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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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You’ve Been Asking-My Hair Regime

Hair Type-3C

Natural off/on since 2005

Loc Rocker 2.5 years

Fro Rocker-2 months

Daily

Moisturize
· Homemade Hair spray bottle mix applied to hair daily (coconut milk, aloe juice, Curl Activator or glycerin, & distilled water)
· I use Orange Marmalade Hair Butter, Lemon Soufflé Twisting Butter, or Lemon Cream ( all products that I make)

Weekly

Cleanse-Co-Wash

· No-poo / conditioner wash – *Sun-Wed-Fri*
I use Moisture Milk- Strawberries & Cream by Vo5 or Coconut By Suave
Any “cheaper conditioner” will do

· When using the conditioner, make sure to totally saturate your hair
· Detangle hair with a detangling comb or a Denman Brush I only “comb” my hair on Sun- Wed-Fri while detangling

· Always use a leave-in conditioner after rinsing out the regular conditioner
I use Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In or Long Relationship ( by Herbal Essence)
· Then apply a moisturizer and/or styling product to define your curls

I use Orange Marmalade Hair Butter, Lemon Soufflé Twisting Butter, or Lemon Cream ( all products that I make)

· Seal ends with Castor/Coconut Oil Mix

Pre Poo Hair Treatment
· Hot Oil Treatment- Sunday
Hot Oil Treatment- Olive Oil ( or any other natural oil-coconut, jojoba, sesame, or Canola) + Honey ( make sure is PURE Honey- I prefer Raw Honey)
· 3tbls oil+3tbls honey=Hot Oil Treatment
o Sit bottle into a cup of hot water to warm mixture
o Pour the mixture over “Dry Hair”
o Apply heating cap for 30-60 minutes
o Rinse with cool water, then co wash or shampoo

Protective Styling


· Twist or Braid Hair at least 2-3 days a week (usually on Sun- Wed- Fri)
o Wear Twist Out or Braid Out styles
o Another option is Bantu Knots/French Braid/Corn Rows/2-Strand Twist
o Search You Tube for methods and other styling options

Bi-Weekly
Shampoo
· Shampoo hair with a sulfate free shampoo
o I use the shampoo that I make- If I use commerical brand I use Organix
o If your using shampoo with Sulfates, dilute the shampoo with distilled water and add Olive Oil

Monthly
Deep Condition

I mix either of the 2 recipes below to perform a deep condition once a month. I do not apply heat to my hair- therefore I never sit under the dryer.

Here is a picture of my hair- after applying the bannana mask

Banana Hair Mask (Protein)
Ingredients
· 1-2 jars of stage 2 banana baby food ( or 1 ripe banana pureed)
· 1 tbsp of honey
· 1 tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Directions
· Mix until smooth and creamyWork the mixture into your hair, paying particular attention to the ends (which tend to be more damaged). You can just use this mixture on your ends, if you prefer, especially if hair tends to be oily.
· Cover head with plastic wrap, and then wrap a warmed damp towel over the plastic wrap. Let the mixture sit on your hair for 15-20 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with water.

Avocado & Mayo DC (Protein)
Ingredients
· 1 egg
· 1 extremely ripe avocado
· 1 tbsp mayonnaise

Directions
· Blend all ingredients to make a smooth paste. Work the mixture into your hair, from scalp to ends Apply more at roots and ends. Cover your entire hair. Cover head with plastic wrap, and then wrap a warmed damp towel over the plastic wrap. This ensures a better absorption or deeper treatment. Let the mixture sit on your hair for 45-60 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with warm water

Coconut Honey Deep Conditioner (moisturizing)
Ingredients:
· 4 tbls Coconut oil
· 2 tbls Natural honey
Directions
· Place coconut oil and honey in a small plastic bag and place the bag in a hot cup of water for 1 minute to warm. Apply to hair, wrap hair in a towel for 20 minutes. Wash then dry hair

Length Retention
· Clip ends
· Keep hair braided or twisted for at least one out of 4 weeks

** Note**
Will soon be adding Henna and Bentonite Clay to my monthly regimen

Nightly
Pineapple Hair
· (Put up in a high pony tail) and put on a silk or satin bonnet or a silk scarf. In the least, use a satin pillow case. Curls can be very fragile and tangle easily. You want to avoid tangling as much as possible while sleeping.

Notes/Helpful Hints
1. Detangle only when the hair is soaking with conditioner and rinse
2. Spray hair with water daily to hydrate and seal with natural oil if wearing the hair in a natural style.
3. Rotate the conditioners (both moisturizing and protein) every other week so that the hair does not stop responding to them.
4. A hot oil treatment to be applied to hair for 20 minutes before shampooing once a month.
5. Use a strong protein treatment if any out-of-the-ordinary breakage occurs.
6. Keep the hair braided for at least one out of 4 weeks to save on a detangling session and for length retention.
7. Do not braid too close to the edges (small baby hairs) to avoid thinning of the hairline.
8. Clarify the hair once every 6-8 weeks or when a lot of product has been used during the week to get rid of build up. Do not do this often to prevent the hair from feeling ‘stripped’ and dry.
9. Limited Use-
· Shampoo – Can be drying / stripping; I dilute or add oil to my shampoo and use sparingly
· Silicones – Trying to use fewer products containing these. They coat/build up the hair shaft and cannot be removed by conditioner alone.
· Alcohol – very drying to the hair
10. Track your growth every 3 months with pictures.

