Hair Yoga – Lessons in Moderation

chemical free!!
chemical free!!

I’ve never been good at a little. To paraphrase the best song ever (the best along with 500 other songs which are the best songs ever) half of anything never appealed to me. I love without abandon.

I’ve been known on occasion to have an extra glass (or 3) of wine. When I find a new passion- I research it extensively, shoving information down my throat like a last meal. And while I do all of this- my eternally patient family and friends take the ride with me- because I am unable to keep any of it inside.

My motto when I was younger, (and if I’m to be honest- even now to some degree) if enough is good- then more must be better!!!!! This of course left me in some tight spots, a few injuries, one or two broken hearts (mine and others) and lots and lots of reflection.

When I was in college- I decided that I was adept enough to relax my own hair. I was told that using lye relaxer was better than using non-lye relaxer. 45minutes later- I’m in the hospital sporting an eye patch and a burned cornea. There was another unfortunate incident a few weeks later when I tried to cut the back of my head with a pair of clippers- no guard and without a mirror. The barber (a burly fellow) shrieked. Foiled again.

After college- confused as to what I wanted to be when I grew up- I decided that I didn’t want to work at my department store job in Manhattan. I quit, without a new job. I had decided I was going to work in a bookstore. I then proceeded to apply to 30 bookstores in the NYC metro area. (Luckily- I was hired by one and worked there for 15 years.)

In my 20’s I went on a date. We met at 8pm for drink and the next morning he was moving in- we were inseparable for about 18 months. Then the date ended.

Three years ago- excited to try the lemonade diet- I went 10 days without eating anything, except lemonade made with cayenne pepper, lemons and maple syrup.

Instead of breaking the fast with juice and broth as suggested- I went to a cheese farm in NJ and had a half-pound of cheddar (insanely delicious and a newly acquired passion- that I still have), rosemary bread and to top if off- slow roasted pork belly (also tasty beyond description). I was in the hospital for almost a week.

So when it comes to my hair….Suffice it to say that I also have a cabinet full of stuff.

There is a manic glint in my eye that you can see as I wander around places like Sephora. And now with so many more products on the market for natural hair- I can get whipped up into a frenzy. I try everything and the better it smells the more I’m hooked. Smells like Lemon? I’m in heaven. Cotton candy? Dandy!!!

Once home- it’s worse- I unpack and caress the jars- introducing them to their roommates in my oversized bathroom in my tiny Jersey City apartment. I don’t try and play favorites either- on a rainy Saturday, watch out! I can have mask on my face- followed by a steam- gentle toner and then moisturizer. I am an advertiser’s dream. Why? Perhaps it’s because I love packaging (oh and I do- show me a great display and I’ll show you where I’m a customer). But no, they love me because I don’t read instructions. Therefore- I buy products all of the time. But this excess doesn’t lead to excessively wonderful results.

“Use sparingly”- a container will read. Huh? What’s sparingly? I stick my whole hand in a tub of gel. I’m convinced that somehow I must know better that the print on the side of the jar. Inevitably hours later my hair, is crunchy beyond words or worse, flaking like an extreme dandruff victim.

I want to tell you that I had some moment when I decided that I would read instructions and follow them. Truth is I’m more likely to start following the directions on my GPS. But one day when I was at the last dribs of my Kinky Curly hair gel- I was forced to use what I had left.

EUREKA!!!! My hair looked soft and spectacular! Could be some merit to this instruction following? Emboldened and empowered with my newfound wisdom I made my trip to Hair Nirvana (aka Ricky’s in Hoboken). They have an entire section dedicated to natural hair and I armed myself with usual suspects. Later that day- after washing my hair- I eagerly ripped open my fresh tub of gel.

My wicked giggle rising, I was about to thrust my hands in the jar and then- I stopped. I picked up the jar and decided to use the “quarter sized dollop” that was recommended. I snickered as I did it- sure that this would not do. However, it was enough. Strange. My hair looked great- and my hair gel would last so much longer! Sweet.

There might even be something to this moderation thing. However, I have to take a deep breath every time a jar reads ‘use a generous’ amount. One step at a time.

This is yoga. And I love it from roots to tip.

Namaste y’all.

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