Tag Archives: castor oil

Fact or Fiction … Can a hair serum grow your hair 2″ in ONE week?

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This blog post contains affiliate links (e.g., to Amazon, eBay, etc.),  which means that if you click on one of the product links and place an order, I’ll receive a small commission. This helps support my blog and allows me to continue to create content like this.

Thank you for your support!


Have problem hair that just won’t grow? Well, I may have stumbled across a solution. While browsing YouTube a while back, I meandered upon a video from one of my favorite YouTubers, Melissa Erial. She makes absolutely stunning hair tutorials. If you’ve never watched any of her flawless hairstyle creations, you’re missing out! One video in particular intrigued me. It was entitled, “GROW your hair 2 inches in just 1 week – Hair growth serum!” Needless to say I was instantly fascinated. Here’s the original vid that caught my eye …


The Recipe

  1. Extract 7 oz. of aloe vera gel from an aloe vera plant and place it into a blender (or bowl).
  2. Add 3 TBSP of Jamaican Black Castor Oil (JBCO).
    • I used “extra strength” organic JBCO from Simply Organic.
  3. Add 1 tsp of vitamin e oil.
  4. Combine ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth.
    • Or, you can just add the ingredients to a small or medium bowl, like a did, and use a hand mixer.
  5. Transfer contents to an 8 oz. applicator bottle.
  6. Enjoy!

The Method

DAY #1: Start out on freshly washed (e.g., shampooed, conditioned, deep conditioned, etc.), detangled, damp hair. Shake mixture prior to use (if necessary). I didn’t have to do this because my hand mixer did such a good job of combining all of the ingredients. Next, part hair and apply mixture directly to your scalp.Or, you can just randomly apply the concoction all over your mane. When done, massage your scalp for 5 minutes. Comb mixture through hair. (I finger combed!) Then, style your hair as desired.

DAY #2 – #7: Co-wash mixture from prior day out of your hair. Once hair is clean, apply serum all over scalp and hair, repeating the process for each subsequent day as before (on day #1).

The Process

I decided to run a little 7-day experiment to see if I could obtain similar results as Melissa Erial. Here’s what happened …



The Conclusion

I think this strategy might work better for someone with relaxed or type 1 or 2 hair. Although my hair felt soft, stayed well-moisturized, and had phenomenal curl definition, it didn’t do much in the way of hair growth. (Sigh.) On to the next experiment …



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Filed under Length Checks, Product Reviews

New Hair Strategies for the New Year (2018)

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This blog post contains affiliate links (e.g., to Amazon or eBay), which means that if you click on one of the product links and place an order, I’ll receive a small commission. This helps support my blog and allows me to continue to create content like this.

Thank you for your support!

After so many setbacks in the last two years of my natural hair journey, I’ve decided to make a huge overhaul of my hair care regimen. I spent the last six months of 2017 donating, selling, gifting, and using up my hair “product junkie” hauls. In the past, when my fave beauty supplier or retailer had a “buy 2, get 1 sale” or a 50% off promo, I felt the need to indulge even if my beauty cabinet was already stockpiled with shampoo, conditioner, and hair moisturizer. I felt like it gave me a chance to discover and try new products that would hopefully become my holy grail for cleansing, styling, and growing my hair. More is better right? Well, not always …

Truth be told, I am my family’s resident “go-to” for natural hair care product recommendations and samples, so I didn’t just horde my “extras!” I also don’t believe in being wasteful. Consequently, even when a product didn’t work for me, I always tried to find a way to repurpose it in a new way, remix it with other add-ons (like Jamaican black castor oil, apricot oil, or sweet almond oil), or augment it in with other products (i.e., deep conditioner) until used up. However, if my hair simply hates a product all-together, I’ll usually gift it to a family member or friend and then try to sell the unopened multiples. If that doesn’t work, I’ll donate it to a good cause (e.g., homeless shelter for women and children).

