Today we talk about... HAIR!
Is it "just hair?" Yes, of course... But hair is also highly connected to our identities (whether you think it should be or not), and I believe that we can strike a balance somewhere between over-attachment and not caring at all. It is perfectly okay to care about your hair, but know that it is not essential AT ALL for a happy and healthy life. Having "dream hair" is not going to fix your problems... and no matter how Instagram worthy your hair looks really means, well, not much. There are really happy people out there who have lost all of their hair, and there are really unhappy people out there who have gorgeous mermaid locks.
With that said, I want to first share my personal hair story with you (warning this may be long). I am including photos, and honestly, I'm still a bit self-conscious by some of them... These were never meant to be shared with the world. I was avoiding the camera at all costs!
I grew up with very long and healthy hair, and besides a few medium length cuts in my teens, my hair has been long most of my life. I also stopped coloring my hair in 2008, and loved it! Okay... so fast forward to 3rd trimester pregnant Lindsay in 2015. I was feeling, well, not quite like myself (obviously!). I was so sick of the four outfits that fit me, and I just wanted to feel less pregnant I suppose... so I made an appointment for a haircut while traveling to a wedding with a hairstylist that I had never met. I asked for some long layers for movement, and she proceeded to give me a shaggier version of "The Rachel" from the 90s. Halfway through the cut, I couldn't believe she was still cutting. I wish I had just told her to stop. She saw the look on my face, and kept reassuring me that it was "still long." She also cut some short bangs that poofed up and flipped out to the side like a pompom. Uggghhhhh!
So fast forward about 6 months later... I had Bodie, and he was 4 months old. My hair had grown back in somewhat from the cut from hell, and I was adjusting to life as a mom. The next thing I knew, my hair was falling out in clumps. CLUMPS! Now, postpartum hair loss is very common, but I convinced myself it wouldn't be a thing for me because I'm healthy (wrong!). My bangs were gone. Literally, my hair line receded a good 1/2 inch. It was thin and straggly looking. All of the drains were clogged. I was embarrassed and self-conscious. And then, I got some weird fuzz around the hair line as the hair started to grow back in extremely slowly (hormones and exhaustion made growth much slower)... so what did I do? I cut over a foot of hair off, and had a chin length bob! I also decided it was time to get some more blonde as the color felt dull, and thus, colored my hair for the first time in 6-7 years.
The bob... did I love it? Honestly, it was okay at times. It was annoying that I couldn't put my hair up in a bun. A bob also didn't fix my receding hairline... or make me feel like my pre-pregnant energetic goddess self. I kept it short with maybe 3 cuts over the span of a year. Every month that went by, I disliked it even more. Finally, I decided it was time to grow my hair out. It felt overwhelming to think that it would take YEARS to grow it back to where it had previously been. And the blonde balayage made my hair weaker in general. I noticed way more split ends. The other funny thing about a bob is that since the back is significantly shorter than the front, the grow out process involves a lot of cuts. It was a bit heart breaking at times.
I've researched hair growth, and finally have a system that seems to be accelerating growth. I can't tell you how many times I've stayed up late with some sort of idea in my head that there must be a secret way to grow it long fast. Like, we can clone a sheep and send something into deep space, but we can't speed up hair growth with science? The answer is no, we can't - yet.
Here is my current holistic formula:
- Imagine your hair growing in conjunction with affirmations such as "my hair is healthy and growing long." Some people will think this is ridiculous. I don't have evidence that supports this claim, but I'll tell you what, the brain is POWERFUL. Injuries can heal quicker by using the power of the mind. There are numerous cases of miraculous effects that the brain has had on the body, so why not try? You have to believe it though, and not feel like you're just bullshitting yourself. Try it throughout the day.
- Eat for hair growth. Your hair is not essential for survival, so nutrients will go there last. It's imperative to eat a balanced diet full of REAL food. I mean, this is ideal regardless of hair growth or not! Eggs and avocados are musts. Salmon is also a great choice! Make some miso soup, and load it up with seaweed. Throw together a superfood smoothie. Drink green juice. Avoid sugar. You know the drill.
- Supplements. I'm wary to recommend any supplements here. Please do your research and chat with your doctor first, okay? I started adding in a biotin + MSM supplement from Whole Foods that is called "Hair, Skin, and Nail Support." I also take either a spirulina or chorella supplement to load me up good with their green goodness.
- Sleep. It's funny that I'm recommending sleep, because I don't get much with my 2.5 year old... but sleep is when the body repairs itself, so it makes sense that hair growth would happen then! Sleep is always a good thing, so make sure to prioritize it as best as you can!
