Category Archives: Amla for Hair

DIY Henna Spray For Strength

Hello Maicurlies,

I am back with yet another DIY! Yes you read that right, a DIY Henna Spray!
This one is actually inspired by another Naturalista that has her on stash of DIY Goodies Curly Proverbz. She is GAAAWGEOUS btw! If you haven’t been following her you NEED TO!

So first off, Thank you Curly Proverbz for the inspiration!!!!

I modified her original recipe so it would fit my hair needs and I recommend you alter any ingredients you feel will not benefit your hair to fit your own needs too! (I have alternative suggestions a little lower down).

Henna Spray

Prior to you attempting to use Henna, Amla, Shikakai or any other Ayurvedic, herbs I HIGHLY SUGGEST that you do some research prior to application just so you are well informed about the ingredients & their benefits/disadvantages. I have a henna blog post where I also mention Shikakai and Amla in there since I regularly use them in my hair care.

Even if you know nothing about henna, amla, shikaikai and decide not to research (bad idea btw) PLEASE NOTE:

  • Ayurvedic, herbs can be drying on the hair therefore it is highly recommended that you thoroughly moisturize prior to/after using the spray.
  • Do not overdo the applications, it will cause your hair to feel dry and brittle due to the strength the herbs provide to the hair (lack of elasticity = breakage).
  • You might notice a colour change in your hair e.g. reddish/brown (henna & amla) therefore if you are not looking for this, DO NOT USE this recipe.
  • Use clothes & a towel you do not mind getting stained while spraying your hair!

Ingredients/Tools Use:

  • 0.1oz Amla
  • 0.1oz Shikakai
  • 0.25oz Henna
  • 4oz Water
  • 4oz Rose Water
  • 0.15oz Argan Oil
  • 2-3 drops Alcohol Free Rose Fragrance
  • Coffee Filter (or cheese cloth)
  • Cup
  • Spoon 
  • Spray Bottle
  • Gloves (optional)

Optional Ingredients/Ratios:

You can replace the Amla and Shikakai with any other Ayurvedic, herb such as Bhringaraj, Neem, Brahmi etc. In case you do not have Rose Water the amount can be replaced with more plain water. You can add some glycerin to the spray for added moisture (if necessary/desired). The fragrance oil can be replaced with Essential Oil. 

Mixing Instructions:

You want to put your herbs into a coffee filter or cheese cloth and let it soak in boiled water. I add rose water (without boiling it) and let the herbs sit overnight. The following morning I take out the herbs, add the oil and fragrance oil, pour into my spray bottle and presto! 

Application:

My two ways of application is: 1. after deep conditioning my hair (prior to moisturizing) I will spray the henna onto my hair and proceed with moisturizing and styling. 2. On occasion if I feel like I need to provide strength to my hair mid-week, I first spray a little henna onto my hair and then remoisturize. You can also do this as a rinse, without leaving the henna on your hair (which is what I do). 

Storage:

You must store the mix in your fridge (otherwise you plan on growing nasty mold!) 

Thanks! 

Maicurls

Maicurls

DIY Conditioning Bars with Cleansing Properties

Hello Maicurlies,

It has been a while (a little over a month) since I last shared a DIY and over the last few weeks I have been asked “when will you share a DIY again”, you request and I shall deliver 😉 

DIY Conditioning Bar With Cleansing Properties

DIY Conditioning Bar With Cleansing Properties

My “DIY Conditioning Bar with Cleansing Properties” is a mix that my hair LOVES! As the name indicates it helps to condition my hair while leaving my curls feeling clean (thanks to cleansing properties) but it does not result in dry or stripped clean hair thanks to the conditioning elements! 

