Category Archives: Hair Care

How To: Adding slip to conditioners to make detangling easier.

Hey Maicurlies,

Today I have something that I hope will help save you some money and perhaps even turn some of your least favorite conditioners (that you have stashed away collecting dust) into favorable ones!

Making Conditioner with Slip

Whether you returned natural just a few months ago or have been natural for a while, finding “staple” or favorite products (e.g. conditioners) are one of things we want to achieve. It can become a little difficult to find products that work for our hair without some trial and error, which can be quite frustrating. 

We tend to look for conditioners that:

  • Provides moisture (if we are not seeking a protein conditioner)
  • Has sufficient slip to ease detangling
  • Smooths the hair
  • Softens the hair
  • Provides shine
  • Provides elasticity

In this particular DIY example I used TRESemmé Naturals but you can use any of the conditioners in your shelf. Note: some might not mix all that well with the gel but since it is not going to be left in your hair and will be rinsed out that shouldn’t be a problem.

The crux of this whole thing is to add Flaxseed Gel (FSG) to your conditioner of choice and that pretty much is it! 

Why add Flaxseed Gel:

Apart from the fact that adding Flaxseed gel will help provide slip to the conditioner here are some of the other benefits:

  • Rich source of vitamin E. Vitamin E.
  • Provides moisture to the hair.
  • Provides nourishment to the hair thanks to the Omega – 3 fatty acids.
  • Helps reduce breakage and split ends.
  • Helps slowdown the process of premature gray hair.
  • It helps reduce shed hair.
  • Helps fight scalp irritations and dandruff.

Ingredients: (I get 2 uses from this recipe)

ingredients 1

  • 8 Oz Conditioner (if you have shorter/thicker hair you might need to use less or more conditioner).
  • 8 Oz Plain Water
  • 2 Oz Flaxseeds (I like my gel to be thick since that provides slip).
  • (Optional) 5 – 7 drops Essential Oil (EO)*
  • Pot
  • Sieve
  • Clean and disinfected container
  • Spoon/Spatula
  • Gloves (to be extra sure you don’t contaminate the product)

*Essential Oils should be used with caution and only requires a few drops. If you are pregnant please do not use any!

Method:

DSC05128

I add the flaxseeds to the water (before it boils) and allow it to slowly come to a boil on low heat for 10 minutes while continuously stirring. Once I have the gel at a consistency I am happy with I immediately sieve the seeds (keep the seeds for reuse in a ziplock bag in the freezer and quickly pour water in the pot). I add the gel to my conditioner, mix really well then add the EO stir again, fini!

Storage:

If you have any remaining conditioner and plan to use it the following week I do suggest storing it in the fridge however, I have left mine in an airtight container in my bathroom to be used the following week without anything nasty growing in the container. I am always “extra” and use a clean, disinfect and dry spoon whenever I scoop out any hand prepared products just to make sure no bacteria, dirt etc comes in contact and grows anything funky so I suggest you doing the same (don’t dip your fingers in the container unless you use it all up in one go).

Ratio/Ingredient Alternatives:

  • If you are using a thin/runny conditioner and want to really thicken it use 3 Oz flaxseeds.
  • You can add some Rose Water to this by replacing half of the water e.g. 4 Oz Plain Water & 4 Oz Rose Water.
  • You can add a Humectant (if your hair likes them) e.g. Honey/Agave Nectar/Glycerine or Aloe Vera Juice (0.5 Oz).
  • You can also use a combination of Fenukgreek Seeds together with the flaxseeds e.g. 1 Oz Fenugreek 1 Oz Flaxseeds.

P.S. You can also add some FSG to your shampoo! Use 1 tablespoon of FSG to your shampoo in a bowl & stir. It will provide slip but also help to reduce the amount of stripping from the shampoo.

I really would love to hear if you try this DIY and what your results were!

Thanks

Maicurls

Maicurls

Hard Protein/Moisture Balance Treatment

Hello Maicurlies, 

Today I wanted to share something that has become a “hair saver” (for me). My Hard Protein/Moisture Balancing Treatment.

Hard Protein Treatment

This recipe has become part of my routine however, it is not something I do every week or even every month because as the name suggests it is a HARD protein treatment. Before I delve into the details of what I use, how I mix, how I apply etc. it is important to point out a few things.

