Tips for having shiny and healthy hair

Having great looking hair is paramount to everyone. Hair to women is so important, that it’s a mahkota wanita in the Malay language or a women’s crown. The importance shows with so many hair care products offered in stores. All these commercial products want you to have thick, full and shiny hair. And for those who want to use medicinal herbs to reach the same goal, there are plenty of choices as well.

How I got healthy hair like the ad on tv with disastrous results

While a teen in North Borneo, I was involved directly in this madness—wanting to have so called healthy hair. Swayed by the commercials on how to make your hair “healthy,” my friends and I started to experiment. However, being a teen and broke, we couldn’t afford to buy all those “healthy” products. So, we purchased a cheap perm kit that promised us to have great looking hair from the hair salon. The liquid in it smelled like urine (that had been fermented), yet it didn’t bother us at all. We were so excited we took turns perming each other’s hair.

The results were amazing. Our hair lost its straight and limp look and was now curly and full of volume! Unfortunately, it only lasted a few months. And we stupidly repeated the process again. And again. And the damage to my hair was so bad, it took years for it to return to its normal shape and color. My hair had become dry and brittle with split-ends on each strand and the pigmentation had turned brown.

Solution: Water from banana trunk

My friends learned from their elderly neighbors that we could have thick hair without using a drop of chemicals. All we needed to do was to collect water trapped inside the trunk of a banana tree. We were excited to find a free solution. Collecting the water from the banana tree was easy, as there were plenty of banana trees around the yard (remember, this was in Borneo). We religiously collected the water from the fibrous trunk and used it as a shampoo. The water was so cool when it touched the scalp, and after a week, we saw results. New baby hairs had sprouted from our scalp. But, my effort only lasted for several weeks. My friends had moved on to another exciting adventure, which involved boys of course.

How I got my shiny and healthy hair again

As I became an adult, I moved a lot and wished I have banana trees where I live now. With the four seasons we have, it’s impossible to grow bananas as they only survive in a hot climate. But, I eat home cooked food and stopped eating processed food. I also stopped adding refined sugar to my food and instead eat fruits to get sugar the natural way. Today my hair is shiny and in better shape than ever. The split ends are long gone and the strands are soft and durable.

So, here are my tips on how to have a thick and healthy hair:

  1. Eat foods that nourish your hair, like coconut oil.
  2. Remove highly processed food from your fridge and cabinet. If you can’t pronounce the ingredients listed on the label, put it back on the shelf. Make your own meals with a lot of vegetables, fish and fruits. Preferably organic.
  3. Eliminate refined sugar. Completely. Soda and energy drinks are toxic to your hair and body.
  4. Use a mild shampoo with less chemical intensity.
  5. If you perm your hair, you could use a hair bonnet made from satin before going to bed. The bonnet will preserve your curls when you wake up in the morning.

I treasure my hair very much — after learning the hard way. Eating healthy food and drinking plenty of water is the best way to maintain wonderful and beautiful hair.