5 Easy Tricks (+ Food Tips) for Shiny, Healthy Hair [Hair Health Quest #5]

The right diet for healthy hair + + 1 secret anti-grey hair ingredient + + 5 beauty mistakes AKA enemies of shiny hair & a better beauty routine.


Common knowledge: to be silky and strong, our hair needs protein above all. Best plant-based protein source are lentils – and other beans. Next, a balanced supply with Vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids (rich in Vitamin E and natural biotin – try the plant-based source chia seeds), zinc, iron, folate, Vitamin C (best sources: blueberries and bell paprika), beta carotene (in sweet potatoes, pumpkin, carrots, cantaloupe, papaya, mango…) is vital for healthy hair.

FOOD – FOR THOUGHT: Given the crazy amount of allergies these days, I am an advocate of a personal diet put together either with the help of a dietician, or with the help of a good medic and some proper research/attentiveness/body awareness on your part.


Then there’s that little ‘secret’ you all will adore.
Copper is good for keeping your natural hair colour. Highest in copper plant-based foods and thus your best anti-grey-hair helpers are:
+ sesam seed or tahini paste (also provide a high amount of selenium),
+ unsweetened cocoa powder,
+ sunflower seeds,
+ hazelnuts, Brasil nuts, walnuts,
+ pumpkin seeds,
+ sun-dried tomatoes.
Has this set your foodie brain on fire already? 
Another source for copper are dried herbs, yes, I hear you – dried herbs? Yup.
Highest in copper are basil, marjoram, oregano, parsley and thyme.


A beauty routine for shiny hair doesn’t need to be expensive, time-consuming or exhausting.
Given that the best we can do for our hair is eat properly, all of our beauty endeavours should simply focus on keeping the thatch healthy – e.g. no harsh ironing, no crazy bleaching…
Very healthy hair can handle it for a while, but let’s not challenge Lady Luck. A rule every Adventurer knows well!

A #1 common beauty mistake is brushing wet hair.
Wet hair is prone to mechanical damage. I prefer to brush my hair before washing it. A pocket edition of the notorious Tangle Teezer is my go-to brush; it’s small, looks a bit like men’s grooming brush (I adore a touch of androgynous) and does the job rather well. [2015 update: I now use a wooden eco brush] hair-top-five-1-tangle-teaserHealthy hair routine step #1: Disentangle wet tresses with your fingers, but carefully – and don’t pull.

Beauty mistake #2: forgetting to nurture/moisturise the scalp.
When we apply expensive hair masks to our hair, do we even think properly?
Our hairs are a mass of dead cells, and the only way to make a dull mane “healthy-looking” is to wash it in silicones.
What we really need for healthy, bouncy, shiny hair is a healthy scalp – where the hair roots reside. Other than hairs, hair roots are ‘alive’, they need proper food (view above) and just a bit of proper care.
And there is a fabulous natural oil that has all the shiny-glossy-silky properties of silicone and none of its downsides!
brokkoli-seed-oilHealthy hair routine step #2: You might have figured by now that my understanding of proper care leans towards a “100% active ingredients” philosophy. That’s why, rather than getting products with broccoli seed oil, I prefer using the real thing. I get pure Broccoli Seed Oil at the Wolkenseifen online shop and use it both before and after washing my hair: on the skin before – on the hair ends after.

The headlines – best of broccoli seed oil benefits:
Fatty acids, up to 15% linolic acid, and vitamins make this a non-greasy or “light” oil that stimulates cell turnover, boosts collagen production, is easily absorbed by the skin – and gives hair a healthy shine similar only to silicones. The oil makes hair silky, more smooth and manageable. It’s great for the season of hats and beanies, taming the frizz. It’s amazing on hair ends for shinier and more supple tresses.
Broccoli seed oil has a bright yellow, sometimes greenish colour and a particular broccoli scent to it. Don’t worry though: the scent disappears after a few minutes. 

hair-top-five-2-shampooBeauty mistake #3: Too much shampoo, too little rinse. 
I’ll be short on this…
Healthy hair routine step #3: less shampoo, more rinse! Don’t overdo with too much of too warm water, though, it dries out your skin. And of course, try to pick a shampoo that’s not containing any harsh detergents. Always check the ingredients list for potential allergens.

Beauty mistake #4: Too many styling products, too little care.
I remember what I said above – dead cells. But I’m talking about skin here.
Healthy hair routine step #4: 
What I found out and what’s truly no rocket science is: the better you take care of your skin’s health (not forgetting a balanced personal diet), the more manageable your hair gets, even without any styling products.
I have diplomatic relations with my hair now, while it used to, well, stubbornly style itself before.

hair-top-five-3-less-is-moreMy product of choice is a certified organic leave-in herbal tonic by the Austrian hair specialist Less is More. It feels really good and refreshing, and has a lovely, pleasantly tart natural scent of rosemary and lavender.

Beauty mistake #5: daily hair shampooing.
I believe we’ve led this talk before – the vicious circle of “the more you wash, the greasier it gets”?
It’s pure logic.
Daily shampooing is drying > skin produces sebum for protection > we think “gosh it’s greasy” > we wash more often > skin dries some more.
Our skin isn’t dumb, you see? 😉
Healthy hair routine step #5:
Washing our hair twice a week isn’t a sign of poor hygiene, no matter what the ads tell you.hair-top-five-4-dry-shampooFor bad hair days, for “I think it’s too greasy hair”-days or to give freshly washed hair some texture for styling reasons a dry shampoo is the safest bet. It soaks in the sebum overkill, leaves a fine, light scent but absolutely no white marks. My choice is this Lulu Organic lavender hair powder that’s completely 100% clean and non-tox.



Geeking out about all things truly green, healthy and ethical over at BEAUTYCALYPSE.com (Avatar illustration by A. Goncharenko)

28 Responses

  1. Great post! I’m guilty of the daily shampooing. I think it was okay when my hair was really short, but now that I’m growing it out I should change that habit! Thanks!! Celeste 🙂

  2. But what should I do if my hair is already grey? 🙂 I agree about diet and also paying attention to the scalp. My hair is very thick so it is an effort to get through to the scalp but I persevere! It’s worth the effort because it means my hair will stay fresh and silky for at least 10 days. Yes 10 days, and sometimes longer!

      1. I have found a hairdresser who understands my hair completely. Sometimes I go to her just to get my hair washed because she knows how to do that so well. I am actually fond of my grey hair. As long as it looks shiny and healthy, it’s okay really. But the idea that the colour could be reversed is intriguing.

          1. Ah, that is lovely. I started the process in my late 20s. And trying to fight it with hair dye or highlights turned out to be a disaster, the two times I tried that!

              1. Yes I would probably say colour disaster. Trying to cover up what was there rather than highlight or work on what was there. My natural colour used to be plain brown. But now I am quite salt and pepper; rather like my Schnauzer. We are a match!

  3. Heather in Arles

    How could anyone possibly throw any rotten veggies your way? Hey, you would probably just pick them up and make them into some sort of awesome beauty treatment! Because seriously? You are amazing! Thanks for all of this….Will go in the noggin’ and probably on it too!

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