Monday, August 31, 2009
Natural clarifying shampoo is a must for us naturally curly women who use a lot of hair care products on a daily basis. Getting rid of buildup in your hair no matter what your hair type is essential for keeping clean fresh looks for your hairstyles. Clarifying shampoos and rinses that clean and remove buildup from styling products, smog, smoke or dust or gels and moisterizers.
Why shampoos can be bad for your hair
Some shampoos have chemicals that can be drying to your hair stripping it of its natural elements, especially color treated hair. If you are not careful in picking an affordable all natural shampoo. You will find that some of the best products are ones you will find in your own kitchen cabinets, such as baking soda, apple cider vinegar, green tea, lemon, a natural homemade beauty remedy for clarifying cleansing your scalp and hair, can help to condition hair with lavender vinegar by adding a essential oil to the herbal vinegar hair rinse you can use lavender buds with the apple cider vinegar mixture.
Homemade natural conditioner
It will allow the acidity from the vinegar to remove silicones, excess oils and glycerin found in soap shampoo bars from your hair. When you add fresh herbs such as calendula petals, chamomile, lavender buds, rosemary, parsley and rose hips to the vinegar you will have a nice fragrance as well as a method for promoting hair growth.
Clarifying no shampoo routine
Natural clarifying with the no-poo method is gaining popularity among women who have decided to wear their hair natural, its a lifestyle and a movement of ways to better take care of our hair naturally without a lot of damaging cleansing products. No matter what your hair type you will find that this process will save your hair from getting dried out, tangled or feeling brittle which is usually the results after washing your hair with regular shampoos.
Washing your hair without shampoo
The fact of the matter if you are a curly head shampoo is not something you should be using anyway, that is in the traditional sense, you can create a natural shampoo and rinse that actually adds hair vitamins and softens the hair. So many are opting to cleanse their hair with conditioner instead, by washing your hair with conditioner you will notice a difference in your hair afterwards this is called a conditioner wash or co-wash.
Conditioners for co-wash
Some recommended hair care products include suave for its light hair conditioners. The best way to do this is to soak your hair really good and use a small amount of conditioner and gently massage into your hair and while concentrating on your scalp you will remove all excess dirt and buildup as you rinse with cool water and then remove excess water by scrutching the hair and avoiding drying your hair with a towel because this will cause you to experience drying of your hair as well.
List of Conditioners for your natural alternative Shampoo Rinse
The following are conditioners or organic shampoos that have natural ingredients, natural products for less drying of your hair.
Aveda Curessence Conditioner
Pantene Pro-V Hydrating Curls
Suave Tropical Coconut
Desert Essence Organic
There are many more products available the best thing is to look for hair care products that will work for you and your hair type.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Hey ladies, I know there are some AuNaturale's who love to wear their hair in protective styles. Here Ive posted a few different ways to do so. Protective styles can definitely aid in keeping your ends "protected." Try any of these protective styles and see if you experience more hair retention. Just make sure, no matter which way you wear your hair, that your ends are put away.
1. Bun or Chignon
This is a simple style that works for any occasion, especially dressy or formal ones. All you need are hairpins and a covered elastic band. Buns work on relaxed and natural hair with a relative amount of ease. You can part your hair down the center or on one side if you prefer
2. Two-Strand Twists
Twists work best on natural hair. Relaxed strands are simply too straight and slippery to hold twists in place without unraveling. They work for children and for adults. You can fashion twists in various ways while still protecting your delicate ends.
You can braid your natural hair or you can opt for braid extensions. Whether your braids are all yours or created with enhancements, you still need to care for your hair and scalp while you're wearing them.
4. Flat Twists
Similar to cornrows, flat twists are created with two sections of hair instead of three. Flat twists offer more versatility because unlike two-strand twists, flat twists work equally well on relaxed or natural hair. If your hair extends past the nape of your neck, you can gather the ends of flat twists and fashion them into a ponytail or bun.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Hey ladies, before I decided to wear my hair Natural I already new exactly what style I wanted to rock. I totally had a idea of what would work best for me in the way of time & my schedule. That lead me to " The wash n go " style. I loooove big hair, with a semi curly kinky Afro touch, very much like what's pictured above. Already, having a idea of the texture of my natural hair I knew this natural style would be a success, and I was right! here I 've posted some tips or ideas that may help you along the way of hair styling.
what is your lifestyle?
When deciding on a natural hairstyle the first thing you will need to consider is what type of lifestyle do you lead, is it an active one. Time will be an issue so you must pick a natural hairstyle that will be easy to maintain. Quick and easy low maintenance natural hairstyles that will not require lots of your time is going to be your most important priority
Short natural hairstyles or long natural hairstyles
Next you will have to ask yourself if you want to wear a curly short hairstyle or a long wavy hairstyle, longer hairstyles will take less care and up keep compared to a shorter hairstyle, short hair requires constant trims to make it look neat and stylish. Also some short hairstyles go out of fashion and may give you an out of date look.
Wash and go natural hairstyles
Some of the benefits of going natural is the ease of wash and go with the right conditioners and gels you can easily get ready each morning without a lot of fuss. First it will take a 5 min or less routine of wetting hair then adding gel or conditioner and then styling hair. You can let your hair air dry or use a hair dryer with a attached diffuser
Natural locs hairstyles or natural braid hairstyles
Some are choosing to wear locs and get them done by a natural hair specialist who is a consultant for those who want to wear locs. The process requires that the hair is locked together as the hair meshes and dreads together, as the hair grows it will continue to loc together until the hair is permanently in this style, if you decide to remove the locs sometimes it will require for them to be cut out. If you do not want such a permanent commitment you could go for cornrows, micro braids or individual braided hairstyles that can come in various lengths from chin length, shoulder length or longer, these are popular styles for summer as well as it is a low maintenance hairstyle.
Remember ladies, it's very important to do what works best for you & your hair type. There are many natural hair styles that are worn that rock. However, depending on the texture of your hair it may not work out as shown on someone else's hair. This is why it's very important that we must learn about our hair type and texture. That way we can properly attend to our hair needs , with less disappointments.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Castor oil provides many benefits for hair. Castor oil smooths the hair cuticle, adds moisture, makes hair more manageable and controls an oily scalp. For centuries, people created hair treatments out of the seeds of the castor plant, Ricinus communis, for hair growth, hair loss, dry hair and dandruff problems. Today people use both pure castor oil and commercial castor oil hair treatments. The type of hair treatment determines the preparation and application for maximum results.
Castor Oil Selection
Once you decide to use a castor oil hair treatment, you want to choose the right type of castor oil. Different grades of castor oil are available for use in cosmetics, hair care, aromatherapy, medicine, food, household care, gardening and manufacturing. Use a cosmetic or therapeutic grade castor oil for haircare. Cosmetic grade castor oil is designed for use in skincare, cosmetics and haircare. Therapeutic grade is similar to cosmetic grade, but is free of chemical additives.
Look for quality castor oil, preferably organic. Organic standards should deliver a quality castor oil in most cases, because of the rules for no-chemicals plant cultivation. A quality castor oil has a clear, yellow color with a mild, natural plant odor. You should not smell any chemicals or artificial fragrances. After applied, the castor oil does not have lingering scent
Castor Oil Hair Treatments
A variety of castor oil hair treatment recipes are available for specific hair concerns. Castor oil is most popular as a conditioning treatment. Pure castor oil alone serves as a moisturizing conditioner for dry, damaged hair. Adding castor oil to a commercial hair conditioner can improve the moisture level of hair. You can also mix castor oil with other vegetable oils, such as olive oil, for a deep conditioner.
