An Uncomplicated Life Blog

Monday, February 19, 2018

Essential Oils For Better Hair

Make this DIY root and scalp spray with essential oils for better, healthier, faster growing hair!




Having kids does a number on your hair. I remember after I had Henry, it started to fall out so heavily, I had to clean out my brush every time I combed my hair, and do a swipe of the shower every single time I bathed. It lasted for about three or four months. After Otto, nothing really happened until after I was done breastfeeding him... Then CLUMPS of hair would fall out! And this lasted for well over a year. I actually developed bald spots on my head. Not only did it fall out, but the ends got dry, the roots got greasy and the color got much darker, requiring more highlights which further damaged my hair. It was a hot mess! I had heard that essential oils can be great for your root and scalp, therefore making your hair healthier overall, so I dove in and did some research. This post is all about the essential oils you can use for better hair, and I've made a DIY for easier application for you. *affiliate links used*


First, here's the roundup of essential oils that are great for your hair when applied to the root and scalp. Remember, your hair starts there, and if you want better overall hair, you've got to start where hair grows! Now, I specifically left all citrus essential oils off this list even though they consistently popped up in my research for "healthy hair oils." Why? Because citrus oils magnify the effects of the sun (think sunburn in a fraction of the time it normally takes to develop a burn) and your head is naturally the closest part of your body to the sun. 

The DIY that follows after this list is designed so that you can select the oils that will work best for you - you can cherry pick what you need based on your hair. I didn't want someone adding lemon or bergamot to their unique scalp spray, being unaware of the effects it could have on your poor scalp! So, I specifically left those oils off the list. Lemon and bergamot were both considered great for hair, roots and scalps, however, so if you're interested in those oils look them up AND how to safely use them, especially as we head into spring and summer. Now, back to the essential oils for better hair list:

Rosemary
Rosemary is known to stimulate blood circulation on your scalp, which results in faster hair growth. Faster hair growth is going to promote thickness because more hair is growing in to replace the hair that is falling out/damaged/etc. Rosemary also reportedly helps to repair dry hair with it's moisturizing properties. This essential oil is great to use from scalp to root to hair shaft! (Ever seen or used Aveda's Rosemary and Mint shampoo? Yup, there's a reason rosemary is in that high-end classic!)

Peppermint
Ah, the second component to the popular Aveda product. You know how when you apply peppermint, it "tingles"? That tingling is stimulation, and peppermint is thought to stimulate hair growth when applied to the scalp. It also has antimicrobial properties, so it's great for things like dandruff and other irritations. 

Tea Tree
Tea tree oil is used for so many things, especially things you want cleaned. This oil is great for greasy hair or greasy scalps. It has gentle antiseptic properties so it's great if you have dandruff that you'd like cleaned up, or if you generally have an irritated and itchy scalp. I have a tea tree shampoo from a natural hair brand and it's my favorite to use when it's been a few days (or more) since I've washed my hair. Have a bunch of dry shampoo buildup or irritation from excessive dry shampoo? This is a great oil for that!

Cedarwood
Cedarwood is a natural moisturizer, so this one is great for dry hair. It also stimulates blood circulation when applied to the scalp, and is used for thinning hair. This works best when applied directly to the scalp and massage is used to further increase stimulation. I happen to be a huge fan of the smell of this oil. It's very mild, so this is a great one to pair with others to make a multi-purpose scalp spray (DIY below!)

Lavender
Is there anything this oil doesn't do?! If you don't have this oil, get it immediately. If you're just starting to dabble in essential oils, start with lavender. Lavender is a known "soother" oil, so if you have an irritated scalp, this one is great. I also read a holistic health site that claimed there was a study where lavender was clinically proven to increase the number of hair follicles. That site didn't link the study, or I'd link it here for you. The soothing properties of the oil also make it great for dry, frazzled ends. Oh yeah, and it smells amazing!

DIY Essential Oil Scalp Spray for Healthier Hair
- Pinch of sea salt
- One to three of the essential oils listed above, based on what your hair needs (5 drops of each)
- Distilled water 

OR

- One to three of the essential oils listed above, based on what your hair needs (5 drops of each)
- Carrier oil, such as Grape Seed Oil, Avocado Oil, Liquid Coconut Oil or other vegetable based oil

The first version is great if you want to have the oils on your scalp all day. Put the salt in the bottle and add your essential oils. Shake for a few moments to evenly distribute the oils among the salt. Fill the rest of the bottle with distilled water. Shake well before each use. Part your hair into sections and apply directly to your scalp, massaging in with your fingers.

The second version is great if you want to make more of a conditioning treatment that you either apply a few minutes before washing or leave on over night. This is a better option if you want to apply the essential oils all the way down the shaft of your hair, too. Fill the spray bottle with carrier oil of choice and add 5 drops of each essential oil. Shake well. Spray from your roots to the ends of your hair. Leave on overnight (be sure the pillowcase you have on your pillow isn't your favorite because it will get oil stained) or leave on for 5-10 minutes, then wash and style your hair as normal.