** Feel free to alter this regime to suit your hair- these things works best for my hair**

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My Loc Take Down!!!!!

I’ve been debating about taking down my loc’s and starting them over for sometime now. I’ve been asking others there thought about me taking down my loc’s and I receive mixed responses. My loc’s were started 2.5 years ago with comb coils. As my hair begin to loc, I realized they were too fat ) especially on the top and the middle of my head). I wanted skinner, more uniformed loc’s. I’ve received so many “opinions” about width, size, etc. Ultimately I decided I had to be the decision maker and I needed to do what would make me happy in the long run. With that being said- Let’s start operation loc take down.

Day 1- July 11

Washed locs, and heavily laid on Mane N’ Tail conditioner with a heat cap. I left the cap on 30 minutes before I started the take down. I pulled one loc out from under the cap, and begun to pick with a rat tail comb. it took 1 hour for me to take down 1 loc!!!!!! F-R-U-S-T-R-A-T-I-N-G!!!! I had a spray bottle with conditioner and water – I sprayed every second.. gosh … IT HURT. After 5 hours, I’d only taken down 12 locs!!!! at this rate I’ll be doing this 3 months *sigh*


Day 2-July 12th

All day at work, I was thinking ” how can I speed up the take down process?”. Detangler!!! Maybe detangler would help.. I went to lunch and purchased a large bottle of Mane and Til detangler. I came home, ate dinner and spritzed my loc’s heavily with the detangler and the conditioner/water mix. I began to pick away…. *le sigh* lets just say Day 2 I only removed 3 locs!!!! The process wasn’t any faster and i was only more annoyed. enough for today.. will resume business tomorrow :C

Day 3-July 13th

Ok, Day 3 is here. I would have thought that after 3 days I would see more progress- NOT! I emailed my friend Kellee, who had taken down her loc’s. I inquired about her technique, and products to use. She advised that I was doing it correctly- and that its a very long process. It took her about 8 days to remove her loc’s. So I found some shows to watch on TV, laid out all my tools and got to work.. wet loc’s with water.. spritz with detangler.. spritz with conditioner/water mix… massage everything in.. snip the ends off.. pick..pick..pick.. after 3 hours I’d taken down 5 loc’s. Ive now made 5 my goal for each evening. too many more after 5 makes me very frustrated and my head start to hurt ( I’m tender headed).

Day 4th-July 14th

I was a wet mess last night with the double spritzing.. so I decided to put the detangler in to the conditioner/water mix.. *shrug shoulder*, couldn’t hurt, and I’m trying to reduce time. Man, I started with the really fat loc’s.. JESUZ!!!!! they took an hour to work through. whew.. I almost stopped at 4, but then I felt bad that I didn’t meet my target, so I did one more and I completed 5 ( YEAH ME!!). I see right now.. the fat ones are going to be difficult ( and they are all in the middle of my head and on top of my head).

Day 5-July 15th

I visited my local grocery store during lunch and noticed that the VO5 conditioner was on sale for $1. I began to browse though the assorted varieties- and came upon ” Tea Therapy” The chamomile is suppose to have a calming effect. So I jumped on it ( I’d started having anxiety attacks over the process.. it was getting to me- in a bad way). After work, I went straight home, ate dinner, got relaxed, and went to work on the next set of loc’s. This time, I told myself I wouldn’t count ( although I did) and I would take my time. Well I wet the loc’s and sprayed them one at a time with the VO5 conditioner/water mix.. Baby.. I was working em out!!! I worked from 7p-11p and had taken out 9 loc’s. Almost all of the front were taken down. I love the VO5 conditioner. its a little thicker than the Mane and Tail, and for this process- I think I rather use the least expensive of the two. Not sure if the Chamomile in the conditioner did its job with the calming effects- but I was calm.. and I found my rhythm. **Doing the cabbage patch**

Day 6- July 18th

OK.. today wasn’t so great- its the day AFTER the wine fest and I was nursing a MAJOR hangover. *Note to self* taste the wine- don’t DRINK IT…I washed my entire head- It was hot, I was sweating and I had been spraying conditioner in it all week so I figured I would wash my hair, and do as many as I could with a hangover. I worked from 2p-8p and I completed 8- the entire front is loose!!!!! I did 2 big twist on the loose hair and sealed the ends with Crisco ( yes, the blue can- CRISCO). I looked like Shirley Temple with the ringlets hanging from my face. My daughter came in and said ” mommy.. your almost finished!!” All I have left is the back.. MAKING PROGRESS !!!!!!