  1. This is an extremely hard protein treatment that should only be done once every 2 – 3 months (some might only want to do this 2 times a year).
  2. I have been told that this feels/acts like the 2 step ApHogee Protein Treatment therefore if you have tired that before, keep in mind how often you have used it/how you hair felt afterwards. Do not do both this and ApHogee treatments since they work similarly and you might end up with protein overload!
  3. It is vital to do a Moisturizing Deep Condition (DC) after. VITAL! Your hair will feel hard, brittle and almost straw-like (this is normal) however, it should not feel like that after you have done the Moisturizing DC. Without the moisturizing DC you will not have a protein/moisture balance and that will just result in breakage (not good)!
  4. If your hair does still feel hard after your Moisturizing DC, do another DC again!
  5. Ensure you have fully and properly detangled your hair before you apply the protein mix. Protein makes the hair hard (and this one does so extremely well) and if you haven’t detangled your hair beforehand you will only end up breaking hair in the spots where you have knots as you try to distribute the mix.
  6. Work with freshly washed, clean and damp hair to remove any product buildup which will allow the protein to latch on and penetrate the hair strands (this is when you would detangled your hair).
  7. Once the mix is on your hair DO NOT TOUCH YOUR HAIR!
  8. Leave the mix on for no more than 15 minutes!
  9. Some people like to use a drier/hooded drier after applying the protein to help dry the hair however, since I do not use any form on heat I do not suggest this step in my demonstration. (If you do decide to use heat, please ensure it is not set to high because you can cause damage).
  10. Once the time is up use your shower head/faucet (warm water) to rinse your hair going in a downwards motion. After you let water run over your hair slowly use your finger tips to help ensure all of the protein has been rinsed out (gently). You can use conditioner after you rinse to make sure the protein is out.
  11. ALWAYS DO A MOISTURIZING DC!!!!! (Sorry but I have to stress this part).

Ingredients/Tools Used:

Hard Protein Treatment Ingredients

  • 7 oz Hot Water (I used bottled water)
  • 0.24 oz Gelatine 
  • 0.5 oz Pure Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
  • Applicator bottle
  • Bowl/container (to mix)
  • Spoon
  • Essential Oil (optional if you can’t stand the smell of ACV but the ACV smell will go away anyways after you rinse and DC your hair). 

Mixing:

Sprinkle the gelatine over the water (while it is still hot) and stir to dissolve the gelatine. Add the ACV, stir again and pour into your applicator bottle. Allow the mix to completely cool down (if you plan to add EO add it after the mix has cooled down). 

Application

While you are letting the mix cool wash and detangle your hair so it is free from products, this will allow the protein to attach and absorb into the hair strands easier. Section your hair into parts to make it easier to work with and pour the mix from root to tip, paying particualr attention to the ends since this is where breakge occurs most frequently. Distribute the mix by finger combing/wide tooth comb but be VERY CAREFUL since the protein will make your hair feel hard and can cause breakage if you are rough. (This is why it is important to make sure you have fully detangled your hair prior to application)! After you are done with one section LEAVE THAT PART ALONE, do not touch it anymore and move onto the next. Once you are done allow the mix to sit for no more than 15 minutes. Typically people like to use a drier/hooded drier while waiting for the 15 minutes however, I do not use heat and therefore do not take this step. If you do, please make sure that you do not bake your hair, you will see damage if you do!

After the 15 minutes using your shower head/facet let warm water run over your hair going in a downwards motion (do not use your fingers to manipulate) unitl you feel your have rinsed out the protein. Once you have rinsed with water alone then you can gently use your fingers to run over your hair to make sure it is protein free,  you can use a little conditioner to help ensure all the protein is out.  Follow up with a Moisturizing DC for no less than 1.5 hours and proceed with your styling. If you feel your hair still feels rough, dry, brittle you need to do another moisturizing DC to restore the protein/moisture balance! 

This is my demonstration video:

If you try this mix I would love to hear what you think and if you have used ApHogee before I would love to hear if you think these two work similarly or not. 

Thanks

Maicurls

Maicurls

Methods of Moisturizing and Retaining Moisture

Hey Maicurlies!

What does it means to moisturize your hair and how should you moisturize your hair? Why is it important to keep your hair moisturized? How do you keep your hair moisturized? 

It can be a little tricky and to confuse matters a little further, depending on the season you might have to switch up how you moisturize .

The first thing is understanding the moisturizing process (the products you need to use) and then comes the order in which you apply the products. The order of application will depend mainly on the structure of your hair (porosity), your hair width (how thick your hair strands are) and what your hair likes.

