Homemade castile soap review

Last week I tried to be a little kitchen chemist a whipped up my very own castile soap. Wonk, wonk, wonk. I found this hair wash was too drying. My hair felt a little stripped. So I don’t think I’ll be using this anytime in the future for a hair wash. This even makes me think I’ll skip ever trying Dr. Bronner’s. Well it wasn’t a complete failure, I’ll use the remainder as a body wash– so not a complete bust. Basically, I’m coming to the conclusion that nothing compares to my mud wash. It’s the only thing that keeps my hair clean and moisturized. I do occasionally use Giovanni’s Tea Tree Tingle shampoo to clarify and that does a decent job. Not nearly as drying as my wash. Next week I’ll be dabbling in the kitchen again attempting to whip up a rhassoul clay conditioner.

Here’s my hair after washing it. as you can see it looks undefined and dry. After I styled it in a braid out. It was defined, but felt a little crunchy and hard.

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Have you ever tried castile soap on your hair? What was your experience?

Give Away: Low Porosity Products

Today is the 1 year anniversary of this blog. Looking back, it’s been an amazing journey. I’ve connected with people from all over the world, received amazing feedback and support.

Some of my new goals for this blog is to give it a face lift, to increase communication and exchange with readers (i.e. more comments and contributions from readers).

To celebrate, I’ll be doing my first giveaway. I’ll give away a couple of my favorite low porosity hair products. To qualify to win, all you need to do is comment on this post. I will randomly select a winner at the end of the month. Please note, you can only comment once to qualify. This giveaway will only take place if this post gets at least 20 comments (from individual readers) by the end of this month #workingtowardsgoals. So pass this post along to friends and have them comment away.

UPDATE: this giveaway is open to readers from around the world.

Kitchen Chemist: Low Porosity Castile Shampoo

This morning I attempted to whip up a low porosity shampoo that has a PH above neutral. The goal is that it will  open my cuticles, clean my hair and leave it  moisturized, but not stripped. Here are some pictures of the process. I haven’t tried this shampoo yet and will report findings once I use it tonight or tomorrow. I’ll follow-up with a conditioner to get the moisture in my hair and close my cuticles (as conditioner has a naturally acidic PH).

I won’t share the recipe for now as I will be the guinea pig first and test the results. However here are the ingredients I used: distilled water, shavings of organic castile soap, black strap molasses, argan and sweet almond oil, vitamin E, essential oils. It looks like a mud wash because of the molasses. This soap has a PH of 9 (about the same PH as my rhassoul hair wash).

Look forward to reporting findings!

New Mom Regimen

A reader recently asked me what my hair regimen looks like now that I have a little bundle of joy. It has changed slightly in terms of how often I wash it, how I style it and the products that I used. Here’s a quick overview.

I cleanse my hair every 7 – 10 days. I never go longer than 10 days in between washing sessions. I often dampen my hair for added moisture on day 6/7.

Wash

For products , I still use rhassoul, but not for each wash session, but every other wash session. As before, I apply it to damp hair, let it sit 30 minutes (outside the shower, which leaves me free to nurse if needed). After rinsing the rhassoul, I often skip the conditioner, as it’s pretty moisturizing. Additionally, I use diluted Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Shampoo. It makes my scalp feel refreshed and cool. However, since it’s more of a clarifier I use it once per month. Sometimes I just co-wash when I’m strapped for time.

Condition

The same as before, I do my simple reverse oil rinse technique (conditioner, oil, rinse) or simply cowash. However,  I no longer deep condition weekly. I try to deep condition my hair once per month on a Sunday, when there is not a lot to do and I have helping hands at home to sit with the baby, when needed.

Style

I pull back my hair back into a high pony “puff” or I use Curlformers. These styles can carry me through the week. Pulling my hair back is the simplest and easiest style, so I probably do this more often.

Preserve

If my hair is curled using Curlformers, I wrap it around my head and pin it and release it the next day. I typically end up wearing it in an updo as the curls loosen. If I wear it up or do a wash and go, I pineapple my hair at night and go to bed.

That’s all. Nothing fancy, but I still try to maintain my hair’s health and stick to my low porosity regimen. So far, I’ve been lucky and have not experienced postpartum shedding (it’ll probably happen tomorrow now that I’ve mentioned it).

Me and the peanut (in the Moby)

photo 4(3) Me and the peanut (in the Moby)

 

What’s your hair regimen? Do you have little one’s? What’s your mommy hair regimen?

 

Follow-up: My Mom’s Porosity

Last week, I interviewed my Mom about her recent big chop. This weekend, I decided to do a porosity test on her hair to help her decide what products work with her hair. She washed her hair and I snipped off a small strand and placed it in a glass of room temperature water. After 30 minutes the hair was still floating on top of the water. From this test, I speculated she likely had low porosity hair (like mother, like daughter). To make a conclusive decision, I applied aloe vera to a small section of her hair and her coils frizzed right up!

With this knowledge, I’ll help her test out some products that have worked for me, including a rhassoul clay wash and KCKT and report back findings. For the meantime, she’s stopped using petroleum-based products— big no-no for low porosity hair. Instead she’s simply using some cream leave-ins as well as Taliah Waajid Kinky, Wavy, Natural Herbal Style and Shine, which actually did a pretty fantastic job of reviving my dry ends half-way through the week.

I look forward to some future posts about her experience using some of my recommended products. This leaves me wondering if low porosity hair is hereditary. Your thoughts?

