I am really enjoying researching and learning about different self-care rituals from different cultures. I feel really strongly about the importance of self care, (especially for mamas!) and creating our own self-care rituals with intention and mindfulness, giving heed to the healing powers of our natural world. I want our daughters to witness my journey and internalize the gift of caring for and honoring themselves.
I hope you enjoy this post:) I sure enjoyed writing it and performing it with my girls.
Hi my dears! Wanted to share a piece that I wrote for Shiva Rose’s lovely blog The Local Rose. I had the pleasure of meeting Shiva at last years Spiritweavers, having been a reader of hers for several years and am so happy and honored to share my words with her readers, and with you all here at HTHG.
The post is called Hair Rituals, and it is inspired by a lifetimes worth of stories about cultural rituals related to hair that I have collected from women in the salon……I wanted to use the stories of ritual to help guide a more thoughtful approach to hair care.
Ever since my Natural Fiber Dying class at The Spiritweavers Gathering last Spring, I have been OBSESSED with figuring out how to dye hair with plants. IF people have been dying natural fibers with plants for thousands of years, shouldn’t we be quite close to finding more natural alternatives to hair-coloring? We all know about henna, right? But there has to be more straightforward ways to use the pigment in plants as a way to add color to hair, in a bigger way than “enhancing highlights…..” I’m talking, let’s dye your hair green with plant blood.
The endeavor of natural fiber dyeing combines 4 of my favorite things…….Nature, Science, Art, and Craft.This is what drew me into the experiment. As of today, I have gotten this far…….Succesfully staining hair green with Spirulina and acid-yellow Tumeric. Unsuccessful was the beet. Next time, Hibiscus powder (or perhaps cranberry?) for my pink, and black walnut husk for a darker hue.
Here is how we conducted our natural fiber hair-dying experiment.
First, I got myself a very light-haired model, my daughter Mars. I also used my own hair, which is light on the ends, to see if plant color would grab to it (it did!) As is true with any direct dye’s, light hair will show color better.
I got 3 bowls, 3 color applying brushes, a hair clip, a comb, and a few sheets of foil.
I mixed a tablespoon of each powder with 6 pumps of conditioner, blending thoroughly with a color brush till the colors were creamy and consistent.
Then, I painted the color on thickly to strips of Marley’s blonde hair in foils. I sealed up the foils, and then I scrunched the remaining Turmeric conditioner into my hair. We went about our business, me processing peaches we just foraged at a nearby neighbors yard, and Marley dressing up in a Santa Claus outfit that she made out of paper. Simple pleasures!
1/2 an hour later, we both rinsed our hair, and let it dry. Here is how it turned out…..
As you can see, Marley’s hair really picked up the yellows and greens, not the pink at all. I think perhaps that beet root powder was not finely ground enough, thus harder to penetrate the hair with pigment. My ends were a literal acid yellow, which tickled the shit out of me.
What would I do different next time to get a more saturated color? Probably add heat to the mix by clamping the foil packets with my flatiron on a low heat setting. I think that would help the color bond to the hair. And then, I would follow up with a Beauty Vinegar rinse to seal that color in tight;)
This experiment has been super fun, and we both smell like exotic herbs. Our hairs are shiny and bright! We will DEFINITELY continue playing with this concept, mixing new pigments and herbs till we get this thing figured out……And we will keep sharing what we find:)
Want DIY hair color inspiration? browse HTHG’s DIY color category and learn how to master your own hair color!
Interested in a DIY foil, Balayage, Dip-Dye, or Ombre? Check out the HTHG DIY color video library. Save yourself the salon prices and master these techniques yourself.
If you are a DIY hair-cutter who is curious about DIY home-hair coloring, I highly recommend using DIY hair color by Madison Reed, which Resorcinol-Free and quite clean chemical-wise, as far as hair dye is concerned.
If you purchase a Madison Reed Radiant Color Kit, you will receive not only the colors of hair colors your choice, but also the necessary tools to apply it. The entire line is designed for the DIY hair colorer! And if you need to tone in between coloring, be sure to check out their Color Reviving Gloss to refresh and revive your hair.
Also, I recommend a shopping stop at Beauty Store Depot for all your other DIY hair cutting and coloring tools to fill your toolkit!
Last week, I had the pleasure of attending a sacred gathering of women in the California Redwoods. It was the best thing I have ever done for myself. It was a gathering curated and created by Daughterofthesun’s Amy Woodruff, and it was called the Spiritweavers Gathering.
I have been following Daughterofthesun on Instagram for several years now, constantly inspired by the visual journey of her authentic and colorful life, which she seemingly lives with absolute gratitude and love. When she announced the Spiritweavers Gathering, a communal skillshare in the woods featuring many of my favorite artists and craftswomen, I felt instantly called.