Ingredients/Tools:

DIY Conditioning Bar With Cleansing Properties - Ingredients

  • 1.1 oz Amla
  • 1.5 oz Shikakai
  • 0.7 oz Water
  • 3 oz Unrefined Cocoa Butter (I got mine from SheaButter Cottage
  • 0.7 oz Virgin Coconut Oil
  • 3 Capsules Vitamin E Oil (roughly 0.15 oz) 
  • 2 drops Peppermint Essential Oil (optional) – use any Essential Oil you like*
  • 0.2 oz Glycerin (optional)** 
  • Pot & Bowl for double broiler
  • Spoon 
  • Container
  • Silicon Moulds & Cling Film (if you choose to make blocks) 

Note: *If you are pregnant please do not use any Essential oil. Essential Oil needs to be sufficiently diluted & certain oils have more “strength”. ** If you hair does not like Glycerin skip this ingredient (see Alternative Suggestions for other options). 

Mixing Method:

I first combine the dry ingredients (powders) together and mix them well. I then add the water and stir before adding the butter and remaining ingredients. When I add the butter and oils etc it is done step-by-step (do not pour everything in one go since you want to make sure you are not adding more than you want and to make sure everything is mixed well). 

Storage/Setting:

DSC06357

If you are going to use this right after making the mix, then skip this step and move onto “Adding Your Mixing Liquid” (below). If you are making blocks, pour into silicon molds which will be covered with cling film in order for them to set (Once set, I store mine in a sandwich bag for future use).

Adding Your Mixing Liquid:

Depending on your preference you can basically add any liquid of choice (e.g. Flax Seed Water, Tea, Water, Coconut Milk, Coconut Cream). First gently double broil the blocks (do not completely melt them down) you just want them to melt a little since you will be adding warm mixing liquid which will completely melt down the bars. My mixing liquid of choice is Flax Seed Water. I literally let the seeds (2 oz) just reach a gentle rolling boil in plain water (8.8 oz) for no more than 5 minutes on low heat. I immediately sieve the seeds (which I store for reuse) and pour the Flax Seed Water to my semi melted blocks and stir stir stir. 

Application:

Melted Conditioning Bars

Melted Conditioning Bars

Once the Flax Seed Water has been added it turns into this lovely consistency and I highly recommend applying on lightly damp hair (best on detangled hair to avoid tangles and to allow for easy application). I cover my hair with a shower cap and scarf for a minimum of 20 – 30 minutes and then rinse it out with a dab of conditioner (the conditioner is optional but I prefer using it to make sure I don’t have any “bits” in my hair). 

Ingredient Benefits:

  • Amla – holds conditioning properties, provides shine, strengthens the hair, helps slow down early on set greying/darkens the hair (subtly), helps keep a clean & healthy Scalp.
  • Shikakai – helps to cleanse the hair & scalp.
  • Water – best moisturizing ingredient.
  • Unrefined Cocoa Butter – helps moisturize the hair, reduces hair loss, reduces breakage & alleviates scalp itching and irritations.
  • Virgin Coconut Oil – provides shine and strength, penetrates into the hair shaft to strengthen from within, soothes an irritated scalp & helps elimate frizz.
  • Vitamin E Oil –  helps extend homemade products shelf life, rejuvenates and offers protection for the scalp & hair. 
  • Peppermint Essential Oil – helps to stimulate blood flow to the scalp which results in hair growth, soothes an irritated scalp, cleanses the scalp & also helps extend the shelf life of homemade products. 
  • Glycerin – a humectant that attracts water in the air (humidity) to the area applied. 

Alternative Ingredients: 

  • Unrefined Cocoa Butter – can be replaced with any other butter of choice e.g. Shea Butter, Mango Butter or a combination.
  • Virgin Coconut Oil – can be replaced with any carrier oil of choice.
  • Glycerin – can be replaced with Honey or Agave Nectar (if you hair likes Humectants).
  • Shikakai – can be replaced with Aritha (soap nut) which has even more cleansing abilities.
  • Water – can be used together with Rose Water e.g 0.35 oz Water & 0.35 oz Rose Water.
  • Peppermint Essential Oil – you can replace this with any oil of choice or omit it completely.

