Friday, November 01, 2013

The Indulgence of Washing My Hair: Part I

So I'm home on Halloween night washing my hair.   Washing my hair doesn't always take all night, but tonight I'm doing the long, indulgent process and during intermissions between acts, I'll tell you all about it.

First I'll explain that my hair measures at least 51 inches from the hairline at my forehead to the tips behind my knees.   I didn't measure the longest of the fairy tale ends (the wisps that trail even longer).

Prelude: Massage

First, I just finished a deep scalp massage for blood and lymph circulation. That took about 10 minutes.   Using my fingers to gently push together from opposite directions, I aim to push the skin away from the skull, which allows blood and lymph to fill the space between.   When your skin is tight against your skull, it squeezes fluids away from the roots of your hair, starving your roots.   Your healthy scalp will have some room to move around like the hide of an animal, and will allow your hair to grow thicker and stronger.

To continue the massage after my break for blogging about it, I'll focus deep massage on the hairline around my face and the top of my head, and then exfoliate over the rest of my scalp.   During this phase of the massage, little flakes start falling, and I want to put those flakes in the sink or tub, not my carpet or keyboard.   I use my nails very lightly to exfoliate the skin (and not scrape unnecessarily at the hair itself) until I don't see any more flakes dropping. 

The massage and exfoliation I've described so far, along with the brushing in the next step, enhance the health of your scalp between washings.   Brushing and washing are not all that great for hair ~~ manipulation causes damage.   It's been 19 days since I last washed, and it could go a few more days without much trouble.

Stimulating!   That took about 5 minutes.   I put extra attention around my face and top of my head because the skin is tightest there, and thus, that's where thinning happens first.   Now I'll use my brush with wooden bristles to detangle, distribute scalp oils, and stimulate the scalp again.

Ahhhh!   Only a few minutes to gently separate the tangles and stroke from root to tip a few times until the scalp feels satisfied.

Foreplay: Search and Destroy

Next is search and destroy: find and slice off damaged ends with my sharpest scissors.   I keep a scissors only for hair so it doesn't get nicked or dulled by other objects.   To expose the damage, I separate a lock of hair and twist it into a loose strand.   Twisting releases the ends of individual hairs from the lock and they stick out from the strand like bristles of a bottle brush, making them easy to see and slice off.   Again, I want these in the sink, not my floor, so off to the bathroom I go.

Before I settle down to search and destroy, I mix some shikakai powder with filtered water to soak and become a paste.   Later, this will do the job of shampoo.

Found less damage than I had anticipated: it's been several months since the last s&d mission.   Seven locks of hair averaged about six minutes per lock.   I took breaks between locks to prep and eat a snack.

Brushing out the twisted locks is the reward for a search and destroy mission.   The brush glides through my hair easier now . . . ahhhhh.    

Time to change my shirt from a pullover to a button style so I don't have to pull a shirt over my hair after it's oiled.    In the summer, I do this in the nude and don't have to worry about clothes.

The First Oil

I applied a special castor oil treatment that I cooked up last summer and stored in the fridge.   Castor oil is heavy and sticky and goes on the scalp to nourish the roots and improve hair growth.  I warmed about a half-tablespoon measure of the oil, and applied it to my scalp with my fingers.   It took about a half hour to part the hair, touch oil to the skin and rub it in, part the next spot, touch oil to it, rub it in, in dozens of places until my whole scalp feels lightly oiled.   I did that treatment while bent over at the waist with my hair hanging in front of me to the floor.   Then I gathered my hair and clipped it into a bun to roost on my head as I type this blog and fiddle around with oils.

The Second Oil

Now I'll mix the oil for treating the hair and lifting the castor oil.   I could have done this at any time, but I hadn't decided what to use.  

The coconut oil is STIFF, and I guess that's predictable since it's only 60 degrees in the room.   I have not yet turned on the heat for the winter.   Started with coconut oil and added some ghee for the cholesterol which is good for hair and skin.   Added some borage oil and a little argan oil.   Heating a little on the stove as I type this.   I'll add drops of carrot seed essential oil and geranium essential oil.  I use all organic oils so I feel good about letting it soak into my skin.

Smells nice.   Now I'll put this on my hair, bit by bit, starting at the roots and working some through to the tips.   The most important parts are the scalp, roots, and tips.   I don't need a soaker, just want the feeling of moisture.   This is messy and little drips of oil drop to the floor, so I'll do it in the bathroom.   I have a plastic grocery bag ready to use as a cap when I'm done.

. . . . continue with The Indulgence of Washing My Hair: Part II.

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