Dreads, week 1 update

So, in my enthusiasm to ‘stop the violence’ that I inflict on myself last week I might have missed quite a bit of logic. (Of course, spirituality and logic do not always overlap in the most coherent of ways, but I think that they should at least be able to coexist in me at a decent level.) Luckily my husband read my blog, listened to my shiney-eyed ideas, and gave me some feedback. The simple question that he asked was, ‘Sure, you are getting rid of shampoos and dyes, but what about the stuff that you are replacing them with?’ It’s a great question, as I immediately reached for vinegar, salt, and baking soda to help my dreads lock. Usually the argument regarding using these cleaning solutions is that they are more natural and less abrasive to hair. This forces me to call into question what is natural, and whether apple-cider vinegar is any more natural for me than some shampoo.
People claim vinegar is natural because it is not overly processed, and because we can see the process from nature to product. It is also something that is safe to ingest, which shampoo is not, so I feel better about putting it on the outside of my body. However, I do not find the bottle of apple cider vinegar any more natural, for me, than a bottle of shampoo because I am just as distanced from the vinegar production as I am from the shampoo production. Ideally I would not use, ‘natural’ products, but home-grown and home-processed products, that I have a relationship with from planting to product. Now this is not really feasible for a lot of products and so I have to consider why I am using vinegar and baking soda, except that it does not leave residue, gets rid of dandruff, and is cultishly followed among hippies and other crunchy people.
Secondly, from the list of products that I just shared it is obvious that I have done nothing but shift from one routine to another routine. This does not help me practice patience or acceptance and is just another way for me to impose my will in a way that is more fashionable and acceptable among alternative people. That is not really the goal of this experiment. The goal is REALLY patience, acceptance, and nonviolence. How do I go about experiencing that and expressing that without getting truly gross hair (I mean, I can’t just not clean it at all)? My answer to that is, first of all, patience with my self. Of course I cannot quit all routines in a single day. I cannot just immediately switch to being the person who I want to be. That is why this is a practice– a meditation– and not just an immediate work of art. I feel like just raising my awareness of the rituals and routines that I put myself through is the first step, followed by listening to my body a lot more. None of this requires dreading, of course… I am not really anti-combing my hair, and in fact, I find that combing it can be pleasurable both for it and for my body. BUT these are important philosophical questions that can be raised through such personal projects.
Well, here is a picture of me after the first week. As you can see, not much is happening yet. It is starting to become a little messy, but tangles aren’t even starting to form yet. There is no need to separate, and there is every possibility that I will still back out. 

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