Two years (and several dozens of products) later, I have yet to find the ultimate product(s) to care for my multi-textured mane. I am hair product holy grail-less! I’ve endured the last 24 months of a barrage of brutal testing and trying of new products only to conclude that my hair didn’t mind yet didn’t love most of them or hated them all-together. I tried so many products, in fact, that I didn’t even have the time, effort, or energy to even blog about them all! Some worked (but only temporarily), others just didn’t even deserve an honorable mention. As a result, I tried to remember the last time I believed my hair was healthy and growing. After much thought and reflection, I’ve come to the conclusion that it was when I was DIYing most of my own hair products: from quick hair spritzes and leave-in conditioners to henna hair packs and hot oil treatments

The only reason I stopped was because I made the decision to go to grad school to pursue an advanced degree. As a result of my harried work:school life balance, it just became impossible to DIY any of my hair products (let alone to spend the time blogging about my hair victories and misadventures! I barely had time to work, go to evening classes, sleep, and eat (or bother doing much else other than group projects and countless research). Sigh ..

So, I started to do one of the things that I do best … research … I investigated various ingredients and hair care strategies. After a six-month long quest, I determined that an Ayurvedic-based hair care regimen would be best for me. Ayurveda’s natural approach to hair maintenance is what convinced me to make the swap from traditional on-the-shelf hair products that never seem to “take” to my hair. While I already practice some whole body care (e.g., exercising, clean eating, drinking plenty of water, etc.), I have started to become more aware of some vitamin and mineral deficiencies (e.g., iron) despite my healthy dietary habits. In light of this, one of my goals for this year is to focus on an improved hair lifestyle … using natural hair care products (or creating my own) … better monitoring my vitamin intake … maintaining healthy hair practices (see Hair Moisture 101, Hair Moisture 201, Hair Moisture 301, and Hair Moisture 401) … and the like.

In this way, by year’s end, I hope to strengthen, grow, and retain a healthier head of hair. Because I have multi-textured tresses (e.g., a combination of 3 different hair textures ranging from 3C to 4B) that is also extremely fine (small in diameter) and fragile (breaks easily even when being gentle with my hair), this is a challenge under the best of circumstances. However, I am hopeful that switching to natural products and hair care practices will help me to grow and retain greater length and, more importantly, strengthen my hair in such a way that it is less prone to breakage.

I have probably used up or given away about 80% of my stash. The remaining 20% is predominately made up of deep conditioners (that I plan to use for henna glosses) and a couple of other odds and ends (i.e., for when I travel). Here are some of the ingredients I have invested in that I can’t wait to start creating with (or taking) in the near future:

  1. Ayurvedic Powders: aloe vera, amla, bhringraj, cassia obovata, chamomile, fenugreek, henna, hibiscus, indigo, moringa, neem, rose petal, shikakai, and slippery elm
  2. Clays: bentonite clay and kaolin clay (for skin care)
  3. Essential Oils: bergamot, chamomile, cinnamon, clove, and ylang ylang. My essential oil collection already includes the usual suspects of tea tree, rosemary, lavender, and about a dozen other faves).😉
  4. Floral Waters: lavender hydrosol, rose hydrosol, and ylang ylang hydrosol 
  5. Humectants: glycerin and organic honey
  6. Oils: almond oilapricot oil, avocado oil, castor oil, Jamaican black castor oil, mango butter, rosehip oil, and unrefined shea butter
  7. Vitamins: iron and SugarBearHair Hair Vitamins

I am also considering purchasing some soaping supplies to make my own body soap and (maybe) shampoo, but I’m feeling a little overwhelmed and skittish, so we shall see! However, I bought two books for added instruction and encouragement: (i.) Easy Homemade Products for Your Skin, Health, & Home, and (ii.). Simple & Natural Soapmaking.

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Filed under Hair Journey, Hair Styles & Tips

The MAX Hydration Method … Modified! (A DETAILED OVERVIEW)

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This blog post contains affiliate links (e.g., to Amazon or eBay), which means that if you click on one of the product links and place an order, I’ll receive a small commission. This helps support my blog and allows me to continue to create content like this.

