Tag Archives: coconut oil

Quick Tip #25: Find Products that Can Do Double (or even Quadruple) Duty!

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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!



Are you a budget-conscious naturalista? A college student? Or, just want to live a more sustainable, less-wasteful life? Then, you need to make sure your products can do double, triple, (or even) quadruple duty. This is not only cost effective, but it is also a way to minimize waste. And, startup is probably much easier than you think …


1. Make Two Styling Products from One

Instead of buying a foaming hair styler or mousse and a separate setting lotion. Find a moisturizing setting lotion that you can pour into (1) a spray bottle and (2) container with a foam dispenser top. When you need a setting lotion, use the spray bottle to spritz your hair before roller setting, etc. When you need a lighter product, reach for the foam dispenser to add light hold to a wash ‘n go or twist-out or to foam wrap your hair.

2. Use a Multipurpose Cleanser

Sick of all the bottles of shampoo, hand soap, and body wash piling up in your beauty cabinet? Then, use one product that can be them all! Because I have a sensitive scalp and temperamental hair, I’m not much of a fan of all-in-one hair cleansers, but this is a great option for people who don’t have any scalp conditions or sensitivities that are looking to pare down their collection of beauty cleansers!

3. Use an All-in-one Skin & Hair Care Product

If you love to use hair penetrating oils like extra virgin olive oil or unrefined virgin coconut oil to moisturize your hair, you can also use them as a facial oil cleanser, makeup remover, skin moisturizer, and deep conditioner add-in. For instance, although my hair hates coconut oil, my skin loves it! I use it to make makeup removal easier. I’ll slather a teaspoon of coconut oil all over my face (while wearing makeup) and then take a facial cloth and gently wipe off my makeup. This method removes most of my makeup in one go. Next, I’ll cleanse my face to remove any residual makeup, and then follow up with a good toner. If you are someone who likes to wear a lot of makeup, wears waterproof makeup, or are like me and just have a hard time simply removing your makeup, you should give this technique a try.

I also like to keep unrefined coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil around as a backup skin moisturizer post-shower or bath in case I run out of lotion. It leaves my skin baby soft and super hydrated. I’ll also add unrefined coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil to boost the hair strengthening or moisturizing properties of my deep conditioner. In addition, both oils are great add-ins for DIY skin and hair care products.


There are many other ways you can reduce your beauty stash or make it less wasteful, but these three areas are a really good place to start.


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Quick Tip #17: Use Coconut Oil CAUTIOUSLY!

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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!


Fresh Coconuts (Set of 3)

Ok, scientifically coconut oil IS NOT a protein but, in a sense, I feel like it behaves like one because it contains lauric acid (a medium chain fatty acid that binds easily to protein in hair). Because of this, coconut oil has the ability to penetrate the hair shaft (due to its low molecular weight), reducing protein loss and strengthening the hair’s structure. It also creates a “hardening effect” due to its ability to change viscosity so quickly (i.e., from a liquid to a solid state) at low temperatures. As a result, harsh winter winds, for example, can create stiff hair very quickly. In addition, repeated use of coconut oil can cause protein build-up, drastically reducing hair’s elasticity and causing follicles to become dull, dry, brittle, easily tangled, and more prone to breakage.

Have you been overusing coconut oil? If so, consider utilizing a deep conditioner or moisturizing hair mask to restore the protein:moisture balance of your hair. Need a complete restart? Try a reconstructor instead.


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African Pride Olive Miracle Moisturizer Lotion 2.0

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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!

Remember this? I found a bottle of African Pride’s Olive Miracle Moisturizer Lotion at my local beauty supply store for only a few bucks last year. Because of the sickeningly intense banana scent, I have only used this product sporadically. In fact, the last time I used it, my mom and sister smelled the product the moment I stepped into the car. redface Not cool! redface And, to make matters worse, they were not a fan of the scent either.

Because I like the results I receive from this moisturizer lotion, I wanted to try to see if I could find a way to salvage it without almost getting sick every time I use it (due to the intense aroma). So, this is what I did … Once I had used about half of the product, I filled the remainder of the bottle with Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera Juice. I also added a ½ teaspoon of vitamin e oil. To mask the unpleasant fragrance of the product, I added 20-30 drops of essential oil. Then, I transferred the new concoction into a spray bottle.

The result? A product remix that hydrates and seals moisture into my hair in ONE step. Just shake and repeat prior to each use! 😉

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Filed under Product Reviews, Science Lab

African Pride Olive Miracle Moisturizer Lotion

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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!

