Archive for the ‘natural hair’ Category

Hair Routine Update

  

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but wanted to give a little update on my routine.  My hair has endured health issues and unintentional neglect this past year and, surprisingly, continues to thrive.  I have established an even simpler routine that works.  My hair is 10-12 inches stretched, major shrinkage.

ROUTINE:

  1. Shampoo every 2 weeks.
  2. Deep condition weekly.
  3. Henna gloss monthly.
  4. Co-wash twice a week and apply shea + almond oil mix.  Depending on style, may use homemade flaxseed gel for styles requiring hold.

STAPLE PRODUCTS:

  1. SHAMPOO:  Healing Herbs by Rene Herbal Black Soap Shampoo & Body Wash, (4 oz, $5.95) or bentonite clay.  For the wash and go girls in the warmer climates, use this shampoo with the Extra Moisturizing Herbal Conditioner, 4 oz. $6.95, for the most amazing wash and go ever.  ***Healing Herbs by Rene also has new products; Peppermint Ginger Lime Shampoo, Roots of Aloe Coconut Hair Polish, and Herbal Soaps
  2. CONDITIONER:  Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner, 25 oz., $5.99.
  3. STYLERS:  Homemade Flaxseed gel, Lily of the Desert Aloe Vera Gel  (32 oz., $5.92), or shea butter + almond oil mix.
  4. DEEP CONDITIONER:  Lustrasilk Shea & Mango Cholesterol (20 oz., $2.79), henna + amla for monthly henna gloss.  Note:  Full henna gives me tangly hair and it turns my gray hair a yucky orange color.  I do the henna gloss for conditioning results only.  
  5. OILS:  Mustard, olive oil, and almond oils.  Please don’t sleep on mustard oil.  Replaced castor oil with mustard oil for the cold weather and my scalp and hair are loving it.  Purchased mustard, almond, and olive oil at an Indian food market.  Prices definitely cheaper. 

Links for products I’ve tried and would purchase again.  

  • Pure Shea Chai-Hemp Shampoo Bar, 3.5 oz, $3.00.  I bought this at a local downtown market (Eastern Market).  This shampoo bar smells so good.  Scalp feels clean and moisturized, hair soft, fluffy, not stripped.
  • Shea Essentials Hair Butter, (dry scalp and hair formula), 4 oz. $6.75.  Truly a multipurpose product and perfect for cold weather.  I use this for scalp massages, hot oil treatment, pomade, and sealant.  Ayieta (owner) also has a new Protein Rich Natural Hair Milk (6 oz., $8.00) with the ingredients we like to see in hair products.  I also purchase my shea butter, (8 oz., $6.00, free shipping)  from Shea Essentials.  This shea butter + almond oil is used for my hair and skin.
  • Oils:  Mustard, almond, and olive oils.  Don’t sleep on the mustard oil, though.  Mustard oil is rich in beta carotene, as well as omega-3 and omega-6 acids.  I purchased this at an Indian market, 8 oz., $3.99.  No itchy scalp or dry hair since using this oil.  I’ve even noticed a little hair thickening which is an added benefit.

I’ve been gone for a minute and can’t believe the new products, companies, and distributors we have for natural hair.  It’s definitely a good thing and the right time for them. Yay for us!!!



PRODUCT REVIEW: Koils By Nature Herbal Soothing Unscented Gel

COMPANY:  KOILS BY NATURE

PRODUCT:  Koils By Nature Herbal Soothing Unscented Gel, 16 oz., $12.00.

I’ve been searching a long time for a “natural” gel like this and I’m absolutely loving it.  One of the reasons it’s the perfect summertime gel for me is because it has no glycerin.  I plan on incorporating this gel in my summertime styling for buns, puffs, wash and gos, etc. 

