Over the last 22 months of healing, I’ve come to realise that whilst food and maintaining a healthy diet is extremely important, there are so many other factors that are equally important in healing your body. So, here’s a list of the top 10 most important things (including food) that I feel have been essential in helping me grow back my hair –
- Find ways to eliminate STRESS. When we are constantly under stress our immune system knows it. Our adrenals produce stress hormones that impact sleep cycles, hunger, body temperature and lots of other functions. Long periods of stress will cause our immune systems to become overactive, causing autoantibodies to attack the body and more importantly our hair. Choose to take time out for yourself and find something that you love to do. Over the past six months I have really been trying to eliminate stress and since becoming really aware of it and managing it, my hair began to grow back. I also love practising meditation morning and night (just 12 minutes twice a day), going on beach walks and swimming in the ocean, practising Kundalini Yoga, listening to music, reading a good book or one of my favourite magazines. If you can’t manage this on your own, get help if you are feeling overwhelmed. I regularly see my Energy Healer who helps me keep my emotions and stress levels down.
- Eat whole, unprocessed, fresh foods. Pick the best quality fruit, vegetables, eggs, nuts, seeds and meats you can find. Visit your local farmers markets for fresh produce and remember that you’re supporting a farmer in your local community by doing so. Foods at these markets can be organic and free of pesticides, added hormones, antibiotics and herbicides, thus reducing toxicity in your body. Every Sunday morning, I visit our local farmers markets with my family and it’s become a favourite weekly trip. I love chatting to the farmers and store holders and picking the freshest most colourful produce. By eating clean foods, your refined sugar intake should be eliminated or greatly reduced. I do not eat any processed sugars, only natural sugars found in fruits. Most importantly, I have eliminated gluten and dairy from my diet as both were causing inflammation to the lining of my small intestine. I will never, ever eat gluten again but maybe small amounts of dairy in the future, when all of my hair is back. If you are not sure what foods to eat, see a nutritionist who can help you. I found an amazing nutritionist who has taught me how to nourish my body and what foods to eat on a daily basis.
- Address any imbalances, yeast, vitamin deficiences, bacteria issues, digestive distress, etc. You might need to find a Functional Doctor in your area that will help you do this. I had a parasite plus SIBO and went on an intensive cleanse to eliminate these. Most importantly, if you have any gut issues, like I had, take a good probiotic. I had one morning and night for a long time and have only just cut this back to one in the morning. Don’t supplement with pills just because you read it’s good for you, first make sure that you actually need it first with your doctor. You can get all your vitamins and minerals from a clean, fresh healthy diet if you are absorbing everything correctly.
- Drink plenty of WATER daily. Consider filtering your water to remove impurities like metals, chlorine and fluoride. Water keeps us hydrated and is essential for the proper circulation of nutrients in our bodies. I drink at least two litres of water a day and always use a glass drinking bottle/cup to drink from. Plastic bottles can leach chemicals into the water.
- SLEEP well. When we sleep, our bodies heal. Before my hair fell out, I would get to bed late, not sleep great and wake early. Now I try and make sure I am in bed by 9.30pm and get plenty of sleep. Lavender essential oil is perfect when I’m laying awake and trying to sleep. I also find meditating right before bedtime really helps me get to sleep fast and stay asleep.
- ACUPUNCTURE and Chinese Herbal Medicine. This has really helped to free up blockages in my body and allow the energy to flow freely. Please see my recent article on acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine and how it’s helped me with my hair growth.
- Reduce toxicity in your environment. Our skin is the largest organ in our body and anything we put on it goes straight to our bloodstreams. The importance of getting toxins out of our bodies cannot be underestimated. I started by replacing all my skincare and cosmetics and buying non toxic alternatives. There are many great websites like http://www.nourishedlife.com.au that have some fantastic beauty and skincare products. Essential Oils have become my part of my daily routine and have helped me reduce toxicity in my body (see my recent article on Essential Oils for more details). Also use non-toxic cleaning products around your home. I make lots of my own products using essential oils, vinegar, bicarb soda, apple cider vinegar etc. Most store bought cleaners are loaded with toxins and chemicals that become airborne and we inhale them or absorb them through our skin.
- Get OUTSIDE and move more. Gentle exercise boosts immunity. I regularly go on beach walks and get out in the sun. The sun is the best natural source of vitamin D and is essential for strong bones and good health. I try and get at least 20 minutes of sun each day and I think this has helped with my hair growth.
- Eat healing foods daily, like bone broth, kombucha, saurkraut and kefir. Every day for nine months I drank a cup of organic bone broth which I had cooked in my slow cooker for 48 hours. Sounds gross, yes in the beginning I hated it, but you get used to the taste pretty fast. Now most of my hair is in, every 3-4 months I cook up a batch and have it everyday for two weeks, just to nourish my body. Most mornings, I eat coconut kefir yogurt with wild organic blueberries plus seeds, nuts and other fruits. Probiotic foods are so healing. Eat fresh turmeric, this helps boost your bodies immune response. Zinc helps facilitate immune cell function and is found in so many animal products, beans and nuts. I sprinkle a handful of pumpkin seeds over my breakfasts and salads and eat raw almonds daily.
- Live in gratitude. When my hair first fell out, I was so angry that my body was doing this to me. Over time, I have realised that my hair falling out has been a blessing and have changed so many things in my life for the better. Each day, I thank my body and are so grateful for being taken on this wonderful journey into knowing who I really am. I am now surrounded by like minded friends who are inspiring and positive, and we all boost each other’s energy. This week in a Kundalini Yoga class, three beautiful friends and I, took part in a powerful healing meditation afterwards. It completely changed my day and I’m still feeling the benefits days later. How blessed I am to be a part of such a special group of amazing people. Every night before bed, I run through what happened during the day and always give thanks to anything good that’s occurred, even crappy days I thank, as that’s normally when you learn the most and can be grateful that certain things have come to your attention. Always be aware of your thoughts and live in gratitude not anger.
Most of all believe that your body CAN heal and you CAN get your hair back. It isn’t an easy journey and it does take time, but I can guarantee you, you will be rewarded with your hair back.
Love and healing, Jo xoxo