Hi babes. It’s officially Summer, which for us means more lazy days of letting our imaginations run wild, spending time outside, enjoying the bounty of the Pacific Northwest flora and fauna, and playing with color via drawing, painting, and hair color.
I have been exploring the collaboration of color, texture and form in hair designing and it has led me to more of an art-form and less of a practical skill……..This week, inspired by the book Fruits by Shiochi Aoki, a lifetime favorite of my daughter Marley, her hair got to a next level of cool.
Just so you all know, when I do her hair, I use no chemicals and only vegan color. She is as much a part of the process of conceptualizing her own color. The process of doing her hair is often the most time I get her to sit still and hang out with me, which is sort of self serving, but I think she appreciates the one on one attention:)
However, when it comes to the braiding and styling, I have to bribe and beg her to let me do it. It often leads to compromise, and sometimes to a drag out fight where I say things like (and I know better) “I MADE YOU! You are my greatest creation!!!!!! This is the last braid I PROMISE!!!!!!! Please! Just one more. Please!”
And she says “Mom you don’t understand how much I can’t stand it when you make me sit still. This is SO not FAIR!!!!”
I assure you that I do make up for the hair braiding abuse by showing our daughters a pretty charmed, lovely (though realistic and grounded) life. #momtruth
Enjoy the Hair Art, and I hope you all are loving this Summer.
Hello mamas! This post is for all of us who are mothers to children, pets, and/or ourselves. Even papas can be mamas, so this is for you too.
This year has been all about healing through re-connection. Coming out of the dark and into the light. Keeping our shadows close as we walk in the sun, honoring all sides of ourselves and loving the parts of us that we keep hidden and beginning to let those parts out of hiding. Remembering that our path can only be navigated with true clarity when dark and light are both at work.
Self-Care during transitional times in life becomes more important as we grow older and experience bigger life changes. We begin to understand the importance of staying present, and trusting ourselves. We learn to stop abusing ourselves with critical words aimed at our own hearts, and learn to love and accept ourselves as a mother should, whether we had a loving mother or not.
We start to gravitate towards the people and the experiences that allow us to express and accept love, and we find the tools that help us invoke and manifest that love. We learn that mindfulness, meditation, ritual, and ceremony are one and the same, and can be infused into even the smallest tasks in life.
Prayer is the same as manifestation, and to experience it’s potency we can use equal parts gratitude, hope, love and imagination. To access these 4 celestial commodities, we begin by cultivating a deeper connection to everything and everyone around us, including ourselves.
We learn that by offering, we receive. And all paths lead back to the source, the mama, the mother in all of us that loves us into being and teaches us to care for ourselves. Sacred self-care, radical self love.
As mamas, let’s love ourselves first.
Hair Brushing Ritual
Here is my favorite ritual for self-care. You can do it on your own, or with your children or a friend.
By cultivating this practice, allow the healing and eye-opening power of Sacred Self-Care to seep into your life, one brush stroke at a time.
Find a quiet, peaceful place
Sit down, take a deep breath. Breathe for a minute, inhaling fresh, cleansing breaths, and exhaling stagnancy. Breath in the new and out the old.
Set an intention for your brushing session…..What do you want to manifest into your life? And what are you ready to let go of?
Apply your favorite essential oil or Crown Chakra Oilto your fingertips….Just a few drops. Breath in the scent and let it envelop you for the moment. Spend a few moments massaging it into your scalp, beginning with the temples and working towards the top and back of the head.
Begin to brush your hair, first gently de-tangling the ends, then working your way through to the scalp. Close your eyes, and breath.
Hold you body in alignment. Sit bones tucked under, pelvis tilted ever-so-slightly forwards, shoulders open, head resting softly on your neck. Strength without tightness in your core. Keep breathing.
As you brush, imagine what you are letting go of. Begin by brushing any negative feelings that you have felt or that have been imposed on you regarding your hair. Brush out anyone who ever told you that you didn’t have good hair. Brush out anyone who ever made you feel like you weren’t good enough in general. Brush out criticism that you impose on yourself throughout the day. As you hair softens with each brush stroke, the tone with which you speak to your own self softens.
