You Put WHAT In Your Hair?!

Everyone always seems to have SOMETHING to say about your hair. Whether you’ve got long hair, short hair, straight hair, curly hair, or anything in between, there are always ways to improve on the way you take care of your hair. And, as a girl with long, thick, curly hair, I love trying different tactics to make my mane feel and look better.

While experimenting with different shampoos and conditioners can be fun, I’ve found it less and less thrilling over the years as I’ve started to find my favorites (and least favorites too!). There are only so many different types of shampoo and conditioner out there, and finding a shampoo or conditioner that you really dislike is disappointing and expensive! So, to avoid costly experimentation, here are a couple of bizarre things that you can put in your hair to change up your routine and keep looking flawless!

It’s Fall: Apple Cider {vinegar}

Apple cider vinegar is pretty much a miracle substance in the health and beauty worlds. It’s good to eat and good to apply almost anywhere, and this includes your hair. It’s particularly good to mix into shampoos, since it can help with scalp itchiness or dryness. Apple cider vinegar is also a powerful anti-bacterial agent, so it helps keep you scalp clear of infections.

It also helps regulate the pH level of your scalp. I didn’t even know scalps had their own pH’s! But, it makes sense that if this pH is regulated, your hair texture changes to be smoother and softer, which is another benefit to apple cider vinegar shampoos.

There are also lots of ways to get apple cider vinegar incorporated into your hair-care routine. I know I like to mix it with my normal shampoo, just to give it a little extra kick! But there are also lots of options to buy apple cider vinegar based shampoos and lots of fantastic recipes that will allow you to make your own!

Honey Honey, How It Thrills Me

I know it sounds crazy, because honey is mad sticky and WHY would anyone want sticky hair?! Hear me out. Honey is fantastic for your hair, especially if you’re looking to grow some seriously luscious locks. For starters, honey is an emollient, which means it seals moisture into your hair and keeps breakages from happening. These hair breakages tend to be a main component in slowed hair growth, and are especially prominent in individuals who chemically treat or dye their hair often!

Honey also keeps your hair from falling out by strengthening your hair follicles (cough cough, gentlemen). It cleans out your hair follicles by removing impurities, allowing for unhindered hair growth and a lowered risk for infections. And – get this – honey can even re-stimulate hair follicles that are dormant, and encourage new growth (cough cough, GENTLEMEN!).

Again, there are lots of ways to use honey in your routine without ending up with a head full of sticky hair! Honey and sage makes for a great combination in deep conditioners, and honey can be combined with lots of other hair-helpers in ways that let you personalize hair masks just for you!


There are approximately a million different types of oils that are great to supplement the natural oils your hair produces, but I’ve chosen a few to talk about here. For starters, did anyone know that you can get essential oils from tress? I definitely didn’t until I started reading about cypress essential oil, and how crazy good it is for hair growth. So good, it got it’s own whole paper on NCBI, and that’s really how you know that’s what you want if you’re trying to grow some crazy long hair!

Cedarwood oil is another tree-based essential oil that will help soothe your scalp and get your hair growing. It also helps if you’re anything like I was when I was a kid: long tangled hair and a super sensitive scalp. Cedarwood oil has been used for a long time as a pain-reliever, and this applied to sensitive-scalped-people too!

This is also a great essential oil to use during the summer since its strong woodsy scent is a natural insect repellent. Gorgeous hair and no mosquito bites? Sign me up!

Finally, we’ve been talking a lot about the tops of our heads as if thats the only important part of having gorgeous hair. The ends of hair can be so easily damaged, yet our hair-ends make a huge difference in the look and structural integrity of our hair! Sandalwood oil has been found to help remedy dead ends, and has been the buzz of natural beauty circles lately to be a possible “cure for baldness”? Sounds a little crazy to me, but I’ll support gorgeous hair no matter where it comes from! Check out some of the articles about it, and you can decide what you think.

While I wouldn’t go so far to call it a “cure for baldness”, I would say its a fabulous little extra to work into a weekly or monthly hair routine for everyone, bald or otherwise!

Coo-Coo for Coconuts

Coconuts are currently my favorite food for a variety of reasons. They taste good, they smell good, AND it turns out you can put pretty much any type of coconut-liquid you want into your hair!

To start, coconut oil is great for your hair, skin and body. In your hair particularly, is can function great as a deep conditioner, detangler, or a dandruff-defeater! Whether you mix it into a shampoo, conditioner, or just apply it to your hair after a good washing, it’ll undoubtably leave your hair soft, shiny, and looking like new.

