Wash Less Live More

by | Jun 27, 2018 | Random | 0 comments

When I was a teenager, I spent my summers in Alaska. My Uncle Johnny is a fisherman and my Aunt Carri owns a bakery, and together the two of them gave me a home and a world of adventure to return to every summer. Sometimes I went with a cousin, a sister, or a friend, and sometimes I was solo, but always Uncle Johnny challenged us to a competition of who could go the longest without showering.
I now see that this was his clever way of both trying to get us to use less water and also trying to break us of our nasty habits of daily showering, blow-drying, and styling. Afterall, we were in Alaska, and the habits of the lower 48 simply did not apply, try as we may to hold onto our teenagerish ways.
I’ll never forget my little cousin Maya who was maybe 5 at the time coming upon me while blow-drying one day and the look of total confusion that spread across her face, and her words,

“Now WHAT is the point of that??”

Today we read articles that have created awareness to things like EMF radiation from blow-dryers and I wish I’d heeded Uncle Johnny’s advice more often. But alas, grateful that he tried.

Anyway, I was terrible at the no-shower contest because my thin, fine, blond hair gets fully greasy on day one. I did not have a bandana, a baseball cap, or the gift of dry shampoo. In fact, I wouldn’t turn out to discover the gift of dry shampoo until I was 36. Such a pity, because it’s been such a game-changer.

I suffered with slicked-back, grease-ball downright dirty hair on non-shower days, and ran to the shampoo bottle every morning I could manage it my entire life. Then, spent an hour in the bathroom getting gorgeous before school and later work, EVERY morning of my life.

My cousin Jenny was the first one to share the concept with me, and even then I was slow to catch on. Why are we so thick and stuck in our beliefs?? Now that I work in self-care, I spend a lot of time talking to people about their self-care habits, and even more time listening to their stories. It is amazing how often I hear someone say to me, “I can’t ________.” And, “I have to_________.” These beliefs are absolutes for us, and they definitely were for me about my hair… “I have to wash my hair everyday.” And “I can’t go out in public without washed and blow-dried hair.”

I guess that’s why it took 36 years for me to awaken to another way! Our beliefs are soooo strong and resistance reigns…

Interestingly, Dry Shampoo comes in many variations, including some sprays and aerosols that are not at all natural. But once I got the concept, I soon was googling DIY recipes and found the answers to be very straight-forward. This was definitely a product I could make myself.

All the recipes were basically a combination of cornstarch, arrowroot powder, and kaolin clay. Many recipes suggested just cornstarch or just arrowroot, but I like the number three and came up with my favorite blend, plus a few drops of rose geranium, which I once read nurtures feelings of hope and gratitude. Rooted in truth or not, it has become truth for me, which feels like the same thing.

Thus began my HAIR JOURNEY.

Taking a hair journey is to say to oneself, I allow my hair, scalp and head to heal from all the abuse I’ve done to it over the years! I set the intention to tune into the wisdom of my hair, and treat it as more than just a non-living accessory on top of my head. The many, many box dyes, the perms as kid (what were they thinking!?) and all the product and styling, heat and drying… it’s a wonder the hair was healthy at all!

Allowing the hair to heal is a process of rediscovering what your hair feels like with less of that stuff.

Of allowing the natural oils to sit on your scalp and nourish your hair.

Of making peace with those natural oils and finding a new way to work with them.

So I began skipping the shower every other day and sprinkling dry shampoo at the roots of my hair to absorb the excess oils on the non-shower day.

At first it felt pretty uncomfortable.

It took a couple months of getting used to, then I noticed something – I was beginning to LOVE the in-between day. With dry shampoo, my hair feels fuller, has more volume at the roots, doesn’t feel dry, limp, greasy, OR flat.

Having brought awareness to my Hair Journey, I uncovered layers of feelings and beliefs woven into my fabric about my hair…. thoughts like “I have bad hair.” Basically all range of beliefs about how my hair was not good enough.

As I unraveled these thoughts, first with awareness, then with love, I began to heal the many things I had told myself that I no longer needed to hold onto. This process takes a good long time, and a year of bandana-wearing for me, as I was also growing my hair out for the first time after 10 years of a pixie cut, largely the result of having believed this “bad-hair” myth.

So many beliefs we hold about ourselves come unraveled when we begin a self-care journey.

Right now I am on day 4. I normally go every other day, but sometimes I look in the mirror and think wow, that’s good hair, no shower needed, and I wash my armpits, apply oil to my skin, and start my day in the ministry of Love.