Tag Archives: DIY hair products

Caramel Treatment: A Natural Hair Softener/Curl Loosener?

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Pouring-Caramel-Sauce-iStockSource

 

I often get asked about whether there are any natural hair softeners/curl looseners options for natural hair and if henna is a good choice. Although henna may loosen some curls, it can be hit or miss and seems largely dependent on the thickness of the hair strand and the existing curl formation. Henna tends to loosen the curls of those who don’t want loosening! It’s also a time-consuming process and essentially permanent, so it’s not for the faint of heart! *lol* Finally, if not done right, henna can cause damage and so I always suggest that anyone interested in trying it do their research before making the leap (I read everything I could on henna for 2 months before finally deciding to try it).

That being said, when I was in the NC.com Curly Nikki Presents Kim Coles’ Grow Out Challenge (whew … that never gets easier to write!), I read a rave review about a natural hair softener/curl loosener. The young lady called it a caramel treatment. This treatment was generally made with molasses (which gives it the caramel color and consistency – hence the “caramel” moniker), honey, banana baby food and oils, but there are variations on the recipe that can be found online.

Now, the old GOC blogs are very hard to find (I just was able to dig up a valid link to my old blog, Waist Length or Bust, last night). So, I wasn’t able to find the GOC blog or post about the treatment yet. But I did find this good article on Black Hair Information: The Caramel Treatment- A Natural Hair Softener.

As I wasn’t interested in hair softening or curl loosening (shoot! I was over-conditioned at the time and ever in search something to make my curls tighter!), I never tried it. But, I did “lock it in the vaults” as I knew it was good information and might be helpful to someone. And, since I recently got asked about natural curl softeners/looseners, I figured the time to open the vaults was now :).

That being said, here is a video demonstrating how to make a caramel treatment that might be helpful to those of you interested in trying it!

via LadyTeola

Now, it wouldn’t be right of me to share this and not tell you about an article that I found by WestNDNBeauty on Confessions of a Blog Vixen that said that it was a waste of perfectly good banana baby food!! So, guess it doesn’t work for everyone. But, given that the ingredients are pretty easy to find and inexpensive, I figured that some might want to give it a try to come to their own conclusion!!

HTH!

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Have you ever tried/do you use caramel treatments? If so, what’s your recipe and what are the benefits?

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OOTD: Tame Hair, “Wild” Outfit

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jan_bun3

Just popping on really quickly to say, “Hey!” and show you what I was working with yesterday. *lol* So, yeah, the basic boring, tame bun is back. But seriously, buns are soooo easy and work for me! I pulled back my hair and made a bun by wrapping the hair and securing with hair pins (I’m getting the hang of those now and prefer them over bobby pins as they don’t snag and yank out strands of my hair when removed). I didn’t use anything to secure my hair into a ponytial. NO elastic; NO banana clip. Then, I just mixed a little shea butter and Eco Styler Olive Oil gel to smooth my edges before tying down with a satin scarf for the drive to work. My hair is on its last leg now and needs to be washed this weekend though as it’s been two weeks since my last washing session.

Now onto my “wild” outfit. LOL. It’s not really wild, but the title worked as the skirt is leopard. I am definitely getting my money’s worth out of this purchase. I honestly adore this skirt! It fits me like a glove and it’s just a great leopard print! I paired it with another closet fave, a structured, grey, wool blazer that I picked up at Marshall’s in 2011. I love the details at the shoulders on this blazer, and the lean cut and lapels make it so sleek. I paired the skirt and blazer with a black, blouson tank with a tie-neck, but left the ties hanging so they almost look like an open men’s tie. I finished the look off with black fishnet stockings, black ankle booties and gold hoop earrings.

jan_greyandleopard

I have a full length shot on my camera, but I’ll have to upload that to my computer and add it to the post later.

Oh, and on another note, I made a new coconut oil body butter on Wednesday night!!

cocoabutter_bodywhip

It smells like chocolate!! I’ll share the recipe for this one soon. And, I plan on being a little mixtress this weekend too. Want to try a bentonite clay mask like I told you the other day and I also plan on trying my hand at making some flaxseed gel. I’ve made that before as well, but cooked the seeds too long, I think. So, the gel was too thick and viscous. Want to give it another go and see what it do ;).

HAPPY FRIDAY LADIES!!!!

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What do you have planned for MLK Day Weekend?

Okra for Hair?!

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by Emily CottonTop

Okra: Protein Treatment for Hair

Have I heard it all? nope.. I am still listening. Let’s see – Monistat, Ky Jelly, Crisco, and Okra!

