Category Archives: Natural Ingredients for curly hair

SheaButter Cottage – Order 2 Arrived!

Hey Maicurlies,

So I am super duper excited because I got my order of products from SheaButter Cottage!!! 😀

www.sheabuttercottage.com/

                                                                  http://www.sheabuttercottage.com/

I have ordered from the company before (I am a huge fan, I told Akua – the owner – that I might be in love and she has a life time customer!) You can read about my previous experience & order from SheaButter Cottage here

This time round I ordered: Unrefined Cocoa Butter (yes again, I LOVE the stuff), Indigo Powder (for my mum) and I wanted to try a new butter so I got Coffee Bean Butter.

Now if you have read my previous post  you will notice that I am a HUGE fan of Unrefined Cocoa Butter.

Cocoa Butter

                                             Unrefined Cocoa Butter

Since I adore it I reordered 1.5KG but let me tell you, as soon as I opened the Coffee Bean Butter (2x 300G) I think I might have passed out from bliss! The scent of this stuff is to die for!!! No seriously! It is more than amazing! If you are a coffee fan you simply HAVE TO try this. 

Unrefined Coffee Bean Butter

                                       Coffee Bean Butter

These are the two packets of 100g Indigo powder I got for my mum. 

Indigo Powder

                                                            Indigo Powder

I will have a review of the Coffee Butter along with a detailed look at it once I have tried the butter and will ask my mum for a review of the Indigo Powder. I already have written about the company’s Unrefined Cocoa, Mango and Shea Butter in my previous post. 

Experience 

The service with the company was excellent as always. Akua is AMAZING at what she does and is extremely professional and patient. International shipping with them is quite effective (p.s. they are a UK based company). Last time my order arrived 17 working days after ordering and this time it only took 11 working days! For International shipping that is really good :). Like I said, everything went smoothly and Akua was always willing to answer any questions (I had a lot of questions, just ask her lol). In case you are reading this Akua, THANK YOU! 

Apart from their site you can find SheaButter Cottage on their Facebook Page as well as their Instagram Page.

As soon as I have a new experiment done you will be the first to know. (P.s. now that I have extra Cocoa Butter I can finally get to recording my Henna Bars).

Have you used Cocoa Butter, Mango Butter, Shea Butter, Coffee Bean Butter or Indigo Powder before? I would love to hear from you! 

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

Making your own Hibiscus petals and powder (video)

Hey Maicurlies,

I hope all is well and you are enjoying the football (soccer) bug as much I am 😀

Right let me get back to business.

Hibiscus Petals and Powder

                                            Hibiscus Petals and Powder

I have already mentioned Hibiscus in a previous post “Hibiscus for Hair, Health and Skin”, and so I finally made a video as well which you can watch below or on my YouTube Channel:

I personally use Hibiscus for my hair, skin and internally.

  • For my hair: I add it to my Henna
  • For my skin: I have used it as a toner* (although my Rosewater toner is hands down my favorite)
  • Internally: I use it as a tea

*Hibiscus does give off a purple/red tint so you might want to splash off the toner after applying it to a cotton swab and rubbing it over your face.

If you feel like doing a little extra DIY then you can use Hibiscus petals from your garden and either sun-dry them or use your oven to dry them*.

Fresh Hibiscus Petals from my garden

                     Fresh Hibiscus Petals from my garden

*It is “faster” to oven-dry the petals however a lot more difficult to do without burning them (trust me I’ve tried)! Sun-drying requires a little more time but you do not run the risk of burning the hibiscus.

Apart from collecting the petals yourself, an easier way is to use prepackaged hibiscus petals or powder. I personally get mine from a local Indian store but there are several sources where you can find them in case you do not have a local Indian store near you. Just to mention a few Amazon, Butters-n-Bars and SheaButter Cottage are three places where you can find either the petals or powder (just some suggestions).

Packaged Dried Hibiscus

                                   Packaged Dried Hibiscus

Please note: I was not requested, paid, or compensated to mention the sources above. I paid (with my own money) for the hibiscus petals I use and just wanted to share where you can find the product in case you are interested.  

I get whole petals from the store but I like to use both whole petals as well as the powdered form. I make my own powder by simply blending the dried petals, sieving them (a couple of times) and that is it! See below:

I like to use the whole petals for my tea and whenever I make my hibiscus toner for my skin. I use the powder when I mix my henna as it gives my hair an extra punch of red! 🙂

My video goes into detail about how exactly I make each of the three DIY products so please take a look at that.

