Tips and tricks for simply gorgeous hair

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I don’t think there is a single woman out there who doesn’t want positively beautiful, flowing healthy locks. When it comes to healthy hair, it’s important to not only consider the products that we use on our hair, but also the way we look after it and most importantly the food we eat to actually grow our hair! The best diet for healthy hair is first and foremost a completely balanced diet. This means filled with healthy fats, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, pulses, beans, legumes, whole grains and dairy and/or dairy alternatives. Though perhaps if you dig a little deeper, you can begin see that some specific nutrients really do go the extra mile when it comes to healthy hair.

Our hair is physically made from protein, so eating adequate amounts of protein each day is absolutely essential for hair health. We do not have the ability to store protein, so trying to include some at eat meal is a great way to keep your daily intake up (and it will also positively benefit your appetite whist you’re at it). Try to prioritise healthy sources of protein which means limiting processed sources (such as salamis) and focus on lean options (such as removing visible fat and choosing lower fat cuts of meat). Great examples include turkey, chicken, fish, eggs, nuts, soy and legumes A rather crude guide (but somewhat handy guide) to your individual protein requirement is through using your weight in kilos; for example a 60 kg female is likely to need around 60 g protein. The same would go for a 100 kg male who would need around 100 g a day.

Omega-3 fats in our diet have been shown to improve hair growth and also increase hair density. Some of the best sources of omega-3 fats include oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, pilchards, trout and herring. Guidance is to have 1-2 servings of oily fish in a week, though if you don't eat fish be sure to include healthy mono-unsaturated or poly-unsaturated fats. The best sources of these include nuts, nut butter, seeds, olives, olive oil, avocados and avocado oil.

Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin which is a well known essential for glowing skin, but it has also been shown to promote hair growth too. Our requirements for vitamin E are relatively low, so don’t try and supplement this one. Some of the best food sources of vitamin E include almonds, avocado, sunflower seeds and spinach.

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid) interestingly plays an important role in the pigmentation of our hair, and it has also been shown to nourish our hair follicles. B5 is abundant in dairy, meat, eggs, vegetables and grains… so no need to worry about hunting that one down!

Iron is a mineral which is fundamental in haemoglobin production. Haemoglobin is responsible for delivering oxygen to our cells which essential for cell health and repair (including the cells that stimulate hair growth). Iron deficiency therefore not only impacts on energy levels, but it can impact scalp health and could lead to hair loss. The best sources of iron are red meats, green leafy vegetables, chickpeas or if you know your diet is low in iron you could take a gentle supplement like me (though good to mention iron supplements can slow your bowels down….)

Vitamin A has long been known for its powerful benefits for skin health, however it has a royal role to play in the health of our hair too. Vitamin A is essential for sebum production, and is is this sebum that acts as a natural conditioner for our skin and scalp. Some of the best sources of vitamin A include eggs, dairy and fortified cereals. Orange coloured fruits and vegetables contain high levels of beta-carotene which we convert into vitamin A; these include pumpkin, sweet potato, tomatoes, apricots and red peppers.

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If you’re interested, I used to bleach my hair however in the last year or so I have stopped colouring it and have decided to grow it out au-naturale. I listened to “wear sunscreen” - by Baz Luhrmann recently and it reminded me not to mess with my hair too much! (oh and a million other valuable life tips). SO I am starting to take care of my hair a lot more, and I have shared with you all my top hair secrets.

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Here are my top hair secrets:

1. Whist at a spa for my birthday, I discovered the absolute delights of the Germaine de Capuccini hair oil. I have always used serums on my hair, and for years I have used argan oil. This hair oil however, has simply blown my mind. It is formulated with ethically sourced Baobab seed oil and four other natural oils. Baobab Seed Oil has an unusually high content of fatty acids, omega 3, 6, 9 and vitamin A, B, D and it has twice the anti-oxidising power of argan oil. This provides outstanding nourishing, protective, hydrating, soothing and regenerating effects on the hair. This oil deeply nourishes and restores the hair’s natural shine

2. Tangle Teaser ‘wet one’ was an accidental find. Whilst on a hen-do, I grabbed for the nearest hairbrush to find myself in absolute disbelief that I had managed 28 years without one of these. It glides effortlessly through wet hair (and dry) and minimises damage whilst its’ at it. I have literally hidden all my old hairbrushes as this one takes the throne. No doubt about it.

3. Not much of a secret, but I happen to be a slip convert (take a look, you wont look back). I’ve got the pillow case, (eye mask) AND scrunchies (to avoid old hair ties snagging and ripping hair). Yes, they are absolutely worth the price tags… Slip products are made from pure silk which is anti static and anti-bedhead (oh and if you’re interested it happens to be anti-crease, anti-wrinkle and anti-drying… so it benefits hair AND skin). With 43% less friction than cotton, silk is the best material to sleep on night on night to limit damage to your best assets.

4. I have never been one to blow-dry my hair and actually I’ve always gone to bed with wet hair! (oops). Since I have bought ‘slip’ I don’t do that anymore or else I would RUIN my expensive silk pillowcase. So my solution is the most wonderful and revolutionary revlon hair styler which is a hybrid between straighteners and a hair dryer. It uses less heat that straighteners and literally gives me that just-out-the-hairdresser-I-look-fab type look. Cheap as chips compared to a trip to ‘Blo’. Trust me, this will be a new tool in your tool box.

PS. Don’t forget to invest in a high quality shampoo and conditioner that work for your hair type (I always switch it up between two or three to avoid ‘build-up’ ).

Fancy grabbing my top items? Visit my amazon store front <3.

Joanna HollingtonGermaine