Monday, September 12, 2011

How a pumice stone reminded me of what I need to do to keep my hair healthy.

Last weekend I treated myself to a pedicure.  In the past, I tended to reserve pedicures for special occasions or once or twice a year.  But ever since my gas station experience, one of the commitments I made to myself was to take pride in my appearance.  So there I am sitting in the chair, enjoying my experience, when all of the sudden, I realized something.  The women sitting in the chairs next to me were all getting their feet "shaved" with a pedicure razor.  First off, let me tell you that I've always hated having that razor used on me.  My biggest fear was that my pedicurist would inadvertently shave live skin and thus cause massive hemorrhaging.  So you can image how elated I was when I realized that my pedicurist had skipped this step.  Did she forget?  No.  The reason I was spared this horrible experience was because there was no need for it.  Same goes for my previous pedicure months earlier at a different salon.  How could a woman who barely gets her feet done not have to require the use of this specialized tool?  The answer to this question is the key to everything.....

It all started nearly a year ago when I stumbled upon a video from youtube user yasjencon aka "yepantherone".  In it she describes how regular maintenance keeps us from having to use more extreme measures to get the results we want.  She shared a great tip of keeping a pumice stone in the shower so I could scrub every day while in the shower.  I immediately took action and moved my stone from my pedicure kit to my shower.  Scrubbing my heals in the shower has been a consistent habit since that day and, because of this, I can avoid the unwanted result of having my feet shaved.

 I'd like to expand this wonderful learning to other areas in my life.  There are so many habits I want to develop but, to be honest, sometimes I'm a little disheartened because of my past cycles of being motivated, starting something new, then stopping.  This habit, however, has stayed consistently with me for over a year.  When I look to the success achieved in the "pumice stone experience."  Here's why I think this method worked for me:

  • I set myself up for success by moving the stone (my tool) to a place where it was likely to get more use.  Since I wasn't really doing at home pedicures consistently, it made no sense that I would use the stone consistently.  On the other hand, I take showers daily so if the stone was in my shower, I automatically increase the chances of me using it daily by 100%.
  • The act of scrubbing my feet daily was not associated with a final result so I didn't loose motivation from not seeing a result.  I was scrubbing my feet with the stone for the sake of scrubbing my feet with the stone. There was no goal attached that could demotivate me.  Because  I wasn't attached to an outcome, it became much easier to continue the habit.
  • In the beginning, the act of scrubbing my feet daily was a conscious decision. Soon, the process became more of a subconscious act.  It never fails, whenever I'm near the end of my shower, I always reach for my pumice stone, without even thinking about it.  It became part of my shower ritual.
How do I take the lessons I learned from this and apply to a toner body, beautiful skin, and healthier hair?  What are the actions that I can take daily (or every few days), that will lead to the creation of healthier hair?  One thing I can do is continue whatever actions I take whenever I have a setback.  For example, whenever I notice an area suffering from breakage, I take my sweet time in applying product, whether it be moisturizer or conditioner, to very small sections of my hair.  On the other hand, when my hair looks and feels healthy, I start to get a little lazy and apply product to larger sections.  This shouldn't be.  I don't stop using the pumice stone just because my feet seem to look better. I continue my habit daily no matter the appearance of my feet.

I'm really inspired when I think of the possibilities of taking small, daily actions that allow me to reach my goals.  There's so much more I could do daily with  regards to moisturizing, massaging my scalp or nurturing my follicles with proper nutrition.  Small daily, consistent, actions will create the results I want by next touch up (and going forward).

  1. I would be a little wary of salons that use the razor to get rid of caulluses due to the fact that it can actually make things worse. In fact some places have banned razors from being used to remove them. P.S. I love pumice stones. I think the Body Shop used to sell a foot scrub that had small bits of stone in it.

  2. Great feedback! Those razors seem unsanitary to me. Plus the idea that someone else's foot was shaved with the same tool grosses me out.

  3. This is a great post and it aligns well with another post you did regarding associating activities. I've had my pumice stone in the shower and my feet have never looked better. Also I've brought an extra toothbrush and floss into the shower so that while I've got conditioner in my hair I brush and floss (I cowash almost daily)
    From the on point ladies on LHCF I've put shaving and doing my eyebrows in my phone reminders and have been able to wear what I want without having to run and dry shave first!! Currently I've signed up with FlyLady...trying to get the house on point..with maintenance cleaning...this is a little harder..argh!!!

  4. Great post! I always used to try getting myself into habits and often failed. You have also inspired me to keep at these daily routines to reach my hair goals :)

  5. Regular maintenance can reduce the time and money we spend on caring our hair. I think it's better for us to keep a good hair care routine than taking repair action sporadically. However, sometimes it does take some motivation to keep a habit.

  6. A timely post, thank you. I went and purchased a pumice stone finally and I'm actually using it regularly. Also I will continue to do "maintaince" in this area along with other areas that I'm not consistent in. My hair has been the gateway to understanding how maintaining makes your life easiser. Funny how everyone knows about maintaince and can apply this concept to fun things in your life or areas that are not as challenging; but it's another idea to be disciplined and call yourself out and remind yourself to be consistent.