Category Archives: Hair Care

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

 

Keeping a Hair Journal

Hi Maicurlies,

A New Year brings new missions, plans, goals and so on! This of course is not only true for our professional, personal and day to day lives but some of us also have goals for our hair! I will be touching upon the “Hair – side of things”!  

One of the most resourceful way to measure, record and monitor your goals is to write it down in a Journal. Now with the “Digital Age” you can of course use a Digital Journal. I personally prefer to physically use pen and paper (I guess I am “Old School”.) Now, when it comes to what to write in the journal I say EVERYTHING! 

I recently joined a Natural Hair Forum (which I have previously mentioned) Napturallycurly.com Hair Forum and in there I spoke with a few of the lovely ladies and checked what they note down in their Hair Journals. It was great to share ideas because they brought to light some points that I seemed to have missed. So together with a few of the ideas I had and some of the suggestions I got, I have made a little list of things you can note down in your journal (these are just suggestions!)

Routines

You can map out the kind of routines you do/want to do e.g. when you want to pre-poo, Shampoo, deep condition, Co-wash etc. You can not down the products/ingredients you used, how your hair felt afterwards, how long it was been treatments etc. 

Hair Styles

In this category you can note down what hair styles you have tried and how they worked out for you. Included in here you can also write what products you used, how your hair was when you styled it (e.g. wet, damp, dry), how you set it (e.g. air dry, hooded dryer, hair dryer). You can also note down future planned styles you want to try out. 

Untitled

Products/ Mixes

For this section you can note down any new products you have had your eyes on or new recipes you want  to mix. When it comes to recipes you should write down the ratios of each ingredient used, how you mixed it and how you applied it. At the same time I think it is just as important to record what worked or did not work. This way you save yourself (and your hair) have repeating a mishap or forgetting about a product/mix that your hair loved. Same as before you should note down how your hair felt, the process you used, how long you left it in, did you use direct heat or not, did you warm up the product/mixture etc.

Photos

Now when it comes to psychically writing in a journal it might not always be convenient to print out photos and stick them in the journal (although I LOVE the idea of that!) So what you can do is, have a folder on your computer dedicated to your hair journal which is ONLY used to document your hair progress. You can have a section for before/after Deep Conditioning, new product before/after results, new DIY mixes before/after results, tracking your growth, new hair style results etc. TIP: What I plan on doing for measuring my hair’s health and growth is to actually choose one hair style as my “staple monitoring” hair style. For example if I choose a Wash-n-Go to be the staple examining style I would take photos of my hair when I do a Wash-n-Go every month/two months and then track how my hair looks (in terms of health, shine)  its density (thickness.) and its growth. This way I have a more reliable measurement instead comparing stretched to un-stretched hair or puffy versus “un-puffy” hair. You might even go as far as to use the same product, wash routine etc. when monitoring the results.

oils

Challenges

Challenges are always fun to do (you might get a bigger kick out of it if you involve others as well.) So you can forum a group (or on your own) challenge yourself to do more protective styles, moisturize your hair more frequently, reduce heat, completely stop using heat etc. For example: write it down, note how you felt on the day when you would normally flat iron your hair,  and what you did to overcome the urge to use heat. Having it noted down somewhere might make you feel a little more accountable to go through with it! 

Short Term Goals

In here you can include when you plan on cutting/trimming your ends. You might also plan on dying your hair for a special occasion and you can plan and prep your hair for the event. Straightening your hair might also be on your plan (if you are not already using heat more frequently) so again you can plan and prep your hair for the special occasion. Note down the same as above: how you prepped, what you used and how your hair felt afterwards.

Long Term Goals

Now when it comes to long term goals this really is a personal thing. Some of us might want bra strap length hair, mid back length or longer! For some, your long term goal may be to use only organic products throughout the year. You might have a date picked out when you want you hair to be xx cm. If you integrated a new routine into your hair care then you long term goal might be to compare how your hair felt and looked one year ago compared to now and you will be in a better position to see if the new routine worked for you or not. You get to really determine/measure the results if you have recorded your progress every step of the way.

Final Tips

There are a few tips I think you should consider when you start to map out your goals.

KEEP IT REALISTIC (most important!) If you are starting out with a Tiny Weeny Afro (TWA) it might not be realistic to say “By the end of the year I want Hair reaching my B**T.” There is nothing wrong in wanting something however, if you setup goals that you KNOW are unrealistic, you might end up being disappointed or unmotivated if they do not turn out the way you want.

