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Saturday, July 31, 2010

HERBAL SHAMPOO....


RECIPE TIME...


Certain herbs added to your favorite shampoo can bring out your hair's natural highlights. Chamomile makes a mild shampoo that is perfect for fine, light-colored hair; the flowers have a mild bleaching effect. If you have dark hair, use rosemary or lavender to enhance your own natural color. Hibiscus flowers: These will give red highlights to light or dark hair. Use dry flowers or herbal tea containing hibiscus flowers. Steep the flowers in boiling water to the shade you desire. Cool; strain before using. Remember you can always go darker, so start out with a weak mixture.




1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons dried or 1/3 cup fresh chamomile, lavender or rosemary ( or your favorite herb)
1/2 cup your favorite Shampoo
2 tablespoons glycerin

Mix together the water and herbs and heat gently to make a strong tea. Let the mixture steep for at least 20 minutes. Add shampoo and glycerin to the herbal water mixture and stir well.

Pour shampoo into a clean squeeze bottle or empty shampoo bottle. Let the mixture sit overnight to thicken.

You can adjust this little number to your liking.  I have been using a daily spritz that I made here http://aunaturale007.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2010-07-21T05%3A54%3A00-07%3A00&max-results=7  titled  "recipe time"  which included hibiscus flowers...ladies, let me tell you the wonderful herb is sure to lighten your hair over time to a very pretty faint reddish tone highlight .  So, if your looking for natural reddish highlights try the hibiscus flower in one of your recipes...it may be the what you are looking for.

                                                                                                          ENJOY!!!

Friday, July 30, 2010

ORGANIC HEMP SEED OIL...



Hemp Seed Oil is pressed from the seeds of the Hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. Hemp Seed Oil is considered to be the most nutritional of all oils available. It has a plethora of medicinal, nutritional, and cosmetic uses, making it a wonderful multi-purpose ingredient. It has been used for many years medicinally, and was even used during Ming Dynasty by the Chinese under the name of Ma Zi. Hemp Seed Oil provides the body with complete protein, nutrition, and with all the essential amino acids necessary for health and wellness.

Hemp Seed Oil is a highly nutritious food, and contains anti-oxidants, protein, carotene, phytosterols, phospholipids, as well as a number of minerals including calcium, magnesium, sulfur, potassium, iron, zinc, and phosphorus. It is a source of complete protein and contains all twenty know amino acids, including the nine essential amino acids. It also contains Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, D, and E. The green color in Hemp Seed Oil is a result of the high level of chlorophyll which is naturally present in the seeds.



Perhaps the most valued property of Hemp Seed Oil is its percentage of Essential Fatty Acids, which is higher than any other plant in the world. It contains both Omega-6 and Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids, in a proportion of 3:1. This proportion is the recommended balance of Omega-6 to Omega-3 acids, making it a simple perfect way to complete your diet. Essential Fatty Acids are necessary for our health, and are responsible for the luster in our skin, hair, eyes, transferring oxygen to the every cell in our body, and even the clarity in our thought processes. They also lubricate and clear the arteries, strengthen the immune system, and help prevent viruses and other threats to our immune system. Essential Fatty Acids are not produced by the human body. Instead, they must be obtained from food sources.

Specifically, Hemp Seed Oil has been shown to assist with the following medical conditions:

•Eczema
•Psoriasis
•Acne
•Osteoporosis
•Menopause
•Cancer
•Multiple Sclerosis
•Rheumatoid arthritis
•Premenstrual Symptoms
•High cholesterol
•High blood pressure
•Weight loss
•Poor circulation
•Crohn's disease
•Cardiovascular disease
•Gall stones
•Kidney degeneration
•Dry skin
•Immune deficiency
•Irregular hormone levels
•HIV virus
•Tuberculosis
•Low energy levels
•Low metabolism
•Dry skin and hair conditions

In cosmetic and bodycare products, Hemp Seed Oil is anti-inflammatory, anti-ageing, balances dry skin, fights skin inflammations, helps heal skin lesions, has anti-oxidants, and contains moisture balancing properties. The oil is non-greasy, readily absorbs into the pores, is an emollient, and has rejuvenating and moisturizing properties for the skin. Adult users of Hemp Seed Oil have reported softer skin, and stronger nails and hair after only a few weeks of using 1-2 Tablespoons per day. The vitamins and minerals present in Hemp Seed Oil are easily absorbed through the skin, resulting in a more vitamin and mineral enriched bodycare product.

The pleasantly nutty taste of Hemp Seed Oil makes it easy to incorporate into your culinary recipes. In one Tablespoon, you will receive 2.5 grams of Omega-3 fatty acids, 8 grams of Omega-6 fatty acids, and 2 grams of Omega-9 fatty acids - a perfect balance. No other single source oil has this ideal combination of Essential Fatty Acids. Hemp Seed Oil is easily digestible in its raw state. It contains less than 10% saturated fats, and 70-80% polyunsaturated fatty acids, the highest of any vegetable oil . This is an unusually high level of the good oils, making this oil beneficial for culinary use. In culinary use, the oil will not clog arteries, as do saturated and trans fatty acids or shortenings.



Hemp Oil should not be fried, and should preferably be used cold. It may easily be added to salad dressings, pasta, vegetables, smoothies, soups, sauces, hummus, guacamole, pesto, or other foods after the heating/baking has been completed. If you must heat the oil, it may be gently heated for a short period of time.


Hemp Seed Oil may be added to any bodycare or cosmetic product, including creams, lotions, facial or body oils, massage oils, shampoo, conditioner, shaving products, lip balm, soap, and any other product. In hair care products, Hemp Seed Oil increases elasticity, manageability, and shine. In addition, recent Canadian research has shown this oil to possibly be effective as a broad-spectrum ultraviolet skin protector.

THIS HAPPENS TO BE ONE OF MY FAVORITE OILS !

                                                                                             ENJOY!!!

                                                          

VEGETABLE OIL METHODS OF EXTRACTION...



Cold Pressed or Cold Expeller Pressed:

Cold pressed oils, also known as cold expeller pressed oils, have been mechanically pressed from the fatty portions of the botanical while ensuring that the maximum temperature (caused by friction) does not exceed 120 degrees.

Expeller Pressed:

Expeller pressed oils are mechanically pressed from the botanical material at high pressure to obtain maximum yield. Not all expeller pressed oils are cold pressed as high pressure extraction can cause temperatures to rise above 120 degrees. Only if temperature is monitored and kept under 120 degrees, can the oil be called cold pressed. Otherwise it is simply called expeller pressed.

Solvent Extracted:

Sometimes it is necessary to use a solvent in order to extract the oil from certain seeds, nuts or kernels in order to make the extraction cost effective. Once the oil has been obtained, the solvent is then removed from the oil, but a trace percentage of the solvent may still be present in the final oil. Coconut, Palm, Grapeseed and Rice Bran are typically solvent extracted.

CO2 Extracted:

CO2 extracted oils are extracted using fluid carbon dioxide as the solvent. Carbon dioxide is converted to liquid using high pressure making it a safe and effective solvent that allows all the desirable active constituents of a plant to be collected without the risk of heat degradation. Once the extraction is complete, the pressure is released allowing the carbon dioxide to return to its natural gaseous state, leaving behind only the extracted essence of the plant. CO2 extracted oils are the closest representation of the natural plant ever achieved. CO2 total extracts include the volatile components as well as the heavier, waxy components that give plants their color, and are therefore thick and waxy in consistency.

