My hair is terrible at the moment. A few years ago, I was working three jobs. Not only were my stress levels high, but I could also work from home quite a bit in front of my computer (oh the joys of marking essays!). I don’t think I had an outlet for that stress and so I formed a terrible habit – playing with my hair. I have very fine hair and always have (hair texture doesn’t change) that is chemically lightened. The colouring never effected my hair terribly though, because it’s quite light to begin with and so I don’t need to treat it with industrial strength bleach. Secondly, I always colour my hair at the hairdressers. The only time I coloured my own hair was when I was studying in Sweden and I would colour my roots. Luckily, my hair was more than fine and the health of my hair wasn’t an issue, but it is true that it sensitises your scalp and makes it more prone to damage. Playing and twirling with my hair while sitting in front of the computer puts stress on the roots and causes breakage. This might seem obvious, but when you first start doing it you think ‘oh my hair is just shedding what it normally would’. But that’s not true. For the past 2-3 years my hair has been growing unevenly because of the breakage. I knew this every time I went to the hairdresser for a trim, but it somehow wasn’t enough to make me change my habit dramatically and stop.
A few weeks back I was going through an old hard drive of mine and found videos of myself in Senior High School. Playing those videos was a shock. It gave me warm and fuzzy feelings inside, but the biggest shock of all was how GREAT my hair was! I was talking to a friend and she says that her hair isn’t as good as it was in high school and while maybe it changes a bit over time (growth patterns, hormones etc.) it was enough of a shock for me to say ‘enough!’. Marie Kondo says that you need a dramatic change to make something stick and I agree. There’s no way I could stop playing with my hair and causing damage if I made a pact to ‘stop by 50%’. What’s 50% of the time??? How do I measure that??? Once you start, you can’t stop! And I’d be doing it all the time – watching tv, on the computer, in bed when I couldn’t sleep… it was bad. And this shock was enough to made me stop 🙂 It’s been about 3 weeks now since my pact, but that’s not the only thing I have changed. Below are strategies to help my hair grow faster but also stronger. Maybe this strategy will help you and we can help each other 🙂
Above: A legit photo from senior high school. Just LOOK at my hair!!! It’s enough to make me cry. I probably half half the amount of hair that I do in that photo because of breakage, so its not close to being classified as ‘long’ either. On another note, don’t ask me why we took these strange photos… lol!
Above: My hair currently. Much shorter and I give it some texture (using texturising sprays or sea salt) so my hair doesn’t seem so flat and limp. It’s git layers in it but not out of choice (it wasn’t cut that way) but rather because of the breakage. You can tell I have a LOT less hair.
From the Inside
Vida Glow Original Loose Powder
A 100% marine collagen powder made from the scales of deep sea snapper. I was taking Viviscal hair supplements a while back, without realising they contain shellfish and shark cartilage until it came time to write a review (oops…). I don’t eat shell fish or shark as I follow a mostly kosher diet, so this was a no no, but I admit I finished the course of supplements I had and then gave them up. Deep sea snapper is more than fine and I was impressed that this powder was 100% marine collagen. I started taking Vida Glow last year in November when my sister gifted me a box. She swears by it and says it improved her hair ten fold, so of course I was sold as we have very similar hair. I started taking one scoop of powder a day to begin with (one scoop equals 3g) but have been working up to 3 scoops a day, mixed with water. As your hair growth cycle can last up to even 2 years don’t expect to see results until around the 3 month mark or in some cases 6 months.
Collagen is a protein that acts as the glue that holds our bodies together. Collagen is the second most abundant substance in our body behind water and is the building block of our tissues. Collagen makes up 75% of our skin, over 90% of our ligaments and tendons and 35% of our bones. Other structures that are primarily made of collagen are our hair, nails and cartilage.
In our mid-twenties, our collagen production begins to decrease at a rate of 2% a year, by our 50’s we’ve lost over half the amount of collagen in our bodies, and the natural production ceases altogether. This is what is known as the ageing process, and is most noticeable in our skin and hair, whether it’s wrinkles, sagging skin, finer hair or grey hairs.
Natural supplementation through Vida Glow increases the body’s collagen levels as well as the production of this super protein.
I’m starting to come up to the 6 months mark but my hair strategy has only been in full force coming up to a month, so I plan on still taking the Vida Glow for quite a while. It isn’t cheap but a box of loose powder (270g) lasts me a month or two. There isn’t a whole lot of scientific research to back up that drinking collagen effects your skin, nails and hair, but because I see how great my sisters hair is and it has improved in the last year or so dramatically, I’m happy to give it a go. I can say confidently that my nails improved dramatically 2-3 months in after starting the Vida Glow, so I can see something is happening! I will do a full review of Vida Glow in the coming months 🙂 The 270g loose powder box of Vida Glow costs $130.
Eggs are full of protein, folate (especially the yolk), vitamin A, D, and biotin (a form of vitamin B). Hair is made up of 70% keratin, which is a protein 🙂 I’m trying to eat two eggs every second day. In turn, this is also making me eat more fresh simple food at home, something that I struggle with when working and being generally busy. I think if you eat good quality, honest food in moderation, it’ll be the opposite of bad for you 😉 I think we mess around with our diets to much when we think we are being ‘smart’. If you are healthy and don’t have any major health concerns (as I don’t) I don’t worry about eggs being high in fat blah blah. Remember that there are good fats and that most vitamins and minerals are fat soluble, so you your body needs fat in order to absorb the goodness of what you eat. Also, these eggs are coming from our own chooks which are as free range and organic as you can get!