Day 7- July 20th

I’ve missed two days and I feel like I need to get this OVER AND DONE WITH. I came straight home, ate a quick meal- and got to working. I worked for 5 hours and had removed 6 loc’s. The back is allot harder to take down- actually they are murderous. They are wound so tight and they are smaller. Aggggghhhh.. I’m never gonna be finished ( *insert sad face*)

Day 8-July 21st

I came to work feeling good and looking better. Until it was implied that my loc’s project a bad image. You can tell that my loc’s are gone in the front- I’ve been wearing my hair in a pony tail. One of my co workers noticed and lets just say- I found out what she really thought of me rockin loc’s ( click here to read what happen). I came home, hotter than Satan and immediately began to work on the remaining loc’s. I think I was so angry that I channeled that energy intro completing the take down. I didn’t track how many I took down, I just worked until I was tired and out of energy.


Day 9 – July 23rd

I have a few errands to run and I’m ready to get home and finish working on my hair. Its the start of the weekend and I’m determined- I WILL NOT GO TO WORK ON MONDAY WITH 2 HAIR STYLES ( locs in the back and a pony tail on the front- NOT GOING TO DO IT). I’m down to the final 15 loc’s. I worked until 2am Sat morning- ( I swear if I’d started with the back- I would have chopped them all off- there is NO way I could have done too many more of these skinner, tightly coiled loc’s)..

Day 10- July 24th

We spent most of the day at the water park to beat the 110 degree weather. While at the water park- I noticed every loc wearer- and there were plenty to look at. OMG– I cant wait to re loc. I’m starting to feel out of the circle-but its ok– I’m out BUT NOT FOR LONG. I washed my hair- and two strand twisted the “loose hair”, and sealed the ends with Crisco. I’m down to the final 9 loc’s ( yeah!!!!!). I can see the finish line..


Day 11- July 25th

I woke up with a mission.. Today is the day I will complete my loc take down. I cooked breakfast and dinner at the same time. Doubled up on ice cold drinks turned the TV to First 48 and began to work on the final 4. The final 4 were stubborn- OH BABY! they weren’t trying to go!!!! I realized after hours of tugging.. and picking that the last two rows in the back were the ones I latched- That’s why they are so friggin tight!!!! Anyhoo– It took me 6.5 hours to take down the final 4! Whew I got to the last one- I almost cried- I knew that once that last one was out- I would temporarily be out of the loc wearer circle ( sad face). I almost kept it, then I was going to cut the whole loc off as a memory- then I decided to just take it down. I called my daughter in the room and told her I was on my last loc. She asked, “now that you don’t have loc’s will you still make products?”- We’ll of course I will- she smiled, and clapped and I begun to pick..pick..pick..pick…. ( fast forward 52 minutes) and it gone.. I no longer rock loc’s– I marveled at my hair.. Now I’m here with this big head of hair and suddenly, I’m confused.. I’ve been natural off/on since 1995- but I always kept it short. I plaited my hair and trimmed the ends, took the plaits out- moisturized and two strand twisted all the hair. Now what?? My friend Kellee, and I exchanged 22 email over the last 11 days. She asked me ” what will you wear for your debut” * shrug shoulder* I don’t know- maybe a twist out- This day seemed so far away- but now its here- what am I going to do???

Debut New Hair Day!!!- July 26th

Its Monday- I whipped out my new dress to go with my new hair. I’m feeling something sexy and fancy. I un twisted the two strand twist I had did last night- and errrrr.. ME NO LIKEY.. I didn’t look like the girls on You tube.. I didn’t like it.. nope.. can rock like this.. So I took my water bottle filled with Coconut milk, water, and Aloe Juice and spritzed my hair.. Rubbed some Orange Marmalade Hair Butter on each section… a little Aloe Vera Gel… Shuck.. finger fluffed- D-O-N-E…. I got big hair ( which is what I wanted) * doing the cabbage patch* I LOVE IT!!!!! I put on my hoop earrings to complete my style and a sista is looking and feeling like a million bucks ( **singing Uh You fancy huh?**):!!!!!!!!

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Au Naturale has been blogged!!!!!!!!!

Beauties,
I’m on cloud friggin nine right now… You all know that I’m selling my handmade products on Etsy ( http://www.etsy.com/shop/AuNaturalebymzsixx). So many of you have supported me and I thank you for your business and continued support.

One of my good girlfriends sent me a link to her blog- because she blogged about Au’ Naturale!!!!!! I know that you guys have spread the word, told a friend that told a friend, and left me feed back on my page- but I got the big head when I saw it on her blog.. I cant lie ya’ll I felt like I was being showcased in Times Square in NY.. ** You know I wont no more good- ya’ll know I already have a ego- and t just went through the ROOF** lol..lol..lol..

Its a wonderful feeling to know that I have a little part in the world of healthy hair. To know that my products are helping you ladies drive the grind in me to keep going.. to grind through the long days, tired nights, and not to ever stop.. Thank you for keeping me motivated… and GRINDING!!!!!!!

Ray Boggie ( that’s what I call her).. THANK YOU for bringing me joy today!!!! YOU ROCK!!! Keep up the good work with your hair- and keep using the Orange Marmalade Butter- your hair will love you for it!!!!! BTW: its a multi purposed item- great to use after a shower or bath… ummmmmm.. try it.. you will like it…

Beauties.. Take a look at her blog- and FOLLOW HER!!!!!

http://youaresuchaprettygirl.blogspot.com/2010/01/my-itchy-scalp.html