Low Porosity Friend V2: Slippery Elm

It’s been a while since I’ve added some new lo-po friends to my list of products. That’s mainly because, when I find a good thing, I stick with it. However, I do like to experiment from time to time. Recently, I’ve found a couple of ingredients that do that my hair loves. I’ll discuss one today.

If you’ve followed my blog from the beginning, you know that I absolutely love Kinky Curly Knot Today. Recently, I started to think to myself, what is it about this leave-in that makes my hair so soft, my curls so defined and detangling a breeze. Light bulb: check the ingredient list. That’s when I became curious about experimenting with some of the ingredients on the list to see if I could use them on my hair in their pure form. One of the ingredients, high on the list is slippery elm and man am I happy I did. 

Let me set the scene. My hair has been in a slump lately. It looked dry and rough and all kinds of bad. I decided to have a spa night. I pre-conditioned my dry hair with Shea Moisture Deep Conditioning Mask, let it marinate, while I chased the little one around. Note: this stuff works horribly on my hair wet and it’s no wonder, shea butter, while it’s a wonderful sealer for my skin, it does nothing for my hair. Why do I keep trying to convince myself to use it!! Any way, I used it as a pre-poo hoping for better results. It was ok, I guess. I shampooed my hair with the conditioner on my ends. Then followed up by detangling with slippery elm and adding in conditioner to moisturize my hair, letting it sit a few minutes then rinsing. Um, can I just say, my curls were clumped and so juicy. I did a twist out and my hair felt so good the next day. I actually did a happy dance!!

 

So here are the deets on the process and the benefits of slippery elm.

Slippery elm is found in Central and Eastern US and Eastern Canada. The inner bark of this tree has medicinal properties and it’s used to treat many superficial and internal problems.

Slippery Elm Detangler Recipe

slippery elm bark - Steve Gorton/Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images

-2 TBSP slippery elm bark + -1.5 – 2 cups hot water

Pour water into a container, mix in slippery elm bark until dissolved. Let sit until water cools.

The slippery elm will form mucilage, voila your detangler.

I imagine if you  could use a tea cloth to strain the particle, but I didn’t and it wasn’t a problem.

Add your favorite conditioner while the slippery elm is in your hair.

Why slippery elm for lo-po hair?

  • I don’t know what the PH of slippery elm is, but research shows that it has an alkalizing effect and is often used to help with acid reflex. Remember for lo-po hair alkaline products are typically beneficial in helping open up the cuticle and moisturize the hair.
  • The mucilage that the elm releases makes detangling a breeze. The strands clump and are weighed down, which helps the fingers and comb glide through your curls. My hair shrinks up easily and is typically really light weight. This tends to result in lots of tangling and long detangling sessions. Not with slippery elm, it takes me 5 – 10 minutes.
  • It promotes growth (bra strap length, here we come)
  • Makes your hair soft and smooth (lord knows I need it with all this new hair growth returning after postpartum shedding, I literally hair a halo.)
  • Heals damaged hair

Need I say more. Have you ever tried slippery elm?

 

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Thank you!

I want to thank my readers for all the support you’ve given this blog over the past couple of years. In particular, I appreciate your thoughtful and candid feedback and comments. Recently, I posted on a new oil that I began using, palm oil. One reader warned me about the environmental devastation linked to palm oil and suggested I make sure to use a sustainable brand. This week I had to the chance to sit down a read a little on palm oil and all its bad publicity. Scary stuff, to say the least. While I will add that I try to buy only organic and sustainable oils and that my oil was manufactured with sustainable farming methods. I don’t think I’ll buy another bottle, just knowing that it is the most exploited oil in the world doesn’t sit well with me.

I just want to say, I take all of your feedback into consideration and am really appreciative of you sharing your wisdom with me. For what’s life without learning and growing.

Any way, after this bottle of palm oil runs out, I’ll no longer buy it. I’ll also try to be conscious about the foods that I buy and make sure I buy foods that don’t use it — that’ll be challenging, as it’s in SO many products, but it’s worth it for the planet. Here are a few bullet points on why it’s important to avoid palm oil or seek a sustainable oil:

  • major contributor to climate change
  • deforestation
  • linked to extinction of certain species of animals
  • pollution
  • the list goes on…

For a quick read and powerful video on its effects, click the links below.

Hope you all had a nice weekend. We took peanut sledding for the first time and he hit the slopes like he’d been doing it since birth! Did you do anything fun?

Patterns and Color in Winter

So, I bought this cute shirt from Zara. I’m obviously not a fashion blogger, so excuse the poor quality pictures. This blouse is a adorable and has a playful peek-a-boo back. It wipes away my winter blues and adds a nice splash of color to my wardrobe. During the day time with my son, I paired it with high-waisted skinnies and a cardigan,
so I could run around at the park. At night, when I headed to work I threw on a white corduroy skirt, to play with texture, a pair of tights and heels and a little make-up and voilà, I instantly felt glamorous. Fashion really is about a feeling for me, so that’s win in my book. Obviously, I only have shots of the shirt *coughs – novice*.

