Tag Archives: Healthy hair care

DIY African Black Soap Shampoo (Liquid)

Hello Maicurlies! 

I am BACK! (again lol) Let’s skip the wishy-washy and get straight into it. 

Today I’ve got a new DIY recipe to share: Black African Soap Shampoo.

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So as the name suggestions, it is a hair shampoo, it is all natural and yes, it is simple! 

As with any commercial shampoo (which I personally don’t use) I use this to help cleanse my scalp from product buildup (my roots) and then I slowly work my way down the length of my hair. Previously I had been using Shikakai as a cleanser and I have nothing “bad” to say about it  but I wanted a change and stumbled upon Raw African Black Soap. 

What Is Black African Soap? 

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Black African Soap is traditionally made in West Africa from harvested plants such as sun dried dried plantain, cocoa pods, barks of Shea tree and palm leaves. Palm oil, palm kernel oil and water is also added to form the soap, which is left to “cure” before it is ready for use. 

Black African Soap can be used for both your hair and skin ( I will have a separate recipes for the skin – I use it to cleanse my face). Some of the many properties of this soap:

  • Anti-fungal 
  • Antibacterial
  • Cleansing
  • Reducing Oil productions (for overly oil skin since it does contain moisturizing properties to help balance the natural sebum produced by the skin).
  • Moisturizing
  • Helps sooth irritated skin
  • Reduces acne, blemishes and fine scars/lines

Recipe:

  • 1 oz Raw Black African Soap.
  • 8 oz warm Water (I use bottled water because my facet has hard water).
  • 1 tsp Almond Oil
  • 1 tsp Grapeseed Oil
  • 1 tsp Glycerin Oil
  • 5 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
  • 5 drops Lavender Essential Oil

Ingredient Alternatives:

You can use any oil/oils you have at home, you must not stick by what I personally use. You can skip the use of Essential Oils (or replace them with your favorites) I like using Peppermint Essential Oil because it has a tingling effect on the scalp that helps to stimulate blood flow which helps to stimulate growth, it also has cleansing properties, anti-fungal & anti bacterial properties and smells AMAZING! Lavender Essential Oil has a relaxing and soothing effect. I add glycerin to my recipe because it is a humectant and while Black Soap has moisturizing properties on its own I don’t find it moisturizing enough so the addition of glycerin seems to boost that (but it is optional). 

If you use Black African Soap, please leave me a comment below with your own recipe! I love learning and love sharing your recipes with my readers! And if you happen to try mine, please do leave me some feedback on what you think! 

Thanks

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Maicurls

Product Review & Application: DIY Edge Regrow & “Tame” Pomade/Balm

Hello Maicurlies,

Today I am here with a Product Review based on one of my own recipes after being kindly requested to do so. (Thank you for the requests and please do keep them coming!)

Review and Application

So I know a few of you will be wondering how can you “objectively” review a mix you made yourself. Obviously I made, use and shared this recipe because I love it however, that doesn’t mean I can not explain how it works, its limitations (as a DIY product), how it will probably work for others and to do so honestly. I also demonstrate how the mix works on my own edges in my video (below).

So in case you want to take a peek at the “how to” of this DIY you can find the recipe here.

Let’s get down to it shall we.

balm vs pomade

  • Since this is a DIY I always suggest that you do not use your fingers to dip into the product. This recipe does not utilize any anti bacterial ingredients other than Vitamin E Oil and Essential Oil which, are great at extending the shelf-life of products however, they DO NOT eliminate the growth of bacteria/fungus etc.
  • Use a spoon (I like using the back of a spoon) to scoop up a little of the mix at a time. This will prevent you from dipping wet/product covered fingers in the mix.
  • Use a CLEAN and UNUSED toothbrush to apply the mix onto your edges. It will help control how much of the mix you are applying and will also help you “lay down” your edges. (Buy a soft new toothbrush that is used solely for your edges) 
  • Depending on your choice (pomade or balm) you will need to store the mix in your fridge (for the balm) or  a cool and dry place e.g. your cupboard (for the pomade).
  • This is a wax free recipe (because I have fine hair and wax makes my hair feel really “gummy” and sticky).
  • You might notice that if you make this as a pomade it could potentially become a little more running during the hot summer months (this is particularly true for me) due to the lack of wax.
  • The lack of wax in this mix also means there isn’t that “hard hold” you might get from commercial pomades/balms. This recipe is more for “laying your edges” versus giving your a sculpted hold. So if you want that, you will want to add wax e.g. bee’s wax (a search on google will provide you with a list of recipes that includes nearly all the same type of ingredients I use along with wax).
  • The overall shelf-life of this mix will depend on 1. the shelf life o the individual ingredients you use. E.g. if you oils and butters have a 1 year shelf life your mix will be good for 1 year. 2. As long as you are not adding water based ingredients to the mix, not dipping wet/product covered fingers in your product it should last a while. 
  • If you have a thick hairline (high density) then you will probably notice that your hair requires the addition of wax to help “lay” your edges so it might be a trial thing for you! 
  • For my fine haired ladies, a little of this goes a LOOOONG way, trust me a dab of this will do the job!
  • Aside from helping with styling your edges this mix includes a number of nourishing ingredients for the hairline which can actually help moisturize, stimulate hair growth and provide overall goodness for your edges! 

