Monday, August 21, 2017

Healthy Hair the Natural Way

The old saying used to be ‘you are what you eat,’ now the saying is ‘you are what you digest,’ which brings me to this article's topic. Healthy hair comes from a healthy body. What is happening inside your body will reveal itself through your hair, skin, and nails. Your eyes, too, will give your health away.

Proper digestion of your food, in my opinion, is the key to getting the nutrients your body needs. Let’s review some old-fashioned advice:  Digestion begins in your mouth. Chewing your food well makes it easier for the rest of the digestive system to work properly. Don’t rush through your meal—enjoy it. If you eat salad with your meal eat it at the end—it really helps with digestion—it’s the enzymes in the raw food that helps to assimilate the food.

Walking after a meal is a terrific way to help digestion. Yoga, believe it or not, improves digestion; it does so by establishing a mindful approach to the pace of your life, and by the many poses targeting the abdominal area. For people with a slow and stagnant digestive system or lack of stomach acid taking digestive enzymes or a product to help produce stomach acid will help your health greatly (not a long-term solution though). Having a digestive system in good working order allows for all the nutrients to be properly assimilated in your body—healthy inside is a healthy looking outside. On with how to improve your beautiful mane… (I am not covering the reasons why someone may be losing hair, have dandruff, etc. if you have specific questions, please email me) The following herbs are stars in the herbal and food world because of their concentration of vitamins and minerals. Just because I’m targeting them to hair, they will benefit your body as a whole…that is the beauty of the plant world.

Gotu kola (Centella Asiatica):  Stimulates growth of hair and nails, increases blood supply to the skin and increases protein growth in the skin and hair. The preferred method to take is through tea 2 - 3 cups a day – if you cannot find this in a teabag or loose – try capsule form and follow recommended dosage on the package. (Indian plant) 

Shou wu root (Polygonum multiflorum):  This root is used to treat premature aging, premature hair loss and graying, and impotence. Tea is the preferred method of use; however, I prefer the capsules. Follow the recommended dosage and directions on package.

Saw palmetto berry (Serenoa repens): A plant that grows around my part of the country. This is specific for treating prostate issues, but also to help regrow hair! Most commonly used with male pattern baldness. Take a capsule or use in tincture form for a more concentrated dose. Follow dosage and instructions on package. 

My favorite herbs for healthy hair and skin are:  Oatstraw—you guessed it our oatmeal plant; Nettles—absolutely love this plant—you can eat it like spinach, drink it as a tea, powder it and add to anything, or just take it in capsule form; Horsetail—high in silica, and as you know, we are made up of silica—add to your favorite tea and drink, take it in capsule form—I add to my nettle brew for a more nourishing blend; and Gotu kola—I add the powder form to my smoothies—it’s fantastic for connective tissue. These herbs are packed with nutrients. Add them to your routine and you’ll notice a difference in no time. I’ve used them for years as teas and very glad I did.

Tea works best for me. I find it gets absorbed into my system quicker and more efficiently and it’s more nourishing. But you can take them in capsule form—whatever works best for you—compliance is the key! 

Essential oils are one of my favorite tools in my Apothecary. Not only are they antiviral, anti-bacterial, astringent, carminative, cephalic, cholagogue, cordial, and digestive to just name a few of their constituents, but they smell good. A little reminder though, the oils are potent. When I say potent, I mean pounds and pounds of plant material are extracted through various methods to get an ounce of the essential oil; a little of the essential oil goes a long way. A few of the oils that stand out for hair growth are basil, peppermint, and rosemary.

A few examples of how to use the oil are:  add to vinegar, prepare a hair treatment mask, or in spray form and spray directly to the scalp and rub in. As with anything, to get the results you have to do it and be consistent! 

The following are some recipes to try: 

Oil treatment for hair – shine and health - 2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil (I’ve even used olive oil) add 3 drops of each – basil and rosemary essential oils. Warm the coconut oil and then add the essential oils, combine, massage the mixed oils into the scalp, and work outward. Place a shower cap over oiled hair, or a plastic grocery bag, and leave on for an hour. Shower, but don’t wet hair first, put the shampoo on the hair and then shampoo hair. This is the trick to getting the oil out. 

Hair rinse – for shine and thickness - 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, 1 cup warm water, 1 drop of each of the following oils:  lavender, rosemary, basil. Add the essential oils into the vinegar and combine, then add the warm water shampoo hair, rinse, pour vinegar rinse over hair and massage over scalp and hair, rinse with cool water – if you can stand it rinse with cold water – it will leave hair glossier. 

Conditioner for hair loss - 1.5 teaspoon jojoba oil, 8 drops evening primrose oil (if you use capsules break one open), 2 drops geranium essential oil, 2 drops palma rosa. Blend all your ingredients and apply to dry hair. Place plastic cap over hair. If you don’t have a plastic cap use a plastic grocery bag. Leave on for 30 minutes. When ready to shampoo hair, put the shampoo on the hair first and then wash hair. This is the trick to getting the oil out.

Until the next time,


How can we make this world a better place? One happy and healthy person at a time!