Hair as an Indicator of Health

hair

Not too long ago I had very thin hair; I was using the flat iron a lot and eating the government sanctioned “healthy diet”. I was probably about 45 years old when I was at dinner with the family and one of my sisters mentioned that my hair was getting thin. She had just gone through a thin hair period (it runs in the family), and I’m pretty sure she fixed it with Rogaine or something like that.

I didn’t really do anything about it right away; I think I started taking gelatin and biotin supplements, but I tend to take supplements pretty haphazardly. A few months later I got a horrible haircut; I had been going to this girl and she was really great, and my hair looked awesome, but this time she butchered my hair. She took off about four or five inches and did something with my side bangs that just ruined that entire side of my hair. My husband was not happy with how short it was at all, and this was when I started concentrating on my hair in earnest.

Searching, the most common thing I read about growing hair was drinking bone broth, so I started making that. Just prior to this I had discovered saturated fats and animal fats and was experimenting with those. Seriously, saturated fats (butter, coconut oil, bacon fat, etc) changed my life. My body and brain LOVE them. I’m drinking coffee with raw heavy cream right now!

During this search and research, I discovered the Paleo/Primal Diet, and whereas I don’t religiously stick to it now, it really pretty much changed my life, too. Cutting out most of my carbs eventually cut out most of my inflammation. Before, I was mostly vegetarian, and after I was mostly carnivore. Not “you are what you eat” (who wants to be a grain or vegetable?) but “eat what you are” (you are an animal!).

For thick healthy hair, there is only so much you can do on the outside to help: you can quit using high heat appliances, you can oil your hair, you can only shampoo twice a week with a sulfite free shampoo and conditioner, you can go No Poo, but eventually you have to go to the source of the problem. You have to fix your body before you can fix your hair. If your body isn’t healthy, your hair probably won’t be either. A lot of hair is genetic, but if you give your body the necessary building blocks, you can maximize your hair growth.

I tried to use my flat iron as little as possible, and I thought that it was the main culprit as far as my thin hair went, and it did help, but I needed more. I was making bone broths and using them for soup but I didn’t really think of using them as lunch until I discovered intermittent fasting (IF), and broth fasting. I don’t constantly IF, though; I go on spurts of IF, resistant starch, and eating whatever leftovers that I happen to bring from home for lunch. I eat a full regular dinner with my husband each evening.

So, what is my current regimen? Monday morning I wash and blow-dry straight (I have very curly hair that is easier to straighten than it is to make the curls behave). Tuesday I use a YouCurl curling iron (I curl my hair in only three parts: back, and both sides for larger curls) to reduce bedhead ; it is damaging, but since it’s not used near the roots like a flat iron, it doesn’t thin your hair. Wednesday and Friday I shampoo and blow-dry, and Thursday, Saturday and Sunday I use the YouCurl. Sometimes I wear a hat on Sundays, LOL.

The evenings before shampoo day, I will oil my hair with either coconut oil or Argan oil or both. Every day after drying/curling, I use a tiny amount of pomade (wax) from either Pantene or Herbal Essences to make my hair less static and look more polished. The main reason I don’t shampoo every day is because I do more damage to my hair when I do. I looked for a dry shampoo to try, but I couldn’t find one, and then decided that I didn’t want to put any chemicals on my scalp. I’ve heard you can use baby powder or baking soda, but I’m not that adventurous.

Recently, I have been taking a couple of tablespoons of Blackstrap Molasses before bed with the zinc and magnesium supplements that I take to sleep (excellent sleep aid!). Molasses is also good for sleep like raw honey is. The honey didn’t seem to help my sleep, but I’ve been sleeping like crazy with the Molasses.

To improve the gelatin in my bone broth, I have been getting chicken feet at the Asian Market to add to my chicken broth and I have been getting cow hooves, feet, and tendons for my beef broth. My hair is now nice and full, and I only have another four inches to grow it before it will be the perfect length. The funny thing is that before starting on bone broth, both my husband and I were going gray, but after, both of our hair went back dark. I hardly have any gray right now and I’m in my early fifties.

Everyone remarks on how young we both look, and I’m pretty sure it is the collagen and gelatin (and minerals?) in the broth. I think it is helping our bodies resist “going south”. When you get to our age, and I’m in the middle of menopause, which doesn’t help at all, everything starts to sag. There really isn’t any way to stop this, but I think that broth helps retard the process. With a good diet, lots of broth, tons of squats, kettlebell swings, and some weight training, you can be in really good shape well into old age.

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5 thoughts on “Hair as an Indicator of Health

  1. Pingback: Hair as an Indicator of Health | Truth and cont...

  2. peregrinejohn

    I had no idea about the benefits of bone broth or blackstrap molasses! Well, some idea, I do read this one fluffy little blog about love, food, booze & gross stuff that’s mentioned them before, but it hadn’t occurred to me that they look to fix the very problems I’m trying to fix – in short, to reverse the unnecessary effects of aging.

  3. TempestTcup Post author

    peregrinejohn

    “reverse the unnecessary effects of aging.”

    It took me a while to figure it out, but I do think broth is a big reason why we look better today than we did 10-15 years ago. Another thing that contributed was eating saturated fat. I started doing both around the same time, and within about six months to a year after starting, we both noticed that we weren’t gray anymore (not that we were massively gray).

    I’m pretty sure it is the collagen and gelatin that help your skin and muscles not sag with age. I just wish we had discovered fat and broth 20-30 years ago!

  4. sunshinemary

    I’ve never made bone broth, though I’ve made homemade chicken stock by simmering a chicken carcass. Do you ever buy beef bones to make your broth, Tempest? And if so, do you roast them before you make your broth with them?

  5. TempestTcup Post author

    sunshinemary

    Yes, I buy marrow bones from the butcher for beef broth and I also buy tendons and feet for extra gelatin. A lot of people don’t like the smell of beef broth cooking and someone (I think it was Hearthie) who said that putting an onion in it would make it smell better. My husband and I like the way it smells, though!

    I do roast them for about 30 minutes at 350F, turning occasionally

    We also get chicken feet to toss in the chicken broth, but they are a little disturbing to work with because they are a little human(ish) once the yellow has been removed (ours come with the yellow part already removed!).

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