If you suffer from dandruff or an itchy scalp, castor oil can alleviate the discomfort. Mix castor oil with jojoba for a scalp treatment. Rosemary essential oil also works well with castor oil to balance the oils of the scalp.
Castor oil can help treat hair loss when mixed with thyme, cedarwood, lavender, rosemary, jojoba and grapeseed oil. These essential oils stimulate the hair follicles to encourage hair growth and prevent future hair loss.
Using Castor Oil
You can apply castor oil in a number of ways during a hair treatment. Place castor oil in a clean applicator bottle to distribute the oil through the hair with less spills during conditioning. Put a shower cap over your hair, and sit under a hood dryer for 20 minutes for deep conditioning.
Smooth 1 drop of castor oil onto the ends of your hair each night as a light daily conditioner. If your hair feels dry, apply 2 drops of castor oil to the entire hair shaft.
Apply castor oil with a cotton ball for scalp treatments. This will lessen mess and ensure that you put the oil on the scalp evenly.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Women have been adorning their hair with many different embellishments from beads, amulets, feathers, and most beautifully, with flowers. Flowers have a deep richness in physical beauty, healing properties, and historical values. Our ancestral beauties often wore flowers in their hair to ward off diseases, being that flowers were known for containing healing extracts, show their marital status, or just to show off their beauty. When we wear our embellishments in our hair, It's nice to have meaning to it as well as to accent our beauty. While wearing fresh cut flowers in our hair can be beautiful and scentfully pleasurable, it can also be quite expensive and really, there's no need to cut a beautiful living flower down just for our pleasures.
A native to china and also referred to as “Tsubaki”. Camellias are respected in the Orient as the common tea plant.
apart of the daisy family, they are considered to be one of the four noble and respected Chinese plants.
Dahlias grew everywhere in it's ancient home of Guatemala and Mexico and after their introduction to the European communities, they were used as a source of food until is was recognized that it's beauty outweighed it's taste. These national flowers of naturally blossom in every color, except blue. Dahlia Water lilies are ever so popular. The Asian water lily, also known as the lotus flower holds a sacred and symbolic culture within ancient traditions. Water Lily's represented Earth.
The Lotus Water Lily is the national emblem of Ancient Egypt and hold relation to fertility, sexuality, and the renewal of life. Others have referred to this flower as the “flower of chastity”.
Coming in after roses and lily's, daisies have been written about the most by classical writers. A Celtic myth states that the spirits of children who died in childbirth scattered daisies amongst the eath to cheer their mourning parents.
The great Billie Holiday may have coined the beauty of the gardenia flower as she was often seen with a pure white gardenia bloom tucked behind her ear. These blooming beauties are origins of Eastern Asia, and Polynesian women wore gardenias in their hair as well as using them to make “lei” necklaces.
Often represents fertility, purity, abundance, and motherhood. Greek poetry stated that the lily was a reflection of tenderness and the voice of the Muses. It's also referred to as the Passion flower. Many also believed that the lily held the power to cure grief and depression.
One of the most exotic plants. Orchids are associated with fertility, strength & vitality. The Vanilla Orchid was not only known for it's enchanting aroma, but also for helping digestion, and preventing headaches.
In Tahitian culture, the hibiscus flower was won over the right ear to symbolize that that person was looking for a mate
So ladies, we can adorn our beautiful AuNaturale's with these wonderful flowers. Be it to simply look beautiful for our husbands and have a Halal ( permissable) date at home , going out with the girls, or going to a play. There is so much that can be done with our AuNaturale's. To see examples of how to wear this beautiful accessory check out www.shakti-designs.com . ENJOY !!!!!!!
Monday, August 24, 2009
I love, love this conditioner. I use this to co -wash my AuNaturale. Once I tried this conditioner I was sold and haven't looked back since . This conditioner is a staple must have in my natural hair regimen. A major plus is that it's really inexpensive. This is always a plus for a girl who is on a budget and always looking for ways to save money, like myself.
What It Does:
Does Not Strip Hair
Does Not Leave a Waxy Coating
Leaves a Nice Scent
Contains no Cones
Cheap, Simple, Actually Exceeded Expectations
What it Doesn’t Do:
Not Efficient for Deep Conditioning
A Little Doesn’t Go A Long Way: Must Use Plenty
Here’s what’s in it: Water (Aqua), Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Stearalkonium Chloride, Glycine Soja (Soy Bean) Seed Extract, Fragaria Vesca (Strawberry) Leaf Extract, Steareth-21, Glyceryl Stearate, Octoxynol-9, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Thiamin HCL (Vitamin B1), Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), Propylene Glycol, Disodium EDTA, DMDM Hydantoin, Fragrance, Red 33.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Many hair care products exist to help repair hair that is damaged from chemical processing, heat-styling and environmental factors. Some of the most widely used hair treatments contain cholesterol. Cholesterol hair treatments have been used for decades within the African-American community to help restore moisture and softness to hair after frequent styling processes. Other ethnic groups are discovering cholesterol treatments for themselves.
Homemade Cholesterol Treatments
Mayonnaise is one of the oldest forms of cholesterol treatments for the hair. Dating back to the 1950s when heat-styling tools were first made available to the public, homemade conditioners using store-bought mayonnaise or making mayonnaise at home using oil and eggs became the rage. Hair came out healthy looking and shiny, making curls and waves look luminous. However, this homemade method also left the hair smelling like deviled eggs or egg salad. Thanks to modern technology, the cholesterol benefit found in mayonnaise is used in conditioning treatments that leave the hair pleasantly scented.
Cholesterol Hot Oil Treatments
Hot oil treatments in general are used to help bring moisture back to dry hair. The added benefit of cholesterol hot oil treatments is that it gives the hair sheen, leaving it looking healthier than before using the treatment. Most cholesterol hot-oil treatments have you shampoo it out of the hair. However, if you chemically process your hair and heat-style it often, the hot oil treatment can be applied to the hair after shampooing. Place a plastic cap on your head and leave it in for one minute. Rinse your hair and follow with your normal conditioner.
Cholesterol Deep Conditioning Treatments
One of the most widely used cholesterol hair treatments is the cholesterol deep conditioning treatment. This cholesterol treatment is meant to be left on the hair for at least 15 minutes. The hair is usually covered with a plastic cap and you can either wrap your head with a warm towel or sit under a hooded dryer. Some people who have over-processed hair will leave the conditioning treatment in for an hour. A lot of cholesterol deep-conditioning treatments have olive oil in the formula or you can add olive oil to the treatment. This combination is reported to give hair a silky feel after use.
Best Uses for Cholesterol Treatments
Cholesterol hair treatments are for external use only. Eating foods high in cholesterol will not have the same effects on the hair. In fact, you might find that your blood cholesterol levels have been raised placing you in danger of coronary heart disease. Therefore, stick to applying cholesterol treatments directly on the hair for optimal results. I use Lustrasilk shea butter cholesterol plus, and happen to really, really like it. However I do not use a dryer or anything of the like. I do not use any heat at all on my hair, and my hair loves me for that. That is a plus for using this particular brand of cholesterol because it does not require heat to be effective. Enjoy!!!!