Infusion/Macerate:

An infused or macerated oil is a vegetable oil that has been "infused" with the fat soluble properties of other botanicals. Plant material is bruised and soaked in a base oil for a set duration of time. The base oil is sometimes gently heated to encourage infusion. The material is then filtered. Additional material may be infused in the same oil a number of times. The final oil is then well filtered to remove any traces of plant particles. The benefit to using an infused vegetable oil is that the infused oil will contain the therapeutic properties of both the vegetable oil and the botanicals that were infused into the oil.

Refined:

Some oils undergo a refinement process in order to remove impurities, improve the color or texture, or stabilize the shelf life of the oil. The oil is reacted with a weak base solution to saponify the free fatty acids into soap. The oil is then centirfuged and washed with water until the pure oil remains. The oil may also be degummed to remove the sticky phospholipids, color pigments and odor lending portions.

Bleached:

Some lipids are bleached in order to improve the color and clarity of the oil. Bleaching is generally done by passing the oil through fuller's earth or clay and then filtering the oil.

Deodorized:

Some lipids undergo a deodorization process in order to remove compounds that lend an unappealing or overpowering aroma to the oil. This is generally done by blowing high temperature steam through the oil to vaporize the aromatic components. This process is made more effective by heating the oil to high temperatures and performing this process under a vacuum to help remove all of the volatile odorous substances. Due to the high temperatures used, deodorization is clearly the most damaging process of refinement.

MY THOUGHTS:

I found this information to be very helpful, in my learning and purchasing process of my products.  I have often ordered products and come across a few of these terms... a few of them I really had very little or no idea at all what in the world they meant.  For myself I have found it very important to know and try to have some sort of understanding in how some of the products like, butter, oils, etc are made.  By doing so this will then help me in knowing if this particular way of processing or even if this product is for me or what I may be looking for in a product at the time.  Hope this helps!...Take care.

                                                                               ENJOY!!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

THE IMPORTANCE OF SMOOTHING...



It is important to smooth Afro-textured hair in the same direction constantly as you begin to condition.  The direction should be away and downward from your scalp.  This can be done simply by taking a section of hair, whether braided or loose, gently grasping it in your hand and pulling your hand down over the braid or section of hair several times to smooth it out.

Smoothing should be done for two reasons.  The first reason is connected with conditioning.  You condition your hair to help smooth the cuticles, with the result that the hair feels smoother and softer to the touch after the conditioning treatment.  Even though smoothing with your hands does not flatten the hair cuticle, it helps the conditioning process by arranging all the hair in one direction.  Also, your hands become familiar with how your hair feels, and if something is amiss- if you are using product that is not good for your hair, or if there is a change in your hair-you will be able to recognize it quickly because your hands remember how your hair should feel.  Smoothing adds information and data to your hair model.  By, smoothing before, during and after conditioning , you can better gauge whether or not the conditioner you have selected is beneficial for your hair. If the hair is still in a roughened state after you have conditioned it, the conditioner You have chosen is not helping to lay the cuticles flat against the hair strand.  Or the shampoo that you used may have been too alkaline or too drying for your hair type, it may have lifted the cuticles.  Smoothing is a way to gather clues to help you better analyze the state and the needs of your hair.

Grow It ! by, Chicoro  chapter 11 ; step three.

This was one of my favorite chapters of her book, it explained alot...especially about "Smoothing" in which I new nothing of until reading her book , it also talks about the importance of getting familiar with your hair, which I truly believe is very important.

                                                                                             ENJOY!

CAMELLIA SEED OIL...



Camellia Oil is highly penetrating and is a nutritive addition to face creams, anti-wrinkle serums, anti-aging formulations, lip care products, hair products, make-up, sun care preparations, baby products, shaving products and other cosmeceutical formulations.

Camellia Oil is virtually odorless and possesses only a slight herbal aroma. It is virtually clear with a slight yellow hue. Camellia Oil is light in texture and absorbs quickly. It has a shelf life of at least 18 months when stored in a cool dry place, away from direct sunlight. The recommended usage is 2-10% in most formulations.

Green, black, white and oblong tea leaves are harvested from Camellia oleifera and sometimes Camellia sinensis. These species are also popularly known as the Tea Plant. Like the teas made from these species, Camellia Oil exhibits exceptional antioxidant activity. Although Camellia Oil is often referred to as Tea Oil or Tea Seed Oil, it should not be confused with the volatile essential oil of Tea Tree.

The fruit of the camellia consists of several small chambers, each playing host to a number of seeds within it. Camellia seeds contain between 40-50% of nutritive oil that is low in saturated fat.

Approximately 85% of the fatty acid composition contained in Camellia Oil is in the form of monounsaturated oleic acid. Camellia Oil is also a rich source of other omega 3,6 and 9 fatty acids plus Vitamin E and polyphenols.

Although the seeds and leaves contain caffeine, caffeine is a water soluble compound that is not present in Camellia Oil.

Historically, Camellia Oil has been the main culinary oil used throughout the southern provinces of China. Camellia Oil has been shown to reduce bad cholesterol. It is a high quality cooking oil that remains stable at high temperatures. It possesses a high smoke point of 485°F (251°C).

Camellia Oil offers similar nutritive and culinary properties to Olive Oil. The culinary use of Camellia Oil throughout the US, Europe and Canada has been on the rise over the past few years. In addition to being a noteworthy cooking oil, cold pressed Camellia Oil is a nutritive cosmeceutical oil that is said to be the ancient beauty secret of the geisha's.

Camellia Oil Properties:

Penetrates Quickly
Highly Moisturizing
Light Herbal Aroma
Virtually Colorless (Slight Yellow Hue)
Rich in Fatty and Essential Fatty Acids including up to 85% Oleic Acid
Rich in Tocopherols (Vitamin E)
Rich in Polyphenols
Natural Anti-Oxidant
Restores Moisture Balance to Dry Skin
Improves Complexion
Enhances Radiance
Softens Wrinkles and Tiny Age Lines
Non-Comedogenic (Does Not Contribute to Acne and is Suitable for Oily/Acne Prone Skin)
Conditions the Skin After Shaving
Protects Skin from Elements
Blocks Harmful UV Rays
Reduces and Heals Scars
Cools the Skin
Maintains a Healthy pH
Suitable for All Skin Types Including Allergy Prone Skin
Promotes Hair Growth
Conditions Scalp

Camellia Oil is a Highly Recommended Ingredient in Personal Care Products Intended for the Following:

Mature, Aging Skin
Dry, Cracked Skin
Eczema, Psoriasis and Other Skin Conditions
Sun Damage
Scar Repair
Brittle and Damaged Hair
Lip Care

Camellia Oil is Perfectly Suited for the Following Cosmeceutical Applications:

Moisturizers
Cleansers and Soaps
Cosmetics
Sun Protection
Hair and Scalp Care
Lip Care
Nail Care
Massage
Aromatherapy

 Extraction Method: Cold Expeller Pressed
Shelf Life: 18 Months

http://www.fromnaturewithlove.com/soap/product.asp?product_id=OILCAMELLIA&extract=1


                                                                                                         ENJOY!!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

MY HAUL FROM ....MOUNTAIN ROSE HERBS....



