By Rebecca Gawthorne – Dietitian & Nutritionist
Beautiful, thick, shiny hair can be hard to achieve, and even more difficult to maintain. Constant styling, UV rays, salt water, heating, air-con, chlorinated pools, the natural elements and chemical-filled so-called "hair care" products all damage our hair, causing it to dry out, turn dull and frizzy and eventually break.
It doesn't have to be this way!
Here are some simple, natural hair-care tips that will transform those dry, damaged tresses into soft, luscious Victoria Secret style locks that everyone will envy.
- Nourish your hair from the inside out
No matter how many hair masks or natural treatments you use your hair, it will not look or feel healthy unless you are feeding it with healthy food. Believe it or not, your hair is made from the food you eat! If you want strong, shiny hair, you need to take care of yourself from the inside. This means eating an abundance of healthy, fresh, nutritious foods.
‘Good’ fats and protein are particularly important for luscious, long locks. Fish, nuts and seeds are great sources of both of these macronutrients. Adding some salmon to your salad at lunch and snacking on a handful of nuts and seeds are great ways to give your hair the nutrients it needs. These super foods are also rich in zinc, biotin and vitamins D and E, all essential for healthy hair! Including avocado and oils like olive oil and coconut oil in your diet will also help lock in moisture and prevent your hair from drying out.
- Care for your hair
Simple hair care strategies, which can often be forgotten when life gets busy, are essential for beautiful hair. Healthy hair stems from the follicle, so you need to wash your scalp and hair properly. A gentle scalp massage when you wash your hair will stimulate blood flow to your head and promote hair growth! Regular brushing of your hair is important too, as it helps to rid your scalp of impurities and stimulate the oil glands and follicles, keeping your hair thick.
- Use a homemade hair mask
Natural, homemade hair treatment masks are a great way to add some extra shine to dry and damaged hair. Try rubbing a few tablespoons of coconut oil (or other oils like olive oil or Moroccan oil) into your hair from the ends upwards and leaving it overnight. This will allow your hair to absorb the essential fatty acids from the oil into the hair and strengthen the individual strands. Other natural hair masks made from foods like honey, avocado and even banana or egg, are great too!
- Try a collagen supplement
Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies and it is the structural building block for our hair. Without adequate collagen, hair will lack hydration and strength, becoming brittle and dry. A natural collagen supplement like Vida Glow can help promote hair growth and regeneration, especially of weak, damaged hair from over styling and heat. A marine collagen supplement like Vida Glow can also improve the hair follicle strength and is rich in essential nutrients needed for healthy hair.
- Don't over style
Regular blow-drying, curling and straightening of your hair will cause it to dry out, become brittle and break. Avoid heat styling treatments as much as possible and when you can, allow you hair to dry naturally. If you need to blow-dry or straighten it, choose a low heat setting and always use a heat protector cream or spray.