I remember as a child my mum forcing my sister and I to apply egg yolks to our scalp before washing it during bath time. I HATED this ritual (kids are impatient and I hated the rinsing bit of the process). My mum thought it would strengthen our hair and make it thicker, and while nothing will change the texture of your hair, it does indeed strengthen and nourish your scalp, to prevent breakage making it seem like your hair is growing quicker 😉
My nuts of choice at the moment are Brazil nuts, but most nuts will do the job! Nuts contain a wide variety of protein, vitamins, minerals, iron, zinc, healthy fats and phytochemicals that are essential for proper hair growth. Brazil nuts are special I think, because they are one of the only foods that contain a high level of selenium. The deficiency of selenium can lead to hair loss. This is because the mineral helps your body process the proteins required for hair growth. A handful of nuts everyday is all that you need.
My horsetail supplements come from Poland, where you can find it in abundance at chemists and pharmacies 😀 Horsetail or Equisetum arvense (a herb) contains the mineral silica or silicon, which works to strengthen your bones, as well as your nails and hair. Not only can this mineral make your hair strong but it can also improve the sheen and texture of it as well. Horsetail also contains selenium, which helps your body process iodine, regulating hair growth as well. The Belissa supplements contain 240mg of the herb. From what I could tell, a lot of supplements contains around 100mg of horsetail and required you to take two tablets a day, while this supplement from is a one a day tablet. It also contains a whole host of vitamins and amino acids, so I think of it as my daily multi-vitamin.
On the Outside
Good hair care that is gentle yet nourishing is really important. Check out my recent haircare favourites post but the following products are specifically designed to help stop thinning hair, promote hair growth and repair weak damaged hair bonds (structures).
Olaplex is a miracle for those of us who colour our hair! I reviewed Olaplex at length here (also see my before and after treatment photos!) and mentioned in my haircare favourites post why I went back to using this treatment after a break and now I see it as a crucial weekly at home treatment for getting my hair ‘back on track’. In a nutshell, the Olaplex treatment doesn’t just smooth over porous, damaged hair, it reconnects broken disulfide sulfur bonds in the hair. These bonds in your hair are made up of many keratin proteins, one of which contains a sulfur atom (this protein is called cysteine). It is these bonds in the proteins, which give your hair it’s shape and strength. Many companies claim to do this, yet don’t (and don’t provide the research to back up their claims either) so Olaplex is a first to have their rationale and method published and tested. I have now gone back to using the Olaplex no. 3 at home treatment weekly and buy mine from Adore Beauty for $50. Sometime Adore Beauty has a pack of two Olaplex treatments for $75, so you get your second bottle for half price! It’s a pre wash treatment and only takes 10 minutes, so it’s quick and SUPER beneficial! I’d say my ‘little’ 100ml bottle lasts me a 6 weeks or so.
Klorane Keratin Strength Fortifying Spray
I reviewed this product a while ago when it was known as the Klorane Strengthening Serum with Quinine-Caffeine Complex but I am 100% sure this is the same product but with a more practical name 🙂 I’ve tried a lot of scalp treatments in my lifetime, from hella-expensive Kerastase ones to this cheaper alternative by Klorane, which works just as well in my eyes. What I like about it, is that it gives my roots more volume without being oily or sticky. The spray nozzle applies the perfect amount to your scalp. I spray it onto my scalp after washing and then apply a little to the lengths of my hair. It has a spicy herbal scent but it’s not offensive. It’s a plant based formula, which I appreciate but what I love most of all, is that Klorane makes a big point about sourcing it’s ‘all natural and green‘ ingredients sustainably. I think it works and to be honest, even if it strengthens the roots of my hair by 25%, I’m happy because it doesn’t break the bank either. The scalp treatment comes in at $20 from Adore Beauty.
Klorane Quinine Keratin Strength Fortifying Spray is a three-month treatment designed to help thinning, lifeless hair by providing essential nutrients to the core of the hair fibre. Revitalise the scalp and hair affected by fatigue, seasonal changes and post-pregnancy.
Inspired by the latest methods in micro-nutrition, Klorane Laboratories have created this spray containing keratin, quinine, caffeine and B vitamins. The quinine caffeine complex tones the skin and when combined with an energising massage technique promotes a healthy looking scalp. Vitamins B3, B5, B6 and B8, in combination with keratin, help hair to look stronger and more beautiful. Klorane’s plant-based keratin contains amino acids similar to those that make up the keratin found in the hair, helping to strengthen weak hair. From the root to the tips, hair is left stronger and visibly healthier.
Above: The ingredients of the Klorane Keratin Strength Fortifying Spray
So that’s it! My plan from the inside out, for strengthening my hair 🙂 I’ll report back in a few months in order to give you an update, but so far I am really optimistic! Hopefully I don’t crash and burn dramatically lol…
Is breakage, weak or thinning hair been an issue for you or has it been in the past? Did you have any strategies to help you cope and get your hair back on track? I would LOVE to know, after all, we can benefit from each others knowledge on the world wide web, so please let me know if so!