Tag Archives: natural products

Goat Milk Conditioner Video Demo

Standard

goatsmilkconditioner1

A little over month or so ago, I shared a DIY Goat Milk Conditioning Hair Mask Recipe. As I mentioned then, and I’ll reaffirm now, I LOVE this stuff!! My hair has been amazing since I started using it and I’m about to apply a batch that I mixed up this past Sunday as soon as I post this!!

sideswept34

Anywho, I know that some people are more visual and want to SEE things demonstrated. But, this is the thing. I struggle with videos and they take me hour upon hour to tape, edit, and figure out how to upload properly. So, I haven’t done any “real” ones in FOREVER!! But, I was very pleased to see that Sawah of DiscoveringNatural tried my goat milk recipe and filmed it!! So, I’m sharing her video for those interested in seeing the recipe “in action.” And, I love that she has a different texture than me and can demonstrate its effectiveness on tighter coils!! Thanks Sawah!!

via DiscoveringNatural

(p.s. I have since added an eye dropper full each of Nettle Leaf and Marshmallow Root extracts to my recipe. I got them for something else that I never made, because both herbs are touted to have benefits for hair. Can’t say for certain that they improved the efficacy of the conditioner. But again, my hair has been behaving WONDERFULLY since I started using this and my shedding/hair loss has been dramatically decreased.)

****************************************************************************************************

Have you tried a goat milk hair conditioner? If so, how would you describe your hair texture and what were your results?

Advertisements

Goat Milk Conditioning Hair Mask

Standard

goatsmilkconditioner1

Okay. I admit it. I’ve been holding out on you guys. But, in my defense, I did it FOR you!!! You see … what had happened was …

About a year ago, my girl Dottie of Threadmill (you know, the one who makes satin-lined, crocheted hats for us natural girls … and it IS that time of year) messages me on Facebook:

I have had a hair epiphany! Do you want to hear about it? I’ve been cowashing lately, and added one moisturizing ingredient to it, and WOWEE, my hair is amazing! It was an experiment that actually worked. My hair is the “heat”! I’ll be doing this at least twice a week! (I’m so excited about my new hair discovery… not sure if it’s an approved thing for natural hair…. but it is surely the thing for mine!!!!)
Maybe someone else thought of it before me, but for me, it’s my own discovery…. And if it is truly a new thing, I want you to have it! (if it’s good for you)
Goats milk lotion… made by an etsy friend. I added 1 part of my favorite no-sulfate conditioner with 1 part of the goats milk lotion, and about 4 parts water, shake it up! Added liberally, washed through my hair, and seriously Shelli, this is the best my hair has EVER looked without styling agents, or heat agents!
My hair is soft, yet has definition, and the curls aren’t frizzy but, they’re refined.
I’m literally pingy with my discovery!

Needless to say, I was intrigued. So, started to do a little research! Check out some of what I discovered:

via Black Hair 101

Goat Milk Hair Benefits:

  • Make hair soft and manageable.
  • Good for dry scalp and especially for dandruff conditions.
  • Softens hair and smoothes out nicks or scratches across the hair strand.
  • Makes scalp healthier and less prone to dryness.
  • When added to other moisture rich ingredients can make hair moisturized and pliable and extremely healthy.

Goat milk can be added to shampoos, conditioners or used with other nutritious ingredients as a deep conditioner or with tea as a rinse or added to your shea, mango or cocoa butter preparations for hair and skin.

Now, here is where it gets really interesting. Dottie’s friend had to take a hiatus from making her goat’s milk conditioner, so I wasn’t able to get my hands on any. But, in a serendipitous turn of events, a friend of mine at work tells me that her daughter, who is a farmer, just bought nursing goats and she would give me some milk once the baby goats were weaned. Fast forward to a year later (lol) and I finally got 3 freezer bags full of some authentic, straight-off-the-farm, unadulterated goat’s milk! (But, in the interim, I had started using Curl Prep Sweet Buttah. L. O. V. E. Guess what the fourth ingredient is? Yeah. Goat milk.)

So, back in late September or thereabouts, the experimenting commenced. After the first use, I didn’t notice anything particularly amazing. But, on the following wash day, I noticed less shedding and breakage. The same thing occurred after the second use … and the third. By the fourth use, my hair seemed a bit shinier and definitely stronger, with drastically decreased shedding (or breakage as the case may have been).