We are also mothers to ourselves, let’s not forget how important it is to care for ourselves and speak to ourselves with love. Loving words and nurturing care build healthy children, bountiful gardens, and centered, strong mamas.
Brush out old energy, old habits, negativity, restlessnessBe here for the moment, enjoying this beautiful demonstration of self care on our sacred crowns, and our sixth sense, our hair barometer to the world around us.
Brush your hair from all directions, Inviting with gratitude in through your crown the winds of change and rebirth, the fresh air of the East, the sensuous, emotional and creative waters of the West, where the sun sets with anything we are ready to put to rest, the fires of the South that ignite our passion for life, and the earth element of the North which grounds us, roots growing through the ground so that we may safely explore the cosmos without loosing our footing.
Flip your head upside down and let your blood flow to your scalp, bringing vitality and circulation. Brush your hair upside down and imagine your cells dividing faster with the friction of the brush and the blood flowing to your hair follicles. New Growth, New Life.
Now sit upright again, hair big and wild. Eyes closed. Brush resting on your lap. Keep breathing. Wait a moment and stay present with all of the feelings and sensations of your body.
Invite your mind to be still and quiet as you focus your energy on your breath and the sensations of your physical body.
Open your eyes. Pick up your brush, and begin to remove the hairs from it, pulling out as many as you can all at once, thanking your brush, your sacred self care tool, for helping you channel this invocation. All these hairs that you have removed represent everything you brushed out of your hair, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Offer them to the ground, (garden?) or to the fire (burn them) , or to the water (river?) or to the air (feed them to the breeze) Say goodbye to them and open yourself to new growth, to the manifestations of your visions and hard work, and to love.
Please visit Tribe de Mama for more musings on Mama Life, and visit the Tribe de Mama Instagram for our Free Your Hair Brush/ TDM special promo-code for a discount on your beautiful hand finished, mixed-bristle hairbrush. #freeyourhairbrush
Thank you to the Mama featured in this post, Marriah Berquist, and her magical daughters baby Ocean and big sis Pilot (Queen of DIY haircuts.)
This post today is dedicated to the daughters of the world, which is all of us with possibly some additional sons, and this is for them too, if they are into braiding their hair with flowers, and if they are, we salute and love them for it.
I want to be the kind of mom who honors my children for truly who they are, and I want them to be the kind of kids who understand that and know it deep in their hearts. And it is so hard sometimes to nurture that connection and love when we are stuck on the hamster wheel of ‘normal life.’
A month ago, I took my kids out of school for 2 weeks because I wanted them to be able to run free in the Ozarks and spend time with their loved ones and friends in our other hometown of Fayetteville Arkansas. And I needed a chance to remember who I am, and who they are, and why and how I love them.
I had been feeling increasingly out of touch with them in our busy Seattle life……Our days a routine of rushing them around and then feeling frustrated at their slow pace.
Being a mom is really hard because I often feel like the asshole, or I like to call it a momhole, if you will ( DON’T google it! No DON’T!) We simply don’t get enough time to just relax together (much less on our own!) , follow our curiosity, and just be without plans to keep us rushing around like rats in a race. We desperately needed some time to slow down together.
On top of feeling like a momhole in general, there is also the guilt of motherhood and womanhood, where everything we do is in opposition to what we should be doing, no matter what we are doing. What?????????? wtf. Makes one want to just say fuck it, I’m just going to do whatever I want forever.
Which is what we did in Arkansas last month, and it was divine. We crashed couches, we invited ourselves over to the homes of some of our favorite people, we ate, we danced, we played, we slept, we spent mothers day in our underwear lounging around like sloths, and we worshipped the great mama in the river with some of our best friends.
2 full weeks just BEING with our daughters, letting our little community hold us, not rushing, and just letting our days unfold was the best therapy that we could have asked for.
As we drove back to the airport at the end of our trip, a 4 hour journey to Kansas City, the guilt started to creep back in. What kind of mother would give up this sort of life? What kind of mother would leave the sweet community that raised her a mother, to move to a city that is no longer hospitable to part-time working parents who refuse to not be there to watch their kids grow up?
We drove past a sign advertising the Gentry Animal Safari…….Just 15 miles up the road!