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For more information on low porosity, check out my ealrier post: Low Porosity Introduction

 

NYE: Curlformers + Solo Parents

Happy New Year again!! My Mom arrived 2 days ago, sporting freshly dyed, auburn red cropped hair. I’ll be interviewing her on my blog and also helping her create a new regimen as well as determining her porosity. Stay tuned!

So with grandma in town, my husband and I decided to keep a long standing tradition. Every year we eat at this amazing Japanese restaurant, nestled in the Alps. This year we invited friends (mostly parents) and said it would be a kids-free night. It was my first time being away from the peanut for so long. I called a couple of times to check in. Overall I had such a good time!!! It felt good to just chat amongst friends, uninterrupted.

For NYE, I wanted a special look so I tried Curlformers!! Let me say, I think this will be my to-go to winter style!! It leaves my hair stretched and moisturized! I’m not sure how many days the curls last, but I plan on putting it in a protective style in a couple of days anyway.

I forgot to take the customary Curlformer picture, but I did take an after pic. It took me 2.5 hrs to install them, but I found my rhythm at the end and think it’ll be faster the next time. I used all 40 long and wide Curlformers, 24 in the front and 16 in the back. Before styling I had washed my hair with diluted shampoo and then reverse-oil rinsed. I’m really happy with the results.

How do you preserve your Curlformer style? What did you do for NYE?

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2013 Highlights

Happy New Year Readers!! Looking back on 2013, I must say thank you too all for your thoughtful and interesting comments, for your informative input and for being apart of my blogging experience. 2013 was a big year for me with many ups and sometimes downs (but I always try to learn from the downs and focus on the ups). My top 4 highlights (saved the best for last):

CAREER
I had a complete career change. In 2012 I had a job that made me miserable, it promised a big salary, but it was long hours and I saw my husband literally 2 hours a day before going to bed. I dreamed of starting a family and enjoying life a little more, so completely changed my career. I’m now making less as a teacher, but love the excitement and passion I have for what I do.

BLOG/HOBBY
I started this blog out of frustration with my hair and discovering it was low porosity. I wanted to share little tricks and information I learned with others. I was content if my blog helped one person. However, I was overwhelmed when the comments poured in from several other lo-po readers and when over 100 people subscribed to my blog. I’m truly honored by it.

TRAVEL
I had fun travel adventures to France. I’ll continue this with my family, because traveling opens my mind and eyes and makes me more aware of the world and all its beauty.

FAMILY
The biggest highlight of this year was the birth of my baby boy!!! I dreamed about him for those 9 months and now that I have him in my arms its truly a dream come true! Motherhood is very challenging, it’s a new role, with a very high learning curve that changes every day– but I wouldn’t want it any other way. I love this little peanut so much my heart overflows with joy. At times I find myself waking up to watch him sleep and I’m still in disbelief that he’s mine!

What are some of your biggest highlights from 2013?

Mom hair quickie: Bantu NOT!

Inspired by a hair vlog, I decided to try Bantu knots on old (coughs: dirty), stretched hair. Well my hair hates Bantu knots apparently, it looked like I had huge snakes swirling all around my head (note to self: excellent for a medusa inspired costume). I wanted to let my hair down for a couple of days, but alas it was back to the mom bun. However, from failure I found a style I like. The southern tease bun! With my hair stretched it was a bit looser and I could pin it back into a low bun that I placed on the right side if my head. It’s a sophisticated yet flirty look that takes 10 min the night before to install about 10 large Bantu knots and 10 min the next day to remove and bun.
Has anyone ever had success with Bantu knots?? What’s the trick, what could I have done wrong. I thought I’d get a big loose curly for and instead got medusa…

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Mom hair

As you can guess from the title, I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy 2 weeks ago from today. All that talk about birth hair…. That was the last thing on my mind when I started contracting!! My twists did hold and it was a great style for the days that followed bc of my sheer exhaustion I didn’t have to style or touch my hair, just focus on the little life we brought into the world.

I’m loving motherhood and all the challenges and rewards it brings. I’m still adjusting to long nights and interrupted sleep, so blog posts will be a bit irregular for the moment.

On the hair front. I haven’t experienced the dreadful postpartum shedding (…yet, knocks on wood). I haven’t been doing twists or braids, but wash n gos, then simply stretching my hair by pulling in back or bunning it. Simplicity is key at this point! I did order curl formers, I think it will be a nice alternative to stretch my hair this winter. I’ll be doing a review on that sometime early next year.

Have you tried curl formers? For the mommies, what are your quick to-go-to styles?

Have a wonderful holiday season with your loved ones!!

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Protective Style: Milkmaid Braid

I keep having these nightmares that I’ll go into labor in the middle of doing my hair. I end up at the hospital with half done hair looking like a maniac. Crazy yes, but I’m well aware this baby will come when he wants to. I just hope to look somewhat sane when I meet him. For this reason, recently I’ve started stretching my styles for 2 weeks. I’m almost on day 14 since my twist session. My due date is Tuesday, so I feel better about my next two week stretch.

It’s been hard not to wash, I like my weekly sessions, but the last month of my pregnancy I’ve been a bit tired, so prefer to spend my time not doing my hair.

This is a simple style I found to get me through the last couple of days and keep my ends protected, a milkmaid braid. (Perhaps my birth style…)

This should be done on stretched dry hair. Just braid hair on one side, starting from the front, pin it when halfway done and do the same for the other side. You could leave out some loose hairs in the front to frame the face.

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I’ve posted a couple of links with visual instructions. My hair is shorter than featured vloggers, but goes to show it’s possible to achieve a similar look:
mahoganycurls

naptural85

beautydept