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10 In Beauty

Tips on growing long healthy hair

All my life I’ve had thick hair allahumma barik alaayki (May Allah bless it).

When I was 6 years old, I caught lice and my mom put a cereal bowl on my head and cut around it. I subsequently wore a cap for a few months and everyone called me a boy. Lovely! Looking through old photos is traumatizing.

But one thing I remember is my mom drenching my hair in coconut oil and within 6 months my hair grew to about midway, down my back.

Since then I have gone through many phases. From blonde to red hair, short bob to long hair. You name it, I’ve probably had all hair styles. Right now my hair is really long and thick with little breakage, despite exclusively breastfeeding a 9 month old, allahumma barik alaayki (May Allah bless it).

So in this article I’m going to share with you my secret tips to gorgeous, long, thick hair.

Please be aware that these tips are not overnight miracles. I don’t believe in the blogs that claim you can grow your hair in a week. It takes good nutrition, dedication and patience  to grow healthy hair. Nonetheless, these tips aim to point you in the right direction towards healthier hair.

 

Silicon drops

I recently attended a global health summit and was absolutely floored by one of the presenters. Andy Hnilo survived a near fatal car accident that left him with a severely broken jaw, broken ribs and a collapsed lung. He miraculously rebuilt himself by a strict diet and looks better than before the accident.

One thing he mentioned is silicon drops. Our skin, hair and nails needs silicon in order to grow. After oxygen it’s the most abundant element in the world. You can read more about the health benefits here.

If you’re deficient in silicon you will notice thinning of the hair and increased hair loss. I like to use Jarrosil silicon drops. I’ve been taking them for over 3 months now. Within the first month I noticed my hair stopped falling, and my hair felt thicker and stronger. I also noticed my hair grew twice as fast (about an inch after the first month).

As with any supplements, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, please consult with a doctor before using.

Soap nuts

I’ve gone no-POO for almost a year now, and it’s probably the best decisions I’ve made. Ever! I started with shampoo bars, but I found my hair to be really greasy because of hard water issues. Not only that but if you’re lazy like me, I really couldn’t be bothered using apple cider vinegar to rinse off.

Then I came across soap nuts and I’ve been using them ever since. Soap nuts are native to India and Nepal and are traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine in treating skin conditions. Soap nuts contain saponin which is a natural cleaning agent. These are released when you soak the nuts in water.

So for my shampoo, I boil a handful of soap nuts in some filtered water and then add rosemary oil to preserve it. This is enough for one wash as my hair is long.

I wash my hair maybe once every 3 weeks. Shocking I know, but my hair will stay clean and not greasy for that long. You can check out this link  for a really simple soap nut recipe.

 

Black seed oil (cumin seed)

The Prophet (sallahu alayhi wasallam) stated that black seed is a cure for every disease except death. A year ago my brother was bald on the top of his head. I recommended he used black seed oil and within 6 months his bald spot was gone.

Black seed is full of vital nutrients that are great for hair. It has lots of antioxidants and antimicrobial properties that just nourish the hair.

I use black seed oil on my ends, as they can become a bit dry and thus knot. One thing I love about this oil is that it doesn’t leave a greasy feeling (if you have pure black seed oil. Some oils are mixed with other carrier oils to make them cheaper so be careful).

There are so many oils out there that are great for your hair. But it really depends on your hair type and the density of it. My son has 4c hair, so the only oils that work for him are shea butter, argan oil and avocado oil. Click this link to find out which oil is best for your hair type.

 

Massage your scalp

Circulation is key when it comes to growing hair. When we massage the scalp, blood rushes to the follicles and helps transport key nutrients and minerals to make your hair thick and shiny.

What I do is tilt my head forward and massage my scalp for about 5 mins everyday. Tilting the head forward helps the blood rush to your scalp quicker, so you’re not there for ages with an aching arm trying to magically make your hair grow.

 

Oil before you wash

I learnt this trick from my amazing mother allahumma barik laha (May Allah bless her). Before she washed my hair, she would always slather on lots of coconut oil and leave it to marinate (couldn’t think of  a better word), for around an hour and then wash.

There was no need to use conditioner after, and once my hair dried it felt silky, shiny and strong.

What I also like to do is warm the oil up on the stove and then massage it into my hair. Hot oil treatments penetrate the hair follicles quicker, thus retaining more moisture.

 

Good diet and multivitamins

Last but not least, I always stress the importance of having a good diet. If your not eating at least 10 portions of fruit and vegetables a day then your diet is lacking key nutrients. I say 10 portions, because 5 is just not enough, given the quality of our food nowadays.

Foods that are good for the hair include all kinds of nuts, good fats such as salmon and avocado and lentils. Lentils are a great source of iron and protein which are the main nutrients needed for all your cells including hair.

Of course we can’t get all our nutrients from our diet so I like to take Dr Mercola multivitamins. The supplement is a wholefood, so there are no nasty chemicals, synthetics or binders in each pill. Honestly, since taking these vitamins my hair hardly falls off. It’s stronger and thicker than ever allahumma barik alaayki.