I would love to hear if you use Hibiscus powder or petals and how!

Thanks

Maicurls

Maicurls

 

Aritha– Ayurvedic all Natural Shampoo (Option 2)

Hi Maicurlies,

As promised, today I will cover part 2 of my all natural Auyvedic shampoo experiments. In my previous review (part 1) I wrote about Shikakai powder and today I will be covering Aritha powder.

Similar to Shikakai, Aritha predominetly comes from Asia – mainly in India and is derived from a fruit. It is most commonly known as soapnut or Sapindus Trifoliatus.

In Asia Aritha is popular alternative to commercial shampoo due to the fact that it does not contain unnatural elements and harsh chemicals.

Aritha - Hesh

                                     Aritha – Hesh

The brand of Aritha I used is Hesh  and apart from being a natural shampoo, Aritha has a number of different uses. For one it can be used for the skin:

  • Cleanses the pores
  • Helps the skin breath better
  • Improves the texture of skin (with frequent use)

I have used it for my skin and it did a really good job of cleaning, clearing up my pores as well as helping fight my oily T-zone. I would suggest this for those who have oily skin as apposed to dry skin because it can cause more dryness.

According to the box, it is also said to be an effective agent to wash silk, wool clothes, silver and gold ornaments and utensils. I did not try this personally

Now for the shampoo part. The box says it:

  • Completely cleans the hair
  • Works an efficient natural shampoo
  • Best for extremely oily (dirty) hair
  • Gives the hair natural gloss and bounce
  • Cleans dirt accumulated on the scalp

To use Aritha you do not need any additional ingredients apart from water however, I know some people might add a little oil to the mix. Note: Aritha will have a moderate lather (it lathers more than Shikakai). BTW it has a fruit/spice smell to it…I do not particularly mind it but those with a sensitive sense of smell will pick up on its scent!  

Box application instructions:

1. Take required quantity of powder, add a little water and mix to make a thick past. 2. Gently massage (scalp) using your fingertips. 3. Wait for 2 – 5 minute and 4. wash thoroughly with water.

Aritha Powder

                                             Aritha Powder

My experiments: I tried two different methods

1. Box method – 5 tablespoons of Aritha and 8 tablespoons of water. It made a really thick paste and I applied it to my damp scalp as instructed. I carefully and slowly massaged my scalp for a few minutes while in the shower, left it on for 5 minutes and then rinsed it off with lukewarm water. While I was rinsing it off I would glide my hands down the length of my hair so that there would be some contact but I did not concentrate on the length of my hair.

Pros- My scalp felt really really clean. I had no buildup what so ever and even though it  had limited contact with the length of my hair it still felt really clean. 

Con – My hair felt drrrryyyyy afterwards! It took a couple of rinses till I felt like I got all the mix off my scalp and hair. The mix did what it was suppose to (cleaned my hair and scalp) but maybe a little too effectively in terms of stripping my hair of its natural oils. I needed an intesne moisturizing DC afterwards.

2. Second Method – Due to my previous experience (really dry hair) I prepped by doing a hot oil treatment for 30 minutes before applying the Aritha. I used less powder and a lot more water (3 tablespoons Aritha and 3/4 cup of water). I put the mixture in an old (clean) squeeze container and liberally squirted the mixture over my scalp. (Do not get it in your eyes it will burn and feel uncomfortable!) Since it was a lot more liquid-based, the mixture ran down my hair as well. I gently massaged just my scalp and let it sit for 5 minutes before rinsing it out with lukewarm water.

Pros – Again my scalp felt and looked really clean as did the length of my hair.  

Cons – My hair still felt dry afterwards even though I “prepoo’d” for 30 minutes. Also because it was very watery the mix did run down my hair a couple of times while I was massaging my scalp. 

Verdict

Would I buy this again? Yes BUT only to use for my face not to use it on my hair. I prefer Shikakai as a natural shampoo because it did not leave my hair as dry but did a good job of cleaning my hair. I can not say this is a “bad” product because it did what it supposed to do (cleans the scalp) and also dried the length of my hair from the limited contact it had. I think perhaps those with more product build up or an oily scalp might find this a little less harsh? I just know that I would use it again for my face but not my scalp. 

