It was around this time last year when I wrote the article, “Let's Gain An Inch A Month Of Hair Growth 'Til December, Shall We?”. What I forgot to do was circle back around and ask everyone how they did. So…how’d it go? Did you gain at least 3-4 inches that you may have been shooting for? If not, there is certainly no time like the present to try and make a few hair miracles happen.
One really easy way to do that is to add a few of the drinks that I’m about to share with you on your grocery list. Because, as you’re about to see in just a sec, not only can they help your hair to truly flourish, they’re really good for your health in a myriad of other ways too. You ready to sip on 10 great suggestions?
1. Coconut Water
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Something that’s cool about coconut water is, even though it is made up of 94 percent water, it still has a fair amount of potassium in it, along with some traces of magnesium and calcium too. Not only that but it contains antioxidants which are really good for your immune system. Some other benefits that come with this particular drink are it can help to lower blood sugar levels in diabetic individuals, can help to reduce the development of kidney stones (by increasing urination which removes potassium, chloride, and citrate buildup), supports your heart health, gives you more energy and, it can even replenish electrolytes after exercise.
What makes coconut water outstanding as far as your hair is concerned is the fact that consuming it can help to renew cellular hair growth from the inside out. Also, the amino acids in the water can make your hair stronger and, if you rinse your hair with it, coconut water has the ability to increase blood circulation to your scalp, so that your strands are able to become stronger as a direct result.
2. Aloe Vera Juice
Now I’ll be honest with you — there is nothing so thrilling about the taste of Aloe vera juice that it will make you want to down it on a daily basis. However, if you mix it in with another drink or add it to a smoothie, you’ll barely be able to taste it and you’ll still be able to get all of the benefits that come with consuming it. That said, Aloe vera juice is good for you because it helps to detox your body, and hydrate your system and, vitamins B, C, E, and folic acid can help to keep your skin radiant and glowing. Something else worth taking note of when it comes to Aloe vera juice is the properties in it are good at preventing plaque from forming which makes it awesome when it comes to maintaining good oral health.
And what does it do for your tresses? Drinking it can help to moisturize your hair from the inside out. It also can help you to retain hair length and, if you apply a bit of Aloe vera juice to your scalp, it can relieve itching, almost instantaneously (in most cases). Oh, and a lot of people enjoy using Aloe vera juice or gel as a pre-poo on wash days as well.
3. Guava Juice
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If there’s one juice on this list that is pretty unsung, it would have to be guava juice. The reason why I say that is because its benefits are kinda close to being endless! Aside from being a good source of vitamins A, C, and E, along with folate, magnesium, dietary fiber and so much more, guava juice has a great reputation when it comes to strengthening your immunity, improving your vision, providing your system with anti-aging properties, boosting brain power and giving your skin a natural radiant glow.
And why is guava juice awesome when it comes to your hair? Thanks to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties, it helps to keep your scalp healthy. Plus, the Vitamin C in it helps to trigger collagen production, so that your hair has more elasticity to it, which reduces its chance of breakage (which helps you to maintain length retention).
4. Peppermint Tea
Growing up, there was quite a bit of tea in my house which is probably why I’m always down for a piping hot cup of herbal tea with some honey in it, to this day. When it comes to tea, probably one of the most popular kinds is peppermint tea, and with good reason. Peppermint tea contains properties that are able to reduce headache and migraine tension, unclog sinuses, give you an energy boost, relieve menstrual cramps and fight off bacterial infections. Yeah, peppermint tea is all of the things.
What makes it so good for your hair is the fact that the menthol in the tea helps to soothe your blood vessels while also stimulating blood circulation so that your hair follicles are able to receive the nutrients that they need. As a direct result, your hair strands are able to become stronger and thicker. How cool is that?
5. Carrot Juice
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I don’t think I’ve ever had carrot juice on its own. I have had a carrot and apple blend that was pretty bomb, though, so if you’ve never had it before, don’t be afraid to “mix it up” with another favorite juice flavor. Anyway, carrot juice is beneficial thanks to the protein, fiber, vitamins A, C, K, and potassium in it. You’ve probably heard that carrots are good for maintaining your vision and that is absolutely the truth. Carrots are also good for you because they help to boost immunity, control your blood sugar levels and, keep heart disease at bay.
Another great thing about carrot juice is it contains a really high amount of beta-carotene. That’s awesome because, when it’s digested, it turns into Vitamin A and that’s a vitamin that helps to protect your skin from damaging UV rays. Another thing is that the Vitamin C in carrot juice helps to slow down your skin’s aging process too. As far as your hair goes, the nutrients in carrots can help to prevent hair loss. Also, if you consume carrot juice on a regular basis, it can improve the quality of your hair while giving it a natural sheen in the process.
6. Apple Juice
If you’ve got a little bit of constipation going on, something that can definitely help you out is an apple; that’s probably because it reportedly has about four grams of fiber per serving in it. Other nutrients that are found in this very popular fruit include a fair amount of Vitamin C along with some traces of potassium, manganese, copper, and vitamins B12 and K. All of these work together in order to protect your heart, lower your diabetes risk, maintain your gut health, fight asthma and even help to prevent cancer cells from forming.