 

So there you have it. My top tips for growing gorgeous, long healthy hair.

What do you use on your hair to keep it healthy? Feel free to comment below and don’t forget to subscribe for weekly updates.

 

 

0 In Beauty

Cold sore? Try these natural remedies

Guys last week I woke up with a huge lip and wanted to crawl under a rock. Not only was it painful, but it was right there on my top lip, for everyone to see. Work had been stressful recently, so I know that could have triggered it.

Cold sores are caused by the virus called herpes simplex 1. Once you have it, that’s it. You’re stuck with them for life. Some lie dormant for years and then make a mysterious reappearance. Others are triggered by stress or may appear during a cold. So if you can feel your lip tingling here are a few remedies that have been tried and tested (by yours truly).

Copaiba oil

I absolutely love this oil! It has some amazing astringent and anti-inflammatory properties. Copaiba oil comes from the copaifera tree that’s found in the Amazon. The sap is extracted and then steam distilled.  It has been used for centuries by indigenous people to treat many ailments like injuries to aiding digestion. It’s rich in beta caryophyllene, which is found in clove oil. Yet copaiba is 6-8 times stronger than clove oil.

One thing I love about copaiba, is that it doesn’t sting when applying to an open wound and reduces inflammation. Normally the night before I get a cold sore, I’d feel my lip tingling. But this time nothing. So I applied some copaiba oil straight away and within an hour the swelling had reduced. I did this four times a day until the area felt numb and my lip looked somewhat normal again.

Copaiba oil has been proven to have the same medicinal effects as marijuana, yet without the side effects like hallucinations. It can also be ingested for a quick body detox. Honestly, this is probably my No. 1 go to oil for most ailments.

Lysine supplements

The thing about cold sores is that they love arginine (protein) and lysine stops arginine production. So taking a good lysine supplement, helped reduced the inflammation around my cold sore. I took the strongest dose possible because I had 80 students to teach the next day! And I was overly conscious about this humongous beast of a cold sore, on my lip.

I noticed that the cold sore didn’t ooze pus, like it usually would during an outbreak. And I think this is because I took lysine. I would also like to note, that I had not taken lysine supplements for a while, but there has been ongoing research to show, that taking them on a regular basis, stops cold sores once an for all.

Aloe vera

I can’t live without this stuff. I use it on literally everything. It’s in all my home made products and at times even in my hair. So when I had this huge cold sore on my lip, I made sure to rub some aloe vera gel to the area. I did this every night before I went to bed. Why? Because your body repairs itself while you sleep and also loses water. So it only made sense to keep the area well hydrated and moisturised and aloe vera gel is perfect for that. If my lip felt really dry during the day I continued to apply until it loosened up.

 

Vitamin D

When I started getting cold sores around the age of 15, I was told to stay out of the sun and I could never understand why? As far as I was aware, like plants, we need the sun in order for our bodies to function properly. Studies have shown that our DNA actually emit light. Man is essentially a being of light.

So everyday I just made sure I bathed in the sun for at least 10 minutes. If you can’t do that then I suggest taking a good Vitamin D supplement, like this one.

 

Black castor oil

Finally, my main moisturiser was black castor oil. As my cold sore was quite big, and dried up my top and bottom lip, applying this oil really worked. Normally, my lips bleed as the cold sore is healing. But by applying castor oil every day, I didn’t struggle with cracked lips.

 

And that’s it. It took 4 days for the cold sore to completely heal. If I hadn’t used any of these oils, it would probably have taken twice as long, if not longer.

 

Have you had a cold sore recently? What natural remedies did you use? Feel free to comment.

Don’t forget to subscribe for weekly updates.

JazakAllah khayrun (May Allah bless you) for reading guys

 

 

0 In Beauty

No BENs Zone

Umm Natural ¦ Parabens

Parabens (or BENS as I like to call them), have been subject to controversy over the years. Some say they are linked to cancer whilst others say they are totally safe to use. My opinion; avoid, avoid, avoid!

How many times have you picked up a product claiming to be ‘100% natural’, but when you read the ingredients it says something like this;

It’s BEN-mania.

What are Parabens?

BENs are a group of alkyl esters of p-hydroxybenzoic acid (the scientific definition).

They basically mimic the hormone oestrogen. And this can seriously throw off the delicate balance of your hormones. The most common of BEN’s are the one’s I’ve highlighted above. They are used (or their salts) for their bactericidal, antimicrobial and fungicidal properties. BENs can be found in most cosmetics and toiletries including (but not limited to);

  • shampoos
  • moisturizer
  • face and body creams
  • shower gels
  • shaving gels
  • deodorants
  • makeup
  • toothpaste
  • wipes
  • babycare products

Here’s the interesting part.

The Environmental Protection Agency has proven that all parabens interfere with the endocrine system. These endocrine disruptors are stored in our body fat.

