Hair Care Routine – Vegan, Cruelty-Free

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“Then a soft air, a simple melody, rose to the ears of the suddenly hushed court; and for me, it was May Day again, and I was no longer cold, for the sun burned bright and the grass smelled of its sour-sweet bruisings and an old man fashioned a ballad for the Nut-Brown maid, who would ever be true to her lover. I leaned towards the brightness and, in an abandonment of joy and because there was none to see, tore off my henin and let my nut-brown hair fall to my knees. For I would be a child again, for five minutes, and remember the time when men stopped to gaze at me, with my chaplet of flowers crowning that at which they all marvelled, and longed to touch and stroke and possess.” ― Rosemary Hawley Jarman, The King’s Grey Mare

As promised, here’s a little something for *this dear anon* as a follow up to *my skincare routine*. 🙂

I remember the nights I spent crying because my hair fell out one by one, two by two and until finally handful by handful. I had disordered eating habits, so how could I have expected any better? My hair thinned, the colour of my hair dulled and I had the saddest of sad smiles as I tried to hide the pain, embarrassment and disappointment I had in myself. // Almost two years on, I’ve got my full head of hair back, I love taking care of it more than ever and I absolutely enjoy making balloon statics just so I can see a child smile a toothy smile. :’)

“she’s got
oceans
tucked away
in her hair

poems swim
under her skin.”
― Sanober Khan

FIRST OFF, *here’s* how to correctly wash Your hair! Prior to reading this, I had been washing my hair ‘wrongly’ the entire time. It was only when I started to make some changes to my hair washing routine that I saw amazing repair taking place. Who knew! Well I know I didn’t!

Alright, enough with the technicalities, here are the products I use… 😉

  • Step 1: CLEANSE

I go back and forth between The Body Shop’s *BANANA SHAMPOO* and Aveda’s *invati™ EXFOLIATING SHAMPOO*. Both of them work well for me so there isn’t really one that I favour. 🙂

The banana shampoo cleanses my hair, leaving it beautifully shiny, contains real banana puree and smells good enough to eat! 😉 Plus, its bottle is made from 100% recycled plastic! Win-win! // The The invati™ shampoo removes build-up that can clog pores and renews the scalp with wintergreen-derived salicylic acid and contains densiplex™, an invigorating blend of Ayurvedic herbs, including ginseng and certified organic turmeric.

  • Step 2: CONDITION

Correspondingly, I also go back and forth between The Body Shop’s *BANANA CONDITIONER* and Aveda’s *invati™ THICKENING CONDITIONER*.

The thick and creamy banana conditioner leaves my hair soft and tangle-free, contains real banana puree and, just like its partner-in-crime, is bottled up in 100% recycled plastic! 🙂 // The invati™ conditioner contains soy protein and naturally derived amino acids mimic hair’s building blocks to help weightlessly thicken hair from within and densiplex™, an invigorating blend of Ayurvedic herbs, including ginseng and certified organic turmeric.

The invati™ system helps reduce my hair loss but *is it right for You*? Always always always remember that what may work for one may not work for another! If not, Aveda has tons and tons of other products to cater for other hair types, ranging from flat to dull to damaged hair. More on that *here*.

While I’ve already explained why I love The Body Shop *here* and *here*, this is why I love Aveda…

They have a vision to connect beauty, environment and well-being. // They believe in treating ourselves, each other, and the planet with care and respect and in the power of oneness: from their global image to a focused network. They believe that social responsibility is our responsibility, that ecological and profit goals are mutually achievable. // Their mission is to care for the world we live in, from the products they make to the ways in which we give back to society. At Aveda, they strive to set an example for environmental leadership and responsibility, not just in the world of beauty, but around the world.

