healthy hair

Healthy Hair for Total Wellness

If wellness is a complete package, mind-body-spirit, then healthy hair is a part of that. Hair stylists through the years (and the countries) have regularly commented on how healthy my hair is, but over the past few years, it hasn’t felt that way. Or maybe I just haven’t had a healthy relationship with my healthy hair.

The Early Years

Growing up, I loved my hair. It was thick and shiny and easy to style. In 8th grade, I had my first gorgeous haircut by the woman who still does my hair when I get a chance to be in South Dakota and fit into her packed schedule. I asked for something new every time I sat in the chair; I loved the variety.

About nine years ago, my healthy hair started to change. It wasn’t unhealthy, but it didn’t feel as good to me. I started losing a lot of hair. It became thinner and frizzier, but I still felt like I had a handle on it.

Then, about seven years ago, I moved to South America.

Hair in the Southern Hemisphere

Now, an international move doesn’t mean you automatically get bad hair, but here’s what it did mean for me: I fit my life into two suitcases and a carry on. I did bring a curling iron, but it broke in transit. I didn’t replace it right away, because when we landed everything was uncertain, and sure enough, we left Chile for Argentina after two months. The less stuff you need to fit in a suitcase, the better. I became more and more minimalist.

It took five years to replace the curling iron (and then I barely knew what to do with it).

I didn’t have a stylist, and there were other priorities in life, so I let my hair grow. I cut it occasionally while in Argentina, but this is when it started becoming unfamiliar to me. The old ways of styling it weren’t working anymore. I couldn’t figure out how to get it to stay put. My hair was different, unpredictable. I started pulling it back most of the time. Then we moved to Panama, where it was too hot to leave it down, and my hair grew longer still. No sense in paying for hair cuts when I always hid it away, anyway.

By the time we got to Colombia, my habits were set. I was saving time not styling it, and I saved myself the uncertainty of going out with my hair down, wondering if it would still look okay by the time I got out the door.

Here’s the thing I didn’t realize was happening: my confidence was flagging.

Hair and Self-Esteem

When I lived in Denver, I was acting in short films and I loved it. My hair was never a burden. Years later, when I started considering getting back into acting, I felt overwhelmed: How can I go on an audition when I can’t even get my hair right?

Furthermore, I was always a practical child, but my advancing age has reinforced this. Not styling my hair saves money. It saves time. Is beautiful hair really a necessity in life, or is it vanity? Can’t yoga teach me that I’m already whole, that I don’t need nice hair to be complete?

Is beautiful hair actually worth anything?


That hair insecurity was leaving me insecure inside, too, which sounds crazy for a yoga teacher, or anyone, but I was becoming aware of it.

And once aware, I could do something about it. So, a few weeks ago, I scheduled an appointment with my stylist of 20 years when I went back to South Dakota to visit my family. We cut. We colored. And she washed my hair with Monat.

I’d heard of Monat. But I never gave it much thought because, obviously, I wasn’t too into hair at the time.

My stylist told me it’s all she’s using now. That in her long career, she’s never had a product that good. Indeed, my hair looked and felt great. So I made a purchase.

Another wash and style and I was completely sold. I don’t have shampoo-commercial-worthy hair, but compared to my hair of two months ago, this is a new world. I’ve been wearing it down, which I haven’t done with consistency or confidence in years, and I feel good about it. Even with my out-of-practice styling skills, I’m so happy with how it looks.

This was not just a long story to say I’m a Monat distributor now. Here’s the thing:

We’re Here to Have Fun

Like my stylist said, if you’re not having fun with your hair, what’s the point? And when it came to my hair, I was not having fun at all. It was a source of anxiety, truth be told. I mentioned to my sister once that I never feel completely dressed up, even when I’m dressed up, because I never finish the outfit by finishing my hair. Now I can do that again.

When we look good, we feel good: feeling good promotes our overall wellness and happiness. I had sort of let myself forget that.

If you want to use Monat, great. Drop me a line. But the real point here is that total wellness starts inside and shines all the way out — right to the tips of your hair. In an effort to live more simply, don’t let go of the things that make you feel happy and confident. Don’t let go of having fun.

I’ve written before about how I believe we can live simply, live a yogic lifestyle, and still enjoy the “things” that were created by our fellow human beings for our comfort, security, convenience, and pleasure. Certainly, we can enjoy using our own bodies and the way we show up in the world. Starting now, that includes my hair.

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