Hair

New Stash!!!

It’s been quite a while since I posted anything. My father passed away in October so I have been on quite a rollercoaster ride but I guess that’s life and we just have to try and move on no matter how hard it is. Anyway, the good news is that I recently refilled my hair stash and I have added a few new products. I really can’t wait to try them out.

It’s 10 months now since my Big chop and I am trying my best to establish a fixed hair regimen. I still use the same shampoo, Palmer’s coconut oil formula deep conditioning shampoo. I rarely use shampoo so I haven’t run out yet and my hair loves it so I don’t think I need to change brands anytime soon. I did however, get myself some Bentonite Clay. I have never clarified my hair and I want to try it out as soon as I take these braids out so we will see how that goes.

I finally got myself conditioner. I never had any conditioner. I would just go straight to deep conditioning. When I felt like conditioning my hair I often stole my son’s baby conditioner haha. I am going to be using Organics conditioner for dry and damaged hair. I got that at a bargain at Dischem for R80 for two 1 liter bottles. Only realized when I was back in Zimbabwe that I got a conditioner and a shampoo instead of two conditioners. What a bummer! The shampoo has sulfate so I’ll never use it but I am planning to sell it to someone who doesn’t mind so it’s fine, sigh!

For my deep conditioner, I replaced my Originals Africas Best Hair Mayonnaise with the Head & Shoulders Rinse off Treatment Masque (African Scalp & hair care). I also got one Dr Miracles Super Strength Deep Conditioning Satchet. If I like it, I might consider getting the bottle.

See, that’s actually something you can do before buying the whole lot. If you try out a deep conditioning pack you can then decide if you need more of it or not. Saves you a whole lot of change!

I also got myself some Afrobotanics products. I decided to try their Nehanda Moisturising Leave-in conditioner (only a Zimbabwean would figure why I love that name lol) and I replaced my dark & lovely au naturale afro moisturizing butter with their Asantewaa Super Hair Growth Creme.

For my scalp I am still using the Caivil Fusion Oil Hair Grow Essence, I really love it and I am not leaving it any time soon. I still have my extra virgin coconut oil for those DIY deep conditioners and hot oil treatments.

So there you go, I will keep you posted when I try the new products out. I am slowly figuring out what my hair loves. Once I do, I try my best to stick to it.

Happy hair growing💜

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Hair

Hello Aloe:)

The Aloe Vera plant has been a hit in the natural hair community. The juice and the gel. From DIY deep conditioners and prepoos to moisturizers and hair growth concoctions aloe has been added as an ingredient. It’s a good natural humectant that helps your hair retain moisture and it has many other benefits that I will list below:

•heals and repairs damaged cells in your scalp

•conditions hair

•contains proteolytic enzymes that promote hair growth

•it has anti-pruritic properties that relieve itchiness and scalp irritation

•reduces dandruff

•it’s a natural humectant

•helps restore the PH balance of your hair

Aloe as a pre-poo

You can use it as a pre-poo by applying the gel to your hair and scalp before your wash. Cover your head with a plastic cap and leave it in for an hour. Rinse it out then go on to shampoo or cowash as usual.

Aloe as a conditioner

You can also use it as a deep conditioner. Mix the gel with your favourite conditioner. Apply it to your hair and cover with a plastic cap. Leave it in for an hour and rinse it out. You can also just use the plain aloe gel without mixing it with your conditioner.

Aloe as a leave-in conditioner

For a leave-in conditioner mix aloe gel, water and a few drops of an essential oil.

Aloe hair growth serum

Mix 2 tablespoons of aloe gel with 3 tablespoons castor oil and 3 tablespoons vitamin E oil. Apply it to your damp hair and scalp and rinse out after 20minutes. You can switch it up to your desired proportions and also depending on the volume of your hair.

How to extract the Aloe Vera gel

•Cut the leaf into sections about 4cm long. This makes it a little more manageable.

•Cut off the serrated edge. Try to get just the edge because it is difficult to get the gel out of those pieces.

•Turn your blade to its side and slide it in just under the skin on the end of one of the strips.

•Carefully slide the knife along the bottom edge of the skin down the whole length of the leaf. Try to stay close to the skin so you get as much gel as you can.

•Scoop out as much gel as you can and put it in a container.

•Blend until smooth. It will almost immediately froth when you start your blender. This is normal.

The froth will eventually go down. You can wait or you can just go ahead and strain the gel into a clean storage container to remove any bits from the skin

•if you’re not using it immediately then refrigerate it. It will keep in the refrigerator for about a week.

Happy hair growing!

Hair

Life after the big chop

My hair will be 7 months old on the 9th of August. Yeay me! Believe me it's been a bit of a rollercoaster ride because at times I'd regret the big chop and wish I had transitioned. I really had mixed emotions because my hair was so short which had its up side (little maintenance required) but my hands were tied when it came to styling. It was too short to braid or do a sew-in so I had to be patient till I could actually do a proper protective style.

