hair

Goddess in the Flesh

August, 2018

It is almost impossible to meet every beauty standard. It is almost impossible for the beauty, diet and medical industries to “approve” of your body, skin, hair and eyes. In a world that deliberately shifts the “should’s” and shames that attacks and blames, loving yourself is an act of rebellion.

What is reviled in one country is celebrated in another. From skinny shaming to fat-hating what stays the same is the entitlement of male-gaze, the disgust and ownership of the female form. The idea that women are objects for public consumption is at the root of both modesty and pornography.

My mum was a fat hater and a fat-shamer. So was my dad. This meant that while I was “not pretty” I had the good grace to be thin and clever. I prized this things because both came easily to me. I can’t tell if I was an exercise addict, someone who coped with anxiety through exercise, or just very active. I would roll at of bed at dawn and do 30 sit-ups, until about the age of 17. Exercise makes me feel good, helps me focus and is something I really enjoy, though I can’t do much, if any, these days. I didn’t diet, far from it I ate a huge amount, but as a dancer I knew plenty of girls who ate tissue to not be hungry. Girls who didn’t eat for half of the school week to be “thin enough” to go out on a Friday. Fat was a mystery to me. A softness I was scared of. Still find frightening on occasion.

Fat was “weakness” and was far too vulnerable to the rough grabbing hands. No I wanted to be hard, strong and never weak. Of course I hated myself plenty. My wonky nose, crocked teeth, my ginger curly hair. Once I stopped dancing I grew breasts quickly. They came as something of a shock to me. I went from a B to a D cup in a very short time and they had their perks I was sort of mystified by this fleshier body.

As I got older, and then had children my weight was the first thing my mum would comment about.

You look fat, and not the jolly kind.”

Oh you lost weight, your face looks better.”

You are thin enough now, much skinnier you’ll look ill.”

Of course my mum was a much better feminist than I was because I had “given myself over to the yoke of motherhood” instead of doing something “more important”. My feminism was “too soft” and far too feminine and far too fat for her.

I have been all different sizes, shapes and tones and while I was more desired by men when I was thinner and more toned I have rarely been happy with myself. Rarely felt self-love or safety in my skin. I fear the toxic seep of this self-loathing for my daughter. I wonder what seeds I have sown accidentally. I have been working on loving myself for years and sometimes I feel I get there.

So how do we create real change? How do we dismantle huge industries that promote self-loathing as self-care? How do we dare to be soft when it hurts so much? How do we find our strength in body, spirit and mind? I think we must make Goddess figurines. Thousands of them, millions. Ones that are like us, as we are, not as we wish to be. Some with huge voluptuous breasts or none to speak of. Some with long legs, or no legs. With curly coils, or no hair. With lines and scars. With powerful thighs and big arses. So that we know our flesh is powerful and beautiful and important. That we are worthy, fat, scarred, skinny and all. For in reclaiming our image as beautiful, as sacred art maybe we will love ourselves just a little bit more.

The How-To Guide on Washing Your Hair with Natural Ingredients

December, 2017

A Few Words

Tired of all the chemicals beauty products put into your hair? There is an alternative and it may be more beneficial than using store-bought shampoos. If you love your hair, then you should consider switching to using natural ingredients to clean your hair.

Natural ingredients bring with them all the vital nutrients your hair needs to look its best. If your hair looks good, then so do you. You may not be sure that you can use natural ingredients on your hair. That is okay, our guide on how to do wash hair properly with natural ingredients will provide you with the confidence you need to try it yourself.

The Benefits of Using Natural Ingredients

(Image source: https://pixabay.com/en/spices-jar-kitchen-cooking-wooden-2548653/)

Everyone knows what store bought shampoos bring to your hair. Most are great products that contain the vitamins and nutrients your hair needs to shine and look great.

Sadly, most of these products also bring a lot of harsh chemicals that may bring you shiny hair but it will also damage your hair as well. Cleaning your hair with natural ingredients brings all the vitamins, nutrients and other vital natural contributors your hair needs to feel soft, be shiny and look healthy, without the harmful chemicals.

If you add baking soda to your new natural ingredient shampoo you will be able to remove all the dirt, grime and other buildups that comes from using other shampoos and cleaners. But only use baking soda on rare occasions each month. Too much of this natural alternative will also hurt your hair.

Step by Step Guide

Learning how to wash your hair using natural ingredients is quite simple. You do not need an advanced degree in chemistry or be a rocket scientist to mix the new cleaning mixture together and clean your hair.

Here is one simple and easy-to-use method that will change your life and how you will wash your hair in the future.

