Pre-Poo Oil Treatment

Happy New Year Everyone!

The other day, I was skimming through a book a friend gifted me many years ago. The book is about all natural Indian beauty secrets. It also includes a section on healing from the inside, which I appreciate, as all beauty starts from within. The hair section discusses cures for dry hair. Some of the suggestions to combat this problem include: shampooing on an as needed basis, gentle brushing and combing, using creamy conditioners, reducing exposure to strong winds and sun, and overnight coconut oil treatments.

Honestly, nothing new here, but it helps to read about it and have it reiterated. As a lo-po natural, I obviously can’t go without an occasional shampoo. However, I typically cleanse with rhassoul clay, only using commercial shampoos every other month if I notice any product build-up. I’ve never prepped my hair with an oil treatment before cleansing. So I’m giving it a go for the first time today. Ideally, the book suggests doing this overnight. However, I can’t work this into my schedule. So here’s my approach to pre-poo oil treatments:

  1. Divide hair into four sections and generously apply coconut oil to both scalp and hair, concentrating on the ends. You could treat yourself to a nice scalp massage at this point.
  2. Cover hair in a plastic cap, wet a small towel with very hot water and carefully squeez out the excess water. *Place the damp, hot towel over the plastic cap, place a plastic bag (the kind you get at the grocery store in the fresh produce section) over the towel and cover with a scarf or bonnet.
  3. Leave this in for as long as you like, but if you’re stressed for time like me, about 20-30 minutes should be fine.
  4. I’ll follow this treatment with rhassoul and condition my hair if necessary.

*Remember heat is the key for effective moisturizing for lo-po hair.

My due date is rapidly approaching and I’m due in a little less than two weeks, but could go at any moment, so my goal today is to get my hair into some kind of protective style and forget about it until after the birth. If you’re a long time follower, you might remember when I was pregnant with my son, I had a fear of going into labor mid-styling. Same thing this time around. So some simple elegant two strand twists might be the way to go again.

I’ll report back with pictures and results after styling (if I’m not in labor— I’m that uncomfortable at this point, I wouldn’t actually mind!).

Do you pre-poo? What kind of results have you noticed?

XO

**UPDATE**

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After washing with rhassoul clay, conditioning and applying my leave-in, grapeseed oil and gel, I twisted my hair. I then sat under the dryer for 15 and to let me leave-in absorb. My twists feel moisturized and soft and my hair is shiny and smooth. I think the pre-poo gave it more of a shine than my usual routine, but I’m not 100% sure, so I’ll have to give it a few more tries to test the results. In any case, I’m happy to have my hair twisted and out of the way for the next couple of weeks.

 

Operation Save My Edges

My edges suffered so much after my pregnancy. I’m finally starting to see the light, as they’ve started to grow back, granted slowly. I still have to use my comb-over technique from time to time. Pulling my hair back completely, is not an option, as I don’t want to put too much pressure on my edges and I don’t want expose my barely-there edges. So, I wear my hair down a lot and if I do pull my hair back, it’s always in a very loose low pony or bun.

Yesterday, I did a braid out and I loved the look, but my edges killed it and made my hair look flat and lifeless. I used a headband to hide my thinning hair and give the illusion of volume by fluffing. This is a nice quick fix that’s gentle on my edges. In addition, to being gentle with my edges, I’ve tried massaging them lightly with a light oil (e.g. jojoba) and mixing in some essential oils like lavender and tea tree. I’ll have to pick up some rosemary essential oil as I’ve heard this is really good for hair growth.

Are you team thin edges? What are some tricks that have worked for you? Even if your edges are normal to thick, what are some tricks you use to keep them that way??

Happy Sunday!

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Hypothetical Question

It’s a low porosity apocalyptic nightmare. You have to choose one product and only one to use forever!! What would you choose?

For me, that’s an easy one. Rhassoul clay. This is the one products that gives me consistently good results with every use. Juicy, moisturized, clumped curls. I used some last night before my wash and go.

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Maximum Hydration Method: My Thoughts

Hi Everyone,

There a big buzz around the web about a new method of moisturizing and defining naturally curly hair. This method is called MHM, short for maximum hydration method. I’ve received a few comments from readers asking me whether I’ve tried it or am willing to give it a try.

I won’t be trying this method and will discuss my reasons in this post. However, this is not to say you shouldn’t try it, because it seems quite effective and the feedback from those who have tried it has been overwhelmingly positive. So, this post is not “casting shade” on the method, but just reassuring those out there with curly/kinky hair that don’t use this method that they can still have healthy hair without the MHM.

I’m not going to reinvent the wheel. If you aren’t familiar with the method, then check out this link to find out more.

So, without further ado. My top 5 reasons.

1. TIME

I don’t have time for a 5 step wash and condition process for one day, let alone every day for an entire week. The MHM requires a baking soda clarifier, finger detangle, deep condition, clay rinse, leave in conditioner every day, over the course of 7 days. I love my hair, but that’s just a little too much love for me.

2. CONSTANT EXPOSURE TO HIGH PH

If you read my blog, you know I often recommend high PH/alkaline products, to open up the cuticles and help the hair absorb moisture. I still believe this is the best method for low porosity hair to receive moisture. I’m just not sure that exposing the hair to high PH products (baking soda and clays), multiple times per session and every day, could have long-term consequences on the hair shaft. I don’t have any scientific evidence, that is just one concern I had when reading about this method. I love a good baking soda deep conditioning treatment, but I don’t think I’d do it everyday. I have rhassoul and baking soda as options to use during my weekly/monthly regimen, but not daily.

3. SEEMS COMPLICATED

There are a lot of steps involved in this process. I’d be afraid to forget one. These days, the simpler the regimen the better. I went natural for the simplicity and for my health. I don’t want to feel trapped in another hair relationship, as I did with my relaxer. If I’m too tired to wash on wash day, it’s not the end of the world. Call me a committment-phobe, but I just can’t give that much time to my hair.

4. COST

The ingredients in this regimen don’t come cheap if you need them all (exception: baking soda).

5. TIME (TO REITERATE)

I think high hydration can be achieved for low porosity hair by using deep conditioners, High PH products such as rhassoul clay or baking soda. These items help open up your cuticles to receive moisture. A solid weekly to twice per week regimen, can help you get healthy, soft and moisturized hair. So if you don’t have the time to commit to the MHM, it doesn’t mean your hair will suffer.

I’m very interested in hearing about everyone else’s experience with the MHM. Since I’m not doing it, I can live vicariously through you. So keep your comments and feedback coming. It’s always nice to see people, finding tricks that work for them.

Have you tried or will you try the MHM?

Rhassoul vs Bentonite Clay

Rhassoul Clay Bentonite Clay
Ingredients Clay found in the Atlas Mts. High percentage of silica, magnesium, potassium, and calcium

 

Volcanic ash sediments, has a high percentage of silica and iron
Uses Detox, face mask, skin treatment, cleanser, conditioner

 

Detox, face mask, skin treatment, cleanser
Slip (1: terrible – 5 great) 5

Nothing makes detangling as easy as rhassoul clay. My curls come out defined, smooth and clumped

 

3

My hair wasn’t as easy to comb through

Softness 5

Gives me HIH syndrome

3.5

My hair was soft after, but I still felt I had to follow-up with a conditioner, as it wasn’t as soft as I’d like it to be.

 

Preparation 4.5

Water, a little aloe or vinegar, mix and apply. Although my mix is always slightly runnier than I’d like.

 

3

This was very awkward to mix, the clay swells up as soon as water hits it and the mixture was really thick.

Appearance of hair 5

This always gives me a nice healthy shine

4

My hair looked very clean and shiny, although on the 3rd day it looked a little waxy to me.

 

Would I recommend this for low porosity hair Definitely, this stuff is golden! In my low porosity holy grail products I’d recommend it for an occasional hair cleanse/detox, but I don’t think I’ll add this to my list of low porosity must-haves.

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.

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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