A little over three years ago, I walked out of a prominent hair salon in Sydney’s eastern suburbs in tears. After years of extreme treatments on my hair, which I later discovered were disasters waiting to happen, my once beautiful, long hair had been fried and I was left with a part of my identity ripped away. This probably sounds over the top, but for those who have experienced hair loss, extreme damage, dandruff, and premature greying, I know you’ll understand my sinking feeling of looking into the mirror and thinking ‘why me!’.
As a naturopath, nutritionist and master herbalist, I’ve designed and researched some of Australia’s most loved supplements, functional foods and cosmetics. One day it dawned on me – the only way to turn my hair around was through nutrition. My research project that started out of sheer curiosity and desperation to fix my hair, led me down a path of studying Trichology - the science of hair and scalp health - consulting with some of Australia’s leading hair stylists. Finally, I created apotecari, a range of supplements targeted at improving hair health from the inside out. Here’s what I learned along the way:
Your hairstylist must be your hair health guru and confidant.
Hairstylist's see the good, the bad and the ugly every day of their working lives. Your hair stylist must be the ultimate expert in all things hair. And if they’re not? Cut the cord and move elsewhere. You want a master stylist on your team – one who looks after your hair health and tailors their service and treatment plans to your hair, not simply what’s on trend.
What you put on your hair is only half of the story.
At-home hair care is essential to ultimate hair health. Make sure you speak with your hair stylist to ensure that the shampoo, conditioner, treatments, styling products, and styling techniques that you use at home are suited to your hair specifically, otherwise they can do more harm than good.
What you put in your mouth today has a direct relationship with the quality of your hair tomorrow.
The science of hair can be fairly complex, but what is undeniable is that the building blocks of your hair are derived from the food you eat. Take Keratin for example – Keratin is a protein molecule made up of smaller building blocks called amino acids. The bonds in the hair which are responsible for your hair’s elasticity and strength are also made up of amino acids and other elements like sulphur. Silica provides architectural strength to the hair, B vitamins are essential for regulating the growth of the hair, minerals like copper, zinc, iron, calcium and amino acids cysteine and tyrosine are essential elements of melanin (the colouration pigment of the hair). All of these compounds are derived from your diet, so it is only logical that a deficiency in these nutrients can have a major impact on your hair health.
You can do something to turn your hair health around, today.
If you’re unhappy with the quality of your hair, good nutrition could be the piece of the puzzle that’s missing! There is no denying that in today’s fast-paced world, it’s not always easy to make the right food choices. A targeted and comprehensive nutritional supplement can help to take the complexity out of choosing the right foods to turn your hair health around once and for all.
Healthy hair is NOT a unicorn, it should be accessible to everyone, you included. Today is as good a day as any to start your pursuit of ultimate hair health!
Simone Abaron is a qualified naturopath and nutritionist, and CEO of apotecari bioactive hair care - Australia’s first and only range of salon-exclusive dietary supplements that are scientifically formulated to improve hair and scalp health.