Tag Archives: essential oils

New Hair Strategies for the New Year (2018)

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‚Äôll 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).ūüėČ
  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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Goals Beauty Complete Healthy Hair Oil

FTC Disclaimer

I received  Goals Beauty Healthy Hair Oil for free in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

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!

Ingredients:

Apricot Oil, Flax Seed Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Ginger Root, Biotin, Burdock Root, Gotu Kola, Fenugreek, Olive Oil, Amla Oil, Carrit Oil, Black Castor Oil, Jojoba Oil, Tea Tree Oil, Horsetail Powder, Essential Oils for Scent, & A Multitude of Blessings.

 

Directions:

Massage a small amount into head from scalp to the ends of hair. Use as often as needed. Do not rinse out. Style as desired. 

May also be used as a hot oil treatment: Massage into hair as directed. Cover with a plastic cap and sit under moderate heat for 5-15 minutes. Next, gently rinse out. For best results, do not shampoo out the oil. Discontinue use if irritation occurs. Keep out of the reach of children. EXTERNAL USE ONLY. Do not use if safety seal is broken. 

 

According to the product label, Goals Beauty Complete Healthy Hair Oil is “a biotin-infused, fatty acid, antioxidant-rich, healthy hair oil that promotes stronger, healthier hair while serving as an antiseptic moisturizer. This hair tonic aids in a healthy scalp by clearing scalp irritations, including dandruff and skin inflammation, which may interfere with healthy hair growth.”

I like the fact that this¬†Healthy Hair Oil¬†comes in a black bottle so I don’t have to worry about the formula being altered (i.e., by sunlight, etc). I also love that this bottle has a twist applicator top. Usually, the first thing I do when I am trying a new hair growth oil is transfer the oil into a different bottle with a¬†traditional or slanted applicator top, or use my Roots Only bottle. Thankfully, I didn’t have to do that with this bottle because it came with one. The spout even adjusts. All you have to do is twist it open more or less for the size opening you prefer.

My only complaint (about the bottle) is that it is difficult to gauge how much to adjust the opening (at least initially). For instance, when I first applied the oil to my scalp, hours later, I had oil dripping down my neck, my forehead, the sides of my face, everywhere! LOL. It was because I couldn’t readily see whether the hole at the top of the applicator was open too wide or too narrow. As a result, apparently a lot more oil was coming out than I thought! So, err on the side of caution. It took me a good week to get the bottle opening perfectly adjusted, and I feel like I wasted a lot of oil in the process!

Other than that, I absolutely adore how light this oil is. It never weighed down my fine hair strands (except in the beginning when I accidentally applied 2-3x too much oil due to operator issues with the twist top)! It has a pleasant slightly fruity scent that I enjoy. Nothing strong or overbearing. And, the oil itself is quite thin and almost transparent (slightly reminiscent of the Ancient Secrets oil I tried way back when).

I used the Healthy Hair Oil for four weeks (28 days). The company website doesn’t provide a list of ingredients (or even directions), so I typed them all out above, for your convenience. Watch the video below to find out what I think about this product in greater detail and to see how well this Healthy Hair Oil worked for me …

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DIY ECO STYLER Curl Cream

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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!

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‚Äôs 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 (‚ÖĚ 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 ¬Ĺ 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!

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DIY Beard Balm

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!

recipe-card-beard-balm

  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 ¬ľ to ¬Ĺ 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 ¬Ĺ 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‚Äô vitamin E oil.

  7. Add 15‚Äď20 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)! ¬† ūüėČ

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Blackberry Sage Tea Creamy Leave-in Conditioner

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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!

Recipe Card - Blackberry Sage Tea Creamy Leave-in Conditioner

  1. Add ¬ĺ cup of¬†VO5’s¬†Tea Therapy Blackberry Sage Tea Revitalizing Conditioner¬†to a 16 oz. flip-top container.
    • This conditioner contains vitamins b3, b5, c, e, and h.
    • It has blackberry and sage extracts that provide each strand with energy, volume, and balance.
    • It is also supposed to energize limp hair and protect hair from UV¬†rays
  2. Add¬†¬Ĺ cup of distilled (not tap) water.
  3. Add ¬ľ¬†cup of¬†aloe vera juice.
    • Aloe vera juice relieves itchy, dry scalps and acts as a conditioning agent that reduces frizz.
    • I buy¬†the¬†Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera Juice.¬†It comes in a large 1 gallon jug and has a shelf life of about¬†2 years (when stored properly in the fridge).
  4. Add 2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil.
    • Olive oil is one of the few oils that can actually penetrate the hair shaft. This makes it a great choice for imparting strength, shine, and smoothing the hair’s cuticle.
    • I usually buy the Kirkland brand olive oil from Costco or Amazon.
  5. Add 1 tsp of vegetable glycerin.
    • Glycerin is a natural humectant. It helps to attract and retain moisture to your hair‚Äôs follicles.
    • I adore the 100% pure version from NOW Solutions. It never fails to soften and moisturize my parched tresses!
  6. Add ¬Ĺ teaspoon of vitamin e oil.
    • Vitamin e oil has anti-aging properties that prevent damaging effects from the environment (e.g., free radicals).
    • This nutrient-rich oil heals and repairs skin and hair.
    • It is also an antioxidant that helps keep the spritz fresh by¬†extending the shelf life.
    • I prefer to buy Sundown Naturals’ vitamin e oil.
  7. Add 15‚Äď20 drops of essential oil.
  8. Add top, and shake vigorously to incorporate all ingredients. Enjoy!

I like to use a funnel. I bought a set that came in multiple sizes. It has proven to be a must for me when I make my own DIY hair and skincare products! While it’s not absolutely necessary, it does make the process (for me) much more stress- and mess-free!

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