Secrets to Healthy Hair by David Pollock, Global Safe Beauty Expert

Posted by Assunta on Wed, 11/14/2012 - 9:13 PM

No offense, but you’re probably your hairs worst enemy especially around the holidays!

I know that may sound a bit harsh, but it’s true.  Healthy hair, regardless of length or texture, has strength, body, shine, and resilience. With these simple tips, your hair will be able to handle the things we do to it during the hectic holiday season and bounce back like an excited puppy.  It will be able to stand up to flat irons, blow driers, insane up-dos and too-tight headbands. You will have healthy hair that is forgiving hair.

So, how do you get there? Let’s start from the inside and work our way out.

Think about your diet, is it healthy? Is it balanced? Are you (and your hair) getting all the hydration and nutrients you need? Do you really know what your hair needs? For most people, the honest answer is going to be a “no” and that’s OK. I am here to help. Getting the basics down is the key to keeping your hair holiday fabulous. With our busy schedules we may not have too much time to think about the things we feed ourselves, especially if we’re running through a drive-through after marathon shopping. What you eat, however, is an easy and vital thing you can do to keep your locks looking lovely and ready to handle any festive style you want to throw at it.

Staying hydrated is the most important thing you can do, so drink more purified water! Okay, now drink even more!  Next, eggs and spinach are both wonderful sources of iron; low iron levels have been linked to thinning hair as well as hair loss – certainly not good news for your holiday hairstyle. Next up we have beer and chocolate – yes, I said beer and chocolate. Beer is a great source of silica (so are bananas, for you non-drinkers) and silica can add luster, bounce and strength to your hair. Remember too much beer can also give you a belly among other things – so go easy on this one. Dark chocolate can help your hair stay hydrated and protect it from sun damage.  It’s is also full of antioxidants that are linked to helping improve your skin by lessening wrinkles, erasing sun spots and gifting you with that dewy glow. You’re looking for 70% or more cocoa content in your chocolate for it to treat not just your taste buds, but your hair and skin as well.

Incorporating the following foods into your diet will also keep your follicles fabulous over time: blueberries, wild salmon, sunflower seeds, spicy peppers, oysters, walnuts, kiwi, avocado, garlic and lemons. Yogurt, sweet potatoes, watermelon, beans, cantaloupe and mango are another batch of “must haves” in your diet. For an extra boost add lycopene-heavy tomatoes, which are great for hair and skin – there’s a trick here, though. Lycopene is much more easily absorbed by the body when tomatoes have been cooked. Snacking on raw tomato is healthy and delicious, but roast them up - if you want their full benefits! Olive oil and marjoram both help your body to absorb the nutrients and antioxidants from veggies – boosting the rate by as much as 200%, according to some studies. Oh, and about those beans, the darker the better – black beans have been shown to have double the good stuff as their pale-colored cousins. I can see some of you celebrating through the computer screen already.

So now that you know what to do to keep your hair happy from the inside-out, but what should you be doing (or NOT doing) to keep it awesome from the outside-in?

First – step away from the shampoo. Many shampoos are just too harsh for your hair and strip away all of the vital goodies. Over-shampooing can make your scalp tight and itchy and leave your hair wrecked. Under-shampooing can make your scalp oily and give you dandruff. Find your happy medium and run with it! Trying a gentler shampoo or maybe even a dry-poo can help leave your hair with the amount of oomph that nature intended.  

Also, try not to style your hair when it’s wet. For you curly-girlies out there, this may be the only time you can detangle. If that’s the case remember to use a wide-toothed comb, conditioner, and lots of patience. Pulling on wet hair too much can cause breakage. When it comes time to dry your hair – do NOT rub it with your towel as it can cause tangles; squeeze or pat it dry. This goes for all of you.

If you’re a flat-iron user, turn down the heat! I know if the heat is up higher you can do your entire head in 30 minutes as opposed to 90, but you’re literally frying your hair. Besides, if you lower the heat and go slow, you can get in a great bicep/tricep/shoulder workout while you’re styling – now that’s what I call multi-tasking!

Now imagine someone just told you that you have exactly 30 minutes to get ready for a holiday party they forgot to tell you about (oops!) – if you’ve followed these steps it will be a breeze! Keep your hairstyle simple and “you”. If you never wear an up-do, now is not the time to try out your first French twist or that chignon with a side braid that you saw on Jessica Alba 3 weeks ago.  If the basics are solid then simple hair, simple makeup, simple wardrobe and one stunning accessory is really all you need to be ready to go. Be bold, bright and confident and you’re sure to leave them dazzled.

For more tips and tricks as well as beauty recipes – or to ask David a question, visit us at