Tag Archives: Ayurvedic herbs 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

 

Updated Full Strength Henna Paste and How To Make Henna (Ice) Blocks

Hey Maicurlies,

Today I’ve got another DIY and this also sort of ties in with my recent re-addiction to all things henna 😀 

I first want to share my updated henna paste (full strength henna) which focuses only on ayurvedic herbs – Henna, Amla and Hibiscus mixed with Green Tea.

DSC02228

This mix is somewhat similar to my “old” henna paste which you can read about (here) except that I now add hibiscus. I have already written about the wonders of hibiscus here p.s. it is awesome for a number of different reasons! Another aspect that is different is that I keep my henna paste “clean” by not adding anything additional e.g. conditioner, coconut milk etc after I see dye release. There is no harm in adding conditioner/coconut milk/oil etc to the paste, they actually help to make your hair feel less dry after you rinse out the henna however, at the moment I am more focused on the ayurvedic benefits which is why I opt not to add anything to the mix.

(I turn to my DIY Henna Gloss Bars on days when I want to henna without the punch that is packed in my full strength henna paste).

Henna Paste

Henna Paste

Ingredients/Tools:

  • Henna 5 oz
  • Amla 0.7 oz
  • Hibiscus 1.2 oz
  • Green Tea 6 oz
  • Glass Bowl
  • Spatula 
  • Old material/newspaper to cover the work space 

Mixing:

I first combine all the dry ingredients and then add my warm green tea (not boiling hot – I let it cool down first) and stir. I like making my paste quite thick because I don’t like the henna to drip down my face/neck.

After mixing I will cover the paste with Clingfilm and wait for dye release. When I start to see dye release I add a tiny bit of lukewarm tea (no more than 1.5 oz) just so the paste isn’t too thick and will spread easily on my hair. It usually takes my henna no more than 4 hours to see the initial stages of dye release and I like to apply it when I start to see dye release since I leave the henna on overnight and the dye will continue to release while I sleep. 

Application:

I always apply henna on damp detangled and cleansed hair, starting at the back working my way to the front. I cover my hair with Clingfilm, a shower cap, sometimes a plastic bag and then a scarf to make sure everything is really nice and warm. ALWAYS USE GLOVES otherwise your palms and nails will get stained! After I have left the henna on overnight I rinse out the henna with water first, follow up with rinses with conditioner and then I apply a Moisturizing Deep Conditioner (DC) once the water runs clear. I leave the DC on for no less than 2 hours and then I am done! 

Henna (Ice) Blocks

Frozen Henna (Ice) Blocks

Frozen Henna (Ice) Blocks

What I now love doing is turning my henna paste into henna (Ice) Blocks. I like making the blocks because:

  1. I mix up quite a bit of henna and store it in my freezer waiting for it to be used. This makes it less time consuming in the long run since everything is ready and just needs to be melted. 
  2. Whenever I have henna in my freezer, the red dye is much more intense compared to when I just use my paste after dye release.

Ingredients/Tools:

  • Henna Paste (recipe above)
  • Silicone moulds
  • Spatula
  • Clingfilm
  • Sandwich bag
  • Old material/newspaper to cover the work space

Making the bars:

Henna (Ice) Blocks before freezing them

Henna (Ice) Blocks before freezing them

After making the henna paste I simply pour the paste into silicone molds, cover with Clingfilm and then place them in my freezer. (If you do not have silicone molds you can use ice cube trays but I would keep the moulds and ice cube trays separate from those you use to make normal ice blocks, bake etc. I keep everything I use for my hair separate from other tools in my kitchen).

Clingfilm covered henna (Ice) Blocks

Clingfilm covered henna (Ice) Blocks

I recommend letting the bars freeze for no less than 12 hours ideally letting them sit in the freezer for longer because the longer you let them sit the more intense the red dye! Once the bars have frozen I cover each bar with Clingfilm and store them in a sandwich bag until they are needed. I have left mine in the freezer for 2 months and still got great dye release and conditioning benefits. (You might get away with more storage time but I have not tried). 

Melting the bars:

Melting Frozen Henna (Ice) Blocks

Melting Frozen Henna (Ice) Blocks

  • Heatproof bowl
  • A little water
  • Spatula
  • Henna Bars
  • Green tea (no more than 2 oz)
  • Gloves
  • Old Piece of cloth/newspaper to cover the work space

Put a pot on the stove with a little bit of water. Place the bars in the heatproof bowl and put the bowl over the pot. Allow the bars to slowly melt down on low heat for 7 – 10 minutes while stirring. Once the bars have melted I tend to add a little bit of lukewarm tea (no more than 2 oz) just to make sure the paste is neither too thick/thin. I apply & rinse as normal (see above) and that is it! 

I have a video of the whole process:

Would love to hear what you think!

Thanks

Maicurls

Maicurls

DIY Neem Infused Coconut Oil (Recipe 5)

Hi Maicurlies,

This is my second to last Infused Oil (I promise)

Infusing Neem Leaves

Infusing Neem Leaves

I already wrote about Neem and the benefits of Neem Infused Oil over here. To summarize:

  • It contains antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties
  • Eases skin irritations, rashes, itchiness and is said to help ease eczema (I am not a doctor nor a dermatologist therefore always check with a professional).
  • Reduces the appearance of light burns and scars
  • Helps reduce hair shedding & breakage
  • Known to help slow down premature graying & the appearance of grey hairs
  • Naturally and gradually darkens the hair
  • Provides the hair with shine & luster
  • Promotes hair growth.