- Go natural with product. Opt for a natural shampoo + conditioner. Avoid sulphates and silicones. We don't want to overly strip the hair, and then coat it with chemicals. I've been using Calia Naturals recently and LOVE it. It is gentle and effective. The purifying blend smells ahhhh-mazing. I also use Diamond Crystal Mist by Morrocco Method on my wet hair post shower. It's essentially liquified quartz crystals, and it's fun to spray crystals on my head. I'll comb it through with a super wide toothed comb. Then I let it air dry. I've noticed my hair is WAY less frizzy and pouffy with this combination.
- Don't wash your hair daily. Your hair doesn't need it! Allow it to marinate in it's own oils. If my hair is looking a bit greasy I'll wear it in a braid or bun.
- Coconut oil up. Coconut oil masks are ESSENTIAL. On days I wash my hair (2-3x a week), I generously apply coconut oil from the mid section down to the ends (not every single time I shower, but as often as I can). I also apply it to my bangs and hair line. I use a wooden brush to make sure it's evenly distributed. Then I throw my hair in a braid and put on a thick headband or hat. I'll go to the beach, exercise, or seriously even run errands because I just don't care. The longer it stays on the better! Then when it's time to shower, I just wash as normal, concentrating on the scalp and a gentle wash down the rest of the hair to make sure it's not super oily. You don't need to lather your head up multiple times. Be prepared for the softest hair EVER. Coconut oil is able penetrate into the hair. Not all oils can!
- Take care of your scalp! We need to stimulate hair growth. This can be done multiple ways. First, diluting essential oils in a carrier oil such as jojoba is fantastic. Rosemary and peppermint oils have been proven to stimulate growth better than Rogaine! You can oil up your scalp in conjunction to doing the coconut oil treatment that I mentioned above. It helps to really massage it in. I like to hang my head upside down - just be sure not too get too lightheaded and black out (yikes). I also massage my scalp daily without oil. Bringing blood flow to the scalp is a good thing. Plus it is super relaxing. I'm currently looking for a way to add a few drops of caffeine into my scalp oils, because topical caffeine has also been shown to stimulate growth. If I figure out how to do this, I'll let you know! If you already do, please share your secret in the comments below!
- Brush with a wooden brush. I own two, and brush my hair in the morning and at night. The brush distributes oils from the scalp down the hair shaft, cleanses the scalp, and stimulates growth. It also feels amazing! I use one brush exclusively for when there is oil on my head. This company makes the best wooden brushes. By the way, I also brush Bodie's hair with a wooden brush, and it has significantly improved his hair. It has a tendency to get quite knotty especially after being at the beach. I brush his hair before bath time, and it makes knots a non-issue. And with a toddler, the more non-issues the better.
- Avoid wrapping your hair up in a towel or towel drying your hair... it simply leads to damage, frizz, and breakage. I recently bought one of these, and my hair not only looks better, but dries so much faster.
- Exercise and do yoga. Why? Improve circulation, decrease stress, and all the other benefits that exercise has on the body will improve growth! Yoga has the added benefit of putting your heart above your head... think down dog, standing forward fold, and inversions in general. Going upside down brings more blood to the head. Blood brings nutrients to the scalp. It also brings nutrients to your face which helps make your skin glow.
- Take care of the length you've got. You do NOT need a trim every 6-8 weeks. Get a trim when you need one. I personally do these trims myself following this video's technique. I've also been known to take scissors and individually cut out split ends. Find a hairstylist that you TRUST, and don't be afraid to go elsewhere if it's not a good match. Just be nice and honest. Oh, and go easy on the color. The more natural we go the better.
- Opt for braids when you're at the beach or if it's windy. Don't put your hair up in tight ponytails. Go easy on the bobby pins around the hair line to avoid breakage. I use a french pin now for buns, and the loose and low side braid when I need my hair out of my face. Butterfly clips are also great. I swear it makes a difference!
And that's it! The relationship we have with our hair is a good way to gain insight to the relationship we have with ourselves. If we get down on ourselves, struggle with body image, or feel overly attached to our appearance then that will manifest in our hair relationship. If we envy other people's hair, we probably spend a lot of time judging and comparing our worth to others in general. If we are hesitant to make the time to take care of ourselves, then maybe we don't prioritize our wellbeing enough. Use your feelings and thoughts to gain self-insight.
And never forget: You're a beautiful divine being regardless of your hair. BELIEVE IT!
What's your hair care secrets? What is your relationship with your hair like? Is anyone else trying to grow out their hair? Want to share a "bad haircut" story? Want more details that I mentioned above? Did you have postpartum hair loss, too? I LOVE reading your comments!
Sending you all love and good vibes,