Saturday, November 1, 2014

44 days!!!

I can't believe I just washed.  I can't believe I caved.  I can't believe I didn't make sure the shikakai was thoroughly dissolved.  Omg!  Its been so long I forgot!!!

Last night I took the kids out for Halloween and it was raining and all I could think was what will my hair smell like if it gets wet?  I work with kids so if I had a stinky wet head, they'd be sure to tell me over and over again!

I passed my 28 day "i guess im on a roll" and my 40 day "I'm tired of this" phase and the 41 day "I think I might have broke the record" which wasn't a goal but was fun.  And I hit day 44 on a Saturday - today.

When the warm water hit my hair it seriously was buttery with sebum on top, it quickly changed texture when the shikakai was applied.

So some reflections...

Make sure the shikakai is fully dissolved before dumping it on your head.  I've got little grains in my hair still after 20 minutes in the shower.

I forgot how much my hair looooves 50/50% ACV.  It just lifted into waves, became fuller and softer immediately.  I think I may skip the shikakai in the future and just do AO.

I still look forward to henna as a wash.  I have an event this month so will likely henna on Nov 15 so I will have my best hair on the 29th.  Maybe I'll leave these silly shikakai grains in for 2 weeks until henna.  No point upsetting my hair with another rinse.  My hair doesn't like water.

I wonder what my curl definition will look like with sebum thoroughly from root to tip?

I totally could've gone longer.

On that I need to:

Brush every day, sometimes great hair days made me lazy and I barely brush but  then I'd smell a slightly sour smell the next day.  A good BBB fixed any smell but as I said, I was anxious about getting my hair wet as a result.

I'll make sure my daughter doesn't use my brush since she does have some Shae Moisture smoothie she uses.  I'm guessing that the product on my brush deposited in my hair may have added to the sour smell.

I'll consider getting another brush.  My padded base brush takes more than a day to dry a which was an excuse at times to finger brush instead of BBB... Another reason for the sour smell at times. Lol... I'm not convinced that SO means my hair has a slightly sour smell - there's always a reason.

Note: my daughter didn't smell the sour smell I'm mentioning.  I became hyper sensitive to how my hair smells.  I can smell EOs up to 4 days after when I only add 3 drops!!!

All in all... Yeah, I'd do it again :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

No Water for 44 days....

Its sheer lazyness now why I haven't washed my hair.  I'll go crazy curly for Halloween so that will be my next wash.

Limp, lifeless, wig- like but buttery soft.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

CO Washing Experiment

I've been using low poo conditioner only due to swimming every evening  and setting up my classroom on my own, moving stuff, sweating without air conditioning... Drama!!  As a result,  I've been wetting my hair almost daily!!  I'm not brushing at all, just Scritching and I'm surprised at how sebum can move with just hot water and a wide tooth comb. I knew conditioner only washing worked in principal, (like the oil cleansing method) that's why I chose to do it but, I am producing so little sebum though it makes sense that this would never have worked before I regulated my sebum production.  I spent a good solid 9 mos washing only my scalp and ACV all over, brushing daily and using a flat iron on my curly hair.

My hair today is dry, but soft.  It misses the 50/50% apple cider vinegar:water pH balancing conditioning rinse I think.  It no longer has that sebum smell when I wet it in the pool, not that I minded it but after 21 days without a wash, it did smell different than dry hair.

I also think when I was brushing sebum I'd know where and when to add oil so my hair never got dry and my ends were lovely.

Now I worry about split ends and its only been... Two weeks!  I look forward to going back to my usual routine!!  I miss my sebum hair!!

I'll also roller set rather than flat iron because I get way more volume for way longer and I can do the roller set mid wash cycle so AO (ACV:water conditioning) only is the way to go for me!!   I'm guessing once things settle I'll wash or rather henna once a month and AO mid month.  We'll see what winter hair will be like as I hit my 14 monthiversary poo less!

Thursday, August 7, 2014


Have no fear!  Your sebum is coming in, you feel oily... and you're well on your way, great job!! This us GREAT!!

Brush your hair.  Really thoroughly. Like this. Do this every single day. For today though, follow with a nice hot shower to help melt the sebum, massage, preen, just do it.  I personally have a fine toothed comb I use to help comb the sebum, scritch here and there, work it girl!!

Follow with an acid rinse if you want, I find it helps a little to cut smell, sebum, not sure, but I like it with WO.  We call this AO (acid rinse wash)

Out of the shower, your hair is completely detangled, use this time to add some (essential oil) EO diluted in water, spray all over... Or... Add aloe vera gel to the scalp if needed for dryness and it's always a great deodorizer... Or just apply a few drops of EOs in your favorite oil directly to the length of the hair. Don't forget the ends!!  And not too much. Brush or comb it through, it moves the debris from the scalp and from the hair on to your brush and that prevents bacteria making the scalp smelly.

 Wash your brush so its clean for tomorrow.

Dry however you dry it. (Plop to get the best curls)

Ta daa!  No sebum at the scalp means no smellies!  The sebum has moved away from the scalp down the length of the hair, and you.... Look... Gorgeous!!!

Afraid to brush curly hair, here's why you need to.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Deep Conditioning - Coconut Milk & Aloe

This is great for dry curly hair...

