Thursday, December 27, 2012

My Hair Recipes: My Flaxseed Gel

Flaxseed Gel(my version)

2 cups water
¼ cup whole flaxseeds

optional additives:
aloe vera juice(as ph adjuster/balancer)
melted creamy shea butter mix(see shea butter recipes)

Cook flaxseeds until mucus forms and until desired consistency. Strain seeds.

  • When I do make my flaxseed gel sometimes I add aloe vera juice to bring the ph to 5 and I add my melted creamy shea butter mix to my flaxseed mixture. Adding these additional additives allows me to apply this product in one application/one pass and I have all the goodness of these ingredients in my hair. Otherwise I'd have to spritz with my Aloe Moisturizing Spritz and work in well, then apply the flaxseed gel and work in well, and then seal with creamy shea butter mix and work in well.
  • I don't have a great need to use flax seed gel at this point in my journey and at this length. Once I put my leave-in conditioner mix/conditioner and Aloe Moisturizing daily spritz in my hair my curls form and are very shrunken. My hair keeps it's curl for about 2-3 days and then it becomes more frizzy and whatever curls I still have really shrink up. So by then I'll use my Moisturizing Daily Spritz and creamy shea butter mix to re-moisturize and seal my hair and then put my hair in twists. I then wear a twist-out for the next 2-3 days. So that is 4-6 days of wash n wear and by then my scalp is needing/craving water and then I'll start my weekly process over again with cleanse/rinse/deep condition.
  • This is acceptable to me right now for 2 reasons.
  • I didn't want to keep saturating my hair with water 3 or more times per week as I did in the summer b/c of the cold weather. I wanted to find a method/regimen that would allow me to only saturate my hair with water once a week and my hair stay moisturized...not get brittle and dry and I am able to achieve this using this method.
  • My hair seems to be doing well with this method. My hair is not brittle/dry and it is staying soft with the mid-week spritz/seal and/or twist. If my hair were not showing signs of health then I would HAVE to wet my hair more often.

Ref: based on ytuber NAPTURAL85 flaxseed gel recipe

My Hair Recipes: Rosewater Moisturizing Daily Hair Spritz

Rosewater Moisturizing Daily Hair Spritz

Lilac/Rose water as base
Aloe Vera juice
Rosemary(10 drops)
Coconut oil or any oil of choice
Jojoba oil

Combine in spray bottle, shake.

  • I used this for a time. I LOVED the rose water in it. My hair was soft and I loved the smell of soft roses but I didn't want to keep buying rose water. So after I gave out of rose water I never bought anymore but used all the other ingredients.
  • I've been staying away from glycerin b/c in my reading on the internet it was stated that glycerin is not good in the winter b/c it will take the water FROM your hair to release it into the air since winter air is dryer and has less moisture than your hair. But since reading The Science of Black Hair and it's treatise on glycerin I'm rethinking it.

My Hair Recipes: New Growth Spray (transitioners)

New Growth Leave-In Spray(transitioning hair)

conditioner(Tresemme Naturals) as base
1 tsp jojoba oil
1 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp avocado oil

Mix together in spray bottle and shake.

  • I used to use this on my daughter's new growth as I began to transition her out of her texturizer. I used this mostly in the summer but as the cooler/colder weather came in I didn't want to keep wetting her hair/scalp everyday so I stopped using it.
  • I find her hair is keeping moisturized pretty well throughout the week until wash day(sometimes a week and ½).
  • I now use SheaMoisture Volumizing Conditioner as a leave-in in her hair on wash day along with Nubian Heritage Indian Hemp and Tamanu Grow and Strengthen Treatment Masque as a styler. Her hair stays pretty moisturized(not dry, crunchy or brittle at all) all week until next wash day.

Ref: ytuber shorty2sweet

My Hair Recipes: Leave-In Conditioner (based on Kimmaytube leave-in)

Kimmay's Leave In

2 TBLSP Aloe Vera Juice
2 TBLSP Conditioner(Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture)
2 tsp natural oil(jojoba/coconut/melted shea butter or combination)
2 tsp cold pressed castor oil

Combine all ingredients in container.
Stir very well.
Put lid on container and shake well.
Measure ph(should be between 4.5-5.5)


My Revised Leave-In

2 TBLSP Aloe Vera Juice
2 TBLSP Conditioner
2 tsp jojoba oil
2 tsp coconut or olive oil

same instructions as above.

