By Donna Gates, as seen on:

One of the best ways to express self-love is to give yourself exactly what you need to SHINE—from the inside out!

While there are many hair care products in the salon, they all do something similar. They all approach healthy hair from the outside, rather than giving the body the building blocks that needs to produce beautiful hair.

How quickly you age, the texture of your skin, and the strength of your hair are all external barometers of what is going on inside the body.

When we are hard on ourselves—physically, mentally, or emotionally—it shows. From acne to dark circles under the eyes and thinning hair. While figuring out what is best for you (and the planet) isn’t always easy, it can be surprisingly simple.

For many years I cycled through prescription after prescription in an attempt to ease my skin, digestive, and immune issues. Most of us have struggled with brittle hair or hair loss when our health is out of balance.

Introspection was a key step in my healing process. Learning to love and forgive others as well as myself was not always easy, but imperative.

These are the steps I found to help me shine:

1. Love: It starts with Love. Self-love. Love for others. Love for the earth that nourishes you. And deep, deep love for every cell that carries you though life.

2. Enjoy Eggs Yolks, Liver, and Fermented Foods. Frequently: Eggs and liver (from organically-fed and pastured animals, of course) are excellent sources of a nutrient called biotin.

Biotin, sometimes known as vitamin H, is B-complex vitamin B7.

When the body is missing biotin, we sometimes see brittle hair and nails. And a severe deficiency? That can mean hair loss.

The good bacteria in your digestive tract also naturally produce biotin.

The problem is that sometimes the balance of good bacteria is thrown off. Fermented foods—like sauerkraut and homemade kefir—restore balance and support thriving communities of good bacteria in the digestive tract.

3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids Are Essential: Omega-3 fats are found naturally in oily, coldwater fish—and their eggs. Vegetarian sources include chia seeds and a fermented spirulina.

Without enough omega-3 fats in the diet, the scalp grows dry and hair begins to dull.

Omega-3 fats also affect out hormones. Including the production of thyroid hormones.

In order to have healthy hormones, your body depends on steady supply of healthy fats. Omega-3 fatty acids are one fat that most of us do not get enough of.

What’s the solution?

Keep it simple and take small steps. Whenever possible, get your nutrients from food rather than from a vitamin.

For example, enjoy sushi for lunch (or dinner) and don’t forget to order the salmon, mackerel, or salmon roe—they are all rich in omega-3 fats.

If you would rather get your omega-3 fats from somewhere else, remember that chia, flax, and fermented spirulina are also an excellent source of omega-3 fats. And all three are delicious when sprinkled over a salad!

What have I missed?

What do you do for your hair that doesn’t involve hair care products or salon treatments?

Let me know in the comments below!

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