I am so excited to finally be able to share with you some of the expertise that my fellow blogger, Qwania White Dixon of Naturalista4me has in the field of caring for natural hair care and the products she uses.
I have asked her to be a contributor for a series of hair care for Naturalistas. Le t us not forget about the fact that indeed there is an astronomical increase of women that are opting to return to their natural coils. Me myself have been natural for the past 4 years and although I did not experience the famous "big chop", the adjustment has certainly been a journey. The thing is that even though many of us have made that conscious decision, we still struggle to find a regime that will work for us specially when it comes to optimizing your pantry at home and experimenting with DIY hair care products.
With so many different products sitting on the shelves of just about any store you walk into, it is easy to get your hands on something to take care of your needs. My question is, is it really taking care of your needs overall?
We often times look at what products are doing for our hair but we do not think about what it could possibly be doing to us internally. Because people are becoming more health conscious, many are looking deeper into what they are putting in and on their bodies. I am one of those people.
I began blogging about my natural hair journey in 2012 shortly after doing the big chop. I binged watched YouTube videos of other natural hair bloggers and tried my best to purchase every product I could that they claimed worked for them. I guess you can say I was a product junkie. Being a product junkie was not good for my pockets so I had to start finding other ways to care for my hair. I started browsing my kitchen and researching on more natural ways of caring for my hair.
I am going to be completely honest and say that even then my choice to try a more natural route was not health related. It was because I could not afford to keep purchasing products and most of those products did not do anything for me anyway. I was simply trying to find my way like everyone else.
I began to start using more natural ways of cleansing and conditioning my hair and shared that on my YouTube channel. My husband was a big help in helping me to apply my eatable hair concoctions for the camera. We had fun with it though.
Although I was using more natural alternatives, I would still purchase shampoos and conditioners. I have done many reviews but here I am today with no store bought shampoos or conditioners in my home. As the years passed and I learned that caring for my hair did not have to be so complicated, I began to give away products that I was no longer using and would just visit my kitchen to whip up whatever I needed. I began to make my own gels, whipped shea butter for hair and skin, natural hair masks, detox hair masks, oil blend concoctions for conditioning and so much more.
When I shared with people what I used, they would say to me that they were not wasting grocery by applying eatable food to their hair. I can understand where they are coming from but with the knowledge that I have today of what is being put into products that claim to "help" you, it is definitely worth it for me.
Many products today for our hair and skin contain chemicals that slowly poison us. I did a class in Vidalia, GA where I went over some of the main chemicals that are in many of the top selling brands. Most people do not read thoroughly into the ingredients to know this. We read what it says it will do for us, probably the first three to four ingredients and the long words that we cannot pronounce we ignore and purchase it anyway.
Those words are what we need to pay attention to if we are wanting to steer clear of products that are not beneficial to our health.
I was once told that we are going to die anyway so you may as well just live life and not worry about things as minor as chemicals in your products. If this is the mindset that you have about your life then that is something I will not touch on at this time but for those of you who desire to take control over your health holistically, I want to encourage you to dig deeper into the ingredients.
There are things in your beauty products that CAN cause life threatening illnesses.
I am now a habitual researcher who loves to share natural ways for you to care for your hair and body and I want to share a few things that I have tried personally.
Part I: Cleansing:
First I want to start off by sharing some ways that I cleanse my hair naturally.
Cleansing My Hair Naturally
To cleanse with baking soda I do the following:
Mix 1 part baking soda to 3 parts of water. Shake or stir well (depending on what you are mixing it in).
Apply baking soda mix directly to the scalp area. As a tip, take a clean toothbrush that you will not use and go in a circular motion on the scalp to help to cleanse the scalp better. This worked great for my daughter when she use to have really bad dry and flaky scalp. It also feels great- like a massage.
This combination will most likely run down the strands of the hair so you may not have to necessarily apply baking soda down your strands directly. I concentrate more on the application of it to my scalp and then distribute through the strands of my hair last.
Follow up with an Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse to balance out the ph level of your hair. Apple Cider Vinegar will act like a conditioner.
I do not skip the acv rinse step! It is very important.
Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse Recipe:
1 part Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar to 3 parts water.
To cleanse my hair with bentonite clay I do the following:
You will need:
- bentonite clay,
- apple cider vinegar,
- distilled water,
- aloe vera juice
- essential oil (I use tea tree or lavender)
- a bottle for easy application.
These ingredients will be added in equal parts to your bottle- except the essential oil.
Add bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar to your bottle first and shake well. This will make the bentonite clay easier to apply by removing any clumps. Follow up by adding equal parts of distilled water and aloe vera juice.
Finish this concoction off by adding 10 drops of your favorite essential oil and shake well.
Rinse hair thoroughly then apply the mixture to your scalp and hair. Scrub with the padding of your fingers, rinse out then repeat.
Bentonite Clay Hair Mask/Detox:
Combine bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar in a non- metal bowl to get the consistency that you desire for application. It should be a thick smooth paste consistency.
Rinse hair thoroughly then apply the hair mask. Leave on for approximately 15 minutes then rinse out. I always follow up by applying an oil to my hair of my choice which is usually olive oil.
This mask will remove any crud and toxins from your hair while providing you with its nutrients.
To cleanse my hair with African Black Soap I do the following:
Purchase an African Black Soap of your choosing.
Rinse hair thoroughly. Rub the bar of soap between the palms of your hands and then apply that lather to your scalp area. Soap can be put on the strands as well but I mainly concentrate on my scalp. The soap eventually makes it way down my strands as I am scrubbing at my scalp. Scrub your scalp with the padding of your fingers. Rinse out then repeat.
Now that we have talked about ways that I cleanse, I would like to share natural ways to deep condition. Stay Tuned for Part II: Deep Conditioning!