What kind of mother would drive past the Animal Safari and not stop so her kids could see the weirdness of totally not native animals roaming the land that WallMart bought? What kind of mother would not let her children hand feed a kangaroo white bread while drinking coke and eating red vines and hot dogs cooked in rancid oil?
What kind of fucking mother am I.
And then, as if by magic, a literal field of beautiful wild flowers entered my vision on the side of the freeway. Hark! A Park! I pulled the car over, and we ran together into the middle of the field. We all knew what to do. We sat at flower level, watching butterflies flutter by and listening to the sound of the flowers sing.
As I watched them frolic in absolute joy and wonder, I forgave myself for all the things I don’t do for them. As I braided their hair, I bowed to them in my heart, honoring them for being who they are and reminding me to stop beating myself up for not doing more for them. In my own annoying mom way, I tried to telepathically beam that straight down their throats and into their joyful little hearts.
There is nothing like braiding someones hair to show them that you honor them:)
If you are a mama, braid your kids hair. If you have a mama, braid her hair for her.
Thanks for reading my rambles:)
Here are the braids I gave them.
Pretty self explanatory, although the trick for this second one is that I pulled out all the hair along just the outer edge of both braids, instead of both edges. Then used pins to secure the braids across the back of the head to the other side, and tucked and pinned the ends of the braids underneath.
Honor yourselves, Honor your daughters. Lot’s of love.
Also, PS. Our youngest daughter Selah is graduating from Preschool today so I’m feeling very sentimental.
Life is full of transformative changes, and our hair has been used as an emblem for life change for thousands of years, and across all world cultures. This is powerful. Today, with access to chemistry and knowledge of color theory, we have so many options for transforming our hair and marking our paths of change. This story is for all the Mamas out there, and it is my offering for Mother’s Day, because I want to honor the transformations that we go through as mothers.
I want to start by summerizing the transformation of a caterpillar to a butterfly, because it is beautifully stunning.
A close lady friend recently pointed out to me when caterpillars become butterflies, they don’t evolve from one form directly into the next as a fetus becomes a baby. Nope. Catepillars enter their crysalis (Their preparatory pod of of transition ) and then they digest themselves and turn into catepillar soup. Then, somehow, the cells that are spared in digestion organize themselves to create all of the magnificent parts needed to grow a butterfly from scratch. What the fuck. Nature Wins Forever. I am just floored by this.
What a beautiful way to embody a transition in life. This fact about butterflies was the inspiration for my sister’s hair transformation.
how would you feel about me doing something wild with my hair?
My sister Brook asked her new boss this. She had just started a new job as a science babe in an HIV research lab, turned 35, had a baby, moved to a new city with her husband, defended her thesis, and tried out for lead singer in an all girl punk rock band. It was time to celebrate some major life transformations with new hair.
Her boss answered……
Regarding work, my philosophy is that appearances have nothing to do with what kind of scientist you are, so your appearance is your choice. On a personal level, I would love it if you did something wild with your hair – I think it is nice when people feel comfortable with personal expression. And on an ethical level, I think we should all find our own ways to encourage our colleagues and the world in general to be more tolerant, and not afraid of people who don’t look like them. Especially these days. So go for it! It will be fun to see what you and your sister come up with 🙂
This, we took as a green light.
We both new It was time for butterfly hair, to honor the recent transitions in her life and help her start anew. I spent a few days thinking about what to do with her hair (she gave me full artistic license to design, bless her.) Then, the day came to transform.
Please feel free to not read through the entire description of how her hair was done, it is quite technical, hairdresser talk and you may or may not be interested. You may also just look at the pictures if it suits you. If you want to learn how to do this hair, please read on:)
Brook’s Butterfly Hair
Here is what we did to create her cut and color……First, a major chop. I had been obsessing over the idea of shaggy bowl cuts, and decided that it would be the perfect hair move for Brook. She was game for anything. I basically did a center part on her dry hair, then pulled everything straight forwards to a stationary design line that ran parallel with the tip of her nose. In two chops with my shears, she had a rough bowl cut, and was ready to bleach.
I bleached her virgin hair with 30v developer and Olaplex.