  1. Gather your ingredients – in this method you will need water, baking soda, apple cider vinegar, and a cup.
  2. Add baking soda to water – you will only need to use just enough water in order to make a nice paste and to cover your head.
  3. Massage – you apply this paste to your scalp and roots only. Massage the paste so it covers all of your head and then after a few minutes of massaging let it sit. Make sure you do your temples and the back of your head completely.
  4. Mix the vinegar in water – you will only need approx.. 2 tbsps. of vinegar and between 8-12 ounces of water.
  5. Rinse the baking soda paste – you need to rinse the baking soda and water paste out of your hair before applying the vinegar and water mixture.
  6. Pour the vinegar and water over the ends of your hair and let it sit for roughly one to two minutes then rinse that mixture out as well.

And that is it. We told you it was simple and easy. There are other methods you can use, just click on the word methods to find what those are.

You do not have to worry about a shortage of alternative ways to clean your hair with natural ingredients. There are a variety of recipes that will help you avoid the risk of using too many chemicals.

Shampoo:

  • 2-3 raw eggs
  • 3 Tbsp. of honey (melted)
  • Mix thoroughly

Rinsing mix:

  • 2 Tbsp. of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 liter of water
  • 3 drops of scented essential oil

Of course, the amount of the ingredients will vary depending upon the length of your hair

A Word to the Wise

Don’t believe every word you hear about washing your hair with natural ingredients. Your results will vary and not all natural ingredient shampoos work right away. It may take a few shampoos to see and feel the difference. You may need to customize the amount of ingredients you use to fit your hair quality and make up.

Some Final Words

Switching to natural ingredients may be your ticket to being the envy of all the women you know. You can get that great store-bought shampoo look without hurting your hair with the harsh chemicals they use.

Using natural ingredients is easy and simple. It may even save you money as you possibly have the ingredients in your home right now. One key to having great looking hair is to make sure that you do not wash it every day, even with natural ingredients. One last word you can dry your hair with the best hair dryer in the world but towel or sun drying is best.

 

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About the Author:

 


Justin Bounds is the main editor at The Barbr – a Hair Care blog dedicated to providing honest advice and trustable information about the topic. He also spent hundreds of hours researching just to find out the most natural ways to take better care of our hair. He is also the author of 12 Bad Habits That Can Lead To Hair Loss. You can also follow him on Twitter to learn more about his work.

WiseWoman Traditions

November, 2012

Hairy Problems

“Dearest granddaughter, come close and look into my eyes.” Grandmother Growth beckons and her voice grows deeper and more resonant. “Look deep into my eyes and acknowledge the beauty there.

“Yes, my skin is wrinkled. My face is the face of age, and to many, that is fearful. But my beauty, like my wise blood, now resides inside of me. Can you see it? Can you feel it? Can you look beyond the hair on my chin?” she says grinning, flicking her fingers under her chin in a most unladylike manner.

“Can you forgive the places where my scalp shines through? Can you find the truth of my beauty, the beauty of age, which is so different from the beauty of youth?” Her eyes grow fierce, but sparkle with amusement. “I know you can, for I know how beautiful I am.”

Grandmother Growth takes your chin in her strong hand and looks at you with eyes so intense you fear you may catch on fire. She commands: “When you look into your mirror, I ask you to look deep into your own eyes and to acknowledge your own inner beauty.

“I know, I know, metamorphosis is changing you and you don’t like it. Like a teenager, you peer and peer into the looking glass, noting every new wrinkle, every hair on your face (and other new places). Counting each grey hair as it grows. Worrying that your hair seems to fall out by the handful.

“Dear one, my most precious child, take care, but do not fret. And do not tell yourself that you are becoming ugly. I know it is difficult, in fact it may be one of the most difficult tasks of your menopause, but you must recast your own opinion of beauty so that it includes old women who have hairy problems and live well with them – like you!”

Too much hair (on the chin), too little hair (on the scalp), falling hair, thinning hair, greying hair – no matter what the complaint, many women notice something happening to their hair during menopause. As hormone levels shift during the menopausal years, hair responds to the changing hormones by changing texture, falling out, or by growing in “odd” places. Here are remedies for those who want more hair, and for those who want less.

HAIR LOSS (ALOPECIA) & GREY HAIR

STEP 1. COLLECT INFORMATION

Menopause does not cause grey hair; taking hormones doesn’t stop it. Greying, thinning hair is a normal part of aging. Women whose menopause is induced in their 20s and 30s do not suddenly go grey.

