Tuesday, April 10

Herbal Scalp Cleansers

Spring is here and summer quickly approaches, which means more outdoor activities, which means your hair will be more prone to the elements (sun, wind and water) and styling manipulation.

Herbs are known for their healing abilities on the scalp and of the hair itself. They add luster and shine to fine, limp hair. Herbs have been shone in the aid hair growth and treating hair loss. Here are few examples

Lavender is known to promote hair growth and prevent balding
Rosemary strengthens weak hair follicles from the shaft
Nettle stimulates hair growth
Horsetail rejuvenates the hair and stimulates hair growth
Sage helps to prevent gray hair
Basil heals and sooths the scalp
Chamomile is healing and soothing; known to soften the hair, soothe and condition the scalp and stimulate hair growth

Here are few simple scalp cleansing recipes.

Herbal ACV Scalp Cleanser
2 Tbsp ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar)
1 1/2 Distilled water, hot
1 tsp Lavender
1 tsp Rosemary
1 tsp Mint, crushed
1 tsp Green tea
1 tsp Hibiscus flowers
5 drops Lemon essential oil
5 drops Lavender essential oil
5 drops Sweet orange essential oil

Add herbs to hot water and let steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Drain herbs through a cheescloth and add in apple cider vinegar and essential oils. Pour into applicator bottle. Apply cleanser directly to scalp and massage gently. Do not rinse out.

Note: You can make a big batch of this and add grapefruit seed extract, tea tree oil or vitamin E as a preservative.

Herbal Scalp Cleanser
1 tsp Horsetail
1 tsp Rosemary
1 tsp Nettle
1 tsp Lavender
1 tsp Chamomile
1 tsp Sage
1 tsp Basil
1/3 cup Castile Soap
1 1/2 cup Distilled water, hot

Combine all herbs in the hot water, cover and let it steep for up to an hour. Strain herbs from the herbal water through a cheescloth and mesh trainer. Combine with castile soap in an applicator bottle. Apply to scalp and massage with pads of finger tips. Rinse out with cool to lukewarm water.

These cleansers work especially well for those that have locs, wear braids or twists.

Friday, April 6

Natural Hair Q&A II

Vonda, the Decadent Beauty is back with more questions regarding natural hair care and maintenance.

Vonda: I've been using olive oil as a hot oil treatment, is there a certain hot oil treatment that's better to use?

DB: Not really. You can use any oil of that you like. As long as you're saturating the hair from root to tip and getting the scalp as well.  Olive oil is good on it's own. You can enhance the olive oil by adding some coconut oil, jojoba oil and vitamin E if you like.  Here's a simple recipe:

1/2 to 1 c Olive oil (adjust depending on the length and volume of your hair)
2 Tbsp Coconut oil
2 tsp Jojoba oil
1 tsp Vitamin E oil

In a double boiler heat your up your coconut and olive oil for about 10 to 15 minutes over a low heat. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.  Add in jojoba and vitamin E oil and pour into an applicator bottle.  Coat the entire scalp and hair shaft from root to tip.  Put on a plastic cap/bag and wrap a towel over that and leave on for 15 minutes. Wash hair thoroughly to remove the oil.

DB: How's your hair in the front doing? How many inches of new growth would you say you have?

Vonda: It's still straight with a slight wavy pattern to it. It's almost like it's a totally different texture.  I have about 2 to 3 inches of new growth.

DB: That's ok, 2 to 3 inches is good.  Just give it time and you'll learn how to deal with it as time goes on.

Vonda: Yeah, it's grown a lot. I'm excited about it this time around and it seems a lot healthier.  I'm going to get braids pretty soon so I don't have to worry about it for a while.  Are micro braids good for natural hair or should I get twists?

DB: That's good.  Overall health is what's most important.  Whether it's twists or braids make sure that your hair isn't braided or twisted tightly at the root, especially your edges.  Let the braider know that up front because you can always go back in a few weeks time to get them touched up.  Also, I suggest doing a deep conditioning treatment the night before and take in your own hair butter or favorite moisturizing styling product.

Vonda: So a braider can use hair butter when they braid your hair?

DB: Yes, some braiders will braid your hair with a product and some don't.  If the braider uses a hair product on your hair while braiding make sure it isn't a petroleum and/or mineral oil based product. You want your hair to be moisturized and the scalp and hair shafts to be able to breathe. Also don't be afraid to ask the braider your questions before hand so that you feel comfortable.  Remember that it's your hair, time and money.

Vonda: If I run out of distilled water can I use boiled water instead as a base for my hair spritz?

DB: Although distilled water is best, boiled water will do when you're in a pinch just be sure to add a natural preservative like honey, tea tree oil, vitamin E or grape seed extract.

Vonda: What are some good YouTube channels that I can watch to learn how to do some styles besides two strand twists?

DB: There are so many of them out there.  The ones that come to mind at the moment are MahganyKnots, Glamazini, MsVCharles, Mahogany Curls, MyNaturalSistas, Naptural85, PrettyDimples01 and ToniDaley80

Vonda: Is Kool-aid a good coloring agent to use on natural hair?

DB: No. I would recommend that you stick to natural dyes like henna and indigo are just a few that come to mind.  If you're going to use store bought hair dyes or go to a hairstylist then I recommend doing a hot oil treatment at least 24 hours before and a deep conditioning treatment afterwards. Commercial hair dyes have alcohol in them, which can be very drying to the hair. Check out this website to look up the ingredients of Kool-aid.
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