1 part coconut milk - this can be seriously conditioning to the point of excess (I use a can, but you can make your own).

2 or 3 parts aloe vera gel depending on how much conditioning you need, it's used to dilute the coconut milk but also offers its own hair and luxurious humectant properties.

Add EOs if you'd like to the mix.

I prefer to apply on dry hair, saturating the ends, working my way up toward the scalp. I personally avoid the scalp completely, it's just too much going on and it makes me feel oily afterward.  Aloe alone is great on the scalp though.

Rinse thoroughly (I only use water).  Style as usual.  This concoction is pH balanced.

Source, although tweaked, and only used as a deep conditioner, NEVER AS A SHAMPOO!  No part of this experience is a cleansing one - this is so misleading - it is a VERY deep conditioner and my tweaked recipe makes it a lovely one!

Yellow Aloe? What's Wrong?

 Aloe vera contains two kinds of 'sap' that are used medicinally. The thick yellow sap that comes from the inner lining of the leaf is called Aloe latex, and contains aloin, a powerful laxative. It flows for a little while after cutting a leaf, and can be scraped off the leaf epidermis. It is also called Aloe juice. The laxative effect of aloin is primary reason why the desert Bedouin people of Arabia cultivated Aloe vera. It has been in cultivation so long that there is no known natural population of the plant.

 The second kind of sap is called Aloe gel, and is contained in clear tissue of the inner leaf. This is the part of the plant that is soothing to skin.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

No shampoo, why? (parabens, silicones & sulphates)

Shampoos contain parabens, silicones and sulphates, each which need to be avoided.



Parabens can be absorbed through the skin. They bind to the hormones in your blood, for some people this isn't a big deal, but if you're at a higher risk for certain cancers, parabens can up that risk. One study showed that out of 20 breast tumors that were studied, small amounts of paraben were found in all of them. Methylparabens (there are different kinds of parabens) may react with UVB rays, leading to skin aging. Parabens fall into a grey area, scientists can't prove they are safe, but there's not enough to make them say they aren't safe.

Here's a link for more info.

The problem I see with cleansing conditioners that contain silicones is that most silicones aren't water soluble, if you never remove them through washing with sulfates, they will continue to build up in your hair.  Those not using shampoo, but washing with conditioner only run this risk.

Here's a scary little trick, have you ever seen a lovely named ingredient called Japanese Honeysuckle?  Sounds wonderfully natural and good, right?

"misrepresentation involved in the use of Plantservative, labeled as "Japanese Honeysuckle Extract." It is a highly processed and concentrated paraben extraction that may or may not be contaminated with synthetic parabens where is it manufactured in Singapore. I am particularly distressed by the fact that so many companies are evidently using the latter version of "Japanese Honeysuckle Extract" and simultaneously claiming "NO PARABENS" on their labels."

"Silicones are synthetic oils. They come from "silicon", the naturally occurring element that makes up glass and sand. The first commercially available silicone, dimethicone, has been used in skin creams and lotions since the 1950s, but about 20 years ago, the hair care industry began adding it to shampoos, conditioners, and leave-in products. In studies, dimethicone was found to condition the hair and protect it from dehydration better than mineral oil. Companies have continued to create new and better silicones over the years and now there are silicones that can help the hair dry faster (cyclomethicone), target the most damaged areas of the strand to provide deep conditioning (amodimethicone), and even strengthen the hair (aminopropyl phenyl trimethicone). "  Source:

There are no natural silicone's. The confusion seems to lie in the fact that they are made up from the naturally occurring element, 'silicon' but it's heated and chemically changed, they are not in any way, shape or form natural.  Source:

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (one of the common ones used) is one of the sulfate compounds that have the ability to produce a soapy and lathering effect.

Thanks to the heavy advertisement endorsement the consumers were hooked on to the product and the companies were having a time of their life adding this inexpensive material in the product which managed to not only add volume but helped in keeping the prices down as well.
Well then if the added SLS can keep the prices down and produce all that bubbles to cut down the grease then what seems to be the problem? The problem is that the sulfates don’t only cut down on the extra grease they take a lot of the natural and useful moisture from the hair and skin as well.
Did you ever wonder why your hair has gone brittle and dry over the time? Have you been blaming the styling products all this time for your unruly and rough hair? If you have, then the truth of the matter is that its not the heavy styling and heating equipments ALONE that cause damage to your hair and scalp, it is also this chemical which is present in all cosmetic shampoos, soaps and sometimes conditioners as well.  Source:

This post will be continually updated.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

My No/Low Poo Journey

I started my journey with BS - I knew immediately it wasn't for me.  I went 2 weeks until I got my soapnuts order - loved it but needed more hydration.  Got a locally made argan oil infused soap bar, it was devine!  Left my hair sift, moisturized,, shiny, just awesome!  But... Then it got really brittle.  I became very reflective and realized I need sebum.  The sebum I'm brushing through my hair was getting stripped by the soap! So I realized it was just the crown of my hair that needed cleansing, and ever since I only cleanse my crown, its plain water for the rest.  But I still had brittle hair... I read something somewhere and realized I needed a higher ACV to water ratio... I figured go 50/50% and see if it works - it did!  No frizz and shiny and my curls started spiraling despite being brushed so often... Awesome!

