May 3, 2010

Naturally Loved: Part Nineteen

Reliance on products instead of proper hair care techniques can get in the way of a healthy hair and scalp. We see so many products and companies directed to helping us achieve our favourite hair styles and want to try them out, I know sometimes I want to. Most times excess products in our routine can work against our hair instead of helping. To me simple is best and I have learned so much over the past two years. Just this past month I did a major trim and feel that I've done a second big chop even though my hair is about 6 inches at the longest sections.

When I first went natural I thought I needed to use heavy creams and butters to just make my hair feel soft and moisturized, I was wrong, conditioners, oils and a little shea butter go a long way! The new routine I'm trying out relies heavily on oils and conditioner to keep my hair moisturized with shea butter added throughout the week when my hair needs a moisture boost. I think the idea that our hair can be soft with the use of one to two products is still a fresh idea for some naturals who use many products throughout the week on there hair and scalp. Listen to your hair, it will tell you what it likes and dislikes. The process may take a while but the benefits outweigh a continued cycle of asking why hair is brittle, dry, breaking, and why your scalp is so itchy.

I've learned that our hair is reactionary, for example a person's hair suddenly becomes brittle because of a new product. The hair is telling the person that the product being used doesn't agree and to stop using it. Sometimes we need to take a step back and listen to our hair, use proper hair care techniques and use as few products as possible.

Happy Growing,


April 23, 2010

Loving Your Scalp

A healthy scalp is the foundation of healthy hair and growth. We can treat our hair like fine gold but it will be in vain if we have scalp issues. There are a few things we can do on a regular basis to keep our scalp in tip top shape and ward off any scalp issues that have disrupted our hair's growth process.

Buttering Your Scalp

This is a great way to nourish your scalp. Buttering your scalp as if using a pomade provides your scalp with a layer of protection, nourishment and alleviates any tightness or itching you may be experiencing. Great products to try is plain 'ole
shea butter, Qhemet Biologics Amla and Olive Heavy Cream, Qhemet Biologics Burdock Root Butter Cream, Sweet Nature By Eddie Dream Cream Moisturizer and Jane Carter Solution Nourish & Shine.

Natural butter based products and butters like shea butter will naturally melt into your scalp from your body heat, so enjoy!

Neem Seed Oil and Cayenne Pepper

This mixture is one of my favourites. I use about an ounce of neem seed oil with a quarter teaspoon of cayenne pepper mixed in. I message into my scalp for about ten minutes, cover with a conditioning cap and rinse before styling. Cayenne pepper is a natural stimulant and neem seed oil is very nourishing to the scalp.


Water is essential to maintaining all around hair and scalp health. Drinking plenty of it and misting your scalp with water will help alleviate scalp issues. If you want a more nourishing water based refresher and light moisturizer try
Darcy's Botanicals Herbal Tea Leave-In Conditioning Spritz, Oyin Handmade Nourishing Herbal Leave-In(s), and Qhemet Biologics Karkady Tea Replenishing Mist.


Ridding your scalp of build up and dirt is very important to keep your scalp healthy. Build up clogs follicles and can manifest as scalp issues such as flaking, soreness and itching. Try
Aubrey Organics Green Tea Clarifying Shampoo or a natural remedy like a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water. The ACV mixture should sit on your hair for two or more minutes to be effective.

Oiling Your Scalp

We all know the joys of oils. I love
Avocado Oil, Neem Seed Oil and of course Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Oils act as natural lubricates that are packed with vitamins and minerals to help heal and maintain the health of your scalp.

Condition, Condition, Condition

Using the right conditioner for your hair will assist the health of your scalp by making the roots more pliable and moisturized. This will also assist the length of your hair maintain moisture and retain length. I love kitchen fixes like
Mayonnaise and Extra Virgin Olive Oil mixed together as my cholesterol treatment, leave on for an hour and rinse.

Get Your Greens

Eat as much green leafy vegetables as possible, the darker shade of green it is the better. I love kale, spinach, rapini, broccoli and green beans. These vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals that aid your body in healing, promoting healthy skin, nails and healthy hair growth and digestion.

Get Active

Regular physical activity promotes sebum production and helps your body including the scalp to rid it self of toxins!

Messaging Your Scalp

I message my scalp once to twice a week. This helps circulation which promotes growth. Some people also "scratch" their scalp as a way to stimulate growth and to loosen dirt and build up. (I'll explore this soon)

These are some ways that we can all attain and maintain a healthy scalp. Without a healthy scalp we won't attain healthy hair.

April 5, 2010

Critique: Mahogany Queen's Honey Coconut Shea

I had the opportunity to try out Mahogany Queen's Honey Coconut Shea which is a moisturizing hair cream. According to Mahogany Queen it can also double as a skin moisturizer. The texture of the cream is somewhat like a custard with a medium texture (not too thick and not light). The Honey Coconut Shea has a distinct lemongrass scent that lingered after I applied it to my hair and the scent reminded me of Carol's Daughter Hair Milk ... (smelling it again) ... it smells just like Carol's Daughter Hair Milk.

When I first emulsified the cream between the pads of my fingers it melted quickly and at first was quite oily. Within ten minutes the majority of the cream absorbed into my hair and the oiliness became minimized. I see multiple uses for this cream, using it as a pre-poo treatment, a deep conditioner and as a daily light moisturizer would be fun to play around with.

Ingredients: shea, coconut oil, coconut cream, honey, avocado oil, almond oil, jojoba oil, apricot kernel oil, extra virgin olive oil, essential oil fragrance

Shea butter is the first ingredient listed along with honey not far behind which I found quite interesting. I can see the reasoning behind this choice since there are many naturals who avoid vegetable glycerin because of the drying effects it has on their hair. The honey added a stickiness to my hair and hands, now this works two ways in my hair. The stickiness from the honey can help to slick down my hair but can also attract build up on my hair and scalp, so it comes down to how do you wear your hair and how do you maintain it; do you wash frequently, do you go to the gym on a regular basis, do you wear your hair in loose styles, etc. All the variables any natural can come up with will determine how any product will work in their hair.

Amazingly, this product brought me back to the results I got from Qhemet Biologics Olive & Honey Hydrating Balm, the feel in my hair and on my hands was the same and so was the level of oil absorption from my hair of the product. This product is open to so many possibilities and I can't wait to see what Mahogany Queen will come up with next.

To place your order and see more of Mahogany Queen visit her at the following sites:

April 4, 2010

Naturally Loved: Part Eighteen

Over the past few weeks I've been playing around with a number of products and I am so happy to see the diversity of the brands coming out with hair and skin care products focused toward women who want a more natural alternative. In March Jane Carter Solution, Curls and Miss Jessie's started to be carried in Target and I am hoping all these companies have success and more natural/organic brands are welcomed into mass retailers, Wal-Mart anyone?

This progress tells me that natural based products are not just a fad but a new perspective on beauty products that I think is here to stay. Retail brands like TRESemme introduced their NATURALS line, L'oreal has already introduced their EverPure and EverStrong lines of sulfate free shampoos, conditioners and styling products, and Pantene has also introduced their Nature Fusion Line. I will say that most of these companies are 'trying' to meet the demand of having relatively good ingredients, great results while still maintaining a retail price tag. I think that although the ingredients in these products are still not the best for our hair the idea has been planted and is beginning to birth results that we can see.

It is an experience to see a relatively small hair care company grow year after year and than start to become mainstream. I live in Canada so I am unable to witness Jane Carter Solution in Target as yet, as well as Curls and Miss Jessie's. The core of my support for these companies is that they are Black owned, and who best to make products for our hair? Us of course!

Happy Growing,