When To Use:

There is no “time frame” for this, you can use it whenever you like. I do suggest that if your hair is in need of a little TLC and you want to switch between deep conditioning you can use this in place of a Deep Conditioner from time to time. 

I would love to hear what you think! If you use this recipe or change a few things please let me know, I would love to hear from you! 

Thanks

Maicurls

Maicurls

 

DIY Henna Gloss Bars

Hey Maicurlies,

Today I am super super excited to share another DIY product and I am happy to say it has been added to my list of favourites!

Henna Bars

YUP, I finally worked out a mix for these DIY Henna Gloss Bars that I am really happy with. A while ago I started experimenting and wrote a quick post about it here. In my previous experiments I used too much oil, then too much butter but I finally have a recipe that is right (for my hair).

Here are some pictures of my previous experiments. They look pretty but didn’t feel quite right.

NOTE: If you have not used henna before then you want to do your research because while I rave abut how AWESOME it is, there always are pro’s and con’s to everything that need to be considered. I normally use BAQ Henna powder to make a paste and have written about my Henna/Amla DC recipe as well as information about henna. But I recommend that you do more research. A good starting point is Henna For Hair. Once you have done that, come back here 😀

Ingredients – This mix makes  16.2 oz = 6.5 bars

I have quite long hair that is fine but I like to coat my hair with henna so you might need to tweak the ratios depending on the length and density of you hair. 

  • 2.8 oz Unrefined Cocoa Butter
  • 0.7 oz Coffee Infused Almond Oil (use any carrier oil)
  • 4.2 oz Virgin Coconut Oil
  • 0.2 oz Glycerine (optional – can be replaced with honey or agave nectar if you wish)
  • 0.15 oz Vitamin E Oil
  • 5.3 oz BAQ Henna
  • 1.4 oz Hibiscus*
  • 2.1 oz Amla*

*These powders can be replaced with other Auyverdic herbs such as Shikakai, Bhrami etc depending on the results you want to get. They are acidic which help with the dye release of the henna.

Mixing Instruction

Henna Bars 4

  1. First melt the Cocoa butter in a double broiler for no more than 5 minutes.
  2. In a glass bowl combine all the powders together and mix well.*
  3. After the butter melts take it off the stove, add the oils together and stir.
  4. Slowly add the melted butter and oils to the powder step by step and stir really well.
  5. Pour the mix into your moulds (I use silicon moulds since the bars are easy to pop out once frozen but you could use ice cube trays).
  6. Cover the henna with cling film to allow the dye release process and freeze them for a minimum of 12 hours.

*Don’t use any metal items when mixing henna. – This is a precaution in case you are not using 100% pure BAQ Henna (which you should be using). If you know you are using 100% pure BAQ henna then you do not have to worry, I use glass and plastic items just to “set an example” but I am sure the henna I get is pure. 

Storage

I like to cover each individual bar once it has set with cling film and then place them in a resealable sandwich bag that is dated so I remember when the bars were made.

Henna Bars 2

Covered henna bars

Always store the bars in the freezer otherwise they will start to melt and will slowly loose their properties over time. You can keep the bars in your freezer for weeks, I actually always find that henna stored in the freezer has a stronger dye potency so I leave mine in the freezer for no less than 1 week before I use them. However after a while you might notice that the dye peak has started to drop.

Melting/Application process

This is really about personal preference but I like to use either Coconut Cream or Conditioner (depending on what I’ve got at home) when I double broil the henna bars. Never use direct heat on the bars e.g. do not put them in the microwave or in a pot directly on the heat of a stove! While I make 6 bars I only use 5 bars for a full strength henna treatment and 0.5 – 1.5 bar for a henna gloss. The extra’s are left in the freezer for future use. 