Hair loss at mid-life (androgenic alopecia) is more strongly linked to genes than diet or lifestyle. Those of European origins are far more likely to experience it than Asians, Native Americans, Africans, or African-Americans. Hair loss starts earlier and becomes more extreme on men’s heads, but just as many women deal with receding hairlines and balding patches. Roughly half of all women experience some hair loss during their menopausal years. Two-thirds of post-menopausal women deal with thinning hair or bald spots. And no one likes it. Americans spend a billion dollars a year trying to regrow their hair!

Normal hair loss (50-100 hairs a day) is gradual. Sudden unexplained loss is not normal. Events which can trigger hair loss include pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, severe emotional stress, rapid or profound weight loss, thyroid disorders, pituitary problems, malnutrition, iron deficiency, lack of protein, large doses of vitamin A, chemotherapy, radiation, general anesthesia, chronic illness, scarlet fever, syphilis, certain medications (see Step 5), and hair abuse including bleaching, permanents, tight braids, tight pony tails, tight wigs, and tight hats.

(The National Alopecia Areata Foundation, 710 C St, Ste 11, San Rafael, CA 94901 (415-456-4644) can help you contact a local hair loss support group, and gather more information.)

STEP 2. ENGAGE THE ENERGY

Homeopathic remedies for women with hair loss include:

  • Lycopodium: loss precipitated by hormonal fluctuations.
  • Sepia: especially for menopausal women who have sweaty flushes and heavy bleeding
  • Phosphoric acid: loss after grief or extreme emotion, accompanied by exhaustion.

STEP 3. NOURISH AND TONIFY

?  Infusion of stinging nettle, 2-4 cups a day, strengthens hair and checks falling hair with its superb supplies of protein, B vitamins, vitamin E, iron, and other minerals. Regular use restores thickness, body, shine and sheen to hair. If you have any infusion left over, pour it on your head and rub it into your scalp for faster results.

?  Every grey hair represents a day with too few minerals,” a wise woman said to me. Actually, the color of hair is produced by special cells which gradually die as we age. But it is true that hair is loaded with minerals, and getting extra minerals may keep those color cells alive longer. To increase my mineral intake, and keep my hair healthy, I eat more yogurt, drink more nourishing herbal infusions, prepare more mineral-rich soups, use more herbal vinegars, and increase the amount of seaweed in my diet.

?  Lack of minerals, especially iron, can cause hair loss. Yellow dock is one of my favorite iron-tonics.

?  Natural hair dyes can cure the grey blahs. Henna (Lawsonia inermis) is a plant that is easily purchased ready-to-use to change the color of your hair, and you are not limited to carrot-top red. So long as it is not overused (less than four times a year) henna is strengthening to the scalp and hair.

Other natural hair dyes include coffee, black walnut hulls, or infusions of sage or rosemary herb.

?  ist Amanda McQuade Crawford suggests using lemon balm or lemon grass infusion as a hair rinse to prevent hair loss.

Burdock seed oil, one of the best selling hair tonics in Russia, is especially recommended for those with thinning hair or hair loss. Apply to your hair and scalp, leave on overnight and shampoo it out the following day. Repeat as needed.

?  Just plain olive oil is also a tremendous hair tonic. So is jojoba oil. Apply a handful of either to hair and scalp, wrap well and leave on overnight, washing it out the next morning.

?  I know you know, but let me say it again, exercise! Yes, it can make your hair healthier too.

 

 

 

STEP 4. SEDATE/STIMULATE

  • While some temporary loss of hair at menopause is considered normal, something worse may be brewing. Thin, dry hair is one of the first signs of an underactive thyroid. Hair loss is also an early sign of lupus, an autoimmune disease.

Chugging down a gulp of cod liver oil or wheat germ oil every day for six weeks could help your hair.

  • Menopause sends lots of energy to the crown of your head. That can overstimulate the scalp and cause hair loss (and/or headaches). Get your energy moving with a scalp massage. Let your head calm down and your hair cool off.
  • Blow dryers, dyes, perms, and other harsh treatments damage hair and scalp. Rosemary essential oil, a few drops rubbed into the scalp several times a week, repairs the damage, increases hair growth, and improves hair texture.

Other essential oils which improve hair growth and reduce hair loss include lavender oil, lemon oil, thyme oil, sage oil, and carrot seed oil. You can mix 10-20 drops of any of these into 4 ounces of plain olive oil, infused burdock seed oil, or jojoba oil. Other essential oils said to reduce hair loss include birch, calendula, chamomile, cypress, rose, and yarrow.

  • Avoid chlorinated water on your hair. A shower filter is more important than a drinking water filter. And cut down on the number of times you wash your hair. Once every 5-10 days is ideal for healthy hair.
  • Avoid cayenne. Heroic herbalists say it increases hair growth by improving blood circulation to the scalp. But when there is hair loss, says Janet Roberts MD, specialist in women’s hair loss and member of the Oregon Menopause Network, there are inflamed follicles. Cayenne increases inflammation, ultimately increasing hair loss.