P.S. I was not asked/paid or compensated to mention the company or brand. The product was bought with my own money and the review was based on my own personal experience. This review was based on my own personal experiences and should you choose to use Aritha I would suggest you do your research and then do a patch test before applying the product on your scalp to see if you are allergic to it or not. 

Have you tried Aritha as a shampoo? If so, what did you think? If not, do you use any other Auyvedic powder as a natural shampoo? Let me know! 

Maicurls

Maicurls

Shikakai – Ayurvedic all Natural Shampoo (Option 1)

Hi Maicurlies,

I hope all is well! 

Today I am coming to you with another Auyvedic product (yes I know) and as the title states, it can be used as a substitute for commercial Shampoo! Shikakai powder (which means “fruit for hair”) is predominantly found in Asia – most noticeably India and is derived from fruit pods of the Acacia Concinna tree. 

In Asia it is a popular alternative to shampoos which can contain harsh chemicals. Many of us natural curlies tend to stay away from shampoos that are not sulfate free due to the fact that shampoo can really dry out our hair. In some cases even sulfate free shampoos can sometimes dry out our hair (not all and not for everyone.)

Shikakai - Hesh

Shikakai – Hesh

The brand of Shikakai I used is Hesh and the box states it:

  • Acts as a natural astringent for hair 
  • Clears dandruff
  • Cleans dirt accumulated on the scalp
  • Conditions the hair
  • Strengthens hair roots
  • Promotes luxuriant growth
  • Acts as a coolant for the scalp

To use Shikakai you do not need any additional ingredients apart from water however, I know some people might add a little oil to the mix. Note: Shikakai only lathers up moderately. 

Box application instructions:

1. Take required quantity of powder, add a little water and mix to make a thick past. 2. Gently massage (scalp) using your fingertips. 3. Wait for 2 – 5 minute and 4. wash thoroughly with water.

Shikakai Powder

Shikakai Powder

My experiments: I tried two different methods

1. Box method – 6 tablespoons of Shikakai and 8 tablespoons of water. It made a really thick paste and I applied it to my damp scalp as instructed. I carefully and slowly massaged my scalp for a few minutes while in the shower, left it on for 5 minutes and then rinsed it off with lukewarm water. While I was rinsing it off I would glide my hands down the length of my hair so that there would be some contact but it was not concentrated.

Pros- My scalp felt and looked really clean! I had no buildup at all and although I only really concentrated on my scalp the length of my hair also felt clean. I did not get that “squeaky clean” feeling which normally happened when I used shampoo but it definitely removed buildup and oil.  

Con – My hair felt a little more dry afterwards and less “conditioned” and it took a couple of rinses till I felt like I got all the mix off my scalp and hair. I knew I needed a DC after rinsing it out because even while my hair was damp it felt a little dry. Using a “paste” was a little too thick/heavy to be massaged into my scalp.

2. Second Method – I prepped my hair by doing a hot oil treatment for 30 minutes before applying the Shikakai. I used less powder and a lot more water (3 tablespoons Shikakai and 3/4 cup of water). I put the mixture in an old (clean) squeeze container and liberally squirted the mixture over my scalp. (Do not get it in your eyes it will burn and feel uncomfortable!) Since it was a lot more liquid-based, the mixture ran down my hair as well. I gently massaged just my scalp and let it sit for 5 minutes before rinsing it out with lukewarm water.

Pros – Again my scalp felt and looked really clean as did the length of my hair.  No buildup, no squeaky clean feeling and my hair did not feel overly dry. I think because I used more water, less powder and did a hot oil treatment beforehand I was happier with how my hair felt. Nevertheless I did follow up with a DC just for precaution.

Cons – It was a little difficult keep the mix on my scalp since it was very watery (it helps to apply this while in the shower.)  Apart from that I cannot complain. 

*UPDATE: I forgot to mention the scent of Shikakai. It does not have the most pleasant scent. I guess I would describe it as having a strong herbish smell. I really can not point my finger on anything to compare it to but it does have an “earthish-herbish” smell with a hint of spice  (sorry that probably doesn’t help.) After the rinses the scent dissipated a little and with the DC that followed I did not notice it anymore. 

Verdict

Would I buy this again? Yes, but I would use my second method because my hair felt better with that method.

Aritha powder is going to be my next experiment as a natural alternative to commercial shampoo and I will let you know how that goes in (part 2)

P.S. I was not asked/paid or compensated to mention the company or brand. The product was bought with my own money and the review was based on my own personal experience.