Coconut Cream/milk: I use roughly 1/3 cup of coconut cream. I first double broiling the bars and then add the coconut cream, adding a little more (if it is too thick) and apply onto damp cleansed and detangled hair. I prefer my mix to be a little on the thicker side so it won’t run down my neck. 

Conditioner: I use 1/2 cup of conditioner (depending on how thick the conditioner is). I first double broil the bars and slowly add the conditioner a step at a time and mix.  I apply onto damp cleansed and detangled hair. I prefer my mix to be a little on the thicker side so it won’t run down my neck. 

Tea: I use roughly 1/3 cup of green tea (you can use any tea). I first double broiling the bars and then add the tea. I apply onto damp cleansed and detangled hair. I prefer my mix to be a little on the thicker side so it won’t run down my neck. 

I tend to leave the mix on my hair for 30 minutes – 1 hour but you can leave it on for more/less time. I cover my hair with a clingfilm, a shower cap, usually a plastic bag as well and then a scarf just to make sure it is nice and toasty warm up there. 

*NOTE: ALWAYS do a moisturising Deep Condition (DC) after applying henna on your hair to restore the balance. Henna can make the hair feel dry and brittle therefore the moisturising DC brings back moisture to the hair. 

When Do I use them?

Henna Bars 1

I like to use the bars in between the times I use my regular henna paste because it is a little less drying, it is easier to rinse out and to be honest I LOVE making the bars! I still use my normal henna paste (recipe here), I just alternate between the two. I also like to use the bars as a gloss that gives my hair a light colour touch up and due to all the conditioner I use, my hair doesn’t feel as dry afterwards. 

I would LOOOOOVE to hear if you try this out and if you come up with your own recipes! If you use a pre-made Henna bar please let me know what you think about that, I love hearing from you all! 

Thanks

Maicurls

Maicurls

DIY Ayurvedic Hair Mask – Amla Shikakai Rose

Hey Maicurlies,

Today I want to share a DIY Hair Mask (Masque) with you. I actually started using this as a alternative to a Clay Mask (Masque) since I can’t seem to get the Clay here locally so I will probably buy some at some point to try experiment with and write about.

But for now this is my baby! 

DSC00624

DIY Ayurvedic Hair Mask (Amla Shikakai Rose)

 I LOVE using this mix on my hair for several reasons:

  • Its strengthening property
  • Conditioning ability
  • The sheen provided by the mask
  • Light cleansing property
  • Detoxifying ability (due to its cleansing property) 
  • Darkening ability (I like my hair in a brown/red tone thanks to henna and amla) 
  • Curl popping power (my curls come back to life after this mask)

Now what is in this wonder mask I hear you asking right? Well the recipe is simple and as always is built around ingredients I use regularly on my hair. You should be able to find most of these in your grocery store (perhaps the “ethnic” section), your local Indian store or if all else fails you can find them all Online. Butters-n-Bars is a good place to check, as is Sheabutter Cottage and if you find a good reliable source Amazon is another alternative. I am able to find all the ingredients used locally.

(NOTE: I was not paid, compensated or requested to mention any company names these are just suggestions of places where you can purchase some of the ingredients. I bought my products locally and paid for them with my own money). 

DSC00625

Ingredients:

  • 3.5 oz Amla powder (I use the Hesh Brand) 
  • 0.5 oz Shikakai (I use the Hesh Brand)
  • 0.2 oz Amla Infused Coconut Oil (can be replaced with regular coconut oil or any other carrier oil)
  • 0.1 oz Glycerine (Optional)
  • 2.5 oz Rose Water
  • 5.5 oz Plain Water (I use bottled Water) 

Additional Ingredients/Replacements

  • Honey/Agave Nectar – In place of the Glycerine
  • Essential Oils (EO’s) – you can use any Essential Oil you like. I am currently always in the mood of Rose water so I am not adding any EO’s to mine. 
  • Cassia – in place of the Amla you can replace it with Cassia which will not darken your hair. It has conditioning properties just like Amla as well as strengthening abilities. 
  • Other Ayurvedic Herbs – you can actually replace the Shikakai with any other herb such as Aritha, Brahmi, Neem just to mention a few. 