You can see how I “lay my edges” in my explanation video below!

I would love to hear what you think and if you will give it a try and please let me know if there are any videos/posts you would like me to cover, I love hearing from you! 

Thanks

Maicurls

Maicurls

“When Good Hair Goes Bad” By Nikki Walton (Aka CurlyNikki) eBook for FREE

Hello Lovely Maicurlies,

This literally is a just a quick “For Your Information” post to inform you that Nikki Walton (a.k.a. CurlyNikki) has released her second book! Her new book “When Good Hair Goes Bad” *drum roll please* can be downloaded for FREE! Yes, I said for FREE!!!! (I would hurry as the eBook might only be out for free for a limited time). 

When Good Hair Goes Bad

NOTE: I was neither paid, compensated nor requested to share this information, I happen to be subscribed to curlynikki.com and received a Newsletter update with information about the book’s publication and eBook version.

Nikki teamed up with Dark and Lovely which is where you can (currently) download the eBook: Darkandlovely.com/nikkiwalton.

Her first book “Better Than Good Hair” was published three years ago and was all about empowering woman to take control of their hair care and providing emotional support.  This time “When Good Hair Goes Bad” has a compilation of quick hair fixes, tips and tricks at just the turn of a page!

I will leave it at that for the moment since I have only had a chance to glance over the eBook (I love what I have seen so far) plus I might just have to squeeze in another eBook review so I don’t want to give too much away just yet. 

Anyways, happy downloading and happy reading Maicurlies! 

If you get a chance to read it please let me know what you think, you know I love hearing from you!

Thanks

Maicurls

Maicurls

eBook Review: Curly Halo – Author: Kimberly Elise

Hey Maicurlies,

I am back with my 3rd book review and this time it is an eBook!

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The eBook is called “Curly Halo” and the author is the wonderfully talented and beautiful Natural actress Kimberly Elise!

DISCLAIMER: Please note, I want to make it clear that I was contacted by a representative working for Kimberly to see if I would be interested to to review her eBook on my Blog/YouTube Channel and I was pleased to do so.

I have always insisted on openness and honesty on my blog/channel and would never compromise my integrity to provide truthful information whether it is in the form of information sharing, a review, a DIY mix or a product suggestion. That holds true with this review, and having been sent the eBook did not influence my thoughts on it, one way or the other. All thoughts expressed in this review are my own honest opinions. I was not paid or compensated to state anything mentioned in the video and/or my blog post.

“Curly Halo – Your Natural Hair Care Reference Guide & Workbook”

Who are the target readers?: Those that have been natural for a while can benefit from the book thanks to the fact that it includes helpful information that any natural can use along their continued Natural Hair Journey (regardless of how far along they are). It includes hair and scalp care tips which again is why I suggest “long term” naturals can benefit from it. Now for those that are either considering going back natural, those transitioning or those of you that might have recently Big Chopped (BC) I highly suggest Curly Halo for you! It is packed with suggestions, tips and advice to help you along your journey (which can be a little daunting at first, especially if you are threading in unfamiliar water)! 

Pages & Chapters: The eBook consists of 80 pages (in total) and has been broken down into 10 chapters. 

How to “use” it: Since this is an eBook, I got a link with the eBook and then downloaded the file. It can be read on any software that allows you to read a PDF file. I actually used my eBookshelf (software I downloaded on my Samsung) but it can also be read on a regular PDF reader. 

Text: Curly Halo takes you through hair and scalp care right from the start and not only provides information on how one can provide healthy hair and scalp care but also some steps that can be taken in case you come across any hair/scalp issues throughout your journey. It is a really easy read, it is not jam-packed with too much text, includes images and tip boxes and most notably worksheets! The worksheets can be used as interactive pages that you can use for note taking – part of your Natural Hair Journal. (P.s. I highly recommend you get yourself a Hair Journal if you have not already done so)! The language used is very simple which makes it easy to read and digest and does not require you to have a science degree or even any prior knowledge of hair care. I love the simple yet elegant appearance of the eBook as well!

Highlights for me: First and foremost I LOVE the “holistic” approach Kimberly used in the eBook. This of course works really well with DIY hair care so you can be sure that I LOVE this aspect! Thanks to its simplicity it provides readers with easy to do healthy hair/scalp care options while still providing alternative suggestions for those that are not too crazy about taking a more “hands on” approach to their hair/scalp care (not everyone is tickled to death about DIY hair care). Another part of the eBook that I love are the worksheets. As I mentioned, they are interactive and can help guide you to make decisions, take note of experiences/thoughts and keep track of trial & error “experiments”. Having a place where you keep all this information is really important, regardless of whether you have recently returned back natural of have been natural for a while (we can not keep track of everything in our head)! 