After the big chop I didn't have a proper regimen. I would simply wet my hair then apply Amla oil (not the pure oil as the brand I had contained lots of mineral oil and I only realized that later on). To soften my hair I'd apply Dax Hair Grower, it was good for my hair though it made it a bit too oily. I also used a sulfate shampoo lol. Don't judge me, I was still trying to get the hang of it and I am still learning. I am glad the natural hair community has grown over the years. I have learnt from so many naturalistas across the globe, all thanks to social media. I am not alone in this journey, I've grown in knowledge and I am still yearning to learn more.

My regimen became more fixed in May when I got my first protective style. That's when I decided to become a bit consistent. I am a minimalist. I try do the most I can using a few resources. I do get tempted to horde products but I am trying by all means to avoid being a product junkie and to just find a few products that work for my hair. Here are the few products I have been using since May:

Palmer's coconut oil formula conditioning shampoo:


You can get this shampoo at any Clicks store in South Africa. This product smells so good I could eat it! It's free of sulphates and parabens. It's also gentle on my hair, it doesn't strip it dry and it's also conditioning. It contains keratin to strengthen and repair your strands, monoi oil to hydrate your hair and coconut oil to moisturize and add shine. It's good for dry, colour treated or damaged hair.

Originals Africa's Best Hair Mayonnaise:


I also got this product from Clicks in South Africa. I use this product for deep conditioning my hair and as a leave-in conditioner (sometimes). It contains herbal extracts, olive oil, egg protein and vitamins to moisturize, condition and strengthen hair. It's also good for weak and damaged hair. I bleached my hair and this product has worked quite well in preventing breakage and dryness from the bleach.

Guava water:


If you're a DIY kind of person you probably have such weird conconctions of your own to moisturize your hair. I use guava water as a daily spritz to moisturize my hair in a protective style or as my L when doing the LOC method on free hair. Previously I would interchange it with plain water mixed with olive oil and glycerine or rose water mixed with glycerine. Guava water promotes hair growth, strengthens hair and reduces shedding. You can read more about its benefits and how to make your own here.

Caivil Fusion Oil Hair Gro Essence:


I got this from Clicks SA but it's also available at Dischem. This oil contains a long list of all the good oils. Olive oil, castor oil, coconut oil, rosemary essential oil, peppermint essential oil, argan oil, avocado oil etc. Trust me it's a long list of hair magic. It promotes hair growth, strengthens and thickens hair, nourishes your scalp, prevents breakage and I also use it as a sealing oil for my LOC method. It has a strong peppermint scent which might not appeal to everyone but I love it all the same.

Dark & Lovely Au Naturale Afro Moisturizing Butter:


Yes, I also got this from Clicks SA! I am a loyal customer. The afro moisturizing butter deeply nourishes and conditions hair leaving it soft and manageable. It also prevents styling damage and it doesn't contain any parabens, petrolatum, drying alcohol and mineral oil. Plus, it smells divine.

Aunt Jackie's Curl la la Curl Defining Custard:


I got it from Clicks as well. I bought this for my wash n go days which are yet to come this summer lol. My ends have been tucked away most of this winter but I can't wait to try out this product on my hair. Hopefully it will also help me do a cute Bantu knot-out or a twist out we will see. It's been working well on my son's hair though so I am impressed for now. Fingers crossed it will do some good on mine:)

There you have it! Those are the products that I have on my shelf. You can also try them out. Are you already using any of them? Do give some feedback in the comments. I am enjoying my hair journey hope you're enjoying yours too. Love your hair, take care of it. Remember length comes from healthy hair so make sure you maintain healthy hair for you to be able to retain length. You don't have to use the latest product or the most expensive. Find the few that work for you and stick to them. Happy hair growing!!!!

Hair

Ayurveda part 2: DIY shirolep & shiroabhyanga treatments

In part 1 I explained the basics of Ayurveda and I tried my best to give a detailed explanation of how Ayurvedic remedies promote hair growth. If you somehow missed part 1 please go on to read it here for a better understanding of the topic. As promised in part 1, here are a few Ayurvedic herbal and oil treatments you can use on your hair.

SHIROABHYANGA 

This Ayurvedic scalp massage treatment using warm herbal scented oils, promotes hair growth by increasing blood circulation to the scalp. It nourishes a dry scalp and enhances the hair's lustre. This is achieved by using a mixture of carrier oils and essential oils.

