Hair Health + Big Moves


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Hello from Greenville, South Carolina! I wrote a long post about why I moved and what I'm doing (or think I'm doing) here, but I decided to not post it. Here's the long and the short of it: it was time for a change. Instead of that post, I wanted to write about what I've been doing for my hair health, and better yet my scalp health, lately. 

I think I've always had an itchy, dry scalp. One of my New York co-workers and I have discussed our scalp history at length because we both have the same issue. If I put too much conditioner in or too much oil on, my fine hair becomes an oily mess. Strip too much and my hair is crunchy. The hydration issue is a balance that I don't always seem to get right. 

I've been practicing/utilizing four things consistently for a few months now that I think are making all the difference. While my scalp is still a little dry, the itch has gone down significantly. I'm also not finding as many little white bits at the base of my hair as I used to, hallelujah! 

While this is an on-going experiment, I can tell that this is what is working best now. My hypothyroidism and excessive stress had caused a lot of hair loss over the past 2 years. That on top of an itchy, dry scalp resulted in a self-confidence drop. My hair helps me feel beautiful. It's vain, I know. But there are things, you know, that just make you feel pretty, like a great dress or the perfect eyeliner. My hair felt like a safety net and when it was failing, I felt insecure. While that's probably (definitely) a deeper issue, it feels like my friend is back and healthy and things feel right again. So I'm taking this win, and hoping one, or all, of these steps help you too.

Step 1: MINERALIZE

Hair and scalp health is not just a topical issue. Your scalp is your skin. If there are things happening on the inside, they are coming out. To help get more vitamins and minerals, I've turned to a blend of herbs for an infusion that I try to drink at least once a day. Horsetail, nettle leaf, and oatstraw (with Gotu Kola thrown in occasionally) all provide nutrients key for building strong hair and nails, as well as providing a moistening component to aid in hydration. I use them in equal parts and steep in hot water for at least 10 minutes.

Step 2: PURE SHAMPOO

I have seriously tried so many shampoos and between me and my co-worker we probably tried almost everything on the (affordable) market. I started using Enfleurage's Rosemary & Atlas Cedar Shampoo a few months ago and I honestly couldn't be happier. It's a really clean, herbal-infused shampoo (with all the herbs I've been drinking amazingly). It has a great lather but doesn't seem to be as stripping as a lot of the ones out there. It's not the cheapest option, but it's also not the most expensive one I've tried. And a little can go a long way. It's apparently not available online so here's hoping I can call the store and have them ship it to me!

Step 3: OIL

Pre-shampoo: Sarada Ayurvedic Remedies' Hair Vitality Elixir. For 10 minutes before I shampoo or sometimes hours before I shampoo. I section my scalp into quarters and put about 10 drops in each quarter. Be sure to massage in, but more on that in the next step. 

Post-shampoo: Cocokind Organic Chia Oil. Chamomile infused so it has calming and anti-inflammatory properties. But just a little. Like 3 drops on the tips of your fingers that you spread over your whole scalp. And then massage. 

Step 4: STIMULATE

Perhaps the most important step. Once I get out of the shower and towel my hair off (with a proper hair towel, also important for hair health), I put the chia oil on the tips of my fingers and really massage my scalp. The point here is to stimulate blood flow to help in detoxification, so really get in there. It has also helped increase my hair's volume so added bonus. If you do nothing else, change nothing else in your routine, do this. And then get back to me and let me know how it goes. 

 

What kind of confidence challenges are you experiencing? How are you beginning to overcome them? What are your healthy hair tips?

Golden Milk + The Month of Action


This month is supposed to be a month of action. If you don't use the energy to move, it will move you. There's a lot I want to share with you, but as I don't have things all figured out yet, I'm going to keep it under wraps until I do. Needless to say I'm definitely looking at this summer season as a season of action. Let's put things into motion that we've been waiting to do for far too long. If you want to take that trip, go back to school, end whatever is not serving you, do it now. Sometimes it seems like we wait too long to do the important things, but maybe we just weren't ready. But I'm ready now. Let's go!

If you happened to catch my Instagram stories yesterday, you caught a glimpse at how I make an Ayurvedic beverage called golden milk. It's pretty trendy right now (even Starbucks has a version), but with good reason. Golden milk is a powerhouse of anti-inflammatory properties and warming spices. The important thing to remember when making this drink is the addition of fat and fresh ground pepper. Both help the body more readily absorb the ingredients, especially the turmeric. The recipe below is from my favorite Ayurvedic practitioner in the city, Noël Graupner. She does plenty of workshops in the city so be sure to check out her website if you're interested in learning more!

