HEALTH & BALANCE

Helping you live a healthy happy life


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THE BENEFITS OF COCONUT OIL FOR THE HAIR

Cleopatra Secret BeautyCoconut oil has been used for centuries and is the beauty secret of the gorgeous Cleopatra and Nefertiti. One of the oils main applications is for hair treatment. Research shows that the ancient oil is superior to all mineral oils for rebuilding hair proteins. Coconut oil has the power to soften the hair and smooth the cuticles which adds shine and a healthy look to even the most damaged hair. Moreover, you also get the added bonus of having an antimicrobial for your scalp as the oil controls the fungus responsible for dandruff. However, here is the tricky part – how can we can all the benefits of coconut oil? Can we trust the label with the big coconut picture and the model with the glowing hair from the advert? Do the hair products on the market contain enough oil to nourish the hair? Sadly, the answer is ‘No’. The best and safest way to get the full coconut hair power is to use the oil on its  own in its unrefined virgin organic version which guarantees the preservation of all vital nutrients. Today, I will give you a few examples of how to apply it to your hair.

Unrefined, organic coconut oil is thick and semi-solid at cool room temperatures and hence should be warmed to melt before application. You can do this by putting 1 tbs in a glass which you then place in a bowl of boiling water. Do not use the microwave.coconut hairmasksWhat’s in for the hair?

1. Thickening and Protection – the oil is completely absorbed by the hair, making it look thicker while also protecting it from the harsh environmental damage as it reduces the fiber swelling of the hair.

2. Fights hair loss and gives shine –  it helps the hair retain its proteins that are normally lost in damaged hair. It also locks in moisture, giving you a stronger, healthier and silkier-looking hair.

3. Removes dandruff – its antibacterial properties look after the scalp’s health, protecting it from infections that can cause itching and weak dry hair.

4. Total hair & scalp health – Vitamins E and K are found in coconut oil which help nourish the hair and boost its health and shine. Massaging it into the scalp enables the hair follicles to absorb these nutrients, whilst stimulating blood circulation which prevents the building-up of dry skin – another cause of dandruff.How to use coconut oil homemade hairmasksHow to use it?

1. Hair conditioner

Use 1-2 tbs after you shampoo the hair instead of your commercial conditioner. Leave for a few minutes and then rinse well. Do not massage too much in the scalp to avoid greasy results.

2. Hair treatment

For damaged hair you can do a deep conditioning treatment. Mix 1tbs of honey, 1 egg and 3 tablespoons of coconut oil. Massage on the hair and leave for a few hours. Put a warm towel around and then rinse well. My favourite ‘quick and easy’ recipe is to mix 2 tbs coconut oil with 1 tbs shea butter and 2tbs argan oil. You can adjust the mix depending on your hair length. I apply it on dry hair (both roots and ends) and then sleep with the mask for deep conditioning. This makes shampooing very easy the next day and you may not even need a conditioner.

You can also take a 2-3 tbs of coconut oil and put it on your dry ends for a few hours. You will feel the moisture straight away.

If you have any left, just apply it to the skin. Coconut oil is a great overnight moisturizer for deep nourishing of the skin while you are sleeping. Remove it with rose water or your morning tonic the next day.

The best part…the smell! For all coconut lovers…you feel transported to paradise once you have it on. Give it a try:).

With health & balance,

Maya xxx

 

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TOP HEALTH BENEFITS OF BAMBOO

the benefits of green bamboo The highest grass on Earth…grows a meter per day…heavily used in the production of furniture, buildings, clothes, bed sheets, cosmetics…panda’s favourite food…and many more. It looks like everything can be made of bamboo…from a house to a pillow. This little gem plant caught my attention this week and I decided to dig deep and reveal the healthy benefits of bamboo and how we can take advantage of this good grass.

In the East, people believe that the plant represents the path toward the sky and knowledge. With bamboo knives people used to cut baby’s umbilical cord, along with leaving bamboo sticks in people’s coffins. The plant is considered a symbol of health, longevity, agility and honesty. Bamboo bents, but never break. People believe in its miraculous power and energy giving properties – it grows high as it acts as a bridge between the sky and the earth. Bamboo also diverts evil and is believed to protect the whole family from troubles.skin benefits of bambooHowever, bamboo also fights dry and damaged hair. It is rich in vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B, calcium, iron, cellulose, silicon and protein. It is widely used in hair cosmetics as it hydrates and softens the scalp. Due to its protein content, it helps maintain hair’s own moisture, repairing damaged cells. Bamboo also stimulates the production of collagen, making the hair look healthier, softer with a nice volume texture. It enhances the cleaning of the scalp as the protein, silicon and natural occurring oils penetrate underneath to recover the level of mineral salts that give elasticity and strength to even the most damaged hair. Bamboo hair therapies are very popular in the beauty saloons today so make sure you inquire about them next time you visit your hairdresser.