Mixing Instructions:

I first combine the Ayurvedic Herbs together in a bowl and mix. Stir it carefully because they powders are really light and will fly around everywhere. Next I add the Oil, Glycerine and Rose water and stir again. The final step is adding the water. I like to add the water a little at a time and mix. You might want to add more/less water depending on how thick/thin you want the mask, I like mine to be a little thicker than pancake batter. 

Application

1. I first dampen my hair with a spray bottle, I like my hair to be damp but not sopping wet. 2. I apply the mask liberally all over my hair starting at the ends and make my way to my roots. (Do not comb or manipulate your hair once it is applied because otherwise you are asking for breakage!) 3. I wrap my hair around my head and cover with a shower cap and usually some material too to keep my head warm and leave it on for 30 – 60 minutes. 4. I rinse out the mask and *co-wash my hair. 

* For some the Amla might be a little acidic and therefore can leave your hair feeling a little rough and therefore a simple co-wash might not sufficient. If that is the case do a moisturising Deep Condition afterwards. 

Application process

Storage

I make a lot of this mask and use it all up because I like to coat my hair with it and my hair is a little long. You might need more/less depending on your hair length/density however if you have any leftovers you can cover and store it in the freezer just make sure to put a date on it to remember when it was made.

I would love to hear what you think if you try this mask/masque. I would also love to hear about your Clay Hair Masks so I can have a recipe list to follow when I try it 😀 

Thanks

Maicurls

Maicurls

DIY Amla Infused Grapeseed Oil (Recipe 4)

Hello Maicurlies,

I promise we are close to the end of my DIY Infused Oil obsession just two more to go after this (I will probably make more for myself but don’t want to push it by making you guys hear about EVERYTHING I make) 😀

I will be sharing how I make my DIY Amla Infused Grapeseed Oil.

DIY Amla Infused Grapeseed Oil

                                           DIY Amla Infused Grapeseed Oil

I have already mentioned the benefits of using Amla infused oil which you can read over here and in case you’re new to my blog (Hi there!) or perhaps missed my previous oil Infusion posts you can find links to them below:

DIY Rose Infused Grapeseed Oil

DIY Hibiscus infused Almond Oil

Before I go any further I want to mention I was not requested or compensated for anything used in this DIY recipe. All products used were paid for with my own money. Amla oil is said to help darken the hair so if you do not want this attribute then this recipe might not be the one for you.

With that out the way – I have a video demonstrating how I make my Amla Infused oil on my YouTube Channel:

I also wanted to provide a write-up so here we go Maicurlies!

Ingredients/tools:

  • Spoon
  • Measuring cups
  • Container
  • Coffee filter
  • String (to close the coffee filter)
  • 1/4 cup of Amla powder (Hesh)
  • 1.5 cups cup of Grapeseed Oil (you can use any oil of choice)
  • 15 drops Grapefruit essential oil (optional – you can use any oil of choice)

*NOTE: I am not a dermatologist nor a doctor. I provide this for informational purposes only so please consult with a professional before you apply anything new to your skin or hair. Should you be taking medication or creams from a medical professional please do not replace that with my DIY recipe – consult your medical professional first! If you are allergic to any of the ingredients I use do not use them. Do a small patch test on the inside of your arm when trying anything new before applying it all over your hair/skin. Always ensure to dilute the Essential Oils (EO) in a carrier oil as they can cause skin irritations if used undiluted. If you are pregnant you should NOT use any EO.

Here are some of the ways you can use the oil:

  • To seal in moisture
  • Part of you deep condition mix
  • A pre-poo
  • In your whipped butter mix
  • For a scalp massage

I would love to hear if you have or will use Amla Infused Oil . I would also love to hear how you use the oil!

