Diet and Hair

What goes into your body is as important to your hair as those weekly deep conditions.

Our bodies are like a big factory. Everything that goes into our bodies is used for many different purposes like keeping your bones and muscles healthy and providing nutrients for your hair and skin.

I’m no dietician but I know that keeping a healthy, balanced diet can be beneficial for your hair as well as overall health. I say a “balanced” diet because who doesn’t like to have a juicy cheeseburger and some greasy fries every now and then? I say junk food isn’t so bad as long as you don’t have it all the time.

Here is an article I came across and some of the foods mentioned were very shocking.

Best and Worst Foods for Healthy Hair

If you are transitioning or are already going natural, think about ways you can make your life even healthier than it already is. What are some things you can cut down on or even start doing to make your life as happy and healthy as possible.

The most important thing, in my opinion, is to stay hydrated throughout the day. Drink lots of water, especially now in the summer time where the heat and humidity can be exhausting.

@Yo.Shea.Naturals

As a natural enthusiast, I love learning about natural, organic products. There are a whole bunch of small businesses out there who sell home-made skin care products. It makes the search for the perfect product much more difficult than it should be.

I love, love, love organic products.
My family suffers from eczema which is a skin condition where the skin becomes rough, inflamed or irritated with no clear external cause. My mom’s skin flares up when she eats anything with gluten and is exposed to the sun.

When I came across @yo.shea.naturals on Instagram, I was curious to try it for myself and for my family. Yoni, the owner, was so generous and sent me a few samples of her body butters, body scrub, and hair elixir.

Yo Shea Naturals Website

Let me just say, I fell in love with these products after the first use!

Here are my thoughts:

Body Butter

I received vanilla and cranberry scented body butters.

Pros

Consistency. It rubs on the skin smoothly. Some people may describe this butter as being too oily, but that’s all depending on preference and the condition of your skin.

Moisture. After applying the body butter, there is no need for me to moisturize again during the day because my skin retains all the moisture. It looks and feels amazing.

Reduces scars with help from the body scrub.

Cons

Fragrance is irritating to my mom’s skin (this is my mom’s experience because of her eczema, my skin loves the butter)

Body Scrub

Cranberry scented scrub smells great and leaves my skin feeling brand new.

Pros

Less ingrown hairs. The grains of sugar in this scrub are kind of thick (consistency of brown sugar) which is a great exfoliant. Over time, the appearance of scars and darkened skin (like elbows and knees) begin to brighten.

Helps heal dry skin. This scrub is so moisturizing that I don’t even need to moisturize after I shower. The combination of oils in it is the magic.

Hair Elixir

The mixture smells like nature and keeps my scalp feeling refreshed.

I can’t say if I’ve seen any growth in my hair because I didn’t measure it before I began using the elixir. The change I did notice in my hair is its thickness. My hair feels much fuller, with more volume, and my curls are more defined.

These products are also very cheap ranging between $5-$20. I definitely recommend it for anyone with dry skin who isn’t sensitive to fragranced products.

Bleach ‘n Curls

Bleach and hair are like a child and the boogie man.

Everyone has this idea that:
Bleach = Damage …
… Does it really?

 

My Experience

It has been a little over a week since I dyed my hair from black to chocolate-brown. Since my hair was so dark, it had to be bleached in order for the color to take. I tried so hard to avoid bleaching it, but I just ended up going through with it because I felt bored with my hair. It was definitely time for a change but I was so anxious to wash my hair and check for heat or bleach damage.

I have a cousin that used to dye her hair all the time! Her hair was dry and her curls were slowly diminishing. I didn’t want to go through that after all the work I put into getting my hair back to its natural state from heat damage.

So, while my hair was straightened I made sure to keep the length of my hair moisturized using Jojoba and Coconut oils, since dryness and damage was my biggest concern.

 

Wash Day!!

Before washing my hair, I did an intensely moisturizing treatment (which I will post soon with details). I was surprised to see that there was no damage to my hair! My curls were shiny, bouncy, and hydrated. My excitement was over the roof!

I was expecting to see a bunch of straight ends and maybe even a looser curl pattern. I believe that keeping my hair extra moisturized played a big role in the outcome.

I have to say, I absolutely don’t regret bleaching my hair and I’m so happy with my results!

My point is basically that bleach isn’t all that bad. As long as you keep those curls clean and moisturized, they will be popping at all times!

