Monthly Archives: September 2011
Hello Everyone! When some people think about ‘going natural’, or ‘natural hair’ some take it to mean that no type of chemical should ever touch your head again, and for those people, that’s fine. As for me and my house (and my hair), we shall use a chemical now and then! The thing is, there are chemicals that are good for your hair, and then there are those that are bad for your hair. The trick is determining which chemicals your hair approves of! Remember, every head of hair is different. What my hair loves, yours may despise! It’s all about experimenting and trying new things with your hair. Now, let’s get down to it!
Dimethicone and Amodimethicone are silicones used very commonly in both shampoos and conditioners. It coats the hair shaft, sealing in moisture, while still allowing moisture and oxygen to pass. Silicones are attracted to the hair shaft, especially sections that are damaged, and forms a protective coating. This protective coating provides general conditioning, targeted conditioning to damaged areas, thermal protection, improves color retention, and resists build-up!
One thing to note about these silicones, they are not water soluble. So to remove them from the hair shaft, you will need to use shampoo. If you are a strictly ‘no-poo’ girl, you might not want to use these.
2. Behentrimonium Chloride (BC)
BC is a mild surfactant, and detangling agent. It is the ingredient in conditioners that cleans hair during a co-wash (it can’t remove silicones though). An even milder version of BC is Behentrimonium Methosulfate.
Now, one of these ingredients is good, but to have BOTH? That’s Staple Product material!! One of my favorite deep conditioners in the WORLD (Biolage Matix Ultra-hydrating Balm) has both of these ingredients. It is my go-to product whenever I want good deep conditioning with no experimentation. It works every time.
Knowing which products will work well on my hair has taken the guesswork out of choosing a new product. If I look at the ingredient list, and neither ingredient is there, back on the shelf it goes! Whenever I try to stop being so picky and get a product that doesn’t have either of these chemicals, I am always disappointed. Let me say again, that no head of hair is the same! Go see what’s out there, experiment, and see what works for you!
What about you all? Are there specific ingredients or combinations of ingredients your hair responds particularly well to?
Hello Everyone! I’ve been reading a lot of articles about ‘pre-pooing’ recently, and I’ve decided I need to be more serious about it! Pre-pooing, if done effectively, can become the breakthrough in achieving healthy, beautiful hair!
First of all, What IS a pre-poo? The term pre-poo refers to a pre shampoo treatment. Pre-poos can be similar to a hot oil treatment, except pre-poo’s are applied to dry, unwashed hair instead of to washed and conditioned hair like most hot oil treatments. The point of a pre-poo is to coat the hair, and condition as well as protect the hair shaft from being stripped or damaged during the washing process.
Pre-poos can be done with oils, conditioners, essential oils, ayurvedic herbal mixes, food (like avocado or honey) or whatever else you find that works! This is where I’m starting. Usually (and by ‘usually’ I mean periodically, when I remember to do it. SMH) I will start my pre-poo the night before a wash, and spritz aloe vera juice (works WONDERS) on my hair, detangle, and put Vatika oil on all over. This works well, but I think it may be time to up the ante.
Pre-poos can be made more effective depending on the quality of the ingredients you use. For example, the dollar store brand conditioner probably won’t work as well as a brand of conditioner that is more reputable. It’s up to you to experiment and decide what will work best for your hair. I’ll be tweaking my pre-poo recipe very soon! Updates to come!
Hello Everyone! As promised, I tried the Honey Deep Conditioner recipe, and I’m pleased to say that it’s great! It was easy to make, easy to apply, easy to wash out, and left my hair feeling so soft and fluffy!! I used the same recipe that I posted here, but I added a little more honey (I didn’t measure, I just squeezed some into the bowl), and grapeseed oil. I was worried that the extra honey would make the mixture sticky and hard to apply, or hard to wash out, but it didn’t. It was still very easy to work through my hair.
I made the mixture with some conditioner I had lying around (I’m sure any conditioner would work), added the honey and oil, and worked it through my washed hair in four sections. After I saturated each section with conditioner, I twisted the sections and rolled them into bantu knots. Then I covered my head with a shower cap (ok, it was a Kroger bag, don’t judge me.)and a towel. now, the PLAN was to leave the mix on for maybe 40 minutes, but I got lazy and ended up sleeping with it on my hair. In the morning, I rinsed it out and had soft, beautiful hair! Here are some pictures.
I will definitely be using this mix again! It’s so quick, easy, and inexpensive! I would highly recommend this to someone who wants to try something that isn’t too involved, and doesn’t require any exotic ingredients. Try it out and let me know what you think!
Have any of you used honey in a mixture (or by itself) on your hair? What were your thoughts?
Hello everyone!! I’ve been thinking about using honey on my hair as a conditioner for a while, but I was having trouble convincing myself to use groceries as a hair treatment (We dont waste food over here. Lol!!). However, I’ve heard so many good things about it, I decided I will try it!!
Honey is beneficial to hair because it is a natural humectant, meaning it attracts and holds moisture. In addition to that, honey contains iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sulfur, zinc, and B vitamins!! PERFECT! Honey can be mixed with olive oil, and used as a conditioning treatment by itself, or mixed into your existing conditioner! I think I’ll try adding honey to a regular conditioner for my first try.
Honey Conditioning Treatment:
1/2 cup conditioner
1/4 cup honey
1 Tablespoon Almond oil (this will probably be grapeseed, since thats what I have.)
We’ll see how this works!! I’ll update you all with pictures soon!
Have you all ever used honey as a conditioner? Which recipes work best for you?
