I’m often asked by my readers about hair loss, which something that I’ve personally experienced multiple times, and is more common than most of us think, so today I’m sharing exactly how I got my healthiest & strongest hair ever!
I spent most of my life fighting my naturally wavy/curly hair by straightening it constantly. It wasn’t until I lost much of my hair for the second time that I learned to appreciate what I have. I now absolutely LOVE my hair for the first time in my entire life, and while it’s just hair to some…it’s really so much more than that. Sometimes you don’t fully understand the beauty of what you have until it’s taken away.
My natural hair that I’ve learned to love!
I’ve lost about half of my hair at two points throughout my life. The first was when I was 19 and on a chemo medication to help keep my Crohn’s in remission. The second time was after my last surgery in 2011, and I lost even more hair than the first time around. I remember my hair coming out in clumps in the shower, wondering if it would ever stop, and my husband having to constantly clean the drain as it would get clogged from the amount of hair I was losing.
One of the very few pictures that I have of my thinning hair, taken in early 2013
I believe that losing my hair was a sign of my overall health, which wasn’t in good condition AT ALL. In 2011 my body was under tremendous amounts of stress while attempting to heal from such a major operation, and my hormones were completely out of whack. Looking back, it’s obvious why I lost so much hair.
My hairdresser convinced me to cut my mid-length back hair up to my shoulders, as the longest pieces were just a few whispy strands by that point. My hair would no longer curl or hold any sort of shape. This was during the darkest period of my life, when I’d just been diagnosed with Adrenal Insufficiency, and had felt like I’d already lost so much, including over 6 feet of intestines.
I soon realized this was a situation that, at the time, I had very little control over, so I decided to just roll with it. Fighting it would only make it harder, and would really just make me miserable.
It’s been a JOURNEY to say the least, but now my hair is by far the strongest, longest and healthiest that it’s ever been – and I STILL have new hair growing in. Below you’ll find how I got my healthiest & strongest hair ever, plus all of the natural and not-so-natural products that I use! If you’re struggling with hair loss, I hope you find this helpful!
How I Got My Healthiest & Strongest Hair EVER:
Changing The Way That I Eat:
I’m a big believer that nourishing your body from the inside out is what creates true health.
It wasn’t until I completely changed my diet in February 2013 that everything began to shift. I remember going to see my hairdresser after I changed my diet, as I did every 8 weeks, and she couldn’t believe how fast my hair was starting to grow back in. I believe this was because I was finally giving my body the nutrients that it desperately needed, along with removing the foods that were causing me harm. Over the years, each time I see my hairdresser, she is still in shock with how much hair I have now.
I stuck with a strict paleo diet for 2 years, which is the time MY body needed to fully heal. I cut out all grains, gluten, diary and legumes, and stuck to eating meat, veggies, fruit, nuts and seeds.
While this may seem restrictive at first, I promise you that it’s not. The over 200+ free recipes on my blog tell this story for me. 😉 I still eat 100% gluten-free, and since I’ve put in so much effort to heal my gut, I’m now able to tolerate things such as gluten-free grains and high quality dairy, which I wasn’t able to before.
Adding in bone broth, collagen peptides and gelatin to my diet was a HUGE help for re-growing strong, healthy hair. I still currently use at least one of these in my everyday diet – collagen being the easiest because it’s tasteless and can be added to any liquid, hot or cold!
The Safer Hair Products That I Use:
Shampoo & Conditioner:
I’ve tried just about every shampoo and conditioner there is, from Pantene to Bumble and Bumble, but it wasn’t until I started using Beautycounter’s shampoo & conditioner that I fell in LOVE.
It’s seriously the BEST shampoo and conditioner that I’ve ever used, and I’m not saying that lightly! It’s improved the quality of my hair so much, and it’s really just a huge bonus that it happens to be completely non-toxic. It’s also super concentrated, so a little goes a LONG way. I really can’t recommend it enough, I have yet to find anyone who’s tried it and doesn’t love it!
I’m definitely not the girl that washes her hair everyday – it’s more like once to twice a week, MAX. I also workout 5-6 days a week, and I don’t like greasy hair, so dry shampoo is basically my BFF, but up until recently, I hadn’t found one that I really LOVED. I’ve tried all the chemical-filled spray dry shampoos, but always felt like they didn’t really do much to make my hair look fresh.
I finally found a dry shampoo from Primally Pure (you can use code KRISTEN for 10% off)that I’m OBSESSED with! It works incredibly well, and leaves my hair feeling and smelling as if I just washed it!
The Not-so-natural Products that I Use:
If you know me, you know I’m definitely NOT about being perfect, and I’m ALL about balance. As I always say, knowledge is power and it’s all about choosing your toxins wisely. I’m well aware of what products I use that aren’t the best – but when I find something natural that works just as good or even better, I simply swap it out!