Have you tried Shikakai as a shampoo? If so, what did you think? If not, do you use any other Auyvedic powder as a natural shampoo? Let me know! 

Maicurls

Maicurls

Rosewater Flaxseed Gel

Hi Maicurlies,

I have mentioned the benefits of Rosewater for Hair and Skin and in honor of Rosewater (which I LOVE) I have been experimenting. What did I do? Rosewater Infused Flaxseed Gel (FSG)! Verdict? I LOVE it!

Rosewater Infused Flaxseed Gel

Apart from that delicious Rose smell I love the moisturizing effects I get from the gel. I normally make FSG with either plain distilled water or distilled water and Aloe Vera Juice (AVJ) and my hair does feel moisturized from it but the Rosewater seems to give it that edge!

So after weeks of experimenting (I have to do trail and error for a few weeks before I announce anything) I can say I absolute love incorporating Rosewater to my gel!

This is the recipe I use:

  • 2 cups of Distilled Plain Water
  • 1/2 cup Rosewater
  • 1/2 cup Flax Seeds – (use less seeds if you want a thinner gel)
  • 1 teaspoon Grapeseed oil (use any carrier oil of choice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Glycerin (optional – not everyone hair likes Glycerin) 
  • 10 drops Lavender Essential Oil (use any EO of choice) 

I manage to get 3/4 cup of thick FSG with this recipe. If you do not like your Gel to be thick you can use less flaxseeds. While the Gel is thick I do not get any flaking or crunch (if I use too much gel and my hair does feel a little “stiff” it goes away once I scrunch my hair.)

I have a video demonstrating how I make my Rosewater Infused Flaxseed Gel on YouTube and as always have linked it here on my Video Page. I also have my “original” FSG recipe listed on my Blog here. I love experimenting so I am sure that Rosewater Infused Flaxseed Gel will not be my last experiment but I must say this is going to be my staple. 

Have you used Rosewater in your FSG? If so, what is your recipe and how does yout hair respond to it? If not, how do you make your DIY Gel?

Thanks

Maicurls

Maicurls

Rosewater For Natural Curly Hair

Hello Maicurlies,

rose water

Today is another “ingredient feature” day! And the subject is going to be Rosewater! I honestly do not know where this absolutely beautiful product has been all my life but I am so happy to have met it! (Just by writing about it puts a smile on my face and reminds me of that beautiful intoxicating smell!)

Right lets get down to business shall we.

Rosewater

In Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Rosewater has been a popular natural ingredient that has been used in cuisine and for health. It should come as no surprise then that companies around the world have started to incorporate Rosewater into different beauty supplies and hair products are no exception (with good reason!)

Below are some of the reasons why I use Rosewater (and why you might want to try it out!):

  1. It is known to help revitalize the quality of your hair due to Its natural moisturizing and nourishing properties.
  2. Rosewater is effective in treating hair loss due to the fact that it helps to simulate the scalp.
  3. There are no artificial additives or chemicals (if you purchase pure Rosewater) making it a ‘non-toxic’ product! (Just make sure you are not allergic to Roses.)
  4. Should you suffer from mild scalp irritations or dandruff Rosewater can be used to help sooth irritations.
  5. It leaves your scalp feeling ‘fresh’ and your hair smelling great! 

How to use Rosewater:

  • You can add it to any of your DIY products e.g. Leave-In conditioner, Flax Seed Gel, Deep Conditioners etc. Remember to use a preservative and store the product in a fridge if you are going to mix Rosewater with Oils (in large quantities and want to keep it for a few weeks) otherwise stick to making smaller quantities frequently.
  • If your Shampoo tends to dry out your hair you can add a little Rosewater with the shampoo – it will moisturize your hair by reducing the “dryness”, soften, give your hair shine and your hair will smell great throughout the day! 
  • You can mix equal quantities of Rosewater and Glycerin together to help moisturize your scalp by using it as a “massage oil”. (Rinse it off after 30 minutes – 1 hour.)
  • If Glycerin is not your friend, then you can use any carrier oil e.g. grapeseed, jojoba, almond oil etc with Rosewater and use it as a “massage oil” for your scalp.  (Rinse it off after 30 minutes – 1 hour.)

I would love to know if you incorporate Rosewater into your routine!

Thanks

Maicurls

Maicurls