Moisturizing Methods

There is no one rule fits all but the general rule of thumb is that moisturizing your hair should consist of:

L = Liquid (water/water-based leave-in used to moisturize)

Leave-in Conditioners

O = Oil (carrier oil)

oilsC = Cream (hair cream/butter)

Whipped butter

What are the combination of applications you can use?

  • L.C.O.
  • L.O.C.O.
  • L.O.C.

But there are some who do a shortened version as well:

  • L.O
  • L.C

Liquids: can be anything from water, water and aloe Vera juice or a water based leave-in conditioners. The important aspect is using a product that is water based (water should be listed within the top 3 ingredients if not the first). Personally for me, water alone is not enough. I like to use water and my DIY Creamy Leave-in conditioner or my  DIY Spray Leave-in Conditioner -which is water in a spray bottle with other ingredients added to it.

Oil: this should be a carrier oil of choice that works as a sealant to “trap” in the moisture applied before (the liquid). Depending on several characteristics of your hair: virgin coconut oil, grapeseed oil, almond oil, jojoba oil, avocado oil, castor oil (to name a few) or even a mix of oils. Those with fine hair will prefer lighter oils and those with coarse hair can get away with using heavier oils.

Cream: this can either be a hair cream, a whipped butter or a whipped butter mix. Depending on your hair structure a butter or cream can actually also be sufficient to help set styles. However if not, then you will want to apply a setting product for additional hold such as a gel (the styling product is not part of the moisturizing step).

How, why, when?

You want to layer on the products. I heard somewhere on a YouTube channel that moisturizing should be considered as painting your nails. You have a base coat, the color and then a top coat. The same applies for moisturizing our hair. 

Why is it important to moisturize our hair? Well, basically if you do not, you are asking for damage, breakage, thirsty and dull hair. Our hair is naturally dry due to its structure, the curls, kinks and coils makes it a little more difficult for the natural oils produced by the scalp (sebum) to travel down the entire length of the hair strand. We need to help the process along and the way to do that is to moisturize and seal.

How often do you need to moisturize? For some, moisturizing and sealing after washing your hair might be enough for the week however, for a lot of us we need to re-moisturize our hair at some point during the week. The frequency will really depend on weather conditions, how “thirsty” your hair gets, how much manipulation you do to your hair and how your hair is styled (e.g protective vs. free flowing). I for example will re-moisturize anywhere from 1-3 times during the week. Keep in mind – While moisturizing is important it is also important to remember that you shouldn’t over do it. Product buildup can occur if you laden on the products. If your hair is coated it actually makes it is harder to attain and retain moisture because the moisture is not able to reach the core of your hair and thus just sits on top of the previously applied products (ineffective!) 

So which method is right for you? The only way to find out is to start with one method and then build from there, once you have determined your hair structure of course. If the L.O.C method doesn’t work for you then try L.C.O. and so on. Start off light with the products and try to determine how much/little you need and build from there. 

My Method:

Up until I started using butters my method was the L.O. which for some sounds crazy (I didn’t have access to butters). Now I like to do the L.O.C method (both in summer and winter) after I have washed my hair. If I want super definition I will add Flax Seed Gel before applying the Cream. When I re-moisturize I will either do the L.O. or L.C. method and if I am restyling midweek then I might add my Flax Seed  Spray Gel for hold.

What is your moisturizing process? Does your routine differ in the summer and winter? I would love to hear from you!

Maicurls

Maicurls

 

Protective Style & Castor Oil Week 6 Update

Hey Maicurlies,

Week 6 cover

                                                         Week 6

So I have come to the end of my Protective Style and Castor Oil Challenge and have to admit I am a little sad. Figured B&W pictures would show “sadness” but to be honest I just love the look of B&W photos! 

Anyways, I will have a separate overview of the challenge as a whole, along with a video shortly but I just wanted to share how my last week went in this post.

For a recap of my previous weeks check below:

How did my last week go?

Not to sound like a broken record but it went well. I did two protective styles over six days and of course also massaged my Castor Oil Mix on my scalp, hairline and ends four times in the week. My two styles were as always super simple. For the first three days I did a really quick & loose pinned back up-do using only bobby pins. On the last three days I did a roll and tuck with 3 two-strand twists & accessorized the style with my DIY Floral hairband.

What Did I do?

I did my wash day routine on Sunday, moisturized and sealed before twisting my hair at night.