Its miraculous power extends to the skin as well. Its anti-aging properties come from the high content of silicon, which stimulates the production of hyaluronan and skin fibres that replenish the skin’s elasticity, speeding the healing of any wounds. As a bonus bamboo containing creames also strengthen the nails. The bamboo extract is vital for skin hydration while its antibacterial and antioxidant properties can refresh the tired skin and improve the blood circulation. Thus, having bamboo in your skincare products will ensure that your skin is protected from free radicals and the harmful environmental damage.the massage benefits of bambooAnother popular application is the bamboo massage. In China, people use bamboo sticks to release stress and relax the body. The sticks are very gentle to the skin and the massage involves rolling the sticks down the back or using them to create vacuum which resembles the cupping therapy from the Chinese ancient medicine. This improves blood circulation and its very effective against cellulite and feet problems. The massage also improves the metabolism and the detoxification of the body. According to the Chinese, this is the best way to replenish energy, recover the muscles and lose weight. It’s not recommended only for pregnant women.

bamboo plant

That’s the brief story of this powerful plant. It seems like having it at home will do you much good, so next time you are out shopping for your hair and skincare products, look for bamboo extracts. Many shops sell the plant itself, so why not growing it at home too – what a privilege to possess the bridge between the sky and the earth?! The symbol of health and longevity?! At least all the evil will stay away from your home:).

With health & balance,

Maya xxx

 


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EASY HOMEMADE HAIR MASKS

homemade hair maskWhen it comes to my hair, I follow the same rules as I do for my skin care – the more natural, the better. With the stress we live in and the rapidly changing weather conditions,  our hair is often exposed to harsh external damage which can make it look dull and dry and in some causes even falling out. Faced with these challenges, I discovered the rejuvenation power of natural hair masks that can not only improve the structure of your hair but also bring back its shine and soft touch. My recipes are easy to make, affordable and do not require much of your time. There is only one ‘concern’ to bear in mind – protect your clothes and do not follow the temptation to have a taste – this is hair food:).

1. Beer treat for strong hair

Mix 2 tablespoons of beer with an egg and massage onto wet hair. Leave for 20-30 minutes and then rinse off and shampoo as usual. This will give back strength to tired hair. Don’t worry your hair won’t get drunk from this amount:) In fact, the barley from the beer will nourish the roots while the egg will make the ends shine. This mask is also brilliant for brunettes as the beer ingredients highlight the brown shades.

2. Honey sweetness for glossy hair

Stir 4 glasses of warm water and 1 tablespoon of honey melt. It is a leave-in lotion after shampooing that would give your hair great shine. If you are blonde you can add some lemon to enrich your highlights.

If you want to further nourish the hair you can also mix 3 tablespoons of honey and 5 teaspoons of olive oil or almond oil and lightly massage the ends first and then the rest of your hair. You can also add 2 tablespoons of yoghurt. Wrap your hair up in a hot wet towel and wait for 30 minutes. You then rinse off and shampoo with warm water.

homemade hairmasks recipes

 3. Nutritional food for dry and dehydrated hair

Mix 1 teaspoon of olive oil, 1/2 banana, 1 egg yolk and 3 avocados. For best results, try your kitchen blender.

Massage roots to ends and leave for 60 minutes using a hot towel around them. Rinse off and shampoo as usual.

You can repeat 2-3 times a week for unbelievable silky hair.

4. Juicy Lemonade for extra shine

For shiny hair you can also squeeze out half a lemon in 4 glasses of water and 2 tablespoons of apple vinegar. Use after shampooing, wet your hair with that “lemonade” and leave for 5 minutes before rinsing it off. If you remove the vinegar, you can make this your daily shine spray by pouring the mix into an old empty bottle with a spray mechanism.

5. Hair Fiesta

You will need to blend 4 teaspoons of sunflower oil, 1/2 avocado, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, 1 egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of yoghurt.

Spread this well in dry hair, get a hot towel around and leave for 30 minutes or even overnight. The hair will be fully rejuvenated and will give you a well-deserved shine.

6. Stop the naughty split ends

Mix 1 teaspoon of honey, an egg yolk and 2 teaspoons of olive oil and spread on the ends carefully. Leave it for about half an hour and then shampoo as usual. Even better results if you use aluminium foil around ends.

As you can see the majority of masks require at least 20 minutes and wrapping a hot towel around them speeds up the rejuvenation process. For best results, I even leave the mask for longer – it is all natural, so rest assured – no damage to the hair. Give them a try for a few weeks and see the results yourselves. Your hair will thank you for this effort:)

With health & balance,

Maya xxx