  • Wintertime Leave-In: I feel I need a heavier oil in the wintertime so I replace jojoba/coconut/olive oil with 3 tsp homemade melted shea butter mix.
  • I use 3 tsp of homemade melted shea butter oil because when I used the total of 4 tsp the leave-in was way too oily.
  • I'm also experimenting with reducing the Aloe Vera Juice because my hair was looking stringy and jheri curlish.

Ref: ytuber kimmaytube

Saturday, December 22, 2012

My Hair Recipes: Aloe Moisturizing Spritz(ph-balanced)

My Current(Dec 2012) Aloe Ph-balanced Moisturizing Daily Spritz

1/8 - 1/4 cup Aloe Vera juice
1 cup water
1-2 tsp conditioner(Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture)
1-2 dropperful coconut oil

Combine in spray bottle and shake well.

This should be ph-balanced to between 4-5.

  • My original recipe was the following:
  • ¼ cup Aloe Vera juice
  • 1 ¼ cup water
  • 1-2 tsp conditioner(Tresemme)
  • 1-2 dropperful coconut oil

  • I found that my hair was looking stringy and jheri-curlish with the original recipe so I figured that my ph was too low. At the time I was aiming for 4.5 ph. I've now set my goal to a ph of 5 with the current recipe(at top of page). At this ph my hair is not as stringy and it is so so soft and very manageable(meaning not a tangled, dry mess).

My Hair Recipes: Whipped and Creamy Shea Butter Mix

Whipped Shea Butter crème(step 1)

Raw Shea Butter as base
½ – 1 tsp jojoba oil
½ – 1 tsp olive oil
½ – 1 tsp coconut oil
½ - 1 tsp avocado oil or whatever oils you like to use

Add all oils to raw shea butter in mixing bowl.
Mix with hand mixer until smooth and consistency of whipped frosting.

Creamy Shea Butter Mix(step 2)

  1. Fill container half full of melted coconut oil as base(or favorite oil)
  2. Add a dollop at a time of the whipped shea butter creme(see above recipe) to the melted coconut oil and stir.
  3. Continue adding whipped shea butter crème a little at at time the mixture begins to leave a thin coating on spoon.
  4. Let cool.
  5. The mixture may still look thin but as it cools and the coconut oil solidifies and the mixture will thicken up to a nice soft, smooth, creamy texture.
  • IF TOO THICK, then add more melted coconut oil(or favorite oil) A LITTLE AT A TIME and stir very well until creamy and smooth
  • IF TOO THIN, then add more whipped shea butter mix(see above recipe) A LITTLE AT A TIME and stir very well until creamy and smooth.

I use this as a sealer once I spritz my hair and/or in my twistouts.

Ref: based on ytuber NAPTURAL85

My Hair Recipes: Prepoo/Deep Conditioner

This series of Hair Recipe posts contain the recipes/products I make/use on my hair.  The NOTES section contain additional information and/or my observations of how my hair responded when I used these recipes.

PREPOO(before cleanse) OR DEEP CONDITIONER(after cleanse)
  • conditioner - deep condition the hair prior to shampoo
  • oil - coat hair with good natural oil
  • other optional natural additives

PREPOO/DEEP CONDITIONING PRODUCTS(when choosing/buying products I aim for little to no petrolatum/mineral oil, etc)
  1. Moisture-Based Deep Conditioner
  • Lustrasilk Cholesterol(Mango Shea Butter, Tea Tree, Olive Oil, or Organic)
  • Tigi Bed Head
  • Tresemme Naturals
  • Mayonnaise

   2. Protein-based Deep Conditioner
  • Lustrasilk Moisture Max Olive Oil Hair Mayonnaise(olive oil, egg protein)
  • Lustrasilk Moisture Max Keratin Protein Hydrate Therapy(keratin amino acids, silk amino acids, hydrolyzed collagen)
   3. Natural Oils
  • coconut
  • olive
  • jojoba
  • vitamin E
   4. Other additives(optional-I do not use these in my prepoo/deep condition at this time)
  • aloe vera gel/juice
  • vegetable glycerin
  • honey
  • peppermint oil
  • avocados
  • kiwi
  • mangos
  • lemon pulp(to clarify)
  • eggs and mayonnaise(protein)
  • plain oatmeal(to make a mask)

    FOR PREPOO: I use Lustrasilk Cholesterol as base and add coconut oil and stir to mix well. Apply to my damp-spritzed hair and sit under heating cap for 30 minutes.

    FOR MOISTURE-BASED DEEP CONDITION: Depending on my mood I use the Lustrasilk Cholesterol as a base and may/may not add a little Tresemme and/or Tigi Bed Head and olive oil and/or any other oil of choice and sit under the heating cap for 30 minutes.

