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Three steps healthy to long hair( very long)


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Step One: Proper Nutrition and Illness Prevention
The best way to provide hair follicles with the nutrients they need for active growth is through the bloodstream. In fact, the hair is such a good indicator of the health of the rest of your body that nutritionists can tell whether you're deficient in particular vitamins and minerals just by analyzing a snip of hair. There are certain foods you can eat and supplements you can take to promote optimal hair growth. Let's start with one of the top nutrients needed for healthy, strong hair: Essential Fatty Acids.

Flax Seed Oil is an Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acid (EFA). EFA's include Linoleic Acid (LA) and Alpha Linolenic Acid (LNA). Doctors around the world recognize EFA's as essential nutrients for human health. The problem is that EFA's aren't made in our bodies, so we have to eat them or take them as supplements.

Linoleic Acid is considered the most important EFA. It is a necessity for hair health and growth. Without it, humans suffer from hair loss and dry scaly scalp and skin. Veterinarians are known to recommend LA to improve animals' coats. The richest source of Linoleic Acid is flax seed oil - a must for anyone wanting to grow gorgeous long hair. Flax is a seed that can be eaten raw, used as an oil, and taken in capsule form. Nutritionist Dr. Andrew Weil recommends eating whole flax seeds sprinkled on food in his book, Eight Weeks to Optimum Health.

In addition to flax seed oil, nutritionists recommend the following vitamins and minerals to bolster the EFA's positive effects: Vitamins A, B3, B6, C, E, and the minerals Magnesium and Zinc.

Other supplements necessary for healthy long hair:

Evening Primrose Oil is a good source of Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA), an EFA essential for cell metabolism and growth. This oil, also found in capsule form, aids hair growth and restoration. Other outstanding sources of GLA are Borage Oil and Black Current Oil.
Silica provides collagen essential for luxurious hair growth.

Lecithin is used by every living cell in our bodies. It helps purify your system and aids in the absorption of vitamins A, D, E, and K.
Choline and Inositol are important for hair metabolism.
Calcium is important for actively growing hair follicle cells.
Vitamin E is an excellent antioxidant particularly good for preventing the oxidization of Vitamins A & C, maintains cell membranes and general health of the blood.
Zinc keeps hair follicles from atrophying.
Copper ensures hair pigment.
Manganese and Iron are essential for follicle growth.
Iodine is essential for optimum hair growth.
Niacin restores hair pigmentation when taken over a long period of time.
Biotin has been called "the hair vitamin" because of its growth benefits.
Hair Growth Vitamins and Minerals in The Food You Eat
The quality of your hair reflects in part the adequacy of your diet. Regular well-rounded meals are best for you and your hair. Iron deficiency due to inadequate consumption of red meat or heavy menstrual bleeding in women, could cause hair loss.

So can crash diets and eating disorders.

Vitamin E Sources: polyunsaturated oils and margarines, green veggies, almonds, sunflower seeds, whole grains, eggs, liver, oatmeal.

Fatty Acid Sources: fish (especially salmon and tuna) and vegetables.

Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A and helps promote healthy skin, hair and nails. It's found in green and yellow vegetables and fruits.

Vitamin A Sources: liver, kidneys, eggs, milk, yellow & green fruit & vegetables (carrots, spinach, apricots, peaches, broccoli, asparagus, yams).

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) Sources: whole-grain and enriched cereals, pork, beef, lamb, nuts, and legumes.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) Sources: green veggies, blackstrap molasses, brewer's yeast, liver, nuts, whole grains.

Niacin Sources: liver, meat, fish, poultry, peanuts, and enriched cereals. Restores hair pigmentation when taken over a long period of time.

Vitamin B6 Sources: liver, beef, lamb, pork, salmon, whole-grain cereals, lima beans, carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, green leafy veggies, bananas, avocados.

Vitamin B12 Sources: liver, kidneys, fish, eggs, milk, milk products.

Folic Acid: Dark green leafy veggies, liver, kidneys, milk and milk products, salmon, tuna, dates, whole grains.

Protein is extremely important to proper hair growth. A diet too low in protein can cause thinning hair or a retardation in the growth cycle. Nutritionists recommend brewer's yeast, calves liver, dairy products, fish, eggs, beans, yogurt, and tofu as excellent protein sources.

*Remember, it's never a good idea to drastically change your diet without first checking with your doctor.

