Image by Zerochan
Gardening is my second love, behind hair care. As I was tending to my green babies last week, I started thinking about the similarities between plants and hair - the parallels are astonishing! Even if you are not a gardener, thinking like one might make caring for your natural hair a little bit easier!
At a very high level, a plant consists of 3 parts: root, stem and leaf - as you probably know, at a very high level, your hair consists of 2 parts: root and strand. Let's refer back to this anatomy in our discussion.
Most gardeners understand that plants must be cared for at the root level. In order for nourishment to reach the roots, proper nutrients must be applied to the soil. Likewise, your hair's roots must be fed - this is why your diet is so important. Your hair's roots are accessed through blood vessels in your scalp. Having a nutritious diet will supply your blood stream with the vitamins that your scalp (and therefore, your roots) need to be healthy. You might have heard about the benefits of scalp massage - scalp massages are great because they help to ensure that the nutrients in your diet will reach the blood stream and, in turn, the roots housed in your scalp.
A yellowing leaf is a sign that the leaf is irrevocably dying. Since, yellowing leaves are still technically alive, they pull vital nutrients from the roots that could be used to feed the healthy leaves. In situations like this, it's best to cut your losses and prune the dying leaves. Holding on to yellowing leaves will only be detrimental to the overall health of the plant. Likewise, when your ends are split, knotted or otherwise damaged, it's simply time for a trim. Split ends will travel up the hair shaft, causing the healthy parts to fray. Furthermore, the healthy ends can get tangled up in knotted ends causing you to have to cut more hair than originally needed. In a nut shell, holding on to unhealthy ends will only wreak havoc on the overall health of your hair.
Gardeners know that only a small effort is needed beautifying the leaves and flowers of plants. It's not essential to polish and shine them - if the roots are happy then the leaves and flowers will be happy. However, when it comes to our hair, we tend to spend the majority of our time tending to our locks above the scalp. We polish and oil and groom them when this effort would be better spent watching what we eat, scalp massaging and ensuring that our scalp is clean and healthy. Not to say that we should neglect our hair, but our primary focus should be on the scalp. If our scalp (and therefore, our roots) is healthy, our hair will follow suit.
3. Have a secondary focus on your "leaves"