    FOR PROTEIN-BASED DEEP CONDITION: I either use the Lustrasilk Moisture Max Olive Oil Hair Mayonnaise either alone or mixed with the Lustrasilk Cholesterol and sit under the heating cap for 30 minutes. For a heavier protein-based deep conditioner I use the Lustrasilk Moisture Max Keratin Protein Hydrate Therapy.
To make an all natural protein-based deep conditioner add:

  • eggs
  • mayonnaise
  • silk amino acids
  • other hydrolyzed proteins
  1. prepoo weekly 
  2. prepoo more in winter
  3. prepoo after braid out to make washing hair easier
  4. At this time(Dec 2012) I use the Lustrasilk conditioners mixed with various oils and such. I have made my own all natural deep conditioner with mayonnaise, honey, aloe vera juice and some oils and I did not like how my hair came out. It seemed like all that concoction just sat on my hair and didn't penetrate at all so I went back to using store bought products for my deep conditioner. I will at some point revisit an all natural deep conditioner. I'll play around with the amounts/proportions of these ingredients. Back then I just poured stuff in and mixed it together. I have more of an understanding of how my hair responds to certain ingredients now. I'm also finding that it seems that as my hair gets longer it 'tolerates' products that it seemed to not tolerate before.
  5. After reading The Science Of Black Hair(as of Dec 2012) I have added a protein-based deep conditioner to my staple products and regimen.

ref: ytuber JourneyToMyRoots

My staple products and regimen

The categorizing of my staple hair products came from the 'blueprint' I found in The Science of Black Hair.  I just filled in these categories with what I was using.  What I did not have prior to reading this book were protein-based products.  Once I read about the importance of a moisture-protein balance in our haircare regimen, I then researched some products and purchased them and I began using the protein-based deep conditioner.  I LOVE it.  I'll have to highlight the Lustrasilk Moisture Max Olive Oil Hair Mayonnaise w/ egg protein in another post.  I've used it twice and it is becoming one of my favorite products.  The products listed in the protein-based leave-in I do not use on myself.  I use them on my daughter's transitioning hair.  I have not come up with a protein-based leave-in conditioner for myself.  I'm not too sure I need one if I get my protein through my deep conditioner.  I am considering purchasing some liquid silk amino acids to put in my moisture-based deep conditioner once or twice a month or in my daily spritz.  I've read many good things about silk amino acids so I do want to try them.

This chart contains my staple products and their purpose in my regimen along with the frequency of their use.

Sulfate Free
  • Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Shampoo
  • Pantene/Dove/John Freida shampoo-any shampoo in the closet
as needed to remove buildup
  • Nexus Aloe Rid Chelating Shampoo
Monthly or as needed to remove mineral buildup from hard water
Moisture-based Deep Conditioner
  • Lustrasilk Shea Butter/Tea Tree
  • Tresemme Naturals
  • Tigi Bed Head Moisture Maniac
Protein-based Deep Conditioner (Light/Moderate-Heavy/Intense)
  • Lustrasilk Moisture Max Olive Oil Hair Mayonnaise w/ egg protein – light/moderate
  • Lustrasilk Moisture Max Hydrating Therapy Deep Conditioner w/ keratin – Heavy/intense
Light – every 2 -6 weeks depending on damage(light)
Mod/Intense- every 4-6 weeks
Moisture-based Leave-In
  • Tresemme Naturals
  • Tresemme/Aloe Vera Juice/Oil of choice
After hair is shampooed or every 1-3 days as needed for hydration
Protein-based Leave-In
  • Shea Moisture Yucca and Baobab Volumizing Conditioner
  • Nubian Heritage Indian Hemp & Tamanu Grow & Strengthen Treatment Masque
  • Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream(occasionally; contains silicones)
     (**** I don't use these products.  I use these on my daughter's transitioning hair ******)
After hair is shampooed or every 1-3 days as needed for protein support
  • Raw Shea Butter/homemade creamy shea butter mix
After moisturizer to provide seal
Oils – Essential/Carrier
  • Lavendar
  • Rosemary
  • Tea Tree
  • Peppermint
  • Jojoba
  • Olive
After moisturizer to provide seal
  • Coconut
  • Avocado
Styler/Gels/Heat Protectant
  • Flax Seed Gel
  • Aloe Vera Juice

  • Nubian Heritage Honey & Black Seed Heat Protect Keratin Spray

Setting Lotions/Foams
  • None
  • None

Friday, December 14, 2012

My twistouts(on old wash and go)

The main goal in doing my twistouts on old wash and gos is to stretch or elongate my curls while preserving whatever curl definition I have at the time of my dry, frizzy wash and go so I don't comb through each medium sized section of hair.  I don't even rake with my fingers so much.