Then, touched up that shaggy bowl cut, by working through her hair in diagonal sections, beginning at the hairline, pulling the hair forwards to that same original design line, and cleaning up the line. The haircut honestly barely needed any work.
If you want to DIY this haircut, do a center part, brush your hair all straight forwards, even hang your head forwards to make it easier. Gather all of the hair and brush it neatly into a ponytail that gathers at the tip of your nose. Pointcut that ponytail right off. Let the hair down and check out your gorgeous kitchen shag.
I began by mixing her colors. I knew I wanted the shades to match her eye color, so I took a picture of her eyeball, then saturated it a bit and used it as a guide for mixing. I also knew I wanted a pop of pink.
Then, I began by sectioning of a circle on the top of her head, which would fall down over the top of that shag, radially. I wrapped it into a tight bun and clipped it off, to keep it out of the way. Then, I carefully painted her roots with the deeper teal color.
Once I had applied the teal to her roots, I carefully applied it to the roots of her circle section, and then re-clipped it off.
Then, I applied the lighter teal to the rest of her hair, (excluding her circle section) and I also left out the ends of the hair around her face, wanting to incorporate some yellow into them.
Now, the fun part was coloring that top circle section, using the ColorPrint Technique!
I knew I wanted color to encircle her hair in a way that would really make her bowl cut pop, because when color is designed around a haircut, It takes the hair to a whole new level.
Here is what I did………..I made a half inch deep sub section, straight across the top circle section. I combed the hair from the subsection straight forwards, onto a piece of foil. Then, I taped it off, straight across above her ends, leaving about 2-3 inches of ends exposed. I made sure that the tape was securely sealed on top of the hair.
Then, with pink and a small art brush, I lined either side of the tape, creating 2 pink lines through the hair which would outline the resist image of the tape.
Then, I gently feathered the top pink line upwards, and the bottom pink line downwards, so that they would gently melt into the next colors.
With separate art brushes, I applied the lighter teal between the roots and the upper feathered pink, and I appllied the yellow to from the ends of the hair, feathering upwards to the pink. ( ends first, so as not to bleed too much pink downwards.)
Once this sub-section was colored, I made a second sub section behind the first, a half inch deep, and pulled it down and laid it directly on the first colored subsection. I repeated the steps, taping off the hair right over the first tape (layering tape/hair/tape/hair.) and then applying color in the same way. I knew that by bringing all the hair from this top circular section back to our original design line, and coloring it in the exact same manner all through the entire top section, we would end up with a circle around the head, when the hair falls naturally.
I worked my way through that entire top section, making half inch deep sub-sections, layering them, taping and coloring them one on top of the next. This, my dears, is hairdresser magic :).
Once all the color was applied, she sat for 20 minutes. Then I rinsed her with cool water, top section first, tape still on. I rinsed with medium water pressure, leaving the tape attached until all the excess color had been rinsed from the section. ( This helps keep the resist image clear and crisp!)
Once top section was rinsed, I rinsed everything all together, until the water ran clear and her hair felt clean of product.
Then, I rough dried her, and showed her herself in the mirror. There is just nothing like that moment of embodying the transformation. Butterfly wings sprouted from her back and she fluttered home, stopping to smell every flower along the way.
When she got home, her 2 year old son wouldn’t look at her, at first. Then, a little while later, he took her face in his hands and smiled and told her she was beautiful.
Happy Mothers Day!
As an extra token of my love today for mamas far and wide, head over to HTHG Instagram and enter our Free Your Hair Brush Giveaway.
Hair is a great teaching lab for children to develop their senses about body autonomy- Dr. Laura Kastner
You know how some people just radiate who they are unapologetically and unquestionably so hard that it makes you want to follow suit? Grayson is that chick. This is Grayson. She is 3 years old, a true threenager, and she is a budding radical non conformist with a healthy sense of ownership of her own body.
Grayson and her big brother Eli are friends with our 4 year old Selah through preschool, so I have had the pleasure of hanging out with G when she comes over for playdates, and more recently, have had the opportunity to play with her hair.
Grayson has insanely beautiful apricot red naturally curly hair that grows straight out into a cloud of fuzz and ringlets, and it has brought her a lot of attention in her life. Any curly red-haired person can relate. People want to touch it and make a big deal of it. Grayson is quite unconcerned.