Then one day I had to look really good for work and I panicked.  I took out my flat iron, said a prayer to the hair goddesses and bang!  My sebum moved like grease lightening!!!! It went from being stuck at my ears (ponytail brushing against the scalp) to about 2 inches past that.  I was oiling from my end to meet the sebum then brushing for a good long while.

I left it straight for a good two weeks brushing and oiling with jojoba oil and man!! My hair looked awesome!!!!!!

I tried to continue curly after that but Christmas came, I flat ironed and people raved about how great my hair looked.  Then I had an episode with baby puke in my hair and the smell lingering and I used low poo.. Ya.  It wrecked my progress by removing the sebum.

So I struggled to get it brushed back through my hair and flat ironed to help so I could brush and oil daily and I ended yo extending my washing to a 21 day cycle!!

I wash, wear curly for 6 days, flat iron on the 7th day and go straight for 2 weeks.

Now I'm using ahhh... I dunno... Henna, and with all that rinsing, I don't cleanse.  Lol... And I'm experimenting with shikakai for cleansing too.  The reason I can, is because my scalp produces wayyyy less oil that before.  The reason I can't comment much in the shikakai is with a wash, a henna and another wash that's 9 weeks!!! I have to keep a hair journal so I don't forget!!! Lol!

Brushing is the key, and finding the right oil for you.

Take a look at the desktop version of this blog and look on the right column for a table of contents - lots of great info.

Monday, July 7, 2014

How I Plop to Dry

I use a tshirt that is an old maternity triangle shirt with longer tshirt sleeves. You could try a long sleeve shirt too I guess. I don't roll... I fold the neckband in about an inch so it can be smooth against my forehead.

I place it on my counter stretched open, neckline toward me.

Fold neckline away from me about an inch or more.

Flip hair upside down, Center it (wet) over the shirt, and lower my head until it touches the shirt.

Now my hands are free, I take the tshirt sleeves and wrap around my forehead until the sleeves meet at the nape of my neck. Tie once.

Take the bottom edge of the tshirt, lift up so all hair is in, fold/ roll the excess until you can have that edge come up, over and around to cover the tie you made at the nape of your neck - holding those shirt edges, wrap around to the front of your head. Against your forehead tie once. Tuck the tails/excess under the fabric.

Admire your turban or prance around making pancakes with your wrapped bonnet!!! ;)

This is another popular method but I prefer the flat wrap n tie rather than the rolling. Have fun experimenting!!

The T-shirt (mine is thin) avoids frizz if the turban shifts at night.  It also allows for a stretch when tying it which helps it stay in place.  I need it to absorb water, evaporate, and nor move so my curls can dry exactly the way they are when wet.  Without styling products, this is a very important step for my curly hair and allows me to get volume on top.  When I plop, I define my ringlets with my fingers and carefully compress them head down using gravity to plop.  I carefully scoop in the sides too so they set perfectly and with volume.

Generally, even when I towel dry, I use a T-shirt, its absorbent and soft and avoids frizz and tangles.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Yogurt Conditioning

I used Dannon Oikos Greek yogurt—with 11 to 15 g of protein per 5.3-oz serving an excellent source of protein, while regular yogurt contains about 5 g of protein per 5.3 oz. Apparently the straining process leaves more of the milk solids, which results in a denser product with a higher protein level than that of regular yogurt.  So it was thick, easy to apply and as I added it to sections (about 6) I twisted my hair and separating the tangled  section to twist is just slipped into two without any tangles!  I had planned to leave the yogurt in for 30 mins but with hubby away, two kids sleeping I started painting... Ya!  So 1.5 he's later the thick 2% yogurt just felt like it wasn't leaving my hair - so I caved and used low poo to ensure I wouldn't be smelling like spoiled milk tomorrow!  Ugh! 
I avoided adding yogurt to my scalp, and avoided low pooing my scalp as well.  I've found with other deep conditioning treatments my scalp hates it and I feel all messed up for like a week!!!!
I must also say I've been ACV ing about every two days wearing NY hair curly and trying a but of WO...  Its not working, my scalp hates getting wet.  Thus my currently dried out hair needed a protein wash, to be followed by my usual straight routine so I can oil and brush my hair back into better shape!

Just woke up and my hair is suuuuper soft!!
... and fly away and although not dry, it's shiny and just not happy.
I'll flat iron it today so I can start brushing and oiling it again.  Too much WO this past two weeks - not happy!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Dry shampoo

Beginning no poo is hard.  It does get better though.  Its important to wait at least four full days between BS washes though, and remember to always use your vinegar rinse after BS.
Your hair is behaving the way you trained it.  If you were washing more frequently, you trained it to produce sebum more frequently.  If you can get through the oily days you'll train your scalp to realize it doesn't need to produce as much sebum because it isn't being stripped as frequently and the sebum production WILL slow down.
As well, if you're brushing with a BBB or bamboo comb, and scritching, massaging & preening (see files), you'll be moving the sebum from your scalp and down the length of your hair and hydrating your hair with your natural sebum.  This is by far the best way to handle too much sebum.  Using a dry shampoo is great if you have a big event or if you're dying to wash and just want to wait one more day to stretch your washing out past the 4 days, but understand that using a dry shampoo is equivalent to washing because it absorbs sebum (removing it).
Use a dry shampoo with caution at this early stage (in a salt shaker is easiest to apply to the toots) but keep some handy for those special occasions :)
Just like fingerprints, everybody's hair is different.  As women, our hormones fluctuate daily, our food intake and the weather, temperature and humidity all fluctuate hourly - all of this affects your hair.  We have to figure out what our hair likes ON it, when, and how much to make this no poo thing work.  We also need to recognize that our ends may have different needs that our scalp and adjust accordingly.
When you consider that in the 1800s a bath was a luxury.  Brushing ones' hair, keeping it braided, in a bun and most times covered were the norm.  It wasn't until the 1800s that we started getting creative with styling methods and likewise, brainwashed through marketing.
Having said that, what we think feels "dirty" or "looks oily" is really a socially constructed concept of beauty. 

