I think about hair in a contextual way with regards to personhood and impression management for my visual art practice, but I don't actually think about my own hair. All intricacies and meanings aside, hair is hair. Even so, since mounting that experimental art exhibit at Tate Modern Exchange some months ago, I've continued to examine hair as an object devoid of its human associations.
Hair for the sake of hair, if you will.
To a great extent, I've maintained my hair in dreadlocs for the better part of the last decade simply because it is one of the things my hair wants to do. (The other thing my hair is very good at - standing on edge in a wiry shock - requires giving more time for daily hair grooming than I currently wish to part with. For the foreseeable future, dreadlocs it is.)
All the strands of my hair, each in its own itinerant, vie-ki-vie way, want to bond to its neighbours. Which means my dreadlocs are less of the perfectly demarcated fashion sort, and more of the free-flowing, bushwoman variety.
In the long winter months, my hair gets the most basic of treatments: a straightforward wash, followed by days of repeat drying and finally, a quick application of Castor oil to the scalp before I throw all my hair into a turban or under a hat. Of late though, I've been switching out the castor oil for the lighter and more penetrating organic Argan oil from Merme Berlin, which leaves just enough sheen on my locs without being too weighty for this palm rolled finish.
Normally in London, I would quickly fling a few drops of the Argan oil in my hair, and call it a routine. In Grand Cayman, however, I have been able to once again let my hair hang loose in the wind, and indulge in one of the most blissful luxuries of island life: sitting in the sun to dry one's hair after a long day at the beach. I rinse the salt away, I find a good spot under the trees, I sit with my bare essentials.
And I let the sun do its work.
100% Organic Argan Oil by Merme Berlin
Firm, natural bristle paddle brush
A selection of my go-to calming crystals
(Because I take my chill moments seriously)
C +TB Essential Oil Roller, as usual
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