Next, you can use coconut water in your hair as a method of detangling and minimizing frizz. This can be especially useful for people with wild curly hair, or anyone that lives somewhere constantly humid. Plus, coconut water is a lighter alternative to coconut oil. The oil can feel a little heavy, especially on thinner or more fragile hair. Coconut water is a lighter version with all the same benefits and then some! Just make sure the coconut water you choose to put in your hair is free of flavoring or sugars that sometimes get added to coconut drinking water.

Finally, you can use coconut milk as a pre-hair-washing scalp massager. Coconut milk has the power to replenish your hairs’ nutrients that might have been lost throughout the day, and all it takes is a little scalp massage and a 20 minute rest with it in your hair before a shower to get your hair back to looking flouncy and flirty again!

Self-Love: Sanity, Not Vanity

Here’s the thing: self-love is unfairly underrated. In fact, not only is it underrated, it’s given a bad rep. Somehow, being good to your body and soul has often been termed lazy, selfish, or even a waste of time. Think about it: when was the last time you got a chance to paint your nails, take a really long shower, or enjoy a scoop of your favorite ice cream without feeling a little guilty for one reason or another?

First of all, know that you have nothing to feel guilty about.

Secondly, being good to you does not mean you’re hurting anyone else, even if other people make you feel that way. You prioritizing the way you feel about your body and your mindset doesn’t inhibit other people from doing the same thing, nor does it mean you’re not working as hard as other people. Plus, its actually scientifically proven that doing things for YOU will help make you happier and healthier!

That being said, it can be hard to make yourself a priority, especially if you have a lot going on. There’s always that little voice: I could be doing something for someone else right now. I could be making dinner for someone. I could be doing more work for someone. I could be supporting someone.

To make things easier, here are some little ways to love yourself throughout the week. And they all avoid straining your wallet, your heart, and your mind.

Fancy Drinks

I don’t know about everyone else, but there’s something about fancy beverages that just brighten up my day. No matter what time of year it is, an icy beverage to take with me to class or a warm mug to sip on in the mornings always makes my day just a little bit better. It’s about having something that is just for you (hard to share a drink you got specifically fo yourself where the serving size is one!) that you get to enjoy in the middle of events that may otherwise be very familiar, and therefore feel mundane. Not to say there isn’t lots of joy to be found in day-to-day activities, believe me, there’s lots of lovely details in daily events. But, for days that they might be harder to see, fancy drinks have always been one of my favorite solutions.

Some suggestions I would have to carry this out would be stopping by Starbucks to grab a warm coffee in the morning, bring yourself an aloe vera water to drink at lunch, or treat yourself to a homemade smoothie when you get off work!

Miniature Makeover

Never forget that how you feel about the way you look tends to make a difference in how you feel about your daily experiences. The better you feel you look, the better you do the things you need to do, and the better you feel when you reflect on your day. It sets you up for success, and the devil is in the details. So it’s important to take time during the week to do little things that will make you feel beautiful every day!

I know for me, washing my hair and doing my nails are little things I do to make myself feel good, and they are just for me. I know other people may not notice if I put my hair up because it’s dirty, or if my nails are bare, but I notice it! And that’s a perfectly good reason to make time to take care it. Plus, doing little things to pamper yourself is a good reminder that you are worth the time and effort you are putting into your body. It’s also important to pick things to do here that make YOU feel good about being YOU. You’re not trying to satisfy anyone else with what you choose to pamper yourself with, you just want to feel good in your own skin.

I would recommend taking the time to do your nails (OPI nail polish will stay on without chipping FOREVER!), take 20 minutes to do a face or hair or even beard mask from LUSH, or take a bath with some epsom salts to calm any tension in your muscles that may have built up throughout the week!

Sweet Lil’ Treats

It’s been studied that humans love to eat, and I know I am no exception to this rule. Food has this crazy way of tasting great and making you feel like you’re doing something good for your body. If you’re anything like me, I tend to forget to eat if I get really absorbed in my work, so when I do eat, I become really proud of myself (Lol- as if taking care of myself is a massive accomplishment. Small victories!).

So food can be great, it makes you feel good and it tastes good. But, especially for women, its also the source of a lot of anxiety. We always feel like we’re not eating the right foods, we feel like we’re eating too much, and then there’s always that nasty little voice in the back of your mind who’s nagging you about your body while you’re trying to enjoy your food.

To put that little voice to rest, I think it’s very important to purposefully treat yourself with food, however you like to do that. I know the things I tend to crave that are not conventionally good for me are flavors like really sweet, super salty, or creamy. And there are ways to satisfy all of these without letting that little voice in the back of your head get to you! Whatsmore, when it’s a purposeful treat, it’s a lot easier to shut that voice off and take the time to enjoy and acknowledge the love that you’re providing yourself through what you’re eating.