One of the best things about apples is they have a way of maintaining the pH balance of your scalp. This is a good thing because when your scalp is healthy, that means less scalp itching and irritation and less dandruff too. Some people are actually big fans of rinsing their hair in 100 percent pure apple juice on wash days because the antioxidants in it are able to strengthen your hair (and scalp) from the outside in. Just make sure that it’s 100 pure and organic juice; not the sugary cocktail kind.
7. Ginger Tea
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A particular kind of tea that I enjoy is ginger tea. I think it’s because I like a nice spicy flavor and ginger certainly provides that. Ginger tea is dope, in part, thanks to its super potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It’s great for treating nausea (including the kind that is related to morning sickness and motion sickness), lowering blood sugar levels, decreasing the risk of heart disease, reducing menstrual discomfort and, it helps to relieve chronic indigestion too.
Hair-wise, ginger tea is that one because it helps to increase blood circulation to your scalp and restore moisture loss which is good to know if you are someone who has low porosity hair. Ginger tea is also great for your hair due to its antimicrobial and antiseptic properties that can help to fight off dandruff and other forms of scalp irritation.
8. Tomato Juice
If Bloody Marys are your thing, then you’ll be glad to know about this. Protein, fiber, vitamins A, B, and C along with potassium and antioxidants are just some of the reasons why drinking this kind of fruit (yes, fruit) juice is so good for you. Aside from the fact that tomato juice helps to reduce the risk of heart disease and skin cancer, it’s also helpful because it aids in digestion, lowers cholesterol levels, helps to regulate bowel movements, detoxifies your system, and is a great source of energy.
Since tomato juice has iron in it, it helps to strengthen your hair and reduce shedding. And, if you apply it as a rinse to your hair after shampooing it, it can relieve itchiness and dryness, so that your scalp is able to thrive.
9. Berry Smoothie
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There is nothing like a bowl of fresh berries, boy. Health-wise, they’re good for you because they are full of antioxidants, fiber, manganese, and vitamins B, C, and K. Some other perks include the fact that berries help to lower cholesterol levels, fight pre-cancer cells, reduce inflammation, improve blood sugar levels and, they can also keep free radicals from damaging your skin.
And why would an all-natural berry smoothie be oh so very good for your hair? Vitamin B provides oxygen to your hair follicles so that your strands are strong and premature grey is delayed. Vitamin C increases blood circulation to your follicles (so that they are able to get more of the nutrients that they need). The antioxidants keep free radicals from weakening your hair. What a delicious way to keep your hair on point.
Somewhere between 60-65 percent of our system is made up of water, so it truly can’t be said enough that we need to drink it on a daily basis. The reasons why are never-ending. Water helps to bring oxygen (and therefore nutrients) to your body’s cells, detoxes your system, makes it easier to digest your food, supports your joints, regulates your body temperature, stabilizes your body pressure, and hydrates you from the inside out.
That last point is why drinking water is so good for your hair. When your hair has moisture in it, that reduces its chance of becoming dry and brittle, getting split ends, and being hard to manage. That’s why it’s so important to get no less than 6-8 glasses in, no matter what. Your hair will thank you. The rest of you will too!
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Russell and Nina Westbrook are one of those low-key, unproblematic couples we don’t talk about enough. They met in college and got married in 2015. They also have a beautiful family with three kids. While Russell is an NBA star, Nina is a licensed family and marriage therapist and a mental health advocate.
She recently launched the podcast The Relationship Chronicles with Nina Westbrook, and in the latest episode, she had none other than her husband on as a guest. The college sweethearts dived into important topics from marriage to children and how they navigate it all.
One of the topics they touched on was dealing with resentment in your relationship. The former MVP highlighted the sacrifices his wife has had to make in order for him to pursue a career in the NBA, and that’s why it’s also important for him to support his wife whenever he can.
“For me is respecting and understanding what your partner do and the time it takes,” Russell said. “Not kind of downplaying what they do, understanding the time and energy and effort they're doing to make sure whether it’s their job or making sure home is taken care of, and understanding that, I think that is the challenge of not being resentful.”
Nina agreed and also shared her thoughts on resentment. According to her, one of the best things couples should do is have their own identity and passions outside of the relationship in an effort to be fulfilled.
“I also think that when you’re in a relationship, that’s why it’s so important that each individual kinda pursue their own passions and follow their own dreams as I feel like it only becomes or leads to resentment when one person is not feeling fulfilled in what they're doing in their lives,” she explained.
“And so, they will start to look at the other partner who’s happy or excelling or promoting or moving along in their journey, then they’re left feeling stuck like they sacrificed themselves, their happiness, their career, their future and have not pursued it in the name of the relationship or their partner. So, it’s so much easier to avoid those feelings of resentment when you’re each equally pursuing your passions.”
The couple has many passions that they work on together and separately. Outside of basketball and his family, Russell has become known for his eclectic style and started the fashion brand Honor The Gift. Nina has her podcast, and she also started the mental health website Bene. Together, they run the Why Not? Foundation, which works with kids in underserved communities.
“I’m a firm believer that one person can’t be everything to you, so you have to sort of seek out those different friendships or groups or hobbies or activities that help to fulfill you,” Nina concluded.
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