1. For dandruff and a dry scalp

  • Mix olive oil, almond oil, coconut oil, or sesame oil with a few drops of lemon juice
  • You can also add a few drops of     chamomile, cedarwood, lavender or rosemary essential oils. They are good for treating a dry scalp (OPTIONAL)
  • Massage the warmed mixture into the scalp and let it sit for an hour or preferably overnight before washing it out with a mild shampoo

2. For hair growth and restoration 

  • To stimulate blood circulation to the hair follicles take a few tablespoons of coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil or sesame oil. I like castor oil because it's good for hair growth but it's a bit too heavy so I mix it with a lighter oil like coconut oil or olive oil so it's less thick
  • Add a few drops of peppermint, thyme, rose geranium, lavender, rosemary, frankincense, cedarwood or cypress essential oils as they combat hair loss and promote hair growth
  • Massage the warm oil into your scalp using your fingertips to increase blood flow to your hair follicles. Wrap your hair for an hour or overnight before washing it out

Do this treatment 1-3 times a week to see great results.

SHIROLEP

It is the Ayurvedic application of medicated herbal pastes to your hair and scalp to nourish your hair and promote growth.
1. For dry hair and dandruff

  • Mix half a cup shikakai powder, 1 cup amla powder and 1 cup warm water into a smooth paste
  • Let it sit for 2 hours then apply it your hair 
  • Leave it in for 30minutes before washing it out 

2. To combat hair loss and promote hair growth

  • Mix a cup of amla powder, 3 tablespoons of henna powder, 2 tablespoons of fenugreek powder, 1 egg white, lemon juice and water into a smooth paste
  • Let it sit for an hour
  • Apply this to your hair from root to tip and leave it in for an hour
  • Wash your hair with a mild shampoo and rinse with cold water
  • Do not use hot water!!!!

3. For thick hair

  • Mix 2 tablespoons amla powder, 2 tablespoons shikakai powder with 4 tablespoons water into a smooth paste
  • Apply it to your hair and leave it in for an hour
  • Rinse it off with cold water

4. To condition hair

  • Mix henna and coconut milk into a smooth consistent paste
  • Apply it to your hair and leave it in for an hour before rinsing it out

These treatments can be done 1-3 times a week for optimal results.

You can also make your own variations of these mixes to keep your hair nourished, strong and lustrous. Have you tried Ayurveda before? Drop your experience in the comments, I'd love to read your testimonials (good or bad). I hope you found the Ayurveda articles helpful and that I made it all clear and comprehensive. If you have more questions or additional information to add feel free to comment. Happy hair growing!!!!!
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Hair

DIY deep conditioners

If you follow most of my posts I am sure by now you have realized how much I just love to DIY. From before I began my natural hair journey I have always been a sucker for deep conditioning concoctions. Avocado 🥑 has always done wonders for my hair even during my creamy crack days. My favorite DIY deep conditioner (DC) is a mixture of Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), avocado and banana. I had a hair colour disaster during the early days of my big chop. I tried to tint my hair but besides coloring my scalp for a few days my hair was literally the same so I resorted to bleach and that stripped my hair so much. It was left dry and brittle. I was so scared that it was going to be damaged. I needed something to leave my hair manageable and to give it life. I deep conditioned with these three ingredients and gosh my hair loved it. It was softer, shinier, moisturized and my coils were so defined. However, my experience with this DC had a downside. The banana left stringy residue on my hair that took days to come off. Trust me it’s not fun seeing bits of banana on your hair brush😂
Now let’s look at the benefits of each of the ingredients in the deep conditioner:

Avocado

It is naturally moisturizing and it will leave your hair silky, soft and shiny.  The vitamin E in avocados stimulates hair growth. It also prevents hair loss.
Olive oil

It is rich in fatty acids which are good for the hair and scalp. It contains antioxidants which block free radicals that damage healthy cells and cause premature greying of the hair.
Banana

It is rich in potassium, carbohydrates, natural oils and vitamins that nourish hair leaving it soft and manageable. It protects the hair’s natural elasticity preventing breakage as well as split ends. Banana promotes growth and controls dandruff. It also leaves the hair shiny.
The three ingredients have so many benefits for my hair. I guess that’s why I love the deep conditioner so much. I will list down three other deep conditioning recipes that are good for different hair needs. You can also try them out.

For dry hair
Banana+EVOO+Honey+Plain greek yoghurt
For severe hair breakage

Whipped egg+Castor oil+Plain greek yoghurt+coconut oil 
For detangling

Avocado+Shea butter+EVOO+ACV
There are so many other DIY deep conditioning recipes that you can look up on the internet. If you’re like me and love to experiment you can simply mix and match your favorite ingredients until you get something that’s really good for your hair. You can also add aloe (gel/juice) or glycerine to the mix. They are humectants hence they draw in moisture into your hair and retain it. If you have any secret concoctions you’d love to share with me you can just drop them in the comments. I am always open to learning and trying new things.



