Natural Oils | More, more, more facts!
Produced from the kernels of argan tree -a survivor amongst trees - adapted to drought with deep root systems. This tree is found in the semi-desert soils of Morocco but is slowly disappearing (under protection by UNESCO).
This oil is very rich in tocopherols (Vitamin E), phenols, carotene and essential fatty acids.
All argan oil today is produced by a fair trade women's cooperative that supports the local women of the Berber tribe, working within the preservation biosphere protected by UNESCO. Hence, it is one of the world's rarest oils. (source)
The edible oil, which is extracted by roasting the kernel has a nutty flavour and is used as a dip for bread, in salads and in couscous. It is also used for its skin-healing and softening properties in the cosmetics industry. (source) It is light and absorbs quickly into the skin and I've found, a little goes a long way. This helps as it's quite pricey!
Tea tree oil:
This pale yellow to clear essential oil is extracted from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia plant, native to New South Wales, Australia. Tea tree has been used for treating colds, healing wounds and other skin ailments by the people of eastern Australia. It smells like camphor (minty/eucalyptus scent). (source)
When applied to the skin, it is effective against viruses, bacteria, fungi and lice (head lice and scabies, for instance). (source)
A fair warning: Tea tree oil should not be orally ingested as it can cause serious toxic effects ranging from skin rashes and blood cell abnormalities to coma. (source) A small proportion of people develop an allergic contact dermatitis with oil. For this reason, I suggest you do a patch test first with 0.1-1% dilution of the oil.
This is just a quick run-down of things I've found or want to try out.
Natural Oils | More interesting facts
This is derived from the castor bean (or seed) and is a colourless to pale yellow liquid with a mild odour or taste (often with neither). It is not without its risks in the harvesting. The seed contains ricin, a toxic protein and other allergenic compounds on its surface can cause permanent nerve damage.
It's a triglyceride with ricinoleic acid as 90% of it's fatty acid chains, with oleic acid and linoleic acid as the other components of this oil.
Widely used as a laxative , Cold-pressed castor oil (CPCO) (colourless and tasteless), has also been used for skin problems and inflammatory conditions - all FDA approved uses. Owing to its low molecular weight, it is able to penetrate deep into the skin (past the stratum corneum). It's anti-inflammatory effects are attributed to the ricinoleic acid content. It has also been noted for its acne-healing abilities. It is used to improve memory in Ayuverdic medicine. Claims of it's promoting eyelash growth are yet to be seen on scientific testing. (source)
Many women have used castor oil on their roots and reported thickening of their hair and hair growth (source)
Jojoba oil (pronounced ho-HO-ba):
This is actually a liquid wax from the seed of the Jojoba (Simmondsia chenensis) plant. This plant is orginially found in Southern Arizona, Southern California and NorthWestern Mexico. Unrefined, it is a clear golden liquid at room temperature with a slight fatty smell. It is a mixture of wax esters, each containing a fatty acid joined to a fatty alcohol by an ester bond, and is 98% unsaturated fat. It is quite shelf-stable as it has no triglycerides in it.
Jojoba oil was discovered as a replacement for whale oil and its derivatives, like cetyl alcohol, in the cosmetics industries. It is also used as a fungicide (for controlling mildew). (Source)
For skin and hair care, this wax ester is the most similar to the oily substance produced by the human sebaceous glands, sebum. Due to this similarity, it can "fool" the skin into thinking it has produced this oil and thereby balance oil production - hence, it is non-comedogenic (source).
An edible oil from the Persea Americana (avocado), which is high in monounsaturated fats and Vitamins A, D and E. It is pressed from the fleshy pulp of the avocado. It is used for culinary purposes and is used in cosmetics due to it's moisturizing properties. (Source) The fatty acids contained are palmitic, palmitoleic, stearic, oleic, linoleic and linolenic. It is also a rich source of protein and lecithin. (source)
It is a heavy oil that feels waxy/fatty. It has a mild avocado flavour with a subtle nutty undertone. (source) It penetrates deeply and is a good emollient, which is why it is a good skin or hair moisturizer. (source)
On a Budget | Products
You can make this go longer by washing your hair with diluted shampoo.
Another thing you can do is go longer between shampoos by co-washing in between.
Buy cheap conditioners or their sample sizes first.
Alternatives to shampoo:
Baking soda and water can make a great clarifying wash.
Baking soda and conditioner: the conditioner becomes more watery when mixed.
Apple cider vinegar rinse: dilute 3-4 tablespoons in 1 pint of water (500mls). Use as final rinse.
Leave-in conditioner (try water):
A moisture spray should have water as your main ingredient. You simply dilute a glob of conditioner with water and spray it on daily. Another idea is to add glycerin or honey (already in your kitchen, after all) and spray on!
Hope that helps!
Natural Oils | Some interesting facts
Just thought I would add some drops of information from the vast oceans of it out there! lol!
A byproduct of wine-making, this is a vegetable oil that is pressed from Vitis Vinifera grapes. It is a light, thin oil that leaves a glossy layer when applied to the skin. It can also be used as a carrier oil for essential oils. It is liquid at room temperature.
It consists of linoleic acid (72%) an omega 6 fatty acid, Oleic acis (16%), an omega-9 fatty acid, Palmitic acid (7%) and Stearic acid (4%). It also contains small amounts of Vitamin E (but not as much as safflower and rice bran oil). Source
This is an edible oil that is extracted from mature coconuts of the coconut palm tree (Cocos nuciferas).
