I’m Vegan, Paleo, Vegetarian, Gluten Free and my Hair Looks Like Sh*t

My son "wearing" my hair
My son “wearing” my hair

Am I a vegan? Yes, I am for one or two meals a day. I have a green juice for breakfast and I usually have some type of plant based meal for lunch.

Am I Paleo? Kind of. I do adhere to their “no grains” idea quite a bit, but I like quinoa and buckwheat sometimes. I really don’t eat a lot of meat. If I do, I’m embarrassingly obnoxious. I have to know how it lived and died. I buy my eggs from a place that has a “chicken cam” so I can see the chickens frolicking on the farm. Have you seen the clip from Portlandia where Fred Armisen’s character wants a full report on the chicken he is about to order from the restaurant? He ends up leaving to go visit the farm where the chicken was raised before he orders. I will post it at the end of this blog.

Am I a vegetarian? Yep, this is how I am for the majority of my meals.

Am I gluten free? I am a lot of the time but not 100%. I try to avoid glutens. Glutens are nasty, gluey (hence the name) little proteins found in wheat, rye and barley. They can wreak havoc on your intestines, make it hard to absorb nutrients and may contribute to lots of health problems. Why are so many people today suffering from Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity? The wheat we eat today is very different from years ago due to hybridization. Plus, gluten is in MOST processed foods. 90% of the food Americans buy is processed.

As you have gathered by now, I am not into labeling myself as one thing or another. I am doing my own thing. That “thing” is trying to have a normal relationship with real, homemade foods that are heavily plant based. I get into trouble when I say that I only eat this or that and I can’t treat myself to things that make me happy.

This past year and a half is the first time that I can remember not being on a diet. My mother was always on a diet, subsisting on Tab (olden day Diet Coke), cigarettes and meat ; she was on the Atkins diet (olden day no carbs diet).  She was skinny, I’ll give her that. I was not skinny, therefore, I was on the Atkins diet at age 7. I remember eating bologna for breakfast, a quarter pounder for lunch – no bun, no fries and probably steak for dinner with vegetables and lots and lots of diet soda. I shudder to think about this.

My mother was never mean about it, but that was her example and that’s how we ate. Sometimes I got really thin, sometimes I got really chunky. I always thought that I was fat and I always tried to starve or punish myself in some form or another. I did low fat, no fat, fad diets, you name it. I always viewed food as something to be feared.  I couldn’t understand how someone so conscientious about food could always be battling ten pounds.

When I found out about GMOs a few years ago and began delving deeper, I realized all the packaged “diet” foods were keeping those pounds on me and would eventually make me sick.  As I’ve said before, if food has to have a claim on the package, you don’t want it. Broccoli does not come with a fancy package that tells you why you should eat it.

Speaking of claims, don’t think because the FDA approved it that it’s safe.  Think gluteny wheat, Aspartame, GMOs, toxic cosmetics, medicines that get recalled etc. I want you to understand that the FDA does not conduct independent research. It simply looks at the research that the company that is seeking approval has given to them. Of course these companies would never give them doctored studies.

And last but not least, does my hair look like SH*t? Apparently so, according to my hair stylist who never lies to me. I was regaling her with tales of my non-toxic beauty products, including my new shampoo, conditioner and hair gel. To which she replied, “Yeah and your hair looks like shit.”

No, she was not trying to sell me products. I never bought her salon’s products and she and I go way back. We are in a monogamous relationship (well I cheated on her once, but that’s another story). I am sticking with The Honest Company’s shampoo because I am sold on their ingredients. For the time being I went running back to my old Aussie Moist conditioner because I was at a loss and I’m a little vain about my hair (I’m a Leo, it’s my mane). Does anyone have a good suggestion for a non-toxic conditioner that won’t make my hair look terrible?

And so it has taken me many paragraphs to come to the point. It’s all about a healthy balance. I have to balance my health, my happiness and I’m embarrassed to admit, my appearance. So for now, I am a vegan, paleo, vegetarian, gluten free person whose hair is back to normal and slightly toxic.

Portlandia  “chicken” clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErRHJlE4PGI

Author: Lauren

Plant-based educator and speaker

16 thoughts on “I’m Vegan, Paleo, Vegetarian, Gluten Free and my Hair Looks Like Sh*t”

  1. Wow I can’t believe you wrote this I had a similar experience. I never eat meat only seafood, try to do gluten free, low glycemic, soy free, dairy free, the works. That is a whole other story in and of itself but my hair dresser told me the same thing and she said she doesn’t think it is my actual hair just the product but I will only use natural products but none of them make my hair look good. So frustrated:/

    1. Did you see the comment from the Nettle Patch? That might be a good option. I have to say since I went back to my slightly toxic conditioner, my hair is back to normal. I know I can’t keep using it so I’m on the prowl for something good. That is interesting that your hair dresser thinks it is not your products. How can those of us who truly nourish ourselves be the ones with icky hair?

      1. No I did not… but yes I agree I feel like the better I eat and more kind products I use the worse my hair looks. If you find a healthy alternative let us all know! Also I looked into doing the now popular baking soda and vinegar thing but apparently the pH difference is very bad for your hair.

  2. Hi Lauren, Thanks for following my blog. It seems like our food philosophy is quiet similar. I learned to use natural products for everything and I can really recommend you using coconut oil as a hair mask once a week, it works! Almond oil is good too, but coconut oil is amazing. Also, do you eat enough fats? I had quite dry hair some years ago, and started to incorporate more healthy fats in my diet and used coconut oil as a hair mask on a weekly basis, and it worked for me. My hair got softer and shinier.

  3. The best natural serum to use is pure coconut oil. It stops the dryness and brings back shine, and you don’t need a lot.

    you could try a brand called naked body care for a good brand but I’m not sure if they are international?
    John masters organics are fab too.
    f.a.s.t parade free version is great if you want to speed up your growth. It’s a little expensive but it works i use it most days.

    i agree about the biotin, it’s worth the investment, maybe try a complete b complex and sea kelp… The iodine in that should help.

    I struggle with the same problem mine looks so thin without the cake chemical laden mouses etc… :/ I hope you find a good one!

    Thanks for my follow 🙂 xx

    I agree with the comments below

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