As Queen Elsa says "Let it Go... " The oil never bothered me anyway

I'm kidding about breaking into song, but seriously, the lifestyle choice we make to go no poo comes with the responsibility that we have to pay attention to our hair's needs.  We use hand lotion... Likewise, we need to deep condition our hair - that's the responsibly part - listening to our hair's needs and fulfilling them so our hair can be fantastic and fabulous!
In the meantime, like the chicks in the 1800, brushing is a cleansing practice - no matter what wash method we use, and remember... washing less will train our scalp to produce less oil - a proven fact!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Boar Bristle Brushes

I'm anemic, I eat red meat so I can stand upright and not faint.  I also wear leather shoes on my poor wide always swollen feet.  I've also cried alongside my 4yo while watching the Lion King movie and after her pet died, we prayed and had a remembrance ceremony and burial.

Using a brush made of natural boar bristles would be a personal choice, and makes an extremely effective brush I might add - as would NOT using one and opting for a bamboo comb.  We all come from differing levels of crunchiness, take what works for you and your hair and go from there.  I say this as I refrain from talking about the devastating effects of Palm Oil that is in over 70% of beauty products worldwide!!!! Ya... We all have our beefs ;). Haha... No pun intended!

Having said that, boar bristle brushes realllly help the sebum move, not using it us like missing  the conditioner when washing!  Its that important!

For some, finger brushing works beautifully though... we're all different.

Here's the one I use, available at Sally's.

Water to restyle curls

Most curly or wavy girls need wet hair to reset their curls and waves, go for it!!  Spraying hair wet to style is fantastic - get that spray bottle and go for it!  Use this time to brush that scalp to move sebum as well.

Drenching hair in the shower can be damaging however.  It causes the hair cuticle (think roof shingles) to open up, then whatever hydration is in your hair evaporates.  ACV helps to close the cuticle so I'd you do WO washing, follow with any vinegar rinse to help close the cuticle and restore the hair's natural pH.  This time with ACV in the shower is a great time to detangle with a wide tooth comb, and to massage thevscalp to mkve sebum and keep the scalp healthy as well.

Many dry haired girls will hydrate with let's say aloe, then follow with oil, let's say jojoba oil, and the combination with the oil helps trap the aloe in the hair strand keeping it hydrated longer.  If we could brush daily, it would be so much better for our hair since natural sebum is the nectar from the Gods!!  Its theeeeeee most effective and lasting humectant ever!!

Here's my crazy routine, and other tips.
And here's how I plop to dry my hair.

Its hard sometimes to figure out what works for your own hair.  What works for one may not work for the other.  And what works for you now, may change as you evolve and your hair gets more and more awesome with no and low poo!!!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Headband curls - what makes them awesome?

Some days headband curls are awesome, some days they flop??  
I cannot figure out the recipe for greatness yet!

Here's my description on how I do it...

I find that the method with using two headbands makes the curls way too tight, especially at the ends.  I believe people with thinner hair may have a similar problem.  With one headband and bigger sections, you get what I posted in the pic above.  After a thorough brushing, add your moisturizing oil, EOs,  aloe, whatever your great hair stuff routine is, then...  

Bad curls.... too tight!

Good headband created BOMBSHELL curls!

Organization is the key.  I part my hair and brush everything downward and forward in front of my face.  I place the headband at my hairline in the front and baseball cap rim position around my head.  I start in the front at the part and take a section or chunk of hair, slip my fingers from my other hand up through the band and catch the section and pull through.  Then I add another chunk of hair to the new hanging tail section and even brush it sometimes to keep it neat.  I slip my fingers up through the band again going in the direction toward my ears and grab the new thicker chunk and pull down and through.  I keep grabbing another chunk or section of hair and add it to the growing tail...  as the tail gets thicker because you are adding more hair, the actual curl result becomes thicker in diameter as well, kind of like old fashioned hair rollers.  I use a hair pin when I get to almost the back center and make sure I've wrapped all chunks of hair on that side by the time I get to the almost center back..  I secure with a hair pin and leave the tail hanging.  

Repeat on the other side, all the time, adding a chunk of hair generally the width of the space available on the hairband for wrapping.  When you get tot he center, add a hairpin again.  Now join the two tails, brush it out, and slip your fingers up through the hairband in the center back and grab both tails together and pull through neatly.  Stick your fingers up through the same hole again and pull through, repeat until you have wrapped your hair to the end.  I like to roll the resulting wrap over wrap roll so the ends are against my scalp and pin with two hair pins.  I usually remove the first two hairpins at this time as well so they don't get lost!

