Tuesday, April 12, 2011

How to have healthier spiky hair

I wear my hair really short. It's simple to keep, and because my hair is so thick, it gets waves in all the wrong places when it gets to a certain length. I had really long hair a while back, but I gave it to the Canadian Cancer society, along with $3000 that I collected as a fundraiser. They shaved me bald, an interesting experience in the middle of January! While I enjoyed and still dream of braiding my long hair, now it's shot through with coarse, springy grey and works better with a short, care-free, spiky look. I can do my hair in less than three minutes, and I don't have to bother with clips, elastics, or other hair paraphernalia.

But to make hair spike, some sort of "product" (as stylists like to say) is required. Just to prove that I still have a lot to learn, I'll admit that even after all my postings on the toxic chemicals found in hair and beauty products, I made a mistake last week. As I was walking through the beauty section in my grocery store, I was seduced by a little jar of pomade, the least smelly on the shelf (because parfum is one of the worst ingredients for folks with allergies). It wasn't until I got home that I realized how stupid that was. To my credit, I haven't used the stuff, so it's returnable. But the fact that I picked it up at all still bothers me! What was I thinking?? Sucked in by consumer culture yet again.

This morning, I took a hard look at the ingredient list of that little plastic jar, and of course, every single component sounds like it comes out of a chemist's lab. So I checked them all against David Suzuki's list of "the Dirty Dozen" toxic chemicals in beauty products, and "messy look paste" contains the entire paraben family as well as 26 other substances unknown to me.

So if I don't want to invite Methyl, Ethyl, Propyl, Isobutyl, and Butyl Paraben and their other relatives to live on (or in) me, what's the solution to cute spiky hair (rather than Mom's curly cauliflower head, as my girls like to put it)? I thought hard about it this morning. What naturally occuring substance is similar in texture to "messy look paste?"

Honey, honey! Not the gooey, drippy kind. No, put it in the fridge for a while and let it solidify or crystallize.

My father-in-law is a farmer who has beehives on his land, and the beekeeper pays rent by bringing Dad pails of honey, which he so kindly passes on to me. I mussed a bit (about an eighth of a teaspoon) into my damp hair this morning,  let it dry, and voila! Spiky hair that's not too sticky and might even get some sort of benefit from the healthy good things that bees put into honey. I wonder if maple syrple might work, too?

We've been doing our best to reduce chemical everything in our family life, but we have a long way to go. I'm sure there are a hundred blogs out there about simple and healthy replacements for almost any chemically-based consumer product out there. Like baking soda in place of cleansers. Alum rocks for deodorants. Vinegar and water instead of window cleaner. And I'm sure I can't be the first person to spike up my hair with a tiny dab of honey!

P.S. Thanks, Dad! I'll bet you never imagined anything like this when you gave me that sweet stuff!


P.S. Again (August 13th) -- after I posted this back in April, my husband wondered aloud if the honey option might be a bad thing in the summer when it came to being outdoors. I'm happy to report that it has yet to attract any flies, bees, wasps or other unsavoury critters! I also have done a comparison between the feel of honey and messy hair paste, and they are remarkably similar once they're in my hair, though honey is slightly stickier. And I'm amazed at how many people have read this moodling. Healthy solutions to all!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome idea! (I used to wear mine short and spiky too. I believe I will go back to that when it turns more grey because mine is coarse and curly as well.) Right now I have it long and I use...Ta Da...ALOE VERA instead of OTC hair gels...cheap and natural.

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