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Moisturizing and Sealing Natural Hair

Moisturizing and sealing natural hair is one area that new naturals often find difficulty in, when they’re initially learning how to care for natural hair. Moisturizing and sealing are two basic steps that can be done in a matter of minutes.


The first thing that you need to know is what should be used to accomplish both parts of the process. Moisturizing should be done with water alone, or water followed by a water based leave in conditioner. Sealing is done with natural oils, to prevent moisture from leaving the hair. Natural oils are not moisturizers because most natural oils will not penetrate the hair shaft.

Below are the steps I take to seal and moisturize my hair:


Step 1Find A Water Based Leave In Conditioner
You want to be sure to stay away from products that contain petroleum, mineral oil, lanolin oil, and alcohol because these ingredients are notorious for blocking moisture from entering the hair strand which causes hair to eventually break. Look for natural ingredients like glycerin and natural oils, with water being one of the first three ingredients listed. I make my own leave in.

Here’s the recipe:


Aloe Vera Juice
Rosemary Essential Oil
Lemongrass Essential Oil
Jojoba Oil
Vegetable Glycerin (optional)
Distilled Water
Spray bottle

Fill up 50% of the bottle with aloe vera juice, leaving space to add the essential oils, jojoba, glycerin, and water. Next add 10 drops of rosemary and lemongrass essential oil and three to five drops of jojoba oil. Add a small amount of vegetable glycerin ( 1-2 cap full). Lastly fill the rest of the bottle with distilled water and shake up

Aloe Vera moisturizes the hair and keeps it soft. It is packed with vitamin B12, vitamin C, amino acids, minerals, and salicylic acid. It has been used for general hair health, hair growth, and also as a hair shampoo and conditioner.

Rosemary Essential Oil stimulates hair follicles, therefore increasing hair strength, hair growth, and for dry and flaky scalps. It has also been used as a remedy for mental fatigue.

Lemongrass Essential Oil stimulates hair follicles and also adds a refreshing citrus fragrance to the leave-in conditioner. It has anti-bacterial properties and is calming and soothing to the body.

Jojoba Oil is the closest oil to skin’s sebum. Therefore, is extremely healing and moisturizing for the hair. It is a non-greasy oil absorbing immediately into the hair. This will help with hair frizz and dryness.

Vegetable Glycerin is known for being a humectant. It is an amazing ingredient to add when air drying hair. It is amazing for curly hair and really dry hair. It should be used very sparingly so that it doesn’t create a sticky film.

Some commercial Leave in conditioners that are worth a try are:
Kinky Curly Knot Today and  Giovanni Direct Leave In

Step 2Choose A Natural Oil
Natural, unrefined, and virgin oils work best. Extra virgin olive oil and unrefined coconut oil not only seal moisture into the hair but it improves the health of hair as well. Jojoba oil is a good sealant for people who are acne prone since it’s lighter and less likely to clog pores. ( I use a mix of coconut oil, Amla oil, grapeseed oil, and castor oil)

Step 3Moisturize Hair
Starting with wet hair, Split hair into 4 sections. take a quarter amount of leave in , spread it between your hands, and distribute throughout your hair ensuring that you saturate all the strands. Use more for longer and thicker hair and less for shorter and thinner. Be sure to pay extra attention to the ends of your hair since they are prone to drying and breaking.

Step 4Seal In Moisture With Your Oil * optimal on (co)wash day(s)*working from the same 4 sections. Spread a dime size amount of oil in between hands and distribute to each section. Avoid applying more than a dime size amount of oil to each section or hair may become too oily.

Continue the steps until all sections are completed.

Step 5

Style as normal. When I’m not in a protective style, my styling choices are twist outs, braid outs, and buns.

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Old School Making a Comeback- Crisco

We’re all familiar with the blue can – it was probably a staple in all our childhood kitchens. Lately, there has been a lot of chatter about the benefits of Crisco for your skin and hair. Sounds rather bizarre, doesn’t it? Let’s look at the ingredients of Crisco: Soybean oil, fully hydrogenated cottonseed oil, partially hydrogenated cottonseed and soybean oils. Because the oils are partially hydrogenated, they are solid at room temperature and have a fatty consistency that is lighter than butter (made up of saturated fats). So, basically, natural oils hydrogenated to turn them into solid form. I use natural oils on my skin and hair all the time-Jojoba Oil, Vitamin E Oil, Almond oil, Emu oil, Avocado Oil, and Grapeseed Oil. Because it is made up of oil, Crisco is not a moisturizer, but it’s a great sealant!!!! You dont’ need to use a lot of it to get great results either (a little goes a LOOOOONG way). If you’re heavy-handed with product though, then you can add cornstarch to your Crisco to keep it from feeling too greasy.

