Quinoa, avocado, honey, aloe vera and coconut oil. A few years ago I hadn’t even heard of quinoa let alone incorporated it into my diet and hair care regime!
Limp, frizzy, brittle hair. Low energy, acne and stomach cramps. Symptoms of being stressed and overworked? Or a more serious signal of a serious lack of the right type of nutrients in my diet? After suffering for years I finally decided something needed to change around about the time that I went to University.
I wanted to find the root of the cause of my problems. I didn’t want to continue patching it up with quick fixes, covering my face with foundation and smothering my hair in cheap chemically loaded products.
My hair care regime at its worst consisted of pure petroleum jelly (aka Vaseline but not the brand name!) and the cheapest gel that I could get my hands on. Now while this was extremely low cost, my hair was paying the price.
After much experimenting, an education in medical sciences and trawling through blogs, articles and forums, I came to realise that my hair and body were telling me that they needed help. I then realised that healthy hair and skin starts from within. And that it made sense that my products should mirror my diet, as skin does absorb a lot of what it comes into contact with after all!
Here are a few of my favourite foods that are great to nourish from the inside:
I always have a tube of aloe Vera gel lying around. It’s good for just about anything, with a multitude of healing properties and a soothing cooling action. I use it for: treating burns and a night time moisturiser for my skin when acne flairs up.
Body benefits: Aloe Vera juice is great to help settle many digestive problems.
Hair benefits: Aloe Vera gel gives good hold and can be found in some of my favourite products including: kinky curly curling custard.
Note: when aloe Vera gel is mixed with oils it tends to form dry white flakes.
We all know how great coconut oil is for our hair. It is my favourite oil and it’s great to use as a deep treatment. It’s even better drizzled over roasted sweet potatoes!!
Hair benefits: good for dry brittle hair. Use as a deep treatment before shampooing or even leave it on all day!
Body benefits: I use this oil as a substitute for just about any other oil or butter, when I feel like adding a coconut-y flavour to a dish. Coconut oil helps to maintain a healthy immune system. It contains lauric acid, which is converted into monolaurin in the body. This is great for killing harmful bacteria.
Honey is a natural sweetener and a good alternative to granulated sugar. Sometimes I use it as a face mask and leave it on my skin for about ten minutes, it’s a great moisturiser and a anti microbial making it a good treatment for acne.
Hair benefits: honey is good when you feel like your hair could use a little extra moisture. Mix it with a little bit of conditioner and make sure you wash it out thoroughly!
Fact: Did you know that honey is used in hospitals for wound care? It helps the healing process, it’s soothing and helps to fight off infection.
These little seeds are packed full of vitamins and are great for increasing energy.
Some hair products have started to incorporate quinoa into their ingredients. Look out for: Aubrey Organics Chia Detangler, MY DNA Moisturizing Hair Butter And Design Essentials Quinoa & Bamboo Hair Repair Kit.
This has to be one of my favourite things to eat. Avocados taste amazing, their creamy texture means that they are perfect for adding to smoothies and creating healthy desserts.
Avocado oil is great for softening hair and can be found in one of my favourite deep treatments Shea Moisture’s Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow & Restore Treatment Masque.
There are so many other great foods out there that can double up as hair and body treatments. What are your favourites ?