Thank you for your support!
After my successful experiment with a baking soda scalp treatment back in August, I finally decided to take the plunge and try the Max Hydration Method (MHM). This strategic hair moisturization method was created by (no longer active) YouTuber Pinke Cube. The MHM was originally designed for type 4c low porosity hair, but it has been used by those with type 3 and even type 2 hair hair. The theory is that once maximum hydration is obtained, your dry, frizzy, and undefined curls and coils will be fully hydrated, well-defined, free of tangles and single strand knots, less prone to breakage, and therefore more easily able to retain length.
Dry, tangled hair has plagued me since the beginning of my second year as a natural. Needless to say I was intrigued! I did extensive research and quickly realized there was more involved than I had thought. The MHM involves an intense 4-step process over the course of 7 days. See the traditional MHM below.


    1. CHERRY LOLA TREATMENT: If this is your first time attempting the MHM, you are supposed to start with a Cherry Lola Treatment (CLT). This protein treatment was created by UK natural hair blogger Cherry Lola in 2009 to help strengthen hair follicles and prevent damage. Because I saw recipe after recipe with ingredients like bananas, molasses, and the like, I knew immediately that I would skip this step. However, after a super deep research dive, I found out that the original CLT only has 3 ingredients (see the original recipe below). The other ingredients likely are an amalgamation of the CLT and a DIY Carmel Treatment. The original Carmel Deep Reconstructing Treatment is by E’TAE. To apply the CLT, mix together all of the ingredients and apply it to your entire head of hair. Leave on for 20-30 minutes, and then rinse out completely. This protein treatment should be done bi-weekly (every two weeks), monthly, or how frequently your hair requires (i.e., once a quarter).Several people who use the CLT, especially those with high porosity hair, reduce the baking soda and liquid amino acids to 2 TBSP each.
      NOTE #1: (OPTIONAL) OVERNIGHT DEEP CONDITIONING TREATMENT—Some MHM users do an optional overnight deep conditioning session (after the CLT) to further encourage increased hydration.
      NOTE #2: The NEXT STEPS are intended to be done EVERY DAY for 7 consecutive days!
    2. CLARIFY: After an initial CLT, you must then clarify your hair. This is usually done the next day (after the CLT). You can either do an apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinse (with a 50:50 ratio of ACV to distilled water) or a baking soda treatment (with 2 TBSP of baking soda, 2 oz. of conditioner, and 4 oz. of distilled water). Allow the ACV rinse OR baking soda treatment to sit on your hair for 20-30 minutes. Recommended conditioners include: [i.] Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave-in Conditioner/Detangler, [ii.]  Kinky Curly Tiny Twirls Detangling Conditioner, [iii.] Curls Curl Ecstasy Hair Tea Deep Conditioner, [iv.] Curl Junkie Beauti-Curls Leave-in Hair Conditioner, [v.] Curl Junkie Curl Rehab Moisturizing Hair Treatment, [vi.] Jessicurl Aloeba Daily Conditioner, [vii.] Jessicurl Too Shea! Extra Moisturizing Conditioner, [viii.] Jessicurl Deep Conditioning Treatment in Citrus Lavender, Island Fantasy, or Unscented, [ix.] Botanical Skin Works Leave-in Conditioner, [x.] Giovanni Nutrafix Hair Reconstructor, [xi.] Giovanni Direct Leave-in Weightless Moisture Conditioner, and [xii.] Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner with Peppermint and Eucalyptus.
      NOTE: If you have high porosity hair, opt for the ACV rinse. If you have low porosity hair, do the baking soda treatment instead, using one of the recommended conditioners!
    3. CO-WASH & DETANGLE: Use one of the “approved” conditioners (above) to co-wash your hair. Also, gently detangle your hair during this step.
      Some MHM users do an overnight deep conditioning session (in lieu of co-washing) to further encourage increased hydration. However, under the original MHM regimen, this is an optional step. 
    4. CLAY RINSE: After co-washing (or deep conditioning) and detangling, apply a clay mix thoroughly to your hair and allow it to sit for at least 15 minutes. Recommended clays include: [i.] Bentonite clay, [ii.]  Rhassoul (aka Ghassoul) clay [iii.] European clay, and [iv.] French green clay. However, if you don’t want to create your own clay rinse, you can buy a pre-made clay hair wash by Terressentials. To make the clay rinse, combine 1 cup of clay with 1½ cups of ACV (or warm distilled water), 1 TBSP of honey, and 1 TBSP of olive oil.
      NOTE: The clay rinse recipe (above) provides rough measurements as the exact amount will depend upon the length and density of your hair.
    5. MOISTURIZE & STYLE: Apply your leave-ins to soaking wet hair in sections from root to tip. Mist your hair with water if it starts to dry out. Recommended gels/stylers include: [i.] Giovanni L.A. Natural Styling Gel, [ii.] Herbal Choice Mari Hair Styling GEL for Him & Her,  [iii.] Beautiful Curls Curl Defining Gel, [iv.] Epiphany Naturals Curly Creme with Argan Oil, [v.] Kinky curly Curling Custard Natural Styling Gel, [vi.] .Koils by Nature Herbal Curl Defining Gel, and [vii.] Camille Rose Naturals Almond Jai Twisting Butter. Style your hair according to personal tastes (i.e., in a wash ‘n go, twist-out, or stretched style).
      NOTE #1: With the MHM, products must be layered onto the hair via the Liquid Cream Oil (LCO) or Liquid Cream Oil Cream (LCOC) methods. A botanical gel or curl definer can then be applied on top as the final layer. Because oils are occlusive, it is believed that the LOC method should NEVER be used as it could prevent water-based moisturizing products from penetrating and hydrating your strands. 
      NOTE #2: 
      Repeat steps #2-#5 DAILY for 7 consecutive days (or at least every 2-3 days), depending upon your hair’s needs. Once your hair reaches “max hydration,” you can scale back on how frequently you utilize the MHM. For more detailed information about the traditional MHM, read this post from the creator Pinke Cube, herself, in the Black Hair Medium forum.



