Kale: Super Food for Hair

7U6A1817Yes it’s true my babes. Kale, especially Lacinato Kale (the darkest, heartiest leafiest kale!) is a potent superfood…..But you already know that right? In the Northwest, it is hard to miss the big deal about kale because people proclaim their love for it on their smart cars by putting bumper stickers that say I LOVE KALE and wearing t-shirts with the same slogan on them. And every menu at every restaurant in town features a kale salad.

Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 12.10.52 PMKale grows really well here, which is nice. It is a hearty plant in the brassica family, and we eat

Here at HTHG, we proclaim our love by growing it, eating it, and decorating our friend’s hair with it…….And by spreading the word of the potent Healthy Hair Growth Qualities of Kale. Here are 3 reasons to eat kale to feed your hair.

Folic Acid- B Vitamins support healthy cell function and aid in cell growth, and our hair depends on the rapid division of cells (mitosis) to grow (thanks, B Vitamins, for the extra boost!)

Iron- Increases circulation to the scalp, helping to prevent hair loss and helping stimulate hair growth, while boosting and strengthening our blood supply ( Great for women!)

Sulfur-  Is essential to the protein production of hair, and increases the length of the Anagen (growth) phase of hair, helping hair grow strong and fast!

My favorite way to eat kale is like this:

HTHG’s Favorite Kale Salad

Pick some fresh leaves, BAM! rinse em and chop em up pretty small. Put em in a bowl, squeeze half a lemon on em, drizzle of olive oil, (BAM!) sprinkle of salt BAM!

Now, (here is why I really love this dish) wash your hands, and massage that kale, crushing it with your hands in working in your dressing. Zone out while you massage that kale. Think of all the people who told you not to play with your food and send them a little mental picture of your hands all over that salad.

Once it’s all mixed up and wilty, let it sit on the counter for as long as you want……It will begin the breaking down process immediately and as it sits it will soften and become easier to chew and easier to digest. (Yay lactobacteria!!!)

When you are ready to eat it, add other things like sliced red onion, roasted nuts, and cranberries. Everyone likes this salad, even people who think they don’t like kale.

Other ways to use kale are: Stick a couple leaves in a smoothie, make kale butter/pesto, and make kale chips (my kids love them!) put them in soup, or munch on em straight off the plant.

Eat kale, grow hair, live strong. 7U6A1813

Check out a little photo-tutorial of this Kale Braid by following HTHG on Instagram : @howtohairgirl

xo, HTHG

Tribe de Mama Guestpost: Earth Medicine for your Hair and Skin

witchHello dears. I wanted to take a minute to share a post I wrote for Tribe de Mama, a wonderful conscious mothering magazine that I read and really love.

The post is about a lovely ritual to treat the hair and skin, inspired by the Nomadic Saamii tribes of Northern Europe who used the elements of the earth to heal and treat, combining generational plant wisdom and potent spirituality to craft their rituals.

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.

If you are a mama searching for a place to belong among other conscious mamas, I invite you to follow @tribedemama on Instagram, and subscribe to the mag.

xo, HTHG

Hair Rituals for The Local Rose

witchHi 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.

Please Enjoy! xo

 

Staining Hair with Plant Pigment…. Natural Dye Experiment

IMG_6176-2Ever 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 myself some Beet Root Powder, Spirulina Powder, and Turmeric Root Powder which I found at my local apothecary. These powders can be found on Amazon by clicking the links:)

Then I got my Alaffia- EveryDay Shea- Moisturizing Shea Butter Conditioner, which I use as a base for all my experiments which require a creamy conditioner. I love this stuff because it works great, it is affordable, and the company is so incredibly cool. Check em out!

I got 3 bowls, 3 color applying brushes, a hair clip, a comb, and a few sheets of foil.

IMG_6181-2I mixed a tablespoon of each powder with 6 pumps of conditioner, blending thoroughly with a color brush till the colors were creamy and consistent.

colorThen, 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…..

IMG_6216IMG_6233As 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!

xoxoxox, HTHG

 

Spiritweavers Gathering, Embrace of the Feminine Heart

Hello Dears.

7U6A7132Last 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.7U6A7205

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. 7U6A7277

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. 7U6A8031

 

 

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.7U6A8089

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:)

Highlights from the Spiritweaver’s Gathering were these.7U6A7167

I learned to dye silk using natural pigments. We dyed scraps with boiled fennel, blackberries, oak balls, and horsetail. 7U6A7179More 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. 7U6A7419

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.

Check this post out on medicinal herbs for beauty:)

More on honey infusions here.

7U6A7183Marysia Miernowska from the Gaia School of Healing taught us about the language of medicinal plants using the Wise Woman Tradition. I Highly recommend, if you are interested in the subject, the book Healing Wise (Wise Woman Herbal Series) by Susun Weed.

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.

7U6A7191I shared my toothbrush with a banana slug.7U6A78857U6A78787U6A7860

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.7U6A8131

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. 7U6A7927 7U6A7918

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. Screen Shot 2015-05-24 at 3.50.39 PM

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. IMG_4920

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.

xoxo, HTHG

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