Tag Archives: honey

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

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!
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.

TRADITIONAL Max Hydration METHOD

    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‚ÄĒSome 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.
      NOTE: 
      (OPTIONAL) OVERNIGHT DEEP CONDITIONING TREATMENT‚ÄĒ
      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¬†1¬Ĺ 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‚Äôs 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.

 

MY MODIFIED Max Hydration METHOD

  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‚ÄĒconsidered “bad for low porosity hair and most kinkier Type 4 hair,”(ii.) panthenol/pro-Vitamin B5‚ÄĒbecause it “acts like protein” and can cause build-up, (iii.) triethanolamine (TEA) and other ethanolamines such as MEA, DEA, etc.‚ÄĒbecause 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‚ÄĒbecause the residue they tend to create is difficult to remove without the use of harsh shampoos, (v.) silicones/polyquaternium‚ÄĒoften require¬†sulfate shampoos to remove product buildup and residue, (vi.)¬†salts and sulfates‚ÄĒleave hair parched and dehydrated, and¬†(vii.) lye, i.e., sodium (NaOH) or potassium (KOH) hydroxide‚ÄĒpermanently 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¬†1¬Ĺ cups of¬†ACV¬†(or warm distilled water), 1 TBSP¬†of honey, and 1 TBSP of¬†olive oil. Because I have fine hair, I used ¬Ĺ¬†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.

 

GENERAL GUIDELINES & TIPS

  • 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 3-3¬Ĺ 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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The HONEY BLOWOUT Honey Treatment on Natural Hair

FTC Disclaimer

I received The Honey Blowout Honey Treatment 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!

 

 

The Honey Blowout Honey Treatment¬†was created by Philadelphia native, Carla Clarkson, (aka ‚ÄúThe Hair Maven‚ÄĚ). ¬†Honey Blowout is a treatment for all hair types whether straight, wavy, curly, or chemically treated (e.g., permanent hair color, relaxers ,etc). It can be used as a (1) pre-shampoo, (2) co-wash, (3) conditioner, or (4) deep conditioner.

 

Ingredients: water, honey complex, aloe complex, ethal, pure honey, honey/miel, essential oils, vitamin e oil, mild fragrance, natural coloring

Directions: Shake well. Apply from ends up to root on wet hair. Comb through using a wide tooth comb. Apply sulfate-free hydrating shampoo* on top of treatment. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Last, apply The Honey Blowout and comb through. Let sit for 3 minutes. Blow dry and style. 

*Honey Blowout will still work with a regular moisturizing shampoo.

 

 

If used as a deep conditioner, apply the Honey Blowout to wet hair, comb through, add a processing cap, and sit under a bonnet dryer for 20-30 minutes. If you do not have a bonnet dryer, use your body heat to allow the product to penetrate your strands and let the product sit on your hair for an hour. If used as a co-wash, apply to wet hair, massage scalp, and work though product with a wide-tooth comb (or smooth curls with fingertips). Rinse thoroughly with cool water. Repeat if additional cleansing is needed.

According to the company website, best results are achieved when the Honey Blowout Honey Treatment is layered underneath the KeraCare Sulfate-free Hydrating Shampoo. Clarkson recommends following up with the Matrix Sleek Look Smooth Conditioner, blow drying the hair, and then finishing with the H2Pro Professional Ceramic Flat Iron by flat ironing the hair via small sections.

In an effort to prevent premature damage to my fine, fragile hair, I haven’t flat-ironed my hair in 2 years! So, I opted to use the product as a pre-poo and final conditioning treatment prior to blow drying¬†my¬†hair. As a result, I saturated my hair with water with my Waterpik handheld shower head, applied the Honey Blowout¬†from ends to roots, then I layered on my Pantene Moisture Boost Shampoo. I gently¬†lathered both products, rinsed, and repeated the process. Next, I applied my Pantene Moisture Boost Conditioner. Finally, I¬†applied the Honey Blowout¬†one more time, let the product sit on my hair for 3 minutes as a light conditioning treatment, rinsed my hair thoroughly, and then blow dried my hair. if you’re blow dryer-challenged like I am, watch this tutorial. This is the blow drying method I now use, and it works extremely well, especially for fine or kinky hair.

My hair felt soft and silky after only one use. After the second repetition, my hair was 50% detangled. I also noticed that the product seemed to slightly elongate my curls, so I think this would work well even if I left my hair in its natural kinky, coily, curly state. However, the instructions are a little confusing and contradictory, depending on where you look. Even on the company website, the instructions vary. The following video (from the product’s creator) is probably the least confusing one that I found, explaining how to use the product.

Pros

  • pH balanced
  • Adds shine
  • Moisturizes hair
  • Strengthens and fortifies hair
  • Has a built-in heat protectant
  • Smooths hair and prevents frizz
  • Contains no parabens or preservatives
  • Can be used with color-treated hair
  • Can be used with sulfate-free or SLS shampoo
  • Great for ALL hair types (straight, wavy, or curly)
  • Can be used to condition and revive extension hair
  • Can be used for multiple purposes (e.g.,¬† (1) pre-shampoo, (2) co-wash, (3) conditioner, or (4) deep conditioner)

Cons

  • Cost ($25 for a 12 oz bottle)
  • Instructions are a little confusing
  • Label isn’t water-repellent so it smears after being left in shower after only 1 use

Although this product is a little pricey, considering I only used about ¬Ĺ an ounce of total product after two lathers and one final conditioning treatment, I think the ¬†price offers great value. Even if you blow dry your hair weekly, one bottle should last you at least 3 months. Since I have fine hair, I will likely get about 6 months of use out of one 12 oz bottle (if used weekly). And, given, how great this product performed for a blow-out, I’m confident it would work wonders on flat ironed hair as well as on curly/coily hair textures as a deep conditioning treatment.

Want to see my entire process? Watch the video below …

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