My second goal is to re-hydrate my hair.

(Note:  I do re-hydrate without twisting my hair but after a few days my curls have retreated to the surface of my scalp and you can't see them and the only thing you can see on the outside is frizz.)

This is my procedure:
1.  Spritz medium(not small) sized section of hair with my water/aloe vera juice/Tresemme/oil spritz until slightly damp...just enough to where I feel my hair softens up and I can manipulate it.  All of the hair in the section is not wet.  It doesn't take much spritzing at all...just a little.  

2.  Once hair is slightly misted in the section I smooth the spritz water concoction onto the section of hair focusing on moistening the frizzy parts and stretching out all the curls that have curled up ONTO my scalp, leaving my curls intact. 

3.  I lightly smooth my homemade creamy shea butter mix onto the ends first, and then onto the rest of the section.

3.   So now I have a section of hydrated and sealed curls in my hand.  I split them in 2 and then twist, again, leaving the curls intact, not pulling the hair straight and twisting, but holding the section loosely and twisting the curls, if that makes sense. 

Depending on my mood or desired effect I either twist tight twists or loose twists.  Based upon my experimentation, tight twists results in a more defined twistout but with the twistout spiral being the dominant pattern.  I don't see my curl pattern as much once I take the twists out.  But loose twists tend to preserve my curls more so once it's dry and un-twisted I have a 'textured' twistout and my twistout is fuller....a more 'crinkly' look that I've come to love.  I don't have any close-up pics but "such as I have, I give thee..".  :-)

twistout on old wash and go

Because my hair is not saturated with water but just slightly damp, my hair dries in a short time.  Most days I sleep overnight in the twists and take them out the next day.  That style will last me another (2-3 days) and then it's time to rinse/co-wash again.   Also, by then I'm ready to feel water, sho-nuff, in my hair again and I'm looking forward to a wet saturated head again. 

I love the fullness that a damp/almost dry twistout gives and I love the fact that my curls are stretched and I can see my length more. I really like this method of elongating my curls somewhat and stretching the time between having to co-wash/rinse my hair during the winter.  I have done twistouts after co-washing(wet twistout) but I find I don't have the fullness with the wet twistouts that I do with the damp/dry twistouts.  I prefer the damp/dry twistouts.  So with this method I get the versatility of my wash and gos that I love and my curl-elongating twistouts in one week's worth of hair styles.  

I think this will work for me at this stage of hair growth and length.  I keep reading that this awkward  stage of length can be challenging to figure out how to style hair.  I hope this is something that will continue to work for me.

Here are pics of a more recent twistout on old wash and go...

Dec 2012

My wash and go

So being a new natural this past summer, a wash and go was the first thing I did on my hair.  I co-wash or rinse my hair and then use Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture as my moisturizing conditioner.  For the summer I would leave all the conditioner in my hair and smooth it through my hair and then let it air dry. 

I then learned how to add other product to my conditioner to make my 'homemade' leave-in.  I would add aloe vera juice/Tresemme/jojoba-coconut oil together and shake it up and put it on my hair as my leave-in.  For the winter, though, I figured I would need something a little 'heavier' so I used my homemade shea butter mix in place of the jojoba-coconut oil in my leave in.

As for defining my curls I apply my leave-in 1 of 2 ways, depending on my mood.  
  • For more defined(and shrunken) curls: I smooth my leave in conditioner in small sections of my hair at a time.  I smooth more than I rake and I smooth until the feel of my hair changes in my hand/fingers.  I can feel my hair soften and get real smooth. Each curl is clumped and very defined with very little to no frizz. 
  • For less defined curls and fuller look(which may include a bit of frizz):   I just apply my leave-in to my entire head without applying in sections.  I don't smooth as extensively as when I apply in sections. I just try to make sure all my hair has conditioner on it and then let it be.
There is another method I use to define my curls now that my hair is longer.  I just apply my leave-in in large sections, not smoothing as intricately as I used to, but making sure everything is covered and then shake my head.  I shake bent over at the waist(upside down), back and forth, side to side.  After the shaking my curls are clumped and defined.   

Here are some pics of my still wet wash and go.

 Once it dried, here is how it looked:

I am one who does not care for the shrinkage that results from my wash and gos.  I do loooovveee wash and gos but I don't like the shrinkage.  So now I'm on a mission to find a way to stretch my curls once my wash and go has dried.  As of now what I do is to wear my shrunken wash and go until it becomes kind of frizzy and dry (about 2 or 3 days) and then do a twist out on slightly damp hair.  See next post....

