Here’s How To Lift Your Strand Spirits

Want to lift your (strand) spirits, reduce scalp tension, go with the proverbial flow (even if that includes frizz), and develop a lo-fi practice that doesn’t involve a blow-dry? Here’s a three-step ritual for supernaturally shiny AND happy hair…


Make peace with your hair.

When you look at your hair in the mirror, do you see only flaws? There is no one “right” way to wear your hair anymore—just look at how everyone from The Urban Bush Babes (who were once bullied for their hair and are now famous for it) to Alicia Keys and Lena Dunham have embraced their natural texture. Having difficulty accepting your hair for what it is and instead endure a constant grass-is-always-greener complex? As a curly-haired teen, fretting about frizz was a particular pastime. But now there are sooooo many other things to think about (world peace, my family, French toast). Just make it your business to stop the negative self-talk. “Easier said than done” I hear you cry? A tousled romantic updo, a sleek pony, loose and long…just a few ways you can play around with what Mother Nature gave you.

Scalp massage.

A cult favorite among Japanese women for the past decade (where it’s as ubiquitous as getting a facial), scalp massage and brushing with bristles the same size as your head pores stimulate microcirculation, which is essential for healthy hair. Your skin doesn’t stop at your hairline, which is why head spas offering scalp massages as par for the course are starting to pop up in the United States, like Blow Me Away, an organic salon and head spa in Los Angeles opened by Japanese partners Sayaka Nitta and Keiko Uehara, which puts a particular focus on the scalp. Still not convinced? A 2016 study at The Department of Plastic, Reconstructive, and Aesthetic Surgery, Nippon Medical School, Tokyo, Japan, claimed regular scalp massages can combat hair loss and reduce stress. Music to my ears…

DIY scalp oil.

If your scalp is itchy and constantly shedding, you’re not alone. Scalp issues are more common than you think. The good news is there are solutions. DIYers have known for a long time that apple cider vinegar reduces an itchy, dry scalp by essentially destroying the bacteria that clog hair follicles. Brands like Cantu have taken note, and have a clever ACV root rinse that replaces your shampoo when you need a major (but non-drying) scalp detox. To maximize healthy hair growth, blend circulation-stimulating rosemary with antiseptic lavender essential oil. Simply add 12 drops of rosemary and 12 drops of lavender to 1 ounce of olive oil, and massage your scalp for 2 to 3 minutes before bed. Natural oils absorb easily into the scalp and hair, so you don’t have to worry about ruining your pillowcase. In the morning, wash it out during your morning shower, and voilà, a tiptop scalp!

Becoming the true master of your mane will quell strand issues that reduce tension and ease any hair blues. If we’re mindful of our hair challenges, then even when cuticles fray, follicles don’t behave, or things just look a bit meh, you’ll be able to find your hair holy grail and not put all your faith in that one magic product…

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