Upcoming Post: Bentonite Clay

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I finally got my hands on some bentonite clay. Many readers have asked my opinion on it and now I’ll finally be able to give it. I’ll be reporting my results and doing a comparison on rhassoul and bentonite clays later on this week. In the meantime, I’m washing my hair for the second time this week— what?? This is a rare occurrence for me, but I couldn’t wait to try the clay.

Do you prefer rhassoul or bentonite?

3-1 Treatment Results

If you read my earlier posts (1, 2), you know that I’ve experimented a little with some natural ingredients (if not click on links 1,2). Well, this morning I unraveled my braids and I’m pleasantly surprised with the results of my 3 in 1 (step treatment). Recap: rhassoul and nettle scalp mask, black tea, rosemary, paprika and marshmallow root tint/color rinse and conditioner, were all applied to my hair and then rinsed simultaneously. This saved me time, allowed me to deep condition my hair, which I don’t do these days.

I really, really like the results of this process. I’ll try to do it once, every other month if possible. My hair is super shiny, soft, defined, moisturized and it looks and feels SO healthy. I notice that my highlights, which have grown out and are only on the ends of my hair, are now a chocolate brown and not as brassy as before. My hair looks a little darker, but it could be a results of all the shine, from this moisturizing treatment.

I highly recommend it for anyone interested in trying. If you don’t have all the ingredients on hand, I’d say the essentials you could try this alternatives, which might be easier to find:

Natural shampoo: diluted apple cider vinegar applied ONLY to the scalp (if you’re low porosity, you know what applying this all over your hair can do (if not, read this). However, applying this directly to your scalp can help lift dandruff and build-up.

Temporary color rinse/tint: strongly brewed black tea or coffee, if you want the solution to be a bit thicker or viscous, try boiling some flax seeds, drain the seeds with a strainer or muslin cloth and add the thick solution to your brewed tint.

Condition: Any conditioner you enjoy using mixed in with the color or added on top of it will do.

There you have it. Have you been whipping up any concoctions in the kitchen lately? Do you think you’ll give this 3-1 treatment a try? If so, let me know what your results are.

Kitchen Chemist 3-1 Treatment

Today I tried something a little different. I wanted to pamper my hair a little after putting the little one down for the night. I decided to try this idea of a 3 in 1 hair treatment: shampoo/conditioner/all natural hair tint. As mentioned in an earlier post.

Here’s what I did during each step:

Shampoo

Whipped up a small amount of rhassoul clay, water, vinegar and stinging nettle. I’ve mentioned before that rhassoul clay is a gentle, moisturizing, detoxifying all natural cleanser. Well, recently, I learned that stinging nettle has great properties for the hair as well. It can be used to fight hair loss (postpartum shedding, the struggle is real!), to improve the appearance of hair, and remedy dandruff. Basically all good and natural things that promise great results. Yay! I whipped up these ingredients into a thick pudding texture and rubbed  it gently into my scalp and let it sit.

All natural tint/color rinse

Earlier in the day, over a stove, I simmered 2 TBSP of marshmallow root, a few sprigs of rosemary, 2 black tea bags and a TBSP of paprika for about 20 minutes and let it cool.

– On the ingredients -

Marshmallow root is a herb known to help with detangling, as it’s very slippery and secretes mucilage, which has been shown to be beneficial for softening the skin and hair. If you use my favorite leave-in/detangler KCKT, you’ll notice that it’s a key ingredient.

Black tea imparts shine and darkens  hair. It also increase softness, manageability, shine and encourages growth.

I threw in some fresh rosemary from my herb garden too. Rosemary stimulates growth and slows down graying and has been shown to darken hair.

I read that paprika has natural red dyes. Since I wanted a darker color, with hints of red I added it.

Note: this tint/color is not permanent, because permanent color strips the hair of color. However, I hope to achieve something like a temporary black rinse.

Conditioner

For the conditioner, I added Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle to my natural tint, once it cooled down and a pinch of baking soda to raise the PH so that my hair would accept the color rinse and open up my cuticles to receive the conditioning treatment. Really, a pinch is all I needed. I then applied parts 2 & 3 to my hair in sections, coating each strand and detangling along the way, as I distributed it out of the bottle.

I let all of this marinate in my hair and on my scalp for 20 – 30 minutes and then simply rinsed it out of my head with lots of care. And conditioned my ends quickly for good measure.

My hair was fluffy, soft and very shiny after this treatment. I can’t tell if my hair is darker, but the color definitely looks shinier and I see hints of red more now. I’ve braided it up for tonight and sat under the blow dryer for a little (20 minutes) to help it absorb the leave-in and dry faster. I’ll come back with more details on the final results when I take my hair out of the braids tomorrow.