APPLICATION:  I used the Koils by Nature gel to make finger coils, a style I haven’t worn in a long, long time and I was very pleased with the results, especially due to the fact that some areas of my hair won’t coil.   After co-washing, I applied my homemade shea mix  (shea, coconut oil, AVG) throughout hair, then applied the Koils by Nature Soothing Unscented Gel on top of that.  I prefer to add the gel all at once instead of section by section.  I proceeded to finger coil, spritzing my hair with water from time to time to keep it damp.  It took about 1-1/2 hours.  The following pics show three day old finger coils. 

               

I have serious hair shrinkage, regardless of what product I use.  You’d think I cut my hair, but I didn’t.  

   

What I like about Koils by Nature Soothing Unscented Gel:

  1. Natural ingredients that my hair loves.  
  2. No glycerin. 
  3. Nonsticky. 
  4. Light to medium hold.  

Koils by Nature Soothing Unscented Gel is a keeper.  Although it says unscented, it does have a light, pleasant herbally smell which dissipates quickly.   Customer service is awesome and shipping is fast.  I received a sample of the Nourishing Hair & Body Butter in Heavenly Delight, which smells good enough to eat, as well as a nice handwritten note from the owner herself, Ms. Pamela Jenkins.  Definitely have to purchase more of her products, especially the butters and conditioners.

For the month of June, Koils by Nature is having a 20% off sale for Grads and Dads.  The perfect opportunity for you to try Koils by Nature products.  Don’t miss out!

Product Review: Beija Flor Naturals

I hate to do this to the product junkies so close to Christmas, but there is a new kinky curly hair product you gotta try.   Beija Flor Naturals’ Creme Brulee for Kinks, Curls, and Coils is truly one of the best curl products I’ve used this year.  

ABOUT BEIJA FLOR NATURALS

Beija Flor Naturals is a natural products company based out of California.   Their vegan/organic body care line includes products for the hair, face, and body.   Beija Flor Naturals can also be found in the  GreenPeople.org directory, which is a  cool directory of ecofriendly companies.   Their products are available for purchase at  Beija Flor Naturals.com, as well as on Etsy at Beija Flor Naturals.

PRODUCT   Creme Brulee for Kinks, Curls, and Coils, 8 oz., $12.95.   This is an everyday leave-in moisturizer.  In total, an infusion of 13 premium natural ingredients create a light cream texture that is perfect for all natural hair types.

APPLICATION:  After co-washing my hair with Taliah Waajid Herb Enhancing Conditioner, I squeezed out excess water.  I then applied the Licorice Root Scalp Elixir to scalp with fingers and massaged in.   Next, I parted my damp hair in four sections (parted down the middle and from side to side).  I applied a finger full of Creme Brulee for Kinks, Curls, and Coils to each section, from root to tip, concentrating on my ends.  I instantly felt the product smoothing my hair strands.  The Creme Brulee has a light whipped, creamy texture and a yummy, light cinnamon/nutmeg spice smell which dissipates after application. 

             

RESULTS:  The Creme Brulee for Kinks, Curls, and Coils  absorbed instantly in my hair, smoothing my coily strands from root to tip.   Even my fuzzy hairline behaved.  After applying product to each section, I put my hair in a ponytail to airdry.   No other product was necessary. 

What I like about this product:

  • A standalone product.  No other product necessary.
  • My hair was frizz free, soft, and defined.  
  • The Creme Brulee is nongreasy and doesn’t weigh down hair.   I had plenty of bounce and movement.

VERDICT:   The perfect curly hair product for me because I didn’t need any other products with it.  Will definitely order more.          

Other products I tried:

  Hemp Buttercream, 8 oz., $12.00, 98% natural.  A daily hair and body moisturizer that is concentrated, fast absorbing and lasts all day. 

RESULTS:  I have mild eczema and I purchased unscented Hemp Buttercream.  It’s a great hair moisturizer, but an even better body butter.  I used this product for bunning which works best when applied to wet hair.    I slather this on after a shower and my skin stays moisturized and flake-free all day.   

