By Dominique Stroman
Self-care has become more of a necessity than a luxury. Here are a few tips to “indulge” in self-care in the comfort of your own home! Take some well deserved time to nurture yourself.
Soothing Scalp Massage -After your hair has been thoroughly shampooed (once with a clarifying shampoo and once with a moisturizing shampoo) while the conditioner processes, take this moment to treat your scalp to some much needed TLC –tender loving care.
How-to: Locate your temples [on the sides of your head, in front of your ears]. Move your fingertips in small circular motions while applying a gentle amount of pressure. Continue this step throughout your head onto the apex [top of the head], crown [center of the head] and the nape [where your neck meets the lower back hairline; behind the ears where the occipital bone is located].
Key Benefits: Increases blood circulation which helps to activate hair cells. Releases endorphins (hormone secreted within the brain’s pituitary gland that plays a major role in regulating vital body functions and general wellbeing). Releases an important liaison called dopamine (a natural chemical found in the human body that sends signals from the body to the brain; which plays a big part in controlling a person’s movement and emotional responses).
Tip: Close your eyes and enjoy!
Playlist of Relaxing Music -Sound is a key component to how we receive information. Information in the form of music can immediately alter our mental, emotional, and spiritual state of being. Inherently universal, once music is heard it has the power to make the listener sad, sorrowful, gitty, happy, empowered, inspired, free or displaced. Remember that what you intake audibly logs in, processes, and downloads within seconds.
How-to: Select a list of songs that encourage positive sentiments. Consider uplifting lyrics or calming instrumentals. When you desire to be energetic play fast paced hyper rhythmic beats to get out of a funk. Slower, longer notes will provide the brain with less to process leaving you plenty of room to simply be!
Key Benefit: Music therapy has statistically been shown to drastically improve people’s overall mental health. Increases productivity and lifts depression.
Tip: Play low volume music to subconsciously keep you in a fantastic mood all day long!
Breathing -Essential to human life, breathing is often taken for granted since we do it without thought. Our body functions in a way that the brain sends signals to each organ instruction each one to function on command. Carriers of oxygen, our lungs are two key members of the human body’s mechanics. The Hebrew word ruach means wind, spirit, breath. A lifeless corps has lost its ruach, but a breathing, living soul has received the ruach.
How-to: Be intentional about setting aside some alone time. Get into a comfortable position. Take deep breaths, inhaling through your nose then exhaling through your mouth. Exhale every negative feeling, distractions, doubts, worries and inhale peace, love, comfort, strength, acceptance, courage and so on.. Repeat once a day, at the start and/or at the end of your day, or as frequent as you feel your inner peace needs to be regulated.
Key Benefit: Helps regulate your heart rate, improves flow of oxygen, settles your mind, loosens your body, increases patience, releases spiritual and emotional healing, provides mental clarity, evokes and births newness! This newness will manifest into a tangible reality –your reality! Lowers stress which is the number one cause of hair loss.
Tip: Be still!
Aromatherapy–Holistic practices of using plant-based oils and herbs to promote psychological and physical wellness fit right into natural hair care. When our bodies and minds are well our hair can thrive. Our bodies are not designed to be in a constant state of tension. One element of healing and wholeness can come through your nose.
How-to: Use your sense of smell to unleash the hold from environmental stressors. Add a few drops of peppermint, tea tree or eucalyptus essential oils into your favorite conditioners to stimulate your hair growth, treat dry/itchy/flaky scalp while enjoying an invigorating tingle and a calming scent. Citrus notes like lemon, orange and lemongrass provide an outburst of energy that will awaken your body and lighten your mind. Dampen a towel with hot water after you’ve added floral oils such as lavender, rose or chamomile; then inhale slowly.
Key Benefit: While the conditioner is in a herbal infused towel wrap the steam will aid the product to better penetrate into the hair. For immediate results, rubbing a dab of essential oil above your nose before bed will not only help clear your sinuses, but it will also yield to a restful uninterrupted night of sleep. Wake up in a better mood and be armed to take on your day victoriously! Aromatherapy can also settle any stomach pain and ease nausea.
Tip: A diffuser is one of the best ways to fill a space with the aroma of your choice. Be sure to research the beneficial properties of the essentials oils to best suit your hair care needs, before application.
Eat Your Way to Healthy Hair -Certain fruits, veggies, nuts, and meats are known to be directly associated with hair growth. With that considered, dietary deficiencies that cause medical issues that lead to prescribed medicines that eventually cause hair thinning and hair loss can be prevented with better nutritional food choices.
How-to: Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated. When you think of water think of growth. Eat foods that are rich in zinc, iron, Omega 3, vitamin D, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin E and biotin. Be sure to research options that will accommodate your specific dietary preferences (including carnivores, vegetarians, vegans, kosher, gluten-free and food allergies).
Key Benefit: Healthier scalp, hair, skin and nails. Hair growth, length and moisture retention. Lustrous shine without product. Strengthened immune system.
Tip: For starters, try consuming more salmon, spinach, kale, chickpeas, almonds, beans, lentils, dark chocolate, eggs, broccoli, chia seeds and flax seeds and get in your daily dosage of direct sunlight (10 to 15 minutes will do!). Go for an all-natural vitamin to supplement some of your diet’s needs to promote the production of healthy hair cells. Visit your local health food stores to speak with a specialist to find out which brands would be best for you.