  1. CHERRY LOLA TREATMENT: Now that I know the CLT only contains plain yogurt, baking soda, and liquid amino acids, I may try my hand at the treatment sometime in the near future. However, for the month that I chose to do a modified version of the MHM, I elected to skip this step entirely. I did this to save time and because I had already successfully given myself several intense baking soda scalp treatments.
    NOTE: To save time, I performed all of the next steps TWICE a week instead of for 7 consecutive days!
  2. CLARIFY: Because I have have low porosity hair, I did the baking soda treatment (instead of an ACV rinse) by combining 2 TBSP of baking soda in a large spray bottle with 2 oz. of conditioner and 4 oz. of distilled water. Because I didn’t have any of the “approved” conditioners on hand in my stash, and I already had more product than I care to admit in my beauty cabinet, I didn’t want to purchase any new product. As a result, I just used what I hand on hand: VO5’s Tea Therapy Blackberry Sage Tea Revitalizing Conditioner. The combination of the Blackberry Sage Tea Revitalizing Conditioner with the baking soda was life-altering! LIFE-ALTERING, I SAY!!! All I did was divide my hair into quadrants and apply the concoction to each section (from root to tip). I smoothed it all over my strands, secured each quadrant into a large Bantu knot (to keep it from tangling and to help me work in manageable sections), and left the mix in my hair for 30 minutes. After half an hour, I hopped in the shower, and rinsed the mixture from each quadrant. My hair was instantaneously tangle-free, smooth, and more defined. I finger detangled my hair while in the shower, but there was truly no need. My fingers literally glided through my hair from root to ends! I was super excited because this was only the FIRST step! Honestly, even though this was only the beginning, I was already sold!
    NOTE: If you have high porosity hair, an ACV rinse is recommended. If you have low porosity hair, do the baking soda treatment instead (like I did), using one of the recommended conditioners (listed above under step #2 for the traditional max hydration method).
  3. CO-WASH: Because my hair felt so silky, I opted to skip this step every time I used the MHM. I went straight to the deep conditioning step (after clarifying my hair with the baking soda treatment).
  4. OVERNIGHT DEEP CONDITIONING TREATMENT: Although an optional overnight deep conditioning session is recommended to expedite the hydration process, unless I am utilizing the Baggy Method or the GHE to correct a specific hair issue, I don’t believe in overnight hair treatments (i.e., where product is left in your hair for hours on end). Also, scientifically speaking, after a maximum of 30 minutes, your hair has adsorbed all that it can, so there is no need to deep condition past the 30-minute marker. I rotated a moisturizing deep conditioner with a hair mask that contained light protein to maintain the integrity of my hair. So, on MY FIRST HAIR WASH of each week, I would use my ion Summer Deep Conditioning Treatment, and on MY SECOND HAIR WASH of each week, I would use my ion Keratin Smoothing Masque. I felt that this balanced my hair appropriately. Each time, I applied the deep conditioner to my hair in quadrants and secured each quadrant into a large Bantu knot. Then, I donned a processing cap and sat under my stand bonnet dryer for 30 minutes before rinsing each section. At this point, my hair felt twice as hydrated as it did in the clarifying step, and I can hardly believe it.
