Being natural while living with a chronic illness can be summed up by this: staying mindful of my hair, my health, and my hair's health--after all, my life depends on it. In addition to a boundless amount of meds, biweekly infusions, and injections, for me it's crucial to keep these 10 ingredients incorporated in my hair and skin regimen in order stay as healthy as possible.
Read on for my health-conscious ingredient list (along with product recommendations).
Vitamin E Oil
This vitamin/antioxidant exists in 8 chemical forms. Do note, however, that most vitamin E "oils" don't contain all of them. It blocks free radicals from the body, slowing down the aging process. Use this as a moisturizer before bedtime for dry skin and scalp. Taking vitamin E as a supplement will boost your immune system, as well.
Dealing with hair loss? Incorporate green tea into your diet. It's been identified by scientists to stimulate hair growth due to it's epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) component. EGCG inhibits the products of Tumor Necrosis Factors, which cause hair loss. For those of us with compromised immune systems, green tea is a great health and beauty boost.
- Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Cleansing Shampoo
- Yogi Super Antioxidant Green Tea
- As I Am Hydration Elation Intensive Conditioner
This medicinal plant has some amazing nutritional, health, and beauty benefits. Aloe is a natural adaptogen, meaning it's been known to help the body fight illness. It contains polysaccharides, lending a helping hand to your immune system. It soothes sunburns and abrasions. Aloe vera is guaranteed to soothe a tender scalp and reduces inflammation, thanks to one of its 12 substances, B-sisterole.
- Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera Gel
- Blended Beauty Curly Styling Butter
- Lily of the Desert Aloe Vera Juice
Not only is it a natural hair lightener, but this natural humectant's high sugar content helps retain moisture. Honey also keeps hair cuticles soft, therefore reducing the risk of frizz and dandruff. Its antibacterial properties heal burned skin. It also contains soothing healing properties for eczema.
- MyHoneyChild Honey Hair Mask
- Skin Food Royal Honey Mask
- Design Essentials Natural Honey CurlForming Custard
This nutrient-dense fruit contains good fats for a reduced calorie diet. It provides a great amount of protection to your skin due to its antioxidant carotenoids. Include avocado to your diet if you're noticing crow's feet and fine lines. It also contains oleic acid, crucial to the epidermal layer of your skin for long-lasting hydration. As a butter or oil, avocado adds softness from its nutrient-rich substances.
- Giovanni 2Chic Avocado & Olive Oil Leave-In
- Best of Nature 100% Pure Avocado Oil
- Burt's Bees Avocado Pre-Poo Treatment
Belonging to the mint family, rosemary fights dandruff and dull hair. The herb is a good source of calcium, iron, and vitamin B6, and contains anti-inflammatory properties which play a significant role in blocking free radicals. Not only does it help the skin's aging process, but recent science has shown the herb to help with brain aging as well. If used topically, dilute with a carrier oil to prevent from skin irritation.
This sweet, creamy liquid is rich in vitamins C, E, B1, B5, and B6. It also has tons of calcium and iron, which promote strong bones. Coconut milk is also used in hair products to prevent excess hair fall and reduce frizz. Its lauric acid content fights fungal infections. Use it to replenish protein and stimulate your hair follicles.
- OGX Nourishing Coconut Milk Conditioner
- Alba Botanicals Coconut Milk Body Cream
- AfroVeda Coconut Moisture Milk Conditioner
Alopecia patients love lavender's abilities to promote rapid hair growth, according to a recent Scottish study. Massage the oil into your hair daily for best results. Its scent has been long known to provide aromatherapy, so spritz it on your pillowcase for a sound sleep. Lavender oil also helps cures digestion issues, headaches, and achy joints.
- Obia Naturals Curl Moisture Cream
- SheaMoisture Lavender & Wild Orchid Body Lotion
- Sunny Isle Lavender Hair Pomade
Health and beauty buffs are no stranger to this super food. For your hair, their antioxidant properties cleanse the scalp while getting rid of excessive oil. Cucumbers contain phytochemicals, tightening sagging skin. The combined fiber and water content helps you feel fuller in between meals, aiding in weight loss.
- Shikai Cucumber Melon Hand & Body Lotion
- Wen Cucumber Aloe Cleansing Conditioner
- Yes to Cucumbers Color Care Leave-In
Fruity in flavor, this tea is a derivative of the golden-white chamomile flower. It's believed to have healing powers for its antioxidant properties. People with sensitive and dry skin use it to restore moisture and heal dryness and irritation from sunburn. It also fights acne breakouts, and is effective as a way to naturally lighten dark hair.
- EO Nighty Night Bubble Bath
- SheaMoisture Raw Shea Chamomile & Argan Oil Baby Wash & Shampoo
- Aubrey Organics Blue Chamomile Conditioner