Healing Hair and Skin With a Vegan Lifestyle

People come to the vegan lifestyle for many different reasons. I came to this lifestyle for ethical reasons. However, I cannot deny the healing benefits of a plant-based diet. Adopting a vegan lifestyle can aid in the prevention of various diseases, including cancer. I am not saying that it is a “cure-all”. To put it frankly, if you eat crap, you are going to feel like crap. Here is an article about meat consumption and risk of cancer.

Anyway, I have noticed that a lot of people are interested in eating more whole plant foods because of the skin and hair care benefits. I can say from personal experience, that a vegan lifestyle helps a great amount. Again, you’re not going to get perfect skin all of a sudden because it is not a quick fix. But changing my lifestyle has gradually helped with my hair and skin. I didn’t have pimples very often when I was in high school. Apparently, I was a late bloomer because I starting getting acne in college. As for my hair, it has always been really healthy and thick; but it was never very shiny or smooth. I see a lot of misinformation going around regarding skin care/hair care and I wanted to share my perspective on the subject (consult a dermatologist/physician for serious concerns).

Healthy fats are so important! Healthy fats have essential fatty acids. They have Omega-3 and Omega-6, which are vital for skin and hair production as well as hormone regulation and just general health. A complaint I hear from people trying a plant-based diet is that their skin is very dry. This is probably because they are not eating enough fats. It could also just be a transitional period. Any time you change your diet, your skin and hair might be affected for a few weeks. Don’t let this deter you. In the long run, your hair will be healthier looking and your skin will start to clear up. Chia seeds, flax seeds, avocados, hemp seeds, nuts, and nut butters are good vegan sources of healthy fats. Looking past the cruelty of fish and fish oil, I don’t think these are good sources of healthy fats even for those not following a vegan/plant based diet. I think this because the research is inconclusive regarding fish oil. Fish also contain high levels of heavy metals (not just mercury) and fecal matter. Here is a scholarly article explaining essential fatty acids.

Ditch the products! Some people think that all acne is food related and others believe it has nothing to do with food. I fall somewhere in the middle. Skin related issues can be caused by hereditary, hormonal, lifestyle, and environmental factors. In my opinion, you do not need so many products on your face or your hair. If you are a beauty guru, then I understand that you need products at times. But your hair and skin also needs a break. When I stopped putting so many layers of products on my face, my skin got significantly better. My pores weren’t so large and I didn’t get breakouts of small bumps. I am not just referring to makeup. Heavy moisturizers with fragrance will irritate your skin and constantly using dry shampoos and harsh shampoos can irritate your scalp. I usually use a simple cleanser and moisturizer on my face. I don’t use eye creams, serums, or tons of benzoyl peroxide. For my hair, I only use shampoo and I put a leave-in conditioner on when my hair is damp. I don’t use a conditioner in the shower because it is irritating to my skin and just weighs down my hair. I had seborrheic dermatitis briefly, which caused red patches on my scalp and it got significantly better when I used fewer products.

Nature’s Gate Products and Beauty Without Cruelty are good vegan options. I wouldn’t go overboard with these products though because they have essential oils and some people have sensitivities to those.

Strive for balance! I try to do this in all aspects of my life (not always successfully). Don’t stress too much, drink water, eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full, and stay active semi-regularly. Take the stairs and eat your vegetables. Maintaining balance and a healthy lifestyle will surely improve your hair/skin.

I hope this post was useful. Small changes can improve your hair and skin health. Veganism isn’t a “fix-all”, but it has many benefits. I included reliable articles in this post, however, you should consult a medical professional before making big lifestyle changes.


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