Friday, August 21, 2009
Fruits are tasty, full of vitamins and nutrients, and promote healthy hair when regularly consumed or used in treatment applications. There are a number of vitamins such as vitamins A, C and E that are found in certain fruits. Fruits can be used for hair growth, and against hair loss and premature graying. Healthy hair starts with healthy eating. With fruits at the center of a high-protein diet, healthy hair is inevitable.
Melons and bananas offer the hair sufficient amounts of vitamin A. Melon and banana hair masks are ideal for healthy hair. When both fruits are combined to form a thick paste, the paste should be applied generously to the hair. Apply a plastic cap to lock in moisture; and allow the paste to sit for 45 minutes. Wash hair thoroughly, and style as desired. Vitamin A helps your scalp produce sebum, which makes your hair shiny and soft. Hair will be noticeably shiny and healthier after one treatment depending on your hair's texture and condition. The daily recommendation for vitamin A is between 5,000 and 6,000 IU (International Units). Exceeding this amount can be toxic, so its best to stay within this range.
Vitamin C: Citrus Fruits
Fresh PineapplesCitrus fruits such as strawberries, kiwi and pineapples are high in vitamin C. This immune-boosting vitamin also is helpful in creating healthy hair. A lack of vitamin C can leave hair dry and brittle. Without the proper amount of antioxidants vitamins, the scalp and hair will be deprived and will weaken. Vitamin C prevents free-radical oxidation of hair follicles and hair loss. For the most natural approach, juice two to three peaches and mix the contents into your favorite shampoo. For a more effective method, fruits with high levels of vitamin C should be eaten regularly. The daily recommendation for vitamin C is 60 mg a day to produce healthy hair.
Vitamin E: Avocado Hair Mask
An avocado mask strengthens hair.Avocado fruits have high levels of vitamin E. Using an avocado hair mask will strengthen and fortify your hair. Combine 1 ripe avocado, 2 tbsp. yogurt,
1 egg, 1/2 tsp. rosemary oil and 1 tbsp. jojoba oil. Begin by working the avocado hair mask into your scalp and hair. Leave in for 20 minutes. Rinse with shampoo and conditioner.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Hey ladies, I dont know about you ladies , but I watch the wendy williams show from time to time on fox. Love her, she's a mess, gotta love it ! When watching her show you are guaranteed to spot at least 3-4 Natural's in her audience. I LOVE IT !. Check it out, that's the best part of her show. Seeing women embrace there true inner , natural self is beautiful and soooo inspiring. I really enjoy seeing fellow AuNaturale's. Going naturale seems to be so popular. So ladies lets continue to embrace , nuture and loooove our AuNaturale's ( smiles)
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Hey ladies, I looooove using honey in my hair. I have just recently began using honey, mixed with my co- washes ( vo5 moisture milks strawberries & cream) love that , mixed with a bit of baking soda . Thanks to Sunshine of http://naturalhairnaturalproducts.blogspot.com/. Where You can find her wonderful recipe for the use of honey. I tried using honey for both my co- washes , as well as using honey for deep conditioning.
They are both a winner. Honey is now a must have staple in my regimen. Let me tell you it is GREAT!. It provides such great moisture. So this has prompted me to do a post on the beautiful usage of Honey for our AuNaturale's ( smiles).
Hair loss and hair conditions are treatable without the use of chemicals. By combining natural ingredients, you can maintain beauty and health of your hair and scalp. Honey has all natural restorative powers and can be used often.
Honey has been used throughout history for maladies of many types and is used in a variety of ways. It has healing effects on wounds and infections, and is also considered an antioxidant. Honey is an effective treatment for burns, but when it comes to your hair, it is very restorative in nature. As a natural healthy means of hair restoration, honey can be used for thinning or falling-out hair, baldness and for adding shine to dull hair.
To prevent hair loss or baldness mix 1 tsp. of honey with 1 tsp. of olive oil and 2 tsp. of water to make a paste. Massage this mixture onto the areas needing it the most (for baldness it would go on those thinned or hairless spots). This is best done before bedtime and the mixture will be left on for the night. Wash your hair as usual in the morning and continue to treat your hair with this mixture regularly.
Another honey mixture for these same issues would be a paste consisting of heated olive oil, 1 tbsp. of honey and 1 tsp. of cinnamon. Apply this to your scalp and leave it on for 5 to 15 minutes before washing your hair.
Using honey as a hair conditioner will increase the health of your hair follicles and your scalp at the same time. If your hair is on the oily side, decrease the olive oil to 1/4 cup when making the following mixture. Mix 1 cup of honey and 1/2 cup of olive oil. Massage the mixture onto the scalp and let it rest for a half hour before washing your hair as usual.
If your hair lacks shine or luster, a mixture of 2 tbps. of honey and 2 cups of warm water can help return the natural shine and will add health to your hair. After combining the solution, shake it thoroughly in a spray bottle with a wide nozzle and spray the mixture onto your hair. Brush it into your hair and let it dry or you can blow dry it.
It is best to use a good quality of honey. The best time to stock up on honey is during the spring and summer. The honey with the least quality is that which is gathered in the winter. Purchasing honey from a bee keeper is another way to make sure the honey is fresh.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Hey ladies, I have yet to try coconut on my hair. But I've heard sooo much about the greatness of it's usage I can not wait to treat my hair to this wonder oil. It can be used in many different ways , conditioner, sealant etc.
Our hair is porous - the outer cuticle is arranged in layers like the shingles on a roof.
When the cuticle is damaged by blowdrying, bleaching, coloring, perming, hard brushing or too much water or sun exposure, we see the damage as split ends, and coarse, brittle, dry hair that breaks easily.
Split ends mean the cuticle has worn away and that the inner portion of hair, called the cortex, is exposed, and frayed.
How to use coconut oil for hair conditioner:
The best way to apply coconut oil to your hair is immediately after a shower or bath, when the hair is still wet. It should not still be dripping wet, but more than slightly damp.
It doesn't matter whether the coconut oil is liquid or solid (pure coconut oil solidifies at less than 76 degrees F, but it's still perfectly good).
Take a small amount (about a half teaspoon for long hair, less for shorter hair) and put it in your palm. Rub your hands together and begin the application at the ends of your wet hair, using your oily fingers to distribute it evenly and lightly.
The trick is to use just enough so that the oil will penetrate the hair, without leaving an oily or greasy look. Use more at the ends, less in the middle and very little, if any at the roots.
Don’t use any oil near the roots if you want to avoid the greasy look.
Although the molecular structure of coconut oil is perfect for penetrating inside the hair shaft, and works beautifully with the natural hair proteins, its still easy to go overboard with the application, and end up with oily hair.
If you’ve applied enough to make the hair look oily, the only way to remove it is to re-wash the hair.
Coconut oil is also a great treatment for dandruff.
Whether the flakes are caused by dry scalp, or a fungal/yeast condition like seborrheic dermatitis, coconut oil will help, because it's a great moisturizer, and it's anti-fungal. Again, do scalp treatments when you don't have to go out in public, try overnight treatments (protect your pillow with a plastic bag covered with an old towel).
The first time you try coconut oil for hair conditioning, pick a day when you can hang out at home.
It can take a bit of experimentation until you find the right dose for your particular hair, and the important thing is to be able to leave the oil in your hair once you have applied it.