African Pride Olive Miracle Moisturizer Lotion 12 oz

I found a bottle of African Pride’s Olive Miracle Moisturizer Lotion at my local beauty supply store for only a few bucks. I have to admit, I bought it solely because of the price … Well, the price and the claims on the packaging. According to the label, this “maximum strengthening moisturizer lotion” prevents breakage and split ends, repairs dry, damaged hair, provides sheen, and protects against the harmful effects of chemical processes and everyday styling tools. This formula states that it is perfect for blow drying, maintaining short styles, and moisturizing curly hair.

Ingredients: Water, Glycine Soja Oil (Soybean), Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Propylene Glycol, Steareth-2, Steareth-20, Dimethicone, Phenyl Trimethicone,  Lanolin Oil, Laneth-15, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Olea Europaea Fruit Oil (Olive), Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil (Jojoba), Cocos Nucifera Oil (Coconut), Persia Gratissima Oil (Avocado), Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract (Rosemary) , Equisetum Hiemale Extract (Horsetail) , Malaleuca Alternifolia Leaf Oil (Tea Tree), Polyquaternium-37, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, PPG-1 Trideceth-6, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, DMDM Hydantoin, TBHQ,  CI 19140 (FD&C Yellow #5), Fragrance, Benzyl Benzoate, d-Limonene, Linalool

Directions: Use daily, applying a small amount into hair from roots to ends. Do not rinse out. Style as usual.

I love that this moisturizing lotion has shea butter, olive, jojoba, coconut, avocado, and tea tree oils, as well as ginseng, rosemary, and horsetail extracts. However, there seems to be some discrepancy concerning the ingredients. I noticed that when I looked up this product online, many of the more “unsavory ingredients” (e.g., Dimethicone, Phenyl Trimethicone,  and Lanolin Oil) were listed toward the end. However, on my bottle, they were listed within the first 10 ingredients. Hmmm … I’m not a fan of such unclear product descriptions. I wondered whether I had a newer (or older) formula. I wasn’t too thrilled about this, but I decided to try it anyway.

The hair lotion immediately moisturized my parched hair … No small feat, considering the high humidity I experience in my locale year-round. It also defined and separated my curls even though I applied it to previously styled hair that was dry (and not damp or wet). Eight hours later, my hair was still well-moisturized and defined. Questionable ingredients aside, that’s a pretty amazing accomplishment!

When I tried this product on my freshly washed damp/wet hair, I loved it even more! The lotion had a perfect consistency: not too thick … not too thin … somewhere in-between. It left my curls and coils moisturized, defined, and shiny without being greasy. However, if I accidentally used too much product, it did weigh down my hair and make it oily. So, relaxed ladies be super careful!

While I think this is a decent product, especially for those with limited funds, unfortunately, this hair lotion has a VERY potent smell. It reminds me of a very pungent banana taffy. The scent was completely unpleasant for me. So much so that I think I might have to add some of my own essential oils to it to mask the smell. Thankfully, the smell fades some (about 30-60 minutes) after application, but I do not like it all!

A Capful of Product

A Capful of Product

All in all, I think African Pride’s Olive Miracle Moisturizer Lotion is a great product for a natural on a budget. I also think it is relaxer friendly … Just be sure not to use too much product!


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Ancient Secrets’ Hair Growth Oil + Detangler

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Ancient Secrets provided me with a 4 oz. bottle of their hair growth oil and a 8 oz. bottle of their detangler for free in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Company logo and images are used with written permission from Ancient Secrets.

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!

When: February 14, 2014 – March 14, 2014
Coverage: Scalp
Frequency: Daily (every night)
Starting Length (FRONT): 9.75″
Starting Length (CROWN): 10.50″
Starting Length (RIGHT): 9.5″
Starting Length (LEFT): 9.5″
Starting Length (BACK): 9.5″
Adjusted Length: Cut 0.50″ off my whole head on February 23, 2014 due to SSKs.
Ending Length: My hair grew 1-2″ in my crown; 1″ on sides of hair; 0.75″ front/back of my hair.

Ancient Secrets' Hair Growth Oil

Ancient Secrets’ Hair Growth Oil is an all-natural, organic, kid-safe product that can be used on natural, texlaxed, or relaxed hair. Made with ingredients that have been used in Ancient Egypt since 2000 BC, this oil is not only great for stimulating hair growth but can also be used as a hot oil, to moisturize the skin, soothe eczema, reduce dandruff, and add shine to hair. In addition, each bottle is formulated to prevent skin irritation. The growth oil includes aloe vera, tea tree oil, jojoba, ginger, organic coconut, Egyptian basil, Egyptian fennel, olive oil, and other all-natural ingredients.

