Good hair care starts with how you treat your hair, body
Most hair problems are essentially problems with the scalp which
can be affected by the over-production or under-production of oils, dermatitis and
infections. Stress and how well your body absorbs the vitamins, minerals and
other nutrients also affects the hair growth. If your hair is over-oily, too dry, brittle, falling out, splitting or the
general condition is poor - this can be an indication that your general health may need to
A nutritional deficiency may be the cause of some hair problems. Some say
that our hair is a reflection of our general health.
Your Hair Type
Hair tends to fall into certain categories.
Some people have oily hair which means that the sebaceous glands are slightly overactive,
producing more oil. This extra oil lubricates the hair and skin and gives them a more
greasy appearance. Your hair may also be dry with split ends. This is the
result of an underactive sebaceous gland. You also may have dry hair as a result of
excessive use of chemical products on your hair. You may be one of the lucky ones and have
normal hair which is neither too oily or too dry.
Dandruff is also a problem which may be
encountered either with oily or dry types. This condition is the result of a disorder in
the sebaceous gland in the scalp, which produces more scales of skin than necessary.
Nutrition for Hair
The best way you can care for your hair
nutritionally is to...
- eat plenty of natural foods that come from a
- get plenty of aerobic exercise,
- limit your intake of the naughty
things such as refined foods, alcohol, sugar, caffeine and highly saturated fatty foods.
- You may consider taking a supplement of
essential fatty acids (or eating more apricots, wheatgerm and linseed oils), silica, or a
good multivitamin preparation.
Some hair problems can also be caused by a
vitamin B12, vitamin C or
Brewers yeast and
vitamin B5 are also good
for the hair. It is not wise to take the vitamin Bs separately - take them as a complex or group.
Nutrition for the different hair
- Oily hair types - eat
more fresh fruit and foods containing
such as brewers yeast, natural yoghurt, cheese, eggs, liver, spinach, brussel
sprouts and other green leafed vegetables.
- Dry hair/split end types -
eat more of the essential fatty acids. Such as avocados, nuts, fresh fruit and
vegetables, yeast extract, tomatoes and egg yolk, cheese and natural yoghurt, milk.
- Dandruff types - eat
more brown rice, wholegrain breads and pasta, fresh fruit and vegetables, and rich protein
foods such as meat, eggs, nuts and milk.
General Hair Care
It is a good idea to brush your hair before
washing it to remove the dead skin cells and to remove any tangles. Always be careful of
the ends while brushing, to avoid breakages and splitting. Brush slower through the ends
and be gentle. Use bristle brushes as these brushes distribute the oils more evenly,
coating and nourishing the ends of your hair.
Always choose a good shampoo which is
suitable for your hair type. You can also add some aromatherapy essential oils to the
shampoo to aid certain conditions and hair types.
To wash hair -
- Use warm water to wet the hair - water which
is too hot can burn your scalp and hair.
- Use only a small amount of shampoo and place
into your palm.
- Smooth the shampoo over your hair with your
- Massage the shampoo into your hair for about
1 - 2 minutes. (the massage is great for your scalp and circulation).
- If your hair is long - dont lather up
the ends as they will get washed as you rinse your hair.
- Rinse out the shampoo - if there is a lot of
lather, your shampoo may be high in detergent and not as good for your hair. Make sure you
rinse all the shampoo out.
- You do not have to shampoo again unless the
hair is particularly dirty.
- Do not brush your hair at this stage when it
is wet as the hair is very weak and can break easily.
- Condition your hair with a conditioner which
suits your hair type as well. If your scalp is oily - dont put the conditioner on
the scalp, use on the ends only.
- Leave the conditioner on for the required
time (usually 1-5 minutes) and rinse out thoroughly.
about once per week, invest in a protein conditioner or a more intensive treatment. This
is good for dry hair or hair which has been treated with chemicals. Comb through and
cover with a shower cap and towel. Leave for one hour and shampoo out.
(see section on aromatherapy for
Remember also not to brush hair when it is
wet - use a wide toothed comb to get out the tangles. This is when the hair is
particularly vulnerable and can break easy.
If you wash your hair everyday, it is a
good idea not to blow dry it everyday as well. This can cause damage to the hair shaft and
split ends. Try to let it dry naturally every second time you wash your hair at least. Put
the dryer on a low setting and do not use it too close to your hair.
You should have regular cuts - at least
every 6 weeks to remove the longest ends. Speak with your hairdresser about the condition
of your hair. He or she may also recommend having a conditioning treatment at the same