It is very heat stable and so can be used for high temperature cooking. It has a high saturated fat content, making it slow to oxidize and allowing it to last up to 2 years. In light of its saturated fat content, it is usually not advisable to consume significant amounts of this oil. It is solid at room temperature.
It can be used as a skin moisturizer to help dry skin (source). It also has been found to reduce protein loss from hair when used for pre- and post-shampoo hair grooming (source). As a triglyceride of lauric acid, it has a high affinity for protein and it's low-molecular weight allows it to penetrate the hair shaft.
Usually used for frying foods, this oil is pressed from Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) seeds. It contains mainly Linoleic acid (48-74%), and Oleic acid (10-14%) with smalled amounts of Palmitic and Stearic acids. It is liquid at room temperature.
It is high in Vitamin E and low in saturated fat. It has been shown to help retain moisture in the skin and can create a protective barrier against infections (source). On LHCF (long haircare forum), it is listed as a good choice for ceramides (protective fatty acids on hair).
Derived from the Mediterranean olive (Olea Europaea), ranges from Extra virgin grade to refined olive oil. It contains a wide variety of antioxidants and is known to have heart health benefits when ingested. Extra virgin grade is also recommended for it's skin moisturizing benefits, especially when used in the Oil Cleansing Method (Read more).
Also used in cosmetics to confer smoothness and softness to dry scaly skin. Used on hair as a sealing oil, it can confer these benefits. Source
Well, that's my research for the day! Glasses off! lol!
Hair Care | Recipes: Flax seed Gel & Hair Detangler
Here's another installment of recipes for hair care that you can make up in your kitchen!
I plan on trying the first downstairs in a few minutes but thought I'd be a doll and share the love.
I saw the video below a week ago and have been thinking about diving in ever since!
Natural Gel Recipe for Hair
2 cups of water
1/4 cup of flax seeds (aka Linseed)
Combine the water and flax seeds in a small pan, and bring to a boil. Simmer 15 minutes. Will start to thicken slightly. Strain out as many seeds as you can. Store in Fridge.
Natural Detangler Recipe for Hair
8 oz. distilled water
1 tsp. aloe vera gel
2 drops glycerin
15 drops Grapefruit seed Extract preservative
Combine all ingredients in a bottle. Shake well before each use
To Use: Apply a small amount to damp hair and work thru with fingers.
On a Budget | Deep Conditioning
This feels like a new series to me.
I thought I would share some tips and tricks to make your money (and products) go further.
So with deep conditioning: all you need is your hair and a deep conditioner (or mix).
First money-saving tip, use what's in your kitchen!
Next, you don't need any expensive gadgets to get the deep conditioning done. Just use your own body heat! Here are some options:
Hope this helped!
Lotions and Potions!
Part of our unique feminine charm is our ability to create and be inventive. This extends to our pride in our hair...even when we're pampering those locks! Here are a few examples of items from your kitchen that can be ultimate hair care mixtures. Do check out the "Hair Recipies" tab for more ideas!
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 tempiture. Massage mixture into hair.Wrap hair in a hot towel or cover with shower cap for 15 minutes. Shampoo & rinse out.
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.
Coconut Honey Deep Conditioner
4 tbls Coconut oil
2 tbls 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.
Bentonite Clay: A new love discovered!
Bentonite Clay consists of:
pH - 8.3 - 9.1
Bentonite Clay is purported to attract dirt and toxins, thereby being a good cleansing agent. It can be used on hair as an alternative to shampoo and on the face as a purifying facial! Bentonite clay is also believed to be an intestinal detoxifying agent that has been used around the world for centuries.
What it looks like:
Creamy grey in colour with a very fine, velvety texture. Odourless.
Above information found here.
Why did I try this out!
Well, after watching a recent video on youtube by Jazzybee445, I was eager to see if I could find this clay. I raced over to Amazon.co.uk (figuratively-speaking, of course) and did some fast-typing.
I was in luck: I found 100g-sized packs sold for 99p each (bargain!). So, I bought two...lol! I've had my hair out of kinky twists for a week now, so I gave this a go last night (Friday). Before I started any mixing, I did some more research online: Black Hair Media forums, Longhaircareforum and youtube, of course! These convinced me!
Here's the recipe I settled with: (I used MopTopMaven's mix from her video)
Review: Kimmaytube Leave-in Mix
This leave-in has been formulated and tested out on Kim's own hair for 6 months before releasing it to the Youtube viewers. And what a great thing to share! With the main aim being to be at a ph of 4.0 to 4.5 which closes our hair's cuticles at it's optimum pH level. This allows the hair to be smooth and easier to detangle, comb through, manipulate....you name it.
1 oz of Knot Today leave-in (or another creamy base)
2 tbspns of Aloe Vera Juice
2 tspns of Castor oil
2 tspns of Jojoba oil
That's it! Simple to mix up a batch yourself! I subtituted Cantu-shea butter leave-in and Vatika coconut oil into my mix instead of the Knot Today or Jojoba oil!
Now, how did I find it?
It was a revelation! My hair was softer (understatement), my new growth and texlaxed length actually formed coils and waves (type 4a/4b)! These extended right down to where the texlaxed hair ended and where the bone-straight tips met! That would be handy for when I choose to big chop! I now know alot of this is due to the aloe vera in it (which I love as an ingredient!)
Above all, I found my hair held in the moisture better! Will be investing in some pH sticks!
Hi, I'm Lola!
A self-confessed hair addict! On here, I share my hair journey and my inspiration.
I' m more than my hair though: I will also share food and body product recipes that I love!
Ps: you'll also find the occasional product review thrown in!
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictures: I do not own the copyright to all the pictures. Hence, I will credit the source.