Why is hair so important to a black woman? That is because the right hair care products improve the mental health and confidence of black women! As a black woman, I also know that a black woman’s hair as well as her scalp is her crown. The health and appearance of a black woman’s hair represent our culture, personality, ancestors, and so much more. When our hair is at its healthiest and looks good, we feel good. Y’all know the saying, “When you look good you feel good!” Confident, sassy, and sexy! The minute we have an unhealthy and slightly unappealing hair day, we are taking care of that by throwing on a hat. Immediately and with quickness!
That has a negative impact on a black woman’s mental health amongst other things. But don’t fret, keep reading to learn how hair care products improve mental health. Black women are already pressured by the “strong black woman” stigma. Having to live up to the superwoman persona is not the business. It’s too much – taking on discrimination, succeeding at everything we set out to achieve, and caring for everyone around us. The endless perceptions of what a “strong black woman” is are mentally exhausting. I am tired of just thinking about the possibilities of what it can mean let alone living up to them.
The United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health (OMH) provides some surprising statistics. Over 10% of Black women feel like “everything is an effort all or most of the time”. That is compared with 7% of white women. This statistic sheds just a smidget of light on what Black women have endured the past few years. Ultimately, Black women make up a community who are impacted by mental health disparities for decades. Through it all, Black women have developed practices and strategies that are more like rituals. Many of them improve their mental health and well-being. The act of caring for our hair with specific hair care products is a ritual that significantly improves our mental health.
My Personal Hair Care Journey Story & How My Hair Impacted My Mental Health
Let’s Take It From The Top!
Why do hair care and mental health have such a strong connection in the black female community? Honestly, I can’t give you a solid answer. What I can say is that I feel like the connection is based on several of my past experiences with my hair. That is whether when I was in the salon, the barbershop, or doing it myself. I mean like seriously! I can’t tell you how many times I screamed about my hair and scalp back in the day.
Yesss friend I said back in the day. That was between the first time I stepped foot into a beauty shop which was in 1995 up until the moment I had to get my hair chopped off in the beauty shop in 2010 (that’s an embarrassing story there). I used to have so much timidness, insecurity, and fear when I stepped foot into the shop. When I stepped out of the shop I thought I had healthy hair despite it being infamously fried dyed and laid to the side.
Depression From What Ran In The Family?
Yet, like so many African American women close to me, by early 1999 my hair suffered some serious damage. Damage which came from all types of chemicals, curling irons, hot combs, dryer heat, and more. I also severely suffered from seborrheic dermatitis on my scalp throughout some of those years. It actually ran in my family. I experienced a lack of hair growth, severe itching, flakes, scabs, and dryness. It made me feel like something was wrong with me. Thus the depression I was already dealing with grew worse no matter what my beautician tried to do.
Eventually, my dermatologist recommend T/Gel Shampoo and Conditioner. With so much excitement, I knew these were going to be the hair care products that would improve my mental health and relieve me of the pain of seborrheic dermatitis. I don’t care how helpful people say T-Gel is, it will always be horrid to me! It cleared up the issues on my scalp. Yet my hair smelled terrible and didn’t feel so nice either, more so weighed down. Those products were in my hair and on my scalp until I left to go away to college in August 2007. As soon as I was living somewhat on my own and making my own decisions especially when it came to my hair, I switched up the game quickly and experimented with all types of hair care products.
Anxiety Because of My Hair?
I was on the search for a golden hair care product. A product that would help me achieve both a healthy scalp and healthy, beautiful hair. After about a couple of years, I had enough of trial and error with hair care products that I found in the clearance or reduced section. Usually I found them in beauty supply stores, Walmart, and the Dollar Store. I resorted to micro braids in May 2009 as a style that would stop the worry and anxiety attached to the question, “What am I going to do with this hair this week”? I thought I looked flyy and gorgeous as ever with those micro braids in my hair.
