I have had a longstanding relationship with the coconut, longer than most of my human relationships have lasted. I was born in a small hilly town, in the midst of the Himalayas. It used to be the summer capital of the Britishers and aptly so, because of its natural beauty.
My upbringing reflected the simple and organic surroundings of my town. We ate simple but extremely healthy and nutritious food, and the only product I used in my hair for the longest time was Coconut Oil. I have to preface this by saying that in my town I was known as the “girl with the long hair.” My hair cascaded below my hips and NO they were not the hippy, stringy type of hair that you see around today. But, the most lustrous, ravenous dark hair.
Every Saturday night my mum used to bring out the blue Parachute hair oil bottle that was ubiquitous in all stores and massage warm coconut oil in my hair roots. She painstakingly made partings through my scalp such that each square inch of my scalp could get the requisite amount of oil. As any child would, I protested and whined to avoid my mum’s hands rubbing through my scalp (a luxury for which I now pay upwards of a $100.)
In fact, I had such beautiful hair that I tried my hand as a hair model.
Of course, as time passed, I weaned myself away from my mum’s massaging fingers filled with warm coconut oil and succumbed to the lure of cuts, colours, perms, dyes, flat irons, blow drying, stress, medications, hormonal changes, etc. Nothing wrong with that of course!
The irony is that I went from the “girl with the long hair” to the girl with the “thinning and very short hair.” I have reconciled with the idea of the “new me” and have learnt to evade the consistent question from my peers, “what happened to the beautiful, long tresses?” I have also learnt, there is more to one’s being than simply the exterior. However, in all honesty I do miss my “inner girl with the long hair.” In retrospect, maybe I should have continued the ritual Saturday night massage with the blue bottle of Parachute coconut oil.
Even now when I sporadically apply coconut oil, it is not only reminiscent of my mother’s loving and kneading hands, but I do wake up with a sparkling shine in my hair.