Ok ladies, it’s time to share all the tips, tricks and secrets I’ve used the past three years to grow my hair out and keep it thick, strong, and long while also having color processed strands.
I literally have not had hair this long since I was..like..six years old. It has never been this thick either – come to think of it, my hair has always just kind of been meh starting in middle school onward. 1) I was in probably 5 hair trade-shows and over-zealous stylists just chopped that shit off and 2) I used to smoke a pack of cigarettes a day and ate crap food so it barely grew and was never full. So once I quit smoking and adapted the Balanced Babe lifestyle, the hair Gods blessed me with a whole new head of hair.
I’m not going to write a lengthy intro because if you’re coming to this article, you simply want to get to the details of what I’ve done to keep my hair healthy and all the long hair don’t care secrets – so let’s rendevouz.
Foods That Will Help Your Hair Grow
Once I started incorporating more of a plant-based eating lifestyle into my routine, and eliminated all the obvious junk that we need to eliminate, I noticed a visible difference in the rate that my hair grew. Obviously when I quit smoking 3 years ago that helped immensely as well – but, let’s keep on track and talk about the foods I eat to help support healthy hairsssss.
Protein. Our hair is made of protein, so we need to fuel ourselves with protein in order to help our hair (also nails) grow. My favorite plant-based proteins: quinoa, beans, nuts, seeds, lentils, hemp seeds etc. Also other obvious protein sources for non-label dieters: eggs, seafood like salmon + tuna, poultry.
Omega 3.These fatty acids prevent hair shedding due to inflammation, keeps it shiny and full, and helps with growth. Plant-based sources of omega 3’s include: nuts and seeds, avocado, leafy greens, winter squash, and oatmeal – additional food sources include again salmon, tuna, and eggs.
Cinnamon. When consumed (you can add it to your coffee or dessert), this spice helps increase circulation which helps oxygen flow freely throughout your body. This also helps bring oxygen to your hair follicles so that they can grow at an optimal speed.
Vitamin C. This essential vitamin can help keep our hair strong and prevent it from breaking off. Some studies also found that it helped women with thinning hair grow their hair back thicker than it was before by taking a Vitamin C supplement – but before you start downing pills, eat these vitamin C rich foods instead: citrus fruits, berries, kale, red pepper, brussels sprouts, and kiwi.
Biotin. Biotin is a B Vitamin that helps stimulate cellular division which helps stimulate hair and nail growth. Although biotin helps many women grow their hair out, it may also bring on acne because of the fact that it stimulates cell division. So – if you experience breakouts from eating a biotin rich diet or taking a biotin supplement, keep this off of your list. Biotin rich foods include: eggs, avocado, salmon, almonds, legumes, and whole grains.
Folic Acid. Another B vitamin that helps keep hair healthy! Folic acid helps our red blood cells stay healthy and supplies our scalp with oxygen to again, help promote hair growth. Foods rich in folic acid: lentils, asparagus, spinach, broccoli, eggs, berries, and avocado.
Iron And Zinc. Both of these minerals help your hair grow (and they are also great for clear healthy skin). Foods rich in iron and zinc include: sweet potatoes, dandelion greens, peas, oysters, tuna, red meat (especially lamb), kale, chard and beans.
Healthy Hair Supplements
Here is a list of the supplements I take to keep my hair strong and growing like the weeds in your front yard.
Neocell Biotin Chews – I’ve noticed a visible difference after taking these chews for only 1 month, there was definitely a spurt in growth to the point where I’ve had numerous people tell me that my hair was looking longer. They are also super yummy and taste like candy.
Neocell Liquid CollagenNot only does liquid collagen help with hair growth and thickness, it also promotes youthful looking skin and workout recovery. Again, I’m partial to Neocell liquid biotin because it tastes amazing and I’ve personally noticed a difference (and no they are not paying me to say this – I truly love the brand).
Multi Vitamin – I also make sure I’m taking a multi-vitamin daily just to ensure 100% that I’m getting my daily dose of essential vitamins and minerals. Before you choose a multi-vitamin brand, do your research to make sure that you’re getting pure ingredients.
Healthy Hair Products
Here is a simple list of the hair products I’ve been using, literally for years, and I won’t change it up because I know they work for me.
Shampoo: One ‘n Only Argan oil shampoo which is ultra moisturizing and sulfate and paraben free.
Conditioner: Nuance buriti oil nourishing hair mask. Even though this is a hair mask, I use it daily as a conditioner. I leave it on while I wash my face/body.
Oil: La Bella Figura Bohemia Verde. I use this oil the day after I’ve curled my hair, or at the end of a week when I’ve used hot tools frequently. I use a pretty liberal amount and leave it in my hair for about an hour, and then wash/condition.
Heat protector: Alterna Caviar anti-aging perfect iron spray which is heat activated. It smells amazing and protects hair from hot tools that get up to 450 degrees. On the bottle it says to spray on dry hair, but I spray it on my damp hair before I blow dry it – works great and doesn’t hold down my hair since it’s naturally straight.
- I try to never blow dry my hair if I don’t have to. The more I can let it air dry, the less damage is done from heat.
- I haven’t had a hair cut in three years, I trim the ends myself if I see visible breakage or split ends – and when I trim, I literally take off only about a centimeter.
- If I put my hair up, I try to use bobby pins instead of a pony tail holder – an elastic could break hair.
I also rounded up some tips from my colorist Nicolette of Nicolette Luxeology – check out her expert opinions.
BB: What types of home remedies would you recommend to treat damaged/dry hair?