By Brandi Sellers-Jackson
I remember Saturday evenings with my mother & sister.
Saturday evenings were filled with blue grease, hot combs & sponge rollers set to contort our hair, transporting it from what was before to expressiveness in all of its glory. Our little bodies would bend over the kitchen sink as our mother would wash our hair. The water would baptize our tendrils, as soap suds would make their exit down the drain. I would hold a towel over my face to prevent soap from getting into my eyes. Music would be playing as we prepared our evening for our unassuming yet so very intentional self-care. We would laugh & giggle as my mother would attempt her latest hairstyle idea on my sister & me. Sometimes it turned out great. Sometimes it did not. Either way, it simply was what it was.
From hair wrapping to finger waves, my mother tried it all. This Saturday evening ritual was a pre-cursor to Sunday morning. We would go to bed sometimes with rollers in our bangs & head-scarves wrapped securely around our manes to keep everything in place until morning. The morning would feel like Christmas, as we would unwrap our hair to see if what our mother attempted...well... worked. I had no clue then, but my mother taught us a valuable lesson on creating ritual and the ease surrounding it. Within that moment, my mother would pass down jewels of self-care & self-renewal - all a gift offered from not only my mother but also her mother & her mother before.
The older I become, I know that self-care is unique & deeply personal. I even believe that self-care & the ritual thereof may present themselves differently depending on the season in which we find ourselves. Creating our practice can be reflective, conjuring what our spirit is calling for & in deep need of.
I intentionally approach wash day as my self-care ritual. It's my moment to unplug & connect with myself. Within this moment is joy. There is no need for overthinking. I am present & that is enough. I take in my surroundings, smells, & what it feels like to be in my body within the moment. For example, after washing my hair with PATTERN, I not only enjoy the warmth of the hot oil treatment but the feeling of home that it provides, as I reflect on wash days & hot oil treatments as a little girl. The same is true when I loc my hair with PATTERN's Styling Cream and Jojoba Oil. Sectioning my hair & applying salves reminds me of my mother braiding my hair before summer camp, adorning it with much pride. These moments of intentional self-care, I now implement as an adult.
Self-care should be filled with ease. It is what we know to be authentic & genuine. It is as simple as a wash day & as unique as our stories. Creating ritual within hair care is self-care. The pattern & celebration of our traditions have been a part of us all along.
Brandi Sellers-Jackson is an author, mother of three, a doula, a musician, co-founder of Moms In Color and creator of the blog, NotSoPrivateParts. She is also featured in PATTERN's Treatment Collection campaign with her son, Jedi, & husband, Jonathan.