  • Day 1 – After taking down the twists in the morning I massaged my Castor Oil Mix on my scalp, hairline, ends and did one of the simplest styles since starting the challenge for the next 3 days.

Literally all I did was very loosely take my hair back fold it over and pin it down. The style was so loose that you could see a little frizz I call this being “carefree” ( it doesn’t bother me but I could be done the style with a little of my DIY Flaxseed gel for a “neater” look.)

  • Day 3 – I reapplied the Castor Oil mix to my scalp, hairline and ends at night.
  • Day 4 – In the morning I moisturized my hair with my DIY Creamy Leave-In Conditioner and sealed  with my whipped butter mix then put my hair into a rolled back up-do accessorized with a DIY floral headband. (I had my DIY shell earrings on that day and it get a beach feeling when I wear them) 😀

I left two sections on the sides and one at the front to make two-strand twists. The rest of my hair was pulled back and rolled up. I pinned my hair at the top instead of under (by my neck). I took the twists to the back to give my hair a little texture and pinned the twist at the top as well.

  • Day 5 – At night I took my hair down, massaged my scalp, hairline and ends with the Castor Oil Mix and pineappled to sleep.
  • Day 6 – Redid the style and at night I repeated the night method of day 5.
  • Day 7 – Was supposed to wash my hair but got caught up with house work :/

Castor Oil Challenge:

As mentioned, I used the castor blend 4 times during the week. My hair felt a little limp by day 7 because I might have used a little too much whipped butter after re-moisturizing but I was still left with smooth, moisturized, shiny and soft hair.

So that was my first attempt at 6 weeks of protective styling and castor oil massages. Like I mentioned I will have a recap post of my final results along with a video explaining my experiences and plans but I can tell you now I enjoyed the whole challenge and it shall be repeated!

Thanks

Maicurls

Maicurls

Benefits and uses of Apple Cider Vinegar for Natural Hair – Global Couture

Hey Maicurlies,

Yup, I want to share yet another article I wrote for Global Couture. 

photo credit: artizone via photopin cc

           photo credit: artizone via photopin cc

The article is about Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV), its properties, benefits and uses. For some of you ACV might already be part of your routine to cleanse your hair, while others use it as a final rinse to close your cuticles but did you know you can actually also make a few homemade recipes using ACV? Visit the blog and check out my article for more details! 

Benefits and uses of Apple Cider Vinegar for Natural Hair

Benefits and uses of Apple Cider Vinegar for Natural Hair

Personally, I use it as a cleanser for my hair on a weekly basis which you can read on my blog here. I have also used it diluted with water to make a face toner but I must say my Rosewater toner (I have a video about it) is to die for…that smell :D. 

Do you use ACV? If so in what way? I would love to hear from you!

Thanks

Maicurls

Maicurls

Hibiscus Flowers For Hair, Health and Skin

Hi Maicurlies,

So today I wanted to delve into the world of flowers and their abilities to help our health and appearance! The flower of the day is Hibiscus (Rosa-Sinensis!)

Hibiscus

The particular Hibiscus I will be writing about is the Red Hibiscus since that is what I grow in my garden.

In this post I will just touch upon the benefits and uses of Hibiscus powder/petals. I plan to write about how to make the powder in the coming weeks.

If you have been reading my Blog or following my Videos on YouTube you will notice that I love being able to use one product for several different purposes and Hibiscus does just that! While the Hibiscus plant (found in tropical regions across the world as well as countries in Asia and the Middle East) and in particularly its flowers are commonly used for decorative purposes , today I will be discussing its benefits as an Ayurvedic herb!

Hibiscus For the hair Hibiscus powder can be used to help grow healthy hair due to the fact that it stops excessive hair shedding, provides the hair with a boost of luster and bounce, adds a natural shine to the hair, strengthens the hair and as if that is not enough it is also said to delay premature graying. When combined with other Ayurvedic herbs such as Alma and Brahmi – the mix results in a wonderful conditioning paste. You can make your very own Hibiscus oil by seeping some petals in a carrier oil (e.g. Virgin Coconut Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Almond Oil etc.) for 2 weeks and then straining it out. Should you be looking for a more intensified red tint from Henna, then Hibiscus powder is what you need as it can give you a more burgundy to red wine result. (Note – If you have light hair e.g. blond to light brown the colour deposit from the powder will be more visible than for those with darker hair e.g. dark brown to black.)

