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Party season is here, and so are our essential dietary tips for helping keeping hair healthy through the weeks of excess ahead.
'Christmas-time, mistletoe and wine' sang the notoriously debauched party animal Sir Cliff Richard while balancing on the office Xerox machine wearing nothing but a wreath of the aforementioned snog-berries and two spilled pints of jagermeister-spiced sangria.
It's time to let our hair down. Some of love to do it in style, some of us just love to do it a lot. But be warned, do nothing to counteract the weeks spent polishing-off most of the prosecco at the Christmas bash and champing down whole boxes of chocolate truffles in front of The Wizard Of Oz, and before you know it you'll really be letting your hair down.
We all know that 'party season' can take its toll on our skin, waistlines, liver and kidneys, but while you'll certainly feel that aching lower back and the pounding inside your head, on the upside of your skull hair remains the silent victim, turning duller, flatter and dryer by the day. And when it comes to 'morning-after' remedies, a large bacon butty with Bloody Mary chaser might feel like they're kick-starting your vital organs, but they won't help lackluster post-party locks one little bit. Instead, consider these nutrient-packed foods, ready to replenish your hair's natural strength and shine while pacifying a heaving stomach and an unquiet mind.
First-off trying settling your insides with a bowl of lentils, not just the comfort food of a whole sub-continent but also a valuable vegetarian source of iron-rich protein, essential for growing healthy hair by producing keratin, the hardened protein that's the very stuff hair is made from. Bell peppers will help the body use non-heme iron (the type found in plants rather than red meat) and they're also rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C is an important antioxidant that will aid hangover recovery - it also produces collagen, a structural fibre that helps hair stay supple. Ditch the greasy fry-up, but do keep the eggs - they're rich in biotin, a B-vitamin that aids hair growth and maintains general scalp health (other biotin rich foods include, almonds, salmon and avocados). Eggs however, also contain an amino acid called cysteine, which helps counter the effects of acetaldehyde, a toxic byproduct of excessive alcohol consumption. When it comes to your perfect non-alcoholic après-party drink, make it coconut water everytime. Alcohol is a diuretic, so dehydration is a major cause of hangover symptoms. Rehydrate with coconut water (preferably before passing out) and you'll swerve the worst of the dry mouth and headache, replenish five of the electrolytes that alcohol depletes, and be drinking a fluid rich in protein and calcium for strong shiny hair. It even contains anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties for warding-off dandruff and scalp infections while your immune system is low!
Couple these dietary hangover hair cures with a quality, moisturising shampoo and conditioner (we recommend products by Redken, Purology, Kerastase or Shu Umera), and your hair should shine like a star this Christmas, even when your eyes still look as red as Rudolph's nose!