   Licorice Root Scalp Elixir, $13.00.   This product is made to combat dry, itchy, irritated scalp, reduce dandruff, stop hair loss and promote healthy hair growth.

RESULTS:  This oil feels good on your scalp and soothes the itchies.  The Licorice Root Scalp Elixir is also a great product for sealing ends.

  Organic Whipped Shea Butter, 4 oz., $10.00.  Our shea butter is whipped with nourishing oils such as coconut, and apricot oils for a creamy spreadable texture.

RESULTS:  This whipped shea butter is a great face, hair  AND body moisturizer.  I love the light texture of this butter and it keeps skin hydrated all day.

Please stop by and check out Beija Flor Naturals.  Natural and organic goodies such as facial products, soaps, oils, and scrubs are available.

The Other Hair Butters

Here are a few “other” hair butters you may not be familiar with which are also made with the ingredients we love and look for in our hair care products.  

Beija Flor Naturals (Etsy store) –  CocoaMango ButtercreamOrganic Shea Buttercream, Hemp Buttercream all 8 oz, $12.00.  Reviews coming soon.   Also check out Beijaflornaturals.com.

Christine Gant – (Etsy) Herbal Rich Scalp and Hair Butter, 4 oz., $15.00.    This is good stuff!  Ingredients:  Infused olive oil consists of  burdock, comfrey root, neem, chamomile, nettle, black walnut hull, calendula flowers, rosemary EO, unrefined raw shea butter, organic unrefined cocoa butter, first cold press food grade olive oil, jojoba oil, organic sesame oil, organic avocado oil, organic food grade coconut oil, pure unrefined and filtered beeswax.

Butters-N-Bars.com – All natural hair butters, 4 oz., $7.99; Extra Conditioning, Coconut Oil Pomade, Grow My Hair, Dandruff Control

Peace, Love, and Sunshine Products (Etsy store).  Sizes 4 oz , 8 oz., 16 oz.   Coconut Confidence Hair & Body Butter, 8 oz., $9.50, is a blend of two hair and skin powerhouses (virgin coconut oil and shea butter) in a smooth, creamy, buttery texture which glides on easily leaving your skin in coconut heaven.  Sunshine® is Pure Raw Unrefined Shea Butter whipped with a hint of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 8 oz., $10.75.

Amikole’s Hair Butter (Sheabutter.net), 3.75 oz., $11.00 – Amikole’s line of products are certified organic.  Hair butter is infused with  fresh organic rosemary leaves and scented with organic essential oils of rosemary, lavender and bergamot.  Also available at House of Nubian, 3.75 oz, $15.00.

Treasured Locks – Nubian Heritage Coconut & Papaya Hair Butter, 4 oz., $7.99.  Ingredients:  Coconut oil, Shea Butter, Vitamin E, Papaya Extract, Rosemary Extract, Aloe Vera Gel, Cocoa Butter, Jojoba Oil, Sunflower Oil.  Also available at AfrikanRepublic.com, 4 oz, $8.49.

NYRAJU Skin Care – African-American owned skin care line.  Products for face, body, and hair.   Tropical Hair Butter, 4 oz., $15.00.  Ingredients:  Shea butter, mango butter, cocoa butter, grape seed oil, lime, plant wax, vitamin A,D, & E .  Informative blog in regards to black hair and skin care.  Did you know Proctor & Gamble sold their African-American hair care line?  Read it on Nyraju’s Blog here.

Knaps Girl – Lil Better Butter, 4 oz., $10.00.  A smooth blend of unrefined shea butter, coconut oil, food quality extra virgin olive oil and vitamin E. Available in Vanilla Sugar and Fruit scents.  Product also available at Knapsgirl.com Store.

Please post “other” hair butters you love that we should know about.  One could never have too many hair butters.

