There are two rules that must be enforced at all costs:

  1. Never go shopping for groceries when you’re hungry.
  2. 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:

  1. Ayurvedic oils and powders (Brahmi, Amla, Neem, Tulsi, Shikakai)
  2. Handmade goat’s milk soap
  3. Castor oil
  4. Olive oil
  5. Rose water
  6. Shea butter
  7. Sulfur (yes, sulfur)
  8. 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:

  1. Ayurvedic oils and powders
  2. Creamery Creek Goat’s Milk Soap