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Rob Machado and Sage Erickson Hair

Rob Machado and Sage Erickson, both mega- talented surfers and purveyors of lucious locks. If we could all be so lucky. But wait! You can! At least with the hair. Maybe. Photos: (L) Photo: ASP/Kirstin Scholtz (R) @sageerickson


The Inertia

Some people have naturally thick, strong, and shiny hair. I can’t say that I am one of those people. I have fine hair, and I’m in the ocean a lot (which can be challenging for the hair), so I was looking for some quick fixes for healthy hair.

I had noticed over the years that the less I wash my hair, the healthier it becomes. That might sound weird and even gross to some of you. But it grows faster and is stronger when the natural oils have a chance to penetrate into the hair shaft.

I use a boar bristle brush that a friend (one of the really thick, strong, and shiny hair people) told me about. Brushing from root to end every night truly makes a difference. Did your mom ever tell you to “brush your hair 100 times” so it would be healthy? This is the reason behind the myth. Women have been using these brushes since the 1800s, including glamorous old movie stars like Rita Hayworth.

The boar bristle takes the sebum, the oil produced by the scalp, and transfers it from the scalp all the way through to the end of the hair shaft. By coating each strand with a very small amount of sebum, a boar bristle brush repairs dry hair and adds lustrous shine. The bristles also stimulate the scalp, improving circulation and encouraging hair growth. You can get away with more days in between washes because the brush prevents the build-up of oil at the scalp, which weighs it down and makes it look more greasy.

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Hair powder or “dry shampoo” helps the longer gaps between washing from being so obvious. This absorbs any excess oil at the scalp that might remain even after the boar brushing. The only problem is that most brands are filled with potentially harmful chemicals: aerosol propellants, absorbing and conditioning agents, and fragrances (which themselves are made up of toxic chemicals that can act as hormone disruptors and potentially cause cancer when absorbed through the scalp).

So I make my own! This is one of the easiest DIY projects ever. If you have light blonde hair, all you have to do is put about 1/4 cup of organic arrowroot (or corn starch) in a jar or plastic squeeze tube. If you have medium-colored hair, use 1/4 cup of the arrowroot and about 2 tablespoons of organic cocoa powder. If you have dark hair, use the cocoa powder only. Yes, your hair will smell a little like chocolate. It’s amazing!

I personally just use a (bpa free) plastic squeeze tube and apply directly onto my scalp and brush it through until it blends in. But if you would like to be fancier or you have already-styled hair, you can use an old make-up brush and apply it to the scalp with that.

With these two helpful hints, your hair will be sure to grow and become healthier than ever and you will also avoid any harsh chemicals or toxins.

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