Why aren’t there tons of brands of
coconut oil for hair in the store if it's really this good?”
Good question! It's all about marketing, really.
Coconut oil is a natural substance, one that can’t be patented or trademarked, which means that no one company can get an edge over someone else marketing the same thing. That’s why there are hundreds of different products out there, all with their special formula, their patented ingredient, etc.
The truth is, you don’t really need any of that stuff. Though it is nice to go to a good salon now and then for a treat, or to spend a little fun money on a special product now and then.
When you're in the mood to do things for yourself, try using pure coconut oil for your hair conditioning, skin moisturizing, cooking and, of course, for its therapeutic uses for candida as well.
Using coconut oil for hair conditioner is one of the discoveries for the many, many uses of this amazing oil.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Hey ladies, After being inform about the greatness of listerine for more than just being used as a mouth wash. It is also great for itchy scalps, and dandruff. Who knew? I really didn't know of this until a really good friend of mine , my girl over at www.slipstitches.com informed me of such. Check her out for all of you ladies who sew and love to sew she has a wonderful site there which is very beneficial , helpful, and is full of really great tips. It's amazing all that's available for our AuNaturales ( smile). Here I've posted a little about the use of listerine for our AuNaturale's. Enjoy!!!!
Did you know that Listerine can do more than give you fresh breath? In fact, decades ago Listerine was even advertised for dandruff. Though it’s no longer advertised for dandruff, you can still stop dandruff with Listerine. Here’s how:
1. Get your hair wet. Most people use this remedy in the shower, but you can simply get your hair wet before using the Listerine.
2. Pour Listerine onto your scalp and massage. Pour a good measure of undiluted Listerine or a generic mouthwash onto your scalp, and massage thoroughly. The original formula Listerine is said to work the best. Massage for at least 30 seconds, tipping your head back so that the mouthwash does not get into your eyes. Listerine should essentially be used like you would use shampoo. Concentrate on rubbing it into your scalp rather than your hair, since the dandruff does not come from the body or ends of your hair. Do not apply if you have broken skin, such as a cut on your head, because the alcohol in Listerine will make it sting.
3. Rinse it out. For best results, wait at least fifteen minutes before rinsing, although it will likely be effective even if you massage it into the scalp and then rinse it right out. Rinse your hair in the shower or sink, and make sure that the Listerine is completely out of your hair.
4. Use shampoo. Most people use Listerine on their scalp in the shower before they have used shampoo on their hair. The shampoo will remove any Listerine residue from the hair and also take care of the mouthwash smell that is usually left behind.Repeat the process. Listerine should be applied to the scalp every day for a week. At the end of the week, your dandruff should be drastically reduced, or even gone altogether. If you start to see signs of dandruff again, simply use more Listerine.
The antiseptic properties and essential oils in Listerine help to kill the fungus that is often the cause of dandruff. Many people also find that it is effective against itchy and flaky scalps without dandruff-causing fungi. This home remedy has been used for years to fight dandruff, and is also effective against toenail fungus and a range of other conditions. This effective treatment is much less expensive than expensive dandruff shampoos. In fact, many people swear that it is even more effective than special shampoos.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Treat yourself right with all natural hair care products that enhance your hair without harming your health!
Natural organic hair care products give your hair fullness and body from botanical bases, and are free from harmful ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) and paraben preservatives.
For healthier hair, choose safer all natural hair products derived from plants, minerals and essential oils instead!
Natural Ingredients Organic Vegan Cruelty Free Non-Toxic Handcrafted Biodegradable Paraben Free
SLS Free - Sodium Lauryl Sulfate Free SLES Free - Sodium Laureth Sulfate Free
Are Your Hair Care Products Making You Sick? Find out why you should use Sodium Lauryl Sulfate Free, Sodium Laureth Sulfate Free and Paraben Free hair care products now!
Did you know that what you are putting on your hair day after day, year after year, may be doing much more harm than good? It's true!
Think about this:
Why do your eyes burn when shampoo runs into them?
Is it really "OK" that you are inhaling the hair spray that misses your hair?
What toxic ingredients are penetrating your scalp when using your shampoo and other hair products?
Your skin (including your scalp) absorbs up to 60% of the ingredients (including the synthetic and toxic chemicals) found in the cosmetics, lotions and shampoos you use on a daily basis.
Absorbing natural and organic ingredients from plant oils and waxes, mineral pigments and essential oils is a much healthier alternative!
About Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) and Paraben Preservatives
Both Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and its close relative Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) are commonly used in many soaps, shampoos, detergents, toothpastes and other products that are expected to "foam up". Both chemicals are very effective foaming agents, chemically known as surfactants. However, both come with health risks, are known skin irritants and enhance allergic responses to other toxins and allergens. Although Sodium Laureth Sulfate is somewhat less irritating than Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, it cannot be metabolized by the liver and its effects are therefore much longer lasting.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
SLS is used in car washes, garage floor cleaners and engine degreasers, and in about 90% of personal care products that foam. SLS is also absorbed into the body from skin application. Once absorbed, sodium lauryl sulfate mimics the activity of the Oestrogen hormone. This has many health implications and may be responsible for a variety of health problems including PMS, menopausal symptoms, lowered male fertility and increased risk of female cancers such as breast cancer, where oestrogen levels are known to be involved. SLS is frequently disguised in semi-natural cosmetics with the explanation "comes from coconut".
Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
When combined with other chemicals, SLES can create nitrosamines, specifically 1,4-dioxane, a potent carcinogen. Dioxane readily penetrates the skin. While dioxane can be removed from products easily and economically by vacuum stripping during the manufacturing process, there is no way to determine which products have undergone this process. Labels are not required to list this information. SLES is frequently disguised in semi-natural cosmetics with the explanation "comes from coconut".
An estrogen mimic, parabens are preservatives with antibacterial properties. Widely used in all kinds of personal care products, paraben is usually preceded by the prefixes methyl-, ethyl-, butyl-, or propyl-. Parabens can cause allergic reactions or contact dermatitis in some people. Preservatives are one of the leading causes of contact dermatitis. There are safer practical alternatives to parabens, including vitamin E, vitamin C and grapefruit seed extract
The average adult uses 9 personal care products daily, exposing them to an average 126 chemicals every day.
One-third of all personal care products contain one or more ingredients classified as possible human carcinogens.
89% of 10,500 ingredients used in personal care products have NOT been evaluated for safety.
Over the last 30 years, only 9 of the 10,500 ingredients used in personal care products have been banned or restricted.
Source: (Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database)
Keep it simple and natural with safe and non-toxic All Natural Hair Care Products and look and feel fabulous! Stick to Natural Organic Hair Care Products because they work ... and you ARE worth it!
Look and Feel Better - Many skin problems, such as acne, contact dermatitis, irritations and allergies may disappear once petroleum or synthetic ingredients are removed from your hair care regimen. Using all natural hair products can contribute to healthy, shiny and lustrous hair and a healthy body in the long run.
Avoid the Toxins - Organically-grown natural haircare products are much healthier for the environment, the people who cultivate them, and the people who use them.
Cleaner waterways - Toxic chemicals from non-natural and non-organic hair care products are rinsed off your body and down the drain, potentially contaminating rivers, streams, and harming aquatic life.
Protect animal friends - Most natural organic hair care products are cruelty-free.
Safer - Only 11% of the more than 10,500 ingredients used in personal care products have been screened for safety.