Sunday, December 9, 2012

My natural hair (s)heros!!

When the rumblings of going natural began to stir inside of me I began researching information on african american natural hair and I came across the website www.naturallycurly.com.  I lived on that website and read everything I could on topics I had questions about and the new things I was learning.  I don't remember how I came across MahoganyCurls on youtube but her channel was the first natural hair channel that I came across that I fell in love with.   She was the first one I "cut my natural hair teeth" on.  I learned about The Curly Girl Method from her and WaterLily716 on youtube.  I bought the book and began doing the CG Method.  Then there is Miss Naptural85!!!!   They convinced me to go ahead and go for it (just by watching their videos) and listen to what I was feeling inside re: going natural.

After my big chop I have received so much inspiration from watching videos of so many other natural hair youtubers, such as Coilyheachick, Cestmoiamii, Blackizbeautyful, LHDC  and 007newnew just to name a few.  There are many others but it would just take too long to type them all out but I am grateful for so many naturals who are willing to share their journey and inspire those of us who follow them.

In my research and reading on the ingredients that companies put into their haircare products I've learned how unhealthy many of these ingredients can be so I've decided to keep my hair products as close to natural as I can so I make my own raw shea butter mix based on Naptural85's recipe. I use my own homemade flax seed gel again, based on Naptural85's recipe.  I also use the Oil Cleanse Method for my facial care regimen.  I started this after I started using raw shea butter and using it on my son's eczema and seeing how wonderful his skin looked after using it so I incorporated raw shea butter into my skin care regimen.  I make my own body butter based on a recipe I found on youtube.  So instead of using commercial lotion my family uses my homemade body butter for the winter.  I don't know what we'll do for the summer.  I'm thinking of using jojoba oil infused with a light fragrance just to splash on after bath/shower when it's summertime.   

I don't use too many store-bought, commercial products.  I do use SheaMoisture products for my daughter's hair mainly.  The only 'commercial non-natural' products I use are Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture silicone-free conditioner for detangling/moisture, VO5 or Suave Naturals for cowash and Lustrasilk Cholesterol/Hair Mayonnaise for deep conditioner. I will probably revisit using a homemade deep conditioner using mayo, eggs, yogurt, honey, etc.  The first time I tried something like that I didn't like how my hair felt so I just stuck with Lustrasilk cholesterol.  I try to use the ones made by Lustrasilk that don't have any mineral oil in them.  There are 3 that I know of that don't contain mineral oil and they seems to be hard to find.  I found them one time and bought about 4 at one time.  When I went to repurchase at the same store they didn't have it.  So I'm gonna have to do a little shopping around to see if I can find it or else I'll have to order online.

I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE my Tresemme.  I found out about this conditioner from Mahoganycurls and I do believe my hair loves it also.  My hair just melts into softness when I put it on. I sometimes combine the Tresemme with water, aloe vera juice and an oil of my choice(jojoba, coconut, and/or my homemade shea butter mix melted to oil consistency) into a spray bottle as a moisture spritz or into a cream-base leave-in(based on Kimmaytube) where it's thicker/creamier and I have to apply to my hair by hand.  I ph-balance all my homemade hair products.

What and/or who inspired you to go natural?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My (transition to) Big Chop

I did not transition to being all natural, meaning grow the perm out of my hair.  I big chopped in stages.  Being that my hubby cut my hair, I placed myself in his very capable hands and he decided to cut a little at a time.  No, my hubby is not a licensed hairstylist but he cuts his own hair and our sons.  He just has a good eye:-)  These first pics are from my relaxed, long hair days:  The black headband was covering up all the new growth that I hadn't touched up/permed and was considering NOT touching up!  :-)

My hubby cut this style for me

It got shorter as time went on and we both were more confident in how it turned out

I was soooo anxious and excited to see my natural hair I told him to cut it completely off.  I was tired of dealing with 2 textures even though it was much shorter than it had been.  So this is with he did next:

I eventually got tired of those "strings" hanging in my face and had hubby cut those off as well.  This is what we ended up with:

I absolutely love being natural.  I'm having a ball learning my hair.  I so look forward to the day(s) each week when  it's time to (re)do my hair.  I love experimenting with different techniques and products.  I am not a product junkie and have not tried a lot of products but I think I have found my staple products and a semblance of a regimen.  I'll share all of that in upcoming posts.

Did you big chop or (long-term) transition?

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