Getting ready for your wedding day involves much more than just scheduling hair and makeup appointments for the morning of your big event! To create a look of health for the bride’s skin and hair, she should be careful to incorporate key nutrients into her diet in the months leading up to the wedding.
Paulina Nelega, a registered clinical herbalist for Hair Essentials, has been assisting individuals facing hair loss for almost two decades. She took the time to recommend a few key nutrients for brides (or anyone) looking to improve the health of their hair. Here are her top four ideas!
Silica for strength and shine. Also known as the “beauty mineral,” silica is renowned for its ability to strengthen the hair and enhance texture and sheen. Two naturally rich botanical sources of silica are bamboo and horsetail, often included in supplements for healthy hair. Dietary sources of silica include oats and unrefined grains, fruits including apples, oranges and cherries, vegetables such as carrots, cucumber and cabbage, and seeds and nuts.
Rice bran contains more than 100 different vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants – an exceptionally well-rounded nutrient! It’s also a rich source of oleic acid, an important fatty acid that improves the quality of oil (sebum) produced by sebaceous glands in the scalp. Sebum is naturally protective and moisturizing to the scalp and hair. Amino acids in rice bran are also incorporated into keratin, the protein that makes up the hair shaft, helping to build stronger hair that is less prone to breakage and split ends.
Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant that protects cells (including those in the hair follicles) from damage caused by free-radicals. It also reduces bacterial overgrowth in the sebaceous glands which can otherwise cause inflammation and damage, and even lead to hair loss. Dietary sources of vitamin A include dairy products, fish, and fortified cereals.
Vitamin C is an important structural component of collagen, a type of connective tissue that is widely distributed throughout the body, including the skin. Collagen provides strength as well as flexibility to the skin of the scalp, reducing physical stress upon the follicles during grooming and styling. Vitamin C is also a potent free-radical scavenger that protects hair follicles against oxidative stress and damage. We’re unable to manufacture vitamin C ourselves and must obtain it from food or supplement sources.