Authentic and inspiring, don’t You say? :’)

  • Step 3: PROTECT

Sometimes when I’m in a rush and need my hair to dry asap, I turn to the hairdryer. I usually try not too because the heat and wind causes my hair to dry up due to damage, so when necessary, I’d spray Aveda’s *brilliant™ damage control™* onto my hair prior to using the hairdryer and the hairdryer would be set to its lowest possible temperature. Oh and I like to blow-dry my hair upside down; it’s a secret to hair of great volume! 😉

Right after, regardless of whether my hair was dried using the hairdryer or after having left it to dry on its own, I’d spray The Body Shop’s *WILD ARGAN OIL – THE RADIANT OIL* at the ends of my hair as a finishing touch.

On days when I know I’d spend lengthy periods of time under the sun, I’d spray Aveda’s *SUN CARE PROTECTIVE HAIR VEIL* all over my head of hair. Yes, this pretty much is the sunscreen! 😉

brilliant™ damage control™ is billed to reduce breakage, prevent UV damage and leaves the hair soft, frizz-free and shiny. It contains Aloe barbadensis, which possesses strong soothing properties; this desert succulent is a source of moisture. // The Wild Argan Oil from The Body Shop helps the hair (and body! yes, You can spray it on Your skin too!) glow with the rich, satin-touch radiance of organic, luxurious and rich Community Trade argan oil from Morocco. I quote, “Our precious argan nuts are sourced from the remote Atlas Mountains of Morocco. They are hand-picked, hand-cracked and slowly pressed for the purest, most radiant COMMUNITY TRADE argan oil. Our trade with the six Targanine co-operatives provides women with a fair and regular income, helping them raise their living standards and increase their independence.” How wonderful! // The ‘hair sunscreen’ from Aveda is a lightweight, water-resistant UV defense mist that forms an invisible screen to help protect hair from sun exposure for up to 16 hours, to minimise damage and dryness. Its UVA/ UVB filters derived from wintergreen and cinnamon bark oils help protect hair from sun damage and its anti-oxidant blend which includes vitamin E, helps fight free radical damage. Yes, it gets better! It has a refreshing, citrus-y aroma with 100% certified organic essences of neroli, ylang ylang and cistus!

  • Step 4: EAT WELL

Just like skin, the condition of our hair is an outward sign of inside health. We are what we eat! The cells that make up each strand of hair require a regular supply of key nutrients, that’s why we’ve got to try our very best to eat the correct balance of the following vitamins and minerals to supply our hair with all that it needs to remain shiny, lustrous and strong. 🙂

#1: PROTEIN

Protein is necessary for all cell growth, including hair cells. Hair gets its structure from hardened proteins called keratin. Without enough protein for keratin, hair grows more slowly, and the individual strands that do grow are weaker. Ensuring You have enough protein in Your diet is crucial for making hair strong and healthy. If you are not consuming enough protein in your diet, your hair is likely to become dry, brittle and weak. Extremely low protein diets may result in hair loss.

#2: IRON

Iron is an especially important mineral for hair and too little iron (anaemia) is a major cause of hair loss. The hair follicle and root are fed by a nutrient-rich blood supply. Anaemia disrupts the nutrient supply to the follicle, affecting the hair growth cycle and may result in shedding. Great sources of iron: lentils, tofu, soybeans, starchy beans, black-eyed peas, spinach and other leafy green vegetables such as broccoli, kale and salad greens. **Combine your plant-based iron-rich foods with foods high in vitamin C, because vitamin C improves the body’s ability to absorb non-heme, i.e. plant-based iron.

#3: VITAMIN A

Vitamin A is needed by the body to make sebum, an oily substance created by our hairs sebaceous glands and which provides a natural conditioner for a healthy scalp. Without sebum, we may experience an itchy scalp and dry hair. Include orange-/yellow-coloured vegetables which are high in beta-carotene (Your body turns beta carotene into vitamin A) such as carrots, pumpkins sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, mangoes, kale, butternut squash, dark green lettuces and asparagus. Be aware that You can have too much of a good thing when it comes to vitamin A: Too much can cause hair loss. It is best to simply add more beta-carotene-rich foods to your meals rather than take vitamin A supplements.