Against my own practical, rational mind, I followed my heart and said YES to the opportunity to buy my ticket to the SpiritWeavers Gathering. I have to thank Nikki Jacoby and BeTheFair’s Brette Howard for encouraging me. We walked an unknown, mystical magnetic path, knowing deep down that we needed and deserved this time together, communing with creative and visionary women in nature.
Here is what I learned, and I will try an keep it concise.
-Our inner voice is our best guide, and much of what we do in our daily life distracts us from listening to it. It is important to do what we can to tune in to it. Without following our inner voice, we spin our wheels without purpose. It is there all the time! Listen to your hearts, babes.
-As women, having time with other women in a safe and supported environment is incredibly healing and rejuvenating.
-Being in nature is essential to getting grounded, and connecting with the elements.
-Being in connection with the elements helps us access deep intuitive wisdom, boundless energy, and endless inspiration.
-Ritual is a beautiful way to worship whatever god or goddess or energy or nothing that you want.
-We are all gifted with unique wisdom, and it is important that we share our gifts with each other.
-We are incredibly fortunate to have everything that we need to survive.
-Having sisters, blood or chosen, is incredibly important.
I find my mind reeling with so many things to say. I think I will stop here before I get really cosmic on you. The point is, wow. This experience really impacted me, inspired me, uplifted me, and put me on a more clear path in life. And I am so, so grateful.
On that tip, you will notice some changes here at HTHG as I process and fine-tune my message to you all. Please do feel free to let me know what you think, you know I so appreciate your questions and feedback:)
I learned to dye silk using natural pigments. We dyed scraps with boiled fennel, blackberries, oak balls, and horsetail. More on that here!
I learned to infuse honey for beauty and remedy. Thanks to Janelle Campbell, I now have the knowledge to infuse with confidence, as well as 2 of my own small infusions.
Here is a quick DIY…
Add any medicinal or flavorful herbs or flowers into a jar, and pour honey over them. Cover, and set in a warm place to infuse for 2 weeks, making sure you flip the jar over every few days to mix. If you use fresh herbs, your honey will have a shelf life of 4-6 months, dry herb infusions will last literally for thousands of years.
I made an infusion with calendula, rose, horsetail and lavender to use on my skin as a mask, or mix with water and use as a spray toner or hair conditioner.
I made another one with orange peel, cayanne, and turkey tail mushrooms for a digestive immune booster and tonic for boosting circulation. I will use it by eating a spoonful when I need it.
Brette, Nikki and I took a business 101 course for conscious creators from a thoughtful and savvy entrepenuer named Britt Neubacher who owns Tend Living, a water-wise creative garden/landscaping company in San Diego. In a group of 20 women, we discussed the trials, the blessings, and the frustrations of building conscious businesses.
I learned about wild fermentation from master fermentors Mori Natura and Nastasha McGuirk. The class was really interesting and informative, and also very affirming as I realized that I have been over-thinking my fermented krauts for years now. I have been over-salting and overfussing. Turns out, you can safely ferment literally anything. The key is, you have to use filtered or distilled water, and not too much salt (must be sea salt.)
We foraged wild greens like sorrel, baby pine needles, mugwort, dandelion, and nettles and mixed them with cabbage, carrots, and salt for a perfect fermented tonic kraut. We also sampled homemade fermented krauts, cheeses, breads and kefirs. When I got home, I ordered Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods by Sandor Katz to keep me inspired and educated on journey deeper into fermented foods.
I shared my toothbrush with a banana slug.
I did some hair, of course;) Felt very called to return next year as a skillsharer and teach braiding and holistic DIY haircare. See you there:)?
Lastly, I had the pleasure of connecting with 5 incredible creative women and their really exciting brands.
April Rose of Rainbow Kimono and Sara Harris of Totally Blown stole my heart, and I returned home with a beautiful ceramic moon phase neck piece and a killer massively distressed crop T shirt which had been totally blown away by a shotgun shell. Read more on these two visionaries in the links above.
Bunni and her Daughter Alchemy of Zen Bunni Chocolates were a pleasure to meet. Alchemy is 4 years old, and she let me do her hair on a sunny afternoon by the river. Bunni was kind enough to gift me 5 chocolate bars which were enough to make me fall in love with them, their chocolate, and the story of their tiny rabbit hole biodynamic chocolate shop in Venice, California.
Photo by Brette Howard.
I have been taking my Sunpotion Prash on the daily, a spoonful at a time. I feel the lifeforce barreling through me in a way that I have never felt before. I tend to be a cold, damp person and I have been feeling quite a bit of inner heat from it. And it tastes so heavenly. The herbal mix of honey and ghee melt down my throat like fire caramel. I do yoga as it melts in my mouth and it is a total sensory explosion. Check this great company of transformational foods and supplements if you feel the need to help get your energy flowing in the right direction.
