The thing about reading beauty reviews is that it’s always a little bit of a gamble. One person’s pretty-potion is another person’s poison; radiance for you, a rash for me. But here’s the good news, I promise you that within the story of my journey from limp, super-sad hair to seriously healthy locks, everyone will find at least one pearl of wisdom.  I’ve discovered some amazing products, and I’m positive your hair will benefit from a few of these gems.

Let me start by saying, I’ve always had loads of thick curly hair. It had a tendency to be a bit dry and unruly, but for the most part I wasn’t complaining. Then about four years ago, it started to change. It became way thinner, sort of limp, and just pretty much lame. It was then that I got real serious about figuring out how to restore my hair back to its full and healthy state. I learned that to get healthy hair, I needed a two-pronged approach: I had to change what I put on my hair, and what I put inside my body to build my hair. Let me tell you off the bat, it took two years but my hair is back, and even better than before. It’s thick, soft, and actually shiny. I swear.

I’ll start with the products. For starters, I had to eliminate all harsh detergents and chemicals. Which honestly, is pretty much every shampoo and conditioner with a big name. Marta introduced me to Nutra–Lift’s shampoo ($20 at the TIA store), which is AMAZING. The ingredient list will blow you away, you’ll want to slather it on your skin (but don’t). I suggest you add this shampoo to your routine asap. For conditioner I use Aubrey Organics’ Rosa Mosqueta Nourishing Conditioner ($20), or their Blue Camomile Hydrating Conditioner. Aubrey is a great all natural brand, and when you read their products’ ingredient lists you can pronounce every word. No chemicals, only good stuff.

I started using an herbal scalp tonic to help with hair growth and thinning hair. My favorite is Boost Follicle Stimulator ($12.95). It has an incredible combination of herbal extracts, proteins and amino acids. There’s saw palmetto, which has been shown to unblock hair follicles by reducing DHT levels. Panax ginseng is said to simulate the hair root, while fenugreek extract stimulates blood flow to the scalp. Horsetail extract contains hair-healthy silica, which strengthens hair follicles and stimulates new hair growth. It’s super easy to use, you just spritz it on your scalp and message it in. And finally, one of my favorite products is a homemade vinegar rinse, which helps rebalance the pH of your hair, removes buildup, and makes hair shiny and bouncy. I’ve been using this one.

Ok, now moving on the taking care of your insides. There are so many internal reasons as to why your hair might start to thin. Obviously nutrition is a huge factor.  I discovered a phenomenal hair, skin and nails vitamin that really made quite a difference. I suggest you read all the reviews of this product. People LOVE it. When I started using this supplement I actually saw a big difference in my skin first. It became glowy and soft… major bonus. But it also really helped my hair regain its health. It’s a cocktail of great supplements, including biotin, B-vitamin, and sulfur from methylsulfonylmethane (MSM).

In addition to this supplement, one of the vitamins that is critical to healthy hair, but not always mentioned is vitamin D. Americans are largely deficient in vitamin D. And besides helping to keep your hair strong, Vitamin D does a ton of amazing things. According to Dr. Andrew Weil, “It also helps to strengthen the immune system and protect against a number of serious diseases… growing evidence has demonstrated its important role in defending against cancer (studies link a deficiency of vitamin D to as many as 18 different cancers).” If you are going to take a Vitamin D supplement, make sure to take D3, which better absorbed by the body. Dr. Weil recommends 2,000 IUs per day. I only take 1,000. But make sure to ask your doctor for advice on this.

And finally, I’ll leave you with this; stress has a major effect on the health of your hair. It releases those nasty hormones that can block the hair follicle. So whatever you need to do – meditate, run, dance, yoga, punch a pillow – just make sure to manage your stress levels. Your hair (and everyone else around you) will thank you.

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