There are two rules that must be enforced at all costs:
- Never go shopping for groceries when you’re hungry.
- Never shop for beauty products the day before you wash your hair.
Thus was my fate today. Surprisingly, while shopping for groceries went fairly well, my downfall arose when I passed a Sally’s Beauty Supply on the way home from the rest of my errands. Still being new to the Roswell area of Atlanta, I felt it best to know where the essentials were located and how well stocked they stayed. “Well,” I thought as I eased into the empty parking lot, “I suppose it won’t hurt to peek inside. Just for a minute.”
That was my first mistake. I am not a peeker by nature. I am a lingerer, a dawdler. I like to take my time and enjoy the scenery, even if that scenery is rows of fine-tooth pink brushes and candy-scented detangling spray.
My second mistake, as I mentioned in Rule #2, was to perform this the day before I washed my hair. I wash once a week, so I have chosen to make that same day into a full-fledged beauty treatment.
You have to when you have no other time during the week to look after yourself.When I’m feeling well enough and have a little bit of extra time, I spend my Sunday mornings tending to my hair, skin and nails.
Okay – my face and hair.
Alright, fine – my hair.
The majority of women who do take excessive care of their hair—namely, me—will often search for a new product to try, even if their current product is giving them—again, me—satisfying results. If you asked me why I continue to look for alternatives, I’m not even sure if I could give you a good answer. Maybe I want my hair to be softer. Maybe I want it to be shinier. Maybe I want my tiny natural curls (affectionately named “curlies”) to pop with more definition.
There is always that question that wonders whether there is a more natural product that I could be using: something with no parabans, no sodium lauryl sulfates, no mineral oils, that will give me “more” of what I want. My regimen has already grown into a rainbow of natural products, most of which can’t get any more raw than if I yanked them from the earth and shucked them myself:
- Ayurvedic oils and powders (Brahmi, Amla, Neem, Tulsi, Shikakai)
- Handmade goat’s milk soap
- Castor oil
- Olive oil
- Rose water
- Shea butter
- Sulfur (yes, sulfur)
- Vegetable glycerin
Heck, I don’t even use commercial shampoos anymore.
It wasn’t just the hair products that I perused in the shop. Winter dries out my skin like summer does a sidewalk, and I lingered to the skincare aisle, thinking, “I should get some hand lotion,” as I fingered the near-full tube in my purse. Even the facial masks in a bottle caught my eye, and I had to remind myself of my one-pound jar of bentonite clay powder and the two 32-ounce bottles of apple cider vinegar in my cupboard.
In the end, I wandered through Sally’s for so long, one sales associate kept calling to me from the register. “You doing alright back there?”
I should have told her I wasn’t. I should have told her that the fingernail buffing blocks were calling to me, telling me to ignore my four-sided all-in-one nail cleaning kit at home. This buffing block was from Sally’s! I would get a much better gloss! “No.” I staggered back, my hands raised in desperation. “No, don’t. I’m trying to save money for a house!”
“What about us?” called a pumice block. “You don’t have one of us, right? You’ve never focused on your heels before.”
“Yeah!” chimed in a nighttime lip plumper that was one dollar off its original price. “The plumping lip gloss you have now is for during the day. You need 24-hour protection!”
The rest of the makeup wall tried to add its two cents, but I finally managed to slip by a woman and her heavy-lidded boyfriend and out the exit. The Battle of Purchasing was over, but the Pampering War waged on.
Even as I finish typing this, I know that I will soon be knuckle-deep in sulfur, greasing my scalp in preparation for an overnight oil treatment. Tomorrow, I will mix ground herbs with rose water and lay the mudlike paste into my hair, where it will marinate for an hour before I replace it with hot steam and a thick moisturizing butter.
Indeed, the war never ends.
Watch for upcoming reviews on the following products: