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
-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?