    Hair

    ROSEWATER FOR HAIR

    A spray bottle with a DIY concoction is a must have for every naturalista. From aloe juice to guava water, there are so many endless possibilities. My usual go-to mix is olive oil, glycerine and water. It works well for my hair but I felt it wasn’t good enough for my son’s and my niece’s hair. I wanted something that was well moisturizing and that would make their hair manageable. I began my search for the perfect mix and that’s how I stumbled upon the rosewater idea on Pinterest.
    I always knew that you could use rosewater as a toner for your beauty regimen or a moisturising face mist before going to bed. I knew how revitalizing it is for skin so I was truly eager to see what it could do for hair. I really wanted to give it a try and the fact that I could make my own rosewater at home made this experiment even more interesting. I couldn’t wait to try it out. 
    Method:

    I took two roses, separated the petals and washed them before boiling them in half a cup of water. Once I brought the pot to boil, I let it simmer till the roses had turned from red to white. I allowed the water to cool before I strained it into my spritz bottle.

    Rosewater spritz:

    • 1/2 cup rosewater
    • 1 & 1/2 tablespoons glycerine
    • 2 tablespoons of a light oil of your choice e.g coconut oil, olive oil, grape seed oil (I prefer olive oil)

    The spritz can be used daily to moisturise your hair and scalp. You can even use it whilst your hair is in protective styling. I am using it on my niece who currently has African threading as her PS. For my son I use the rosewater spritz as his liquid when I do the LOC method. I usually keep his hair in two strand twists but lately I have been lazy so I have to keep his free hair moisturized all the time to prevent breakage. Their hair is now well moisturized and easy to comb. It also appears much healthier. My niece always used to have a flakey scalp but that seems to be a thing of the past now.
    The Benefits of rosewater:

    • Revitalizes dry & brittle hair
    • It reduces build up on the scalp 
    • It has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce dandruff
    • It’s stimulating properties increase blood circulation and improve hair growth
    • It replenishes lost moisture 
    • It leaves hair smooth, shiny and healthy
    • It refreshes your scalp and adds a light fragrance 
    • Makes hair more manageable

    I have noticed such great change that I am even tempted to switch my usual concoction for the rosewater as well. Try it out, it could turn out to be one of the best things you’ve ever tried! You can also play around with the measurements till you find what’s more suitable for your hair.

    Hair

    Cannabis infused organic oil for hair growth!!!!

    infused-coconut-oil-800x521

    So we have heard about the wonders of cannabis for hair growth especially in the dreadlock community. Not really a shocker as we have seen a lot of hair products on the shelves with hemp (a variation of cannabis) seed oil or bits of the leaves.

    In Zimbabwe there is a new hairfood on the streets called ganjalizer which is basically petroleum jelly infused with marijuana. You can get it from salons and street vendors. A bottle ranges from $1 to $1,50.  People have been praising it for its effectiveness and whilst I would want to try it out the fact that it has petroleum jelly puts me off because its heavy. I don’t want my twa being weighed down and I most certainly don’t want grease build up on my scalp. So anyhow this downside of the oil led me to a eureka moment. Cancer patients make cannabis infused oils to cook with so I looked up some of the recipes and I am considering giving it a try to make my own cannabis infused hair oil. I want to see for myself why people praise cannabis so much. You can use coconut oil or olive oil. I read on some blog that coconut oil is the best but I think I will take my chances with the olive oil.

    For this experiment you’ll need:

    Cannabis

    Your oil of choice (coconut oil or olive oil)

    A cheese cloth/strainer

    A pan

    A bowl

    An empty applicator bottle

    Mortar

     

    Method:

    NB: I am not sure about the mixing ratio so you can just improvise. For me I feel the more cannabis the better so I will probably add as much as I can.

    Heat the pan and put your cannabis for about 30minutes so as to decarboxylate it. This will enable you to get the full effects of the cannabis. Others put it in the oven and bake but I think the pan is much faster.  If you do decide to bake heat the oven up to 220°c and keep it in for 30minutes as well.

     

    Take it out of the pan and grind it into a powder. Meanwhile put your oil in a pan, warm it on medium heat then add your ground cannabis. Make sure the oil doesnt boil as it will make the cannabis ineffective. If it overheats take it off the stove till it cools and put it back on. You can leave it on the stove for an hour or 2.

     

    When you’re done let the oil cool. Take your cheese cloth and cover the bowl. Pour the oil into the cheese cloth and squeeze the oil into the bowl. Make sure you squeeze out all the oil. Put it into your empty applicator bottle and store it in a cool dark place. You can use it on your scalp or add it into your daily spritz mix.

     

    I will try it out and come back with a review. If you however happen to try it before me please give me feedback on how its working for your hair. Hope you found this helpful😘