Written by Mahogany Plautz, Founding Member + Featured Practitioner
As the temps begin to rise and we see the sun more often and for longer periods of time, it’s like Mother Nature is giving us a nudge to switch it up for the new season. We spent last month with Jaralyn in stillness, watching to see what the ice and snow melting uncovered (see recent journal entry by Jaralyn Roberts). We reflected on what needs to be let go and what needs nourishment.
Something that I uncovered was just how often I speak harshly to myself and my hair when it comes time for “wash day.” I can drown myself in thoughts about how I shouldn’t have waited so long, how I wished I knew how to do more things with my hair, questions about what products I am using and if they are right. And I am a professional, y’all!
I started to think on how my habits began and I was instantly transported to my younger self. The notion that my hair was something to be fixed, tamed, or in some cases chemically altered into submission. The message was clear that doing my hair was not fun. And while I am not responsible for the messages my family, friends, peers and society at large had sent me. I am now responsible for shifting that narrative. And in many ways, I have.
The notion that my hair was something to be fixed, tamed, or in some cases chemically altered into submission. The message was clear...
I curated my socials to show my tight curls that looked like mine, and started looking at wash day as a celebration of the beautiful coils that sprang from my head. I turned routines into rituals. Wash days are now so deeply rooted in self care that I come to look forward to them.
CLEANSING: The ritual of cleansing can feel overwhelming. Especially if it has been a while. One way I avoid getting caught up in the drama of it all is schedule my wash days at the beginning of the month. That way I can set aside enough time to not feel rushed.
I want to make sure there is enough time for me to use a clarifying shampoo to give me a clean slate and follow it up with a moisture balancing shampoo. That’s right, two shampoos. ‘Cause we fancy!
CONDITIONING: Conditioning is my time to love on my hair, drenching each loc and massaging my scalp. Here’s where I add in my favorite affirmations. With each palm full of creamy goodness I take this time to honor my gratitudes since my last wash day. It’s a truly special time for me. I can’t lie, there are usually tears involved. And that’s ok.
STYLING: This one can be tricky as many of us know styling as a form of torture from our childhood. It was also a time when many of those messages we received about assimilation to white beauty standards began and illuminated just how far away from them we are.
Now, when I am styling my hair I set the stage with music, affirmations and scents. Depending on how long and what type of styling I am doing I may watch shows and movies featuring folks with hair like mine.
With the rituals waiting for me each wash day I am afforded the right amount of time and energy to enjoy performing them. Rituals, affirmations and hair needs may differ from person to person but when we are mindful of the words and energy we bring to each session, the experience is elevated from “doing my hair’ to “hair care/self care”. We can begin to clear out those spaces that say we are not enough and love the women we are today. We can give love back to the little girl we once were. Letting her know that her big, beautiful, gravity defying hair is nothing to be ashamed of. It is to be celebrated and cared for, just as we ourselves are deserving of love and care.
Mahogany Plautz, hair stylist and founder of Detangled Hair Education, will lead us as we tend to our own locks, beginning our nightly hair routine and preparing for tomorrow’s style. Bring your hair kit and let’s share our hair stories, play with our waves, coils, curls, and talk about the healing power of the detangling processes inside and out. Register above!