I have read that Crisco is used in hospital settings to treat burn victims and those with severe eczema. It has also been used on skin tears caused by edema (severe swelling due to fluid accumulation).

Through some internet research I discovered Julia’s Goat Milk Soap Company http://www.juliasgoatmilksoap.com/ . Julia create and sell Herbal and Vegatable Based Soaps with Crisoc as the base for an Homemade Eczema Treatment.

Outside of the medical community, countless women (and probably a few men) are using Crisco on their faces, bodies and hair – and reporting great results. And it’s cheap. Under $5 for the small can which should last a really long time.

Does anyone use Crisco on their hair presently, in a past life, or all of the above? Inquiring minds want to know.
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Oils For Hair Growth


Oils have been used throughout history to preserve the life and vitality of hair. Their stimulating, insulating and coating properties make them invaluable in hair care. The proper use of oils can help support hair growth.

What are Oils?

Oils are hydrophobic, or water-repelling, substances that trap moisture within the hair shaft. Water like essential oils applied to the scalp increase blood flow and nutrients to the area.

Functions

Oils promote hair growth in two ways: scalp stimulation and protection of pre-existing strands. Essential oils stimulate the scalp skin to encourage hair emergence. Heavier oils aid growth by fortifying the entire shaft against breakage. Reduced hair breakage over time produces longer hair.

Essential Oils

Peppermint and rosemary oils are scalp-stimulating essential oils that promote growth by controlling the overproduction of sebum, our natural skin oil. They increase scalp circulation by creating tingling sensations on the skin.

Carrier Oils

Jojoba and sweet almond oils are heavier oils that closely mimic the structure of sebum. Carrier oils like these are used to dilute lighter essential oils to reduce scalp and skin irritation.

Fixed Oils

Coconut and castor oils are heavier oils that promote hair growth by reducing hair breakage along the shaft. These softening oils also impart pliable strength to the length of the hair.

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Jojoba Butter – WHO KNEW????

I have been recently introduced to Jojoba Butter. I saw some at a health food store I visited earlier today. I’ve never heard of it before-It is 100% pure jojoba oil processed to be in a “butter” form. They had a sample jar and I tried a little bit of it.

It is very creamy and soft, much more so than cocoa butter. It felt like softened shea butter. It was white in color and didn’t have much of a smell. It was very rich and a little bit went a long way.

With the cold weather fast approaching, I thought that it might be good for my skin.

After some research- here is what I found out….

Jojoba Butter

Jojoba Oil is the most similar to sebum, the protective secretion from the skin’s sebaceous glands. Sebum lubricates and protects skin and hair. Jojoba provides similar benefits and is now available in butter form.

This natural butter is expeller-pressed from the fruit (nut) of the jojoba plant. This odorless butter makes it an ideal base for hair conditioners and suntan lotions.

Jojoba Butter contains protein, minerals, natural tocopherol, high content of eicosenoic acid, and long chain monounsaturated fatty acids, as well as a waxy substance similar to collagen. Hypo-allergenic and pure, Jojoba Butter is perfect for any skin type.

Common uses of Jojoba Butter

Creams
Lotions
Soaps
Pomades
After-Sun Creams and Lotions
Sun Protection Products
Hair Conditioners
Benefits of Jojoba Butter

Reduces wrinkles and stretch marks
Helps lighten and heal scars
Acts as a humectant by creating a protective film over skin and hair shaft that seals in moisture
Dissolves clogged pores and returns skin to natural pH balance
Penetrates pores and hair follicles rapidly to reduce water loss
Feels non-greasy
Aids spread ability and lubricity
Effective conditioner, moisturizer, and softener for skin and hair
Jojoba Butter

(Simmondsia Chinensis)

Jojoba Butter (Oil) comes from a shrub that grows well in the arid and semi-dry regions of southern California, Arizona, and northwest Mexico.

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Trader Joe’s Peppermint Castile Soap is da bomb!!!!!!!!