STEP 5A. USE SUPPLEMENTS

  • Dry, brittle, thin hair is often due to a deficiency in one or more of these nutrients: protein, vitamin A, vitamin B12, vitamin C, iron, zinc, essential fatty acids. Food and herbal sources of these nutrients are preferable to pills.
  • Avoid hair weaving, a cosmetic treatment that weaves replacement hair in with the still existing hair; it actually causes more loss (by creating traction alopecia).

STEP 5B. USE DRUGS

  • Hair loss can be caused by drugs, including: birth control pills, anticoagulants, diet pills, thyroid medications; non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs including aspirin, ibuprofen, and Aleve; cholesterol-lowering drugs such as clofibrate and gemfibrozil; arthritis medications such as gold salts (auranofin), indomethacin, naproxen, sulindac, and methotrexate; beta-blockers such as atenolol (Tenormin), metoprolol (Lopressor), nadolol (Corgard), propranolol (Inderal), and timolol (Blocadren); and ulcer drugs such as cimetidine (Tagamet), ranitidine (Zantac), and famoridine (Pepcid). And, of course, chemotherapy.
  • Minoxidil (Rograine) dilates blood vessels, encouraging baby-fine hair. Only the 2% solution is approved for women. Of those who use it only 19% achieve even moderate regrowth; 40% have minimal regrowth. Meanwhile, 40% of the women using the placebo had regrowth!CAUTION: Side effects in women include unwanted hair growth on the face, heart disturbances, and dizziness.
  • Fertile women are not allowed to use (or even touch) finasteride (Propecia) for fear of the severe birth defects it causes. This is probably a blessing in disguise, as the side-effects (loss of libido, lip swelling, breast engorgement, birth defects) are not pleasant. Finasteride is completely ineffective in reversing hair loss for postmenopausal women. Tell your men friends a dose of 0.2 mg (one-fifth the normal dose) works just as well, costs less ($10 a month instead of $50), and is gentler on the liver.
  • Hormones, including ERT, HRT, birth control pills, and anti-androgens (cypoterone acetate, spironolactone, and fluramide) are used singly or in combination to treat women with androgenic alopecia.

STEP 6. BREAK AND ENTER

  • Hair transplants can cover a bald spot but are far less successful on women than on men. Micrografts do a better job of dealing with women’s diffuse pattern of hair loss.
  • “Scalp lifts” tighten the scalp, making hair appear thicker and fuller.

HIRSUTISM/TOO MUCH HAIR

STEP 0. DO NOTHING
A few brazen souls just grin and bear it. Seriously, does anyone else notice that extra hair? Ask a few people who will tell you the truth. Perhaps you are making a mountain (beard/moustache) out of a molehill (a couple of extra hairs)?

STEP 1. COLLECT INFORMATION
It is not at all unusual to find extra hairs growing on the chin, upper lip, breasts, and legs during or after menopause. It is thought that menopause makes some hair follicles more sensitive to testosterone’s hair-promoting effects. However, sudden hair growth can be caused by a tumor on the ovaries, thyroid, adrenals, or pituitary.

STEP 2. ENGAGE THE ENERGY
Visualize a large mirror. Look at yourself in this mirror. When you see something you don’t like, ask the mirror how you can change. Finish by telling your image how much you love her. Repeat frequently.

STEP 3. NOURISH AND TONIFY
Oatstraw infusion tends to increase the activity of testosterone; increased levels of testosterone contribute to excess hair growth during menopause. It’s a long shot, but avoiding oats, oatmeal, and oatstraw infusion may help eliminate or reduce those extra hairs.

STEP 4. SEDATE/STIMULATE

  • Natural bleaches, like lemon juice or sunlight (or both together), are generally safe even for use on the sensitive skin of the face.
  • Shaving, plucking, and waxing are minimally invasive means of removing excess hair. Such means may increase the rate of hair growth, however, or make the texture of the hair coarser, or cause hair follicle inflammation and ingrown hairs.

 

 

 

STEP 5B. USE DRUGS

  • Hirsutism may be caused by corticosteroids and medications for high blood pressure. (Rograine was originally a blood pressure drug.)
  • Drug treatments – which are 80% successful according to one MD – include the corticosteroids prednisone and dexamethasone. Hormones, including birth-control pills and anti-androgens such as spironolactone, are occasionally used.

STEP 6. BREAK AND ENTER
Electrolysis is expensive, painful, tedious, must be done several times over, and can cause scarring. Most sources advise against home electrolysis.