Long Hair Don’t Care…Until You Clog the Drain

I have long hair.  I do a lot of hair management in the shower:  rinsing, co-washing, washing, conditioning.  Hair and product builds up pretty easily when you have long hair.  Imagine those hundred or so hairs that are shed daily going down the drain in tangles mixed in with oils, conditioners, and creams.  It’s not a pretty picture, but it’s a fact of life for someone with a certain hair care regime. 

Thankfully, for me, my plumber teaches me a lot about the light tasks that he often gets called (and paid) for.  I know how to free up a seized garbage disposal and change a toilet flapper.  When he was called to clear out a slow draining bath tub, he showed me the 5 minute fix that would save hundreds of dollars in labor and parts costs. 

               You need:

  • dish liquid
  • plunger (the simple rubber kind you remember from your childhood, $5-10)

The key point he made is this:  it’s the upward pull, NOT the downward push that frees up clogs.  He said that most people put in too much work by trying to push down really hard and passively allowing the plunger to return to the extended position.  PULL UP AS HARD AS YOU PUSH DOWN. 

               Here is his normal routine:

  1. Run a little water into the tub/shower
  2. Pour some dish liquid down the drain.  A teaspoon or so should suffice.
  3. With rapid motion, use the plunger to work the dish liquid into the drain
  4. With more force and slower motions, push and pull with the plunger.  Remember:  PULL UP AS HARD AS YOU PUSH DOWN.
  5. You should start to see a lot of disgusting guck and grime coming out of the drain.  Clean it out with a towel. 
  6. Run a little water to check drainage.

This worked on an almost completely clogged drained. 

The benefits of this approach are many.  It doesn’t use a lot of water.  A product is not required that will produce fumes or dangerous waste.  It is not a time consuming approach.  I could go on. 

Let me know how it works for you.




Taking the time to fall back in love with my hair…

I am a curly girl for life.  Yeah, I straighten sometimes and that’s just fine.  I would say that I love my hair.  I think that, over the years, I haven’t been so “in love” with it.  I’ve resorted to hair management.  No enjoyment; it’s just there, on top of my head.

I’ve fallen into these routines.  Wake up and put it in a top knot.  Wake up and put it in a pony tail.  Oh it’s summer time?  Wash and go.  Tired of combing it out?  To the salon.  I don’t think there is anything wrong with such routines, I’ve just realized I’m not making the most of my hair.  Like, I said I love my hair.  It’s the one aspect of myself that has miraculously escaped judgement by my adult self due to evaluations through the lenses of mainstream beauty.  I should treat it better.

Various hair-carnations.

My various hair-carnations.

I have been natural almost my whole life.  I yielded to the pull of the creamy crack for a little bit as an undergraduate.  I ended my relationship with relaxers for a year, then decided to chop my booty-length hair off.  All off.  [See bottom left of above picture.]

Combined with my interest in having more knowledge of what I put on and in our body, I have put a lot more energy into nutrition and the products I purchase for myself and my son.  More than choosing things that are labeled “organic” or “natural”, I have started to do more of our diet, hair care, and body care from “scratch”.  I am also more selective of what I use that isn’t home made.  I tend to purchase products after careful deliberation and research of a product line’s reputation.  Even though it’s not feasible to 100% convert my hair care over night, I appreciate the natural hair blog world for the information that is available at my finger tips.  Sites like CurlyNikki (check out her new book) and Hairscapades are AMAZING!

I have challenged myself to resist the heat and straightening in order to get to know my hair again.  It hasn’t been very difficult with products from companies like Curls and Trader Joe’s.  Also, thanks to the natural hair blog world and what I learned from my mother, I am armed with my grapeseed oil, aloe, essential oils, raw apple cider vinegar (just to name a few things).

I’ll keep posting some of my findings on the blogs.

P.S.  Grapeseed oil is good for curly hair and oily skin!  I would start there!