Hair Rituals With Roxie Jane Hunt
Sharing holistic practices for healthy hair.
I am thrilled to have a guest blogger who knows all about how to achieve healthy hair without toxic chemicals. Roxie Jane Hunt blogs on her site Free Your Hair and has a line of natural products and powerful tonics. I am personally obsessed with her Shining hair Oil and Hair/Skin Beauty Vinegar. She uses herbs like borage, horsetail, rose, calendula and more all harvested from the Northwest where she resides. She is a magical forest sprite who is passionate in her quest for helping women connect to their beauty in a holistic powerful way.
For more on all-natural hair care, visit Allure | The Local Rose.
Roxie wrote this lovely piece on hair rituals and the importance of taking care of our locks in a mindful way. I for one just learned about conditioning our hair before shampooing! So thrilled to share this with all of you. Enjoy her inspiring, educational, beautiful wisdom.
Every mama understands the wellspring of nourish/nurture that begins to flow from us when we take the time to take care of ourselves, and how powerful that spring can flow when our self-care practice is on point.
Creating little rituals within the tangled threads of our daily lives can really help us to tap in. By caring for ourselves in these small ways, we allow our springs to spill over, blessing those around us.
Today, I am honored to share some ways that we can use our hair-care to create a daily ritual of mindfulness to channel a deep love and true inner beauty.
These are rituals which I have learned in my career as a hairdresser, working with women from all over the world, from all different cultures, bearing witness to their stories about their hair.
Many of these women grew up in cultures that had a unified native understanding of the importance of ritual and ceremony in their daily lives, and through them I have learned elaborate rituals of hair oiling, herbal rinsing, braiding, adorning, juicing and using teas to treat the scalp, cutting hair in times of loss, offering hair to the earth when cut, and using the moon to encourage hair growth.
Using these women and their stories as inspiration, I will share 5 tips for creating your own beautiful hair care ritual at home
The hairbrush is a self-care tool that has been dated back to the Pharoahs, with documentation of a brush or comb in nearly every known culture on the planet. Yet in our culture, we use Shampoo and Conditioner to clean our hair, disturbing the natural protective biome of our natural oils.
A good hairbrushing, as it turns out, will clean your hair, bringing scalp oils to dry ends, balancing the hair, stimulating the scalp for healthy growth, making your hair shine like silk.
A nightly brushing with a good boar bristle brush before bed is a great way to keep your hair healthy while taking a few minutes to care for yourself. I highly recommend keeping your brush by your bedside table, with a small bottle of Lavender essential oil and dropping a few drops of oil onto your brush, and then spend 3 minutes brushing your hair, from every angle.
If your hair is very curly, you can use a wide-toothed comb and follow up with a massage of your scalp with your fingers and some essential oil.
In India, many women wash their hair with a ground up nut which creates a shampoo-like suds. Before washing, they do an oil treatment to condition their hair and protect it from the washing. When I first heard this, it blew my mind. Condition first, then wash?
Now, 10 years later, I continue to use this method every time I wash my hair.
I recommend using lightweight oil like Shiva Rose’s Venus Body Oil, or coconut oil or jojoba oil work great too. I like to add dried roses to mine to create a lovely infusion.
I keep my oil in a small dropper in my cabinet and use it once a week before I wash my hair by dropping about a dime sized pool of oil into my hands, flipping my hair upside down, and then working the oil into my dry ends. I let the oil sit for a ½ hour and go about my business before jumping into the shower and washing out with nice hot water. I follow up with a Apple Cider Vinegar rinse.
The Roma Gypsies grow their hair very long, and cut it in times of loss. Native tribes in North America kept their hair long because it provided them a powerful 6th sense that helped them track animals, In Mongolia, children receive their first haircuts at the Tsagaan Sar or White Moon, which is a celebration of the lunar new year.
Cutting hair according to the moon’s phases has served many cultures in history, and is a method that is still widely followed throughout the world. According to the lunar method, cutting hair during the Waxing phases leading up to the full moon is a great time to encourage new growth, while cutting hair during the Waning period is great for helping a cut maintain shape and grow slowly.
Viewing a haircut as a passage or a letting-go of old and ushering in the new is how I like to look at it. When it is time to get that cut, be mindful of the moon, and consider offering the cuttings back to the earth to encourage the growth of new blessings in your life.
Like weaving of natural fibers , hair braiding provides a meditative, practical, and creative outlet for any self care ritual.
The Massai people wear their hair in elaborate braids to signify their tribes, and their positions within their tribes. The practice of braiding is done communally and is a very important part of the social culture most known African tribes.
Using braiding as a way to get your hair back off your face and as a way to express a certain mood is a lovely daily practice of fashion/function. Whether you choose to sleep in 2 simple braids, after a nice brushing, or wake up and do an intricate French braid, or a small, soft braid on one side, braiding is a great skill to have to broaden and add some style to your self-care ritual.
If you don’t know how to braid, start here and consider it an ongoing practice of patience and great reward.
5. Herbal Rinses
A Finnish woman who I really admire told me about a folk ritual of her grandmother, which involved fresh nettles steeped in rainwater, poured over the hair for strength and conditioning. This created such a lovely visual for me, of a woman in the elements, using the gifts of her natural world to care for her hair.
This story has inspired many hours of apothecary beauty alchemy, picking and drying herbs, making teas and infusions, and pouring them into my bathwater to soak my skin and hair. While I soak, I think about the love and light that went into growing flowers and herbs, blessing them as I harvested, dried, steeped, and poured them onto my body.
How I use tea in my daily hair care ritual is to prepare a tea with dried roses, hibiscus, and horsetail and steep it for ½ an hour and pour it over my hair in the bath or shower, or just pour the tea directly into my bath water and soak in it as long as i can. I let my hair dry natural and see how lovely it shines in the sunlight.
My favorite herbal infusion and a great hair secret is inspired by legendary American pioneer woman, Laura Ingalls Wilder who used vinegar as a hair rinse and then let her hair dry and brushed it into spun gold.
I soak my favorite dried herbs and flowers in organic Apple Cider Vinegar in a closed glass container, sitting it in the sun for a week, gently shaking every day. Then I strain it and mix a tablespoon of it with 8 ounces of water, dump it over my wet hair in the shower, let it sit a minute, and then rinse it out. I also use it as a brightening toner for the skin.
I hope that these little stories and tips will help inspire you to find more ritual within your daily self-care routines, and I look forward to continuing my journey of learning, experimenting and sharing what I find!
Love and Light in all Directions!
Roxie Jane Hunt is a mother of daughters, photographer, hairstylist, creative director of How-to Hair Girl, and the maker of the Free Your Hair Earth Collection.