My suggestions here would be, if you’re feeling creamy, go for Metagenics chocolate milk mix and throw it in a milkshake! Or, if you love salty things, try homemade chocolate peanut butter bars and add some pretzels or sea salt on top. Finally, to satisfy that sweet tooth, there are tons of flavors of Halotop ice cream that are packed with protein and that sugary goodness you’re craving.






Vitamin Vitality and Pill Perplexity

In order to be the best human being physically possible, I think taking care of your body should be top on everyone’s priority lists. If you feel good, you look good, and you do good! Super simple and straightforward.

That being said, it’s important to take care of your body the best way that you can, and sometimes this means using a little extra help from vitamins and supplements to keep our bodies going in the most effective ways we can.

Pill Perplexity: Why There’s No Reason to Worry

I know, pills can feel totally unnatural and ever seen scary, but believe me: there’s nothing to fear, AND you’re doing yourself a favor when you provide your body with all the nutrients it needs. There’s no reason to be worried just because vitamins and supplements come in pill-form, since they’re there to help your body where regular foods fail.

To break it down further: too much of anything is no good, even if its a food that is rich in a nutrient your body is lacking. For instance, I tend to have low iron in my blood. It’s been like that since I was little, and something I’ve learned to deal with in a variety of ways. One type of food that tastes great and is super high in iron is eggs! Eggs also happen to be super high in cholesterol though. So while they’re awesome for incorporating into my breakfasts a few times a week, eating them anymore than that would be more detrimental to my cholesterol levels than helpful for my iron levels.

This is where supplements come into play. Since they are usually pills, they’re a more concentrated way to get your body exactly what its lacking: no more, and no less. For instance, one of the best supplements you can take to help up the levels of iron in your blood is folate, and Pure Encapsulations makes a super easy-to-take pill that contains just that, as well as some B-12 vitamin to help keep your skin and hair soft and healthy. A little extra glowing, healthy blood and no cholesterol spikes? Sign me up!!

Supplemental: It Means What it Sounds Like

I also like to make an active effort to be award of and care for my microbiome. Microbiomes are the good bacteria that live inside each and everyone of us (and if you want to learn about the uniqueness of each of our microbiomes, click over to my science writing blog and read all about it here!).

Our bodies are actually pretty good at regulating these little personal ecosystems, but sometimes a crazy amount of bad bacteria can just show up for what seems like no reason. This spike in bad bacteria can lead to all sorts of weird digestion issues and general abdominal discomfort, and so far some of the only causes scientists can tie these spikes to are things like stress, lack of sleep, or over exercising.

Basically, all things that aren’t very good for our bodies anyway, but that sometimes just happen! One great food for this type of problem is Greek yogurt, which is one of my favorite foods anyway. But, it helps to supplement this with… you guessed it, a SUPPLEMENT! Bad bacterial spikes are an issue where things like probiotics are absolute life-savers to get your body back to a balanced state when the Greek yogurt just isn’t doing enough.  Garden of Life has lots of probiotic options that are super easy to take and help combat overgrowth of bad bacteria in your microbiome.

Of Course, Lets Not Forget About Our Mental Health

Wow, this post is getting way more into my personal life than I anticipated. It’s good stuff though, I’m excited to share.

Okay anyway! Finally, I want to talk about vitamins for mental health. And, my particular area of expertise when it comes to mental health is anxiety, since I was diagnosed with panic disorder about two years ago. I’ve got a tight grip on things now, but believe me, it did not start that way. And actually, interestingly enough, that diagnosis is what got me started on natural remedies in the first place.

Anyway, people who knew my whole anxiety story have heard this before. But, when I was first diagnosed, I was living alone and starting a new job that I hadn’t realized yet that I didn’t particularly like. So, I started having panic attacks. I went to the doctor, got diagnosed, and the first thing the doctor I saw did was prescribe me a variety of pills, mostly Xanax-related drugs. I started trying to take them, and things got about a hundred times worse.

Long story short, too many drugs leads to too many problems. I’m off all the crazy medications now, and much happier. But, I think for what I was going through at the time, I wanted something that felt like a quick fix. That was why I was so open to taking a bunch of insane pills that were supposed to make all the anxiety just disappear. While it’s never that simple, sometimes things like natural vitamins and supplements can have a similar, almost placebo effect: I took a pill, so the problem should go away.

For instance,  Nature’s Bounty makes a valerian root vitamin that is supposed to work miracles for anxiety, especially if your anxiety leads to bouts of insomnia. And while the effects of this pill are not as strong as the mass-produced chemical pills you might get prescribed in a medical office, they work just as well for calming your mental state in more ways than one. Plus, valerian root is actually a root, that grows attached to a plant, from the ground. It just happens to be easier to stomach in pill form.

There you have it everyone! Now you guys know all my deepest darkest natural-pills secrets, and hopefully they help you out with any pill perplexity you might have had going into this post!