When you tell people that you work for a brand that sells amazing haircare products but it’s mission is suicide prevention, you get most exclusively curious looks. In fact, I would say that most people don’t want to even start asking you further questions about it because they aren’t sure which direction to go.
I will admit, it took me some time to understand it, and really the only true way to is by asking our founder, April Peck, about her story. When I tell most people, they might ask me something like, “so, are you saying that having better looking hair will cure a person?”
Well no…and yes.
What causes suicide?
Suicide is incredibly difficult to fully dissect. The reason why people kill themselves is not an easy thing to pinpoint. In fact, as a Master’s student in Social Work, I have learned that it is bad practice to even try to say something like “such and such is the reason why such and such people want to kill themselves.” It not only undermines all of the complexities in a person’s life, but it also creates a stigma that may not have been labeled before. Thus, a person may not get the care they need to avoid suicidal thoughts because they are being told it’s for one reason, when it could be for another.
Can you imagine if you were a person who loves to dye your hair, and then someone else told you that 70% of people who died by suicide also loved to dye their hair? You might begin to wonder, “is suicide supposed to be a part of my hair-dying culture?” (Not a real link between hair-dying and suicide, just an example)
Another thing to consider is the fact that all of the protective factors against suicide have nothing to do with what a person likes/doesn’t like or is/isn’t. Protective factors almost always have something to do with the connections that the person has with others. Those who have family and friends who accept them and check in on them is one of the most prominent protective factors.
Okay, so hair doesn’t protect you from suicidal thoughts, and mostly because there isn’t any sort of definite “link” to what causes suicide. Neither does beautiful, well-maintained hair. There are many people who have a great interest in hair and makeup who passionately pursue it and enjoy it, and find it to be something to live for. However, better looking hair isn’t necessarily something that can change your life.
But, taking care of your hair is something that can be considered a piece of a routine of self-love.
Self-love is taking care of oneself in order to feel confident, empowered, and balanced.
Part of self-love is eating right, getting enough sleep, engaging in wholesome and challenging activities, and physical care. Physical care might look different from person to person and often from culture to culture, but whatever way you swing it, self-love does often include taking care of your hair and letting yourself enjoy it rather than just tolerate it.