My Hair Growth 2007-2009

These are pics of my hair growth since February 2007, which was my last big chop.  My hair length at that time was about 1 inch.  Currently, my hair is 10 inches in front and back is 12 inches.  I trim my hair 3-4 times a year, so I lose a couple inches a year due to that.   Here is proof that with good hair care and patience, black hair does grow.

july-2007-11  019  064  039  pic-11  036  May2009 002  feb3-09 058

Starting Over

I didn’t realize how much hormones can affect everything (immune system, metabolism, energy, sex drive, mood swings, etc.).  My body is adjusting, but along with the adjustment comes issues with my hair and skin.  My scalp always seems coated and itchy.  My skin is dry and breaking out.  This is so frustrating because I hate starting over.  A lot of these products have been staples for years and are no longer working for me.   Some of these are:

  • Lustrasilk Aloe Vera Cholesterol – Due to ingredient changes, this multipurpose product no longer works.  I’m sick about this one.  It has been a staple for 7 years. 
  • Africa’s Best Ultimate Herbal Oil – This product is great for hot oil treatments, conditioning, and sealing, but I can’t handle the smell any longer.  
  • Christophe Purely Natural Shampoo – I loved this shampoo, but now it leaves hair dry and tangled, even when diluted.
  • HE Hello Hydration, Aussie Moist, Suave Humectant and Biobasic conditioners.  My hair feels fine when wet, but once dries scalp feels coated and irritated, hair and scalp dry. 
  • Darcy’s Botanicals Madagascar Vanilla Creme – Had to reapply daily whereas previously hair stayed moisturized for days.    

I’m trying to find products that will be easy on the scalp since it seems to be easily irritated now.  What is currently working:

aztecamla neutrogenacrc naturesgateherbalafrovedashamla   bbredcloverlavsoap

I purchase my amla from AyurNaturalBeauty.  She is also a member of NaturallyCurly.com and has a blog at Ayurnatural Beauty Talk.

Brown Butter Beauty now has hair care products (yay!) and a blog.  For the soap lovers, she creates awesome handmade vegan soaps.

Product Update: Darcy’s Botanicals Madagascar Vanilla Styling Creme

Hey everybody!  I haven’t been up to blogging lately due to some major health issues I’ve been putting off, which now have to be addressed.  I just wanted to give a little update on my hair.  If you haven’t purchased any of Darcy’s Botanicals products yet, please try them.  The Madagascar Vanilla Styling Creme’s performance is consistent, and has been the one go to product that has made the difference in the health of my hair.  My hair tangles less, has more shine, and is growing like crazy.  I’m definitely a minimalist when it comes to putting products in my hair and love the fact this product lasts a long, long time.     

As my hair grows longer, the more obvious the three hair textures on my head become.  The Madagascar Styling Creme gives each texture exactly what it needs; moisture, shine, or softness.  Take a look.

may2009-143

NAPE:  Where majority of tangles occur.  This is the only part of  my hair that has shine without product.

May2009 135

HEADBAND AREA: Halo of frizz in front, side to side, with mad shrinkage (and gray hairs creeping back in.  lol.).

may2009-149

CROWN: – This area grows the fastest with wavy, loose curls that never tangle.    

I actually don’t have any hair problems to report.   Nope.  Nada.  Nothing.  Since the weather is warmer, shea butter is no longer required, so shampooing weekly not necessary.  My hair is doing fantastic with just these basics.  

  1. Conditioner wash with Suave Naturals Tropical Coconut.
  2. Deep condition with Lustrasilk Aloe Vera Cholesterol (add Agave Nectar or honey), or Pantene Relaxed & Natural Breakage Defense Mask.
  3. Apply Madagascar Vanilla Styling Creme from root to tip, or use the Suave Naturals Tropical Coconut + oil as leave-in.

It’s time to restock and Mother’s Day couldn’t have come at a better time.  Anybody try any of Darcy’s Botanicals new products?   If so, let me know which ones and how you like them. The Organic Coconut and Aloe Moisture Pudding is calling my name.

Hopefully I’ll be back blogging on the regular soon.