Hey there my Fabulous Fellow Naturals,

I received my haul from Mountain Rose Herbs and I am so excited!  I really like this site, this will be my #1 place to purchase my herbs.   First let me say it took about 3 days before it shipped and 8 days before my package actually arrived, in all fairness it states on their site that they are in the middle of a move...and that shipping may take a bit longer due these circumstances, which is  understandable.

In my sheer opinion , it was well worth the wait...for one, the prices there are super reasonable for the great amount they give.  The way they package your items are great done with lots of care.  And I love the cute little bottles they ship their oils in !

And, ladies if you decide to give mountain rose herbs a try.  Be sure to look out for their monthly specials...they have awesome deals !  I purchased a 1 lb bag of organic Horsetail ( shavegrass) for $ 5.25, great deal!

IN THE PICTURE ABOVE...

1 lb bag of organic Horsetail ( shavegrass)
4oz  bag organic Chamomile Flowers
4oz bag of organic Comfrey Root
4oz bag of organic White Willow Bark
4oz bag of Black Walnut Hull
1/2 oz bottle of  organic Lemongrass essential oil
8.5 oz bottle of organic Hemp Seed oil
4oz jar of Illipe Butter
Beeswax
Cheese cloth

I will continue to order 1lb bags of herbs...especially since when infusing my oils I like to use a good amount for a strong infusion...plus the prices are so reasonable from here and the 1lb bags  last much longer. 
I am super pleased with Mountain Rose Herbs ...my new place to shop !

www.mountainroseherbs.com


                                                                                                           ENJOY!!!!

CUPUACU BUTTER..



The cupuacu tree is native to the Amazon, most notably to the northern region of Brazil. The tree is similar to the cocoa tree and typically reaches an average height of 10 meters. Unlike cocoa, the cupuacu does not contain caffeine.

Cupuacu Butter, Theobroma grandiflorum, is pressed from the seeds. The butter is soft and creamy in consistency. Cupuacu butter is gaining attention for its remarkable water absorption, rich content of sterols, overall nutritive benefit and versatility for use in personal care products. It helps in stabilization of emulsions.

Cupuacu Butter possesses a softer, creamier consistency than Cocoa Butter, and it offers exceptional moisturization for the skin and hair. Its level of water absorption is significantly higher than lanolin anhydrous. Studies illustrate that Cupuacu Butter offers the skin broad spectrum protection from damaging UV-A and UV-B rays. Cupuacu Butter can be added to any formulation to add protection against the sun. The high level of essential fatty acids and phytosterols within cupuacu butter gives it the ability to restore elasticity to the skin and treat skin conditions including eczema and dermatitis. Cupuacu Butter is an effective ingredient for use in hair care products intended to add shine and replenish the moisture in hair.

Highly Moisturizing and Emollient
High Water Absorption
Improves Skin Elasticity
Offers Sun Protection from UV-A and UV-B Rays
Soft, Creamy Texture
Helps to Stabilize Emulsions
Mild Aroma

Cupuacu Butter is a highly recommended ingredient in products for:

Mature, Aging Skin
Dry, Cracked Skin
Dermatitis, Eczema, Psoriasis and Other Skin Conditions
Dry, Brittle and Damaged Hair
Lip Care
Deodorants and Other Personal Hygiene Products

Origin: Brazil
Extraction Method: Cold Pressed
Shelf Life: 2 Years


                                                                                                   ENJOY!!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

HERBAL INFUSED OIL RECIPE FOR CHILDREN.....OR ADULTS....



RECIPE TIME!

1 OUNCE OF  CHAMOMILE FLOWERS
1/2 OUNCE OF CALENDULA  FLOWERS
1/2 OUNCE OF ROSE PETALS
1 PINT OF SWEET ALMOND OIL ( OR OIL OF CHOICE)

ALLOW TO STEEP ANY WHERE FROM 2-6 WEEKS...AND

                                          ENJOY!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

THE STAGES OF HAIR GROWTH...




Hair grows in the follicle in cycles. At any given moment some of your hair could be growing and some could be resting or be in a transitional state. Two neighboring hair could be in completely different growth cycles. The three phases of hair growth cycle are:

Anagen: The Growing Phase

Catagen: The Transitioning Stage

Telogen: The Resting Stage

Anagen: The Growing Phase

During the anagen phase hair cell are dividing to form new cells. As the new cells form the old cells are pushed up the hairs shaft. When it reaches about a third of the way up the hair shaft they die and become keratin.

A hair follicle will be in this active stage of growth from one and a half to seven years. During this time it will grow on average a half inch a month. Usually a single hair will not exceed thirty-six inches. On average 85% of hair is in the growth phase.

Catagen: The Transitioning Phase

When the anagen phase is over the hair moves into the catagen or transitional stage this period can last from one to three weeks. During this time the hair stops growing. The follicle shrinks and detaches the hair from the nourishing dermal papilla, which rest begins to rest. The hair stays attached to the follicle. At any give time about one percent of our hair is in the catagen phase.

Telogen: The Resting Phase

After the catagen stage the hair rest anywhere from six weeks to three months. During this time the hair doesn’t grow but stays attached to the follicle while the dermal papilla rests. At the end of this stage the anagen, growing stage begins again, and the old hair is pushed out by the new growing hair. At any given time ten to fifteen percent of hair is in the telogen phase.


                                                                                      ENJOY!!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

THE MANY WONDERS OF POMEGRANATE...



Almost overnight, pomegranate is appearing everywhere.

The pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) , is because it is being touted as a miracle food. Curly tops may have noticed that it now is a key ingredient in beauty products, including shampoos and conditioners. Are you wondering why this gorgeous, deep red, seed-heavy food – once found only in potpourri – now is inundating our pantries and bathroom cabinets? Then read on.

Contrary to popular belief, the pomegranate is not a fruit but the berry pf an African and Asian tree called Punica granatum. Its original Latin name “arbor punica,” means “Carthaginian tree” because Romans first encountered large groves of pomegranate trees growing in North Africa’s famed city of Carthage. Rome waged war with Carthage, and they were named the Punic Wars. Punic is a root word evident in its Latin etymology as well as the description of its chemical constituents. Its other Latin names are malum punicum (Carthaginian apple) and malum granatum (seedy fruit). Pomegranate gained notoriety in ancient Carthage, quickly spreading at the hands of the Romans to the Mediterranean, Middle East and parts of India — all places where they still are enjoyed in local cuisine and folk medicine.

Habit, Growth, Distribution

The pomegranate only has one genus and two species. It is a small tree or shrub growing between 20 and 30 feet high. The pomegranate tree is spiny, with multiple branches, and can live as long as 200 years. Its leaves are about 4 inches long and are and leathery textured. Bold flowers appear on the branch tips, with as many as five to a cluster. The seeds represent more than half of the pomegranate’s body weight.

The trees continue to thrive in tropical Africa and North Africa, the East Indies and Middle East as well as arid regions of Southeast Asia. Pomegranates are commonly planted in Bermuda. The tree was introduced to Latin and North America around 1760. Pomegranate trees prefer a mild, temperate, subtropical climate, yet adapt to regions with cool winters and hot summers. They are grown as far north as Washington D.C.

Berry of Myth and Legend

Pomegranates have such a unique appearance that they have sparked many a myth and legend. Considered an aphrodisiac, the rich red color lends itself to use in love magic.

