When one transitions to a plant-based diet, many notice their hair becoming healthier: shinier, stronger, possibly thicker, and sometimes, changing slightly in color. My hair has changed completely since I was a teenager, partly due to dietary practices, partially due to lifestyle habits, and partially due to my cessation of daily chlorine dips… (I was a swimmer and water polo player). In middle school, my hair was one of my biggest bodily insecurities. It was poofy, dry, had zero luster, never lay flat, and the color was an odd, flat light brown. Although thick, it seemed very lifeless. My best friend had long, lustrous, juicy blond hair and it was the bain of my middle school existence.
When I stopped swimming, and about the same time started eating organic, raw, vegan foods and taking supplements and superfoods, my hair started to change quite a bit.
How can we boost the process of creating healthy hair?
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies in the body show up in our hair, so addressing those deficiencies is foundational. The most nutrient dense plant-based foods are fresh greens and sprouts (which made into green juice is dynamite!), garden-grown produce, wheatgrass, and superfoods. Drinking low glycemic vegetable juice is an amazing way to get massive amounts of nutrition into your body in a way which doesn’t tax your digestive system or fill you up quickly, or spike your blood sugar.
Protein is a large component for hair health. How wonderful that we can get such high quality protein from plants! The highest protein foods are spirulina, chlorella, chia seeds, hemp seeds, goji berries, blue green algae, marine phytoplankton, Incan berries, and some seaweed.
Certain specific vitamins and nutrients also play a part in hair health. These are Vitamins A, E, C, and the B Vitamins. These can be found in some foods, and more potently in supplements and superfoods. For more information on supplements and superfoods that contain them, you can email the Tree of Life Supplement Dispensary at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The hair shaft is actually about a quarter water, so getting enough water in each day is a major part of hair health. Gabriel Cousens, M.D. recommends drinking the amount of water that will make your body require urination every 1-2 hours. That amount will be different for each person. For more information on Gabriel’s recommended protocol for water filtration, mineralization, and activation, please read chapter 29 his book Spiritual Nutrition.
In the book Eating for Beauty, by David Wolfe, David shares with us particular foods that contain high amounts of what he calls ‘beauty minerals’, such as sulfur, silicon, zinc, manganese and iron. One can eat foods which are high in these minerals to support hair health. Foods high in sulfur are arugula, blue-green algae, cabbage, hot chilies and peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, hemp seeds, maca, marine phytoplankton, and mustard leaves. Foods high in silicon are nettles, romaine lettuce, nopal cactus, radishes, alfalfa, horsetail, mature grasses, burdock root, cucumber skins, bell pepper skins, and tomato skins. Foods high in zinc are pumpkin seeds, pecans, pine nuts, macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, coconuts, sesame seeds, high-quality spinach, spirulina, irish moss, kelp, and nori. Foods high in iron are Jerusalem artichoke, burdock root, cacao nibs, cherries, blackberries, collards, young lettuces, nettles, parsley, spinach, grasses, dulse, nori, and kelp. Foods high in manganese are dulse, nori, kelp, cacao, hemp seeds, spinach, brazil nuts, almonds, pecans, watercress, kale, and prunes.
The supplement MSM is also amazing for hair health. The herb He Shou Wu, a traditional Chinese medicinal plant, is also amazing for the hair.
Externally, depending on your hair type, there are many wonderful things you can nourish your hair with. Some of these things include coconut oil, and other oils such as sesame oil and jojoba oil. For a nourishing treatment that you would later wash out, many people enjoy using honey and avocado. The company Isun also sells a wonderful blend of oils and herbs called ‘Hair Herb Oil’.
For hair growth and stimulation, you can massage your hair with apple cider vinegar, and as I recently found out, cayenne pepper.
It is also imperative to be washing and conditioning your hair with natural products, and refraining from harsh products and hair dyes, as all these things strip the hair of its nutrition and vitality. A shower filter which removes abrasive chlorine and other toxic chemicals and substances can be very transformative.
Lastly, exercise which is vigorous enough makes the scalp sweat is wonderful for releasing toxicity in the scalp.
See you later, Rapunzel!
Eating For Beauty, by David Wolfe