Photo Source: Natural Silver Sista

by Mary Wolff

We all want beautiful, healthy hair. If there were a pill that promised to give you healthy, strong hair, pretty nails, and promoted hair growth, would you take it? Of course, you would! This is the premise of biotin supplements. They claim to offer all of these benefits and many curlies are jumping on board with it. However, there are a few things we should keep in mind about biotin supplements before you try it.

Continue Reading

What Is It? 
A daily vitamin, biotin supplements are a pill form of complex B vitamins. It is available in many different dosages on the market, but it should be noted that none are approved by the FDA. It is reported to help hair growth and hair health by helping your body metabolize energy while transporting carbon dioxide from cells. 

Does it work?  
There is no concrete evidence that biotin supplements work. While some have reported a notable difference in the overall health of their hair and nails, others have seen no difference at all. The key here is that biotin pills are suggested to only offer benefits to those people previously suffering from a biotin deficiency. The body naturally makes and absorbs biotin. If a person has a deficiency in this area, the supplements may help improve this aspect. For those with no biotin deficiency, there will most likely be no noticeable change, and your body will simply process it and get rid of it like it does any food or nutrient in excess. It should be noted that very few people actually have a biotin deficiency and the brittle nails and unhealthy hair are a sign of an underlying health condition, unhealthy lifestyle or care, or an insufficient diet. 

What are the side effects? 
Before you decide to test this out for yourself and just hope for the best, you should know there are a few side effects associated with biotin supplements. If you do not have a biotin deficiency and you take too much, you could end up with undetectable side effects such as high blood sugar, slower release of insulin, and decreased vitamin C and vitamin B6 levels. You could also end up with a rash which may be the only physical sign that biotin is a problem. In this article, some NaturallyCurly editors noticed an increase in breakouts and pimples. For this reason, it's incredibly important to consult your doctor before taking a new supplement to make sure it will actually benefit you instead of causing harm. 

IG @curlyproverbz

by Mary Wolff

Healthy hair starts on the inside. What you eat plays a big role in how your hair looks and feels. The foods you eat can either give you the nourishment you need to rock a beautiful head of curls or it can zap your strands of nutrients leaving hair dull, dry, and lifeless. So, what are the best superfoods for hair? Here are the top 5 hair superfoods you should add to your diet ASAP.

Continue!>>>


1. Salmon 
This one should come as no surprise. Lean, healthy fish is packed with tons of nutrients needed to keep hair healthy. It has fatty acids like omega 3, iron, and proteins needed to rebuild keratin in strands. Salmon also has hard to find vitamins such as B12 and D which help keep hair strong. It is suggested to eat salmon 2-3 times a week for good results.

2. Eggs
Eggs are a top performer for your hair and is another superfood known for its protein. Like salmon, eggs are a great source of high-quality protein needed to encourage new hair growth while keeping strands strong. When trying to reduce breakage, this is one of the best superfoods for hair thanks to the biotin and B vitamins. Scramble up one egg a day for healthy, shiny curls!

3. Quinoa 
One of the more surprising hair superfoods that has become a health craze is quinoa. It offers protein benefits for strong hair. It also offers the hard to find vitamin E. This is commonly used in hair care products for its moisturizing power and ability to restore balance to the scalp. While using vitamin E rich products is good for your hair, it really packs from the inside out when added to your diet. This food can be added to salads and soups, as well as baked breads.

4. Almonds 
Looking to stop hair loss and encourage growth? This nut is packed with powerful properties to do just that. It has vitamin E and omega 3 fatty acids in high quantities to help hair retain its keratin for stronger strands. Almonds also keep your strands moisturized and shiny. Still need more reasons to snack on these bite-sized powerhouses? They are loaded with hard to find zinc that helps with circulation for a healthy scalp. Your scalp is the foundation of a great head of curls.

5. Mangoes 
With all this talk of proteins and fatty acids, what about other important vitamins? Mangoes offer a good dose of vitamin C to make them a great addition to your next meal. Vitamin C gives you the nutrients needed to produce collagen which helps build hair structure.  It can also help with iron absorption for those with iron deficiencies. Iron deficiencies can impact hair growth.

It is important to remember that what you eat affects how you look. With the right superfoods, you can make sure your curls stay healthy and beautiful!