    NOTE #1: Both my ion Summer Deep Conditioning Treatment and my ion Keratin Smoothing Masque contain “dimethicone.” Under the MHM, silicones generally are not permitted due to the tendency to have to use harsh cleansers to remove them fully from one’s hair. However, because I have fine hair, I’ve experienced no difficulty with removing any buildup from my hair. By step #5, I’m pretty confident my hair is completely free of all product and residue.
    NOTE #2: Here is the full list of “banned” ingredients: (i.) hydrolyzed wheat protein/peptides—considered “bad for low porosity hair and most kinkier Type 4 hair,”(ii.) panthenol/pro-Vitamin B5—because it “acts like protein” and can cause build-up, (iii.) triethanolamine (TEA) and other ethanolamines such as MEA, DEA, etc.—because these are drying alcohols derived from ethanol, which can cause long-term damage to the integrity of one’s hair with prolonged use, (iv.) mineral oil and petroleum jelly—because the residue they tend to create is difficult to remove without the use of harsh shampoos, (v.) silicones/polyquaternium—often require sulfate shampoos to remove product buildup and residue, (vi.) salts and sulfates—leave hair parched and dehydrated, and (vii.) lye, i.e., sodium (NaOH) or potassium (KOH) hydroxide—permanently damages hair after prolonged use.
  5. CLAY RINSE: I like to use bentonite clay because it is inexpensive and easily accessible. The original rough measurements for the clay rinse call for 1 cup of clay with 1½ cups of ACV (or warm distilled water), 1 TBSP of honey, and 1 TBSP of olive oil. Because I have fine hair, I used ½ cup of bentonite clay with 1 cup of very warm distilled water), 1 TBSP of honey, and 1 TBSP of extra virgin olive oil. This makes enough for two generous applications (for me). However, if you have very thick (or long) hair, I would suggest starting out with the larger measurements from the original clay rinse recipe. I apply the clay to my hair in quadrants and once again secure each quadrant into a Bantu knot when I am done. I leave the clay in my hair for 30 minutes and thoroughly rinse each quadrant, making sure not to miss my front hairline and the nape of my neck. By this time (after just ONE application), my curls are popping! Even the stubborn 4B coils above my ears and near my temples! My hair felt soft, looked SUPER defined, was COMPLETELY tangle-free, and even slightly elongated.
    NOTE: NEVER use metal bowls or spoons when using clay as it absorbs the metal and makes the mix less effective.
  6. MOISTURIZE & STYLE: After rinsing the clay thoroughly, while my hair is still wet, I applied my leave-ins of choice via the LCO method. I use the following: (i.) a mist of additional water, if necessary, or a DIY leave-in like my multi-use beauty spritz or super moisturizing lavender spritz. Then, I add (ii.) a creamy product like Care Free Curl Activator or Naturally Silk Elements Whipped Curl Cream. Last, I use (iii.) a natural oil like extra virgin olive oil or castor oil, or a serum like Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Miracle Dry Oil.
  7. Repeat steps 2-6: I utilized the MHM twice a week (about every 3 days) due to my busy schedule, lifestyle, and complete lack of patience in utilizing this effective but time-consuming method every day. Despite not using it every day, I used it twice a week for an entire month, and I received amazing results. if you have extremely low porosity hair like mine or hair that seriously struggles to remain hydrated or retain length in spite of your most Herculean hair care efforts, I would definitely recommend giving this hair regimen a try.