These are the products that I haven’t yet found a great non-toxic version of. I always aim to show you that none of this is about being perfect, it’s just about doing the best that you can!
I only use this deep conditioner about once a month, if that, and it makes a big difference in the texture of my hair. It leaves my hair feeling super soft and deeply conditioned. As it’s not something that I use daily, or even weekly, it’s totally okay with me that this product isn’t natural.
I’m well aware of the toxins in hairspray, and use this maybe 2x month, only when I curl the ends of my hair (as shown in the picture above) – so again, it’s not a huge deal to me that it isn’t a natural product.
Here’s where I’d love your help!
I have naturally curly/wavy hair and while I like both of these curling creams that are shown in the photo above, as they keep my waves from becoming frizzy, I feel like there’s gotta be better, more non-toxic options out there when it comes to this. Any curly-haired girls know of any? I’ve tried several products from Whole Foods and didn’t like any of them.
I’m very selective with the products that I use, as they’ve gotta perform, which is why I use all of the products that I’ve listed in this post. If you have any more natural curling products that you love, let me know in the comments below!
How I Got My Healthiest & Strongest Hair EVER!
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you purchase something from one of my links, I will receive a small percentage, at no additional cost to you. I will only ever recommend products that I truly believe in, and that I use myself or find to be very valuable. Thanks for helping me to keep my blog up and running!
I have heard amazing things about innersense curl products! You should check out their texturizer and curl cream (quiet calm or something like that). Love seeing your natural hair pictures!!!! You glow from the inside friend 🤗💚💙💚
Oooohhh, thank you so much, Mika!! You’re the third person who’s mentioned their products today! Miss you, friend! <3
Salt spray has worked on my semi curly hair and BC has a version!
I love the salt spray from BC! You reminded me that I need to reorder it, thanks so much!
The Deva curl line is great
Great to know, thanks!
do NOT use deva curl – their products damage your hair and scalp, can cause hair loss, inflamed and irritated scalps, headaches, nausea, etc.
I highly suggest the brand Morocco Method for hair products overall! It is a paleo line, and I am obsessed with their Dragonfruit curl gel!!!!
Jessicurl, I believe is a totally chemical free product made by a woman I know here in Humboldt County and sold all over the US.
Deva Curl has a whole line if really great curly girl products! They are all free of most of the bad things and super healthy for your hair!
Julie H says
I’m also a curly girl who has used Deva Curl for years. I keep trying other products, but always go back to Deva Curl👍💕
So great to know, thanks so much Julie!
I used to manage the vitamin and body care section at Sprouts and basically got to try every single product on the shelves. I have very similar looking waves as yours and the one and only product that I liked (that didn’t leave my hair greasy or frizzy) was Giovanni L.A. Natural Styling Gel. I will try other products now and then just as an experiment, but so far I have gone back to Giovanni every time.
Great to know, thanks Ember!
What kind of deep conditioner you use? You are an inspiation to many like me . Also what kind of collagen powder you buy and where can I purchase it- I live in Walnut Credk,Ca. 😘 have a blessed day
Hi Carol! I currently use the Hydrating Masque by Surface (shown in the image above), but just got another one to try out as well from Bumble and Bumble. I’ll be sharing another hair update post in the next month with the newer products that I’ve switched to. 🙂 I personally use Vital Proteins collagen peptides – I get it on Amazon, but I believe Whole Foods sells it as well! Hope that helps! <3
Costco for vital proteins! Twice as big for almost half the price as Amazon and Whole Foods!
I’m also curly headed girl who has been searching for the cleanest products I can for my hair. So far this is the best I’ve found: https://innersensebeauty.com/product-category/curly/
Thanks, Candace! I actually tried those (along with many other) products a few months ago, and they didn’t work great for my hair. We’re all different though and I’m so glad they’re working for you! 🙂
Shawn Bowers says
Bright Body has some great products for curly hair. My hair too is very fine and thin. I’ve lost hair over the last couple years due to some medical problems & age. I stumbled along this product. Just started using it about a month ago. They have a shampoo, conditioner, rinse, gel for curly hair, and conditioner for curly hair.
Maria Vincent says
Thanks for the nice blog. I’m not blessed with curly hair but I wish I have. My younger has great curl hair and she has used Deva Curl for years. And it shown a amazing result for her hair.
Thank you for sharing.
I’m SO sorry that you experienced those hardships. The feelings one would have losing clumps of hair must have been incredibly challenging. I can’t imagine the frustration, anger, fear, and sadness. You’ve had such huge challenges. I’m SO happy you are alive and would LOVE to meet you if you ever come to Seattle.
Your hair is amazing and I’m so happy for you.
I hope you reach 100 years!!!
You should try Innersense hair products. AMAZING! I have tried so many other natural, non-toxic hair products including home-made versions and these products beat everything else hands down. I switched to Innersense A year and a half ago and never looked back. They have sample sizes too so you can try them out first.