Thursday, April 28

Castor Shealoe

Here's a quick Castor Shealoe recipe that's great for twist outs, braid outs, bantu knots, locs or loose hair.

This is what not to do when mixing your ingredients. Adding the aloe vera gel right in with the shea butter.

Remember that since aloe vera gel is a water based product your oils and gel will not mix together without the aid of heat or an emulsifying wax, which is a binding agent. It's best to melt your oils (with the exception of the vitamin E) and emulsifying wax down first. Mix together and let cool for about 5-10 minutes before adding in the aloe vera gel.

Castor Shealoe

3 Tbsp Jamaican Black Castor oil or regular castor oil
4 oz Shea Butter
4 Tbsp Aloe Vera Gel
2 tsp Emulsifying wax (vegetable based) optional
2 tsp Vitamin E oil
10 drops Tea Tree oil (optional)
10 drops Lavender essential oil or Rosemary essential oil

Melt your butter and wax in a double boiler (glass bowl over on top of a pot of boiling water) or in the microwave in 30 second spurts for about a minute or so until the wax is completely melted.  Remove from heat and let cool for 5-10 minutes. Using a sick blender or hand mixer thoroughly mix in castor oil and aloe vera gel. Then add in vitamin E and essential oils. Transfer to a container with a lid. Mixture will thicken up and solidfy as it cools down.

Note: You can get creative and infuse your castor oil with herbs that aid in hair growth/stimulation (i.e. sage, rosemary or lavender). You can also substitute the shea butter for many other butters that are great for hair.

Ayurvedic Hair Tea

Ayurvedic Hair Tea

1 1/4 c Distilled Water
2 tsp Shikakai powder
2 tsp Amla powder
2 tsp Brahmi powder
2 Soap Nuts
2 tsp Vegetable Glycerine
2 tsp Vitamin E Oil
5 drops Rosemary Essential Oil (optional)
5 drops Lavender Essential Oil (optional)
5 drops Lemongrass Essential Oil (optional)
2 tsp Rosemary Oil Extract or Grapefruit Seed Extract (preservative)

In a medium to sauce pot mix the ayuverdic herbs in with the water. Bring to a boil over a medium heat and then let simmer for 15 minutes.  Strain through a strainer and cheesecloth and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes.  Thoroughly stir in remainder of ingredients. Pour into a spray bottle.

Wednesday, April 27

Natural Perservatives

Preservatives are additives used to protect against spoilage, discoloration and decay.  There are natural preservatives that you can use to prolong the shelf life of your products. Essential oils and various herbs (rosemary, clove, tea tree, neem seed, thyme, and lavender) are the most effective natural preservatives.

Rosemary Oil Extract is a rich source of anti-oxidants and vitamin E, that are beneficial for fighting free radicals; it also acts as a natural antimicrobial*.

Grapefruit Seed Extract is a citrus based anti-microbial preservative. Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) is made with the citrus seeds and pulp and blended with vegetable glycerin. GSE is also safe enough to use as a disinfectant for drinking water when necessary.

Vitamin E prevents rancidity and is an anti-oxident.

Honey contains a high level of water that is bound by a high level of sugar, which prevents micro-organisms to grow in it.

*An anti-microbal is an ingredient or substance that helps to destroy unwanted micro-organisms such as bacteria.
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