Coconuts Oil and Other Cautionary Tales

In the past, I’ve dedicated this blog to share my love for fresh produce, and its connection to optimum health.  As they say, an apple a day can keep the doctor away.. or something like that.  But in my heart of hearts I’m certain that prevention is key and that we all have the power to make simple every day decisions that will ultimately affect us in the long-term. However, eating well has a few more benefits than would be imagined by most people. Meaning; eating well actually has a direct impact on our natural beauty. What we eat effects just how our natural beauty asserts itself. Your diet can directly impact just how clear your skin is, how white or strong your teeth are, and just how strong or healthy your hair appears. This is my life,  I can speak from experience, you can believe that.  The proofs in the pudding.  With that in mind, I’m reminded of a conversation that I had with one of my closest friends, Ceramic artist Delores Hayes (Twitter @Artistdeloresjhayes) .  Delores is a beautiful creative, free spirit (*picture a modern-day flower child) complete with wild, untamed locs. Just the other day we were deep in a conversation about health, wellness, and pottery (weird mix  I know) when she suddenly interrupted me to ask if I had any useful knowledge about what she could do nutritionally to aid in the growth and strengthening of her locs.  “Of course I’m not a hairdresser, ” I said as a disclaimer, “but I could tell you some things that have worked for me”. With that said, I leaned back in my chair, adjusted the phone with one hand, my glasses with the other, and decided I’d  get straight into my Dr. Oz act.  Actually I stopped short of my act and  decided that I’d just refer Delores and my other friends who were curious about such things to really good sources for that  kind of information.  The truth is, a healthy body will produce a healthy head of hair. I can attest to those facts personally, but I think you’d rather hear it from Nikki Walton of Essence Magazines’ CurlyNikki  (@EssenceMag #AskCurlyNikki).  Its understandable that health and beauty secrets are easier to  hear from a woman… I get it she’s prettier, I’m not jealous (*breaks pen, and wipes ink off of face)

Another very special Sista in my life, Rosie Love, ( proprietor of Land of Milk and Honey Natural Hair Care Products takes a very natural approach to her hair care, and it sure shows.  Rosie’s stunning beauty is an embodiment of self-love and also a living testimony to little girls who shed tears at their mothers feet , hoping that the nightmarish combing sessions , will fade away like acid wash jeans… one day.  By some coincidence Ms. Love’s secret to hair care starts on the inside as well.  Like I always say, “health is wealth”.  When I cornered Ms. Love for some hot hair maintenance tips to share with my readers ; two things happened, she bobbed and weaved in hopes that she could avoid a chance to share her hair secrets ( so humble, so beautiful).  And then she gave me a short list of her hair do’s and donts.  ” 1. Keep it simple 2. Keep it protected 3. Like all things in life hair requires balance! The yin and yang of Hair is strength and moisture! 4. Love your hair and it will love you back! AND lastly; 5. Learn YOUR hair!”  In other words, take care of yourself, and your hair and it will yield dividends in the form of gorgeous locs.  Rosie also goes on to mention the importance of eating vegetables/fruit every day, especially dark green leafy and coniferous veggies (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts )*all super foods, and garlic. Ms Love also places a lot of emphasis on drinking plenty of water. The take home message, keep it simple, eat well, and love thyself. To contact Rosie Love of Land of Milk and Honey , email her your natural hair care questions @Info@LOMAH.com .

One day, very very long ago.  I was rescued from hair purgatory myself,  by an angel that bore grace, moisture and unrefined coconut oil (Spectrum brand to be exact-found in most food Co Ops , & Whole Foods) in her bosom …true story.  I was on the doorstep of disaster and contemplated the possibility a life with limp, dry locs.  It was a fate most fatal for a man like myself.  This messenger from some heavenly place in the clouds found me at my lowest, and offered me a solution that literally saved my social life.  She massaged coconut oil in my hair after a luxurious shampoo, and natural conditioner.  I remember in those moments how everything in my life took on a newness, a rejuvenation.  I had been rescued and I would now walk the earth with rich moist, locs. Yours truly was the cats meow, a walking work of art.  And I tell you why, coconut oil is a force to be reckoned with. First of all, a little goes a long way.  It’s as natural a moisturizer as you’re going to get, assuming that you choose a non GMO , extra virgin, unbleached, and basically minimally processed version.  Coconut oil is known as a great moisturizer of sorts. Ms. Rosie Love has coined it ” the efficient humectant”.   In other words it  has the capacity to help draw moisture from the air into our hair. Which makes for a miracle moisturizer in my opinion.  This same wonder moisturizer is said to bind to the protein structures, and reinforce the hair fibers thereby making them stronger.  That just happens to be a very long winded way to say that coconut oil protects our hairs’ moisture content, while strengthening it.  So, with all that said, be cautioned, green veggies, fruit, rest, and coconut oil may be good for your health.

Respectfully Yours,

Chef Will Hall

References:

Kitchens, S. (2013, 09 24). Coconut oil for skin, hair, body: 6 things to know about the super ingredient. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/27/coconut-oil-benefits_n_1625631.html

Laquita, T. (2009, 04 13). Natural hair online support groups. Retrieved from http://www.clutchmagonline.com/2009/04/natural-hair-online-support-groups/

Love, R. (2013, 12 18). Interview by Chef Will Hall []. Coconut oil and other cautionary tales., Retrieved from chefwillhall.wordpress.com

Walton, N. (2012, 10 24). Ask curlynikki: Healthy hair starts within. Retrieved from http://www.essence.com/2012/10/25/ask-curlynikki-healthy-hair-starts-within/

The Black Girl, W. L. H. (2011, 12 21). The benefits of coconut oil. Retrieved from http://blackgirllonghair.com/2011/12/the-benefits-of-coconut-oil/

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