Side Note: The chemicals present in any one hair product alone are unlikely to cause immediate harm.
I thought this article was very interesting. It has made me consider as well as being more aware of the products I use in my hair along with the hair products that my entire family uses. Enjoy!!!!
Saturday, August 15, 2009
The way a Black woman styles her hair can say much about her politics, social standing and even her economic status. The texture and length of her hair might suggest something about her pedigree and opportunities to find a mate.
The products a Black woman uses on her hair can even illuminate the limits of her dedication to the race, some people contend. The unique relationship a woman has with her hair bonds Black women the world over.
For Black people, hair is a complicated and complex issue that traces its roots to the chains of slavery. But that is only part of this largely untold story.
The history of Black hair has been a constant battle between straightening it or wearing it natural. Willie Morrow, who created the plastic Afro pick, and built a multi-million dollar Black-hair empire authored eight books about hair, including 400 Years Without a Comb, which begins, “The hair, it was rationalised, was proof positive that Blacks were not human.”
As the story goes, Blacks came to America from a world where their naturally curly, kinky hair was painstakingly cared for, styled and adorned based on ancestral customs and traditions.
When they were dragged in chains to a foreign land, the African slaves had their hand-carved wooden combs confiscated because they were seen as potential weapons. They were handed fine-toothed European combs that proved to be useless in their thicker, curlier hair. The Blacks “absorbed the Anglo-Saxon disdain for natural kinks and the long bitter war with his hair began,” writes Morrow.
Even though Black people were violently forced to submit to their new environment, their hair refused to co-operate and didn’t relinquish it’s unique characteristic. In addition to being denied the tool for grooming, under the slavery regime there wasn’t exactly much time allotted for hygiene and beauty.
As a result, Blacks under slavery were condemned to constant scalp diseases and unhealthy hair that fell out in clumps. Female slaves took to wearing a head rag, usually made from discarded grain or feed sacks to cover up head sores and bald spots.They also used the rag to protect their exposed scalps from hovering flies.
More important, Morrow points out, the head rag was also used to conceal what slaves had come to assume was the testament to their inferiority and ugliness; their own hair.
At the beginning of the 19th century, slave masters began to allow more time for personal grooming, in order to improve the market value of their “property.” Slaves were given old combs and dull scissors for their hair instead of animal shears, Morrow writes.
The house slaves were given strict rules for their appearance; men were forced to keep their hair cut extremely short and the women had to keep their hair covered if it was braided, or straightened with a hot iron. When slaves were finally permitted to groom, the goal was to make it long and straight, emulating their “masters.”
Good Hair, Bad Hair
Black people continued to imitate the grooming traditions of their former “masters” even after slavery. So those with straight enough hair styled theirs after whites’ and were considered to have “good hair.” The slaves who retained their pure African hair, on the other hand, had “bad hair.”
A class system eventually emerged – which still persists – where Blacks with “good hair” and light skin were considered to be on top in the social order. Conversely, “bad hair” and dark skin assigned one to the bottom. People with “good hair” tended to keep it in the family, by only marrying others with similar hair and skin qualities: So the story goes.
From the 1920s, through the 1950s, straightening hair was a fact of life for many Black women, and even men. In the urban areas, women could go to beauty shops. However, in rural areas, particularly in the South, women straightened their hair at home. The hot comb was made of iron which was heated on the stove then used to straighten the hair.
The alternative to the hot comb for straightening hair was the congelene, or conk, for short. If applied correctly, the conk would relax a person’s natural curls until they were straight. The conk was usually a homemade mixture of lye and potatoes; it was notorious for burning the hair right off one’s head and leaving oozing scabs on the scalp.
In his autobiography, even the fearless Malcolm X must have cringed when he wrote: “The congelene just felt warm when Shorty started combing it in. But then my head caught fire. I gritted my teeth and tried to pull the sides of the kitchen table together. The comb felt as is if it was raking my skin off.”
Straightening hair became a rite of passage that many Black women today remember with differing emotions. “I remember the first time I got my hair straightened with a hot comb,” recalls Marcia Ann Gillespie, editor-in-chief of Ms. magazine. “Oh, God, I hated that. I hated the tyranny of it.” Today she wears her short, unstraightened, peppered gray hair in neat little twists.
The first revolution in Black hair occurred in the 1960s with the birth of the Afro. “It actually frightened mainstream America because it was more radical than what they had been used to,” says Bernice Calvin, founder of the Big Show Expo, Inc., the largest industry trade show for Black beauty professionals. “The Afro was a big, wild, striking thing.”
As the energy from the civil rights movement swept the land, it was accompanied by Black Nationalism and Black Pride. With the slogan “Black is Beautiful” resonating among African Americans, the need to straighten one’s hair in the image of whites’ was anathema.
The Afro, or “the natural,” as it was called, was more then just a hairstyle for Black Americans; it became synonymous with activism and political consciousness.
Eventually, the Afro became more of a style and less of a statement. White people with curly enough hair began to sport their own Afros, which diminished the rebellious quality of the movement.
Ironically, the Afro was also harmful to Black women’s hair, says Andrew Young, a Black hair stylist with over 30 years of experience, in New York. “I had Black people with straight hair who wanted an Afro, so I used a perm to make their straight hair nappy,” he recalls.
Some women lost much hair from picking the Afro out constantly in an attempt to attain Angela Davis-like proportions. So where have we arrived? Black women now have an exhaustive variety of hairstyles to choose from, including bone straight relaxers, big and small Afros, slick finger waves, drippy Jheri curls, intricately styled cornrows and braids, and past-the-butt weaves. Hair has been relatively de-politicised and the lines that used to distinguish styles have been blurred.
Consider that a “natural style” can now mean wearing braids constructed from yak hair and synthetic fibers; they may even look less authentic then a relaxed do. “My feeling is, it’s just about freedom,” says Marcia Gillespie, the Ms. editor. “We can’t say because of what’s happening on top of somebody’s head, we know what’s really going on inside their head.”
While there is a wider range of acceptance of different hair styles within the Black community nowadays, there is still conflict on some levels between those who chemically straighten and those who choose to go “natural.” Additionally, some women also say that white people, especially when it comes to hiring decisions, tend to discriminate against women who wear their hair in locks.
The tangled and painful history of Black hair has left a deep scar. Black people still qualify hair as either “good” or “bad.” The debate over “natural” and “straight” still causes disagreements; the continuous struggle to make Black hair “right” (white) still tugs at the conscience of many Black women today.
Author, Lori Tharps
Friday, August 14, 2009
Hey ladies, Knowing the importance of moisturizing and conditioning our AuNaturale's. I 've found some really great conditioning recipes that will aid us in helping to keep our AuNaturale's in tip top shape.
Deep hair conditioner recipes you can make at home:
1 peeled and mashed Avocado
1 cup Coconut milk
Combine mashed avocado with some coconut milk in a small bowl. Heat in microwave for approx. 45 seconds. Stir. Test temperature. Massage mixture into hair.Wrap hair in a hot towel or cover with shower cap for 15 minutes. Shampoo & rinse out.
1 tsp honey
2 Tbs olive oil
1 egg yolk.
