There was a time in my early teenage years where I was nicknamed "Wiry." It wasn't because I was strong and slim, as the phrase might imply; rather, it was because my hair looked like wire that had rusted and could be used to scrub pots clean! To add to my dilemma, my grandmother, although endowed with many skills for which I'm more than willing to give her credit, considered herself a hairdresser—and my hairstyles from my youth are sufficient testimony to prove that she was anything but.

I was obsessed with hair as a child, and perhaps this was in some way related to the sad state of affairs on my own head. All my dolls were endowed with long, luscious locks that I would spend hours brushing and styling. I was severely envious of any of my friends who had long hair or were taken to a proper hairdresser who gave them some semblance of a hairstyle.

In those days, it never dawned on me that what was sprouting out of my head had any connection with what was entering my mouth. It was years later, when I was put on medication to treat my underactive thyroid and opted instead to change my diet, that I started to notice some gradual and subtle changes that delighted me. In addition to having so much more energy and vitality, my locks not only started to grow faster, but also developed a softness and sheen that was quite uncharacteristic. Instead of the frizz that had earned me my nickname, I was developing a lovely curl, and slowly but surely, I started to get compliments for my long and beautiful locks.

I will confess that my commitment to adhering to a healthy diet and lifestyle has much to do with the fact that I want to grow old gracefully and beautifully with as little cosmetic intervention as possible. One's hair, or lack thereof, is a great indicator of a person's overall state of health—in fact, there is a diagnostic therapy often used in alternative medical practices that analyzes the hair to get an overall reading of a person's nutritional history and health condition.

True beauty is something that emanates from the inside out, and a diet of nutrient-rich food is a major consideration in overall health and the health of our hair. There are many factors that influence hair health and also many ways that you can ensure healthy, glossy locks right into old age. I'll tell you how.

Learn what factors influence your hair


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