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Rude Looks

How to have GORGEOUS hair without chemicals

Healthy hair can be achieved without chemicals, here’s how

Hair no-nos

Rebecca Goodyear is a natural lifestyle expert who writes an award-winning blog, Biteable Beauty: ”There are a few chemicals to be wary of in mainstream conventional hair care products. Sodium lauryl or laureth sulphate is a harsh detergent and known irritant to skin and eyes. It may hamper healthy hair growth and has also been shown to cause cataracts via absorption through the skin. Propylene glycol and polyethylene glycol are two more ingredients to watch out for, both of which cause premature ageing of the skin. The latter also coats and suffocates the skin and strips hair of its natural oils and the scalp of sebum.”

The natural way

Dr Jan Wadstein is an expert in alternative health and advisor to Nourkrin: ”As a matter of overall health, using natural products greatly decreases the chances of allergic reactions and dangerous side-effects. In fact, the concept of natural and drug-free products has gained a major foothold throughout Ireland as a serious alternative to conventional, chemically-based products. For example, when it comes to treatment of hair growth disorders, consumers are increasingly aware of the risk of harmful and dangerous side-effects which can even be permanent in some instances. However, there are a few supplements that can directly support the healthy hair growth cycle, which is important, as this is the mechanism that controls hair growth and quality.”

Choosing the best

Dr Jan Wadstein: ”It is important to look for products in health stores that have a long history in the marketplace, are safe and drug-free. These products should be specifically formulated to support the normal hair growth cycle, especially if you have hair growth issues. You should never fall for ‘miracle beauty products’ that rely on celebrity endorsement, as this is simply paid-for advertising.”

Rebecca Goodyear: ”When looking for a natural haircare product look for hydrating ingredients such as aloe vera and nourishing ingredients such as calendula extract, jojoba oil, vitamin E and sea kelp. You can find shampoos and conditioners in health stores and also some natural and organic styling products whose performance competes well with their mainstream counterparts.”

Hair health

Rebecca Goodyear: ”The best way to maintain healthy hair is to eat a well-balanced diet containing a variety of colourful vegetables and fruit, and healthful fats. There are several beauty complexes on the market now, but I consider the crucial components for healthy hair to be:

Biotin – found in brown rice, bulgur, lentils and oats; biotin increases elasticity, protects against dryness and helps prevent breakage.

Vitamin A – found in cod liver oil, krill oil, spinach, carrots and peaches, vitamin A helps the scalp produce healthy sebum, to prevent hair drying up and breakage.

Vitamin E – found in beans, leafy greens and nuts, vitamin E helps increase oxygen uptake in the body’s blood circulation.

Pantothenic acid, or vitamin B5 –found in whole grains and eggs, believed to help prevent greying of hair due to ageing as well as reduce natural loss of hair and strengthen hair follicles.”

Balance is key

Dr Jan Wadstein: ”It is always a good idea to get proper nutrition through a balanced diet to help maintain healthy hair. Three of my favourite foods are salmon, eggs and lentils because they provide a combination of nutrients essential for normal, healthy hair growth. Salmon is high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, while eggs are a good source of protein, zinc, selenium and iron. For those on a vegetarian or vegan diet, lentils are a great source of protein, iron, zinc and biotin.”

DIY hair conditioners

If your hair is lifeless and dull, try these home-made kitchen conditioners. They can drip though, so make sure you are wearing a good quality shower cap and a towel around your shoulders. In each case leave on for 30 minutes then rinse with tepid water – you don’t want to cook that egg into your hair.

  • Whisk together egg whites and natural yogurt
  • Whisk together equal amounts of runny honey and olive oil
  • Blitz a combination of coconut milk, avocado , mayonnaise, honey and banana in a blender until smooth

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