The Expert Inside-Out Beauty Tips Every Woman Should Know
I'd be lying to you if I said the health of my hair, skin, and nails wasn't important to me. But, that wasn't always the case…
My hair itself has always been the part of my body I'm most self-conscious about—crazy, I know. But as someone with very frizzy, curly hair, I always loathed the volume and texture my natural hair had. Back in middle school, I obsessively flat-ironed my hair so that it was stick straight and basically glued to my face. My mom always told me to be careful with hot tools, saying I was damaging my hair, but at the time I thought it would be more damaging to my social life to walk around with frizzy hair, so nothing stopped me. Like most things in life, always listen to your mom because chances are she's right.
Give your hair a vacation.
Between yo-yo dieting, abusing hot tools for my hair, and wearing fake hair extensions for my wedding, it's safe to say my hair was pretty much a strand of hay up until last year. After doing tons of research on how to give my hair the much-needed TLC it deserves, I learned how closely intertwined the health of our hair is along with what we consume. I learned that if I wanted to keep my hair long, strong, and shiny, it was time to start looking from the inside out.
As I began to care more about what I was putting in my body from a diet perspective, I realized how closely my plant-based, whole-foods eating affected the way my hair, skin, and nails looked. It's taken a ton of trial and error, but I can confidently say I now have my beauty routine down pat.
Find your beauty superfoods.
Let's start with vitamins and supplements: I've tried pretty much every vitamin out there for my hair, skin, and nails and have found that HUM Nutrition is a total game changer. They make a bunch of natural, non-GMO vitamins and supplements that actually work. I love using their Turn Back Time, filled with anti-aging antioxidants like turmeric that repair free radical damage to the skin, and Killer Nails—a supplement specifically designed with high-potency biotin to help those nails grow long and strong!
The mane event? No washing.
When it comes to hair, I've found that the secret to healthy hair is not washing it. Yup, you read that right. Not washing your hair actually is amazing for you, and I personally wash my hair one to two times per week now at most. It takes a bit of time to train it to not get as greasy, so start by washing it every other day, then every two days, and so on. I plan my workouts around washing my hair (gotta do what you gotta do) and always workout with a top bun held together with an alligator clip to preserve it. This method is key to letting your hair absorb its natural oil! Plus, the less you wash, the less you have to blow dry, curl, etc., aka less hot tools time.
Make friends with coconut oil.
The night before I wash my hair I like to use a super simple and nourishing coconut oil mask made of straight-up coconut oil. Yes, the one you can find at your local grocery store that you bake with. Keep an extra jar in your bathroom and put it on dry hair, sleep with it in a bun, and wash in the morning. You may need to double shampoo to get it out, but hey, when you wash once a week who cares? And while you're at it, coconut oil makes a game-changing moisturizer. I use it to shave in the shower and prevent razor burn, and even apply it as lotion when I step out of the shower. It helps my dry skin stay extra hydrated!
Feed your scalp.
Collagen peptides are another key part to maintaining healthy hair, skin, and nails. I have one scoop of collagen peptide powder daily with my hot lemon water in the morning or afternoon, or I pop HUM's Collagen Love pills, which also contain skin-friendly hyaluronic acid and vitamin C. Besides being great for the skin, collagen is also excellent for digestion and joint health. I like to pair this with HUM Nutrition Daily Cleanse, which is filled with organic algae and cleansing minerals to help me start my day with a "clean" slate.
Eat your way to luscious locks.
Now, the fun part: the food. Like most aspects of your body, your daily eats are completely correlated with the health of your hair, skin, and nails. You want to aim for a balance of healthy fats, proteins, and carbs. Foods like salmon, avocado, raw nuts, dark chocolate, and whole grains are my go-to beauty foods. Limit extra-processed sugary foods, and, of course, eat organic when possible. This was a huge reason why I started food blogging. I wanted food that was going to taste amazing and actually be amazing for you, too!
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
The last part of my beauty routine is hydration. Lots and LOTS of water. I'm not a coffee drinker, so I really just drink water, tea, kombucha, and a spicy lemonade here and there. Hydration, like food, affects your entire body. It hydrates your skin, supports your nail growth, and keeps your hair looking shiny. I keep a glass of water by me all day and fill it up as much as I can. Before bed I also have herbal tea or a few extra sips of water with HUM Nutrition's Beauty ZZZZ supplement, because a good night's rest is intrinsically linked to good health and beauty!
Once I began fueling my body with good-for-you nutrients, supplements, and vitamins, my hair, skin, and nails became a lot stronger. The balance of these tips plus the right vitamins and supplements (like HUM Nutrition) make all the difference, my babes!
Rachel Mansfield lives in the heart of Manhattan with her husband, Jordan. She has her bachelor’s in business administration and media communications from Muhlenberg College, and in early 2015 created her eponymous Instagram account followed by her blog a few months later. Since then she’s worked with top brands in the health, fitness, food, and wellness spaces and has formed an amazing community surrounding her passion for deliciously clean eats. Mansfield's goal and passion is to share food that not only tastes amazing but makes you feel amazing.