Although it has recently stormed onto the scene as a super food, it has a long history in health and beauty. It has been used in Africa since at least New Kingdom, Egypt as a medicine and a nourishing food.

North African Medicinal Uses of Pomegranate

In holistic health, it is important not to isolate parts of the plant while disposing of the rest. Many parts of the pomegranate tree are useful, and knowing all of its uses rather than focusing solely on the berry can be helpful in your holistic health regimen.

•Pomegranate tree root bark is anthelmintic (destroys or causes expulsion of parasitic intestinal worms.)
•The tree bark is also a vermifuge; (expels worms)
•Root and bark can be extracted to release astringent solution.
•Pomegranate wood is a malleable wood good for carving and is used in crafts.
•The rind is especially astringent.
•The dried pulverized rind is used to treat ulcers of the digestive tract.
•It is antidiarrheic (controls diarrhea) and hemostatic (arrests flow of blood or hemmoraging). Revered as a dentifrice (used to cleanse teeth, strengthen the gums and fight plague).
•Rind and flowers yield important dyes used in textiles

Berry (Fruit)

•used to treat leucorrhea and for pectoral troubles
•It is an effective preventative for air borne infections because of its cleansing (diuretic and astringent) actions
•Ripe fruit is used to treat infections of the digestive tract
•Ink is created from steeped leaves.

Parts of the entire tree are used in tanning and curing leather. The bark contains 10 to 25 percent tannin. Root bark has 28 percent tannin; the leaves 11 percent tannin and fruit rind up to 26 percent tannin. Pomegranate’s leaves, fruit and peel are used for astringent properties and to stop diarrhea. The bark, stem and root contain alkaloids used against tapeworm. Bark leaves and unripe fruit are astringent, halting diarrhea, dysentery, hemorrhages. Leaves, roots, seeds, bark are hypotensive, antispasmodic and anthelmintic. Flower buds are mildly astringent.

Pulverized flower buds are employed for bronchitis. The arils or seed casings are separated from skin. The internal parts — called pith and capillary membrane — are removed and the seed is consumed raw. The taste is widely varied from sweet to tangy to sour The seed shows uterine relaxing activity and estrogenic effect.

Benefits of Various Pomegranate Preparations

This is the best way to consume it because of the high concentration and lack of sugar, which provide greater healthy benefits.

Pomegranate juice is a popular drink in the Middle East, especially with Persian (Iranian) and Indian cuisine. A 100 ml-serving of the juice provides 16 percent of the daily adult requirement of vitamin C. It is also a good source of pantothenic acid, potassium and antioxidant polyphenols.

A stable and effective way for kitchen-cosmetic makers and large scaled beauty product designers to utilized pomegranate’s benefits is through the oil. Certified organic Pomegranate Oil is usually cold pressed, thus it is unrefined. Oil can be used to make handmade shampoo bar, soap, pomades and more. Antioxidants contained in pomegranate oil are fight aging by stimulating cell regeneration, increasing elasticity and decreasing visible signs of aging, such as wrinkles. The botanical oil nourishes and fortifies the outer epidermal layer of the skin, making it a beloved skin treatment for everyone from maturing people to children or teens prone to skin eruption and irritation. Dry and cracked skin, such as that found at the heels or elbows during winter, can benefit from pomegranate oil. Serious skins disorders, such as eczema and psoriasis, also benefit from pomegranate oil.

Pomegranate and Beauty

Pomegranate oil is preferred for hot oil treatments or pre-shampoo soothing for frizzy, over-processed hair and for general conditioning for kinky, curly and wavy hair. Pomegranate oil will enhance the appearance and feel of hair, help with detangling and will moisturize the hair shaft.

Pomegranate oil is a boon to those with distressed fingernails and cuticles. It can be applied warm as a rub or as a manicure soak. This oil can greatly benefit those who have just removed gel nails because it repairs damage.

Loaded with Vitamins

Vitamin C: 100 ml of the juice provides 16 percent of the daily adult requirement of vitamin C.

Pantothenic acid: Also known as vitamin B5. This vitamin has been highly touted in hair and skin products, and has been used as a supplement for years. It is one of the B complex thought to reduce visible signs and symptoms of stress, including depression or prematurely graying, thinning and dry hair, skin and nails. Vitamin B5 plays an important role in the secretion of cortisone, which supports the adrenal gland. These hormones assist the metabolism, help deter allergies benefit appearance and improve the feel of hair, nails and skin, as well as the performance of muscles and nerves.

Ellagic acid: Ellagic acid once hydrolyzed helps a substance absorb more easily into the hair, skin, nails and other parts of the body. Ellagic acid in pomegranate is responsible for its ability to be absorbed easily, without any greasiness.

Punicalagins: Punicalagins are tannic acids that lend antioxidant power and emollient qualities, benefiting the appearance and feel, condition of the hair, skin and nails. These acids are responsible for reduction of oxidation and stress on hair and skin when using pure pomegranate-rich products.

courtesy of naturallycurly.com


                                                                                              ENJOY!!!

Friday, July 23, 2010

SCALP TREATMENT OIL RINSE...




Ingredients:

5 tsp. or 15 ml Jojoba oil
4 tsp. or 12 ml Neem oil
1 tsp. or 3 ml Hemp seed oil
2 drops each of these essential oils:
Palmarosa
Lavender
Carrot Seed
Cajeput
Rosemary
Bay Leaf
Chamomile, either Roman or Blue

Instructions:

Mix carrier oils, then add essential oils. This provides optimal dilution of essential oil to carrier oil, that is, 14 drops/oz.

Mix & warm by rolling bottle in hands, do not heat over flame or in microwave.

Massage a few drops daily with finger tips into flaky,  or itchy areas on the scalp.

Cautions: Leave out rosemary if being used by a pregnant person


                                                                                                           ENJOY!!!

NATURALLY HEALTHY...



Hello fabulous fellow naturals !,

Before I start in to my post, let me just say" is she beautiful or what!!!!". Now on to my post , just recently with the help of visiting some of my favorite naturals over time who are on a quest for a healthier eating lifestyle.  I decided to do a little research on this subject and which way would work best for myself.

It was, then on my journey that I found I was highly interested in applying loose dry herbs into my diet. loose Dry herb teas.....loose dry herb infusion's , etc.  What I have also realized is that I am much more interested in using the actual  loose dry herbs ..oppose to the teas, except maybe one ( just until , I receive this in the loose dry herb form) which would be green tea.  These herbs have replaced my daily 1 cup of morning coffee.  There are tons, and tons of dry herbs with such great health benefits it is just Amazing!!!

Last, night I did my very first dry herb tea which included 1 teaspoon of dry chamomile and a pinch of dry peppermint.  And, ladies I must say it wasn't that bad...I mean it is something I must get use to , but guess what it's worth it...I'm worth it, and I am going to stick to it!  This little number is a keeper!

This morning, at this very moment , I have some dry nettle leaf steeping, I plan to at least drink one cup of this daily....I will keep you posted.  Nettle, is said to have great, great health benefits.

I plan to incorporate the herbal teas into my children's eating regimen as well....there are particular dry herbs that are great for children .  I plan to do posts from time to time on many different dry herbs which are very beneficial to our health.