I also finally got to meet my insta-friend and favorite natural beauty brand Naked Eye Beauty’s Jen Zillioto in person, which was so awesome, and she was just as lovely and down to earth as I thought she would be. Big shout out to her and her lovingly-naturally-crafted line of skin, hair, and makeup products.
In a nutshell, thanks to vision of Daughterofthesun, the dream building of the Spiritweaver sisters, and the generosity of all the women who came to share and learn, my chakras are open, my roots are deep, and my mind is Totally Blown. Can’t wait for next year. And I wish every one of you sisters who are here today abundant opportunity to root down and commune with your fellow woman. We all deserve it.
I really like the theory of hair being like our “6th sense” or the gateway to our intuition. I think that it makes a lot of sense, in that beautiful place where biology and mysticism cross paths, that our hair is our sensitivity to the world around us.
Not only does hair in people, including facial hair in men, provide an information highway reaching the brain, hair also emits energy, the electromagnetic energy emitted by the brain into the outer environment. This has been seen in Kirlian photography when a person is photographed with long hair and then re-photographed after the hair is cut……..
Today, as you all know, is 4/20, a national holiday that is dedicated to a plant with many uses, one of them altering and/or heightening the senses. Today, we celebrate the comeback plant that has officially made it to the mainstream, welcome Cannabis Sativa…
To honor the many medicinal aspects of the cannabis plant, we will be making a powerfully moisturizing and color-protecting divining hair oil,…..Using organic hemp oil from the sativa plant, amber resin, fractionated coconut oil, and a little of the fresh green leaves or flower itself, if you happen to have some laying around. We got our fresh green leaves from the University of Washington cannibis research lab!
First off, lets talk about the benefits of hemp oil.
Hemp oil is derived from the seeds of the cannabis plant and all psychoactive compounds are removed during processing, has excludes it from criminalization. Hemp oil has been used for years in beauty products as a vitamin D rich, non-pore clogging oil. It has been known to be anti-inflammatory and to reduce pore size while encouraging healthy cell production.
In the hair, hemp oil adds easily absorbable moisture and shine. Fatty acids from the plant provide protection from the elements, and help you keep your color fresh longer. Sounds great, right?
Hemp oil is especially good for…..
color treated hair
Now, let’s talk about why we put the fresh herb in our hair oil.
As most of us know, the chemical compound THC from the cannabis plant has been used for centuries to ‘heighten the senses.’ I thought it would be fun to experiment with heightening the ‘hair senses’ by using infused cannabis leaf in a hair oil. So I tried it out, and now I am excited to share my recipe with you.
Do I expect that you will experience psychoactive effects by infusing low-THC weed leaf in oil and then using it in your hair? Not likely at all. But your hair will love it, and maybe, just maybe, it will help you tap into a deeper intuitive place by giving your hair that special ‘6th sense’.
I realize that not all of you have legal access to fresh cannabis. So the fresh leaf option is for those of you who live in legal green states. You can most certainly use the recipe without the fresh herb, just the oils and amber, and you will still get the powerful moisturizing benefits of the hemp hair oil.
But if you have access to legal weed, and you are a experimenter and a bit of a mystic like myself, add some to your oil and let it infuse for a week, and let your hair experience a gently heightened sense of being:)
What you will need to make your oil
Here is what you will need to make the 6th Sense Divining Hair Oil.
Begin by opening up your dropper bottle. Roll up the cannabis leaves (or crumble up the flower) and drop into the bottle, through the funnel if needed. Repeat with the amber.
Now, pour your oils into your bottle, one at a time. Fill bottle to the brim, put the cap on, and let it sit in a sunny place for a week, shaking it well once a day.
After a week of infusing, keep your oil refrigerated.
Use a couple drops of your 6th Sense Divining Hair Oil any time there is an energetic block between you and your intuition, or you and your hair. Use a couple any time your hair needs taming, moisture, and shine. Use it when braiding cornrows, to moisturize the scalp and shine up your rows. Or, just apply it to dry hair and smooth it through with your hands.
Fun Fact: Did you know that ‘4:20’ started with a group of high-school stoners in California in the early 70’s who called themselves The Waldo’s? They met every day at 4:20 to get stoned. Yep, real deals. I leart it on the Internets. Here is the story.
Also, did you know that the mighty Cannabis plant has the strongest fibers of any plant known to mankind? It is considered a fantastic and sustainable building material.
Please enjoy this post and recipe, and share it if you love it!
And for more hair and body products that call upon the power of the herb, check out this post from HTHG for Refinery29.