Keep in Mind – Hibiscus is slightly acidic and therefore might make your hair feel a little dry afterwards (depends on person to person) therefor, you should follow up with a moisturizing deep conditioner after application. You should also remember to cover counter tops with old newspapers and wear gloves and clothes you do not mind getting stained when using Hibiscus powder.

For the skin – Apart from its ability to help in the health of our hair, Hibiscus is also an awesome skin care ingredient that you should try to add to your routine! It is known to help reduce acne, eczema and skin irritations, particularly when it is made into a paste with Amla. Since Hibiscus contains Alpha Hydroxyl Acid (AHA), this makes it a commonly used ingredient in anti-aging products due to the fact that it stimulates the production of collagen. It is popular for its ability to reduce the appearance of winkles, delay the signs of again and reduce dark circles under the eyes.

For the Health – Hibiscus can also be consumed as a tea “sour tea” by seeping 2 teaspoons of Hibiscus powder in 1 cup of boiled water. (You can actually buy Hibiscus tea if you do not want to make your own.) The taste of the tea is quite sour and strong therefore you might want to sweeten it using honey. Hibiscus tea is said to help lower blood pressure, cholesterol levels, help those suffering with type 2 Diabetes and due the antioxidants present in the flower, it is said to help keep mild colds and flues at bay. It is also believed that drinking Hibiscus tea regularly can help increase your satiety (the feeling you get when you are full.) If you feel full you do overeat! 😀 At the same time it is believed that Hibiscus tea can help digest starch and sugar so why not add it to list of herbal teas right?! (Note: this is not a “diet” tea and should not be used as such.) 

P.S. you do not have to make your own Hibiscus power. There are number of sites selling Ayurvedic herbs (including Hibiscus) that are ready for use. 

Thanks

Maicurls

Maicurls

Scheduled Hair Trimming/Cutting Plans

Good Evening Maicurlies,

Scissor  -  Image courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Scissor – Image courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I have previously touched upon the topic of hair trimming/dusting/cutting in a previous post “Hair Trimming.” Scissors and I have a love hate relationship. My brain says yes it is necessary to trim but my heart says noooooo. Once I start I seem to get carried away, following this comes a euphoric feeling when I see my smooth ends and at the final stage I get upset that I might have “cut off too much!”

Now one thing I want to mention is that if you are on a growth journey then you might not see the logic of trimming or cutting your hair because you might think it sort of “defeats the purpose.” The argument I would make is while your goal might be length you should not sacrifice health. It is not necessary to trim your ends every months or every two months you might want to trim 2 times a year but you NEED to look and feel the condition of your hair. If you are holding onto every single strand of damaged ends just for the sake of having length you actually might end up compromising your length because of breakage! You want to be able to control how much is being cut versus it breaking off on its own. You want to limit the amount of damage versus causing more damage by ignoring the obvious. 

Now with all that said, as part of my Hair Journey (which is ever developing) I have noted down when I have plan to trim/cut my ends in my journal. I want to try and grow out my layers (which will not happen overnight.) I am a bit of an obsessive person so I plan out how much I will be trimming in each area. The hair at the back is the longest and therefore whenever I trim I will be taking a little more off from the back and I will basically lightly dust ends of the rest of my hair. This way I am still getting rid of any single strand knots etc but keeping in mind I want to grow out my layers. I will be doing this myself since I have a phobia of hairdressers over here (due to past experiences.) This is what my schedule looks like:

April (or March) – Dusting ends

August – Dusting & cutting ends at the back 

December (November) – Dusting ends

Now this is my ‘plan’ you never know I might end up having to dust by February and might end up “cutting” twice in the year. So I still keep an open mind that anything can happen.

While I am not the biggest fan of “length checks” because whenever I have seen girls do them it always seems to be based on their personal opinion on what “bra strap”, “mid back” “shoulder” length is. I have also seen girls stretch down to the very ends of their hair (where they basically have something like 6 strands of hair) and then say “oh so I have x- inches at the back.” I personally like to keep track of the length of my hair to monitor if I have experienced breakage. If I have it noted down it also helps to me to determine the reason why I might be experiencing a decrease or increase in length or if I feel I experienced breakage. I can look back at my journal to see what happened at that particular time and why it might have happened. 

Do you trim/cut your hair yourself? Do you have planned dates of when you will trim/cut your hair? How much on average do you cut? I would love to hear from you!

Thanks

Maicurls
Maicurls