Needless to say, because I felt so amazing with them in my hair, I kept them in my hair for over 4 months. First of all, the women who braided my hair did not inform me when I should take the braids out of my hair. That decision was the absolute worst choice I could have made when it came to the health treatment and appearance of my hair. The evening I decided to take the braids out of my hair, I also washed my hair. What happened next was simply unimaginable. In the midst of my second wash, my fingers would not come out of my hair.
Due to all the loss hair from shedding, my hair was clumping up into balls. It got all tangled up around my fingers in the worst scenario of my hair journey. I could not get my hands out of my hair because it had matted up while I was washing it. My mother had to cut my hair to get my fingers out of it. The aftermath was a complete tragedy.
Trying To Make This Hair Thing Work!
The following day my beautician had no choice but to cut my uneven hair an inch past my new growth. I knew that I suffered from dramatic hair loss so I told him to just cut it down to the new growth. I walked out of there with a mini afro which I thought resembled a Chia pet. Numerous attempts were made to move past the awkward look and feel of that fro. I styled it in whatever way I deemed appropriate and manageable. I used headbands, did my own roller wrap, flat ironed it for it to only shrink after being outside for 2 hours, and picked it out. After so many failed styles, I quickly decided to hide it underneath a dreadful wig on and off for the next 6 months.
I would not allow anyone to see my hair unless it was professionally done. Otherwise, it was under that wig. Lol! It was completely embarrassing. I felt like I couldn’t control the appearance of the afro on my head. Nor did I know what to do with it. I kept it under a wig because after I washed it with whatever cheap haircare products I was using at the time, it was kinky and dry as ever. At the end of those 6 months, I grew tired of literally fighting with my hair. It was having a significant impact on my mental health even more.
Are You For Real Sis?
To try to reduce stress, I talked to a good friend of mine at the time about both manageable hair styles and the best hair care products that could improve my mental health. She was also wearing her natural hair out in a TWA: more formally known as a teeny-weeny Afro in the black female hair community. She gave me some styles that I could try that would make my hair look more presentable as well as haircare products that could improve my mental health.
When she told me how much time those styles took, I quickly said I’ll try to embrace this Afro as long as I can. After that conversation, that is when I saw a woman walking through the mall with a short haircut similar to a man’s! I was in awe of how regal and confident she looked with that haircut. I told myself that I was going to get my hair cut off just like that the following day. The next morning I went into a barbershop in my hometown on January 30, 2010 at 2:30 pm to get that cut.
Remember It’s Just Hair!
I asked the barber who was available if he could cut my hair down to a men’s fade. As he was getting to cut my hair, I will never forget how I decided to chicken out on that low cut. I quickly told him to just cut it to a length that was shorter than what I had but longer than a Cesar fade. I just didn’t want to let my hair go after all those years and maintenance work on my hair. Cutting my hair felt like I was going to lose my identity and have to find a new one all over again.
I asked myself would that truly be a bad thing since so much anxiety was attached to the appearance of my hair. Within a few weeks, I didn’t feel like it was fully me. I went to a barbershop on March 2nd, 2010 at 5:00 p.m. in Auburn to get my hair fully cut down to a low Caesar haircut. That was a cut a majority of black men I knew wore. As soon as I saw myself in the mirror, I was beaming and so proud of myself for making the complete change for the benefit of my mental health when it came to my hair.
Making The Hair Care Product Purchase That Changed My Life
I knew that because my hair was at a much shorter length the seborrheic dermatitis that I was still dealing with would be far more noticeable. Beforehand, my afro covered it up so it could not be seen because it was on my scalp. Now with a low haircut meant that all eyes will be on my head. So after years of procrastinating and putting it off, I put on my big girl pants. A friend of mine and I rode to the beauty supply store to purchase the hair care products that I had always wanted and spent countless hours of research on but stayed away from because of their price range.