The oil should be applied daily for expedited hair growth. When using the product, it is recommended to wash your hair once a week. Since I already do this, I followed my normal wash routine. According to the company website, you should start to see results within a week or two but should give the growth oil a full 30 days to fully stimulate hair growth.

Roots Only Applicator Bottle

The oil came in an opaque, black bottle with a pour spout. I removed the spout and exchanged it for my Roots Only comb attachment. It was a perfect fit! I applied the oil to my scalp every night, using the Roots Only applicator tip, and massaged my scalp for 2 minutes. A few times, I applied the oil but forgot to massage my scalp. But, most nights, I remembered to do it. And, out of the 4 weeks I used the oil, I only missed applying the oil twice. I only had two days in the month where I forgot to use the product at all. So, I used the product daily and fairly consistently.

The oil is clear and has a non-distinctive, mild scent. The fragrance isn’t floral or medicinal. For me, it is relatively neutral. The oil is also neither viscous nor thin but definitely leans toward liquidity, which was a feature I admittedly disliked initially.

The first time I used the oil, my scalp was feeling a little agitated. After only one use, my scalp instantly felt soothed. And, when some of the oil got onto my hands, I rubbed it into my skin and was surprised by how well it hydrated it. The first time I used it, I applied the growth oil to my scalp, lightly misted my hair with my DIY multi-use spritz, layered on some of my DIY Eco Styler Custard, and flat-twisted my hair. The next day, after undoing my twists, I noticed how much softer the oil made my hair and how great it made my scalp feel. My scalp wasn’t oily or dry. It was perfectly balanced. I’m not usually one to constantly touch my hair throughout the day, but my hair felt so moisturized and soft that I honestly had a hard time keeping my hands out of my hair … a first for me!

After only a week of use, I had to cut 0.50″ off my hair due to another bout of single strand knots (SSKs). I made the mistake of trying to wear a wash ‘n go for a week. I know, I know. I promised I would say, “No!” to the wash ‘n go, but I have been having a hard time saying goodbye. It has been my preferred style for a while now, so styling my hair in other ways has proven more difficult than I imagined. In addition, I had family in town, and it was the quickest way to style my hair. I think if I co-wash my hair two to three times during the week when I want to wear a wash ‘no go, that might solve my SSK problem. But, I have decided to wait until I retain a little more length before I experiment with various possibilities. I actually mean it this time. Honest! Thankfully, this oil helped my hair to quickly recover …

I received 4 oz. of the hair growth oil. When applied daily, I usually use 5 oz – 6 oz. of oil over the course of a month. So, I was a little skeptical whether the bottle would last until the end of the month. To my surprise, it not only lasted, but I had about 1 oz. of oil left over after using it for four weeks! On top of this, a 4 oz. bottle of the hair growth oil retails for only $5.00 (plus shipping). No, that’s not a typo. The hair oil retails for only five bucks! Pretty impressive, considering how well the oil works and how long it lasts. Moreover, all of their products and product packages are under $25.00! Such a rarity for a natural hair care company, especially one that uses all-natural and organic ingredients.

After using this oil for 4 weeks, my hair grew 1.75″-2.0″ in my crown (where my 3C curls are), 1″ on the left and right side of my hair, and 0.75″ in the back. Considering I retained at least 0.75″ of growth after battling once again with dozens of SSKs, I am ecstatic. However, I would be curious to see how well the hair growth oil works in conjunction with Ancient Secrets’ organic shampoo and detangler, and what long-term benefits this oil has when used over several months.

Although I still wish the oil was slightly thicker (mostly to avoid spillage), all in all, I am quite happy with the results. Here is the length check I made prior to using the Ancient Secrets Hair Growth Oil:

Here are my results (@ 2:52) after trimming 0.50″ off my hair and using the oil daily for a month:

I also used Ancient Secrets’ 8 oz. Detangler. It is a (mineral) water-based, liquid leave-in. It has a very fruity, tropical scent. My only gripe is that it came in the same type of bottle as the hair growth oil (with a pour spout). So, you will need to transfer the product to a spray bottle for greater ease of use. Luckily, I had an empty 8 oz. bottle with an atomizer in my beauty cabinet.

I instantly liked how light this detangler is. It plays nice with other products. I found that it layered well under oils and a whole host of styling agents. Even the next day, my hair didn’t feel weighed down. It remained airy yet still felt moisturized. And, I loved how soft my hair felt.