  • If you choose to try the TRADITIONAL MHM, I recommend doing this on the weekend (or your day off) so that you can get a true sense of how long it takes you (from start to finish) to do all of the steps. It takes me 3-3½ hours to do the MODIFIED version of the MHM. So, try not to start it unless you have the time to dedicate to the requisites of the regime.
  • The CLT IS NOT done every time you do the regimen. However, it can be done at any point, after starting the regimen (i.e., monthly or quarterly), depending on your hair’s needs.
  • If you have high porosity hair, consider reducing the amount of some of the ingredients or diminishing the timing of each step (i.e., instead of 30 minutes, try 15).

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Filed under Hair Regimens


FTC Disclaimer

This blog post contains affiliate links (e.g., to Amazon or eBay), which means that if you click on one of the product links and place an order, I’ll receive a small commission. This helps support my blog and allows me to continue to create content like this.

Thank you for your support!

If you want something lighter (and less oily) than the DIY Eco Styler custard, just turn your fave Eco Styler Gel into a moisturizing hair cream or twist butter.

  1. Place 2 TBSP raw, unrefined shea butter in a double boiler.
    • I like ivory shea butter best but, if you like, you can also use yellow shea butter. They both come from the nut of the Karite tree. However, yellow shea butter has Borututu tree roots (a medicinal plant) added during the milling process to give it a golden color and to make it slightly more firm.
    • NOTE: If your shea butter is pure white in color, it is refined. As someone who is 67% West African, in my family, buying refined shea butter is a cardinal sin! It’s just not done. Besides, the refinement process (i.e., bleaching, deodorizing, etc.) can leave harmful toxins in the final product. It also tends to remove most of the beneficial properties of shea butter, which pretty much defeats the purpose of buying shea butter in the first place.
  2. Add 2 TBSP castor oil.
  3. Add 10 TBSP Eco Styler Argan Oil Gel (⅝ cup).
  4. Add 3 TBSP of rose water.
    • Whip with an electric hand mixer on medium speed.
    • I remove one beater (i.e., only use one beater) for this whole process to avoid overcrowding the bowl or having to use a vessel 10x larger than necessary.
  5. Add ½ tsp vitamin e oil.
    • Vitamin E is an antioxidant that reduces scalp inflammation and helps to repair damage to hair follicles.
    • It also helps to extend shelf life. I like the Sundown Naturals brand.
  6. OPTIONAL (but highly recommended): Add essential oils for fragrance and to extend shelf life.
    • 10 drops rose geranium: prevents dull, limp hair and strengthens hair follicles.
    • 10 drops bergamot: promotes hair growth and prevents scalp buildup.
  7. Mix one final time to incorporate all ingredients.
  8. Transfer to an 8 oz. container.
    • Product will continue to thicken as it comes to room temp. If you would like it to thicken more swiftly, place the finished product in the fridge for an hour and then remove.
    • NOTE: This DOES NOT have to be stored in the fridge! But, letting it chill in the fridge for an hour will thicken the cream at a faster rate.
    • Happy styling!


Filed under Science Lab

SheaMoisture’s Jamaican Black Castor Oil Reparative Leave-In Conditioner


FTC Disclaimer

This blog post contains affiliate links (e.g., to Amazon, eBay, etc.), which means that if you click on one of the product links and place an order, I’ll receive a small commission. This helps support my blog and allows me to continue to create content like this.

Thank you for your support!

SheaMoisture Strengthen, Grow & Restore Leave-In Conditioner, Jamaican Black Castor Oil--16 oz (453 g)


Water (Aqua), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Panthenol, Glycerin (Vegetable), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil , Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil , Hydrolyzed Keratin, Fragrance (Essential Oil Blend), Mauritia Flexuosa Fruit Oil, Tocopherol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein PG-Propyl Silanetriol, Trifolium Pratense (Clover) Flower Extract, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Vinegar, Acetyl Tetrapeptide-3, Niacin, Dextran, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Caramel, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract


Apply to clean, towel-dried hair. Work a generous amount of product into hair from root to ends. Comb through for even distribution. Do not rinse. Apply more to longer hair at the end of problem areas. Can also be used as a rinse-out conditioner. 