 

**I am speaking solely on my experience. Everyone’s hair is different and reacts differently to products. Bleach can still be very damaging if misused, so I recommend to have it done by a professional. I hope your coloring experience is as great as mine! If you would like to see how the color turned out, check out my instagram which you can find on the homepage of this site. **

Length, Length, Length

As a curly girl, length isn’t so easy to tell. And that SUCKSSS!

I’m sure you’ve all heard the saying Shrinkage is a Bitch! And in fact it is. A curly girl can never tell her true length unless it’s straightened and that’s exactly what we’re avoiding here. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying don’t ever straighten your hair, a length check is always needed, but not every so often. I length check probably twice or three times a year.

Maintaining Length

This may sound contradicting, but trust me it works and I’ll explain why.

Making sure those ends are healthy is a MAJOR KEY in ensuring swift hair growth.

Think about this:
Your hair grows from the top of your head (obviously), but if the hair that’s already hanging from your head keeps breaking from your damaged, split ends, it’ll feel like your hair isn’t growing at all.

SO, to make sure your ends don’t prolong your hair length journey, occasional trims are necessary. I honestly don’t have the time to go to hair salons, plus they don’t really know how to cut curly hair unless you go to a Deva Curl Hair Salon or a curly hair specialist, but let’s be real, they’re a bit pricey. Plus, I have trust issues sooo… I cut my own hair. Now to do that you have to be very careful. There are so many opinions out there on curly trimming methods, but I prefer dry cutting.

Dry Cutting

The reason I don’t recommend to cut hair while wet is because curly hair shrinks, so cutting wet curls will leave you with a shorter length than you expected.

Dry cutting/dusting is basically searching for those straight or split ends and chopping them off. It sounds a bit extreme, but I find that (if you wear your hair curly most of the time) it’s the most efficient way to get the most growth. A con about this method is that you hair (when straightened) won’t be perfectly even, but this won’t really be a problem if you’re wearing your hair curly. It’ll help your curls flourish.

Helpful Oils

Cutting isn’t the only thing that promotes hair growth.
Here are a few oils you can incorporate in your oil treatments:

Essential Oils

  • Lavender
  • Rosemary
  • Ylang Ylang
  • Peppermint/Tea Tree
  • Chamomile
  • Clary Sage

*Each oil, whichever you choose, should be mixed with a carrier oil (I prefer coconut oil, you can also use virgin olive oil, avocado oil, almond oil, sesame oil, or canola a.k.a. rapeseed oil). The mixture should be 4 tsp of carrier oil to every 10 drops of essential oil.

Others

  1. Jojoba

Jojoba oil is technically not an oil. Its a wax ester, which is similar to the oils naturally released by our skin. It’s rich in Vitamins E and B which have antibacterial and antioxidant properties which will remove the dead skin from your scalp and promote healthy hair growth. I love jojoba oil (especially for my face) because it’s not greasy and moisturizes without leaving too much of a shine.

  1. Jamaican Black Castor

Castor oil is very thick and sticky similar to honey. It consists of amino and fatty acids that repair and regenerate hair follicles. Aside from promoting hair growth, castor oil can moisturize, thicken, and even enhances hair color.

  1. Vitamin E

As I mentioned before, Vitamin E is an antioxidant which is helpful for repairing damaged hair follicles. It reduces inflammation, and promotes blood circulation to the scalp which is beneficial for hair growth.

**When applying these oils, for EXTRA growth promotion, use the Inversion Method which is flipping your head upside down and massaging the scalp for about 10 minutes. The inversion method promotes hair growth by increasing blood circulation to the scalp and the massage will open up the hair follicle to absorb the oils. You can use the inversion method everyday if you’d like; 10 minutes a day for a month can probably get you two or three inches of growth depending on your hair and how fast it usually grows. (Don’t quote me on that, I’m speaking based on my experience.)

Consistency

I really can’t stress consistency enough. It’s like anything in life! Diets, exercise plans, relationships, skin care, and I can go on forever. The point is, that if you don’t keep consistency with your hair, you may not see the results you expect. Yes, hair care is extremely time consuming, but its all worth it!

With cuts, I recommend dusting every 3-4 months depending on the level of damage you have on the ends.

As for the growth promoting oil treatments, I recommend you do it bi-weekly, even monthly. You don’t want to overwhelm your hair with too many treatments because it can become brittle, weak and can become prone to breakage.

Hope this helped! Feel free to like and comment any further questions or suggestions for future posts.