Calling All Brunettes

September 17, 2015

You never know where you’re going to learn a new beauty tip or who you’ll learn it from. The other day, I learned a great little secret from my son’s baseball coach. This masculine guy had some of the other gals and I taking notes when he shared his grandmother’s secret for a natural hair rinse. We had our phones out, thumbs flying furiously as we wrote down this tip.

He told us how his Greek grandmother used to darken her hair on the Island of Icaria. To create an all-natural rinse to darken your hair, she took walnuts and leaves from the walnut tree, boiled them into a tea, and ¬†used the tea as a rinse. She tea-stained her hair! Brilliant! I found some in-depth discussion and instructions for this on an all-natural beauty blog called Almost Exactly, and it’s worth looking at if you want to give this method a try.

The island of Icaria is named for the tragic Greek figure Icaraus, whose father made him wings of feathers and wax. His father warned him not to fly too close to the sun or his wings would melt. In this myth, probably told to teach youth to heed their parent’s wisdom, Icarus ignores his father’s warning. He flies close to the sun and falls to his death into the sea when his wings melt.

I find it interesting that on this island named after someone unwise, the modern day Greeks have wise ways to give their hair color a little pick me up. I did a little reading about Icaria and discovered that hair dye isn’t the only thing they’re wise about. It turns out, Icaria has been called the Greek island of old age. It’s one of a handful of regions known as “blue zones” where residents enjoy great longevity. I mean, they really ENJOY it, they don’t just have it. They live an average of 10 years longer than other Europeans, and 60 percent of those who live to be over 90 years old are still physically active. That’s incredible!

What’s their secret? It seems the all-natural practice of darkening their hair isn’t the only all-natural practice of the Island dwellers.

  • Their diet is heavy on fish, vegetables , nuts and beans, low on meat.
  • They add sugar to very little except their morning coffee.
  • Most food is cooked in olive oil.
  • Older people drink “a daily brew of mountain tea from dried herbs such as sage, thyme, mint, and chamomile, and sweeten it with honey from local bees.”
  • And, here’s what I love the most, many of them drink a little wine with every meal!

It’s not just what they eat that contributes to their longevity. They take naps, spend a lot of time outdoors tending gardens or walking and hiking regularly, and they keep their families together. As they age, the people of Icaria are considered vital, useful members of society. The strong social connections of community and family are found to reduce depression and even dementia.

Wow! Think of how our lives could improve if we adopted just a few of the habits of the people of Icaria. I am happy Coach’s beauty tip for brunettes led me to read about Icaria. I feel inspired. How about you?