What essential oils to use for healthier, faster growing, thicker hair and a DIY scalp spray to promote healthier hair
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Essential oils have tons of benefits, including being great for your scalp and hair. If you're like me and have popped out a few kids which has been rough on your hair, or have other issues that have negatively impacted your hair, I highly recommend giving essential oils a try for several months and seeing what they do for you. The DIY scalp spray is a great, easy way to apply the oils to your hair and scalp. 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

That Time I Went To My First PTA Meeting

I've avoided PTA meetings because of the stereotypes. Here's what happened when I got over it and actually attended my first meeting.


Ahhhh, parent-teacher associations. PTAs. My neighborhood has an early childhood PTA for people with preschool age (or younger) children. There's meetings and events - ways for (mostly moms) to get to know one another, plan social events, play dates, get to know their future elementary schools, etc. I've been a part of the Facebook group for it for ages, but never attended one of their meetings or events. I had this idea in my mind of what these moms would be like and I wasn't sure I wanted to be one of them. But a meeting was planned at a restaurant I happen to really like and the topic the guest speaker was talking about intrigued me... So I got over my preconceptions of who these people were, rounded up a few friends, and went. This is all about that time I went to my first PTA meeting!


First, let's chat more about what I thought the stereotypical PTA mom was like: I envisioned her as a stay at home mom who's overly-involved with her children. She wants to have an input on EVERYTHING that her child would even potentially touch. She's probably a helicopter mom at the park. You know, those moms who trail their kid around and talk to them constantly, never letting their child discover anything for themselves? Yeah, her. I thought the PTA would be full of women like her, dragging on and on about their child's achievements and what activities they're in and what languages they speak and what gifted programs they want to enroll them in by the age of 5. Ughh, makes my skin crawl just writing about people like "her"! I thought the typical PTA mom was a woman overly wrapped up in her kids lives and therefore had no hobbies of her own.

You know, not that I'm judgmental or anything. No prejudice here!

When I saw what the February meeting was about, I was interested. It was about how to talk to your young kids about sex and "where babies come from." Nothing like a good sex chat to pull me out of the PTA shadows, right?! I grew up in a home where we talked about it from the very beginning. My mom worked in fertility and reproduction, and we weren't a religious household. I knew all the names of all the body parts before kindergarten and I have zero qualms about teaching my own kids about these things. But I was very curious how others approach this topic - especially now that we live in the Bible Belt. I really wanted to see what recommendations this speaker had and how the women reacted to it.

Then I saw it was at a trendy new restaurant that just opened up in our neighborhood. I immediately texted some of my other mom friends in our neighborhood and said, "hey, wanna go with me?! Let's plan a night out and see what this is all about!" 

We got there right on time and the meeting was already packed. They had a buffet of yummy food laid out for us and a cash bar. My friend and I grabbed a glass of wine and started to chat with some of the other moms we loosely knew from the Facebook group or from the neighborhood. Everyone was super friendly! Nobody talked about their kids! The wine and the laughs were flowing! I thought, huh. This isn't at all what I expected. I saw a mom who I always see at preschool drop off - our kids are in the same room - and it turns out she's the owner of the restaurant! We joked about how we're always the first moms to drop our kids off in the morning and the last ones to pick them up in the afternoons because we're busy busting our butts off working and milk every minute of the 5 hour school day. She was a blast, and I now have a friend at my kids' school.

The speaker started about an hour in after some typical meeting business was done. I was already on my second glass of wine and thought, alrighty! This is when it's going to get good. THIS is when my eyes are going to start to roll at how and what we should say to our kids about sex! THIS is when the real PTA mom is going to show up and my opinion of this group is going to be validated.

Boy, was I wrong.

Now, her message was more religious than anything I'd ever hear in Minneapolis, but she also had different ways to say things that weren't religious. She did a great job covering all the bases of how to word things for young kids, from the Bible Belt to the more liberal minded folks. And all her main points were spot on: Decide WHAT your message is, and what tone you want to deliver it in; use atomically correct words and describe sex as a scientific process that creates life; teach that sex involves respect; and most importantly, know that your kid is going to learn about it no matter what. So they can learn about it from you, with your message and your tone or they can learn about it from their friends or the media. If you don't talk about it, they're learning about it from friends and the media. If you do talk about it, and talk about it early, they're learning about sex from you and you're establishing yourself as the expert and the person to go to with questions.

Interesting stuff for a PTA meeting, no?! I sure thought so. We had a lot of laughs, a lot of wine (please tell me y'all caught my Instagram Stories from the morning after!) and perhaps the biggest surprise of them all? Not one person talked about her kids. It was all about hanging out and laughing with other moms. It was a night out for us - the last thing we wanted to do was "kid talk." It turns out, most of these women are just like me. They love their kids and want to learn ways to teach them and give them the best life possible, but when they're away from them, they want a break! They want to talk and laugh and enjoy a night out.


As I was looking up PTA meeting images to add to this post, I saw sample fliers. All of the samples had meetings in the school library or some other school grounds location. Maybe my PTA is just a tad more lit than others, which thrills the heck out of me. This meeting was at a bar... And the next one is at Top Golf. I'm not sure if all PTA's are like mine, but I'm sure glad mine is so hardcore with the fun!

I'm thrilled that the time I went to my first PTA meeting, my prejudice was proved completely wrong. These moms are normal. They're kind. They're fun to talk to. It was a fun time (that had a very rough morning after!) and I can't wait to go to my next meeting and really get to know these women and make some great friends.