It’s nice to be beyond the love/hate relationship I had with my hair when I was a teenager (I wanted to say “young lady”, but no, I was a “teenager”). My naturally wavy hair eagerly curled up with perms…until a month later when I was sick of scrunching and wanted to iron it all back out flat. It took for-ever to grow my hair out, and then….I would whack it all off into a bob that never looked quite right no matter how wonderful it was *supposed* to look when I played with holding my long hair up into one in the mirror. And then I began to turn gray in my twenties.
I think it was in the midst of raising babies and keeping a home that I finally decided that I was going to let my hair be just that: my hair. I let it all go naturally gray in my thirties, partly because the idea of dumping chemicals onto my head that would seep into my scalp was distasteful to say the least. I also just didn’t have the inclination to color it; I thought it looked fine and so did my husband. The rest of the world, however, thought I ought to color and so I finally did (yes, I’m that weak). And yes, I look a lot younger, but I must confess that I only dye the top in a semi-permanent and the rest of my hair underneath is in its natural glory because I am certain I will go au natural at some point again.
The dye I use is a natural and organic product. I feel that if my skin is my largest organ, what I feed it ought to be, well, edible. Besides, it’s nice to hang out for 90 minutes in a salon and not feel like I’m gasping for fresh air when I leave.
At home, I’ve been using a shampoo bar for years. There are a lot of different kinds, but I use a Liggett bar, mainly because it’s the only one I’ve ever tried, and it works great. The advantages of using a shampoo bar are numerous. One, it’s cheap and there is hardly any container waste. Two, it just plain works and lasts a long time. Three, there is no need to use a conditioner afterwards because the bar does not strip the natural oils from my hair. I haven’t used a conditioner in years, and my hair is very soft. In fact, when I do use a “regular” shampoo, my hair not only needs a conditioner to detangle it all, but my hair feels greasy within a day. If you decide to make the switch, know that it will take a few days to get the other shampoo crud out of your hair.
One thing I do like to use after using the bar is a hair rinse. It’s not really necessary, but I like how it smooths the hair follicles down and adds softness and shine. Yes, I know a conditioner is supposed to do the same thing, but this doesn’t weigh down my hair or add weird things to it. Plus, it’s cheap to make:
Put 4 cups of boiling water into a large jar. Add 2TB of whatever herb you like, and steep covered for 30 minutes. I like to use rosemary, which is nice for dark hair. Chamomile is great for blond hair. You can choose your own flavor! After straining out the herb, add 4TB apple cider vinegar. Basically, it’s 1TB-1/4cup of ACV to a cup of water (plain or herb).
That’s it! I keep my rinse in a squirt bottle, and put it in my hair after rinsing out my shampoo. Rinse it all away with slightly cool water, and I’m done!
I rarely use any product in my hair; it just weighs it down. I’ve found a nice cut that works with my natural wave, so I don’t feel like I have to fight with my hair every morning. As if I would have time to do that! There’s something wonderful about accepting my hair as it is.
I never use a brush on wet hair; it would just rip my hair. I use a large toothed comb, and avoid using a hair dryer as much as possible. I think it is worth the money to invest in a nice brush. A good brush feels good in my hand and makes my hair look luxurious and shiny, and my scalp feels wonderfully massaged. I have no problem replacing my hairbrush once a year; I figure I saved enough money on shampoo and conditioner to justify it 🙂
I will say that if you want really nice hair, then you need to feed your body right and drink plenty of water. Your hair, nails, skin and teeth are expressions of what’s going on with the rest of your body; don’t starve them of needed nutrients!
You have a natural beauty! Enjoy it!