Below is a list of really great books on my to get list which gives tons and tons of beneficial info and education needed on building an naturally healthy herbal regimen :

HOW TO HERB BOOK :

Author: Velma J. Keith and Monteen Gordon

The How To Herb Book gives practical, concise information in an easy-reference form. This book was written as a “how to” of herbs for self and family. The How To Herb Book stresses common, easily available herbs. The remedies used were chosen for effectiveness, ease of use, and have been time and experience tested. Includes herbs, vitamins, minerals, diets, juice fasts, exercise, pregnancy, babies, and much more.
An indispensable book. Designed for quick reading and to give confidence and assurance with herbs.
The How To Herb Book will be enjoyed by both experienced herbalists and novices.

The ABC Herbal
Author: Steven H. Horne

A Simplified Guide to Natural Health Care for Children. As a father and parent himself, Steven Horne has focused over twenty years experience as an herbalist to bring you The ABC Herbal, a common sense; approach to natural health care for your kids.  Addressing a host of common childhood ailments in this easy-to-read little book, Steven will share the same tried and true; herbal home remedies he used with his own children. You will learn simple methods to make and apply your own herbal preparations your family will enjoy taking The ABC Herbal is an invaluable resource for all parents concerned with the health and well being of their children.

Practical Herbalism
Author: Phil Fritchey

Practical Herbalism is destined to become a favorite reference for experienced herbalists and natural health newcomers alike. Drawing on nearly two decades of personal experience, observation, and research, Dr. Fritchey provides a refreshing and enlightening historical perspective, and a bounty of reassuring, down-to-earth methods for using commonly found or easily grown medicinal herbs. Practical Herbalism will take you on a journey from its “ancient roots” to modern science beginning with the evolution of Herbal Medicine in the West. Learn how the healing salvation of God-given herbs was dragged from common knowledge to “quackery,” and how the revival of interest in natural health might have saved thousands of years of herbal wisdom from eradication. Learn simplified processes for gathering, preserving, and making good medicine from everyday plants – techniques once familiar to every self-sufficient household. Learn why and what an herb does is more important than what it is. Then follow along as Dr. Frichey takes you on an in-depth exploration of 46 very common “Ordinary Plants with Extraordinary Powers.” Learn when and how you can use the herbs that can be readily found in your own neighborhood or easily grown in your own garden just as herbalists and wise-women have done for centuries. Compare notes with the ancients, and find validation in current scientific studies. Most of all, find comfort and reassurance in the healing gifts of a Loving Creator which have been placed all around us in anticipation of our every need.  Practical Herbalism is authoritative in its research, and extensive in its scope. At the same time, Dr. Fritchey simplifies and demystifies herbal medicine, and puts it back within the grasp of all who want to reclaim some control over their health options. Products can be taken away, but knowledge is irrevocable. Here is the knowledge you need to help yourself, your family, and your clients – whatever the future may bring.

New Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way : Alternative Approaches for woman 30-90
by Susun S. Weed.

The best book on menopause is now better. Herbal solutions for osteoporosis, hot flashes, mood swings, fatigue, flooding, fibroids, low libido, incontinence, anxiety, depression. Completely revised with 100 new pages. All the remedies women know and trust plus hundreds of new ones. New sections on thyroid health, fibromyalgia, hairy problems, male menopause, and herbs for women taking hormones. Recommended by Susan Love MD and Christiane Northrup MD. The best book on menopause is now better. Completely revised with 100 new pages. All the remedies women know and trust plus hundreds of new ones. New sections on thyroid health, fibromyalgia, hairy problems, male menopause, and herbs for women taking hormones. One of the world's best selling books on menopause still comes on strong. Called "indispensable," "incredible," and a "treasure trove of information," Menopausal Years is the "bible" for the 87% of American women over the age of fifty who want nothing to do with hormones Includes information and remedies for problems with premenopause -- flooding, erratic periods, fibroids, spotting, water retention, muscle soreness -- as well as menopause -- hot flashes, sleeplessness, mood swings, headaches, palpitations, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and much more. Final chapters speak to post-menopausal women's concerns: including ways to maintain heart health, prevent and reverse osteoporosis, deal with dry vaginal tissues and incontinence, ease aching joints, and maintain healthy libido.  Includes superb resource lists for menopause information, index, glossary, directions for using (and preparing) herbal medicines, complete descriptions of the most-used menopausal herbs (including nettles, ginseng, dong quai, red clover, oatstraw, and motherwort), recipes for heart- and bone-healthy dishes, and lots of illustrations. Also available: Menopause Metamorphosis Video starring Susun S. Weed.


I can not wait to receive these books !

                    
                                                                                     ENJOY!!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

QHEMET BIOLOGICS...AMLA & OLIVE HEAVY CREAM....



Hey there fellow fabulous naturals!

Recently, I ordered sample sizes of the Qhemet Biologics Amla & Olive Heavy Creme ...along with the Burdock Root Butter Cream.  I have heard many, many great things about these two products so I decided to try them both.  And....I really like them both.....but, I really, really,really like the Amla & Olive Heavy Cream, this is my favorite.  One, I have already placed an order for the larger size before the sample size I have runs out.  Plus, it take a few weeks before they arrive. 

ALMA & OLIVE HEAVY CREME....

They say:

Our nourishingly rich blend of old world oils, organic herbs and natural humectants leaves coarse, dry and brittle hair extra soft, healthy and supple!

I say:

True indeed!!!!!  This creme leaves my hair veeery well moisturized for at least 3 days before I really feel the need to reapply.  My hair is super soft and just feels good!. Pleasant smell...  No frizzes...and oddly enough there is water in this product...but, no frizzes....and it does not leave my hair feeling greasy, because I cover my hair when going out in public...I really need a moisturizer in which does not leave my hair greasy.....and will not ruin my hijabs ( hair coverings/ scarfs) when wearing them.  With some of the other moisturizers I have used in the past, either they didn't moisturize or left my hair more greasy than moisturized ( not to mention if I know I'm going out within a few days I will not apply moisturizer creme for a few days to help in avoiding ruining my hijabs.)  However, this moisturizer does exactly as stated for my hair...This is now a keeper in my regimen!!! I plan to replace the Jane Carters " twist & lock" for this delightful little number ( Jane carter's nourish & shine is a keeper, love it!)
Amla & Olive Heavy creme is a great product!!!

Key Ingredients:

Our ultra thick cream contains Amla, Brahmi and African Aloe, premium Afro-Indian botanicals used for thousands of years to nourish the scalp and strengthen and condition hair. MSM sulfur nurtures follicles and encourages healthy hair growth, Mediterranean Olive Oil delivers emollience and lubricity while Vegetable Glycerin and pure African Castor Oil lends sheen, softness and intense moisture.

Does not contain mineral oil, lanolin, proteins, silicones, artificial fragrances, dyes or parabens.

BURDOCK ROOT BUTTER CREAM...

They say:

Lighter than the Amla & Olive Heavy Cream, this lusciously rich formula softens & nourishes normal to dry hair. Our Burdock Root Butter Cream is a light, water based leave-in for fine haired naturals, straight styles and those looking for a light penetrating moisturizer. It conditions and softens while nourishing the scalp. Leaves hair healthy, soft and supple!