Sorry for my rambling and disorganized post, it’s pretty late here.

Kitchen Chemist at it Again

This is more of a “to be continued” post than an actual post.

I’m so excited for my upcoming post that I just had to write and chat about it. This weekend I will be experimenting with a 3 in 1 treatment: shampoo/conditioner/ and all natural color. I don’t mean that I’ll be using one product that does all the prior mentioned. However, I’m going to do all of those processes in one step. It’ll either be a major success or an utter failure– won’t know until I try it. I’ll be whipping up a 100% natural concotion, to get a deep brown with red undertones. We’ll see how it goes… Look forward to giving you more details soon!

Have you ever tried natural hair color using items from your kitchen? Whipped up any good hair recipes lately?

 

Keep the Content Rolling

When I started this blog, I was so excited to share my experience dealing with my low porosity hair. I had no idea that there were so many of you out there, like me, frustrated with their hair and not being able to apply the “natural guidelines” that worked so well for others in the curly community. Over time my blog has evolved to a place where I can share little details not only about my hair, but also my life. I started out eager and pushed out content on a regular basis. That is until I pushed out a baby (TMI, too descriptive? oops).

Any way, I’m trying to get back to more regularity and have continuous content on the blog. I’d like to keep the conversations we’ve shared going and learn more about your experiences. So, in order to do that, I promise to try to post at least one entry per week, probably on Sundays.  I hope I’m able to fulfill this promise. However, I feel like putting it out there in writing to my readers and the blog universe, holds me accountable and makes my goal seem mor attainable.

If you blog and are balancing other things in life, be it kids, work, etc., what do you do to stay on schedule?

Back to B.A.S.I.C.S

If you read my last post then you already know that I haven’t been showing my hair enough love and giving it the attention it needs. Sometimes life gets hectic and honestly I don’t have the time for complicated hair regimens. Still to make sure my hair stays healthy and looks healthy, I’ve decided to just keep it simple and give it time to breathe. Simplicity really is the key to many things in life, I think so, at least. So here is my rule of thumb for keeping it basic.

B – Be gentle

A – Always detangle

S – Shampoo/mud-wash once per week

I – Intense Conditioning

C – Creamy, moisturizing leave-ins

S – Style without manipulating too much

 

That’s it. More than that is not necessary. How do you keep things simple?

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How My Hair Teaches Me To Love

This summer while on vacation in Boston I had my hair professionally styled. Actually, I had it flat ironed twice (yikes).  The first time, I went to a stylist, I’d gone to as a child. He took his time, used low heat, and left me with lots of volume. . I really loved the fullness and body my hair had after he finished styling it.

I wanted to surprise my husband and let him see my hair straight. So, before returning home, I went to my sister’s stylist, who I’d been to many times in the past, when my hair was relaxed. Unfortunately, my experience wasn’t as positive as the first time. She was a little rough detangling, used high heat to blow dry and straighten my hair, took two passes each time she flat-ironed it (gasp)! I nervously squirmed around in the chair and asked her if my curls would return (my passive way of suggesting that she was using too much heat). She assured me it would as my hair is not flat ironed often and does not hold the memory of being styled straight, so thus should revert easily.

When I came home with my hair straight, I got loads of compliments. I admit it, I enjoyed the attention, as well as the ease of styling my straight hair. I started getting used to seeing myself with straight hair. So when wash day came around I started using curl formers to stretch my hair. The other day, while pulling my hair up into a bun, I noticed it felt and looked rather dry and lackluster.

I decided to stop forcing my hair to do what it doesn’t do naturally and embrace my curls again. My going natural is a continual journey and learning experience. It’s not just about hair, but also about love and acceptance. I want to accept myself, every aspect, and love the skin I am in. It’s so easy to point out what one doesn’t have or what one would like to improve upon and rarely praise the positive things we possess. This shouldn’t be confused with bragging or boasting, but truly being okay with who I am, flaws and all.

I’m back to my curls this week and I’m going to be giving my hair lots of TLC. This is not to say I’ll never flat-iron my hair again, but I don’t plan on it anytime soon. And next time I’m uncomfortable in a stylists chair, I’ll be sure to be vocal and state my apprehensions (this should apply to most matters in life).

On another note, the other day, I was at the pediatrician’s office and she commented that my son was really cool and laid-back. She had just returned from vacation and said he was such a nice baby to see upon returning from her holiday, because of his temperament. Then she went on to say that it must be due to his parents. I told her I wasn’t sure about that. She turned to me and asked, “why is it that when someone says something about a child being bratty, impatient or anything negative, the parents, usually moms, take full responsibility about what they might have done wrong? However, when it’s about something positive, rarely do we claim to take part.” You know what, she’s right? It’s so easy, for people, and I have the feeling, women especially, to internalize a lot of negative events and take the blame. Why not claim good?

