They tell us to eat for health, eat for nutrition. But FOOD, y’all. Why is it SO good? It’s one of my life’s great conflicts – the desire to eat healthfully versus the delicious ubiquity of carbs, sugar and fried things. There are benefits to drinking more water, eating a healthier diet and eliminating food items that can have negative internal effects, and those benefits go beyond just healing and wellness. So often we think of a diet as an act of self-deprivation intended for weight loss, when your diet is actually your daily intake, your habitual nourishment. For me, this is not about a number on a scale or fitting into a dress size. I’m trying NOT to think of myself as “going on a diet,” instead I think of it as “improving my diet.” I am approaching it intentionally, with utmost consideration for my health and wellness.
I know many other women who are going through similar changes. Recognizing that certain foods we love may be causing inflammation or dietary issues, or affecting the quality of our skin or rate of hair growth can be a catalyst for making positive choices and changes. I’m trying to take a less is more approach, myself. And my friend — popular natural hair stylist and expert Camille Reed, has done it. Over the years I’ve watched Camille become increasingly health conscious, more fit and healthy, and more knowledgeable about nutrition as the result of her health challenges. As a natural hair expert, this is the advice she shares with her clients at Noire Salon in Maryland, when they come to her with concerns about slow or no hair growth. This is insight from Camille’s own experiences that she has kindly offered to share with us right here on Afrobella! Thank you, Camille!
This is Your Healthy Natural Hair Growth Diet. Take it away, Camille Reed!
In 2014, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. It’s an autoimmune disease that gradually destroys the thyroid gland. What I learned is that there were foods in my diet that I was sensitive and allergic to. My entire endocrine system was thrown out of balance because the inflammation in my digestive tract wasn’t allowing me to properly absorb the nutrients from my food.
By 2015, I had finally learned how to read the labels to avoid foods that made me sick, but my hair wasn’t growing as well as it could. So I dug a bit deeper into articles about nutrition and hair.
There has to be a unique balance of nutrients within us to support hair growth. Hair growth is supported by adequate levels of protein, iron, magnesium, vitamin D, and Omega 3 fatty acids.
Add these ten foods as well as more frequent meals to your diet to really get your hair growth popping. Please stop skipping breakfast and aim to eat recommended portions 5 to 6 times a day:
- Lean meats that have lower fat percentage such as chicken
- Dark leafy greens
- Nuts and seeds
- Sweet potatoes.
If you don’t eat meat, vegetarian options include adding more beans and tofu, quinoa, wheat germ, oats, and rice bran.
Removing these five things will also aid in leaving space for the nutritious foods that were listed above:
— Remove soda
— All fried foods
— Refined sugar
— White breads
— Dairy (specifically processed cheeses and high fat milk based foods).
Even though they are freaking delicious, they add empty calories without adding vitamin content that your body needs to grow your magnificent mane. Sometimes it’s a hard choice — do I want this honey bun or my hairline?
Eat for your edges, mamas! Self care with your food choices is always worth it.
Thank you for the sage advice, Camille! In addition to all of that, WATER. Drink as much as you can — my goal is to drink the right amount for my current weight. I leave the soft drinks behind with
If you’re ever in Silver Spring, MD, check out Camille Reed at www.noiredesignconcepts.com. You can find Noire Salon on Facebook, and you can find Camille on Twitter and Instagram @Noireboss1.
Bio: Camille E. Reed started her natural hair career in 1999 at DISC Design Hair Studio in Silver Spring, MD. Under the tutelage of seven veteran hairstylists (with 15 to 20 years of experience each), she was taught barbering, hair coloring, hair cutting, natural hair styling and loc maintenance. Camille’s work has been published in “Braids Magazine,” Black Hair Sophisticates Magazine and Essence Magazine, where she has also been quoted as a natural hair expert. She has shared natural hair knowledge at the Congressional Black Caucus in 2010, at the Smithsonian African Art Museum: Health, Hair and Heritage in 2013 and she has been a featured educator at The Naturalista Hair Show in Silver Spring, Maryland and at the Natural Hair Industry Convention in 2015. Camille is the single owner of Noire Salon in Silver Spring, MD. Noire Salon’s work and staff are known all over the city for their supreme professionalism and excellence in natural hair care.