I say:

Oh so very true....this is indeed lighter than the " Amla & Olive heavy creme"  , just not quite heavy enough for me, I am not sure this creme for my hair... would last a few days before the need to reapply. But, it's not bad...not bad at all.  It does moisturize , but I need a bit more ....It left my hair soft without the greasy feeling...It also has water in it, and its first in this creme the other is listed as 3rd...and still no frizzes! I love that ! and it has a faint , but pleasant smell... Also, Burdock has tremendous strength qualities for our hair...so, ladies if you feel your hair needs a little strength ....try a few burdock rinses, or even a product such as this which contains burdock ....and , you will see strength within the first try, especially the rinses ( at least for my hair, it works great if that's what you need at the time), so in short this product is good , but not for my hair.

Key Ingredients: Contains Pure Mediterranean Olive Oil for softness and emollience, extracts of Burdock Root, Nettle Leaf, Oatstraw and Wheat for their conditioning, scalp nourishing, shine enhancing and hair growth properties. Vegetable glycerin for its humectancy and MSM sulfur for nourishment and healthy hair growth.

Does not contain mineral oil, lanolin, proteins, silicones, artificial fragrances, dyes or parabens.

So there you have it....my newly found love " QHEMET BIOLOGICS AMLA & OLIVE HEAVY CREME.


                                                                                                  ENJOY!!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I HAVE AN ADDITION...


Hey there my fellow fabulous naturals !

I am sooo excited....guess what ?  my oldest daughter has decided to go natural!!!!.  This is truly a great thing.  She , has watched me for a year now, embrace my hair from the BC  stage...to learning more and more about natural hair...applying what I learn and then sharing it with the natural hair community. She, takes stock of how much I enjoy the process of being free from chemicals.  At 13 ...she has official started her transitioning stage today, in which she expressed the desire to only go through this stage for a short period.  Before, she goes 100% natural !!!

As, with every single thing she does I support and respect her decisions.  She, is such a mature and responsible young lady, this decision is just a pleasant addition to the list.

This, now makes 3 naturals in my home 2 of my daughters and myself ..... 1 to go ( my middle daughter, lol)
Needless, to say I am super excited !


                                                                  ENJOY!!!

                                                                                                         

TIPS FOR MAKING MY FAVORITE ...HERBAL OIL INFUSIONS FOR HAIR...



Hey there fabulous naturals!

Below I will share a few tips I've learned while making herbal infused oils for our hair :

Make sure the jar you choose to use is 100% dry , before using.
*  Try using rounded shoulder jars to infuse your herbs, this will help in holding the herbs under the oil ( which is very important)
*  Leave minimal amount of air space in your jar to reduce oxygen contact with your oil.
You can use an equivalent amount total of 1-2 ounces of herbs for infusing OR you can simply put all of the herbs of your desire and fill the jar to at least 1/2 full. ( you can use your very own judgement, some like more some like less).
*  Fill your jar all the way up to the rim/ or just a tad bit below ( to allow room while shaking daily, to not spill out and be wasted)
Shake daily ( especially the first week ).
Check often to make sure oils are covering the top of the  herbs, if the herbs are exposed it could cause mold so its very important in making sure your oil is covering the very top of the herbs.
 *  You can infuse as long as you like ...some infuse for 2 weeks...some infuse for 4 weeks....and some infuse for 6 weeks ( I infuse for 6 weeks and often re-infuse) the longer you infuse , the stronger your infusion.  Do not infuse for longer than six weeks using the same herbs, because this could cause your oils to go rancid.
However, you can re-infuse , using the very same oil...but new batch of herbs.

STRAINING

You can use a regular strainer lined with cheese cloth ( I use 3-4 layers of cheese cloth) over a clean ceramic bowl .  I've found that this method works best, because it allows you squeeze the extra oil out which has loads of nutrients.  And, in most cases you can simply wash your cheese cloth dry and re-use.
Store your infusions in a cool dark place, ( some store in a refrigerator)  in which they should last for up to 1 year. Very important , after infusion process is completed ...transfer your precious infused oils into amber colored bottles to help in preserving.

CLEANING YOUR JARS AFTER INFUSIONS

*  Wipe the oil from your jar with a clean cloth.
Wash with detergent and rinse well with water ( I use warm - semi hot water to break up the grease)
Finally, add pure rubbing alcohol, cap tightly with the alcohol still remaining in the jar...this will help in keeping your jar sterile and free from mold.
When ready to re-use dispose the alcohol, wash/rinse, dry very well, and start all over again!


                                                                                                  ENJOY!!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

GRAB MY BUTTON....


Hey there fellow fabulous naturals !

Over on the side there, you will find my buttons feel free to grab one or both .  And celebrate in the way of fabulous natural hair!

Stayed tuned for a review on :

QHEMET BIOLOGICS AMLA & OLIVE HEAVY CREAM

                                    
                                                                                                          ENJOY!!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

VEGTABLE OIL SOAPS AND SAPONIFIED OILS IN LIQUID SHAMPOOS...



Hello fabulous naturals!  I received this article from another fabulous natural in which I felt it to be of importance to share.  This article I found to be very enlighting as well as beneficial.  I have seriously considered going back to co- washing, however I am one who truly believes in a clean , healthy scalp in which I find helps in promoting healthy hair , healthy scalp and hair growth.  As of now I am using Kinky curly " come clean" which is pH balanced, it states it on the bottle ...and it really is because as I've shared I tested it my self.  Below you will find the article....


Vegetable Oil Soaps and Saponified Oils in Liquid Shampoos

Natural, organic, healthy, naturally-derived, plant-based, renewable, green, pure: Close your eyes and throw a dart inside a beauty supply store and you will be hard-pressed to not hit a target with at least one of these buzz words on its label. The current marketing trend is so prevalent that it is a rare personal care product indeed that doesn’t make some sort of claim to be healthier, more natural, better for you or the environment. We are inundated with a plethora of information via all forms of media regarding the way ingredients in products may affect our health and well-being.

All of this hype can lead to people feeling very uneasy and even outright fearful, and product development and sales people are more than happy to capitalize on those concerns. The result can be high-quality new products becoming available to the consumer, but it can also be labels loaded with misleading information, false claims, and even real duds in terms of performance. The buyer must be savvy. In a series of articles, I will be addressing a few topics related to this green marketing campaign and do some educating and myth-busting . This month I will discuss soaps in shampoos and skin cleansers.

Shampoos and skin cleansers are a huge sector of the personal care market. In recent years, there has been a real (perhaps not entirely undeserved) backlash against products that contain sodium lauryl sulfate and other similar synthetic surfactants, so there has been a huge research and development push in the industry to provide more mild and “natural” products. Those of us with delicate, curly hair are always on the prowl for products that will cleanse well, but leave our locks healthy and silky. So in many ways this is a fantastic trend for us. A wider variety of products are now available that contain milder surfactants than the sulfates and that also contain plant oils and emollients that help restore moisture to the hair

However, there is one ingredient that is a great example of how natural and old-fashioned is not always an improvement. I am referring to soap-based shampoo bars and shampoos that contain ingredients called “plant oil soaps” or “organic saponified plant oil.” In past articles, we discussed the chemical nature of soap molecules, soap bars, and how they work and the potential problems they present for curly hair (Shampoo and soap bars, Please have a look at those if you would like a more in-depth discussion about soaps. ( which will be posted below)

To briefly review, soap molecules are surfactants made from reacting natural fats (triglycerides from animal or plant sources) with a very strong base (usually sodium hydroxide (lye) or potassium hydroxide (potash)) to form ionized, alkaline fatty acids. This reaction process is called saponification, and while it has been used by humans for many centuries to make soaps, it really isn’t any more natural than many other forms of synthesis that take place in a laboratory. Saponification is a rather environmentally friendly process, though, so soaps can be set apart from the detergent crowd for that reason.

