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Tag Archives : diet for healthy hair

Quick Fixes For Healthy Hair

Maintaining gorgeous, healthy hair can be quite time consuming. Trips to the salon, styling, shampooing, conditioning and weekly hair masks can all add up, and often fall by the wayside when we are super busy. This month, the lovely Team at Travel Beauty have asked that I put together a list of my top quick fixes for keeping locks in great shape. I hope they help you as much as they have helped me!

Quick Moisture Surge

I try to use a pre-shampoo conditioner, such as PK Elasticizer, at least once a week. It helps to keep my hair elastic and minimizes breakage, so I need fewer trips to the salon to get trims. However, setting aside the time to let it work its magic can be a bit of a challenge. To get around this, I apply it before bed, sleep with it in overnight and then shampoo and condition in the morning as usual for maintained hassle–free healthy hair.

Salon Saver

As just mentioned, using a weekly pre-shampoo conditioner will help keep your hair in better condition so you’ll need to get it cut less often. However, daily environmental weathering and tearing a comb through tangles can also break your hair at different lengths, making it unmanageable and styling more time consuming. My top tip for warding off these unruly, split and uneven ends – and subsequent salon trips  - is to use a daily protective detangling spray, such as PK Daily Damage Defence. It helps to keep your cuticle intact and also guards against damage from UV rays.

Dry Shampoo

Sometimes there just isn’t time to wash our hair every day…or an extra 30 minutes of sleep is seriously needed. Invest in a well-formulated dry shampoo with scalp benefits, like PK One More Day. It soaks up excess oils from the hair, but also soothes the scalp to prevent that tell-tale itching between washes.  That said, try not to leave more than a day between washes – your hair gets just as dirty as your face and infrequent shampooing can lead to dandruff and an imbalance of scalp flora.

Dandruff

The best way to soothe and clear dandruff is to shampoo daily with an antimicrobial shampoo. However, if you simply can’t fit this into your schedule, apply a flaky itchy Scalp Toner to the affected areas on the days you don’t wash your hair. Re-apply as necessary throughout the day as itching and/or irritation occur.

Fast Food

If you’ve read any of my blogs, you’ll know I’m a huge proponent of a healthy, balanced diet. Hair is the second fastest growing tissue your body supports, yet it is also non-vital tissue, so it needs the right hits of vitamins, minerals, proteins and energy at regular intervals to stay healthy. Breakfast is the most important meal, as that’s when energy levels to your follicles are at their lowest – but it’s also often the hardest meal to get right as we’re often rushing out the door or simply too sleepy to think straight! My tip is to boil 2 eggs the night before and slice them up onto whole wheat toast when you get into work, or with your morning coffee. This gives you a great protein and complex carbohydrate boost, and takes no time at all.

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How To Grow Longer, Healthier Hair

I attended Salon International in London this weekend, and a predominant question I received from women was “why won’t my hair grow?” This wasn’t entirely surprising as long locks are highly coveted, but the lack of knowledge regarding what might be causing lackluster lock growth was quite eye opening! If you are one of the many women who have this question, it’s important to realise that your hair is, in fact, growing, even if it seems to be staying the same length. What is also happening is that it’s either falling out or breaking before it reaches the point you want it to.

Firstly, how long your hair is able to grow is largely down to the genetic card you were dealt. On average, hair can sustain growth for 4 years, although in some it can be as much as 7. As hair grows on average half an inch a month, this means that most people’s hair growth cycle allows for hair to reach around 24 inches in length, which is actually pretty long! While there’s nothing you can do to change your pre-determined growth cycle, there are definitely things that can disrupt it – and therefore various methods of optimising the potential of your tresses.

Diet

Hair is non-essential tissue so it’s given last dibs on the nutrients you intake. Cut out any food group and your follicles basically throw in the towel on supporting growth. Diets lacking iron, protein, Vitamin B12 and complex carbohydrates are most commonly to blame, so check that you are in-taking enough of these. Also, make sure that if there is a big gap between meals to snack on a healthy carbohydrate, such as fresh fruit. Energy levels to your follicles drop 4 hours after eating, so they often need a boost!

Breakage

Hair that is overly processed and lacks moisture will break – and breakage equals loss of length. Depending on the level of damage, this breakage could occur anywhere from a few inches from your scalp to just past your shoulders. In this instance, you need to restore elasticity to your locks to help it reach the desired length. Use a pre-shampoo conditioner, such as Philip Kingsley Elasticizer twice weekly, and a protective conditioning spray, such as Daily Damage Defence, every day. Also, try to keep the use of straighteners to a minimum and ask your colourist to be especially careful not to overlap previous applications.

Hormones

Conditions such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome can shorten the duration of your hair growth cycle, as well as increased hair loss, and hair not seeming to grow. Other symptoms can include acne, oily skin, increased facial hair, weight gain and tiredness. Get a yearly medical to check your hormone levels – there are very effective prescription medications to manage imbalances. Similarly, some birth control pills can have this effect if your follicles are sensitive to certain hormones. If you notice your hair is falling out or thinning at the ends 6-12 weeks after starting the pill, talk to your doctor. As a general rule, Yasmin and Dianette are the most ‘hair friendly’ out of all the pills – and are sometimes even used to treat hair thinning.

Scalp

A healthy scalp optimises healthy hair growth! If you notice your scalp is itchy or flaky, use products that will promptly nip it in the bud and revitalise your scalp environment. I suggest our Take Comfort Jet Set, which contains a soothing scalp toner, a highly effective shampoo and a moisture balancing conditioner.