When used strictly for detangling purposes, it did a good job. While I tend to prefer creamy leave-ins, this is a great detangler, especially for those with relaxed or transitioning hair (or naturals who like light, water-based, liquid leave-ins).

For additional company or product information, or to place an order, go to the company website HERE


Filed under Length Checks, Product Reviews

Curlformer Dupes

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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!

I have been wanting to try Curlformers for a while, but I just couldn’t justify the $68.95 price tag … at least not for curlers. So, when I saw these Curlformer dupes online while browsing eBay.com, I was intrigued. And, when I saw the $10.74 price tag for the same quantity of 40 (including shipping), I just had to buy them.

These curlers are made of a washable, high-temperature resistant, and breathable mesh material. Each curler has wide, rubberized ends that easily grip and hold onto the base of your hair without damaging it.

The Differences

Both the original Curlformers as well as these dupes are 55cm (about 22″ long), although I have seen some that are only 50 cm long (about 19″). The dupes don’t include a fancy plastic, portable carrying case. And, instead of getting two styling hooks, the dupes only include one. However, given these dupes are less than $11 (84% less than the original Curlformers), who can complain? Not me!

Styling Aids

Ease of Use

Curlformer Dupes - STEPS #1 - #3

Curlformer Dupes - STEPS #4 - #6

Curlformer Dupes - STEPS #7 - #9


  • I used these curlers on freshly shampooed, conditioned, and deep-conditioned hair. Then, I divided my hair into quadrants to make the process easier.
  • Assembly is a breeze. Just snap the bottom of the styling hook to the top. That’s it. Seriously!
  • To use the curlers, open one of the rubberized ends and push it open with your thumb and index finger.
  • Insert the hook and slide the curler down until the mesh material is on the hook completely.
  • I applied a quarter-sized pump of foam setting lotion to each strand. Then, layered on a small amount of organic extra virgin coconut oil (less than a dime-sized amount).
  • Then, I took a small section of hair from one quadrant of my head and inserted the section of hair into the hook’s opening. I made sure the styling hook was facing upward.
  • I held the bottom of the styling hook with my one hand and the top of the hook (with my hair inserted into its opening) with my other hand. Then, I used my thumb and index finger to slide the rubberized opening of the curler down toward my scalp.
  • Once the curler was at the base of my hair, I gently pinched the rubberized opening to control the amount of tension on my roots while sliding the rest of the curler down.
  • When the curler could slide down no further, I pulled the styling hook down the inside of the curler (while still pinching the rubberized opening). I did this until the hook came out of the bottom of the curler.
  • Then, I grabbed another curler and repeated the process!


These curlers are pretty easy to use once you get the hang of them. However, 40 curlers wasn’t quite enough for all of my hair. Forty curlers only completed three quadrants of my head. Thankfully, the curlers dry relatively quickly. I checked them after an hour and they were 90% dry. They were completely dry after 90 minutes. So, after waiting 1½ hours, I removed all of the curlers and then applied them to the last quadrant of my head and let those air dry for 1½ hours. So, in total, I needed about 55-60 curlers for my whole head. Having to wait for my “round 1” curlers to dry before applying “round 2”  made the application process somewhat longer (and annoying). But, the results were well worth the extra annoyance.

These curlers created beautiful, bouncy curls that rival any set of professional magnetic rollers I’ve ever used. My hair had loads of volume and lots of body! In fact, next time, I think I’ll use some of my whipped shea (or maybe even some of my unrefined raw shea) instead of the coconut oil. My hair was almost too airy and light! And, I might toy around with applying a little of my DIY Eco Styler custard for some extra hold.

I used to do a lot of roller sets when I was relaxed. After moving to a humid climate, I no longer could roller set my hair because my relaxed hair would go flat after only 45 to 60 minutes. Even after I went natural, I tried roller sets again, but each time they gave me poofy results. Not so with these Curlformer dupes. The curls these curlers created looked pretty cute (if I say so myself)! My curls looked amazing on day one, good on day two, and decent on day three. Day four looked pretty lifeless. But, considering how easy these curls were to create, I’m okay with them lasting three days instead of six or seven. So much so that I plan to purchase a second set so I won’t have to do a double application in the future.

I can definitely see myself using these a lot in the near future (and often), especially as my hair gets longer. And, the quick air dry time means you can use these curlers on the eve of a special occasion or last-minute party … without heat! And, given the low price tag, you won’t break the bank if you even decide to buy two sets of these Curlformer dupes.

Results (without separating curls)

Results (after separating curls)

Curlformer - After Separating Curls


Filed under Hair Styles & Tips, Product Reviews

Cayenne Pepper Oil Treatment: FAIL!

