08 December 2009

Natural Hair Care

After posting a video about how I style my hair, a friend asked if I had any advice on dreadlocks since that is how she rocks her hair right now.

Wearing your hair as it naturally grows...is a very sustainable approach towards being more conscious of the footprint you leave on the earth.

I didn't realize how many women of ALL races chemically and/or permanently alter their hair, ALL the time. Whether they are coloring it, straightening it, curling it, styling it, blow drying it, and whatever else. Think about the amounts of products you put in your hair. Think about all the chemicals and unnatural substances that you are putting on your hair and body. Think about all the money you use to buy those products or pay the beautician. It's crazy!

What are the sustainable benefits towards wearing your hair natural? These are the ones that I've experienced.

SIMPLISTIC LIFESTYLE: If you hair is curly, wavy or straight, embracing its natural state of being gives your life and personal upkeep a sense of simplicity. I know women who spend HOURS doing their hair ALL the time. Whether its in the morning during their wash, condition, blow dry, flat iron, style or in going to the beauty salon. Just letting your hair be, lets you BE. I love the time that I have saved and given back to myself by wearing my hair in its naturally curly state.

SAVE MONEY: Wearing your hair as it naturally is, enables you to SAVE LOADS of MONEY. Since my hair is curly and heat can damage my hair, I don't own a blow dryer, I don't own a flat iron. I don't go to the beauty shop. I don't have to pay for a relaxer every month. I don't have to pay for products because my hair doesn't really need them.

CREATE NATURAL PRODUCTS: Before I was natural I used products like spritz, gel, setting lotions, and all kinds of other things. The list is too long. Since embracing the natural I now mix and make my own products. I've realized I don't need to put as much stuff in my hair...(simplistic and money-saving realization). Now I have three main things I put in my hair occasionally. One is a mix of tree tree oil, olive oil and grapeseed oil with a little water and a little conditioner. Another mix is of vegetable glycerin, water, rosewood essential oil, rose otto essential oil and rosemary essential oil. I also put various forms of shea butter in my hair. That's about it. While I use an all natural shampoo and conditioner, sometimes I just use Apple Cider Vinegar as my shampoo and it works just as well when toned down with water.

GENERATE LESS TRASH: Since going natural I have generated less trash since I am purchasing less products. A lot of the oils and things that I use to put in my hair are the very oils that I cook with, perfume my home with, or make other body products with.

GENERATE LESS POLLUTION: Isn't there something to be said about all those chemicals and sprays that you put in your hair also being put into the environment. Since going for simplicity and creating my own hair care solutions, I don't pollute the air I breathe with crazy products. I suppose I'm also generating less pollution since I'm not driving to and from the hair shop and/or stores to buy more stuff for my hair.

LEARN A NEW THING: Since I don't go to the beautician anymore, which has enabled me to save lots of money, I learned to style my own hair. I'm not an expert. I probably can't do your hair even if you paid me. But I learned how to do my hair. While I can't french braid or do corn rows, I do know how to do two strand twist and with that simple knowledge I've been able to generate all sorts of styles for the last six years. People say, "I never know what your hair is going to look like but its always fly." There is a sense of empowerment in taking care of myself like that. I don't have people dress me, feed me, and bathe me so why pay someone to twist my hair when I can go it while catching up on tv shows on hulu.com?

Whats my advice towards those with locks? I suppose it depends on the advice you are looking for.(I wore my hair in locks for a year and then pulled a Britney and cut all my hair off)

For general upkeep, no matter how you wear your hair, make sure you to keep your hair moisturized and healthy, but don't over do it and layer your hair with oil, water, creams and such. Find the right balance of what to put in your hair and when.

For style ideas, just try stuff. Even if you think its crazy or weird. Every now and then, I just do something that I think is completely out of the norm with my hair. I'll pin one side this way and do a flop thingy here and all of a sudden I have a new style and everyone is asking, "who did your hair." Or google pictures to find ideas.

For coloring locks, I have no clue. Google that!

For starting them, do them your self, have a friend do it or go to the shop. I used google. Found some you tube videos and started my locks myself.

For general upkeep, make sure you stay fly. I have seen some crazy looking hairstyles with people who have locked hair and I've seen things growing out of them and moving about inside of them and that's scary! Keep your locks clean! I washed my hair as often as I did before I had the locks. Keep your hair looking fresh and presentable. Its completely doable even with locks.

I realize as I type this advice about locked hair, it can apply to those with unlocked hair. And my hair advice about wearing your hair natural, applies to all women across the board no matter their race or hair type.

There is something spiritual about hair and its connection to the gods, the kundalini and the chakras. Channel your inner god and practice your granola ways by wearing your hair as it naturally grows.

Do you alter your naturally straight or curly hair on a consistent basis? Why? Do you wear your hair natural? How does that line up with your sustainable lifestyle? What other advice did I leave out or what are other benefits towards wearing your hair natural?


Eco Mama said...

You have Awesome hair. I'm sure you hear it all the time, but just wanted to chime in.
Eco Mama

SLY said...

Thank you so much Eco Mama. On my bad hair days, encouraging comments like that keep me from pulling another Britney with the scissors.