Mix all ingredients in small bowl. Massage on hair in small sections. Wrap head with shower cap for 30 minutes. Rinse and shampoo
Jojoba Hair Conditioner
1 cup rose floral water
1 tablespoon jojoba oil
10 drops vitamin E oil
In the top of a double boiler, gently warm the rose water. Once rose water is warm, add jojoba oil. For extra conditioning, leave on for several minutes. Rinse thoroughly with warm water. Shampoo and rinse again with cool water.
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp olive oil
3/4 cup lukewarm water
Beat egg yolk until it is thick and light colored. Add oil beat well. Slowly add and beat the water into the egg mixture. Pour mixture into a container. After shampooing, massage all conditioner into hair and leave on for a few minutes before thoroughly rinsing.
1/2 cup mayo
Rinse and towel dry. Apply mayonnaise to the hair. Massage in. Let sit for 10-15 minutes, shampoo again lightly and rinse with an apple cider vinegar and water solution. This will help with the smell and remove any residue.
Avocado Deep Conditioner
1 small jar of mayonnaise
Peel avocado and remove pit. Mash avocado then mix all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl with your hands until it's a consistent green color. Smooth into hair. Use shower cap or plastic wrap to seal body heat in. Leave on hair for 20 minutes. For deeper conditioning wrap a hot, damp towel around your head over the plastic, or use a hair dryer set to a low to medium heat setting. Store extra in refrigerator.
Hot Oil Conditioner
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup boiling water
Combine ingredients then warm on low heat. Massage mixture into the scalp and hair. Wrap hair in a hot towel for 15 minutes. Shampoo & rinse out
Fruit Salad Deep Conditioner
1/2 a banana
tablespoon wheat germ oil
1 tablespoon yogurt
Blend all ingredients. Apply to hair. For extra conditioning, squeeze in the contents of a vitamin E capsule. Leave in hair for 15 minutes. Then rinse.
Dry Hair Hot Oil Conditioner Recipe
15 drops Rosewood
5 drops Geranium
5 drops Sandalwood
5 drops Lavender
1/2 ounce jojoba oil
Place oils in a small plastic bag and place the bag in a hot cup of water for 1 minute to warm. Apply to hair, wrap hair in a towel for 20 minutes. Wash then dry hair.
Hair Regrowth Hot Oil Conditioner
3 drops of essential oil of thyme
3 drops of essential oil of lavender
3 drops of essential oil of rosemary
3 drops of essential oil of cedarwood
1/8 cup of grapeseed oil
1/8 cup of jojoba oil
Apply at night, to scalp in thinning areas. Do not rinse out till morning.
Sesame & Coconut Protein Conditioner
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs light sesame oil
2 tbs coconut milk
2 tbs honey
1 tsp coconut oil
Mix ingredients in bowl, apply to hair before shampoo. Let sit for 20 minutes. Rinse, then shampoo.
Strength Building Deep Conditioner
1 tablespoon virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon buttermilk
1 tablespoon natural unbleached flour
Blend all ingredients. Microwave the mixture for 30 seconds until hot. Stir in one tablespoon of natural unbleached flour to make a paste. Apply the warm paste to wet hair and allow the conditioner to set for 20 minutes Wash as normal.
Coconut Honey Deep Conditioner
4 tbs Coconut oil
2 tbs Natural honey
Place coconut oil and honey in a small plastic bag and place the bag in a hot cup of water for 1 minute to warm. Apply to hair, wrap hair in a towel for 20 minutes. Wash then dry hair.
Hair Regrowth Conditioner
3-4 drops of Rosemary essential oil
1 teaspoon of olive oil
Blend all ingredients. Apply to hair. Leave in hair for 15 minutes. Then rinse.
Frizzy Hair Hot Oil Hair Recipe
3 tablespoon Coconut oil
1 tablespoon Castor oil
5-10 drops Essential oil of choice for smell
Melt coconut oil in a double broiler on low. Add other castor oil, allow to cool then add EOs. Apply to hair, wrap hair in a towel for 30-45 minutes. Wash then dry hair.
Rosemary Hot Oil Treatment
1/2 ounce Fractionated coconut oil
1/2 ounce Castor oil
1/2 ounce Emu oil
1/2 ounce Jojoba, natural
1/3 once Broccoli seed oil
1/2 ounce Arnica oil
15 drops Rosemary essential oil
Massage mixture into damp hair. Wrap hair in a hot towel or cover with shower cap for 20 minutes. Shampoo &; rinse out.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
P.S, It's also great for our skin. ENJOY!!!
Traditional Black Soap is brownish-black in color. It is soft with an organic shape. It has a delicate texture & a natural earthy smell. It is not oily or scented. Black Soap has been used for black hair care & black skin care for centuries. Today people from all walks of life are benefiting from this amazing African soap. African black soap is mostly found in Ghana. However, other countries have their own version of African black soap. Nothing compares to the original African black soap from Ghana.
A brief history of Black Soap, Alata Samina or Anago Samina Black Soap or African Black Soap also known as Anago Soap or Alata soap, originates from West Africa. It has been used for centuries in Ghana. It's methods and secrets have been passed down from generation to generation to keep the soap close to mother nature and avoid exploitation & imitations. Many have tried to create their version of black soap with all kinds of ingredients. Ghana's Alata soap is the best quality black soap because it is the ORIGINAL.
For centuries, Ghanaians have used Black Soap to help relieve acne, oily skin, clear blemishes and various other skin issues. African Black soap has also been used to achieve beautiful skin. Africans have also used this natural soap for bathing and washing their hair. Great for removing make-up. Black Soap will leave your skin soft, clear and smelling delicious. This soap is not scented.
Alata Samina or Anago Samina is the term used in the local dialect called Twi to refer to Black Soap or African Black Soap. Alata or Anago is a reference to the people of the Northern Region of Ghana, mainly the Hausa tribe. Alata Samina is now used all over Ghana.
Black Soap or African Black Soap comes from plantain skin. It is a natural source of vitamins A & E and iron. (Plantain is a popular food in Africa, South America & other parts of the world. It can be found in ethnic or international grocery stores such as Latino, Caribbean or African. It looks like banana but much bigger. It does not taste like a banana & has to be cooked before eating) The skin of the plantain is gingerly dried to a precise texture under the hot African sun. It is then roasted in a clay oven. The heat must be constant in order to achieve a particular color, texture & smell. In some recipes, Cocoa Pod is used instead of plantain skins. Cocoa Pod is the shell of the Cocoa fruit. The cocoa beans are used for making chocolate or cocoa butter among other things.
The next process is very delicate because if it is not done properly, with the right ingredients, there will be no soap. The roasted plantain skin is mixed with palm oil, palm kernel oil to form the soap. The roasting of the plantains determines the color of the soap. The longer the plantains are roasted, the darker the soap. African Black Soap is centuries old, has numerous benefits & is not scented. It can be used by anyone who wishes to improve the quality of their skin.
BUYER BEWARE: FAKE BLACK SOAP is hard. It is dyed black. It does not contain any traditional ingredients. Loaded with cheap vegetable oil. Stains your wash cloth. They are chemically processed.
Black Soap :- Used for centuries. Beware of the FAKES
WHY? Because REAL BLACK SOAP simply consists of roasted plantain skins, cocoa pod, palm kernel oil, coconut oil, palm oil & natural sodium. Plantains look just like bananas but much bigger. Because plantains grow in the tropics, it is readily available for making BLACK SOAP. Plantains are a major component of Black Soap. For this reason people who find themselves imitating Black Soap do not tell their consumers that a major component of the soap is left out. Also Black Soap's method is a well kept secret. So unless the recipe is given to a person, there is no way that person can produce traditional Black Soap which is mostly found in Ghana & Nigeria. If one does not have the original recipe, one has no choice but to buy the original soap straight from it's origin.
