Natural is the key word for all types of products and services offered in today’s society. The average consumer is becoming more aware of their health and wellbeing as it relates to looks and long life. The hair care industry is no different. We now have a well developed ethnic hair care category for natural hair with all types of products that have a dash of natural this and a bit of organic that. The aisles are filled with an array of oils, essences, fruit and vegetable extracts. With all this talk of ingredients it makes one think of the main concepts of healthy natural living. If we take this type of care to choose products with natural ingredients to go on top of our head, imagine the effect of a well-balanced, natural diet. Healthy hair starts from the inside. The key to a good head of hair is always a combination of what goes into the body as well as what is applied externally. This type of knowledge will only enhance the OTC shopping experience.
I became a pescetarian over 17 years ago. This type of diet is based mainly in vegetarianism, but my diet also includes dairy and seafood. The change arose out of a need to have a more natural lifestyle and way of living. I saw a dramatic change in my overall wellbeing and though I use the number one loc and twist category in the game, Jamaican Mango & Lime, the growth and strength of my hair changed dramatically. It is important to not only sell products to our customers, but to also educate them on how diet can and will always affect their hair. If you encourage customers to switch to a more naturally-based diet to supplement their use of quality hair care products you add value to the service and goods you provide to them. It also comes with a great deal of credibility that builds customer loyalty—which is paramount within the OTC class of trade.
A well balanced diet is good for anyone and can often reverse the effects of many mild ailments, but it is interesting to look at how different foods affect both skin and hair. One of the top hair care concerns is hair loss and thinning. Some causes are genetic and others can be attributed to damage cause by chemicals our hair care tools, but the professionals agree that certain foods have been proven to help fortify the hair over time. Hair is made from cells and foods that are high in protein help the body build healthy cells. Foods such as salmon and yogurt that are high in protein, vitamin D and vital fatty acids that reinforce the hair and can fight against damage and breakage. Fruits like blueberries have qualities that aid in healthy blood flow throughout the scalp. This nourishes the hair production center within the hair follicle and distributes nourishment evenly. Beta Carotene and Vitamin A, found in veggies like carrots and sweet potatoes, are also a good source of nutrients for the hair development process. We also cannot forget to suggest our customers eat their greens as folate is essential to strong moisturized natural hair. Though it can be hard in today’s society, finding time to fit some sort of aerobic activity in has been reported to improve the quality of skin, hair and nails. As consumers purchase their pick of natural shampoo, it is good to suggest that water is good for cleansing and nourishing the hair both inside and out. The latest statics show that the jury is out on the 8 to 10 glasses a day as scientists have discovered that the proper amount is relative to body type and weight. And finally, sleep is essential to good hair production. We sell a lot of hair nets, wave caps and satin bonnets for all hair styles, but 8 to 12 hours of rest is truly needed to make magic happen under any bonnet. During the hours of sleep the body replenishes moisture and nutrients while regenerating and producing healthy cells.
According to the Journal of Medicine, it only takes a daily balance of food to truly produce what the body needs. So there is no point in over eating any one particular food to produce a result. Careful food selection is all that is needed to see a result, and improvement is seen over time. Studies show a change can take up to 10 weeks of consistent diet and lifestyle change. I am always pleased to give the consumer what they need and I truly believe that it is more than just my business to produce good quality products; it is my responsibility to educate the consumer on all aspects of hair care. This is good customer service and a great value to add to any naturally based product that is sold. So while the industry works hard at bottling nature’s goodness, let’s be sure that the consumer is educated on how to truly get the full benefit of all natural products by choosing their foods wisely.
King of Locs author: Cyrus Jackson
Cyrus Jackson has had a successful career in the hair care industry for over 30 years including sales, marketing and product development with companies such as World of Curl, D-Orum Products, Leisure Curl and Professional Products Unlimited, Inc. Jackson’s continued development and promotions of quality products for natural ethnic beauty has made him the self-proclaimed King of Locs.