My husband occasionally (often) and affectionately (mostly) refers to me as a hippy.
What he means, really, is crunchy. You know, clean eating, cloth diapers, and coconut flour. Instead of experimental drugs and free love, think essential oils and committed relationships. Sorry real hippies, after three kids and three deployments I need lots of consistency and support.
While I certainly do love me some crunchy goodness, I also really love to play around with cosmetics and experiment with different beauty hacks. They help to pass the time during TDYs and deployments, and they allow me to persist in the delusion that I am youthful and fun. The trouble, is finding beauty hacks for hippies.
My favorite hippy-friendly beauty hack to date came as a result of my postpartum hair loss. More than a year after my third baby was born, I was still experiencing some pretty significant thinning around my hairline.
The collective crunchy voices of Pinterest overwhelmingly recommended one thing for postpartum hair loss: Castor Oil.
I was skeptical, to say the least. In my mind, castor oil was associated with digestive woes, not gloriously luxe hair. The positive reviews ultimately swayed me, and I ordered an organic, hexane free, cold-pressed castor oil from Amazon — if you’re gonna go hippy, you go FULL hippy.
The Application Process:
Castor oil has a viscous, almost sticky consistency, which can make it … interesting to work with. Because you’re trying to stimulate new hair growth, it’s only necessary to apply the oil directly to your scalp, but it does have benefits for the rest of your hair as well, so it’s up to you whether you want to coat the rest of your hair after you’re done applying it to your scalp.
Start along your natural part, and apply a small amount of oil directly to your scalp, massaging it in as you go. It’s that simple. Just continue to part your hair about a half inch at a time, and massage the oil in.
Once I was finished applying the oil, I found it easiest to throw my hair up into a high bun to keep everything off of my face and neck. It’s recommended that you leave the oil on for a minimum of two hours, but I always kept it on overnight. You’re going to look like a teenager in the throws of her greasy hair phase with this stuff on … ain’t nobody got time to sit around for two daytime hours lookin’ like that. If you do leave the oil on overnight, PLEASE be sure to cover your pillow with an old towel. The oil is just that … oil … and it will leave grease marks on light colored cotton. Ask me how I know.
When you shampoo your hair the next morning, be prepared to rinse and repeat, like, three times. It’s a process, but it’s worth it! Also, I would be remiss not to throw in an extra reminder that you’re using an oil, in a tub. Things might get slippery.
As I said, I was very skeptical about exactly how much hair growth the oil would promote. I guess you could say I’m skeptical in general … ghosts, aliens, one size fits all jeggings … none of it really seems to pan out, amiright?
BUT, this stuff really, truly, actually worked you guys!! After about a month of twice weekly overnight applications, I had a whole host of new baby hairs along my hair line, right in the spots where it had been thinnest. Lots of women refer to the new growth as “baby bangs.” They’re sort of a pain while they’re growing out, but given the choice between a bald spot and 90s bangs for a few months, I’d take the Drew Barrymore bangs.
Would I Recommend It:
A resounding yes! I realize that not everyone may have the experience that I did, but castor oil was truly a game changer for me. It allowed me to win some confidence back after número de bebé tres, and the best part is that it’s completely natural, inexpensive, and easy to try. If it does nothing for you – no harm, no foul .. at worst you’ve moisturized your scalp and given yourself some well deserved nightly head massages. Castor oil also makes a fantastic moisturizer for dry skin, and can be applied to nail beds for healthier, stronger nails. It also can technically be used as a carrier oil for essential oils – just keep in mind that it’s rather thick and has the potential to stain fabrics.
All-in-all, if you’ve recently experienced postpartum or stress related hair loss (hello PCS season!), I recommend adding castor oil to your weekly self-care routine. I think you’ll find the process fun and cathartic, and I would love to hear your results, from one hippy to another 😉.