Brook’s Hair Transformation

Babes:)

Welcome back to the 3rd Edition of HTHG’s Ritual Hair Shave/ Paint/Transformation. This time, we feature my sister and muse, Brook.

Brook had wanted to shave her head for years. She had a beloved friend in high school who had a shaved head, who we all woman-crushed on for her fierce look and rebellious independence.

Brook recently started singing and song-writing in a punk band, and to celebrate her first stage debut, it seemed the perfect time for a shave and paint. So, we shaved her head, leaving a few bits and pieces around her face and featuring the uniqueness of her awesome head shape and hairline. Then, I bleached her and mixed up her colors. 

This time, I had drawn out a rough idea of what I wanted to do with her color, and free-hand painted it into her hair. Was such a blast. She is such a brave Aries woman.

Check out our IG for more video footage of this series, under the hashtag #hthgtransformation

xo, HTHG

Maddie’s Hair Transformation

Hi babes. Welcome to round 2 of Ritual Head Shave/ Hair Transformation. Meet Maddie. She answered my IG call for Head Shave Models, and I answered her call for wanting a reason to shave her head. 

She was reserved about wanting to fully expose her ears, which is so common for women.  When we shaved her head, we revealed her beautiful ears and she was just stunning. 

For her color concept, I worked from inspiration of these green bubbles. I had had a sense that green would be an important color to her, and it was, and it looked perfect on her.

Check out Howtohairgirl IG for more video footage from this series, and stay tuned for next weeks Transformation edition:)

xo, HTHG

 

Michele’s Ritual Hair Transformation

Welcome to the first edition of this beautiful saga of hair transformation!

This series will be mostly photo-documentation, with just a little intro to each woman. I considered going in do much deeper depth about the how’s and why’s of each woman’s personal transformation story but it seemed that the photos were enough to tell the tale.

Know this, though……I put a call out on my Instagram for women who are wanting to mark a transition in life by shaving their head and letting me bleach and paint colorful prayers into their heads afterwards. I heard from many interested women, who had been waiting for a reason to do this. It seemed that I was answering their call as they answered mine. I knew It was worth pursuing. 

Michele’s Transformation began with writing down an intention that she set for moving forward in her life. She shaved her own head, to mark the release of her intention into the universe. She burned her intention and her hair outside to bring in the elements of fire and air to burn through obstacles standing in her way of moving forwards.

Then, as witness and artist and co-facilitator, I painted prayers of color and vibrancy into her hair after bleaching her stubble to a soft white. 

The experience was very experimental, powerful, joyful and transformative. Thanks to Michele for her bravery, and for all of you who are witnessing. 

Please check out a small video of the process on my IG, under the hashtag #hthgtransformation

xo.

When to Shave Your Head.

So you have been wanting to shave your head forever, but haven’t had the vulva to do it yet. Maybe you, like me, watched Empire Records as a young teen and felt transformed along with Robin Tunney as she shaved her head to melancholy music in the bathroom, sad rebellion in her eyes as her hair fell in clumps into the dirty sink.

Maybe you knew a girl like that in high school, and thought she was the coolest, and wished you were cool enough to make friends with her. Maybe you were that girl in high school, and if so, power to you for being so brave.

I like to answer the question of ‘when is the perfect time to shave my head?’ like this: Never, and Always. 

There is Never a time in life that feels 100% comfortable to shave your head, there will Always be many people to talk you out of it because they are attached to your hair even if you aren’t. Shaving your head will Never not be a totally jump off a cliff’s worth of Adrenaline. Shaving your head will Always freak you out up until the moment you actually take the buzzers to your head, even if you know for sure it is what you want. There will Never be a perfect time to shave your head, until, one day, there is.

And then, you will know. You will be scared shitless. And you will just do it. So be sure to have your clippers ready when the moment hits.

My Shaved Head

This is a drawing of me by my friend Maurice Caldwell Jr. that was done a month or so after I shaved my head……The only known visual documentation that it ever happened. (twas before social media.)