And now, we get to why it has taken me so long to tell you about the awesome results I have been getting from goat milk conditioner. You see … this stuff is really watery. And kinda sticky. So, my first three treatments with it were NOT cute, though they were effective.

Experiment #1: Goat’s Milk solo – drippy, somewhat sticky, mess.

Experiment #2: Goat’s Milk mixed with full fat yogurt – thicker, but still a bit drippy AND it left white, flaky residue, even after two rinses.

Experiment #3: Goat’s Milk mixed with Sally’s GVP Matrix Biolage Conditioning Balm and honey – improved consistency, no residue, but difficult to mix and still not quite right.

So, finally, I did a little research about cosmetic thickening agents and decided to purchase some guar gum from Amazon. I used it to make a goat’s milk conditioning mask this past weekend and it was LOVER-LY!! After using the treatment as my deep conditioner, I did my new go-to style, the Aloe Vera Gel Braid n’ Twist n’ Curl (BnTnC – I think that I just coined a new natural hair acronym!! LOL!) and had the most AMAZE-A-BALLS results ever on take down the following afternoon!

BnTnC(This was in prep for my wedding day hairstyle trial!! It turned out great!)

So, here’s my easy, peasy, recipe:

DIY GOAT MILK & HONEY CONDITIONING HAIR MASK

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 c. goat’s milk (2 ice cubes thawed*)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 tsp Vatika Oil (Virgin Coconut Oil can also be used)
  • 1/4 tsp guar gum (not only thickens mix, provides AMAZING slip!)

Directions:

  1. Mix together goat’s milk, honey, EVOO, and Vatika Oil (I used a spoon, but a mixer or whisk could also be used).
  2. Slowly sprinkle guar gum into the mix while constantly stirring (“Slowly” is the operative word. If you dump the guar gum into the mix, you will get “cottage cheese” lumps, which can be difficult to rinse out of your hair.).
  3. Allow mixture to “hydrate” for 15-30 minutes (this is when it thickens).
  4. Pour conditioner into an applicator bottle (optional).
  5. Go for yours (massage into scalp and smooth through hair)!!

TIPS:

  • Freeze milk into ice cubes to extend shelf-life and create convenient, “serving size” amounts that can be thawed quickly when ready to use.
  • If you don’t have your own personal “farm fresh” supplier ;), you can use store bought goat’s milk, including the powdered kind.
  • Add essential oils and/or herbal extracts that are beneficial for hair. I have been adding an eye dropper full of nettle leaf and marshmallow extract, both touted to have benefits for scalp heath and hair growth!
  • Not a mixtress, but still want to try this? Add goat milk to your regular/deep conditioner and let it do what it do ;)!
  • This recipe has no preservatives, so refrigerate any leftovers and use within a week. If you opt to add a preservative, still store the product in your refrigerator, not the bathroom, to extend shelf life.

goatsmilkconditioner2You can see the conditioner like consistency given by the guar gum.

I applied the goat’s milk mask after washing, conditioning, and detangling my hair. I left it on for about an hour with my thermal heat turban, cooled and sealed, and then damp styled. The next day …

BnTnC5

So yeah … goat’s milk is, like, my newest holy grail.

********************************************************************************************************

Have you ever used goat’s milk as a hair treatment? How do/did you use it? What benefits, if any, did you see from using it?

In Review: Yes to Blueberries Healthy Hair Repair

Standard

yes to blueberriesby Crystal of Crystal’s Curls & Q’s

I have been on the search for a really good deep conditioner to use along with my Huetiful steamer.  I was browsing Essence.com on January 1 and came across this:

So, I decided I would give it a try. It is at Walgreen’s for $7.99 for the 11.5 oz bottle. There was a $1 off coupon attached to the bottle and you know I used it.

Ingredients:
Water (Aqua), Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Cetyl Esters, Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Stearyl Dihydroxypropyldimonium Oligosaccharides, Lupine Amino Acids, Fragrance (Parfum)**, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Extract, Trifolium Pratense (Clover) Flower Extract, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil*, Ipomoea Batatas Root Lees Extract, Glycerin, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Trimethylolpropane Tricaprylate/Tricaprate, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Sorbic Acid.

According to the package:
Blueberries are rich in anti-oxidants to keep hair looking healthy and shiny.
Clover Flower has healing properties to mend damaged locks.
Sunflower contains fatty acids to nourish and protect against breakage.

