Pioneer Woman at Heart

One Flourishing, Frugal and Fun Family!

One family learning to live off the land, cut back on expenses, and to live a simpler and a more self-sufficient lifestyle.

Adopted Motto

"Eat it up,
Wear it out,
Make it do,
Or go without."
~A Pioneer Sampler, by Barbara Greenwood~

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Healthy Hair and Nail Tips (update)

I'm posting this today to give you an update on everything have tired over the last year and a half, regarding hair and nail growth (and strength).

I have had very good results with all of my hair health recipes.  Over the last year I found the following for hair growth, shine, strength, and overall healthy hair.  First, let me say, a year ago a lot of my hair fell out due to sickness combined with the pharmaceutical drugs and x-rays (and chemicals) used by doctors. I am so happy to say, that more than a year later, my hair is stronger, growing, and I have had more new hair growth.  I have been consistent, and it took a long time, but worth it.  It could be another full year before it's fully restored, but I'm so glad I tried all of the following (most are linked to older blog posts for more details):

Stinging Nettle Tea
I drink nettle combined with a bit of oat straw for bone health, and in my experience of growing healthy fingernails (which I have never had my entire life), I found nettle tea to be helpful in the growth of new hair.  Not to change the subject from hair health, but while drinking this tea, it's help ward off my allergies and I have way less joint pain in my hands.

Stinging Nettle Hair Rinse
I love this with the peppermint oil in it.  The peppermint helps hair growth and perks you up first thing in the morning - great for a good mood too.

Stinging Nettle/Burdock Root Hair Oil
I don't use this every day, but I do rotate it to maintain healthy hair.  I actually rub a bit in at night if I am washing my hair the next day, and it helps not only with strength and growth, but keeps the hair from being dry.

Organic Aloe Vera Gel
I rotate this with the above hair oil, by rubbing a bit in my hands and applying to dry hair.  Aloe works like a hair gel and as a conditioner.  It helps strengthen hair and gives a nice shine.  I keep this on hand on a regular basis, simply because of the other uses aloe vera gel is good for (and I use it other recipes).

Stinging Nettle in Recipes
I first ate nettle (used in any recipe that you would with spinach or other greens etc.) this past year.  I will be experimenting with new trial recipes this coming spring.  Nettle, blanched and frozen to use later is my perfect way to stock up for the entire year.

Ideas to use Stinging nettle in your meals:
Pasta Dish
Meatloaf or meatballs
Salads/Pasta salad
Add to tuna or chicken sandwiches
Egg/Veggie scrambles or in Breakfast burritos

Nettle contains a good amount of calcium, and Vitamin A. It also contains iron.  It's a good source of fiber and a bit of protein too.

You can make nettle capsules with dried nettle, and this hasn't been needed for me, as I drink tea regularly.   If you have experience with the capsules, I'd love to hear your story.

More tips:

1. Make and use homemade shampoo.  Dry shampoo recipes are also available in many herbal books.

2. Do not wash your hair daily if you can help it.

3. Trim tips of hair more often to encourage growth and remove split ends.

4. Allow hair to dry without the use of a hair dryer, or use a cooler setting if necessary.

5.Use natural hair coloring such as coffee grounds and coffee.

6. Swiss chard contains Bioton, which is so often recommended for healthy hair and nails (among many other health benefits).  It's a good source of calcium as well. I can testify, that while in my 20's I took Bioton in the capsule form.  It did absolutely nothing to grow strong finger nails, or make a difference with my hair.  My hair, up until the toxic hospital visit, was thick and beautiful. In my research, lack of proteins, vitamins, and iron were my issues.  However, I am planting new varieties of chard, and hope to increase the rotation of my greens daily.

7. Parsley helps with preventing osteoporosis, so it benefits bone health.  In my opinion, if it helps bone health it may very well help hair and nail health.   I put together an herb mix to add to any meal.  You can get the recipe "here."

8. Brazil nuts.  Once I started eating a few of these daily, combined with a rotation of organic/homegrown greens, my nails grew like crazy.  I've suffered from brittle, splitting nails my entire life (until now).  You can do you own research on how the nutrition of the nut processes in the body, but for me it really made a difference with nail growth, strength and hair growth.  Note:  I had one daughter eat two organic brazil nuts a day, and she had very good results with long, strong fingernails.  Results vary based on what your body is lacking.  I was just amazed at how my own nails became so healthy.

9.  Dark Cherry Juice.  In my research for iron rich foods, this was one of them.  Not one I'd think of either.  I added this juice (organic) to my yogurt smoothies.

10.  Turnips.  Turns out they have such a good nutritional value, that it is also a vegetable that will promote healthy hair hair, skin and nails.

11. Bone broth (organic or homemade).  Aides health as well as hair, skin and nails.  I started adding a cup to all soups and stews and any meal that required stock or broth.

12. Foods high in silicon are helpful with hair, nail and skin health.  A few are (in no particular order), oats, apples, barley, oranges, millet, flaxseeds, spinach, cucumber, grapes, radishes, bananas, green beans, brown rice and believe or not, beer.  There are more sources, so rotating the meal plan has it's advantages.  

I have just learned of one more tip, so I will be experimenting even more.  Stay tuned for updates.

Note:  What my body was lacking may not be the same for everyone else.  I am simply sharing my experiences based on what was beneficial for myself.


Susan said...

This is such a great resource, Kristina! I could definitely use help in the hair/nails area. Would you tell us how you blanch your nettles? I have an abundance of them, but have never frozen any - it would be greatly appreciated.

Kristina said...

Susan, thank you! I can't believe it took my hospital visit to find all these helpful ways too. To blanch, pick leaves early in the spring (larger later leaves can still be used for teas etc.). Use very thick gloves to cut the stalks and cut the leaves from the stalks. I put a thick glove on one hand and a garden glove on the other to use kitchen scissors, not touching the nettle, but keeping my hand safe and able to use the scissors. I place the leaves in a strainer and let it sit on the porch for an hour or so, letting critters crawl off. Then I rinse the leaves (still using thick gloves because nettles sting until they are cooked or dried) and drain. I place them in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, remove with a strainer or metal basket, place in ice water for 2-3 minutes, drain completely, and freeze in freezer bags or containers. Thaw and use as you would spinach, kale, etc.