So in an effort to duplicate the soap, people have disregarded the original components, added their own, and labeled the soap AFRICAN BLACK SOAP. This practice is an insult to Africans who have used Black Soap for centuries before it was whispered to the world. The FAKE SOAP is hard, black and does not even compare to the original. Real Black Soap is always brownish-black. The longer the plantain skins are roasted the darker the soap. But the soap is never completely black. It is not scented.
In this era of shea butter craze, black soap has also fallen to a million and one versions out there. Many black soaps now include shea butter, vitamin E (which the original black soap has plenty of already) and various other ingredients. So don't get yourself confused with all the jargons out there. Do yourself a favor and purchase samples. Try it out for quality and texture and then decide from there. Just as there are a million versions of shower gels on the market, there will be a million versions of shea butter and black soap.
There is no such thing as TRADITIONAL LIQUID BLACK SOAP. If you encounter liquid black soap bear in mind it is not traditional. There are liquid black soaps on the market made from natural ingredients. Do not confuse these with traditional black soap. Liquid black soap is new to the market and an extension of traditional black soap. If you are into natural products, you should ask your vendor what the ingredients are in their liquid black soap.
Once again like any great product there will be imitations. You may prefer the chemically processed fake black soap or not. Remember there are scores of black soap products out there so GET SAMPLES, try it out and then decide from there.
Are the oils used in Black Soap processed?
No! Ghana Black Soap does not contain processed oils. Ghana has an abundance of natural resources and therefore has access to pure natural oils, salts & other natural products & ingredients. Coconut Oil, Palm Kernel Oil, & Palm Oil, are used for cooking various dishes in Ghana each day. These oils have been used to make Black Soap for centuries.
How to Use & store Black Soap
To use Black Soap for a shower or bath - Wet your sponge or wash cloth, rub the black soap on the sponge or wash cloth and you are ready for a shower or bath.
To use Black Soap for hair - Wet your hair, rub black soap in your hair until it lathers. Wash your hair, rinse & repeat the process until your hair is clean. Apply our Enriching Hair Conditioner.
To store Black Soap - Place Black soap in a cool dry area wrapped in saran wrap or in a zip lock bag.
Shelf-Life- Black Soap does not go bad. It can be used at anytime
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Hot Oil Treatment: Refresh your scalp and hair. Keeps hair soft. Do this once every 2 weeks. You will need:
1 tbsp Hair Oil ( olive oil, coconut oil, etc)
1/2 tsp pure unrefined Shea Butter
You can choose to shampoo and condition your hair before this or you can do this without shampooing first. Apply the shea butter in your hair and scalp. Massage well. Pour the hairoil in a small container and warm it up slightly under warm tap water for a few minutes. Apply the slightly warm oil in your hair. Cover with a shower cap and rap a warm towel around it for 15-30 minutes. Remove and style as usual.
Deep Hair Conditioning: It is important to condition your hair properly. Keep it simple. Do this at least twice a month. You will need:
1 tsp pure unrefined Shea Butter
Your regular conditioner
2 tbsp Hair Oil ( olive oil, coconut oil, etc)
Shampoo your hair as usual. Apply your conditioner. Add the Hair Oil. Cover with your shower cap for 15 minutes or more. Rinse out. Towel dry.
For a more intense conditioning - shampoo as usual. Apply your conditioner. Mix the shea butter and Hair Oil together. Massage well. Cover with shower cap for 30 minutes or more. Rinse out. Towel dry
Why are some Shea Butters grainy?
Shea Butter is sometimes grainy for many reasons. But the #1 reason is heat. Shea Butter will melt in the sun, by a heater or any other form of heat. When shea butter is heated at high temperatures, it becomes grainy when it cools. It can still be used. It just feels interestingly grainy.
Do you have to clean Shea Butter?
No! If you purchase shea butter from a good source it should already be clean and you do not need to clean it, drain it, filter it etc etc.. If you have to clean your shea butter before you use then start looking for another source.
Is all Shea Butter yellow?
No! All shea butter is not yellow. Most shea butters are cream colored or beige to medium yellow. Try not not base your knowledge of shea butter by color first. Look at quality and texture.
Why are some shea butters so hard you have to scrap it to use it?
This means that it was heated at a very high temperature, it is not fresh, or it has been mixed with other products. It could also be that the shea butter is several months old. As long as it is not more than 18 months to 24 months old, you are fine. Fresh shea butter is always the best to use. Fresh shea butter is anywhere between 1 month - 3 months old.
Does Shea Butter smell?
No! Shea Butter does not smell. It has a natural smoky nutty scent. If you are familiar with shea butter you will recognize the scent. This scent is natural so it does not linger when applied to skin or hair. The fresher the shea butter, the stronger the natural scent. Some may not be familiar with shea butter and therefore cannot handle the natural scent. Not to worry. Just leave the shea butter uncovered for several days and it will be just fine.
What makes some Shea Butters smell so bad?
This happens for several reasons but the three most common reasons are as follows. 1. The shea butter was extracted using dirty water. 2. The shea butter was not properly stored. 3. The shea butter nuts were fermented before extraction. Some ferment the shea butter nuts before extraction. And this gives the shea butter a very pungent scent.
Why are there so many grades of shea butter?
Because shea butter is used for a variety of things including skin, hair, cosmetics and in food. There are several grades of shea butter depending on what your interests are. Also shea butter is now a cash cow so like any other cash cow there is going to be a lot of buzz about it. Basically unrefined shea butter or raw shea butter is Grade A and say a shea butter lotion is a Grade F. And in between that are a host of other grades and levels. What it simply means is that if you are interested in 100% shea butter then go for unrefined. If you would like a shea butter lotion then it will fall in the lower grade because it has to be mixed with other ingredients to provide the lotion.
Take flour for example. There are a gazillion grades & levels of flour. You may prefer whole wheat flour or bleached flour or bread flour. It is all flour but the end result in your recipe will be different. It is the same with several products on the market. For example Cocoa Butter. Cocoa Butter is used for all kinds of things and there are many grades and levels very similar to Shea Butter. But we all purchase what we prefer. Including the various types of chocolate they are used in. So it all comes down to preference.
So shea butter is just as complex when it comes to grades & levels. You will drive yourself mad trying to figure out every grade and level. Just go with what you prefer & call it a day!
Should Shea Butter be refrigerated? How should it be stored?
No! There is no need to refrigerate shea butter. It will only get hard & cold. You want your shea butter soft enough to apply to your skin. Shea butter should be stored like all other skin & hair products. In a cool dry place away from heat.
Can Shea Butter be heated?
Yes! Shea Butter can be heated. But you should know what you are doing. If you do not know what you are doing then don't. When you purchase shea butter ask your vendor what to do if you are not sure. Do not go by what others around you have said or are doing with their shea butter (unless you trust them & they know what they are doing) If you overheat your shea butter you can still use it but it will not be that beneficial. This is where it gets grainy and very hard.
Can Shea Butter be scented?