I shaved my head on a whim once. I had been feeling like something wasn’t right, like I was outgrowing my own skin. I was restless and bored. I was hungry for something and I didn’t know what.

So, I showed up early for work one day, shaved my head with the help of a friend, and moved on with my life. It was a real learning experience for me to walk through life without hair. I started noticing more subtleties and nuances about how I felt about myself. It was like putting up a mirror that showed me who I truly was, instead of who I thought I wanted to be.

I realized that other people not thinking I was pretty was not actually that upsetting. I realized that I liked the feeling of looking unexpectedly, uniquely like myself for once. I realized that being mistaken for a boy wasn’t a problem for me. I realized that I had a lot of unlearning to do in my personal life and in my career.

I found out I was pregnant with my daughter Marley 2 weeks later. I was bald and pregnant. Life was all the sudden very interesting and colorful. I all of the sudden had real life choices to make, and the budding agency and confidence to make them. I was transforming to a new life M.O. as I realized that I was the one in the drivers seat.

Great Reasons to Shave your Head:

 

  • Because you are drunk and you are in a bar bathroom in Berlin and someone dares you to.
  • To show your mom who you really are.
  • Because you are going through a breakup.
  • Because you find yourself unnecessarily stuck in a cycle of obsession with how you are seen by others and you want to break free.
  • Because you are ready to start living life differently.
  • Because something hasn’t felt right for a really long time and though you may not understand it, you are ready to move past it.
  • Because you just experienced a major shift.
  • Because you just lost someone you really love. 
  • Because you want to atone for energetic karma.
  • Because you are on the verge of a major change and you realize that there will never be the right time, so the time has to be now. 
  • Because you are ready to jump off the hamster wheel of harsh chemical hair treatments and start fresh.
  • Because you are going to lose your hair to Chemo
  • No reason at all, but because something besides reason tells you to just fucking do it.

 

This last one is important to me personally, because I have had the honor of working with many women who are embarking on their Chemo Journey, and It is such a powerful experience to take control of the destiny of your hair in a time when so much is happening to your body that feels out of control. The Chemo head shave is a deeply transformative ritual that begins the process of loving, honoring and healing the body throughout the  experience of Cancer Treatment. It also just makes it easier to emotionally deal with quick hair-loss to just remove the hair first and move on.

DIY Head Shave 

I am in favor of the DIY head shave, because it is a little more personal when you do it yourself, and it is nearly impossible to mess up. All you need is a whim, some music, a dry head of hair, a 3 way mirror, clippers and a #3 guard.

You can also ask a friend to be on hand to clean you up around the edges as-needed.

Before you start shaving, think about what you are letting go of by removing your hair. Give yourself a big hug for making the conscious choice to let go and move on. Get ready to greet yourself with love and celebration on the other side. 

Start buzzing.

Our next several blog posts will document women in times of transformation, shaving their heads and celebrating with color.

xo, HTHG

 

 

Ayana Young, Laughing with the Trees.

2 years ago, I found myself desperate for something I couldn’t put my finger on. I have had this feeling my entire life, off and on, that I was missing something really important. I experienced it as intense loneliness, deep grief, and an inescapable feeling of isolation and disconnection. I know that I am not the only one who feels this at times.

I found myself bumping up against these questions:

What fucking matters?

Is there some sort of spiritual path I should be following?

Where did I come from? Who are my people? Where is my homeland?

How do we make right that as a culture, we are so destructive and un-appreciative of this land that holds us? 

How do we fight for the earth that we love so deeply that sustains us and allows us to survive?

Where do we begin to cultivate the strength to look the crisis of of this earth straight in the eye without losing all hope? 

How can I raise my kids in this world with truth and reverence and an understanding of the fragility of our future lives on this changing planet?

Big Questions.

I was being called towards activism, and to the earth, and to some sort of spiritual experience, and I had no idea where to begin.

