Awesome Hair... From the Inside Out

If you're anything like me, you've probably spent countless hours and tons of money in search of that miracle oil, masque, conditioner, serum, or something... that would swoop in like Captain Save-A-Strand and ease all your hair woes. While there are some awesome products out there (believe me, I will get to ALL of them!), one of the most important and fundamental awesome hair lessons I've learned is that the health of you hair starts inside. That's why I wanted to do this post first and foremost. Am I recommending that you start some crazy fad diet that promises to have you grow 10 feet of hair in 6 months? Absolutely not. What I am recommending is that you spend some time outside of the beauty supply store and invest in your overall health, to give you the best head of hair you've ever seen. Ready to hear me out? Keep scrolling...

Awesome Hair...With Water

Don't roll your eyes just yet. I know for non-natural folks, water on hair is almost as asinine as the GOP candidate race right now. I'm not talking about sticking your head under a faucet, or letting it all hang out in the shower... I'm talking about drinking it. One of the keys to shiny, healthy, and strong hair is drinking water. If your hair is dull, brittle, and prone to breakage, think about this -- how much water do you consume daily? Chances are, with the barrage of beverage options out there, you're not getting enough. Your hair shafts are comprised of about 25% water. Let's do some quick math here... If you're dehydrated (not drinking enough water), you increase your chances of hair breakage by oh... 25%? I don't know about you, but I can't take those chances. So drink up. Some sources say drink 64 ounces a day (approximately 4 "regular" sized bottles), while others say drink half, or double your body weight. My advice? Whatever you currently drink, double it every week or so until you reach an amount that is comfortable for you. Your hair, skin, and insides will thank you.

Awesome Hair...With Exercise

If you ever needed some extra gym it is. Regular exercise promotes healthy hair and growth. We all know that stress can cause breakage and hair fall out -- with the body's natural release of the hormone cortisol. Increased stress and therefore increased cortisol levels contribute to hair loss. Living in LA, stressors are all around -- you don't have to go far, just try getting on the 405 at any time during the day. One sure-fire way to eliminate stress and regulate/decrease cortisol levels is through cardiovascular exercise 3 or 4 times a week. Exercise also increases serotonin levels in the brain -- making you more apt to feel upbeat and happy-go-lucky -- therefore decreasing the release of stress-related hormones that can trigger hair loss. Lastly, exercise improves blood circulation. Good blood circulation is key in stimulating hair follicles for growth. So while you're getting your body right for Summer, your hair is getting right too!

Awesome Hair...With Food

Eat a healthy meal, and you feel like you can conquer the world (or at least run a few laps). Pay a visit to _______ [insert your favorite restaurant here], and you probably walk away from the table and right into a food coma. What's good for the body, is good for the hair. Eating healthy provides your hair with the nutrients and building blocks necessary to crank out the healthiest hair possible. While Roscoe's may not make the list, here are some foods that are known to give your hair a fighting chance:
  • Salmon: Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B-12 and iron, salmon supports scalp health. Healthy scalp = healthy hair.
  • Dark Greens: Spinach, broccoli, greens, and others contain vitamins A and C, which are critical for sebum production in your hair follicle. Sebum is an oily substance secreted by the follicles and is regarded as your hair's very own conditioner.
  • Beans: Legumes prove themselves to be an awesome source of protein, zinc, biotin and iron, which are all key elements in hair growth.
  • Nuts: Walnuts, cashews, pecans, and almonds contain zinc, which is key in preventing hair loss. 
  • Eggs & Poultry: Protein, protein, protein. Protein is an essential building block for hair.
  • Whole Grain: Great sources of zinc, iron, and B vitamins for hair growth.
  • Dairy (low-fat): Calcium isn't just for your bones; it's important for your hair growth too.
Awesome Hair...With Supplements

If you feel like the food section of this post was intimidating, you're not alone. While it is best to get all of your nutrients from food sources, a little boost from a few vitamins never hurt anybody. Here's a few that have shown me major love:
  • Multivitamin:  Round out your diet with a multivitamin that will give you solid doses of major vitamins and minerals that support not only hair health, but your overall health. I'm currently taking Vitamin Code's Women Raw Whole Food Multi  . A bit pricey, but I dig that the sources are food nutrients.
  • Biotin: Assists in hair growth, nail growth, and metabolism boosting. I have Country Life brand biotin, but I recently learned that Target sells the same (Up & Up brand) 1000mcg bottle for under $3. Don't overdo the biotin though -- it can lead to acne breakouts on the skin. Note: I have not experienced said breakouts. I have read about the experiences of others, and choose to err on the side of caution.
  • B-Complex: B-Complex vitamins are awesome. They come with a whole host of benefits. Hair-wise, they promote healthy growth. B-Complex vitamins are also great for metabolizing food (energy for that hair-growing workout!), neurological health (stress and hormones), and they also can help counteract the acne breakouts biotin may cause.
  • MSM aka Methylsulfonylmethane: MSM is a naturally occurring sulfur found in many foods. Unfortunately, we tend to cook it out and therefore, don't get as much as we could stand to benefit from. Mainly known for joint health and inflammation (again, more support for those hair-growing workouts!), MSM has some promising effects on hair growth. The life cycle of your hair consists of 3 phases: growing, resting, and shedding. Not only is sulfur a building block for your hair, it also has been shown to lengthen the growing phase of your hair. A longer growing phase (before resting and shedding) means...drumroll...longer hair! I am currently taking Vitamin Shoppe's MSM 1000.

Do you have an inside-out Awesome Hair regimen or tip? Let me know, so we can show you some love!


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