This is me above, yours truly, CEO & Founder of by valenti™ ORGANICS, “Al natural”, no makeup, no filters, no hair coloring and above all, no Photoshop. And yes that’s my natural hair color, whites and all, and yes! those are my wrinkles, I’m 53.
I stopped coloring my hair exactly 6 years, 3 months, 2 weeks and 6 days ago. That’s rather specific, isn’t it? Well, that’s because at the time of writing this article, 6 years, 3 months, 2 weeks and 6 days ago was the day, my almost 17 y/o daughter passed away in her sleep. And the day I was supposed to go get my hair colored after dropping the kids at school. That was the day my life and my appearance changed forever.
Even though it all started because of the pain of loosing my beloved daughter, the depression that comes with it, the anger, anguish and the emotional roller coaster we women in particular go through after the loss of the child we grew inside us, and because in the midst of everything, the last thing in my mind was my hair or my appearance at all, after looking myself in the mirror almost a year later, I accepted who I was, my natural hair color and the authentic me I’ve always been.
My roots were, well, no longer just roots, there were fairly long 4+ inches strands and the abrupt color change? Not very flattering. So I went to my hair stylist and asked her to cut it all off, not Britney Spear’s style after her mental breakdown in 2007, but quite short nonetheless. My hair has grown several lengths since then, and with every month that goes by new silver strands pop here and there, joining the ones that have been there for the past 6 years, 3 months, 2 weeks and 6 days .
Making the decision to stop coloring one’s hair, letting the beautiful silver strands underneath shine through in full display, isn’t always as dramatic as my story. Many women do it to save money and time, which are both valid reasons. Or because it’s trendy, or they just simply like how their hair looks and even for health reasons. Whatever the reasoning behind, the result is always the same, healthy natural hair. White hair or silver strands aren’t synonym of being, getting or feeling old. On the contrary they can look flattering regardless of age, otherwise we wouldn’t spend thousands of dollars trying to get those “almost white highlights” at the salon, wouldn’t we?…
The money saving part is great, I won’t deny that. I’ve also stopped wasting hours sitting down in a chair getting my hair done. The time I stopped wasting, I’ve used in more productive and rewarding endeavors. In return my hair, my scalp, my complexion, my entire body is healthier because of the decision unconsciously made.
Hair colorants can be quite toxic and can severely damage not only our hair, but our health. And the aftermath after coloring our hair? An endless cycle of overspending on products filled with equally harsh chemicals we ladder frantically in a futile attempt at trying to fix the damage we’ve caused to it, pretending in the process our hair “has been repaired” when in reality it never did, it’s just covered by layers and layers of products giving the impression it’s soft and healthy. Remove the products, and the damaged caused to the hair becomes visible.
There is something not many say, the healthier your hair is, the less products you will need, which for the most part is true for a healthy individual. As always there are some exceptions to this unwritten rule. Our industry is relentless in getting you “dependent” on the trendy bottle of this product, the jar of that other one, the spray to fix the damage caused by the previous two, the conditioner to make your hair look soft and manageable, and so on.
I’ve gone from spending hundreds if not thousands of dollars every year on salon appointments and products, having tons of one time use bottles and jars of hair products in my bathroom (pardon me planet for the damage I’ve caused), wasting hours to no end trying to achieve that perfect shade that somehow my hair, without failing, always rebelled against no matter how hard my hair stylist tried, to now using just 3 simple natural products while enjoying healthy, soft and strong hair.
The products I use are not only natural, but simple to use. And the best part, two of them come packed in returnable glass bottles, so no more one time use containers going to the trash or the recycling bin. Return the containers for a refund (just like your soda cans), and reuse the pumps and sprayers.
I do however have gotten more minimalist over the years, not only in the number of products I use, but in the way I style my hair and the time I spend caring for it. I no longer brush, comb or style my hair, mostly because my scalp is extremely sensitive, it’s always been, and there is no point in ending with a headache ever time I brush my hair, so I just don’t. I only finger comb my hair when needed, and let it be and do what it wants.
I also let my hair air-dry, when possible, which is usually in the summer months, and only blow-dry during the cold ones, or when I need to walk out the door without dripping water all over. Somehow I love how refreshing it feels to have wet hair in the summer, especially after a ridiculously long post-menopause that seems not wanting to leave me alone anytime soon.
My routine might not work for everyone, but it could give you a glimpse to a less time consuming and cleaner hair caring routine. So here are the 3 products I’ve used for the past 5+ years:
by valenti™ ORGANICS RoseGiLi Shampoo Bar, is a plastic free, lasts forever, easy to use, natural, won’t pollute, biodegradable, solid shampoo soap. Because I have greasy hair, I have to shampoo daily, but because this shampoo/soap is natural and mild, it won’t damage my hair. The rosemary, geranium and lime essential oils in it nourishes hair and scalp, while the gentle soap formulated with all natural and organic vegetable oils, gently removes daily buildup.
How do I use it: Wet hair, rub the bar all over and shampoo as usual. One consideration is to let the shampoo bar air-dry after use. It will last longer! I shampoo once heavily, I apply an oil conditioner (see below) after the first shampoo which I let sit for a few minutes while I continue showering, and then I apply a second light shampoo to remove the excess oil.
My hair and scalp are clean, which is the purpose of using shampoo in the first place, and my hair is healthy. No more split ends, and no more dry, crispy or frizzy hair.
Important Note: Shampoo soaps will strip hair of any buildup, revealing what the hair actually looks like underneath the layers and layers of conditioners and leave on products that make it look healthy and manageable. This is particularly true for colored or treated hair.
My Hair Conditioner
by valenti™ ORGANICS Lavender-Almond Massage, Hair and Body Oil is a multi-purpose oil formulated with natural organic ingredients, and scented with our proprietary blend of lavender, lavandin and almond essential oils, my mother’s and my favorite scent of all times.
How do I use it: I apply this oil after the first shampoo, let it sit for a few minutes, and remove the excess with a very light shampooing after (see above). The result? Soft, manageable, non greasy hair.
My Conditioning Lotion
by valenti™ ORGANICS Lavender-Almond Hands, Hair and Body Lotion is a natural very mild multi-purpose lotion than can be safely applied to hair, wet or dry as a rinse off or leave on conditioner. It won’t damage and won’t dry hair, and the natural ingredients add moisture and nourishment to both the skin, and hair.
How do I use it: I apply just a bit on damp hair, finger combing it to evenly spread it. It tames those unruly and unmanageable hairs, those rebel hairs that seem to have a life of their own. It also controls my hair from “puffing up” during high humidity weather conditions. I always keep a small bottle in my purse in case I need to reapply or use it on my hands. I love multi-purpose products.
That’s it, 3 simple products, and a simple and quick routine for natural, healthy hair.
Because sometimes what our hair needs is to be free to be itself, and what we need is to stop forcing it to be something is not, out of vanity, or trendiness. Let your hair be itself, let it shine. #EmbraceYourNaturalHair