Trader Joe’s Peppermint Castile Soap

Features All Natural

Body Wash
Children’s hand soap
Cleansing
Fragrant soap
Hand Soap
Hydrating soap
Liquid Soap
Mild soap
Moisturizing soap
Multi purpose soap
Organic
Paraben free
aromatherapy

I’ve been using Trader Joe’s Peppermint Castile Soap for about 3 weeks. Not only is it very affordable – under $3.00 per 16 ounces, but I love the fresh peppermint aroma and the lather it produces. BONUS!! It’s mild enough to use as a facial wash, body wash AND a shampoo. This product is also mild enough for use with babies and children. I like it so much I actually wish I’d known about it years ago. Trader Joe’s Peppermint Castile leaves me feeling clean and invigorated after my shower.

Upon further research of Trader’s Castile, I found you can use this soap for numerous things: to make a natural household cleaner, to make a natural bug and spider repellant, for washing delicate clothing and for shampooing pets. I haven’t yet tested these other uses but am planning to soon.

RECEIPE:
Peppermint Patty Shampoo

8 oz Trader Joe’s Peppermint Castile Soap
2 tablespoons of safflower oil or Evoo
2 tablespoons of organic honey
1 tablespoon of jojoiba oil or vitamin E oil

Pour all indgreidents into a bottle, shake well to mix all the products, shampoo hair as usual. ** shake well before each use, store in a cool, dark cabinet**

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Receipe: Aloe Vera Moisturizer Mist

Here is the receipe of my favorite moisturizer

Water
2 ounces Pure Aloe Vera Juice
2 ounces Coconut Oil or EVOO
1- Vitamin E capsule
1-2 tsp Glycerin or honey Quat
1-2 tsp jojoba Oil
2-3 drops of Rosemary EO ( or any EO of your choice) **optional**

Mix together in a spray bottle- Mist daily or as needed

** You can alter the amounts until you until you get the results you like***

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Loc Maintenance Oils-Essential & Others

What Oils Are Good

In a previous article regarding loc maintenance, I mentioned several oils — essential and otherwise — that can be good to have in your loc maintenance arsenal. Included in the list were:

Jojoba Oil: A carrier oil; closely emulates the natural oils produced by the sebacous glands

Sweet Almond Oil: also a carrier oil

Rosemary Essential Oil: assists with hair growth; should not be used by pregnant women

Extra Virgin Olive Oil: used for hot oil treatments; can be a carrier oil

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil: very aromatic; used to stimulate

The following herbs, which can be purchased as essential oils as well, should also be considered as part of your hair care regimen:

Chamomile: used to bring out the highlights in lighter colored hair

Horsetail: has a high silica content which helps relieve dry, brittleness; very moisturizing

Mint: stimulates the scalp

Nettle: a stimulant and helps with dandruff

Sage: used in hair rinses to remove dandruff; helps to restore color to hair that is graying

Thyme: treats oily hair and dandruff

You must be very careful in your use of essential oils. Improper or overuse of essential oils can have adverse affects on some. Please be sure that you fully understand the use of essential oils before incorporating them into your natural hair care regimen. There are plenty of resources out on the Internet that can assist you in learning the proper use and storage of essential oils.
One of my readers asked if all the oils listed needed to be used and how should they be used. This article is in response to her questions, and also to further elaborate on how these can be incorporated into your hair care routine.

Carrier Oils

Carrier oils are healthy oils used as a base for other products. They “carry” the essential oils which are added to them to your hair, scalp and skin when a recipe calls for an essential oil to be infused or diluted. Two carrier oils that are great for your locs and natural hair are jojoba oil and sweet almond oil.

Jojoba Oil: Jojoba oil mimics the natural oils that the scalp’s sebacous glands excrete. However, care should still be taken to not over-use this or any other oil. Over-use will cause build up, resulting in dull, grayish locs that attract lint and dirt. This isn’t what we’re aiming for! Use a small amount of jojoba oil in your misting bottle to keep your tresses moisturized. Adding some ylang ylang for fragrance, as well as it’s uplifting properties will invigorate your hair and mind.

Sweet Almond Oil: This light, penetrable oil is also a great carrier oil. It also can be used in your misting bottle to moisturize. However, I suggest you use either jojoba or sweet almond — not both in the same misting bottle. Please remember that this oil is extracted from almonds. Those with nut sensitivities/allergies should be aware.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Although not recommend, extra virgin olive oil can be used as a carrier oil. It is a much heavier oil than jojoba or sweet almond, and therefore is not recommended for this purpose. Extra virgin olive oil is best used as a hot oil treatment, which would be thoroughly rinsed from your tresses, and as an ingredient in conditioners that will also be rinsed out of the hair.

Essential Oils

I cannot stress enough that one must understand the proper storage and use of essential oils. Misuse of these products can cause ill effects. Please read, learn, and understand all precautions of using any essential oil you may choose before incorporating them in your recipes and spritzes. The Internet holds a wealth of information and guidance on this subject. One site that I have used in the past is http://www.fromnaturewithlove.com. I am in no way associated with this site other than being a customer.