Golden Milk
2 cups cows milk or alternative (coconut or hemp are best)
1 Tbsp coconut oil or ghee
1 inch ginger, grated
2 inch turmeric, grated (you can use 2 tsp dry here if you don't have fresh)
1 tsp cinnamon
2-3 black peppercorns, ground

optional
1 Tbsp maple syrup or honey
1 tsp nutmeg or cardamom
2-3 dates
*There is also an opportunity here to add in powdered herbs like ashwagandha, shatavari, astragalus ...

In a small sauce pan, add all ingredients and, over medium heat, stir constantly until spices are will integrated into the milk, about 5-7 minutes. You can also chill this and serve iced if it's too hot of a summer day!

Have you tried golden milk before? What's your favorite addition? If you make this recipe, tag me on Instagram @lisammagee!

Changing with the Seasons


 Photography by Alexis Siemons

Photography by Alexis Siemons

If you've met me, you know my love of tea. I don't think I can go even half-a-day without a cup of something. A few months ago, I had the pleasure of meeting one of my favorite tea-obsessed Instagram accounts, Alexis Siemons aka @teaspoonsandpetals. I was over the moon when she agreed to create a recipe to share with all of you!

This matcha tea infused dressing is the perfect way to ring in spring. The changing of the seasons is a great time to change up your diet. Lightening your diet with the addition of spring greens and late winter citrus helps get rid of the winter blues and transition your body into the proper season.

 

 Photography by Alexis Siemons

Photography by Alexis Siemons

Mixed Green Salad with Matcha Dressing 

                  by Alexis Siemons

·      1 teaspoon of Matcha 

·      1 pinch of sea salt

·      1 teaspoon grapeseed oil

·      1. 5 teaspoons honey

·      1 teaspoon water

·      1 cup mixed greens (watercress or arugula recommend for peppery bite that stands up to matcha)

·      1 orange (half to be sliced for salad and other half for 1 teaspoon of juice)

·      2 tablespoons goat cheese (optional)

Add 1 teaspoon of matcha to a small bowl or cup and mix with 1 teaspoon of cold water to make a matcha paste. Mix in 1 teaspoon of grapeseed oil and 2 teaspoons of honey. Slice the orange in half and squeeze a teaspoon of the juice into the small bowl. Add a pinch of sea salt and stir well. Add mixed greens to a salad bowl. Peel the remaining half of the orange, cut into small slices and place over greens. Break goat cheese into small bits and place over greens. Pour matcha dressing over salad and serve immediately. 

 

How are you changing with the seasons? Comment below and be sure to tag me @lisammagee and @teaspoonsandpetals if you try out this recipe!

Free + Native's Tea of the Feminine


If you've been over to my apartment, I've probably offered you some Tea of the Feminine blended by Lacy Phillips of Free + Native. It's one of my favorite teas and I use it regularly during the month to nourish my cycle. I was asked recently what the blend is, so I decided to post here as I merge two different recipes into one. The first recipe is from Free + Native's website and the second is from Claire Ragozzino's Vidya Living though blended by Free + Native. I do a slight variation on this recipe and will sometimes add other herbs that I feel I need at the time. 

Free + Native's Tea of the Feminine (adapted)

1/2 cup Red Raspberry Leaf

1/2 cup Stinging Nettles Leaf

1/2 cup Alfalfa Leaf

1/2 cup Red Clover

2 tbsp Peppermint Leaf

2 tbsp Oatstraw

2 tbsp Lemon Balm

2 tbsp Licorice Root, separated

Optional: Add in 1/2 tsp per cup chamomile or rose for calming and heart opening effects. 

Mix all ingredients except licorice together in a large bowl. Store in a large jar with a label and date. To brew, bring 1.5 cups filtered water to a boil in small saucepan. Add 1/2 tsp (or a little more if you like) to boiling water, lower to a simmer, and cover for 10 minutes. Turn heat off. Add level tablespoon of other blended herbs and steep for an additional 7-10 minutes off the heat with cover on. Strain and enjoy. 

P.S. I haven't added the health benefits of each herb to this recipe because Free + Native does a complete job of explaining on the websites above so I encourage you to head over there to learn more. While these herbs should not contraindicate with any medications, they should also be used slowly, building over time.