I sleep on this and find it quite comfortable.  I also sleep on a satin pillowcase so I don't get very mush disruption, or any breakage by morning.  My hairband is stretchy and thicker, I find it washes well, and may contribute to the bigger bombshell curls that I like, rather than a thin hairband ;)
In the morning, I remove the two hair pins and slowly unwrap the roll over roll in the center.  then I allow the side wraps to naturally loosen and just with my finger unroll one wrap at a time along the hairband.  There is very little tangling issues and what you see int he pic above is one side unravelled and the hairband is still on my head !

 I brush the part and the top of my head with a boar bristle brush and then finger brush the rest of my hair.  This lasts ALL day!!! I redo after another good brushing the next night.

These are headband curls at 7pm after a full day at work and Mummy job of little ones as well.  I am TIRED, but my hair isn't!

I hope this helps.  Here's a video someone posted on YouTube.  I like the band she uses because she can untie and pull it through!!  

START at 6 minutes...
The canter back is at 8 minutes
The unravel is at 9:16
Styling starts at 11:10
Skip the hairspray - you do't need it :)

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Oil Cleansing Method (OCM)

I recently converted to the oil cleansing method (OCM).  I was skeptical because I'm oily in the tzone and prone to breakouts at almost 40... And I work with kids who like to point to pimples and say "what's that" to anything new on my face but... I only got two little pimples at my eyebrow edge on day two and its been a few months!!!!  I'm careful around hair now ;).

I absolutely looooove OCM!  I started with Jojo a and castor oil and vitamin e oil, I found it too drying for me, I moved to jojoba and argan oil since argan is good for acne prone skin.  I recently changed to rose hip oil, straight up, with wet fingertips and by far its the most balancing and leaves my skin beautiful - and I use 1/3 less oil !!!

How to do OCM

  1. In the shower, use a nickel or quarter sized pool of your oil blend cupped in your hand.  On a dry face, using your fingertips, gently massage the oil blend into your skin.  There's Mo need to remove makeup first, this works to remove makeup very effectively as well.  Pamper yourself with a facil massage for a bit :)
  2. Saturate a clean facecloth with hot water, shower temperature works for me.  Wring out the excess water and place the open washcloth over your face and press against your face for a sleam, then gently wipe away the oil, turn over to the other clean side for another good wipe.  Use the clean corners for ant excess oil around the nose, eyes, eyebrows and hairline.  Its okay if there's a slight sheen, its moisturizing.
  3. Adjust your oil blend until its right for you.  Castor oil can be drying, for example.  I sometimes add aloe vera gel around my mouth, sometimes even a teeny bit more of my oil blend since it is by far the dryest part of my face.  I've found argan oil lovely for my acne prone skin and rose hip oil alone as the best for my OCM skin routine so far!!
  4. A very important reference for choosing and comparing oils to use: Pay attention to the comediogenic ratings of oils in this link.

Here are a few links to start...

Thanks to Ladyboss Boss for recommending rosehip oil after my initial complaints...

And if you love OCM, you have to try abhyanga:

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Horsetail Herb

Click here for the benefits!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

10 months No Poo

Happy no poo'iversary to me!!
This is my end of day headband curls, 12 days since last wash and henna and Amla treatment, and a very tired mommy.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Flat Ironing and No poo / Low poo

So the question comes up, as a curly girl, do you use a heat protect any when flat ironing?  No, I don't.  My natural sebum is there, my added aloe vera may also be there, and I use a lower setting on my flat iron, on dry hair.

I think the important piece is that I do small sections so the actual contact time with the iron is less, and is even.  In the beginning, I would iron the lengths up to about two inches from the ends and I'd do all my ends last since they were damaged from before my trim and that individual attention kept them behaving the way I wanted!!

This was interesting, the smoke point of oils, take a look and then read the manufacturers instructions about the temperature settings of your flat iron for your hair type and compare the two.

One of these days, I'll use my old time rollers and hood dryer and see how that goes!!

In the meantime, I wash, wear it curly for a week migrating from all out to half up to a ponytail then a big bun, then brushed out using this brush into a bun or up do.  At this point I have enough sebum that I don't need any product to have a smooth top and hairline.  That's the best time to flat iron.

My routine: add aloe to the length, brush through again and between day 7 and 9 I flat iron and brush daily until my next wash 21 days later.

Here's how I brush.

Here's why I brush.

Here's the only brush I use!!

I have no answers, only my own experience.  I am not a professional.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

EOs and Oils... and what they do for our hair

This info is quoted directly, word for word from AfroDivas 

Anything in BLUE is added by me as no/low poo help.

Knowing Oils and What They Do for Our Hair 

Oils help aid hair health to all hair types.

Carrier Oil
(base oils) is a vegetable oil derived from the fatty portion of plant, usually from the seeds, kernels or the nuts. Carrier oils are used to dilute essential and other oils prior to application. They are rich in vitamins, proteins, nutrients and therapeutic properties.

Essential Oils (EO) are concentrated liquids distilled from the leaves, bark, roots and other aromatic portions of a botanical. Essential oils evaporate and have a concentrated aroma. Essential Oil is so powerful, they must be diluted in carrier oils.

