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Being Beautiful: In praise of the versatile sunflower

 

David Creel

 

One of the many things my mama and I did to pass the days of my childhood was to meticulously pry open sunflower seeds, licking the salt off the shell first, more often than not sitting side-by-side on her porch swing. Sunflowers are among God's most magnificent flowers, whether towering above all others near a stone wall in the garden or as the stars of a dinner party arranged in a centerpiece to dazzle guests. 

 

Lately, we are discovering more and more about the benefits of sunflower oil for the hair and skin. It seems they aren't just beautiful and tasty after all. Their oil is so much higher in vitamins A, D and E than other oils -- almond, coconut, shea butter -- that we simply must take note. Vitamin E oil helps prevent premature aging from the sun, diminishes scars, and even smooths wrinkles.  

 

The bright yellow blooms circling those imposing brown centers remind me of giant happy faces when I see them along the roadside in some Southerner's garden. I smile back because I know their beauty is not just skin deep. Thanks to omega-6 fatty acids, antioxidants and linoleic acid in the sunflower's oil, you can bid adieu to dry, frizzy and dull hair.  

 

Because of the long shelf life and all of its healing benefits, sunflower oil it is now used in many of your favorite hair and cosmetic products. In the salon, I'm in love with an Italian line by Framesi that has a corrective moisturizing fluid rich in Mediterranean sunflower oil. Apply a few drops and the hair feels like silk. Another amazing line is by Kiehl's and can be used on color-treated tresses: Sunflower Color Preserving shampoo, conditioner and deep recovery treatment. I suggest discussing the possible effects of pure sunflower oil with your doctor before trying it, and just stick to what you find in hair and skin products in the meantime.  

 

Who knew when I was sharing stories with Mama, spitting sunflower seed shells over my shoulder all those years ago, that I would be raving about the sunflower today for a whole different reason. Isn't it nice when nature gives us something that turns out to be perfect in so many different ways?

 

Former Columbus resident David Creel owns Beautiful With David salon in Jackson and has 20 years experience in the beauty industry. Contact him at beautifulwithdavid@gmail.com.

 

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