Ingredients/tools:

  • Spoon
  • Measuring cups
  • Container
  • Sieve
  • 1.5 cups of dried Neem Leaves (you can use powder e.g. 1/4 cup*)
  • 2 cups of Virgin Coconut Oil (you can use any oil of choice)
  • 8 drops grapefruit essential oil (optional – you can use any oil of choice but if you are pregnant do not use any essential oil).

*If you use the powder I would recommend putting it in a coffee filter or cheese cloth to help keep the oil and powder separate.

Mixing Process:

 I have a video up on my process:

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.

If you try this please let me know how it turns out. If you make your own Infused Neem Oil I would love to hear from you!

Maicurls

Maicurls

Benefits of Infused Neem Oil

Good Morning Maicurlies,

This is going to be a post all about Neem, Infused Neem Oil to be specific.

Fresh Neem Leaves

Fresh Neem Leaves

As a part of my “Infused Oil Series” I also make Neem Infused Coconut Oil and will have a video & writeup of how to make it shortly. For now I just wanted to point out the reasons why I like the oil and why you might want to try it.

What is Neem?

Like a lot of Ayurvedic plants & hebrs, the Neem tree is located mainly in Asia and is most predominantly popular India. Its leaves, nuts, twigs and barks can be used for Ayurvedic purposes. Pure Neem Oil that is cold pressed from the whole nut is exceptionally rich and full of nourishing properties as well as Vitamin E and essential fatty acids, but the one “negative” aspects of pure Neem Oil is that it has a strong pungent smell. However, if you can stomach the scent, your skin and hair can benefit greatly from its nourishing properties.

I of course use an infused version of the oil since I can not make the cold pressed version at home, so mine is not as strong however, I still get benefits from infusing the leaves (it is also not as “smelly”). Neem Oil and Neem Infused Oil can be used for your hair and skin thanks to its multipurpose properties. 

Where can I find Neem?

There are a few websites online that actually sell Neem powder such as Butters n Bars. If you have a local Indian store nearby look out for the Neem Hesh brand locally otherwise check the ethnic section of your super market. If you have Neem trees readily available to you, you can use the leaves and/or make your own powder by blending up dried leaves. If you do blend the leaves it might end up being a little bitty so it is best to put them in a coffee filter or cheese cloth.

If you want to use fresh leaves then you need to use the oil up after production because otherwise you WILL grow bacteria in the container. For infusing – you will need to use either dried Neem leaves or powder.

Infusing Neem Leaves

Infusing Neem Leaves

For the Skin:

Its natural antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties can help ease skin irritations, rashes as well as relieve itchiness (which can affect the face, body and scalp) . It is said to help ease eczema (I am not a doctor nor a dermatologist therefore always check with a professional). It can help reduce the appearance of light burns and scars – if massaged on the skin regularly and frequently.

For the Hair

The oil can help reduce hair shedding and strengthens the hair to help reduce breakage. Neem is also known to help slow down premature graying & the appearance of grey hairs due to the fact that it is known to naturally and gradually darken the hair*. It provides the hair with shine, luster, works as an excellent sealant and helps to promote hair growth.

*You will not end up with jet black hair but it can darken the hair and has a similar effect on light, bleached or blond hair and if that is not something you want then I would suggest not using this oil.

So those are the reasons why I like the oil 🙂

Stay tuned for my how to video and writeup Maicurlies!

Have you used Neem oil or Neem infused oil before? If so how do you use it and what do you think about it? I would love to hear from you.

Maicurls

Maicurls

Henna Glosses

Hey Maicurlies,

Henna powderI will occasionally do Henna Glosses whenever I remember (I should do them more often because they are awesome!) I tend to do Henna/Amla DC’s but will do a henna gloss when I do not have time to do a full strength henna DC or when I am running low on henna. I have already written about the benefits of Henna and made a video explaining how and why I use it.

Benefits of henna glosses (Glosses are not as “strong” as a full strength henna treatment but it:

  • Gives shine to the hair.
  • Strengthens the hair from root to tip.
  • Provides a slight tint – (depends on the length of time you leave it on, how much you dilute the henna and how strong your henna is).
  • Can help fight dandruff and scalp irritations (check with your dermatologist first).
  • Leaves the hair feeling less dry/rough versus a full strength henna treatments.
  • Requires less time (the time you leave it on your hair).
  • Rinses out easier.
  • Requires less henna (due to the additional ingredients you add).
  • Can be used as a “touch up” to a full strength henna treatment.

What can I add to my Henna mix to make it a “gloss”:

The simple answer is anything, but popular additions are:

  • coconut milk
  • coconut cream
  • conditioner (preferable protein free)

You might also add

  • honey/agave nectar
  • oils

HennaHow to make a Henna gloss:

Again, the options are endless. My personal opinion is that even though a henna gloss is supposed to be “diluted” I still want to be able to get its benefits. It is the lawson or  Lawsonia inermis (red/orange dye) that provides the benefits therefore, I choose use a mix that has dye release versus applying the paste right after mixing (before dye release).

For my henna glosses I actually use a paste that has already been mixed (from the last time I applied henna) and is stored in my freezer. The intensity of red dye is incredible when I use henna that has been frozen. I let the henna defrost (naturally no heat) and then add my ingredients. If I do not have any mixed, I make my full strength paste, cover it and wait for dye release (I get due release after no less than 4 hours based on my henna powder). I use 50% henna paste and will then add 50% coconut cream or conditioner, a tiny dab of honey, a little oil and apply it to damp hair.

I let the henna gloss sit on my hair for 1 hour and then rinse, rinse, rinse. Due to the fact that I add other ingredients, it makes the rinsing much easier and my hair does not feel dry. I do follow up with a Moisturizing DC afterwards just to make sure and that is it!

Do you use henna glosses? If so, what is your mix?

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