Hey-yoooo!!! (<—ya’ll know Jason Pitts from the TV show The Game?! lol)
Back with another Ingredients 101 post! Check out my last two in case you missed them! Mango Butter and Stinging Nettle. I again want to kindly reiterate and preface this post by saying that I am NOT a scientist, doctor, expert, etc. and I find my info on different ingredients by doing lots of research on the internet, trying different things on myself, etc. PLEASE always do your own research on anything you decide to try out for yourself, and always consult a doctor if you are taking certain medications, are pregnant, etc., k? :o)
Alrighty then….. so today’s ingredient focus is a not so popular ingredient but it intrigues me none the less. It’s something I recently incorporated in my hair/health regimen. It’s sea kelp (seaweed)! Yup! That scary looking, smelly stuff from the ocean that washes up on shore lol I was actually debating if this should be considered a “supplement” post since I talk more about the benefits when ingested but this ingredient is definitely found in products that are applied externally… Oh and sorry in advance for the long post lol
There are a bunch of different kinds of sea kelp and they differ depending on geographical locations, etc. but all sea kelp are a form of sea vegetable! Yup, it can be consumed! All the sushi lovers already know this, duh! :o) Sea kelp can be eaten, taken in the form of a supplement, powder and can be found in many cosmetics.
Sea kelp is EXTREMELY high in nutrients that have several benefits for your body, skin and of course…hair! It contains a plethora of vital vitamins and minerals that are essential for healthy hair and growth (very potent too!) Some include B vitamins, vitamin A, C, D, E and around 30 different minerals including magnesium, iodine, folate, iron, zinc, potassium, copper and calcium. I also read that it contains the highest natural concentration of calcium of any food and is 10 times more than milk! That’s pretty impressive if you ask me, who knew! It has also been known that people experiencing hair loss and dry hair often have a deficiency in these vitamins and minerals so it’s important to consider if you are getting enough of these vitamins and minerals in your daily diet! On the contrary, I learned that If you have too much calcium in your diet, it can block absorption of magnesium so it’s important have a balance between the two minerals (that’s why when you buy calcium supplements it almost always contains magnesium also, makes sense now!). Also, people with zinc deficiencies tend to have thin, fine hair, because zinc helps regulate hormones and how the body uses proteins (which all relate to hair growth since our hair is composed primarily of proteins!)
Now since I’ve been talking about the benefits of sea kelp when it is ingested, there are a couple other health benefits which includes weight loss (<—you know that got my attention lol). It’s said that the iodine in sea kelp helps regulate the thyroid gland which controls our bodies metabolism. So I figured, hey, why not lol thyroid problems run in my family (even my dog has a thyroid problem lmao!! and YES for those who care, I have had my thyroid tested and it is normal but perhaps this can give it a boost? hehe).
I also learned that the thyroid hormone, thyroxin, helps regulate how long hair stays in its dormant stage. So the shorter the time the hair is dormant, the faster and longer it grows. This makes a TON of sense because, going back to my dog lol, I realized he had a thyroid problem because he has always had problems with his skin and hair so when I took him to the vet one day, they had a sign on the door that said “Signs your pet may have a thyroid problem” and hair loss, dry flaky skin were all listed as symptoms! So now he has to take meds every day and his hair has drastically improved! I have also seen sea kelp listed in many dog foods and many people actually feed it to their dogs as well!
Sea kelp is also said to help with anti-aging because the iodine is also said to help remove free radicals that accelerate aging in blood cells. This is why so many anti-aging beauty treatments use seaweed and sea kelp. Also, studies have also concluded that the alginates in sea kelp can help reduce fat digestion and absorption!
I want to focus on the iodine and iron real quick, PLEASE be careful with these minerals. Many people who have shellfish allergies is because of the iodine. Also, if you consume too much salt in your diet already, you may want to consider that because most salts already contain iodine and too much of something isn’t always good! Also, since sea kelp contains so many minerals and nutrients in such high quantities, you wouldn’t want them to interact with anything else going on in your body, especially if you are taking meds or have existing health problems. Iron is also known to be toxic if consumed in excessive amounts, so always consult a doctor if you are considering adding something like this your diet!
Alright, so I opted to add sea kelp to my life in two forms: the supplement and the powder form. I bought both of them from VitaCost. I bought the 660mg capsules when they were having a buy 1 get one free sale lol and I have been taking them for about a month down, one capsule daily.
What made me want to start taking the supplement was a friend of mine, who is half-Japanese, mentioned that her mother recommended it because consuming seaweed is a huge part of the Asian culture and they contribute having long, thick healthy hair to eating the seaweed. I debated on actually buying seaweed snacks (Annie Chuns and Trader Joe’s has some) but I just couldn’t bring myself to doing it lol. I can NOT get over the smell lol but hey, some people love the taste and smell! So the supplements work for me, they are a bit stinky but nothing unbearable. I haven’t noticed a HUGE difference or anything as far as my hair goes but I feel like my hair is a bit thicker and stronger. I have also noticed less shedding. If I have any growth, it is most likely due to the Bee Mine Bee Sensitive Hair Serum that I am still using as well. I have seen an improvement in my skin though! My skin has been quite clear and I rarely get pimples like I almost ALWAYS have. As far as weight loss….well….we know diet has a lot to do with that lol. I have in fact started going back to the gym so lets see what happens with that lol I will continue to take these daily, since I have two huge bottles lol, and see what happens as more time passes.
The second form of sea kelp that I have added to my life is the powdered form. I actually bought it for my dog to mix in his food (going back to his skin problem) but he REFUSES to eat it!!! lol it really must be that bad if my lil greedy dog won’t even eat it lol!!! Some people add it to shakes and other foods but again, I just can’t do it. As soon as you open the bag, its like a huge whif of a smelly sea lol. So since I didn’t want the giant 1 lb bag of organic powdered sea kelp to go to waste I figured I would add it to my ayurvedic and clay treatments! And I love it!! I am going to post a treatment I made soon using the powder so I will go more into that in that post but when sea kelp is applied externally, it provides nourishment and strengthens your hair, all those vitamins and minerals are excellent for your hair and scalp! It also helps protect your hair from environmental damage, similar to how clays work in our hair, so it has a detoxifying effect. Sea kelp even has an exfoliating and cell-regeneration effect which is great for the scalp. It also has those wonderful fatty acids which help reduce frizziness, provide moisture, penetrate the hair shaft, enhance softness, are anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral. A couple of products I have heard people use that contain sea kelp are the Jason Pure Natural Soothing Sea Kelp Shampoo and Conditioner (I’ve never tried either yet, someday).
Well, I think I’ve talked enough about sea kelp for now so I’m gonna end this post here lol let me know if any of you use or take sea kelp and how you use it, any results, any good products, etc.!