So here’s my “better late than never” resolution this year is say one positive and lovely thing I like about myself each morning. And to spread the positivity, today I’ll add something positive about my readers/blog subscribers. I love how sweet and thoughtful your comments are and that thanks to you all this blog is an open and friendly platform. So stay lovely and stay you.

I know a lot of sad and negative events taking place in the world now, but I’d love to know: What are you  loving about life/yourselves these days.

 

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Summer Product Haul/Review

Hi Everyone,

I’m back from my stay in the States. A lovely time was had by all. With so many hands to pass around and care for the Peanut, I was really able to enjoy a little “me” time and just do some things with friends. I loved being able to catch up with friends over tapas and mojitos or grab brunch and do a little shopping by myself, knowing that my little boy was in good hands. Peanut loves his second home and he really enjoyed meeting all his family and friends. He especially enjoyed his time with grandma, she always spoils him rotten.

While home, I took advantage of buying some of my favorite must-have hair products (i.e Giovanni 50/50, Smooth as Silk, Aussie Moist and KCKT) as well as trying some new ones. I’ll be reviewing three products: a shampoo, a conditioner and a gel (gasps, yes, I used an actual gel) that I’m really enjoying at the moment.

1. Cantu Shea Butter Moisturizing Cream Shampoo

Cantu Shea Butter Moisturizing Cream Shampoo - 13.5 fl oz

Claim: Promises to moisturize your hair with oils, keep your hair and scalp healthy and clean away build up without stripping the hair.

I’ve only used the product once, so this is really a first impression. However, I actually applied this shampoo not only to my scalp and roots, but also to my hair. It didn’t leave my hair feeling stripped and I got really defined curls after using the conditioner. So it does deliver on what it claims.

Texture: Runny and pearly, almost an egg-white consistency. I didn’t find that it was very creamy, but in the middle.

Lather: Excellent, bubbly and slippery, which is just what I was looking for.

Price:Very affordable, I spent about $4.00 for 13.5 ounces and I feel that a little goes a long way.

Overall Impression: I actually really like this conditioner shampoo, especially how it cleaned my hair yet kept it moisturized at the same time. Normally, when I use conditioner shampoo, my hair shrinks up immediately, not the case with this one. Notice, I kept accidentally referring to it as a conditioner, because clean and moisturized aren’t generally characteristics that describe my hair after shampooing.

2.Trader Joe Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner

This product is so good. It doesn’t even need a review! Why are you still reading this, go out and get yourself and bottle of this conditioner. You won’t regret it! I only regret not being able to stock up on more of this stuff. It’s moisturizing, slippery and makes detangling a breeze! It’s creamy and so rich and leaves hair touchably soft and shiny. The peppermint essential oils also smell wonderful and it’s very calming. I can’t say a single bad thing about this product. It’s very affordable, at about $4.00 a bottle, you should always have a bottle of this stuff on hand. I will buy more on my next trip home!

3. Curls Goddess Curl Gel

Claims: “Curls Goddess Curls is infused with Plumeria Alba Flower Extract and Aloe leaf juice, this botanical curl gel imparts sheen, fights frizz, and creates popping curls! “

Aloe is really low on the list, which means there is probably very little used in the product. Just mentioning that f0r my readers who know that I generally don’t use aloe on my hair. I used this product once so far, so again, this is more of a first impression. I can say I’m really impressed at how defined my twist out was after using this on top on my leave-in. I have a little frizz on day 3, but didn’t have any on day 1 and 2. I don’t mind a little frizz. My hair is also touchably soft, it didn’t flake at all or make my curls crunchy.

Texture: Goopy and slightly runny, making it a breeze to distribute evenly.

Price: I believe I paid about $9.00 for 8oz of this gel. That’s like over a buck a ounce, which I think is on the pricier side, when compared to other drug store gels. What caught my attention with this gel is that it doesn’t contain any silicones, mineral oil, parabens or alcohol. I didn’t want anything coating or drying.

Overall Impression: Positive. I will give this another try on the next wash day. In the meantime, I’m happy to have found a gel that works on my hair, because my hair hates gels usually! Also, I like how moisturized my hair still is on day 3. It gave my hair some weight, which helps elongates my curls. It wasn’t that voluminous on day one, but day 2 I got stretch + volume, so win-win.

Have you tried any of the above products? Any new products that you’re loving these days?