Almond Oil - for face, for hair 

Aloe Vera Juice/Gel- has excellent moisturizing properties that can serve as a natural conditioner to deeply moisturize the hair strands. Help with those who are struggling with dry, damaged and unmanageable frizzy hair. 
... Aloe has many uses in a low/no poo haircare routine. 

Apricot Kernel Oil- is cold-pressed and refined from the dried kernels of apricots. Its consistency and texture resemble sweet almond oil and it penetrates the hair effortlessly without leaving an oily residue like olive oil or jojoba oil. It’s also high in vitamin E and vitamin A which makes it great for hydrating mature, dry and sensitive skin. For best results, add to your shampoo or conditioner for extra softness. Or, use as a hot oil treatment to soften new growth. Lastly, add a few drops to your daily moisturizer to boost its moisturizing effects.

Argan Oil- is loaded with essential fatty acids like linoleic acids, which is the precursor of vitamin E. it is found to contain 700 mg per kilogram of tocopherols that is twice the amount found in olive oil. It is a natural antioxidant and can stimulate intracellular oxygenation. This helps neutralize the free radicals and protects the soft tissue.

Avocado Oil- (protein base) has a number of nutrients that can benefit the growth and the health of all kinds of hair, especially dry and African American hair. It contains essential nutrients like proteins, vitamins A, D, E and B6, Magnesium, copper, iron, amino acids and folic acid, all of which is extremely essential for hair growth and nourishment. It is also a rich source of Lecithin which gives it good penetrative qualities.
Basil oil EO- adds luster. Promotes growth.

Castor Oil- the germicidal, insecticidal and fungicidal properties of Ricin and Ricinoleic acid present in castor oil protects the scalp and hair from microbial and fungal infections, the two prime causes for hair loss. In addition, the fatty acids in it nourish hair and prevent the scalp from drying by retaining moisture. Promotes thickness of hair.
... Castor Oil needs a low poo shampoo to get it out. 

Cedar Oil EO- relieves dandruff and hair loss. Promotes hair growth. Balances dry and oily hair.

Chamomile Oil EO- is one of the important ingredients in shampoos and conditioners. Chamomile helps protect hair from the harsh external environment. Chamomile oil cures oily scalp which causes dandruff. Though it takes time to produce desired effect, chamomile is better than the chemical bleach used for lightening hair. Chamomile revitalizes the hair, which also strengthening its roots. Replace toxic, chemical products with chamomile oil, it will be beneficial in the longer run. Applying chamomile oil to hair makes insomniacs sleep peacefully.

Coconut Oil- is used as a natural conditioner for hair. The molecular structure of coconut oil makes it easier to penetrate through the hair shaft and works with natural hair proteins. Coconut oil is also used to treat conditions like dry scalp or fungal conditions like seborrheic dermatitis that cause itchy flakes.

Eucalyptus Oil EO- this essential oil can be used to get long and healthy hair. One of the common scalp problems that are known to cause hair loss and adversely affect hair growth is dandruff. Eucalyptus oil can help to get rid of dandruff, which in turn can help to promote healthy growth of hair. Eucalyptus oil can increase the elasticity of hair. This can make your hair stronger and more resistant to hair breakage and split ends. All these benefits of eucalyptus oil for hair can be attributed to both its medicinal properties and soothing aroma. The refreshing aroma of the oil can reduce mental stress and exhaustion, which too can go a long way in preventing hair loss.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil- is rich in high levels of mono-unsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E. Vitamin E is an antioxidant, which is good for hair growth. Antioxidants are beneficial as they slow the ageing process. Both mono-unsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E are good for moisturizing, protecting and nourishing hair. Olive oil makes hair grow stronger. Olive oil has emollient properties, due to which olive oil for hair loss, is often recommended. Olive oil for hair care is great, for another reason. It helps in battling dandruff, which can be one of the reasons for hair loss.
... EVOO is very thick and not usually recommended in a low/no poo haircare routine, it definitely will need a low poo shampoo to get it out. 

Grapefruit EO- is reputed to be beneficial to the hair and scalp. It promotes hair growth when massaged into scalp, and can be used as a tonic.

Grapeseed oil- is pressed from grape seeds. Because of its moisturizing and regenerative properties, grapeseed oil is a popular ingredient in cosmetics and aromatherapy. Grapeseed oil is rich with antioxidants and has many beneficial properties for the hair and scalp. It is easily absorbed into the body and is good for people with sensitive skin because of its non-allergenic properties.

Hemp seed oil- is a source of the essential amino acids that benefit healthy hair. Hemp promotes strong, healthy locks and staves off the effects of aging. Shampoo and other hair care products that use hemp will leave your hair soft. Hemp oil can be applied directly to hair as a conditioner, even left on overnight. Hemp oil is also used to moisturize braids, cornrows and weaves.

Jojoba Oil- the oil extracted from jojoba is technically a liquid wax even though it is commonly called an oil. Jojoba oil is golden in color with light natural nutty odor that does not linger. The oil is hypoallergenic, nonirritating and noncomedogenic. It contain vitamin E and has both antibacterial and antioxidant properties. These benefits make the oil ideal for hair care.