From the depths of the Russian Taiga, deep in the Boreal forests of the northern woods, a seed was planted long ago. Generations and migrations later, this seed showed up in full bloom, in the form of Ayana Young.

Have you ever been around someone who speaks profound truth in a simple, straightforward way so much that they catch you off guard and make you question what took you so long to see the light? That is what Ayana has been for me. In metaphor, meeting her and following her Earth Action work has been a light at the end of a dark existential tunnel.

Today, I want to honor Ayana Young as being a light and a bridge for so many of us from our own hearts back into the land from which we came. She is the facilitator of a beautiful space where the origin stories of earth love are contained. She is a mother of the wild, a mother of girl dogs, and a laugher with the trees.

Ayana is the creator of For The Wild ( formerly Unlearn and Rewind ) where she hosts podcasts which feature front lines earth activists, indigenous leaders, healers, authors, and politicians and engages them in conversations from the heart on issues related to radical earth renewal.

These conversations take us from the trees, to the oceans, to ancestry, spirituality,  politics, indigenous wisdom, anti-oppression, colonialism and de-colonization, the magic of mycelium, wild horses, psychology, death, birth, renewal, despair, and deep into the roots of the earth and the love that brings us to want to protect her. Activism rooted deeply in love, activism which deeply inspires.

Through these conversations, we learn that to act as stewards and protectors of the planet, we have to be able to understand all of nature as ‘being’, existing in more than just a physical form but in soul and in relationship to all other beings.

Within these relationships, there is a beautiful opportunity to live in reciprocity, give and take. There is an opportunity to lean in to the feelings of kinship we may feel with the natural world. To reconnect and find soul and earth healing medicine in these simple, beautiful connections. And to let them inspire us to act in protection and support of the earth from a place of deep love.

Through Ayana Young and the conversations on For The Wild, many of those questions of existential despair have been answered for me.

I am reminded that any path that leads us from our hearts into the land that we walk and all of it’s creatures is a path worth following. This path leads us to a deeper place within ourselves, and within the web that connects us all. This path leads us to live with more regard and in deeper reciprocity with our natural world. This path leads us away from loneliness and despair and it inspires a sort of activism that grows from a place of love, the sort of love that is needed to be able to keep pushing forward and finding solutions.

Ayana’s work reminds us that every act of love to the earth we walk is activism, and every minute we spend nurturing our own heart connections with the land is healing for both parties. Laughing with the trees, crying with the snails, praying, watering, nourishing and building relationships with the wild.

That is my love letter of the day. I had the pleasure of visiting with Ayana last week when she came through town. We had a lovely afternoon, chatted and laughed and then we visited some of my favorite trees and adorned them with flowers.

We talked about her upcoming Sisters Bonded in Action Webinar series with Spirit Weavers which feature women in activism speaking on the topics of:

Power, Oppression and Intersectionality featuring Barbara Jefferson

Decolonizing and Reclaiming Indignity featuring Jade Begay and Lyla June

Dismantling Systemic White Supremecy featuring Mollie Crittenden & Rain Crowe

Exerting and Expanding our Rights featuring Yasmin Christopher

Direct Action from the Grass Roots featuring Malia Hulleman

and Keeping Sane and Active amid Mass Psychosis featuring Joanna Macy

I highly suggest signing up for this series.

I got to braid Ayana’s hair, finally;) and also give her a little trim and some rose oil. Her braids brought out her inner Taiga Teenager, reminiscent of the Old Country and the sweetness of youth (her last name is Young, after all) I tried my best to encourage her to get deeper into self-care, something that can be hard for those who throw their hearts so deeply into their work. We truly cannot pour from an empty vessel. 

I fell in love with her sweet dog daughter, and she got to meet my human daughters. She left me with a full heart, a shit ton of hope, and 2 half-gallons of strawberry kefir from the farmer up the road from her land in the woods of Northern California.

xo.

 

 

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