Step 2: Stress Reduction through Aromatherapy and Massage

Stress is one of the biggest reasons people are unable to achieve optimal hair growth. When we get tense, the layer of muscle covering the skull tightens up. This is why we get headaches when we're stressed out.

This same tightening restricts the blood supply to the hair follicles. The follicles become undernourished and affect the condition of the hair and the growth cycle. Stress can also lead to oily scalp and hair, and dandruff flare ups.

Hair expert Philip Kingsley says stress causes an overproduction of sebum which leads to oiliness and dandruff. Kingsley also says that stress can cause your hair to turn white or gray because your body becomes depleted in B vitamins, which are necessary for hair pigment.

"Laboratory tests with black rats have shown that feeding them a diet deficient in the B vitamins turned their hair white," reports Kingsley in his The Complete Hair Book (Grove Press).

"On reintroducing vitamin B, the hair regained its color. . . What's so fascinating about all this," says Kingsley, "is that personal stress demands more B vitamins because the body used more of them up. In fact, the B vitamins have become known as the 'nerve vitamins.' So, it wouldn't seem unreasonable to conclude from that that stress could be the underlying cause."

Dermatologist Dr. Irwin Lubowe concurs with Kingsley's stress theory. He cites extreme wartime cases where hair turns white when stress cuts off the melanin produced by the hair's cortex. Dr. Lubowe has treated stress-induced whitened hair by prescribing pantothenate and PABA, while Kingsley prescribes B vitamins in the form of brewer's yeast and defatted liver extract.

In extreme cases, stress can lead to complete temporary hair loss known as alopecia areata. Alopecia causes the scalp to become inflamed at a microscopic level which leads to patchy hair loss. Italian researchers have found that stress lowers the alopecia patients' white blood cell levels which leaves them vulnerable to the condition.

One of the best ways to relax and stimulate blood flow to the scalp is through scalp massage. This promotes hair growth by increasing scalp circulation and nourishment to your hair follicles, which in turn improves the overall condition of your hair. Self massage while shampooing is perhaps the easiest way to increase circulation in your scalp. Simply move the scalp around as much as possible as you shampoo. You can also give yourself a scalp massage on dry hair with the following steps:

1. Use your fingers to make small circles all over your scalp. Start at your forehead and work back over your whole head.

2. Run your fingers through your hair and stroke your scalp.

3. Gently pull sections of your hair until you feel a tug on your scalp.

4. Release and repeat, concentrating on "pulling out" the stress.

Some high-priced spas perform a treatment called "shirodhara" where warm oil is poured over the forehead to soothe the mind by calming the central nervous system. The oil is then gently massaged into the hair. You can also look into Craniosacral Therapy, a head massage used to treat chronic pain, migraine headaches, TMJ and a range of other conditions.

Scalp Health and Hair Growth Through Aromatherapy
A normal scalp has between 24 and 40 layers of dead cells which are constantly moving up to the surface where they are shed. The cycle for each layer takes 28 days.

Scalp massage encourages blood circulation in the scalp and will help alleviate tension that can contribute to hair loss. Some massage oils help moisturize and stimulate the scalp by removing and preventing the build up of dead skin cells.

Adding essential oils to your scalp massage is one of the best ways available to encourage relaxation and stimulate hair growth. This is because essential oils have the ability to penetrate the skin and reach the subcutaneous tissues responsible for youthful, healthy scalp and skin.

Essential Oils and Aromatherapy
Essential oils have been used for thousands of years to remedy a variety of health problems, including hair loss and slow growth. There are approximately 400 essential oils distilled today with approximately 100 used in aromatherapy. The oils are extracted from a variety of plan parts, including the flowers, leaves, wood, resin, and twigs. They have a molecular structure similar to those found in actual human hormones, which is why they provide actual stimulation when applied directly to the skin and scalp.

Aromatherapy uses essential oils to treat and prevent maladies. It works because our olfactory function leads directly to the brain where chemical reactions take place. In addition, essential oils are able to penetrate the skin and travel to the bloodstream where their chemical components produce their desired effects. They are also eliminated quickly, and leave the body between four and six hours after absorption.

Essential oils stimulate the body's own natural healing processes and alleviates tension and stress. Dr. Susan Schiffman, a professor of medical psychology at Duke University, concluded that smell can promote relaxation better than visualization techniques.

