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Friday, February 17, 2012

Shea Butter Love

My hair is changing as it grows out... Not sure if that is the norm. Last month I was writing about how my hair doesn't like heavy oils. It still doesn't, but if mix my oils with shea butter it seems to love them! I'm not sure why and it doesn't make any sense to me. Castor oil on my washed hair- disaster. Shea butter + castor oil - love <3.
I'm not asking any questions, for the past 2 weeks I've experienced hydrated and ├╝ber soft hair, so I'm going to run with that!

Another thing I've started doing is a water washes. I wash my hair with good ol' H20 for 6 days per week, nothing else. I condition and deep condition once per week. I think I will reduce shampooing from once per week to once per month, unless I feel like I have build up. (I will update my regimen page soon).

I've stopped using gels, curling creams and even leave-ins! Not sure how long this will last and if I've found my perfect routine, but for the moment, my curls have been defined, nourished and moisturized.

I discovered this all purely by accident. Remember how one of my New Year's goals was to finish my thesis? Well I did recently!! During the last couple of weeks leading up to my completion, I barely had time to shower. So, I would jump in the shower and while I washed up, I just let the water hit my hair. No combing, no finger detangling, no Denman- nada!

After, I would jump out the shower throw some stuff in my hair and call it a day. Well, that stuff was shea butter, I thought since I hadn't used it in a while, I would revisit. I scooped out a little, mixed it with a little castor, rubbed it in, slapped on a headband and hit the books.

I felt bad, because I thought I was neglecting my hair. Three weeks later, I look in the mirror to see the curls look better than ever, feel softer than ever and have grown an inch! I can even pull my hair back into a small puff-- not very voluminous, but still, this is big for me!

My nighttime routine has also changed a bit, I put my hair in a puff at night to prevent my curls from getting smooshed.

I love the puff, because I noticed, I play with my hair lessl-- I had a total case of HIH syndrome before.

I'm completely obsessed with shea! It doesn't leave my hair with that product-buildup feeling like I had before. I even stopped shampooing weekly, because I don't feel I need to without the buildup.

I decided to find a reciped for whipped shea butter, it's easier to apply to the hair, because it's has a smoother consistency. Here's a recipe I used for my whipped shea butter. This makes for a small amount, I wasn't sure how my hair would respond, so didn't want to waste all my shea. Will definitely be making more when this runs out.

4 TBSP of raw unrefined shea butter
1 TBSP of castor oil
1 TSP of vitamin E oil
1 TSP of jojoba oil
4 drops of mint essential oil (gives this a nice clean smell and is so soothing)

1. Mix the shea with a hand blender until fluffly (about 15 seconds)
2. Add all of your oils and blend until smooth (about 30-40 seconds)
3. Add your essential oil and mix with a spoon.
4. Place mixture in tupperware.
5. Place tupperware in the freezer for 5 minutes, take out and let your hair enjoy it!

I only use a little of this, as a little goes a long way. It's very moisturizing and works great for slicking back edges-- better than gel in fact, because it moisturizes.  Hmm... what to do with this giant jar of eco styler gel? Well, I'll hold onto it, never know what my hair will be like once it's longer.

P.S. - Detangling my hair every other week (sometimes two) works great for my frizz problem. I haven't had any major single strand knots and my curls are more defined when I leave them alone.


Sunday, February 5, 2012

The One Thing I Learned from Relaxers about Growth

1. Hair grows =)

My natural hair is super coily. Shrinkage and I are BFFs (sometimes frienemies). My shrinkage makes me feel, at times that my hair isn't growing. Today, I looked at a comparison shot from my transition chop (Dec. 3rd) and was amazed to see how much it has grown. I realize for the first time in my life, I don't have some kind of permanent benchmark that allows measure growth. 

When I was relaxed, I'd hate to see the patches of new growth sprouting up-- my trip to the salon couldn't come soon enough. When I was transitioning, the increasing maintenance it took to blend the two textures allowed me to see growth. Once I even had a permanent color, again this served as a reminder that I needed to touch up my contrastingly dark roots. Now for the first time in my life, it's just me and my curls. 

Each day as I begin styling my hair, I have the urge to pull out a ruler. Sometimes I cave in, but for the most part I don't, because I realize I don't need to subject my hair to some benchmark. The only thing I can do is maintain its health, love it and let it grow. Heck, I know from my relaxer days that it's constantly growing, why else did I have to get that touch up every other 8 weeks!?
 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Semi-Natural?

I once saw a post on Curly Nikki, a question from one follower asking if all naturals jumped off the natural bandwagon, i.e. stopped using all natural products on their natural hair. This post made me realize, now that I am natural and done transitioning, I use fewer homemade products.

Speaking for myself, I can honestly say that when I first decided to go natural, I did have sort of a super hippy/organic moment where I thought I would be natural from the top of my head to the tip of my toes. I would whip up avocado, banana and pumpkin potions to achieve moisture and shine. For a while I thought, this is great! And it was great, however it wasn't for me. I always felt wasteful and guilty when I did such things. You see, I grew up in a home where my Mom reminded me "there are children in some countries, crying themselves to sleep from hunger, eat your mashed potatos." This mentality has stuck with me throughout my life, which is why I cook small portions and married a man with the appetite of a bear coming out of hibernation.

I just can't justify myself, putting edible ingredients such as avocado or banana in my hair, when I can put those things in my stomach and nourish my body. Mmm... wonder how avocado and banana would taste in a smooth? Where am I going with this?!! Sorry, what I'm trying to say is, I consider myself a semi-natural product user. I try to incorporate things such as natural oils or organic products, but that's the extent of it. Although since becoming natural, I've noticed I've stopped using oils in my DC's as much as I did when transitioning, so revisited that today and did the following:
1 TBSP EVOO
1 TBSP of my natural plain yogurt (ate the rest)
1 TSP of vitamin E oil
2 TBSP of my Aubrey Organics Honey-suckle Rose Conditioner

I mixed these ingredients up and applied them to slightly damp hair (I just misted with a little water). Will let you know how it comes out, my hair began to softened immediately, as I applied this mixture.

Have a great weekend!