How to have a great hair day! Mary Berkery
A sneak peek from Mary Berkery’s good hair day article for our Summer 2013 issue. Get your copy here or view the full article online later in the summer.
When I was young, my mother used to bring me to the barbers to have my hair cut. I remember sitting on the barbers high stool and feeling the cold clippers up the back of my neck. I would tell my mother I felt like a sheered sheep. She said that it was the only way she could control my hair – by getting such tight cuts.
Then, when I was 13, I decided to let my hair grow long. Again, it was the bane of my mother’s life, and I have memories of having it tied back so tight with the ponytail clipped under “to look tidy at school,” she would say. In school, I was ridiculed and nicknamed Bugs Bunny because of the funny bun on my head. I eventually cut it short again and felt a cool young adult with my “afro” look.
It wasn’t until I studied macrobiotic philosophy in Switzerland that I decided to let it grow. This came as a result of a consultation with a macrobiotic practitioner, Jon Sandifer. He said I needed to let my hair grow, as short hair was too “yang” for me! Since then, I have had it long and allowed its unruly and abundant mass in ways which I was not comfortable with in my 20’s. Its fullness is an expression now of who I am, and I love it!
The best hair care range that I use is Intelligent Nutrients.* The Company says: “Every day is a bad hair day when you use petroleum-based products to wash and style it.” Their organic shampoos, conditioners and treatments help tame your tresses without harming a hair on your head – or the environment. Sulphates, silicones and other synthetic chemicals have nothing on Mother Nature’s botanical ingredients when it comes to naturally beautiful hair care.
Hair is dependent upon good nutrition. Have you seen a wild cheetah – that lives on nature’s food – without a shiny coat? The same principle applies to humans.
Hair needs a balance of B vitamins, folic acid, sulphur, magnesium, iron and zinc for good growth, health and the ability to keep its natural colour. So, what type of raw foods and nutrient rich foods should you be incorporating for healthier hair?
Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
Kale, spinach, Swiss chard, broccoli and dandelion greens are great sources of Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Our bodies use these vitamins to create sebum. Sebum is the oily substance in our hair follicles that is our hair’s natural conditioner. The darker green vegetables also are a good source of calcium and iron.
Flax seed contains the Omega 3 fatty acids your body requires. Flax seed is also a good source of complete protein. It has been shown that Omega 3 fatty acids are essential to support scalp health. A deficiency will usually show up as dry scalp or dull looking hair. The best way to consume flax seed is to soak it overnight and then grind the seed in a blender and add to smoothies.
Brazil nuts, walnuts, cashews and almonds will help promote thick and shiny hair. This is due to the selenium within nuts that is an essential mineral for good scalp health. They are also a great source of zinc. Hair loss through hair shedding is a sign of inadequate zinc in your body.
Sulphur Rich Foods
Sulphur has been proven to be beneficial for healthy, younger looking hair as it maintains the hair’s structure. Some of the raw foods that contain sulphur are asparagus, brussel sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, wheat grass, radishes and celery. You can also purchase MSM, which is a sulphur food that comes from the ocean.
Raw, unprocessed foods eaten in their natural state contain the vital nutrients we need for healthy bodies, vital minds and beautiful, shiny hair.