Aromatherapy and Hair Growth
An exciting study in the Archives of Dermatology (1998; 134:1349-1352) even finds that aromatherapy can safely and effectively treat temporary hair loss due to alopecia areata and promote new growth. The study was performed by Scottish researchers who had half of their patients massage thyme, rosemary, lavender, and cedarwood essential oils onto their scalps each day. The other patients massaged in "carrier" oils jojoba and grapeseed oil.

After seven months of treatment, 44% of the patients using the essential oils showed significant improvement in hair growth. The group using carrier oils showed just 15% improvement. In addition, the aromatherapy caused no significant side effects. Researchers concluded that not only did the aromatherapy work, it was also far safer than traditional alopecia treatments including conventional steroids. Following is a list of essential oils used throughout the ages to stimulate hair growth.

1. Borage: Prevents scalp conditions and eczema.

2. Cedarwood: Strengthens the hair shaft. Excellent treatment for dandruff and/or oily scalp. Also used to treat nervous and stress-related conditions. Used in haircare, skincare, massage, diffusers, and as perfume.

3. Clary Sage: Alleviates stress-related conditions including high blood pressure, depression, and anxiety. It can produce a state of euphoria and has been used as an aphrodisiac. Promotes estrogen balance in the membrane tissue around the hair follicle. Used to treat dandruff.

4. Geranium: Alleviates oily scalp and inflammations.

5. Jasmine: Acts as an anti-depressant, analgesic, and reputed aphrodisiac. Often used to treat problems with the nervous system such as anxiety and stress. An excellent scalp and skin tonic.

6. Juniper: Used as a hair loss treatment because it stimulates circulation and detoxifies the body.

7. Lavender: Encourages scalp circulation and promotes hair growth. Prevents headaches and hypertension.

8. Neroli (Orange Blossom): Excellent moisturizer for scalp and skin. Soothes nervous tension. Also used as an aphrodisiac.

9. Palmarosa: Helps balance production of sebum. Very beneficial for both extremely dry and oily scalps. Stimulates new cell growth, regulates oil production, moisturizes, and speeds healing.

10. Rosewood: Used for general scalp and skin care. Alleviates depression, stress, and dermatitis.

11. Sandalwood: Relieves depression and nervous tension. Heals dry & chapped skin. Plays an important part in Ayurveda, the Indian system of healing.

12. Tea Tree: Stimulates scalp circulation. Strong antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, fungicidal properties.

13. Ylang Ylang: Used to alleviate a variety of hair and skin complaints. In Victorian times, the oil was used in Macassar oil - a hair treatment. Also acts as an anti-depressant.

Step 3: Take Gentle Care of your Growing Hair
Now that we've discussed what it takes to grow healthy, long hair, it's time to discuss how to pamper the hair you already have to ensure it's in top condition.

As we discussed before, hair is technically "dead" -- But that doesn't mean you can treat it poorly or simply ignore it. Dr. George Michael, a world-renowned long hair care expert, said long hair needed to be treated like "fine, old lace."

That's because the longer your hair is, the older it is and the gentler the care it requires.

There are ways to smooth the scales on the hair shaft to make it appear shiny and healthy. There are also ways to properly hydrate your hair and fill in the damaged gaps to make it appear thick and bouncy. It all depends on what you put on your hair and how you treat it.

Shampoo comes from the Hindu word champo, which means "to massage" or "to knead". The main function of shampoo is to remove the sebum that the scalp naturally secretes, as well as to remove conditioning and styling products.

A safe shampoo for any kind of hair should have a pH of 4.5-5.5. pH levels indicates how acidic or alkaline shampoos are. If shampoos are too alkaline (high pH), it can cause the hair shaft to swell and damage the cuticle. If it's more acid (low pH) it can tighten the cuticle, helping the hair to feel softer and look shinier. Unaltered hair has a pH of 5.5.

All shampoos contain water combined with a detergent or soap, thickeners, detanglers, fragrance, and preservatives. One ingredient to watch out for is Sodium Lauryl Sulfite, a harsh detergent. This chemical is different from Sodium Laureth Sulfite, which is somewhat gentler to the hair.

Some people claim that using the same shampoo every day can lead to "buildup". You can tell you have buildup if your hair seems flatter and less lively than usual. If this happens to your hair, switch to a non-creamy shampoo for about a week. "Clarifying" and "Detoxifying" shampoos can be harsh and drying on long hair, so you may not want to use them for an extended period of time.