SheaMoisture’s Jamaican Black Castor Oil (JBCO) Strengthen, Grow & Restore Leave-in Conditioner contains organic shea butter, peppermint extract, and Jamaican black castor oil to condition hair, stimulate the scalp, and promote healthy hair growth. It claims to help remove buildup while remaining gentle enough for daily moisturizing. Per the directions on the label, I applied this Leave-in Conditioner to freshly washed hair. I divided my hair into quadrants to make the application process easier. Then, I shingled the JBCO Conditioner through each section. I used the product solo to get a sense of how my hair would respond. My curls and coils looked super defined, and I started to get excited about the fact that I may have just found my new go-to hair moisturizer. But, I decided to reserve my full opinion until after my hair had fully dried.

About 3 hours later, I looked in the mirror and was pleased by how this JBCO Conditioner made my hair “look.” My curls were still very defined. However, when I touched my hair, I was mortified. To my surprise, my tresses were dry, hard, and super crunchy. It was as if I had slathered an alcohol-based gel all over my hair! I scrutinized the ingredients more closely. I saw hydrolyzed keratin (13th ingredient), hydrolyzed vegetable protein (18th ingredient), and hydrolyzed rice protein (21st ingredient) in the ingredient list. That’s three different proteins. Because they are all hydrolyzed, they have been processed to the point that they are small enough to penetrate past the hair’s cuticle directly into the core of the hair shaft, allowing the protein to easily bond to each hair follicle.

I also noticed that coconut oil was the third ingredient. My hair IS NOT a big fan of coconut oil. I stopped using coconut oil in my hair very early in my natural hair journey because it often made my hair stiff and dry. This, in combination with the three hydrolyzed proteins, is probably why my hair responded so harshly to this Leave-in. So, if you have fine, low-porosity hair like I do, I would test this JBCO Conditioner on a discreet area of your hair before applying it all over your mane like I did.

Another concern I have is the inconsistent product textures. Some naturals I talked to said their JBCO Strengthen, Grow & Restore Leave-in Conditioner was thin and runny. The one I purchased, though, was very thick and creamy. So, I’m wondering if there has been a recent formula change. This may account for the two distinctive “Love It!” or “Leave It!” camps. Also, many people warned me that this smelled like Play-Doh! Needless to say I was a little concerned before trying the product that I would reek of rambunctious four-year-olds at playtime. Yet, to me, this JBCO Conditioner has more of an herbal, medicinal smell (in a good way). So, I’m not sure what the deal is with all the Play-Doh references. Nevertheless, I was so disappointed with this Leave-in that I returned it.

Some naturalistas informed me that even though the directions state that a “generous amount” should be applied, I should really use just a small amount/apply the Leave-in more sparingly. However, I tried that, and it still left a hard caste on my hair. It was as if the product just sat on the top of my hair. Others suggested that I use it on dry rather than wet or damp freshly washed hair but, by then, I had given up on the product and returned it! Here’s the breakdown of the pros and cons.


  • No Parabens
  • No Phthalates
  • No Paraffin
  • No Mineral Oil
  • No DEA
  • No Petroleum
  • No Formaldehyde
  • No Propylene
  • Super thick and creamy consistency
  • Pleasant scent


  • Dried out my hair
  • Made my hair super crunchy and hard
  • Inconsistent product consistencies
  • Too much protein for safe daily use (FOR ME)

While this Leave-in Conditioner was ideal in theory, the amazing ingredients just didn’t translate into great results for MY hair. My sister loves SheaMoisture’s JBCO Shampoo and Conditioner, which is why I went out on a limb to try this Leave-in. However, she has super thick type 4B hair. So, I’ll let you decide whether you think your hair type and texture will benefit from SheaMoisture’s Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow & Restore Leave-in Conditioner.


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DIY Beard Balm

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This blog post contains affiliate links (e.g., to Amazon, eBay, etc.),  which means that if you click on one of the product links and place an order, I’ll receive a small commission. This helps support my blog and allows me to continue to create content like this.

Thank you for your support!