Product claims:
Reduce breakage for healthier looking hair.
Restore fullness and shine.
98% natural product.

I was beyond ecstatic that there are no sulfates or  silicones in this product. #cgfriendly YAY!!!

*So here are my thoughts regarding this product.*

I used it yesterday, 1/5/12, after washing with Mixed Chicks Sulfate Free Shampoo. I detangled with Tresemme Naturals (as usual). I applied this to my hair and OMG!!!!! I love the consistency. As I applied it, my hair immediately felt moisturized.  This is not a THICK product; it has more of a WET consistency. It has slip. You could detangle with it if you wanted. If it were not $8 a bottle, I would DEFINITELY use it as my detangler.

I parted my hair in 4 sections and applied the product to each section. I then combined both sections on the left and both sections on the right to make 2 big sections separated by a middle part and clipped them.

I then sat under the steamer:

I have added weekly steam treatments to my routine.  See my routine tab.

I then twisted my hair:

I DID NOT RINSE  THE PRODUCT OUT.  (It does say to rinse on the bottle, but I am a REBEL.)
I loved how supple my twists were.  Here is a pic of my twists this morning:

1/6/13

My Final Thoughts:

If you are looking for a good deep conditioner that is not expensive, is readily available in most markets, and is all (98%) natural, this is a GREAT conditioner.  I am no longer on the hunt for a deep conditioner. 

DISCLAIMER:  This review consists of my thoughts on how MY hair responded to this product.  I was not paid for this review and I paid for this product myself.  

Coconut Oil Lip Balm

Standard

lipbalm8

So, y’all know that I’ve been on a coconut oil induced mixtress binge as of late after discovering this great page, 25 Magical Things to Make with Coconut Oil. Well, my latest endeavor was to try my hand at making a coconut oil lip balm. You see, I’m a Chapstick/lip balm addict! I MUST have something moisturizing for my lips on me at all times! But, I know that Chapstick and many other lip balms contain parabens, which is an ingredient that I’ve been trying to get away from as much as possible. So, when I saw this recipe (which requires minimal ingredients and effort), I decided it was worth giving a try.

via Passionate Homemaking

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons beeswax (about 1 oz)
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
2 Tablespoons shea butter
12 lip balm containers
dropper

Directions:

1. Melt beeswax in a small pan or crockpot over low heat. Add coconut oil and shea butter until all ingredients a melted. Add a few drops essential oil if desired. I did not use any essential oil and it is smells wonderfully like honey!
2. Using a small medicinal dropper, pour the melted liquid into your lip balm containers. Add a few extra drops to the top after filling each container as the ingredients will shrink as they cool.
3. Cool completely to harden. Cover with cap and decorate or label as desired.

Well, first I had to get a couple of the “ingredients.” I had the coconut oil and the shea butter, but needed the beeswax and lip balm containers. The article on Passionate Homemaking had links to a seller, but I decided to check out Amazon, since I had reward points available, also wanted some coco butter and could potentially get free Super Saver shipping ;). So, I hopped on Amazon.com and purchased a bag of five 1 oz. bars of beeswax for $6.35 and a pack of 10 clear .15 oz. lip balm containers for $11.97. Not bad, but learned from a reader, Cheryl, that I could have done better on the lip balm containers by using “Amazon Prime” in my search terms and digging a little further in the results. She found 25 black containers for $13.97!! Live and Learn!!

Anywho, yesterday I got home and my Amazon shipment was at the door! I was sooooo tired because I’d been on the road for several hours, stuck in horrendous traffic on the turnpike as I was returning home from south Jersey. But, after changing and chilling for a bit, I couldn’t resist taking a stab at the lip balm recipe. And, let me tell you, it was soooo easy and quick!!! I grabbed an eye dropper from a hair product and cleaned it with some soapy water, then grabbed my Maychang essential oil and got to work!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I decided to throw the balms into the fridge after finishing them last night. However, that was NOT a good idea! LOL!! The contents got too hard and I wasn’t able to turn the knobs to make the balm rise out of the container. But, when I placed one of the containers high over a burner to allow it to warm a little, it worked like a charm. So, in the future, I know to just let them cool at room temperature.

I used the balm last night and today and it’s very smooth and silky feeling. It doesn’t feel as thick or hard as chapstick, but it feels moisturizing and not at all waxy so far! So excited to have a natural and paraben free lip balm that is so easy to make!!

