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Essential Night Time Routine for Natural Hair

Along with the appropriate moisturizer, shampoos, conditioners and treatment methods, doing the right things before you sleep is important to ensure your natural afro or curls is well looked after.

Twists or Corn-rows Before Bed
Natural hair doesn’t need to be wrapped (using a comb or brush to sweep the hair around the head into a mound) before bedtime because it doesn’t need to be kept straight. The best way of preserving shape and keeping hair strands together is to twist the hair in sections or plait it in corn-rows.

The smaller the twist, the tighter the curls in the morning once they are loosened, but generally dividing hair into fist-sized sections and twisting (by diving each section into two and twisting gently but firmly until you reach the tip) is adequate, as are corn-rows plaited from the front to the back of the head. Both styles keep the hair in shape rather than splayed out all over your head.

In the morning, separating the twists or corn-rows with your fingers is preferable to combing it out. The less use of combs and brushes the better as these can pull out natural hair which is very delicate.

Moisturize Both the Scalp and Ends
Natural hair, especially the ends, needs more moisture than other types of hair. Dry ends lead to breakage so keeping both the scalp and tips well-oiled at night is a must. Light oils (olive or avocado oil works well) are better than thicker ones like Pink Oil, which can just sit on your hair and make it lank and heavy. Sparse oiling of the scalp followed by a bit more for the ends of each of your twists is recommended before bed time. The average sleeping time of six to eight hours, and the lack of harmful interference from sunlight or winds means nightly moisturizing is the best time for giving your hair the nutrients it needs. Repeat the light oiling for both the scalp and ends in the morning.

Silk Scarves and/or Silk Pillowcases
As you sleep, your hair rubs against the pillow and against itself which can also lead to breakage. This rubbing can be reduced with the use of a silk or satin pillowcase because these are made from softer materials that’s kinder to hair than cotton. The hair oils you’ve put in is also more likely to remain on your hair if you use silk or satin pillowcases.

Because natural hair doesn’t need to be wrapped, you can twist and sleep without a scarf, provided you’re sleeping on a silk or satin pillow case. You may, however, choose to wear a scarf as extra protection, and it’ll also ensure smoother hair in the morning.

There may be other night time routines you find work well for your hair, but doing these three things regularly goes a long way in managing natural hair.

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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.

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How to Moisturize Natural Hair


Moisture is one of the main components to achieving healthy natural hair. Using quality ingredients is also necessary for proper hair growth.

Because African American hair in its natural state can become dry, brittle, and prone to severe breakage it is a must to moisturize the hair each day for optimum results.

Many people are turned off by their natural hair texture due to lack of knowledge and not understanding how to properly care for their hair in its original natural state; so many women revert back to harmful chemicals with the assumption that their hair will become “more manageable” which is untrue. Natural hair is versatile and manageable with the proper knowledge.

Did you know that water based products aid in moisture retention and pentrates the hair shaft?
Using hair grease does the opposite; it draws moisture away from the hair and accumulates dirt and pollutants onto the hair shaft, thereby, hindering hair growth and causing dryness.

Water based products are essential for imparting the proper levels of moisture to properly moisturize natural hair; look for products that are all natural and organic when possible.

In the event you can’t find all natural or organic products choose products that have water (aqua), or aloe vera as the first ingredient.
Natural hair is so beautiful, unique, and bold. The versatility natural hair offers is amazing, and more importantly there are no dangerous chemicals coming in contact with the scalp, nor are there any concerns about over-processing the hair.

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Things You’ll Need:

Moisturizing Shampoo
Deep Conditioner
Leave in Moisturizing Conditioner
Hair Accessories

INSTRUCTIONS
Step 1
Shampoo your scalp with an invigorating all natural or organic moisturizing shampoo; you can also add coconut oil, jojoba oil, or any other oil to ensure it does not dry out your natural strands. This really works wonders and it helps to combat unnecessary dryness. Concentrate on cleansing the scalp—this stimulates hair growth and keeps the scalp free of dandruff.

Step 2
Apply a quality deep conditioner to your hair, and use a stream room– if you have one, while the conditioner is in your hair– this is amazing for maximum penetration. No steam room, no worries, use a steaming towel– place a wet (no saturated) towel into the microwave for a few seconds and place the towel on your head for several minutes. You could also use a plastic cap and sit under a hooded dryer for 30-45 minutes, this is also effective. Detangle your strands while they are saturated with conditioner under running water. After rinsing out the conditioner gently squeeze the excess water from your hair instead of roughly pulling your hair with a cotton towel which causes friction that leads to broken strands and dryness.

Step 3
Apply a generous amount of a all natural water based leave in moisturizing conditioner or add aloe vera to your favorite leave in conditioner from the ends of your hair working your way up, paying close attention to the ends of your hair, which is more prone to breakage and dryness.

Step 4
Apply a natural carrier or essential oil to your hair, try coconut oil, peanut oil is great, castor oil, glycerin, or olive oil to seal in the moisture, this helps to keep the hair shaft moist for a longer time frame and reduces breakage and combats that awful dryness and tangles natural hair tends to get from time to time.

Step 5
Gently gather your hair into a bun if it is long enough, always lubricate the hair band before placing it around your hair, this reduces friction that cause breakage and dryness. If your hair is too short for a bun consider pulling your hair back using a silk or satin head scarf to protect gorgeous mane.