IG @laissakeilla 

by Mary Wolff

When it comes to the hair on our heads, the more the better. Thinning hair or the loss of strands altogether can have a big impact on how a person feels about themselves. Luckily there are lots of ways to prevent hair loss! Whether you feel like your hair might be thinning because of age or you just want to stop it before it even has a chance to happen, read on to learn some tips and suggestions to keep your hair right where it belongs.

Continue!>>>


Live a Healthy Lifestyle

One of the best ways to prevent hair loss is to make sure you are taking care of yourself from the inside out. Much of what our hair looks like is based on the foods we eat, how much we sleep, and the fluids we drink. If you eat junk, your hair looks like junk. You want to aim for foods that are high in essential vitamins and fatty lipids such as the vitamins A, E, and K, as well as Omegas, found in leafy greens, lean proteins like eggs and salmon, and nuts. When it comes to sleep, make sure you are getting at least the recommended 8 hours a night. For hydration, drink at least 8 glasses of water and avoid things that naturally dehydrate you like alcohol and smoking because whatever dehydrates you also dehydrates your hair. Many times, hair loss is tied to a deficiency in vitamins and nutrients which is why living a healthy lifestyle is so important for your hair.

Avoid Strain

A big part of hair loss is caused by being too rough or careless with your hair. Here are a few tips to avoid adding stress to your strands that could lead to breakage and eventual hair loss.
  • Avoid tight hairstyles. Make sure any styles or ponytails are secure but not so tight they tug on hair. This will lead to weakening strands, hair that breaks, and can even damage your follicles against further growth. 
  • Know when hair needs extra TLC. If you are planning on doing any activities that might be super damaging to your hair, like swimming in a pool or salty water, hanging out in the sun, or excessively coloring hair, you need to lay on the TLC before damage strikes. Make sure you apply a moisture rich conditioner designed for your activities such as Carol’s Daughter Tui Moisturizing Hair oil. This oil will keep strands full of moisture and sealed against damage. 
  • Avoid constant use of heating tools. Never use them without applying a barrier product between your hair and the heat such as a small amount of olive oil. This allows hair to get the benefits of heat tools without the damage that can lead to hair loss. 
  • Be gentle when brushing.  Most strands aren’t lost in washing, conditioning, sleeping, or any of the other activities you do every day. The most hair is lost in the brushing. Make sure you don’t work through wet, tangled hair without applying a rich leave in conditioner or natural oil like coconut oil to help with losing the tangles without losing the strands. Make sure you never brush your hair when it is too wet or too dry. You want to find the middle ground where hair is damp but saturated thoroughly with oil for an even brushing that won’t rip your hair out. The best way to detangle is with your fingers! 


IG @afrog4l

by Mary Wolff

When it comes to long and lovely hair, length can be a challenge for some of us. Growing out your natural hair can feel like a slow journey with little to no results to show for it. Follow these tried and true 5 tips for growing out natural hair, and get the long strands of your dreams!

Continue!>>>


1. Get Proper Nutrition

Why would experts say the key to hair growth is in your eating habits? Because hair health starts on the inside! If you aren’t getting those essential nutrients like vitamin B, iron, and protein, hair won’t grow as quickly. Try to eat foods rich in these nutrients like spinach, salmon, eggs, and even cinnamon, and drink plenty of water. If you are dehydrated, your hair will show it. Dry hair is hair that can’t grow long and beautiful.

2. Hair Supplements

Following the same idea that hair growth is about the foods you eat, taking certain vitamins can help hair growth. Consider a hair supplement such as biotin. Not only will it make your hair healthy enough to grow in length, it gives your nails a boost too! Other supplements to consider are zinc, collagen boosting silica, and kelp. Biotin is still the most commonly used hair growth supplement with many people reporting impressive results. Be careful before you jump on the biotin train. Before adding biotin supplements to your routine, check with your doctor. If you are pregnant, nursing, or have certain existing medical conditions, there may be concerns about adding it your supplement intake.

3. Regularly Trim

One of the most important of our 5 tips for growing out natural hair is to cut regularly. I know it may seem like the opposite of what you should do, but experts agree that regularly trimming hair can help it stay healthy. Make sure you watch out for split ends. Once these split ends show up, it is time for a trim. In fact, trims are the only effective way to get rid of split ends. It is a good idea to trim ends every 4-6 weeks or more frequently based on your hair growth.