KEEP IT SIMPLE. For example: if you want to try out more protective styles saying “I want to try out a new hairstyle three times a week” might not be effective. Having conflicting goals e.g. trying to do more protective/less manipulative styles might not work out if you are constantly changing your hair style during the week.

DO YOUR RESEARCH. If you are working with a budget you might & should not go spending all your money on the ‘most expensive products’ just because you think that is what you have to do! There is so much information online! Do your research, experiment, read reviews, and ask questions. There is always an alternative out there, you just need to do a little homework!

DO NOT GIVE UP. It can be a hassle at times (believe me I know!) But you can not give up just because it is “hard.” Life in general is not easy and most of the time you need to push through to get what you want, but the rewards really are worth it! If you are stuck in a rut or think you can not make it, take a breath and relax. Keep in mind that you are NOT the only one going through this or struggling. Sometimes just looking at pictures, reading peoples stories, communicating with other can be just the thing you need, so do not give up! 

Ok so I wrote a book and will end it here by saying I am ALWAYS happy to answer any questions, discuss topics and share whatever I know so in case someone wants a shoulder to lean on (mine is free!)Good luck on whatever journey you might be on this year and remember you are not alone!

Thanks

Maicurls

Maicurls

Natural Ingredients for Hair Up

Hello Maicurlies!

list of natural ingredients for hair

I finally wrote the first of my Natural Ingredients list here. I decided to add it to the heading of “Mai Tips – Hair” . What I have done is to include the ingredients I use/have used as well as some of the popular natural ingredients (that I have come across – some of which I have not had the chance to use.) I could not write every single aspect of each ingredient (I already feel like I write toooo much) I would end up writing a book! I basically just gave a very brief sum-up of each ingredient mentioned. 

I would love to hear from you especially if you want me to add your favorite ingredient so let me know!

Thanks

Maicurls

Maicurls

Curly Travel Tips

Hello Maicurlies,

I like that…Maicurlies!

Anyways…so I am going to be going on a little get away at the end of the month! Just a quick weekend getaway so I figured I would note down a few tips about my method of what I take when I travel  (for my hair). I hope that some of my pointers might help make it a little easier when you travel!

There are a few things you might want to keep in mind:

  1. How far are you going?
  2. What are you planning on doing?
  3. Where will you be staying?
  4. How long will you be staying?

How far you travel – takes into consideration the distance of your trip (will you be driving or flying) because this leads to how much/many products you can take with you – especially if you are flying (e.g. the space of you luggage, luggage weight restrictions etc).

What you plan on doing – addresses things like are you going to be bungee jumping, sky diving, swimming, relaxing etc. All this can factor into what you need to take with you and what you can actually do with your hair.  

Where you will be staying – relates to where you will psychically be staying e.g. a hotel, apartment, tent, caravan etc. For example if you are camping then you might not have access to fresh running water like you would if you were staying in a hotel. If you are staying in an apartment you will have access to a fridge which means you can actually store products (if you make your own.)

How long you will be staying –  determines how long you will be away and the amount of products you might need to take with you for the duration.

Now for me I am a little be of an organization freak! (No shame in admitting it) but this means that I plan everything and I mean EVERYTHING.

My “go to” method is to:

  1. Determine if I need to have my hair in a protective style before I leave. For my upcoming trip, I would not need to put my hair in a protective style because it is only for 2 days, I am not planning on doing anything crazy (like jumping out a plane) and I will be staying at a hotel. If this were a camping trip I would most likely have my hair in medium sized twists or up in a bun.
  2. I put everything I plan on taking with me in little containers. (I have to admit that I am a bit of a hoarder when it comes to collecting containers of products I have used up and family have used up.) So for me it is easy to just put little amounts of things I need in travel sized plastic containers.
  3. I scotch tape the lids of the bottles so they do not leak all over my clothes! There is nothing worse than arriving and opening up your bags only to find out your conditioner has leaked all over your beautiful black dress!

Products I make sure I take:

  • Leave-In Conditioner – There is no way I travel without it since this is how I moisturize my hair and I like to moisturize everyday (sometimes two times a day if I am wearing my hair out and about.)
  • Conditioner – no matter the duration of my trip I always take this with me because I might need to detangle or co-wash my hair.
  • Sealing Oil – Again another product I have to have with me to seal in the moisture. 
  • I also make sure I have bobby pins, a few scrunchies, and my wide tooth comb just in case I need it.
  • Store bought Moisturizing Deep Conditioner – I only take this with me if I know I will be going to the beach or pool more than once. This allows me make sure my hair does not get dry because of the chlorine or sea salt. 

And that is it! 

What about you? What products are you “must haves” when you travel?

Thanks

Maicurls

Maicurls