Thanks

Maicurls

Maicurls

Benefits of DIY Amla Infused Grapeseed Oil

Hey Maicurlies,

I just fished editing my DIY Amla Infused Grapeseed oil and wanted to explain why I personally like using it. I have already mentioned how and why I like using Amla powder as part of my Henna/Amla Treatment and have a video of my process but also wanted to touch upon the benefits of the oil.

photo credit: Henna Sooq via photopin cc

photo credit: Henna Sooq via photopin cc

What is Amla?

Amal (Gooseberry) is a green fruit renowned in Asia – mainly in India. It is rich in Vitamin-C and minerals and is considered a powerful antioxidant agent that has several uses (not just for the hair and skin.) The fruit itself tastes extremely taut and bitter but can be made into a juice or eaten as a fruit. Due to is high Vitamin-C content, it is known to be used against coughs and colds, can help boost the body’s immune system and is refereed to as a detoxifier that can help cleanse the liver and kidney. Amla juice has been said to be effective in lowering the fat content in the body which can help in weight loss and is even said to be beneficial for your eyes due to the presence of antioxidants.

Now looking at it as an oil: it can be used for both your hair and skin – I love multipurpose products!

Skin

Amla infused oil can be used to trap in moisture (after you have showered), provide a glow to your skin and delay the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles (with frequent use). Its antiseptic properties makes it a good skin cleanser and is known to help reduce blemishes & dark circles under the eyes.

Hair

Amla infused oil can help darken the hair (with frequent use*), promote growth, strengthen the hair from roots to ends, enhance luster and shine, reduce shedding, thicken the hair and help promote its overall condition.

*If you have light or bleached hair and do not want it darkened then this oil might not be for you. The oil will not make make grey/white hair black but it can gradually darken its appearance.

Scalp

It is known to help combat mild scalp irritations and dandruff due to its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal, and antioxidant properties (check with your doctor/dermatologist).

Oils for infusion:

Depending on your preference you can use any carrier oil of choice. The additional benefits you will get from the oil will all depend on what you choose to use. I usually use Grapeseed oil due to the fact that it is light and easily absorbed. Click on the link for a list of different carrier oils and their benefits for the hair and skin.

I will have a new post with my video and an explanation of how I make the oil shortly!

Thanks

Maicurls

Maicurls

DIY Infused Oil “Mini-Series”

HELLLOOO Maicurlies,

I hope all is well!

I have been BUSY making DIY mixes, recording videos (editing), taking photos and have come up with an Infused Oil “series”! Do I hear you say: HOW EXCITING! (Yes, it is!)

Infused Oils

                                                                                      Infused Oils

If you are wondering why would you want to make an infused oil? I say why not?!

In all seriousness, infused oils give you the option of incorporating your favorite ingredients to your favorite carrier oil – adding more punch, nourishment and benefits for your hair and/or skin.

Uses of infused oils for the hair

Infused oils can be used in a number of different ways such as: Pre-poo’s, hot oil treatments, scalp massages, Deep Conditioners, leave-in conditioners, whipped butters, sealing…ANYTHING! Their benefits depend on the ingredients used for infusion and the carrier oil you use. With each of my infusions I  will list the benefits of each and how I personally use them.

Infused oil for skin

You can incorporate infused oils into a DIY Body butters, sugar scrubs or even directly onto your skin to trap in moisture after a shower.

So which Oils have I made (are in the making?)

  • Rose Infused Grapeseed Oil
  • Hibiscus Infused Almond Oil
  • Amla Infused Grapeseed Oil
  • Coffee Infused Almond Oil
  • Neem Infused Coconut Oil

Heads up – Rose Infused Grapeseed Oil will be first!

I hope you enjoy this “mini series”.

Do you make your own infused oil? If so what do you make and how? I would love to hear from you!

Thanks

Maicurls

Maicurls