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No matter if your hair is thick or thin or you have short or long nails, we’ve all asked ourselves this question at one time or another: Why is it that no matter how many strengthening polishes or split end treatments I try, my hair and nails still keep breaking? Thankfully, there’s a better way.
Natural remedies are becoming an increasingly popular solution to the world’s most common beauty problems. It’s not that we don’t love a good high-end shampoo or nail strengthener, but sometimes it’s not only best, but necessary to use all-natural products that don’t contain harsh chemicals or sulfates to help restore your hair and nails’ original texture, structure, and shine.
Hair and nails are both primarily made of keratin, a protein built for toughness and protection. This explains why many of the decisions made regarding diet or lifestyle choices affect these parts equally in terms of strength, length, and dryness. It also means that taking small, natural-based steps to strengthen the keratin proteins in your body is the key to healthy hair and nails. By following these tips, you should start seeing results in just a matter of days.
The number of benefits this plant-based oil can provide for the body are endless. When it comes to hair, coconut oil stimulates hair growth, nourishes the scalp, adds luster and shine, and prevents breakage. Start by applying coconut oil in its liquid form as you would a hair mask, starting at the roots and working your way towards the ends of your hair strands. You should allow the oil to settle for at least 20 minutes before washing it out in the shower, or leave it in overnight. Keep in mind that your hair may appear greasy until it has been washed two or three times with your normal shampoo, so use this treatment to pamper yourself for a night in. As for nails, massage coconut oil into your cuticles to stimulate growth, moisturize, and prevent hangnails.
Believe it or not, your diet has a direct impact on the strength of your hair and nails. The nutrients contained in the food you eat are delivered throughout your body to help perform daily and long-term functions supporting growth and body regulation. A diet that includes sufficient iron-rich proteins, Vitamin C, and biotin will produce stronger keratin proteins that form the building blocks of cuticles and hair follicles. This means that, for stronger hair and nails, you should make a habit of incorporating a combination of the following foods into your meals each day: lean meat, fish, whole grains, low-fat cheeses, nuts, vegetables, fruits, soy, eggs, and egg whites.
So you know what you should be doing for you hair, but can you name the bad habits that could actually be preventing your hair and nails from getting stronger? Avoid the following blunders to promote natural keratin growth:
We’re all guilty of this bad habit. When boredom strikes, it’s easy to start playing with hair strands or picking at nail beds. But did you know that doing this can actually weaken your hair and nails by stripping the protective coat around them, ultimately leading to breakage? Make a mental note to touch your hair and nails as little as possible throughout the day. If you find it difficult to do so, have some sort of prop on hand – a stress ball, notebook, or your phone – to keep you more distracted.
Over 75% of Americans suffer from chronic dehydration. Luckily, however, there’s a simple solution to this problem – drinking more water! You should ideally drink about eight cups, or 64 oz, of water per day to hydrate your hair and nails so that they do not become dry or brittle. This is no small feat, so if you’re having trouble drinking the recommended amount, try purchasing a smart water bottle such as this one to help. Water also improves the circulation of nutrients throughout the body, meaning that your hair follicles and nail beds will receive the nutrition they need to grow stronger, get longer, and look healthier when the body is properly hydrated.