Peppermint oil EO- because of its pH balancing qualities, peppermint oil can also be used to treat the opposite problem: dry scalp and dandruff. And since the oil will be neutralizing the dryness on the scalp itself, it will take away any itching sensation associated with this social nightmare. The tingling sensation mentioned above not only evens the field of the pH balances of your scalp, but it also stimulates your hair follicles and promotes hair growth.

Rose Water- the pH value of rose water is closer to that of the hair in its optimal state; therefore, it works to repair the porosity. This allows the hair to retain the proper amount of moisture in; and the cuticle will remain smooth.

Rosehip seed Oil EO- is safe to use on the hair and scalp and provides many restorative benefits. You can use rose hip seed oil as a hot oil treatment on dry, damaged or brittle hair. For dandruff on dry scalp, apply rose hip seed oil directly to the scalp and massage it into the skin. According to, rose hip seed oil has a low pH and is safe and gentle enough to be applied directly to the hair and scalp.

Rosemary Oil EO- has a number of properties that promote healthy hair growth. One of the important rosemary oil properties is its stimulating effect. The use of rosemary oil on the hair and scalp helps stimulate blood circulation in the scalp and thus promotes healthy hair growth. It is light in texture and therefore, does not clog the pores in the scalp that may retard hair growth. Rosemary oil is used along with other essential oils and a base oil to enhance its effect.

Tea tress Oil EO- is used as an antibacterial and antiseptic agent. These properties make it ideal for keeping hair healthy since it will thoroughly clean your hair. Tea tress oil can potentially help those suffering from thinning hair or baldness: it cleans your hair follicles of residue, which can impede hair growth. Tea tree oil also has moisturizing component, which can improve the texture of dry or frizzy hair.

Thyme EO- is very useful in promoting hair growth. Regular massage of thyme oil improves blood circulation in the scalp and gives your hair luster, shine and bounce.

Ylang ylang Oil EO- is said to be useful in normalizing sebum secretions. This oil also can be used to stimulate the scalp and thereby promote hair growth.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Washcloth Method

I can't imagine this method not breaking or damaging hair, and causing hair loss, but... I can see how great it would be for curl definition and moving sebum in place of a brush!!

Mexican rag method.
"This is a variation of the water-only method. You wash your hair using just warm water, and then you use a washcloth to move the natural oils down from the scalp to the ends of your hair. You do 100 strokes on each side. Many women swear by this method"

Friday, April 25, 2014

Henna & Amla

Okie dokie... Anyone have a light?

Seriously, HennaHut says they have fresh henna and based on the smell... Let's just say I feel like I should be rollin'  and firing it up man - woooahhhh that's a potently fresh and natural scent!! I added about 20 drops of tangerine EO and I could still smell the two distinctly Caribbean scents wafting into my nostrils!

If you haven't yet guessed, I'm a henna virgin and am attempting to apply henna by myself tonight.  HennaHut has videos and simple instructions, I'm pretty confident about going ahead on my own.

Here's the before pic. I originally had dark brown hair, added some ash blond highlights and my hair and highlights have lightened from using apple cider vinegar as a conditioning rinse to the point where my blond is WAY too blond.  That coupled with seven white hairs has led me to henna :)

Pretty obvious blonde highlights, I'm looking forward to seeing what the henna does to them!

So, here goes.  I shampooed twice using a sulphate & paraben free shampoo, then let my hair air dry for about an hour.

Update: I was told washing with low poo isn't necessary and doesn't change the outcome.  As a henna virgin, I wanted to do everything right though.  I also devoured the free eBook to the right of the pic here before starting my research.  It's really helped my application technique.  No need to repeat those instruction except a warning to use Vaseline on the skin of your hairline and ears and wear gloves!!

Applying henna is fun, much like playing in mud!  It feels heavy quickly though, but smooshy, so now that I'm sufficiently smooshed, I've got a French roll on top of my head and nothing holding it - lol. Not to worry, I've got an old black T-shirt on in case it falls out. No need for the TouchUp applicator, nor the shower cap!

Next time I think I should use 200g... I feel like although I used 50g of Amla and 100g of henna I could have used a 200g total so I didn't have to stretch it.  But smooshing pretty much took care of an even coverage.

I read that mixing Amla with henna creates a cool toned brown, because I wear cool colours in clothing and makeup, I thought I'd give it a try.

Here's my 7 hour old formerly blonde highlights - they're brown!! Already a success!  Let's see how the oxidization process continues in the next two days until the final colour settles.  Its like a present, its a surprise!!!

Note:  I slept with my sad sebum stripped unconditioned hair in a braid and when I woke up it was still wet so still smelled like herbs - more like mulch actually!  Once dried though, there was no smell.  Makes me think adding rosemary EO for hair growth, or tea tree may be OK even though I hate both scents.

Thirty hours later I'm deciding if I'm going to do a deep condition, then deciding how I'll style my hair for this week, curly or straight :). I'm tempted to go straight because I want to see all the colour though.
Update:  I finally mastered how to combat dryness with henna.

Here's my lovely cool-brown colour thanks to the Amla I added.  I obviously missed some grey at the hairline!

Despite my better judgment, I used coconut milk on the length and ends of my hair, carefully avoiding any contact with my scalp. I used coconut milk before and it was extremely moisturizing to the point it made my scalp (sweaty, hot and moist) too moisturized. I then put on a shower cap, and cleaned my bathroom.  So after however long that was, 20 minutes or so, I rinsed it out with water and did an ACV to water rinse (50%/50% equal parts) and plopped to dry curly.