4. Take Care of Scalp Matters

The scalp is the foundation of growing your hair out. If you have a dry, irritated, or overly oily scalp, your hair will be less healthy. You want to make sure you don’t get too much build up, so use a reliable clarifying shampoo like As I Am Curl Clarity Shampoo. For a dry scalp, consider something like ORS Shealicious Scalp Relief Shea Butter Conditioner. You should also make sure you protect your scalp from damage caused by the sun. Wear a hat or use products with SPF to help safeguard your scalp.

5. Use the Right Products

The key to hair growth is making sure your hair is healthy. I’ll say it again; unhealthy hair just won’t grow. Part of making sure your hair is healthy is to use the right products. Your hair growth is a result of the overall health of your hair. If you are using products that are too harsh, such as certain shampoos with sulfates and other chemicals that throw hair out of balance, you won’t get the length you want. You want to steer clear of mineral oil because it coats the skin on the scalp and makes it harder for hair follicles to generate cell turnover needed for new growth. You should also be on the lookout for any ingredient listings with propylene glycol which also inhibits the turnover of healthy cells. Make sure you carefully read the ingredients and directions of your favorite hair care products.
IG @iamangeldior

by Tiffani Greenaway of MyMommyVents.com

You've seen questions about them in the forums and pictures on the 'gram. Reality TV personalities, rappers, and models, pose with a bottle (or cup of tummy flattening tea) praise supplements that promise transformations of your hair from the inside out.

Continue!>>>


Claiming to "boost your hair's natural collagen" and help hair reach its "maximum capacity," these "specially formulated" pills say you'll have longer, thicker, shinier hair in just 3 months. But do hair vitamins actually work?

According to Medical Daily, we spend almost $176 million a year on supplements we hope will make our hair grow.

"They’re not made-up pills. Our bodies are already taking them in and they should be a part of our diet," says NYC celebrity hairstylist Devin Toth . "Taking them as supplements consistently ensures that those nutrients and vitamins travel through our bloodstream to essential organs, then to our hair follicles and cortex."

Most hair supplements contain a mix of biotin, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B3, which are all known to help hair growth--but a healthy diet that includes foods high in protein, iron, and other vitamins can also keep hair looking its best. Salmon is full Vitamin D, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids to promote hair growth and almonds can give you a boost in Vitamin E, which keeps blood flowing to your scalp and encourages hair to grow.

"One of the biggest misconceptions is that vitamins will help with these problems, but in fact, they may be linked to internal issues stemming from the thyroid or chronic anemia," says Dr. Melissa Piliang, a dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic. "Multivitamins or prenatal supplements help to fill gaps found in our diets. We tend to restrict carbohydrates or fats for weight lost or replace them with juices, but vitamins contain important nutrients like biotin, zinc and B-complex that help to enhance the health of our hair."

Hair supplements may promise to help your growth, but the vitamin industry isn't regulated as strictly by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The FDA classifies vitamins as dietary supplements, and manufacturers don't have to get the FDA's approval before those pills end up on shelves at your local beauty supply.

"While vitamin deficiencies — notably iron and vitamin D — can contribute to hair shedding, there just isn't data to support the efficacy of vitamin supplements...and people spend so much money on them," says dermatologist Marie Leger.

The bottom line? Be careful about any supplements you take. "Natural" doesn't always mean safe. People of color have been targeted by health scams in the past. According to Cariny Nunez, M.P.H., a public health advisor in the Office of Minority Health at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), states "scammers know that ethnic groups who may not speak or read English well, or who hold certain cultural beliefs, can be easy targets,” Nunez says. For example, Native Americans, Latinos, Asians and Africans may have a long tradition of turning to more herbal or so-called “natural” remedies." Take caution when combining supplements with other medicines, whether prescription or over-the-counter. (http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm466588.htm)

"Vitamins and supplements aren't miracle drugs, they simply allow your hair to reach its full potential," Toth said "[They] maximize what the body is capable of. Your hair needs certain things to reach maximum capacity … that’s what vitamins are for."


***********************************
Tiffani Greenway is the wife and mom behind MyMommyVents, a New York city parenting blog. Her tips have been seen on Yahoo Parenting, Mommy Noire, and Fit Pregnancy. Find more of Tiffani's work at mymommyvents.com.