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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!




I have been reading dozens of posts over the last several months about oil infused with cayenne pepper being used to grow hair. Of course, I was immediately intrigued. LOL! I did some research and there seemed to be mixed reviews. Proponents of the oil exclaimed that it helped to propel their hair growth and, in some cases, even grew hair where it once was bald.  Others claimed that it made their scalps burn, their hair shed excessively, and caused extensive breakage.

There also seems to be some confusion over the proper application. There are two opposing viewpoints: (1) apply the cayenne-infused oil to the scalp, massage the scalp for 1-2 minutes, leave the oil in for 2-3 hours, and co-wash it out, or (2) apply the oil to the scalp, massage the scalp for 1-2 minutes, and leave the oil in, without rinsing out until your normal wash day.

The negative testimonials really scared me. However, I couldn’t find many who had used the cayenne-infused oil  that had posted before and after pics. So, naturally, I was still curious! Well, curious AND cautious. In fact, it took me a month to garner the courage necessary to even take the oil out of the shoe box in my closet … and probably another 2 weeks to decide to use it!

I know what you’re thinking … that I’m a glutton for punishment. But, hey! Someone’s gotta test out these crazy hair growth methods! And, I just had to know if it would work for me. Here’s how I made my cayenne-infused oil …


  1. Add 4 tsp of cayenne pepper to any container with a lid. 
    • You can use a funnel to avoid wasting any cayenne or making a mess.
  2. Add 4 oz. (½ cup) of any oil(s) of your choice.
  3. Add ½ tsp. vitamin e oil (to prevent rancidity).
  4. Seal container and keep in a cool, dark area that won’t be exposed to light.
    • I kept my oil container in a shoebox in my closet.
  5. TIPS:
    • Shake the mix each day. (I shook mine 25 times over the course of 30 days.)
    • Let mixture cure for 2-4 weeks. (I let my mix cure for 30 days.)
    • When ready to use, strain the mixture into an applicator bottle.
    • Shake the applicator bottle prior to each use.
    • Apply sparingly but directly to the scalp every night and massage for 1-2 minutes.
    • Avoid contact with your eyes (unless you enjoy pain)!
    • Do a “patch test” prior to use to make sure that you ARE NOT allergic and can handle the potency level. For some, cayenne pepper can cause skin irritation. So, if you have sensitive skin, DO NOT use any oil infused with cayenne pepper.


To my surprise, the cayenne pepper oil DID NOT burn or irritate my scalp AT ALL. The first few days, I felt a very slight tingle that was barely noticeable. After that, I pretty much felt absolutely nothing.

I used the cayenne pepper oil for two weeks straight while using the GHE five nights a week. I left the oil in my hair each night until my weekly wash. My scalp and hair never felt oily. If anything, it felt like the cayenne pepper oil dried out my hair a bit. Week three, I didn’t use the oil or the GHE at all because I had family coming into town for a week, and I was worried that applying cayenne pepper oil every day and using the GHE would ruin my hairstyle (i.e., prevent it from lasting 7 days). Week 4, I used the cayenne pepper oil while doing the inversion method.





As you can see, I only received about a 1/2″ of total growth over the course of a month, and that’s with me doing the inversion method. I gained pretty spotty growth from the inversion method while using the cayenne pepper oil (my worst to date while using this method)! While I am grateful the cayenne-infused oil didn’t burn or irritate my scalp, or cause extensive breakage, it didn’t exactly encourage any hair growth either. In fact, I think it stunted (or at least stalled) my hair growth during the month. My hair in the front is about 1/4″ shorter than last month (from 9.25″ to barely 9.0″). So, I had some minor breakage there. However, I maintained my length on the side of my hair that I gained in the first three weeks of the month (at 9.25″). And, I gained a 1/2″ in the back of my hair from last month (from 8.5″ to 9.0″). 

Not sure if the cayenne pepper oil caused the stunted growth and minor breakage, or if the inversion method simply exacerbated the problem, or if it’s all of the above, but I’m convinced that the GHE saved my hair from breaking off excessively and becoming damaged. So, no more cayenne pepper oil for me!  Truth be told, I’m feeling a little silly for tripling the recipe and making 12 ounces of oil.  Sigh … But, I’m not one to be wasteful. So, I plan to add a teaspoon or two of cayenne pepper oil to my weekly cholesterol treatment when I deep condition my hair to help me use up my remaining oil. Waste not, want not!


Filed under Length Checks, Science Lab