Soap molecules are anionic surfactants (just like sodium lauryl sulfate, but with a different head group), materials that have both hydrophilic (water-loving) and hydrophobic (water-hating) moieties, and as such are reasonably effective at removing grease and oil from hair, skin, and clothing fibers. However, they come with a set of complications that do not occur with most other synthetic surfactants. A brief summary of the drawbacks of these soap molecules is that they have a much higher pH than is ideal for hair, and permanent damage to the cuticle and lipid layer of hair strands can occur when these products are used. They also react with minerals found in hard water to form an unpleasant film of soap scum and mineral scale on the hair, which can lead to a rough texture, tangling, breakage, and a general dry sensation. Hard water also significant affects the cleansing efficacy of soaps. For these reasons and more, synthetic surfactants are used in commercial products more often than soaps.

How and Why are Soaps in my shampoo or facial cleanser?

Typically we think of soaps as being solids, but it is possible to dissolve solid soap into an aqueous solution to form a liquid shampoo or skin cleanser formulation. Another way to do it would be to take the neat soap solution that is the product of the saponification reaction and add excess water and other ingredients directly to that mixture. The primary difference between liquid and solid soap is that liquid soap is made via reaction with potassium hydroxide rather than with sodium hydroxide. The reason for this is due to the larger atomic size of potassium which enables the molecules to remain further away from one another in solution, thus preventing flocculation and precipitation. A pure liquid soap is clear, but most products have additives such as fragrance, viscosity modifiers, pearlizers, emollients, emulsifiers, and preservatives.

The ingredients list of a shampoo or skin cleanser will indicate the presence of soap molecules using terms such as “olive oil soap”, “coconut oil soap”, “corn oil soap”, “soap of jojoba oil”, or “organic saponified avocado oil”. These are not specifically approved INCI terms for these ingredients, but they do make it pretty easy to spot them in a product. Liquid cleansers and shampoos that contain soap molecules will have most of the same drawbacks of a soap bar, but may be more gentle simply due to being less concentrated.

Take-home message?

Soaps are so appealing on a natural and health-conscious level, as they are made with many fewer chemicals using natural plant oils in a very environmentally friendly process. Unfortunately, they do have many drawbacks in terms of performance, and there are other naturally-derived cleansers that are less harsh for curly hair. However, if the soap is listed lower down the ingredients list (meaning it truly is a minor component of the product), the pH of the product may be lower (more acidic) and thus the product may not be less harsh than one with a high concentration of soap. If the rest of the product looks appealing to you, it might be worth trying it to see how it works for you. I always feel the best data is obtained by the end user when they experiment with a product on their own hair, so don’t be afraid to try something new if it looks like the soap is not the major component.

By CurlChemist/Tonya McKay Beckeer


Shampoo Bars

Shampoo bars made of “all natural” ingredients are all the rage in the hair- and skin-care markets. These handmade soaps and shampoo bars are especially gaining popularity in the curly-hair community because they tend to be free of sulfates and silicones and are made from moisturizing oils and gentle cleansers.

Many people report that they are extremely pleased with the results they are getting, citing benefits such as increased softness, better curl formation and, in some cases, elimination of the need to use conditioner.

However, not all users have had such pleasant experiences, and there is some confusion over what the advantage is of shampoo bars over traditional shampoos or low- or no-poo cleansers. There is also some debate about whether the shampoo bars should be followed up with a vinegar rinse, a conditioner, or both.

As usually do, I will delve into the basic chemistry of shampoo bars to discover what answers lie beneath the surface.

What is a Shampoo Bar?

Soap molecules used in shampoo bars are similar to some of the more familiar hair cleansers such as sodium lauryl sulfate in that they are anionic (negatively charged) surfactants. The difference is that the polar head group of the molecule is a carboxylate, rather than a sulfate (R-COO-Na+ vs. R-OSO3-Na+), which results in a milder surfactant. They are formed by reacting a fat (triglyceride) with a strong base, either sodium hydroxide (lye) or potassium hydroxide (potash), in a process called saponification. In this reaction, the fatty acids are cleaved from the triglyceride backbone and in a two-step chemical reaction soap molecules are formed, along with water and glycerin. The amount of strong base needed is calculated based upon published saponification values for the fats being used in the process. Although the source of fats is natural, there is still a chemical reaction and modification that must be done to get a useful derivative

Typically, an excess of oils is added to the mixture prior to the mixing of fats and base. This provides two benefits:

1. The lye is completely consumed in the chemical reaction, which makes certain the final product doesn’t burn or irritate skin or damage hair.

2. The excess oils act as “superfatting” agents in the shampoo bar, which contribute to mildness and an overall luxurious feel to the soap. These oils act as moisturizing and conditioning agents, much as they would in a regular shampoo or conditioner.

Most handmade soap makers use a “cold process,” where the main source of heat used is from the exothermic reaction itself (unless the oils or fats need to be pre-melted). The lye or potash is added slowly to water, which quickly becomes hot. It is set aside for a few minutes to cool slightly while the oils are mixed separately. The basic solution is then mixed with oils and stirred until it begins to thicken. Essential oils and colorants can be added at this time, and then the soap is poured into molds. After it cools for a few hours, it can be removed carefully from the molds and cut into bars if needed. These individual shampoo bars are then covered and left to “cure” on racks for a few weeks. This ensures that all of the lye is gone and that the soap is hard.

You may note that in this process, glycerin, a byproduct of the saponification reaction, is left to add humectant and lubricative properties to the soap. It is important to be aware of this because it can potentially be problematic for those with colored hair, especially if the hair was colored recently, if temporary dye was used or the if hair color was heavy in red dye. The humectant properties of glycerin can be a boon or curse for curly hair also, depending upon the hair type, condition of the hair, and environment in which the product user lives.

Soaps are classified as gentle cleaners due to being less efficient at removing oil from the hair when compared to some of the synthetic surfactants. This is a beneficial property in a cleanser for those of us with hair already prone to being dry. The excess oils in a superfatted soap act as emollients and moisturizers to replace oils removed from the hair during the cleansing process. Curly hair doesn’t typically have much oil from the scalp distributed down the hair shaft in the first place, so it needs this extra moisture added in a cleansing routine.

The properties of any particular soap may vary greatly, depending upon which oil or combination of oils is used to make it. Coconut oil is admired for its luxurious, foamy texture. Olive oil (castile soap) is considered to be unparalleled for skin with any types of eczema or psoriasis problems and is very gentle with hair. Evening primrose oil and calendula oil, while expensive, can also add healing and moisturizing properties to the soap. Jojoba oil is very similar in composition to human sebum, so it is great at dissolving old sebum, cleansing the scalp gently and replacing some of the natural oils. Shea butter is prized for being an excellent moisturizer, and soaps with this ingredient included can leave the hair and skin feeling soft.

The Drawbacks of Shampoo Bars

When used in soft water, soap can generate a nice lather and leave hair feeling very soft and clean. In fact, in really soft water and after using an extremely moisturizing soap, the soft and slippery texture of our skin and hair can feel so foreign to us that we may continue rinsing repeatedly in an attempt to remove the perceived residue.

