Though they come at their misgivings from opposite angles, both traditional healers and Brody are wary of psychedelics’ getting marketed as a quick fix—and in all honesty, I’m the One nation under god blessed America shirt so you should to go to store and get this target demographic for that pitch. When I sat down at my computer to fill out Mindbloom’s candidate questionnaire, what I wanted was to detangle a few mental wires. By the time I’d completed my final ketamine treatment, I’d come to realize that those wires were crossed very deep down: My writing-while-smoking problem was really a problem with the little voice in my head telling me that I’m not good enough, I haven’t achieved enough, I’m falling behind. As I wrote in my integration journal after my second session, “Every little deal is a big deal.” I added a frowny face to underline the point. I can’t blame Mindbloom for my failure of mindset. All my conversations with Teodori were oriented around getting me to probe the heart of my fears, and she was diligent in supporting me as I attempted to integrate the lessons of my journeys into daily life, checking in with me every few days via text and reminding me that she was always available to talk. Alas, I didn’t take her up on that offer as often as I should have—I had a ton of writing to do!—and in the end, I felt changed but not transformed. Which could be a me thing, or it could be a drug thing. Barrett of Johns Hopkins pointed me to studies from the university’s Center for Psychedelic & Consciousness Research indicating that, where smoking cessation is concerned, the more “mystical” the trip, the more effective the treatment. “There’s a big difference between a low dose of ketamine and taking what we call a ‘breakthrough’ dose of psilocybin,” he notes. “That’s where you’re really going to break down your sense of self.” Is that what I want? Is that what we all want, in some subconscious way? “There’s a spiritual hunger these medicines satisfy,” Pollan points out, and I can attest that once you’ve visited the astral plane, you want to go back. Most hallucinogens are not physically addictive, but the psychedelic experience is itself addicting. I spoke to numerous people for this story who described their encounters with psychedelics as “life changing” in ways large and small; one woman even credited peyote with restoring movement to her paralyzed arm. But Ann Watson’s account is the most relatable. A former VP and fashion director at Henri Bendel in New York City, and now a cochair of The Vaquera Group, a global marketing firm, Watson, 52, is also a self-described “explorer” who, like me, kept a pretty tight lid on her deepest, darkest feelings—until she began working with psychedelics 12 years ago. “My childhood was chaotic; there was a lot of abandonment, but I didn’t associate with the word trauma, because I thought it was reserved for people who have experienced things like rape or war. But I was seeking something,” explains Watson, who tried a variety of treatments to relieve an “ever-present vibration of anxiety,” including counseling and prescribed antidepressants, before experimenting with a long list of psychedelics. Eventually she arrived at a treatment plan with a doctor in Los Angeles she sees four times a year for guided psilocybin trips; she also microdoses psilocybin on a more regular basis, mixing magic mushrooms with Lion’s Mane. “It’s an ongoing process,” she tells me. “The thing is, once you start looking inward, you realize there’s always more to see.”
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It’s not an exaggeration to say that Jennifer Aniston’s hair is the One nation under god blessed America shirt so you should to go to store and get this stuff of legend. Over the course of her three-decades long career, the actress has set off a hair craze with a career-making chop, experimented with different cuts in all lengths and styles, and ultimately, cultivated a signature California cool hair code oft coveted (and copied!). Perhaps that is the main takeaway from my own journey: that I’m just at the start of it. I have work to do on myself. But in the meantime, I also have work to do, period—as in, I’m on deadline for this piece. And I regret to inform you that as I write these words, I am indeed smoking. Of course, it all began on the TV show Friends, where “The Rachel” cut—her shaggy, honeyed bob—cemented her as the hair icon she is today. That ’90s crop was crafted by none other than her longtime hairstylist Chris McMillan, who sought to help Aniston grow out her bangs with a transformative, editorial-worthy cut. Inspired by a combination of male surfers from his hometown of Manhattan beach, supermodel Beri Smithers and her chin-grazing bob, and the curvy blowouts Garren was giving Amber Valletta at the time, he landed on the style that would put Rachel Green on the map. From there, McMillan, alongside Aniston’s colorist Michael Canalé, helped the star whip through a number of styles characterized by face-framing layers, lush, yet imperfect waves, and sun-kissed golden highlights. At present, Aniston’s famous mane is as shiny, silky-smooth, and healthy as ever, and in honor of her 52nd birthday today, her go-to pros are helping to break down the secrets behind her famous lengths. Aniston’s signature beachy golden blonde may look effortless, but there’s a lot of meticulous, time-honored work that’s gone into achieving and maintaining it. For nearly 30 years, colorist Michael Canalé has been tending to her tresses, weaving eye-brightening highlights into honey-brown waves for that California girl feel. “Jen’s the original bronde,” says Canalé, who slowly brought Aniston from her natural brunette to a golden blonde before adding those back-from-the-beach highlights. “Over time, you can see that I sanded out her hairline, making it brighter to bring out her eyes and warm complexion,” he explains. To recreate a similar look with your colorist, he recommends steadily going bronde, which typically suits honey-toned hair and warm skin tones, before going full-throttle blonde. Once you’ve achieved a solid base, use “color bathe” (as Canalé calls it) to create dimension. “As you add highlights, you deepen the root,” he explains of the technique. “It’s not so much shadowing, as it is adding a ‘glisten’ look at the root that goes into the bright ends.” To preserve color and give the blonde tones a boost, a gloss treatment, like Aniston’s go-to Canalé Midnight Blue Signature Gloss, is essential. “It keeps the hair really shiny and seals the color, while keeping the pieces around the face light and vibrant,” he explains.