Well Being: Hair, Skin & Nails Oh MY

Black beauty with elegant curly hairA woman’s crowning glory is her hair. Her skin and nails aren’t far behind. The return to natural hair among Black women is a movement that has been picking up steam over the last three to four years. After years and years of chemically straightening their hair, many women have given up the “creamy crack”. Chris Rock captured Black women’s love of hair in his documentary “Good Hair”. In my ongoing efforts to reduce my direct contact with toxic and harmful chemicals I began transitioning in January of last year. It’s been a journey.

But this is not a post about natural versus chemically straightened hair. This is about the general health needs around our God-given beauty accessories. The hair, skin and nails are generally related. The hair and nails are there as biological features to protect our heads and finger tips. Intelligent design. Our skin, the largest organ, performs many functions, including a water-proof barrier to our insides. Our hair, nails and skin are the first things on our bodies to begin showing wear and tear. Have you ever seen someone you thought was much older than they really are. You may have thought to yourself, wow – rough living. Essentially this is true. What we put in our bodies directly impacts the health of our hair, nails and skin. Smoking is especially toxic to all three and can age a person much faster than the passing of time.

Hair, nails and skin are made of a protein called keratin. Have you heard of keratin treatments? This is why. It’s quite a simple system. As new cells generate at the base of the nails (matrix), the scalp for the hair, and the epidermis for the skin they push the older cells down which is what lengthens your nails and hair. Your skin will shed the older cells or you can exfoliate them to reveal the layer of new skin. During the course of a day you can shed a million skin cells. Amazing.

If you want better nails, skin or hair it’s best to encourage new cell growth by providing the proper nourishment. The old cells aren’t going to respond to nutrients in the same way new cells will. This is why a nutrient-rich diet shows itself in healthy hair, skin and nails. Foods that are rich in silica, antioxidants, protein and B-complex vitamins along with drinking plenty of water will result in a healthy glow, beautiful hair and strong nails. Biotin comes in a supplement form and is touted as being a miracle worker. Many women claim biotin has done wonders for them, but it can cause acne flare ups. If you are a fruit and vegetable juicer try recipes that include cucumber, beets and celery. These are some powerhouse foods. Garlic, onion and alfalfa sprouts¬† also pack a beauty punch too. And of course plenty of sleep. Beauty sleep isn’t just a phrase, sleep is critical to various functions in your body. There are some regeneration processes that can only happen when you’re asleep.

If you see drastic changes in your hair, skin or nails get to a doctor. The first signs of trouble often show up here first. Your body uses your skin to help rid itself of toxins and help with oxygenation. Hair loss can be attributed to various things. If you see discoloration of your nails, they stop growing or become weak seek out a physician for help. Some of it is just genetic too. I have paper-thin nails that split, tear and crack since I was a child. No known explanation, but since I have great skin and healthy hair it’s probably just my DNA.

If you love your hair, skin and nails give a shout out and let people know your best beauty secrets by commenting below. If you enjoyed this point share with your friends. We want to hear from you.



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