Hello Everyone!! I’ve been thinking about improving my essential oil collection (I only have two, smh.), so I decided to do a little research. I never knew there was so many to choose from, and so many different ways to use them!
First, essential oils can be divided into four classes: stimulating, nutritive, balancing, and immuno-supportive. Stimulating oils promote cell regeneration and increase cell metabolism, nutritive oils provide vitamins, or essential fatty acids our hair and scalp need for optimal health, balancing oils balance oily or very dry skin/hair, or over/under active hormones, and immuno-supportive oils can heal scalp infections that could inhibit proper hair growth.
Here are some of the essential oils that are especially beneficial to our hair and scalp.
Rosemary: Rosemary is the most commonly used stimulating oil for hair growth. If you can, get the essential oil that says ‘c.t. verbenone’ (chemotype verbenone) on it. This specific chemotype has molecules in it that tell our scalp cells to grow faster, and even produce new cells.
Sage: Sage is considered to be the most potent and regenerative stimulating oil of all!! BUT, it also comes with the strongest warnings. Pregnant women are advised NOT to use this oil, and it is considered safe only in the proper concentrations. The proper concentration for sage oil is 0.25% – .5% of your total blend (or about 2-4 drops per ounce of carrier oil). A safer alternative for Sage oil is Lavender oil, which does have stimulating properties, although Lavender oil is technically classified as a balancing oil.
Sea Buckthorn and Carrot Root: these two nutritive oils are perfect to use together with stimulating oils! Think about it this way, anything that is growing faster is going to need more food! Nutritive oils provide the nutrients and antioxidants that cells need to maintain growth.
Lavender: Lavender oil is a balancing oil that restores balance to an overly dry/oily scalp. Balancing oils also reduce inflammation of the scalp which can slow hair growth. Lavender oil is anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and regenerative as well!!
Green Myrtle: Green myrtle oil is great for balancing oil production in the scalp. Green myrtle oil can reduce excess sebum production, and heal a dry, flaky scalp.
Tea Tree: Tee Tree oil purifies the scalp, and is very helpful for those that have dandruff or psoriasis.
Once you pick an oil (or blend of oils) to use, you must mix a few drops with a carrier oil. The carrier oil can then be massaged into the scalp and hair. Some carrier oils to try are jojoba oil, olive oil, coconut oil (my personal fave!), or Sesame oil. Essential oils can be mixed with almost any oil that is your favorite to use, or mixed into products, and used that way!
Now to proceed with my coconut/lavender scalp massage! Do you all use essential oils? Which have proven especially useful for you?
Hello everyone! Many of us know that what happens inside our body directly affects what happens on the outside (our skin, nails, and hair). There is no product available that will do for your hair what a balanced and diverse diet will! Our bodies need building blocks like proteins, carbohydrates, and vitamins and minerals to keep our essential processes going. If there aren’t enough building blocks to go around, guess what DOESN’T get what it needs? That’s right! NON-essential processes, like hair and nail growth, maintaining healthy, beautiful skin, etc.
Can we blame our bodies for this? If faced with a choice, our bodies will choose to provide energy to our brain rather than grow thick shiny hair and soft, smooth skin to cover it. Sounds like the priorities are in order, right? In order to have both a healthy, functioning body, AND beautiful hair, skin and nails to go with it we have to provide ourselves with a balanced, vitamin and mineral rich diet so our bodies won’t have to choose between staying alive and staying beautiful!
Of course, there are a plethora of fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, and meat that are beneficial for our health. I could never name them all in one post! This short and general list will help you (and me!) get started on diversifying and enriching our diets so our hair can shine with natural beauty!
WATER: Our bodies are more than 60% water! The brain is 70% water, our lungs are nearly 90% water! Our hair is no exception. Getting enough water is crucial to keeping our hair and scalp moisturized.
Salmon: provides essential omega-3 fatty acids that promote scalp health. If you’re vegetarian like me, ground flaxseed provides the same omega-3 fatty acids.
Dark green veggies: Kale, spinach, swiss chard, collard greens (ok, I added collard greens myself. ) all provide Vitamins C and A which help our bodies produce sebum, the oil that comes from our scalps and coats our hair. Healthy sebum production is key to maintaining soft, shiny hair, and a moisturized scalp.
Beans: “beans, beans, the heavenly fruit…” we don’t have to finish that childhood saying (Lol!), just know that they’re good for you, and your hair! Beans, like kidney beans and lentils provide protein (essential for hair, of course!), iron, zinc, and biotin.
Nuts: Brazil nuts provide selenium, a mineral that promotes scalp health, while walnuts provide alpha-linolenic acid, and almonds, pecans, and cashews provide zinc.
Poultry: Chicken and turkey provide protein and iron.
Eggs: Protein, protein, protein!! Along with biotin, and Vitamin B-12
Orange veggies: Carrots, sweet potatoes, and squash all contain Vitamin A to promote a healthy scalp.
Cauliflower and Cabbage: these vegetables contain silica. A mineral that may help protect against hair loss and breakage.
Whole grains: These include brown rice, whole wheat bread, whole oats, etc. these whole grains provide zinc, iron and B vitamins. Sorry folks, white rice, refined pasta, and white bread don’t belong in this category.
Citrus fruits: Oranges and grapefruits provide Vitamin C. Which helps our bodies absorb iron, in addition to promoting a healthy immune system.
So that’s the short list! When in doubt, just eat foods that are brightly colored (not including flourescent orange cheese puffs). Red and orange peppers, green spinach, purple cabbage, red tomatoes, brown rice, and other healthy foods will have you well on your way to a healthy, beautiful head of curls!