Yes! Again you should know what you are doing. Whether you are using essential oils or fragrance oils, be cautious. Use just a few drops at a time. If you do not know what you are doing then don't attempt it.
Can Shea Butter be mixed with other oils?
Yes! But this is also on the level of preference. Shea butter is already naturally oily so additional oils being added should serve a purpose. Don't add oils to your shea butter just because your friend told you to otherwise you will end up with an oily mess.
Can Shea Butter be used by anyone?
Yes! That is the beauty of shea butter. It can be used by anyone in any climate. Remember shea butter originates from Africa. Africa is a multicultural continent. Shea Butter is versatile and you control how much you want to use. Because it is natural, it can be used several times a day. Morning, afternoon or night from hair to toe.
What makes Shea Butter so smooth?
Shea Butter gets it's smoothness from kneading. After the shea butter has been extracted and prepared, it is kneaded to smooth out big lumps and make it even & easier to apply.
What is the difference between West African Shea Butter & East African Shea Butter?
Lately there has been a lot of buzz about East and West African Shea Butter. It is rather unfortunate that this is going on. First of all there are several countries involved when one mentions East & West Africa. It is like saying the East Coast and the West Coast. Now we all know that there are several states in the East Coast and several states in the West Coast. New York is not the only state in the East Coast and California is not the only state in the West Coast. Now transfer that to East Africa & West Africa. Hello!
So when these people are talking about West & East Shea Butter, what country are they referring to? Sooner or later, they will start saying Central African Shea Butter is better. Oh don't forget Southern Africa and South Western Africa. This could go on for days. And if you have noticed, the East African Shea Butter is triple the price of West African Shea Butter. Hummm!
Basically all the noise about East African Shea Butter is centered on Shea Butter from Uganda. What they do not tell people is that Ugandan shea butter is mostly prepared for cooking & less for skin care & hair care. So the Shea Butter is much oilier, has a different consistency. Shea butter from West Africa is mostly used for skin & hair care and less for cooking. So Shea Butter from West Africa is thicker & lasts longer. So once again it comes down to preference. So go with what you prefer but don't fall for the hype in prices.
How to use & store Shea Butter. What is the shelf life of Shea Butter?
To use shea butter, take the desired amount, rub into the palm of your hands until melted and apply to your skin or hair.
To store shea butter, wrap with saran wrap or place in a zip lock bag or in a container & place in a cool dry place. Shea Butter has a shelf life of 18 months to 24 months. It can still be used after that time but it will not be as effective.
ADDITIVES OR FILLERS
Additives - e.g essential oils or natural oils are sometimes added to shea butter to provide a variety of scents. Most vendors will state that their shea butter is scented.
Fillers - e.g beeswax, petroleum jelly, vegetable oils etc. are sometimes added to shea butter to stretch the shea butter. Vendors who practice this will usually not state so.
Depending on your preference, you will be fine with your shea butter. But if you are seeking pure unrefined shea butter, make it a point to purchase samples, try it out and decide from there. Fillers will definitely change the texture, scent & color of shea butter. In cases where the shea butter is heated at high temperatures in order to include fillers, the healing properties of the shea butter is diminished.
What Happens to Shea Butter after it has been extracted. Four main things happen to shea butter after it has been extracted. Refining, Bleaching, Deodorization & Degumming.
Refining: Sodium Hydroxide is mixed with the shea butter. Sometimes Sodium Hydroxide and Sodium Carbonate are mixed and added to the shea butter. This removes the free fatty acids from the shea butter. The phospholipids, proteins and minerals are removed by this process. Refining temperature is about 74 degrees.
Bleaching: In this process, important minerals are removed. The shea butter goes through an acid treated filter. Natural components and natural smells are removed. Bleaching temperature is about 110 degrees.
Deodorization: The natural smell and the natural minerals and vitamins of the shea butter are removed using steam and the exclusion of air during this process. Deodorization is at temperatures of 240-270 degrees. The shea butter which is now vitamin and mineral deficient as a result of this process is sometimes passed off as unrefined. Some justify this by saying that no external heat was applied to the shea butter.
Degumming: This removes protein compounds, complex carbohydrates if any, and the natural gums of the shea butter. Degumming also removes calcium, magnesium, iron and copper from the shea butter. This process is done at 60 degrees.
So understanding the difference between Unrefined Shea Butter and processed shea butter is very important for individuals interested in natural shea butter. Ask for samples especially if you are new to shea butter. As time goes on you will understand shea butter and will be able to tell the differences.
Shea Butter Today
Shea Nuts after shelling
Today, shea butter is acknowledged all over the world for its nourishing, enriching and toning properties for skin & hair. Like every good product, traditional African shea butter has been dissected into refined, processed, industrialized, extra refined, ultra refined and a muddle of other names.
The commercial method of extracting shea butter has also added to the perplexity of shea butter. In most circles, shea butter is used as an ingredient in soaps, shampoos, conditioners, hair relaxers, lotions, hand & body creams etc. There is nothing wrong with using shea butter as an ingredient. As long as it is unrefined shea butter and the portions in the product is generous. It is important to preserve the ancient methods of shea butter. Shea Butter is nature's wonder.
The Shea TreeLiving up to two centuries, the Shea Tree bears fruit after 20 years and produces a full crop after 45 years. It grows mainly in West Africa, and can reach a maximum height of 15 to 20 meters.
The Shea Tree cannot be cultivated. It blooms from June to July and bears dark green fruits which fall to the ground when ripe. Each fruit contains a nut with a hard white kernel which is the source of the Shea Butter. Before the Shea Nuts are collected to prepare shea butter, a prayer is said. This has been the practice for centuries in Ghana. The prayer is simply to thank mother nature for providing the shea tree. And also to show respect for collecting the shea tree's fruit.
Ways of Extracting Shea Butter
Shea Nuts before shelling
Extracting Shea Butter Traditionally Depending on methods passed down from generations, various families in West Africa have their own traditional methods of extracting shea butter. The basic process is the same in most families. Shea Nuts, the fruit of the Shea Tree is picked, cracked, grilled and pounded to extract the butter. It is then boiled in water for a number of hours until the fresh shea butter rises to the surface. It is then scooped into gourds and left to cool and set. This is all done by hand. This process has been done for centuries. Although this process does not produce mass shea butter, it is still the best way to extract because there is no need for chemicals or synthetic agents to be added to extract the butter. This is called Unrefined Shea Butter or Raw Shea Butter.
Extracting Shea Butter by PressingAn expeller type press is used to crush the nuts of the shea butter. The shea nuts are pushed against the metal press. The movement is similar to a meat grinder. Then the shea butter is squeezed out of the nut by pressure. The end result is Unrefined Shea Butter or Raw Shea Butter.
This method is used by many African women these days because it helps them organize and produce more shea butter in less time. It does not involve any chemicals. It is simply a faster way of extracting without compromising the pure unrefined shea butter. This process cuts at least 3-5 hours off the traditional extraction time.
Extracting Shea Butter using SolventThe Shea Butter is removed from the Shea Nuts by dissolving the shea nut with a chemical called Hexane at temperatures of about 56-65 degrees. Traces of the solvent remains in the shea butter. Sometimes left over shea butter from the Pressing method are mixed with the left over from the Solvent method and sold as "Unrefined Shea Butter" So ask questions if you do not trust your shea butter source.
I found this bit of information to be quite beneficial. I hope you ladies have as well. Enjoy!!!!