Your girl ended up buying an ‘ish load of hair care products from four specific brands, Shea Moisture, Mielle Organics, As I Am, and Eden Body Works. I’m here to tell the truth and the whole truth about how hair care products improve mental health. I tried out every single product from each brand individually for a week. The products that ended up blowing my mind were from Eden Body Works. Babbbbbbbby, I am not playing with you, honey! My hair felt strong and healthy despite it being at a much shorter length. But here’s the true tea, my scalp felt like it was its healthiest after using the products for a week. I had no itchy or flaky scalp. There was no dryness and uncomfortable feeling on my scalp. I literally was in shock after using products from the Eden BodyWorks Coconut Shea line.
How Eden BodyWorks Hair Care Products Improved My Mental Health
The Eden Bodyworks Products I Can’t Live Without
For numerous years, I have used the Coconut Shea Moisturizing Shampoo, Leave In-Conditioner, and Curl Defining Cream. I would not let anything else touch my head. Eventually, I learned that my hair and scalp needed something lighter in the spring and summer and smoothing heavier in the fall and winter. I added Jojoba Monoi and Peppermint Tea Tree products to my hair care regime. These two lines were much lighter on my hair and scalp for the warmer months of the year. T
The Jojoba Monoi Moisturizing Shampoo and Strengthening Deep Conditioner made my hair grow rapidly and was everything I needed when I wanted to grow my hair out to keep my head warmer or for braids during the fall and winter months. Whereas the Peppermint Tea Tree Clarifying Shampoo and Hair Oil kept seborrheic dermatitis under serious control with that amazing tingling sensation! Let’s just say the hair care products that have stood the test of time when it comes to me have been from Eden BodyWorks.
To shop these EDEN BodyWorks Hair Care Products, visit my LTK Shop at https://www.shopltk.com/explore/MindFULLyWellRooted.
The True Joy of Having the Right Hair Care Products
During moments of solitude after washing, conditioning, oiling, and creaming up my hair, I have shed literal tears. Tears of joy for finally being at peace with not only knowing what I will do with my hair but how it will look after I do it. The anxiety and overall dread that I had on wash day is completely gone. The deep fear I faced about humidity after getting my TWA silk pressed is out the window.
Yesss friend, I have grown my hair back out a few times since my first big chop in January 2010. Yet, I have always ended up back with my short cut. My haircut along with essential haircare products by Eden Bodyworks has freed me of so much overwhelming stress. I love how I don’t have anxiety anymore about the health and appearance of my hair and scalp. It is incredibly liberating to have the lived experience of knowing how hair care products improve mental health.
The Ways The Products Improved My Mental
1. As A Self-Care Ritual
Within a few months of using my EdenBodyworks, it felt like I was performing a sacred ritual. In the African-American community, rituals are a historical part of our lifestyle. Whether that be a ritual for coming together, praying, or cooking; it connects us to our ancient ancestors. As a matter of fact, many African tribes and groups did and still do their hair with certain oils and herbs as well as styles. During my sacred ritual time, I had a certain routine that I would follow: wash, deep condition, leave-in conditioner, oil, and cream. As I used each individual product, I felt like time would slow down so I could care for my hair with purpose. The moments were nourishing and peaceful times of radical self-care. My ritual reduced my stress and anxiety while promoting a sense of calm and self-love.
2. As A Self-Confidence Boost
Personally for me, my hair is a complicated piece of work. It plays a huge role in how I see myself. I will always feel the utmost love for myself, 4c texture and all! With Eden BodyWorks my 4C hair has a gorgeous look and a luscious healthy feel. Thus my confidence goes through the roof. I mean honestly after I left the salon when my hair was shoulder length, I felt like a luxury. That Black Girl Luxury feeling stands to this day after I leave the barbershop and after I finish my self-care hair ritual. Eden Bodyworks always protects the texture and health of my hair. So naturally my self-esteem improved as well. The mental outlook that I possess is much stronger.
3. As A Sensory Experience
Eden Bodyworks products have the most pleasant scents. As a huge advocate for aromatherapy, specific smells remind me of a particular place or a specific time. That place and or time is usually when something positive and uplifting occurred in my life. The soothing aroma from coconut, shea butter, peppermint oil, jojoba oil, and sweet almond oil truly melt my stress away. Using Eden Bodyworks products provide a sensory experience that helps promote relaxation in my life. During every single use of these products, my brain triggers the release of mood enhancing endorphins.