A few months back, her brother Eli got a haircut. His long curly locks came off, revealing a more independent, grown up kid. Inspired by the power of his transformation, Grayson decided she wanted her haircut too.
She asked her folks, and they agreed. They asked me if I would trim her hair for her. Of course, I jumped at the chance.
All color photos in this post were taken by my friend Bill Anthony🙂
Grayson came and sat in my hair chair and I brushed her hair out. She smiled and shut her little eyes as I pulled and tugged my way through her hair, acting like a happy cat getting groomed.
I trimmed her ends for her, while she sat still and at full attention. I sensed her satisfaction with the whole experience, a little boost in her self, a little ownership of her choices. It is such a subtly powerful shift that I witness in people when cutting their hair.
I had a feeling that this trim was the beginning of something bigger for her. I knew that she would be back for more. She wanted to see herself in a different way, she wanted a bigger change, she wanted to make the choice, she wanted to feel big like Eli. A trim was not enough.
The next week, she came over and wanted more hair cut off. (Her parents, by the way, are impressively cool about letting her decide what to do with her own hair, which is an important point that totally drives this whole experience.)
So, we shaved her sides. She spent quite a while examining herself with this new look. She liked the look of herself, liked the experience of transformation. She really liked the larger pile of hair on the ground afterward.
This far into the process of Grayson going full punk rock girl and getting her head shaved, I started thinking about the importance body autonomy for young children.
Body autonomy, as defined by Getting to Calm author and famed clinical psychologist Dr. Laura Kastner, ‘refers to the human right of people to have control over their own bodies. This right grants people self-determination regarding how their body is used or treated, personal boundary inviolability, and choices about who touches one’s body and who doesn’t.
We, as parents, have a responsibility to make sure that our child’s health is maintained , which includes feeding, cleaning and protecting their bodies from harm. But ideally, we explain our reasoning and respect their need for control as much as possible. Even with food, it is our job is to supply healthy food at appropriate times, but it is the child’s job to decide what and how much to ingest. Because health decisions will be mostly non-negotiable, encouraging your child toexplore his or her unique tastes and whims with hair style is an ideal way tosupport your child’s understanding and rights to body autonomy.’
A week later, Grayson told her parents she wanted her hair all gone. Her dad Asa said this about the request: ‘There was a definite ‘oh shit’ moment for me, when I realized that the only reason we weren’t letting her shave it was because she is a girl’ So, being the cool parents that they are, they shaved her head for her. A beautiful example of supported autonomy between a parent and a child.
Dr. Kastner continues…’ I learned early in my adolescent development training to encourage parents to let kids make their own hair decision. To do so is harmless. It’s respectful of their burgeoning identities. Parents control so much of their children’s lives that they should rejoice in having hair as a safe realm in which they can support body autonomy.
Encouraging personal exploration in safe ways builds self-knowledge and competence! As parents, we can sometimes have big opinions about “what looks best”. However, if we dig deeply enough, we know that our notions about physical appearance and hairstyles are culturally constructed, influenced by our identities (not respect for our children’s budding ones), and potentially biased by our needs to bend our children toward conformity.’
Grayson is a great example of a child who has a very healthy sense of body autonomy (and a great sense of style). She rocks her shaved head proudly and beautifully, exploring herself in a creative and expressive way and experimenting with non-conformity. And damn it if we don’t need more non-conformist, think outside-the-boxness in this world.
Dr. Kastner sums it up…..’What’s wrong with conforming, you ask? Naturally, teaching your children to obey many social rules is imperative and your job as a parent! We want them to settle squabbles nonviolently, pick up litter and show kindness. However, when itcomes to their bodies, do you want them to learn to subjugate themselves to others’ opinions about their bodies, desires to touch their bodies, or others’ beliefs about crossing personal boundaries? I don’t think so.
Giving children control of their bodies at a young age will empower them to standup for their rights later in life. You can talk to your toddler or young child about hair, knowing that you are communicating deeper meanings. This is your hair and you get to choose how to wear it. You know best about what feels best to you. The great thing about hair is that if you don’t like it, you can change it!’
Thank you Grayson, for demonstrating this lesson in such a badass little way.