Wow!  No blonde... Lookin good even though its still wet!  I gave it a coconut milk condition and ACV rinse and plopped to mostly dry, now it's air drying.  That's with sunlight from the window, true colour 36 hours in!!!

So Monday morning, I could still smell the coconut milk and although my hair was super hydrated, it was frizzy.  I caved.  I rinsed it yet again with warm water, no apple cider vinegar rinse, just water and my hair was super soft, full of light bouncy curly volume and great definition thanks to the opportunity to restyle it, no brushes used!

A thought: maybe my hair loves WO, but my scalp hates it!!!???

Update:  my hair looks shiny, feels soft and my sebum production seems to have slowed down.  Its day 9 and I just flat ironed my hair to truly see the colour. I've oiled my ends and I did headband curls for 4 hours and it didn't really take, I need to do them overnight!  Here's my finger combed hair.  I love the colour!  I'll definitely do henna again!

Update:  12 days later...

above is about 10am, below is about 7pm and I'm exhausted, haven't touched my hair in hours and ready for bed!! Notice, my hair is still full of body and shine  - unlike me - all day long!!

Nighty night :)

Update Aug 2014:  This first time I did a low poo to henna my virgin hair, the next time I washed with shikakai and henna'd the next day when my hair was dry - hated that process since I needed to rinse again the day after and my hair hates water (a personal thing I guess)

Last time I henna'd 20 day old sebum coated hair all over, not just roots like a touch-up, I like the conditioning so I do the whole head.   After rinsing day after, knew it was now a wash method for me.

Why: I find the first few days (3days) after henna, my hair feels a little dry, even straw like.  I've been caught 3 times doing a deep condition after henna and regretting it by day 5 when everything is back to normal.

For my hair, and infrequent washes as it is, it's a wash.  I have bra strap length, layered, curly, tending toward dry, high porosity hair.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

scared to transition...

Another ingenious idea I read is to start with a full bottle of shampoo, and each time you use it, top it up with water. Over time, it'll become so diluted, your hair would have weaned itself off shampoo and transitioned to WO so gradually, you won't even notice :)

Curly hair and no/low poo...

On my daughter, and to make my hairdresser feel more comfortable, I use this low poo.  Otherwise, I use either soapnuts juice or a locally handmade castille argan oil soap bar.

I use 50/50% apple cider vinegar/water as my conditioner and that's the only ratio my hair likes, but I'm only using it every 2-3 weeks so perhaps try 1/3 ACV to start, and increase your ratio until you love the results.

I also use jojoba oil to condition my ends, and tend to use a little argan oil to rehydrate the middle of my hair as needed.

I always brush before a wash, add oil or aloe and brush some more.  I tend to wear up dos to keep the oil in and protect the brushed out hair.  I also flat iron my hair so I can brush daily and oil as needed, that's how I can maintain my 21 day cleansing cycle!!

Here's why... The hair cuticle needs to be closed to be smooth, and to help keep moisture in...

Curly hair tends to be high porosity hair.  That is because to curl, the helix or spiral needs holes to bend.  By nature curly hair has lots of holes, so when wet (eg. Conditioners)  like a sponge, it soaks it all up.  But by the time it dries, the water evaporates leaving it dry again.

ACV helps to close the cuticle...

And sebum when brushed through, fills in the cuticle

Here's a response I gave to a question I got about someone struggling to be no poo with curly hair.

First things first.  No poo and curly hair are not exactly copasetic.  From both the BS use, the brushing the snarls comment I'd say that your hair isn't smooth from flat ironing because its dry and damaged.

Have no fear!  It can be healed, but it will take time.

 With hair that long, and tending toward oily, you're totally a prime candidate for luscious curls AND luxurious flat ironed locs, but here's the thing, you hair needs to be hydrated first.

I had the same problem when I starter and by fluke, realized that flat ironing could HELP me.

I ended up washing, plopping to dry and using aloe vera gel for hydration and hold (daily with a bit of water sprayed on wearing my hair curly for a week.  Then flat ironing the next weekend and with straight hair, brushing was a breeze and so was adding jojoba oil and EOs!!  I Eben figured out that argan oil is awesome too!!  I'd recommend starting with jojoba oil for hydration though.

When straight, I add oils and I brush in every direction dedicated to moving the sebum and jojoba oil through the length of my hair and making sure my end had oil too.  I mean a teensy but if oil, not a lot!  My sebum moved from at my ears (ponytail brushing) to my tips in about two months and even my curls became gloriously hydrated!!!

That makes no poo easier with curly hair.  It also made flat ironing on reduced heat possible.

When curly, I prefer brushing while wet with ACV still in.  I don't brush again unless I've wet, brushed and braided my hair so most of the detangling us done, then brush when the braid has dried.

Consider eliminating BS use on the length of your hair.  It may work marvelously at the oily roots, that's great.  You need to condition the length of your hair and treat it separately from your scalp.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Hair and Science 101

I am certain this post will be updated continually, 
but this article just HAD to be shared.  

Split ends are no joke!!

This is your scalp!! 
The brown/orange sticks are hair growing out of your scalp.

And here's the Hair 101 Article - a must read!