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Expert Spring Hair Care Tools & Tips

Put the Spring Back in Your Hair

If you find your locks slightly ravaged after the winter months, you are not alone! My hair definitely needs some revamping after being subjected to numerous assaults by wind, snow, central heating, processed comfort foods and hurried morning high-heat drying. And let’s not forget the rather too many and too large glasses of warming wine- a common scalp offender. Here are my top tips for restoring bounce to your hair this spring.

Trim Time!

After this winter, chances are your hair is in need of a good trim. Split-ends, brittle fringes and lacklustre roots are never in vogue – and perhaps you’ve taken less trips to your hairdresser than usual in the colder weather? Again, I am guilty of this too. Trimming your hair will make it look thicker throughout the lengths and also prevent any damage from spreading further up your hair shaft. You don’t have to chop loads off – just an inch or so to even it out and freshen it up. If you’re looking to grow your hair longer throughout the spring and into summer, help keep your ends healthy with a weekly pre-shampoo conditioning treatment. I sleep with Philip Kingsley Elasticizer in my hair at least once a week. Originally formulated for Audrey Hepburn, it really helps to restore hydration, shine and strength.

Vitamin D Delight

It’s extremely common for your body’s Vitamin D levels to drop during the winter and this can really take a toll on hair health – not to mention your skin and general energy level. 80-90% of your Vitamin D intake needs to be synthesised from sunlight. You may want to visit your doctor to run blood tests to check your levels – and while he/she is at it, suggest running a full blood profile to look at your iron, ferritin (stored iron) and Vitamins B6 and B12, too. The best Vitamin D rich foods are oily fish, egg yolks, avocado and liver, but sitting in the sun is really your best option! Which brings me to my next point…

White Hats On

The sun can be both beneficial and detrimental to our wellbeing. While it provides us with much needed Vitamin D, it can also lead to very destructive free radical damage. Luckily, you still obtain Vitamin D benefits from the sun while wearing sun protection. The same logic applies to your hair, which, just like your skin, can burn and become damaged. I always carry a tube of Philip Kingsley Swimcap, which was originally formulated for the U.S. Olympic Synchronized Swim Team, with me in warm weather. It not only guards hair against the sun, but also chlorinated and salt water and gives your hair a super-moisturizing treatment at the same time. Alternately, bring your wide-brimmed white summer hats out of hibernation.

Dietary Dos

If you, like me, have found yourself reaching for convenient foods during the winter, spring is a great time to make a change. Fast and processed foods have very little nutritional benefit, as additives and preservatives degrade the vitamins and minerals within them. Plan a weekly trip to your local farmers market to take advantage of the new fresh foods coming into season. Artichokes, for instance, are high in antioxidants, potassium, folate, Vitamins C and K, and fibre. Fresh spinach is another hair booster, containing good amounts of iron as well as Vitamin C, which helps your body absorb the iron.

Go Dry

It’s all too easy to reach for an extra glass of red wine, or a warming spirit during the winter. Now that spring is in full bloom, make a concerted effort to cut your alcohol consumption and revitalise your body. A tipple here and there is fine, but drinking too much alcohol tends to dehydrate your scalp and flare-up itching and flaking. It can also deplete your body of electrolytes and vitamins. Either find a signature non-alcoholic cocktail (my favourite is lemon juice, elderflower, fresh mint, sugar syrup and soda water), or make your order a spritzer and keep it to one or two!

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Top Holiday Hair Tips

During the holiday party season, over-indulgence, over-scheduling and over-styling can all take their toll on your hair and scalp. Here are my top tips to keep your locks looking luscious through the New Year.

Stress

Stress can increase hair shedding in certain individuals. Simply put, it’s due to the conversion of adrenaline to testosterone. While keeping stress levels in check is tricky at any time of the year, it’s especially hard during the holidays! If you don’t have time to go to a yoga class, or are staying with family, there are a few things you can do to create your own “om” zone. Invest in noise cancellation headphones, lock the door and download a meditation video or cd! Even 10 minutes of meditation can really work wonders when it all becomes a bit too much…

Diet

Your hair is composed primarily of a special protein called keratin, so getting adequate amounts through your diet is vital to hair growth. Luckily for you, holidays are the perfect time to take advantage of hair-helping, freshly prepared proteins such as turkey and red meats. The amino acids found in these nutritional powerhouses will help fuel your follicles! Iron and ferritin (your body’s supply of stored iron) deficiencies are very common causes of hair loss, so tuck into a steak, some stew or bit of bison to improve and sustain your iron blood levels.

Alcohol

Itchy scalp? Blame it on the alcohol. While this is not the case for everyone, white wine and champagne can trigger dandruff flare-ups in people who are prone to them. Stick to red wine, and try to drink in moderation! For those of you who already have an itchy scalp, invest in a good flaky/itchy scalp shampoo, conditioner and scalp toner to soothe and clear up any irritation. The Philip Kingsley Take Comfort/Flaky Itchy Jet Set has all 3 in one neat little bag specifically made for travel!

Styling

During the party season, it’s very tempting to reach for hair straighteners and curling irons on a daily basis. While heated styling tools are certainly a convenient way to perfect your style for an evening out, they can wreak havoc on the condition of your hair. Those high temperatures can dry out and snap your strands – they’re even capable of boiling the water within your hair’s cortex (core), causing rupture to the follicle! Scary stuff. Try limiting your use of straighteners and/or curling irons to twice a week, and always prep hair with a heat protective product. In the interim, use a weekly pre-shampoo conditioning treatment, such as Philip Kingsley Elasticizer, to help restore bounce, moisture, manageability and elasticity to your hair.

Shampooing

Frequent shampooing creates the optimum scalp environment for healthy hair growth. That said, it’s really tough to find the time to shampoo your hair often enough during the winter: there really isn’t the option to let it dry naturally when it’s so cold outside! Try to wash your hair every other day, and in-between washes use a dry shampoo with hair and scalp benefits.

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