One of the most common hair complaints is frizz, but to solve the problem, we must first understand it. Although it does not seem like it, your hair is complex. The strand itself is made up of three layers, composed of thousands of cells. The outermost layer is called the cuticle. The cells that make up this layer can be thought of as roof shingles. When hair is smooth, those shingles lie flat. People with frizz tend to have dry hair, which absorbs moisture from the air and causes the “shingles”, or cells in the cuticle, to lift. Similarly, if you suffer from excess frizz and brush your dry hair, the friction causes the same lifting effect. The cuticle cells become separated, creating the dreaded Ms. Frizzle look.
So, the main culprit of frizz is dry hair, but how do we combat dryness? The industry’s current methods seem to treat symptoms, but there is a way to solve the problem. We think the solution can be summed up in a quote:
“The healthy of your body shows up in your hair.”
In the modern world, we put our bodies through countless stressors that come at us from all angles. Processed foods, harsh chemicals, environmental pollutants, and even emotional stress all takes a toll on our body. Basically, an unhappy body produces unhappy hair. So what should you do, move to the mountains and become a hermit while you restore your frizzy strands? You could, but we’ve got better ideas.
Firstly, know what’s in your products and know what to avoid. If you shower with natural, healthy products, it will reward you with beautiful, shimmering, frizz-less hair. One of the main causes of frizzy hair is SLS, or sodium lauryl sulfate. SLS is a cheap chemical that is present in many shampoos and is used as a surfactant. The harsh chemical strips off all of the dirt, grime, and grease that collects in your hair, but it also strips off the good, natural oils your body produces to nourish and protect your scalp and hair. This stresses your body and dries out your hair, opening the door for frizz.
Second, many people think their frizzy hair is natural and that it’s something they need to cope with. Au contraire! In fact, a few simple lifestyle changes could drastically improve the health of your hair. Your body has natural ways of moisturizing and protecting your skin and hair, and you need to work with these processes, rather than replace them. By simply switching to a sulfate-free shampoo you will notice a markable difference in shine and consistency.
And lastly, your diet can either be beneficial or detrimental to the health of your hair. To improve your hair shine and reduce dryness, here are a few tips from Daily Glow:
Get your protein. Your hair is built of protein, so make sure you include plenty of it in your diet to help your hair grow thick and strong. Look for lean proteins that feature large amounts of two nutrients, biotin and omega-3 fatty acids, which will help your hair shine. Some excellent choices include salmon, flaxseed, soy, eggs, and beans.
Get your vitamins. Vitamin A, found in vegetables like carrots and in many fruits, has been shown to prevent hair loss. Vitamins C and E are antioxidants, which can help keep your skin vibrant and your hair shiny and healthy. You’ll find these nutrients in many fruits and vegetables, including pomegranates, blueberries, and spinach. Consider starting your day with a vitamin-enriched cereal or a multivitamin to make sure you’re getting all the vitamins you need.
Load up on dark green, leafy vegetables. These healthy superfoods do more than promote overall health — they are chock-full of vitamins A and C (necessary for your body to produce shine-inducing oils for your hair) and also have heavy doses of iron and selenium.
Drink your milk. Low-fat dairy products are abundant in necessary proteins — and they include calcium, an important building block for hair growth.
Go a little nuts. Many tree nuts are rich in selenium, an important mineral for improving the health of your hair and scalp — especially Brazil nuts. And walnuts are full of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E.
(images: A Curly Girl’s Journey)