  1. Prepare a double boiler (i.e., as if you were tempering chocolate). 

    • If you do not have a double boiler, you can create a makeshift one by placing a Pyrex glass bowl or stainless steel bowl over a pot filled ¼ to ½ of the way with water.
    • Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer before adding ingredients.
    • For all my fellow foodies out there, you already know that this method, much like the protective cooking it provides when preparing something with delicate ingredients (e.g., whisking up an egg-based sabayon), will help to prevent the recipe components from the dangers of direct heat. This, in turn, preserves the integrity of our ingredients. 
  2. Add 2 TBSP of  sweet almond oil.
    • Used since biblical times, almond oil is easily absorbed by the skin and helps to alleviate dryness.
    • It also combats future acne, due to its high vitamin A content.
  3. Add 1 TBSP of apricot oil.
    • Apricot oil softens hair and helps to soothe irritated skin.
  4. Add 1 TBSP of organic beeswax.
    • Beeswax has anti-allergenic and anti-inflammatory properties. It helps to trap moisture into the skin and hair and also promotes healthy hair growth.
    • I like to use the pastilles for easier (and faster) melting.
    • You can purchase yellow or white organic beeswax pastilles, depending on your preference. I like the white pastilles because it doesn’t overly saturate my product with color, but either are fine. The yellow beeswax is in its raw, unadulterated (aka unbleached) form. The white pastilles are filtered and lightened. Just make sure they are chemical-free (collected from unsprayed and unfertilized fields) and are bleached naturally (i.e., via air and/or sunlight).
  5. Add 1 TBSP of pure castor oil.
    • Due to its antibacterial and antifungal properties, castor oil helps to treat acne, rashes, and other skin conditions.Just make sure it is hexane-free and cold-pressed.
    • This oil is high in vitamin E, minerals, proteins, and Omega 6 and 9 fatty acids.
    • Its unusually high ricinoleic acid ratio makes castor oil the supreme oil of choice for expedited hair growth.
  6. Add ½ teaspoon of vitamin e oil.
    • Vitamin E oil has anti-aging properties that prevent the damaging effects from the environment (e.g., free radicals).
    • This nutrient-rich oil heals and repairs skin and hair.
    • Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps to extend the shelf life of the balm.
    • I prefer to buy Sundown Naturals’ vitamin E oil.

  7. Add 15–20 drops of essential oil.
    • I used 10 drops of cedarwood essential oil for its ability to remove toxins and reduce hair loss.
    • I also used 10 drops of eucalyptus essential oil for its antiseptic and aromatic properties as well as its ability to ward off itchy skin while increasing follicle stimulation.
    • However, you can use any essential oil you prefer (i.e., rosemary, peppermint, etc).
  8. Transfer the liquid into a container of your choice, and enjoy!
    • I purchased 100 ml tins (for gifting purposes) and added a custom label that I designed, but you could use any container you like that has been cleaned and sterilized.


          NOTE This makes a great Movember gift for that special guy in your life. Or, you can gift this for Christmas (or any other special occasion)!   😉

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Quick Tip #13: Protect Your Ends!

FTC Disclaimer

This blog post contains affiliate links (e.g., to Amazon, eBay, etc.),  which means that if you click on one of the product links and place an order, I’ll receive a small commission. This helps support my blog and allows me to continue to create content like this.

Thank you for your support!


We all know that the ends of our hair are the oldest and most fragile parts of our mane. But, protective styling isn’t the only way you can save your strands. Have fine, fragile hair like I do that prevents you from utilizing most protective styles? Then, adopt a simpler, more streamlined approach. Use oil! I like to use castor oil on the ends of my hair. I usually buy the large 32 oz. bottle from the Heritage Store because it is hexane-free and cold-pressed. Buying in bulk also allows me to guarantee I’ll have plenty of this lusciously thick oil on hand (given that I like to use oils in various applications). If you’re a fellow DIY product mixtress like I am, you’ll want to do the same.

I originally started using castor oil when I was transitioning from relaxed to natural. After using it several times a week for a month, my brittle and damaged relaxed strands actually started growing again. Although I have been fully natural for a few years now, I realized that my trusty castor oil was just sitting in the back of one of my beauty cabinets. I think I had somehow associated it with transitioning from relaxed to natural and stopped using it. So, in the last two weeks I have readopted castor oil back into my healthy hair regimen, and my hair has been loving it! I simply use it to seal my ends after moisturizing or whenever my ends feel weak or brittle. This thick oil instantly revives my tresses and protects it from friction or over-manipulation. Have fragile ends like I do? Give castor oil a try!

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