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.