Shampooing Tips For Long Hair

1. Begin with a pre-wash conditioner such as Jojoba Oil or a heavy cream conditioner. Leave on for 20-30 minutes if possible.

2. Make sure the shower water is tepid, not hot.

3. Spread a capful of shampoo between the palms of your hands before working into your scalp.

4. Work shampoo into your scalp before wetting hair with warm -- not hot -- water.

5. Use the pads of your fingertips -- not your nails.

6. There's no need to shampoo the length of hair below your chin. If you must wash your ends, squeeze shampoo through, then rinse.

7. To prevent tangles, don't pile hair on top of head when washing.

8. Only lather up once unless your scalp is extra oily.

9. Rinse hair thoroughly, making sure to get out all remnants of suds. and stop while your hair is still damp.

Conditioners coat the hair shaft with ingredients that temporarily close areas of the cuticle and seal in needed moisture. They also protect against heat and environmental damage - until washed out. Most salon and drugstore conditioners primarily contain water and emollients (oils). The more oils, the more "intensive" the conditioner is. Watch out for lanolin and mineral oil, which are hard to wash out and can leave the hair looking greasy and limp.

Botanicals: Naturally derived oils and water extracts of plants that replace manufactured additives.

Emollients: Vegetable oils such as jojoba, sweet almond, borage, avocado, and olive.

Sun Protection: We use aloe as a natural sun blocking agent.

Vegetable Glycerin: One of the best water-binding agents.

Fatty acids: Lubricants and emollients that give the product and the hair a soft velvety feel and keep water in the hair to prevent dehydration in dry climates. We use flax seed oil.
Vegetable Oils: Leave a protective barrier that prevents dehydration. Also extremely emollient, providing good water-binding ability. We use jojoba, sweet almond, borage, avocado, and olive oils.

Vitamin E: May prevent free radical damage to scalp.

Panthenol: (Derivative of Vitamin B Complex Factor). Excellent penetration in to the hair shaft. Gives hair a more substantial smoother feel, keeps moisture in, improves movement, and imparts luster. Panthenol (vitamin B5 derivative) The only vitamin shown to have the capability to penetrate the hair shaft, panthenol works like most other conditioning ingredients, helping to boost hair's luster and moisture-retaining abilities.

Soy Protein: Plant proteins are attracted to the hair much the same way collagen is, with the same positive results. Plant protein can also help bind water to the hair.

Conditioning Tips For Long Hair:

1. Thoroughly rinse all shampoo from hair.

2. Spread about a capful of conditioner between your palms (the amount will depend on the length of your hair).

3. Apply to the hair from chin-length down.

4. Use a wide-tooth comb to carefully distribute the conditioner evenly.

5. Leave on for two to 10 minutes.

6. Rinse conditioner out thoroughly.

7. Do a final cold water rinse to seal the hair's cuticle.

8. Squeeze length of hair to remove excess water.

9. Wrap hair in towel or hair shammy for quicker drying. Don't wrap like a turban -- this can cause tangles. Instead, drape the towel over your head like a nun's habit.

10. Use a wide-tooth comb to remove tangles. Never brush wet hair or it could break off!

11. For detangling and extra protection from heat and the elements, apply a leave-in conditioner to the ends of your hair.

12. Let your hair dry naturally if possible. If you must use a blow dryer, blow the air down the shafts.

A final word about treating your long hair gently. Be careful to avoid hair accessories with sharp edges or sticky elastic. These can actually tear or sever your long hair, which would make all the steps you've taken to grow it a big waste of time. Treat your hair gently from the inside out and you'll be rewarded with gorgeous long locks for life.


New Member
Wow! that was a mouthful! Thanks for the info. You really are on top of thangs.


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I got it from another website. I found it by accident actually when I was trying to find out was black beans had to do with hair.


New Member
I have stopped washing my hair on top of me head because it caused so many tangles. I also drape the towel over my head instead of wrapping it around the entire head. It helps in alleviating tangles also.


New Member
Thank you Sillygurl18! Lots of important info here. So what does black beans have to do with our hair?

(your avatar is beautiful!)


New Member
Thanks again sillygurl, this article is very informative! In addition to saving it to my favorites list, I'm going to have to print out. :)