Hair 101


So I'm sharing the tips I've learned in the year and a half that I've been natural. They are minor things, some I've come to through trial and error and a number of mistakes, some I stumbled upon pretty quickly, but they have all worked to help me refine my regimen.
Speaking of regimen, I have come to realize that it's the regimen, not the products that results in healthy hair.

Of course the right products are equally important, but you could be using the most amazing products,and  if your regimen is not solid or is counterproductive, you will have issues with length retention, breakage, etc.

Now for the tips, here goes:

Tip #1: For those of you who joined me on my ayurvedic challenge (here and here), you remember my shikakai hair cleansing tea/shampoo. And if you used the tea, you realized that it does not lather in a way we are used to with suds and bubbles and it is watery, resulting in a mess if not used in the shower.
If you want the benefits of using an ayurvedic cleanser such as it is but with the comforting experience of a lather, try mixing a 50-50 ratio of the shikakai tea and your traditional shampoo (of course I recommend a natural shampoo like dudu-osum but anyone will do). This will get you the benefits of the tea in a form familiar to you.

Tip #2: If you are on a budget like I am and need a natural-based conditioner with great slip, then I recommend the Kinky Curly leave-in. If, however, the price is steep for what you get, like I think it is, then try this:
 Mix the Kinky-Curly leave-in with your co-wash/daily/detangling conditioner. You will still get the slip the Kinky Curly leave-in offers and because it is mixed with another cheaper conditioner, it will last longer. I mix my Kinky-Curly leave-in (50-50 ratio) with the Everyday Shea conditioner from Whole Foods. You get alot of conditioner and the mix does equally well with detangling. The only drawback is you end up rinsing away the Kinky-Curly leave-in unless your detangling conditioner is a leave-in as well.

Tip #3: Pre-shampoo with oils - any oils will do. You will read naturals suggesting pre-shampoo with a specific mix of oils but the reality is it doesn't really matter what oils you use. The result is just to coat the hair and smooth the cuticle to counter the effects of a traditional shampoo which will tends to strip your hair. Just make sure your oil is plant-based and I have found that virgin-processed oils impart great herbal benefits as well for your scalp. Great virgin-processed oils are virgin olive oil, cold-pressed tamanu oil and castor oil. But to be honest, good ole corn oil that you use to cook, works just as well.
Tip #4: Mix conditioners. Yes. You can. I have in the past gone through phases of PJism (I have to admit) and I throw nothing away. I mean I paid good money for it. So I mix my conditioners to get the benefits of each. Right now I am mixing my Everyday Shea detangling conditioner with my Kinky-Curly leave-in to get the slip benefits of the leave-in and make it last longer.

Tip #4: Wash your hair in braids. Its only  a bit less time consuming but it has saved my hair alot of breakage.

Tip #5: Wanna skip the time and work it takes to henna but enjoy the strengthening benefits of henna? Try a henna tea and use as a rinse. Basically boil your henna powder, add your favorite oils, let cool for at least 4 hours, strain, and pour the cooled mixture over freshly shampooed hair. You can even bottle any remainder for future use, saving you the time to re-mix or make a new rinse. If you are in the bath, you can let the rinse sit in your hair for awhile before washing it away. The longer it sits, the more of its benefits your hair will sustain.
That's it for today folks!
Look for the following upcoming posts from me:
Review of Karen's Body Beautiful Hair Mask
Review of Vatika Oil
For the Busy ( or Lazy) Naturals Like Me: Using Aloe Vera Mist to Get Moist Re-Twists