Finally, next time that I have extra, I’m going to try the hard lotion bars! At the end of the recipe post, the author indicated that leftovers can be poured into an ice cube tray to make hard lotion bars!! LOVE it!! Shoot, why wait for next time and leftovers?!?! I just might make another batch of the balm today!! I’m guessing that I can just store the hard lotion bar in a sandwich bag!

smooches

Smooches!

*********************************************************************************************************

Are you a Chapstick addict? Would you ever try making your own? If you’ve made your own lip balm, what ingredients do you use in YOUR recipe?!? Any tips or tricks to share?

Flaxseed Gel (FSG)

Standard

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.

******************************************************************************************************************

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

Henna for Nail Strength?!

Standard

These are not my hands :), they belong to my sister Shana.

Last year around this time, I was heading to NYCC and suddenly noticed that my nails were all about a half-inch long!! If you knew my nail history ;), you’d be as shocked as I was! You see, although I’ve never had a problem with achieving relatively long hair, I could never “grow” long nails, especially on all ten digits at the same time (I’ve always had this theory that the keratin strength either goes to your hair or your nails, rarely both!). I’ve never had the patience for manicures, nail treatments or tips, especially given the need to regularly maintain them. On the rare occasions that I did get a mani, no matter how long I seemed to wait for my nails to dry, I always smudged and/or chipped one (or several) within hours of leaving the salon.

So, I was ecstatic last Spring when I learned of this new Opi nail lacquer which would be completely dry within minutes and would last for two weeks with a nearly chip proof finish! I proceeded to get my nails done every four weeks (because it lasted that long) for several months. And, my nails grew! But then, the side effects began to manifest. The removal process, which involved heavy-duty chemical solvents and a “chisel,” eventually damaged my nails so badly that one thumbnail looked like a shattered windshield! For months, my nails would bend backwards when I attempted to do anything and the tips would just peel away.

Now, you can understand my surprise when I realized in October that my bare nails were … dare I say it … long, healthy and strong. Super long? No. Super hard? Again, no. But, they were really long for me … so long that I had problems removing my contacts (TMI? lol). I started thinking about what could possibly be the cause of this and it struck me that I’d been using henna religiously for months, sometimes weekly. My nails would often be tinted slightly orange for a week or so after a treatment. Given that nails and hair share the same basic component, keratin, and that henna works it strengthening magic on hair by binding to that component, it stood to reason it could do the same  for nails. So, I began to research henna for nail strength and found this:

via Helium.com

Henna can be used to add strength to nails because it contains a resinous substance that adheres to the surface of the nails. This provides protection from splits, chips and tears. Simply combine one tablespoon of natural colored henna with one and a half tablespoons of water. With a knife or spatula coat each nail in the mix for around five minutes before rinsing off. Only use once a month to prevent a build up of resin.

I then found this post on ehow.com, which provides step by step instructions on How to Make a Nail Strengthening Treatment from henna. Both of these posts reference neutral/natural colored henna, which isn’t henna at all. Rather, it is cassia obovata as many of us on the natural hair circuit know;). However, both my sister and I experienced improved nail health via the rinsing process while doing regular (weekly/bi-weekly) treatments with real henna! As cassia can be difficult to come by on the ground, you may choose to try a BAQ henna “rinse” instead. If you don’t mind a slight orange tint for a few days, simply allow your nails to soak in dye released henna water for a few minutes and rinse. Another option is to mix a henna paste and apply it immediately, prior to dye release, and again rinse after a few minutes. However, I would expect that the strengthening of the latter technique is less than the former as the dye molecule in henna is what binds to keratin and, I assume, provides the most plant resin.

If you are not feeling orange nails (hey, it’s October, they’d be great for Halloween;), you probably do want to go with cassia. I’ve experimented with the Light Mountain Hair Color & Conditioner, Neutral as it contains cassia and I could find it on the ground at Whole Foods. The ingredients are listed as cassia auriculata leaf and lawsonia inermis leaf powder and not cassia obovata though. It seems to work okay, but not as well as good, old-fashioned henna.

Regardless of which option you choose, if you are in search of a nail strengthening product, BAQ henna is an effective, 100% natural, quick and easy alternative to expensive, chemical-laden and/or time intensive commercial treatments. It could be just what the nail doctor ordered!

*************************************************************************************************************************

Have you experienced improved nail strength and increased length since using henna?