I think I will focus on the Okra today … I cant with the KY Jelly. I feel you boo boo, really … I do. I am a “never knock it ’til you try it” kind of girl … but my mind plays tricks on me with that one. Anyway I digress.

What is Okra?

Only the most hated vegetable by Emily CottonTop. In Jamaica, it is generally paired with steam fish, but not on my plate :).

 The Wiki says:

Okra – known in many English-speaking countries as lady’s fingers or gumbo, is a flowering plant in the mallow family. It is valued for its edible green seed pods. The geographical origin of okra is disputed, with supporters of South Asian, Ethiopian and West African origins. The plant is cultivated in tropical, subtropical and warm temperate regions around the world.

I hate it! but is it good for our hair?

Saw this on Tumblr:

Okra is a rich in Vitamins A, C and K. It also contains Zinc, Copper, Calcium, Folate, Potassium, Thiamine and many other nutrients. Okra can be used to give volume and body to your hair. It can be used as a hair gel, shampoo and conditioner. Okra is known to promote healthy and quicker hair growth, strength and shine.

  • Okra hair treatment: Boil okra until it begins to slime. Allow okra to cool, add essential and carrier oils, and scrub onto hair. Allow mixture to sit for 10-15 min. Rinse, shampoo and condition as usual.
  • Okra hair gel: Boil okra until it reaches a slimy consistency. Strain okra to separate slime from okra. Allow slime to cool in a container, add essential or carrier oils, and refrigerate.

Who knew!!? It is great for added protein. For every pound of okra, there is 8.62 grams of protein. I think that means that there is a lot or enough to do something great for our hair.

Would you try Okra?

Em

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I had a bad incident many years ago with frozen okra. I decided to add it to my turkey chili recipe instead of my normal spinach. Not a good look. I am a food preservationist and feel a sense of guilt throwing any away (too many years of hearing about the starving children in Ethiopia, I guess)! But, that mess was so slimy and disgusting, I was gagging trying to choke it down. After one attempt, I threw the entire vile batch in the trash. I’ve never touched okra since.

But, gotta say, I’m intrigued as to okra’s “hairdicinal” qualities. It seems very similar to and as easy to make as flaxseed gel! Now, if I can only get someone to make it for me … need to reduce the likelihood of a flashback!! *lol*

Flaxseed Gel (FSG)

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Early in my discovery of this little online natural hair community, I came across the acronym FSG on a thread on naturallycurly.com. I think I was in search of something to enhance my curls. Anywho, it took a little digging, but I learned that FSG stands for flaxseed gel, a natural and nourishing alternative to commercial gels.

via LiveStrong.com

Flaxseed oil, derived from the seeds of the flax plant, is rich in essential fatty acids, which can be beneficial to your health in a number of ways. In addition to helping with skin disease, cholesterol and digestive problems, flaxseed oil may also assist with hair growth and the replenishment of brittle hair or dry scalp. While evidence supports the use of flaxseed oil to promote healthy hair, there is no solid proof of its effectiveness.

Why Flaxseed Oil Helps Hair

One of the reasons flaxseed oil can promote hair health is because it is rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids. Omega-3 essential fatty acids are known to support scalp health, while a deficiency can result in dry scalp and dull hair, says Jim White, R.D., a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, according to “Men’s Health.”

Flax seeds also contain lignans, disease-fighting compounds that may help fight hair loss. But because lignans are found in the shell, whole seeds are a better source than oil.

As an alternative to the oil discussed primarily in the article, you can also make a natural hair gel by boiling flaxseeds and straining them to use the resultant “goop.” To further enhance the beneficial effects of this little DIY gel, you can add essential and carrier oils and/or aloe vera gel and, if you want to enhance your curls, try adding a small amount of  MSG/Magnesium Sulfate (i.e. Epsom salts). However, you’ll want to be careful with this last additive as it can be drying for some, especially if too much is used.

Want to see how it’s made? Naptural85 demonstrates her flaxseed gel recipe and techniques in this tutorial.

via Naptural85 

Not much of a DIYer, but love the idea of a natural gel? Check out this naturallycurly.com thread that piqued my interest in 2010 and led me to the highly sought after FSG made by Botticelli Babe, which spawned her Esty shop, Botticelli Botanicals.

As to my experience with flaxseed gel? Well, I tried making it one time in the fall of 2010 with flaxseeds I already had in my fridge. I think that I boiled the seeds for too long as the gel was very thick and a little hard to distribute. I never revisited making it again … but out of sheer laziness. However, I’ve read so many good things about it that I’ve been thinking about trying it again in late spring/summer for my WnGs.

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Do you use or have you tried FSG? What is/was your experience with it? What’s your recipe?