. Hair loss can be due to mistreatment, result of chemical exposure, surgery chemicals, stress/tension, thyroid disease, heredity, hormone imbalance, fungal infections, excess salt, decreased iron, oral contraceptives, lack of B vitamins, or malnutrition.
Vitamins that nourish and build the health of your hair:
- Vitamin A (if deficient results in dull, lifeless hair)
- Fatty Acids (Omega 3 & 6)
- Vitamin E
- B vitamins
Foods That nourish your hair:
- Whole grains
- Brown rice
- Brewer’s yeast
- Organic Vinegar
- Cold-pressed oils
- Fruits and vegetables – spinach, lettuce, bell peppers, tomatoes, kelp
Minerals that nourish your Hair:
- MSM (methyl-sulfonymethane) a sulfur compound – MSM is vital for healthy collagen and keratin and proper growth – MSM can be lost in food through processing, cooking, drying, smoking or storing. MSM also is important for healthy nails.
- Silica is concentrated in hair, muscle, cartilage, bones, teeth, and blood vessels. Silica helps with thinning hair to strengthen your blood vessels and improve circulation this in turn stimulates the blood flow to your scalp and promotes hair growth. Silica helps to strengthen your bones, nails and hair.
Avoid Shampoos That Contain:
- Harmful chemicals used to emollients (moisturizing agents)
- Emulsifiers (used to thoroughly blend non-mixable liquids)
- Humectants (hold in moisture)
- Surfactants (wetting agents permitting water to spread our and penetrate easily
- Methyl parabens & propyl parabens – these products mimic the actions of estrogen which encourages the growth of breast cancer
- Fragrances that are synthetic can have as many as 200 ingredients. The label it will simply say “Fragrance.” so you have no way of knowing what the ingredients are. Health issues known to be induced by these chemicals include — headaches, dizziness, rash, hyperpigmentation, violent coughing, vomiting, and skin irritation.
- Ethanol (is drying to the hair and a CNS depressant that can affect heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration
- Nitrosamines (human carcinogens)
- Formaldehyde (mucous membrane and heart irritant)
- Sodium Lauryl sulfate & Sodium Laureth Sulfate (known as an eye irritant and may be a human carcinogen)
- Sodium trideceth sulfate (is extremely drying to your hair – can cause damage)
- Coal Tar (Carcinogenic)
- TEA (triethanolamine) EWG classified as strong evidence as — Human immune and respiratory toxicant
- DEA (diethanolamine) Nitosating agents
- PVP/VA Copolymer (a petroleum-deprived chemical) used in hairsprays, wavesets, and other cosmetics. Its particles may contribute to foreign bodies in the lungs.
- Stearalkonium chloride (is used in hair conditioners and creams) — can cause allergic reactions and according OrganicConsumer is considered toxic
- Synthetic dyes are added only to make the product look more appealing and should be avoided at all costs. Synthetic colors have been linked as cancer-causing agents and many other health disorders.
Some alternatives natural solutions to toxic products that not only damage your hair but also your health!
- To condition your hair and scalp – apply warm organic olive oil, jojoba, or coconut oil
- Eucalyptus fends off dandruff
- Lavender can thicken the hair
- Rosemary has a reputation for stimulating hair growth
The Environment Impact:
- Formaldehyde is very toxic to aquatic organisms and may cause long-term adverse effects
- Sodium lauryl sulphate is toxic to aquatic organisms
- Plastic bottles used for packaging products is an environmental hazard as it is non bio-degradable and takes hundreds of years to break down
Other suggestions for healthier hair is to avoid brushes and combs with plastic handles and bristles.
It’s so important to take care of bodies from the tips of the toes to the top of the head. Every aspect of what we wear, the products we use on our bodies, the foods we eat, affect our all over health and well-being, and our environment. So think truly natural, green, and organic for whatever product you are purchasing, because your choices can make a big difference in your own health, the health of your family, your planet, and the future that we leave for our children.
Sources: Less – Toxic Alternatives — Tenth Addition Author: Carolyn Gorman