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Rosemary Nardone, CHHP, RM

Certified Nutritional Health Counselor

As far back as history reveals, many cultures considered hair to be the most important part of one’s appearance.  In ancient times, to look their most ferocious, wild warriors spiked their hair, our forefathers wore powdered wigs, Scandanavians wore braids and Egyptians shaved their heads. 

No other part of the body engages quite so much attention as hair, and no one is every completely satisfied with their hair.  It is with good reason hair is called our “Crowning Glory” and it plays a great role in our lives.

There are many myths and misunderstandings such as baldness from wearing hats or due to heredity, or frequent washing causes thinning.  The belief that hair has a mind of its own leads to excessive use of lotions, shampoos, conditioners, hair preparations of all kinds that are supposed to “feed” the hair.  But the truth is that our hair is built by the “blood stream.”  Hair is very much like the muscles of our body and must be fed and exercised just like our bodies.

Hair is a protein and grows in a kind of “body soil” just under the scalp that is nourished by our blood.  That is why it is so important to feed our bodies with high quality food that keeps producing rich blood that supplies the scalp with nutrients.  When we see men and/or women that get bald on top but is thicker around the sides, it is because their “hair soil” level has dropped.

Eating to build hair and scalp is essential.  Protein is first and foremost because this is the material hair is constructed from.  Eating high starch, sugar, salt which absorbs moisture from the blood causes all kinds of problem hair “you can’t do anything with.”  The cultures with the most beautiful hair are Asian people who have long, shiny, thick black hair and the Italians.  Note their diet is rich in seafood, sea greens, healthy oils, soy and olive ,citrus fruits and fresh vegetables.

Cleanliness with a good natural shampoo free of chemicals unclog the scalp allowing the follicles to breathe and open so the blood can get in and penetrate.  Contrary to old fashioned beliefs, washing the hair every day or every couple of days is a healthy practice to follow.

Hair also needs to be exercised like our muscles.  Each of our 100,000 strands has a tiny artery which is stimulated by brushing – only with a natural bristle brush – daily.  Also, it’s good to give your scalp a little massage every day, bend over and brush from the base of the scalp outward to the end of the hair – 50 to 100 strokes is an ancient rule of thumb for gorgeous hair – also brings out the natural oil for shine.

Coloring is nothing new and has been done for over 3000 years.  Babylonians preferred redheads, Romans liked blondes.  Hair turning gray is a signal the body is becoming depleted in minerals and energy is waning.  Over processing hair with color can be damaging to the scalp, but using natural tints and coloring products has many benefits also.  Most beauty salons today are careful of the products they use because most of us color our hair. 

To strengthen dry brittle hair, massage a small amount of coconut oil, castor oil or Rosemary oil into the scalp and run it through the hair for at least 4 hours – this will stimulate growth and moisturize hair.  I use castor oil on my eyelashes, brows to keep them long and thick.

Last, but not least, feed your scalp with nutrients that provide the energy that fuels hair growth.  They are PROTEIN, from lean meats, fish, low fat cheese, eggs, spinach and soy; VITAMIN C,which builds collagen that supports hair follicles and keeps blood vessels in scalp healthy; SILICA, which promotes growth, found in cucumbers, asparagus, cabbage and sunflower seeds; BIOTIN, - improves texture and is an essential B VITAMIN found in salmon, carrots, egg yolks and sardines, helps form keratin which is the protein that strengthens hair, and most important, REGULAR MEALS fortify the follicles.

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