#4: VITAMIN C

Vitamin C, an antioxidant, aids the absorption of iron so foods high in vitamin C are good to eat in conjunction with iron-rich foods. Vitamin C helps in the production of collagen that strengthens the capillaries that supply the hair shafts. The best sources are blackcurrants, blueberries, broccoli, guava, kiwi fruits, oranges, papaya, strawberries and sweet potatoes.

**Bell Peppers!!! Red, yellow, and green bell peppers are a colourful, delicious source of vitamin C, which is necessary for hair health for many reasons. Besides helping the body use non-heme (plant-based) iron to ensure that there is enough iron in red blood cells to carry oxygen to hair follicles, vitamin C is also used to form collagen, a structural fiber that helps our bodies hold everything together. Hair follicles, blood vessels, and skin all require collagen to stay healthy for optimal growth. Even minor vitamin C deficiencies can lead to dry, splitting hair that breaks easily.

#5: VITAMIN E

The sun can damage our hair just like it can damage our skin, so be sure to eat foods rich in vitamin E to provide protection for Your hair. Nuts are nutritional powerhouses, providing zinc and selenium as well as vitamin E so include them as part of a balanced diet.

#6: OMEGA-3

Omega-3 fatty acids are important fats that our body cannot make itself, and therefore must be obtained through our diet. Omega-3s are found in the cells that line the scalp and also provide the oils that keep your scalp and hair hydrated. Head for these: avocado, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds and walnuts.

#7: BIOTIN

Biotin is a water-soluble B vitamin essential for hair growth and overall scalp health. Too little biotin can cause brittle hair and may lead to hair loss. Include biotin rich foods such as whole-grains, peanuts, almonds, wheat bran and avocados in Your diet.

#8: ZINC & SELENIUM

Scalp protection involves other important minerals, notably zinc and selenium. A lack of zinc can lead to hair loss and a dry, flaky scalp.

#9: FOLATE

Folate is another power player. It is a B vitamin that aids the creation of red blood cells, and iron (refer to #2) helps the red blood cells carry oxygen.

**Cinnamon for Circulation!!! Sprinkle this spice on your oatmeal, toast, and in Your coffee(?)!! It helps with blood flow, also called circulation. That’s what brings oxygen and nutrients to Your hair follicles.

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Oh and one last thing, a dear friend, Alex (Hi love!) had her two cents in addition to what I shared with the anon I mentioned above. Here it is!

I quote, “The prickly black spots are actually/ probably ingrown hairs. One way to combat that is to exfoliate about a day prior to (any type of) hair removal. Don’t do it on the day itself because exfoliating can irritate the skin, which could be further aggravated by the blade when shaving, or when hairs are pulled out during waxing.

Exfoliating removes a layer of dead skin cells off, so that:
1. A lil bit more of the hair is exposed so it can be easier to remove
2. Gives the hair ‘room’ to grow in the right direction.

Overall, my personal opinion is that shaving isn’t the best option (although least painful) because it’ll cause your underarms to darken gradually, and the hair grows back thicker and coarser. At least in my experience YUX. Shaving every once in a while is fine, like when you’re rushing but i don’t think one should do it too frequently.

Waxing is fine, but cleanup can be a real pain since the wax can stick to your skin and be hard to remove even with the oil wipes. Also, the cost of buying accumulated and wax strips ain’t cheap haha. Oh yea, it takes me FOREVER to wax. On the other hand, there are lots of homemade waxes one can try. The good part about the homemade ones is that you don’t need oil to remove them, just water. (:

Using an epilator would be my recommendation haha. It’s like a machine razor, just that instead of blades, it has tweezers so it pulls hair out from the root! A lot of blogs I read said that hair will grow back thinner and finer each time. The cheaper ones are $50++ approx if you buy online, the really good ones go up to $100++.”

Alex, You’re a darling!! Thank You once again! :’)

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Take care, my dear readers! Xx

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