Rosemary: This essential oil has been noted to assist with hair growth. I recommend using weekly/bi-weekly. Some have been known to use daily; however, excess use may cause side effects. Rosemary is not recommended for use by pregnant women or those who may think they are pregnant.

Thyme: Used to control oil and dandruff, incorporating a weekly spritz of thyme can promote the healthy production of oil, while preventing dryness to the point of dandruff.

Nettle: Also used for the treatment of dandruff. This essential oil is known to promote hair growth.

Sage: Another remedy some use for dandruff control, sage is also known as a color restorative to hair which is graying.

Chamomile: Chamomile is known for its benefit to light colored hair — it enhances the natural highlights without chemicals.

Horsetail: Hair that suffers from brittleness can benefit from the essential oil, horsetail, via a bi-weekly spritz. The high amount of silica present in horsetail helps to soften and condition dry, brittle hair.

Adding a drop or two of Mint essential oil to any one above in your misting bottle will energize your scalp. Mint is a scalp stimulant, and stimulation is of course beneficial to blood flow and a healthy scalp.

How To Use

The question posed by the reader is “do we have to use them all and how?” The simple answer is “no.” However, there are some things one should consider…

If your hair has multiple, different symptoms of stress such as severe dandruff and brittleness, you may opt to treat one symptom at a time. This will ensure that you can accurately determine if the method you have used to treat the problem is working for you. It should help also to curb any instances of making one symptom worse while trying to alleviate another.

Let’s say you are having trouble with both brittleness ane dandruff. I would think that the first remedy you would like to attempt would be to get rid of the unsightly dandruff. So you would institute in your regimen methods that alleviate dandruff — a good, moisturizing natural shampoo known for its properties to combat dandruff. Then you would choose one of the essential oils mentioned here (or another that you have learned of elsewhere) which have properties that alleviate dandruff and, following proper care and handling instructions, infuse that essential oil in your spritz bottle or other recipe for your hair. You would stick with this regimen for at least 30 days in order to see if it resolves the dandruff issue. If not, you may have to try a different essential oil which is conducive to combatting dandruff.

Once you have gotten the dandruff problem under control, then you turn your concentration to the brittleness factor. Infuse a few drops, handled properly, in sweet almond oil and spritz your hair with this mixture once a week. I would not recommend using it more than weekly, else you may find yourself with a build up problem since this is an oil-based spritz and not water-based. Make sure to thoroughly spritz your tresses without saturating them. A gentle massage down the length of your locs will help ensures your tresses can easily benefit from this moisturizing spritz.

Now that you have both problems under control, you want to adjust your regimen to a “maintenance” level to avoid product build up or the adverse affects of over-use of your essential oils. Any product that is over-used, whether it contains essential oils or not, can be damaging to your hair, scalp, and or self. Never overdo it. Moderation is key. Maybe your maintenance can be as simple as a once a week spritz with the essential oil that combats dandruff, daily water spritzing, every-other-day spritzing with a water + humectant such as organic honey, and bi-monthly deep conditioning hot oil treatments with extra virgin olive oil.

I also suggest a bi-monthly ACV rinse (apple cider vinegar), especially if you are putting product in your hair daily (essential or other oils, herbal remedies, etc.). This will prevent product build up and dull looking locs. The rinse is easy enough to make and use yourself — one-part ACV with three-parts distilled water; while holding your head over a large bowl placed in the sink, pour the ACV rinse over your tresses making sure they are all saturated, repeating the process until all of the rinse is gone then rinse hair thoroughly with luke warm water.

Let’s Recap

No, you do not have to use all of the oils mentioned here in your regimen. Choose the oil(s) that will treat the condition(s) you are dealing with or the oil that will produce the benefit you are looking for (i.e., more sheen, softer locs, aromatic scents, etc.). Use of too much product can cause build up. And, again, please be sure you know the proper use and handling of any essential oil you choose. Know if there are other ingredients that you should not mix a particular essential oil with.

You must educate yourself on what you put in your hair before putting it in there! From Nature with Love is an excellent resource for information on the proper use and handling of essential oils. Do some research and learn what is best for your tresses.

Most importantly — Listen to your Locs! They will speak to you. They will tell you what they need and what they are getting too much of. They want to thrive for you. Help them become the beautiful head of natural hair that you have envisioned for yourself throughout your loc journey.