 

 

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New Year, New Goals

I love the resolutions and setting goals. What perfect time to do so than the New Year. I didn’t use to be one to set New Year’s Resolutions, but now I love having them. I always try to set aside goals that line-up with my life style, because let’s face it ain’t nobody (at least I don’t) got time to start leading a completely new and different life.

I thought I’d share my resolutions. Some of them, I touched upon on this blog already.

  1. Nourish my Mind – Read every night before going to bed. Book, magazine, whatever it may be. I got into a bed habit of checking my smart phone, blogging, reading blogs, using social media, etc. on my phone. I’ve been reading each night 15 – 30 minutes, before falling asleep and I’ve noticed a big change in the way I sleep after.  I just finished the book A curious incident of the dog in the night-time by Mark Haddon. This book is written from the perspective of an adolescent boy who is trying to solve a murder (dog) mystery. The boy has a really high intellect and a difficult time understanding every day social cues. It’s beautifully written and manages to make you laugh, cry, gasp and celebrate life all at the same time. I highly recommend it.
  2. Nourish my Palate- I’ve always been a healthy eater. However, my goal for this year is to eat more vegetarian and vegan meals and make a thoughtful effort to supplement plant-based products when I can.  I don’t eat a lot of meat as is. However, I want to add lots of plant-based protein sources to my diet this year, because I slacked on this a little last year. This week I made some spicy mushroom, lentil and black bean veggie burgers. Honestly, I enjoyed it more than an actual burger as did my husband.
  3. Nourish my Body – work out twice per week. I’m doing okay on this one. I take yoga once per week. I do walk around a lot. However, I’d like another course as these are easier to keep up with than exercising at home or outside, at least while it’s cold outside. I’m thinking about returning to dance and taking either a modern or classical dance course. I’ll add visiting a dance studio to get a brochure to-do list for this weekend.
  4. Nourish my friendships – I don’t want to waste time with people who can’t accept you as you are. Last year I made a friend who made me second guess what I was doing all the time. I was always stressed when meeting up with her, because I felt she was constantly judging me and the choices I make on what I wear, how I live and raise my child. Well, this year I just kind of stopped contacting her. Life’s too short. I have a tight circle of friends who accept me as I am. And I’m perfectly content with that.
  5. Nourish My Hair – I’m not one to set length goals, but I’d like to reach bra strap length when my hair is straightened by the end of this year. They say hair can grow 6 inches per year. I’m not going to do any length checks or anything of that nature, but will try to up my deep conditioning game.

Do you have any New Year’s Goals?

 

Oh and I completely forgot to mention that I’d like to try to put in a minimal amount of effort to look like put together from time to time, especially in winter.

Happy New Year

Hi Everyone,

So I’m back from Boston. I had a lovely stay and enjoyed every moment that I spent with family and friends. Now it’s back to the daily grind (i.e. running too and fro with a toddler and working). Oh it really does take a village to raise a child. I’m so grateful for every moment I had back home with my family and friends. Hubs and I got a lot of quality time on this trip and everyone was ever so happy to “take Peanut off our hands”.

Per usual, I did a little shopping on this trip for hair products.

I bought:

  • Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Treatment. My verdict is still out. I only used it once and it wasn’t at home, so I couldn’t do my usual deep treatment. So I’ll do a review at a later time.
  • I can’t remember the name of one conditioner that I bought, but it was a very inexpensive Suave Conditioner.
  • Pantene Pro-V Damage Detox. Again, I only used this once. However, I did really like how my hair felt after one use, so am really excited to give it another go.
  • Aveda Be Brilliant Conditioner and Styling Creme. I used to love this stuff during my relaxed days. It’s on the pricey side, but I plan on doctoring it up and adding my own ingredients to it sometimes, to stretch it out. I wasn’t crazy about their Be Curly Line, it did wonders for my relaxed hair, when I wore a wash-n-go, but absolutely nothing for my curly hair. The sales clerk at the store had beautifully, tightly coiled hair and praised this product. I’m hoping it won’t disappoint.
  • Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In. I didn’t like this after using once, but I bought so am going to make it work. I might try using it as a conditioner instead of a leave-in and of course adding some moisturizing ingredients to it. I just feel it sits on my head. Maybe diluting it in water would help… I’ll of course, give it another try, before reviewing it.

At the moment, my hair is straight. I went to my old stylist to get my hair blown out and get a much-needed trim. I’m going on week two *hides in shame* of straight hair at this point. I’ll probably wash it this weekend. I do miss my curls, but pin curling or wrapping at night and heading to bead without any additional work has been so heavenly.