4. As A Cultivation of Mindfulness
Applying Eden Bodyworks hair care products is an opportunity for me to practice mindfulness. I have been practicing mindfulness for the past five years. Although I have not quite mastered the technique, it is highly known for reducing anxiety and stress. As I massage my scalp while shampooing my hair or applying nourishing oils, I tend to focus on the sensations and emotions arising from the experience. Mindfulness helps me become more attuned to my thoughts and feelings. Eden Bodyworks have enabled me to better manage my stress and anxiety in my life.
Final Thoughts About How HairCare Products Can Improve Your Mental Health
EDEN BodyWorks Is That Girl Honey!
Things truly took a dramatic turn for my hair and scalp in the 99’s and a portion of the 2000’s. Now when it comes to my hair and scalp’s health and appearance, Eden Bodyworks are the hair care products that improve my mental health, significantly. The benefits of hair care products are not to be played with! I have gone from virgin hair to over-processed hair follicles to damaged roots to horrific split ends to healthy, strong, and beautiful hair and scalp. I stand by the statement that EDEN Bodyworks is one of the best hair care products for black women. Eden Bodyworks products have natural clean ingredients that are highly effective. There are no harsh sulfates, silicone, or parabens in EDEN Bodyworks hair products as well as skin care products. I
love that this company is like a family. Speaking of family, my sons and husband started using products I use. They are seriously obsessed with haircare products from the Lavender Aloe line that I started incorporating into my routine last year. Those products include the Leave-In Conditioner, Moisturizing Co-Wash, Hydrating Refresher Spray, Hair Growth Oil, and Smoothing Hair Gel. I mainly use those products when I want to refresh my scalp and hair in between workouts. I could go on and on at this point. Simply put, EDEN Body Works is committed to the mission of providing solutions for the everyday beauty concerns of Black women! This value amongst many of EDEN BodyWorks has taught me the principles of doing my part to serve the Black female community to focus on the natural things and methods to improve mental health.
Black Hair Is and Will Always Be Beautiful
EDEN Bodyworks will always be a necessary staple in my haircare routine for all of the positive psychological benefits. Those include a self-care ritual connected to the African Diaspora, increased self-confidence, an uplifted sensory experience, and evolving mindfulness. The act of caring for our hair is a form of individuality and self-expression. That is why when choosing hair care products it is highly important to choose products that are natural, free of chemicals, and are designed for your hair type.
In the midst of experimentation, it is always beneficial to ask a professional hair stylist about their product recommendations to save yourself some frustration as well. As a matter of fact, professional hair stylists can learn how to enhance mental health with the practice of PsychoHairapy. As the founder of this phenomenal movement says the word means, “the use of hair as an entry point into mental health care”. If you are looking for ways to improve your mental health, consider incorporating EDEN Bodyworks into your hair care routine. You won’t regret it!
Additional Resources For Black Women Seeking Help With Their Mental Health
Black women take on so much that they are not required to. That alone can sometimes cause severe mental health conditions. If you find yourself questioning your mental stability, don’t brush that off. Take it from me, hiding my mental distress caused me more pain down the road. Reach out to a board-certified mental health professional to get the help you need. If you are unsure of where to start, speak to your primary care physician who can refer you to a mental health professional.
Here is a list of some of the resources I used and read to find mental health professionals who catered to the mental health and wellness of Black women:
In addition, sometimes treating yourself to a mental health gift can be one of the ways to improve your mental health. If you need suggestions on what types of gifts to buy yourself or even a loved one, check out my Mental Health Gift Guide For Women!
Let’s Continue The Conversation
What are your thoughts on the connection between black women’s mental health and their haircare products? How do you think hair care products improve the mental health of black women or women in general? Want to continue the conversation on something else, write it in the comment section below!