Unfortunately, soap’s effectiveness is significantly reduced when used in hard or acidic water. The reason for this is that the carboxylate group on the soap molecule interacts preferentially with the metallic ions that are so prevalent in hard water (usually calcium, iron, and/or magnesium). The result is the formation of a precipitate, which leaves an insoluble film on whatever surface comes into contact with it, including the hair. This film can be very difficult to remove and leaves the hair dull, lifeless, tangled, and dry. The soap lathers less and cleanses less effectively for the same reason: two soap molecules are removed from action by each magnesium or calcium ion when the complex is precipitated from the solution, so there is less soap available for cleansing. That squeaky clean feeling you may get after using a bar soap is actually the feel of organic/mineral deposits on your hair shaft. This deposit left on the hair can also attract dirt, making hair greasy and dirty. This problem was one of several driving forces for the development of synthetic surfactants such as sodium laurel sulfate.

Another potential hazard of the shampoo bars and soaps is that they typically have a pH in the 8 to 9 range, which is substantially more basic than the natural level for hair. This can result in a temporary breakage of disulfide bonds in the keratin protein of the hair, which can disrupt curl formation and cuticle structure. The basic environment softens the hair, swells it, and leaves it with a ruffled cuticle. This rough surface is not only a source of potentially damaging entanglements and breakage, but also is unattractive because it reduces the shine and gloss of hair tremendously. Swelling of the hair also enables larger colorant molecules to escape, which can shorten the lifetime of a coloring application.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to counteract these two effects. Some soap makers put various additives in their soaps that help to keep the soap molecules from binding with hard water metals (sodium silicate, sodium carbonate, borax). However, in the “all-natural” products this is not likely, so it is important to take some steps after shampooing. Rinsing with a mildly acidic solution will help dissolve the soap scum deposit from your hair, shrink the hair shaft diameter, flatten the cuticle and increase the shine and smoothness of your hair. White vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or dissolved citric acid or vitamin C (ascorbic acid) all have sufficiently low pH to help return hair to its preferred pH pf approximately 4-5. Using a clarifying shampoo with EDTA in it can also help remove build up, but would also involve use of a more harsh surfactant, so might be best done only occasionally.

You can also try washing your hair in bottled, purified water when you use your soap, which would make this step necessary less often. Another option is getting a showerhead filter, which is generally less expensive than a whole-house water softener. Even if you take these steps, it is wise to do a mild acidic rinse, due to the basic properties of the soap. Also, dirt on your hair can have minerals in it, which can then create soap scum, so you can’t avoid the need for the low pH rinse entirely.

Depending upon the composition of the soap you are using, the condition of your hair, and the type of water you have, you may find you need to use less conditioner than when you use other cleansers. Experimentation will help you figure out what helps your hair look and feel its best.

How can I incorporate shampoo bars into my hair care routine?

•Look for one with the plant-derived oils which you prefer, or buy a few bars and try different recipes.
•Lather the bar in your hand, not on your head. Your hair is as fragile as a cashmere sweater, and needs very careful handling at all times.
•Use soft water to wash your hair with soap bars whenever possible.
•Follow up with a mildly acidic rinse to restore the natural pH of your hair and to impart that shiny, glossy surface we all desire.
•Use detangler or conditioner to your own personal tastes. In other words, if you still feel you need it, go ahead! I personally wouldn’t skip that step unless my hair looked weighed down or limp.
•Give it a few tries. I have read that it can take some time for your scalp and hair to adjust, just as it often does when you go to a low shampoo or no-shampoo routine.

By CurlChemist/Tonya McKay Beckeer

As for myself , I will continue to stay far away from any soap, shampoo and or shampoo bar in which does not have a safe pH of 4.0-7.0....no matter what.


                                                                                                     ENJOY!!!















LET'S TALK, ACAI BERRY OIL.....




The Acai Palm, also known as the Assai Palm, is a species of palm trees native to Brazil and other regions of South and Central America. The Acai Palm bears small, dark purple grape-sized berries that each contain one large seed. The small berries have been prized for generations by the region's tribes for the healing and energizing sustenance that they provide both as an edible fruit and nutritive oil.

Acai Berry Oil, Euterpe oleracea, is deep golden to light brown in color and has a mild yet pleasant fruity aroma. It possesses an impressive combination of Omega 6 and Omega 9 essential fatty acids, phytosterols, vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids. Acai Berry Oil is rich in anthocyanins and phenols making the oil a very powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory. Its significant content of anthocyanins is reported to be 10-30 times higher than the anthocyanin content of red wine grapes. Acai Oil's rich array of nutrients and anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory action make the oil a remarkable ingredient for use in anti-aging personal care products. Acai Oil is highly emollient and is an effective moisturizing oil for products intended to heal dry and cracked skin, eczema and psoriasis. This oil penetrates the skin quickly, acting as an excellent emollient carrier oil. It is a highly beneficial ingredient in formulations intended to treat acne, reduce swelling and ease muscular aches and pains. Studies have revealed that the phenols contains in Acai Berry Oil help protect against the damage of free-radicals and may help destroy and protect against cancer cell formation.

Acai Berry Oil Properties:

Highly Moisturizing
Natural Emollient
Restores Elasticity to the Skin
Powerful Anti-oxidant Properties
Strong Anti-Inflammatory
Anti-bacterial
Protects Skin from Free Radicals
May Help Destroy and Prevent Cancer Cell Formation
Quick Absorption
Mild, Sweet Fruity Aroma
Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Rich in Vitamins

Vitamin B1
Vitamin B2
Vitamin B3
Vitamin C
Vitamin E

Rich in Minerals

Iron
Phosphorus
Calcium
Potassium

Acai Berry Oil is a highly recommended ingredient in products for:

Mature, Aging Skin
Dry, Cracked Skin
Damaged Hair
Acne
Eczema, Psoriasis and Other Skin Conditions
Muscular Aches and Swelling

Extraction Method: Cold Pressed
Shelf Life: 1- 2 Years


                                                                                          ENJOY!!!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

RECIPE TIME...



Hello fabulous naturals !

This weekend I did a lot of herbing, which is really something I  love to do.  And I came up with this little number, you can use this as a water /glycerin spritz ( which is the one choose to try weekend ) or an oil herbal infusion....

Burdock Root
Marshmallow root
Nettle
Hibiscus flowers
Irish moss
Horsetail
Lavender flowers
White Willow bark
Distilled Water
Vitamin E
EO's ( optional) Essential oil

When I made this I really didn't do much measuring... I have decided when doing any herbal infusion I really like them to be infused well...so, I use a pretty good amount of which ever herbs I choose to use.

After adding each herb into a jar...I then added hot water, NOT BOILING HOT WATER, especially if your not using a heat resistant glass jar, in that case just boil it enough to get a good steeping for your herbs( if making the water/glycerin spritz).

Allow your herbs to steep for at least 3 hours , the longer they steep the better the infusion . Drain...then you can add your vegetable glycerin, vitamin E and EO's of choose ( I used a few drops of lavender & rosemary)

And there you have it !  I really like this spritz  ...I find it cool and refreshing to my scalp.

Keep in refrigerator.


                                                                                                 ENJOY!!!