The Centre for Children’s Health and the Environment at Mount Sinai School in New York goes further to suggest that endocrine disruptors may contribute to reproductive disorders, developmental issues and immune system dysfunction in children. This is scary considering nowadays, kids as young as 8, are using cosmetics.

The link to cancer

Scientists from the UK took 20 breast samples and found that 99% of them contained BENs. Shocking right! What was the cause? Underarm deodorants.

This makes sense as 60% of all breast tumours are found in just one fifth of the breast – the upper-outer quadrant (near the armpit).

Although the FDA claim that a causal link can not be attributed between BENs and cancer, I prefer to differ. I mean there’s lots of research to prove otherwise.

Parabens are toxic, regardless of how many times the FDA and other Big Pharma companies try to sugarcoat it. Chemicals are just not meant to be on your skin. They don’t benefit us in any way, so why are they being used in our everyday products? Our skin acts as a barrier to most toxins, however it is not impermeable. To find out just how permeable your skin is; rub garlic on your feet and you’ll be breathing it out of your mouth 20 minutes later.

Another shocking discovery I made is sunscreen. Did you know it usually contains BENs?

Methylparaben is found in sun block and studies indicate that when methylparaben reacts with UVB rays it can actually lead to skin aging and DNA damage.

Baby products

Chemicals with hormone-like properties are called xenohormones. Put this in baby products and you have a recipe for endocrine destruction. 50 years ago the average age for a girl to begin menstruation was the age of 16 years old. Fast forward to 2016 and that has decreased to the tender age of 6.

Our children’s immune system’s are naturally weak, so pumping them with chemicals will cause serious harm. As their metabolism system is still developing, they will have a much more difficult time expelling these toxins from their bodies.

For this reason the Danish government decided to ban the use off four parabens (propyl, isopropyl, butyl and isobutyl parabens) in personal care products for babies and toddlers up to 3 years old.
The European commissions scientific committee also confirmed that there is a significant risk in applying cosmetics to the ‘nappy area’ on babies under the age of 6 months, as this are can become easily irritated. And when the skin becomes irritated it allows more pathogens, chemicals and toxins through.

Cosmetics

You care about the food that you put in your body right? But what about the products you wear all day on your skin? Did you know that mascara could (most likely) contain mercury, aluminium salts and all the BENs you can think of? Mercury is harmful, if not lethal as it can leave you blind.
In 2014 the European Commission decided to prohibit five BENs in cosmetic products;
  • isobutylparaben
  • phenylparaben
  • benzylparaben
  • pentylparaben
  • isopropylparaben

European countries are required to comply with this rule from the 30 July 2015. Whether this has been implemented in individual countries, is unknown.

Solution?

Living a BEN-free life can be unrealistic. However there are natural alternatives and I urge  you to research and use them. Not only will you be benefiting your health but you will also stop animals from being subject to inhumane degradation.

As you know most chemicals that are placed in our everyday toiletries, have probably been tested on an innocent animal (unless stated/proven otherwise).

One company I’m in love with at the moment is PHB Ethical Beauty (I’m not affiliated with this company or receive endorsement –  I just love their stuff).

Rose Brown has really taken the time to ensure that all her products are halal, vegan, paraben, synthetic and chemical free. So if you’re looking for some all natural make-up head over to her site. She also has some BEN and mercury free mascara too. (Hurry as there is a 13% SALE on).

 

Have you gone ‘all natural’ recently? Comment below on your favourite DIY products.

Jazakallah khayrun [May God Bless You] for reading.

 

0 In Beauty

Killing you softly

Umm Natural ¦ Killing you softly

Have you ever wondered what you’re putting on your hair/head? It can be quite frightening once you dwell into the logistics of toxic ingredients. Well the mother of all toxins is found in our everyday shampoo;

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) / Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)

SLS and SLES are both sulphuric acids and cannot be metabolised by the liver. For all us natural fans, we know how important the liver is in, breaking down toxins that are potentially carcinogenic and harmful to our health. SLS is the main ingredient used in shampoos and is well-known to cause irritation, swelling and fuzzy or tangled hair.

The crazy thing is; SLS is normally found at car washes, and is used to degrease car engines! In the same way that it dissolves grease agents, SLS also dissolves the oils in our skin. It is also well known to break down skin proteins, which cause not only irritation, but allows environmental contaminants easier access to the lower sensitive layers of the skin.

You can read more here.
 Other problems SLS can cause (but not limited to) are;
  • Hormonal Imbalance
  • Cancer
  • Tumours
  • Organ toxicity
  • Reproductive toxicity

Scary right?

Our skin is a barrier to toxins, however it is not impermeable. It has been suggested that the skin absorbs around 64% of chlorine found in our water supply. So we need to be extra careful with the ingredients that we put on our skin and in our bodies.

A great alternative to commercial shampoos are soap nuts, homemade soap bars or castile soap. I have used all three and the best for me has been soap nuts. I’ll be sharing a recipe with you soon so watch this space.

 

What shampoos do you use? Comment below