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My Love Affair With Carol’s Daughter Loc Butter





I’m continuing my love affair with Carols Daughter Loc Butter. It smell deliciously luscious,and its light, yet moisturizing. Check out my latest hair style with the help of my sister-friend LaDonna McLean. She created this up-do for me to show off my lovely head of loc’s..

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Nappy Hair Kitchen

Hair Moisturizers

Most of the ingredients in these recipes can be found in your refrigerator. Recipes with perishable ingredients may require refrigeration since they do not contain preservatives. These recipes are quick to make and will save you time and money. As with ANY recipe, you may have to play with the ingredients a little bit to suit you. These are hair moisturizing recipes that are simple, natural, and beneficial for ALL hair. These recipes will add moisture, sheen, and softness to your hair.

Lemon & Honey Rinse

2 Teaspoons Honey
1/4 Cup Lemon juice
4 Cups Warm water

Mix ingredients together. Wash as usual. Apply mixture thoroughly through hair. Do NOT rinse.

Honey Rinse

1 Teaspoon Honey
4 Cups Warm water

Mix the ingredients. Wash as usual. Apply mixture thoroughly through hair. Do NOT rinse.

Honey & Olive Oil Conditioner

1 Tablespoon Honey
1/2 Teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Cup warm water

Mix honey and olive oil well. Add to water and stir well. Distribute evenly all over the hair. Apply plastic cap for 15-20 minutes. Rinse well. Style as usual.

Mayo Conditioner

3 – 4 Tablespoons mayonnaise (real mayonnaise, NOT salad dressing)

With hair wet or dry, cover hair with mayonnaise. Apply plastic cap for 15-20 minutes. Rinse, then style as usual.

Note: Leaving a minimal amount in the hair will keep it soft and moisturized.

Hot Olive Oil Treatment

1 – 2 Teaspoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Sandwich bag (with zip closure)

Put olive oil in the bag and zip it. Run hot water over the bag until desired temperature (DO NOT OVERHEAT!!!).Apply olive oil all over your hair. Apply plastic cap for 5 – 10 minutes. Rinse, then style as usual.

Homemade Dandruff Treatment
1/2 Cup White Vinegar
1/2 Cup Water

Mix the ingredients and stir well. Apply to the scalp. Let sit for 5 – 7 minutes. Rinse well.

Note: You can put this mixtue in a plastic bottle and spray in onto the scalp for ease of use.

Homemade Citrus Hair Spray

1 Orange

2 Cups Water

Chop the orange and boil until 1/2 the original contents are gone. Strain, cool, and put into a spray bottle. Add more water if too sticky. Refrigerate after use.

Homemade Hair Gel

1 Teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1 Cup warm water

Dissolve the gelatin in the warm water. Keep refrigerated and use as you would any hair gel. It’s that simple!

oz = ounce
tsp = teaspoon
tbs = tablespoon
c = cup

carols daughter, hair style, ladonna mclean, loc butter, loc's, locks, love affair, luscious, miss naturrale, miss sixx, mouisturizer, up do

My love affair with Carols Daughter Loc Butter




I’m continuing my love affair with Carols Daughter Loc Butter. It smell deliciously luscious,and its light, yet moisturizing. Check out my latest hair style with the help of my sister-friend LaDonna McLean. She created this up-do for me to show off my lovely head of loc’s..

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Product Review- Carol Daughter Loc Butter

Many of you that know me personally, know that I constantly complain about my curly, sometimes frizzy locs. Usually after I re twist my hair looks frizzy after 3 -4 days. I heard about Carols Daughter Loc butter ( http://www.carolsdaughter.com/). I must admit the $15 price tag was a little to steep for my purse. I’d asked many loc wearers about the product they used and to my amazement none of them mentioned Carols Daughter. I cam upon the Carols Daughter store while I was in Jersey City, NJ and the sales person was doing her job that day! She sold me the loc butter, Marguerite magic for my daughter and gave me several samples of the bath oil and body butter. I had the loc butter 2 weeks before I used it- ok the day is here.. I washed my hair as usual, sat down and started to re twist.. I was initially surprised at the light feeling of loc butter. I wasn’t greasy, but provided the right amount of oil. I re twisted all my loc’s, then took the loc and twisted them into bandu knots for a wavy/curly effect. After I my hair dried I un twisted the knots, and I had a beautiful head of wavy loc’s. I styled them as usual ( the front braided back, and the back hanging down) it lasted two weeks!!!!! I was shocked. I thought ok, it was a fluke, lets try this again.. Again, I washed my hair and palm twisted my loc’s, sat under a hooded dryer and the result was BEAUTIFUL!!!!… The second time, I didnt want the wavy effect, so I really got a chance to see my length, and my hair dried in 1 hour. When I use gels, and shea butters usually my hair takes + 1.5 hours to dry…

I highly recommend Carol’s Daughter Loc Butter for loc/natural hair. I thought long and hard about purchasing the product, because I didn’t know anyone who’d personally tried it. I wasn’t thrilled about the $15 price tag- a little goes a long way, I still have practically a whole jar and I’ve used it twice. There’s no residue build up. The product is light, yet functional. Also, I LOVE the aroma!!! Originally, this was another concern. I had no idea what the product would smell like. Carol’s Daughter did not disappoint! I will definitely purchase it again!