We can worry about every little toxin in our hair care products or judge ourselves for being cruel using a product that was tested on animals, but at the end of the day we must give back to ourselves.
I think that was the most important lesson I learned from nursing my hair back to health. We all take things for granted. My long straight hair was something I never gave a second thought until I didn’t have it.
As a child, my hair was blond but as I grew older it darkened. That’s when the trouble began. I refused to accept the change so I started highlighting my hair. Then once it got lighter I wanted to create an edgier look and I added lowlights. This ongoing layer upon layer of color continued throughout my 20s.
Through a series of chemical processes, caloric restriction, intense work schedule and an equally intense workout regimen, I became physically, emotionally and spiritually depleted.
The shiny long tresses that I took for granted brittled, became thin and frizzy as a result of my quest for unattainable perfection. It all started with good intentions but now I was not happy and it showed.
If I was to recover my hair, I had to stop coloring it. At the time, being a brunette seemed unbearable. So with the same vigor that went on my quest to attain the perfect shade of chemical blonde, I began my crusade to recover my hair.
I researched every remedy I could find but after the damage I had done to my hair, I didn’t trust products on the market. I had to make them myself.
I had to start from the roots up. My scalp was dry and flakey not only harsh chemicals but from lack of proper nutrients so I made an exfoliation treatment:
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 heaping teaspoon olive oil
juice of 1/2 half of a fresh lemon
Before I washed my I hair, I got it wet and applied the mixture on my scalp, slowly massaging with circular motion to stimulate my hair follicles and sloth away dead skin. After a good 5-minute massage, I let the mixture sit on my hair for an additional 15 to 20 minutes before shampooing it out.
Next thing I needed to nourish was my hair. I started using (and making) a hair mask:
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon rosemary oil (I used Now essential oils)
Rosemary is the key ingredient it stimulate hair growth by bringing blood flow to the hair follicle.
Apply the mixture to dry hair, let it sit for 20 minutes and then shampoo and wash your hair. Do this each week, a day after scalp exfoliating. It does not sound glamorous and its smell is even less appealing, but it works.
Just as the hair mask contains good fats and proteins, it is important to consume healthy fats and protein so I tried to incorporate more of those into my diet—I started eating more avocados, almonds and shakes with sprouted rice protein.
I also needed to switch from my cheap shampoo and conditioner. I started using high quality, low toxicity shampoos and conditioners like Macadamia, Know and Lush.
It took a full year to grow out the damaged part of my hair and see my shiny new hair come in. I had to be patient but it was worth the wait.
The whole time I did this, I was changing my lifestyle—I gave myself the same love and attention that I was now giving my hair.
I wasn’t just taking my hair for granted, I wasn’t giving myself love and attention. I noticed I was only allowing negative energy in as my thoughts, consumed with the idea of perfection, told me I was never good enough. Since I couldn’t see the good in me, I anticipated and, in fact, expected other people to criticize me. I could only hear my coworkers’ complaints never their praises. Anything that was good, hopeful or positive seemed like a trick.
We are conscious about the toxins we put on our bodies, but do we give the same thought to the thoughts we allow to permeate our minds?
If we are feeding ourselves negative messages, we cannot expect our bodies to perform well. We need to nourish our body, spirit and mind with love and goodness, be it nutrients or kind words.
Author: Jane Cowles
Editor: Katarina Tavčar
Photo: Eloise L/Flickr