Archive for May, 2008

Castor Oil, Summer’s Multipurpose Beauty Aid

Castor oil is a multipurpose product used in hair and beauty products, as well as some over-the-counter medications (laxatives, antifungals, etc.)  Start your summer off right and purchase castor oil for smooth hands, pretty feet, and hair that is soft and shiny.  Castor oil is cheap and easily found at any drugstore or department store (CVS, Walgreen’s, Meijer, Rite-Aid, etc.).  Keep in mind though, all castor oils are not created equal.  The quality of castor oil differs from brand to brand.  My favorite?  Walgreen’s brand,which is $4.49.    

If you have ever read PEG-30 and PEG-40 in an ingredient list and wondered what they were, they are  derivatives of hydrogenated castor oil.  Check out Cosmetics Info’s website about castor oil here.  I’ve listed some products many of us often buy online or at the drugstore which lists castor oil as an ingredient:

  • Africa’s Best Carrot Oil Cream
  • Allergan Dry Eye Therapy
  • Aveda Shampure Shampoo
  • Basis So Refreshing facial cleansing cloths
  • Blistex Lip Revitalizer
  • Burt’s Bees Lip shimmer and Lip Balm
  • Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser
  • Compound W (Warts)
  • Curl Junkie Hibiscus and Banana Honey Creme Leave-in & Conditioner
  • Dove Invisible Solid Antiperspirant
  • Indigo Wild Zum Bar Soaps
  • Infusium-23 (Repair)ologie Leave-in Treatment (damaged hair)
  • Johnson’s Baby Cologne
  • Max Factor High Definition Lip Liner and Lipstick Brush


  1. Skin cleanser.  I use a combination of olive oil, castor oil, and lavender essential oil in a 2 oz.  bottle with a spout to cleanse and moisturize my face.  This has been a lifesaver in keeping my acne controlled and my skin moisturized.  Recipe:  1-1/2 oz olive oil, 1/2 oz. castor oil, 2 drops lavender essential oil.
  2. For dry ends, I apply castor oil to my ends.  If you’re looking for an alternative to a deep conditioner, add castor oil to your cholesterol condish (Lustrasilk) for a real treat.   It smoothes the hair leaving it soft, shiny, and frizz free.
  3. For dry scalp, use castor oil as a hot oil treatment for hair and scalp.  Especially good for those with dandruff or eczema.  
  4. Get your feet pedicure and sandal ready.  Castor oil softens dry, cracking skin on feet.  Apply at bedtime, cover with socks.  In the morning, use Ped-Egg or pumice stone to remove dead skin. 
  5. Castor oil is great for wart removal.  I think it is definitely safer to use on kids opposed to Compund W (which lists castor oil as an ingredient by the way).  The results take longer, but it does work.
  6. If you have thin eyelashes like I do, a light dab of castor oil to your eyelashes helps to thicken them up a little.  I’ve heard castor oil helps to grow your lashes, but I’ve yet to experience that.

I have yet to try these, but here are some other types of castor oil to check out. **Those who are allergic to sulfa should not use the Turkey Red Oil.** 


Infused Oils, Not Just For Cooking

I love watching cooking shows, especially The Food Network and Bravo’s Top Chef.  I’ve noticed the The Food Network chefs use a lot of infused oils in their cooking.  Infused oils are used as salad dressings, a flavor enhancer for meat, seafood, and vegetables.  These infused oils consist of fresh herbs such as thyme, basil, and rosemary which are also popular hair care ingredients.  The way I see it, infused oils can give you the best of both worlds; they’re good at enhancing the flavor of food and good for your hair. 

There are two methods used to make infused oil; the cold method and the hot method.  The cold method involves putting fresh or dried herbs in a corked or sealed bottle, covering with oil, then placing in sunlight for two to six weeks.  The hot method is done by cooking the oil and herbs in a saucepan or slow cooker, but allows you to use the infused oil immediately.  There are quite a few recipes, but this website listed recipes for both the cold and hot method here.   

Some infused oils have great therapeutic properties.  Mountain Rose Herbs has an infused herbal oil collection.  These herbal oils (infused in an olive oil base) may be used for wound healing (comfrey), skin inflammation (calendula), and hair/scalp issues (rosemary).  Mountain Rose Herbs’ website provides a wealth of information regarding herbs, essential oils, butters, carrier oils, etc.  

My goal is to make an infused oil using olive oil with either lavender, peppermint, or thyme.  Lavender is one of my favorite herbs, but I’m not sure how easy it will be to find fresh lavender.  If I can’t, though, I’ll use fresh peppermint or thyme instead.  I’ll be back to do a review of the infused oil.  

I ran across this recipe in The Food Network recipe files for Vanilla-infused Oil from Emeril Lagasse.  I bet this infused oil makes the hair smell fantastic. 

For those who rather avoid the hassle of making your own infused oil, infused oils can be found at Marshall’s (lemon-infused olive oil) in their home goods department and Big Lots (basil-infused olive oil).  Whole Foods, Trader Joes, or any gourmet food store also carry infused oils. 

My hair is so spoiled (LoL). 

Lightweight Snoods and Headbands for Kinky-Curly Hair

I’m on the Bohemian routine at the moment (shout out to Jazzi who originated this popular routine).  This routine is  giving my hair a much needed break after my protein overload catastrophe last month.  Wash-n-gos with either a leave-in or spritz are all I’m doing at the moment. 

Since it’s Spring, lightweight scarves, snoods, and fabric hairbands/headbands help in giving my hair a break.  Since I love handmade hair accessories, Etsy is always my first destination.  Check out the following Etsy shops for your handmade snood/rasta/dreadlock hats and headbands.  They’re perfect for Spring.  


a1.       a2.       b.       c. 


a.    b.   c.   d.


a.       b.   c.


a.       b.       c.   

  • a.  Funky Hippie Dreadlock Headband Hair Wrap, $10.00.  It’s fashionable as well as functional.  Especially great for dreadheads who find that hats are too hot and ponytail holders put too much pressure on the scalp. Great for the upcoming warm weather of spring!
  • b.  Unique Funky Square-Patterned Hippie Headband (Clearance), $10.00.  The square design gives it a hip geometric look and is perfect either as an accent or as the main event! Especially great for those with dreadlocks.  Made from Caron Simply Soft 100% acrylic yarn. This product is 100% vegan!
  • c. Funky Dreadlock Hat with Brim (Clearance), $24.00.   Have a wild mane of dreadlocks? This hat is for you! It is made of hand dyed 100% cotton, which will rub against your dreads, helping them to knot up super tight! 


a.       b.      c.     

  • a.  Really Red Ball Cap, $15.00.  Hand crocheted red ball cap, with plenty of room to wear your hair pulled up under the cap. The open pattern keeps you cool.
  • b.  Navy Blue Baseball Cap, $15.00.  Hand crocheted in navy, this is a great sporty hat.  Roomy enough to put your hair up, the open pattern will keep you cool.
  • c.  Blue and Navy Cloche Hat, $6.00.  Crocheted by me.   Fits most.  Machine wash and dry.