Where can I buy the eBook?: 

Would I recommend the eBook?: In closing, YES I really did enjoy reading Curly Halo and do recommend others to pick up a soft copy from Kimberly’s site!

If you have come across the eBook please share your own personal thoughts, I would love to hear from you!

Thanks

Maicurls

Maicurls

DIY: Itchy Dry Scalp Treatment (Protective Style Spray)

Hey Maicurlies,

I am back (finally, I know I have been away) with another DIY. This recipe is for the scalp and is helpful for those of us that suffer from an itchy, dry, irritated, flaky scalp especially when rocking a Protective Style (PS).

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While rocking a PS, it can become a little difficult to maintain a healthy scalp while still keeping the integrity of the PS and this mix will hopefully make it easier to keep your scalp clean and healthy while attending to scalp issues. You are of course still going to wash your hair/scalp as normal however whenever you experience itchiness, dryness, irritations etc you can reach for this without having to over wash your scalp to try and sooth the issue. 

Note: This mix can be used on your scalp even if you hair is not in a PS but this post was intended to focus on maintaining a healthy scalp  care during PS mode.

Ingredients/Tools

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  • 1 oz Fresh Aloe Vera Juice
  • 0.2 oz Apple Cider Vinegar (natural/organic)
  • 0.5 oz Plain Water
  • 5 drops Peppermint Essential Oil (EO)*
  • 3 capsules Vitamin E  Oil
  • Spray Bottle

*If you are pregnant please do not use any EO and always consult with your doctor/dermatologist if you are trying something new. 

NOTE: This mix is not for medicinal purposes, it is simply for informational purposes. ALWAYS consult with a professional doctor/dermatologist prior to integrating anything new to your routine! 

Ingredient Benefits:

Aloe Vera Juice – a natural humectant that attracts moisture in the air to the area applied (the scalp). It is packed with essential vitamins and minerals that helps to reduce dry itchiness on the scalp, stimulates hair growth and is said to help with very mild cases of Alopecia. It balances and conditions both the scalp and roots leaving no traces of “product” build-up, has natural astringent properties to leave you with a clean scalp and aids in moisturizing dry hair. 

Apple Cider Vinegar – has natural astringent properties, while diluted (e.g. with water & AVJ) it provides the scalp and hair (roots) with an optimal pH level and is also known for its ability to remove product build up. It helps to not only remove product but also helps to close the pores on the scalp while at the same time closing the cuticle of the hair which provides it with shine. 

Peppermint Essential Oil – has astringent properties as well which helps to eliminate product build up and to remove sweat and dirt on the scalp. It helps stimulate blood circulation in the scalp which in turns helps to promote hair growth. The oil is known for combating dry irritated scalps which can help eliminate dandruff. Due to its stimulating properties (it will make your scalp feel fresh and tingly) this can help tackle the issue of itchiness while at the same time cleansing the scalp to eliminate the problem all together. 

Vitamin E Oil – in this mix it can help extend the shelf life of the spray (but does not work as a preservative!). The oil is packed with antioxidants that helps to moisturize the scalp, keeps it healthy, less prone to dryness and thus aids in the growth of healthy hair as well. It allows the hair to grow soft, full of shine and suppleness and also can aid in slowing down the onset of premature greying. The oil is known to help generate new skin cells which allows your scalp to remain healthy and thanks to its moisturizing and healing properties this allows for quicker and healthier hair growth. 

Water – need I say more? H2o is a naturals best friend since it is a vital source of moisture for both the scalp and hair! 

Additional Options/Ratio Alternatives:

The purpose of this mix is to help keep a clean and healthy scalp therefore it is advisable to use ingredients that have cleansing and moisturizing properties while not clogging up the pores of your scalp. Along with the ingredients above you could also add some Rose Water to this mix e.g 0.2 oz of Rose Water for additional moisturizing elements, soothing effects and a wonderful scent! Tea Tree Essential Oil is an alternative EO that can be used in place of Peppermint. 

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Mixing Method:

Combine all the ingredients together in your spray bottle and make sure to shake well before applying.

Application:

There are two methods that I highly recommend when applying the mix instead of simply spraying onto your roots/scalp. Either spray some clean ear cleaners (unused!) and run them along your partings. The other option is cotton pads/buds which is my favorite. 

Storage:

It is highly recommended to store this mix in the fridge for no more than 1 – 1.5 months maximum but constantly check to make sure there is no nasty fungus growing (you will be able to tell especially if you use a see through spray bottle). Keeping it in the fridge also means that it will have a soothing effect on the scalp and will help close the cuticles of your roots and the pores on your scalp! 

I would love to hear what you think! If you use a scalp spray (or try this one) please do let me know, I love hearing from you! 

Thanks

Maicurls

Maicurls

 

Argan Oil For Healthy Hair (& Skin)

Hello Maicurlies, 

Today’s post is all about my love for Argan Oil (Argania Spinosa) also known as Liquid Gold.

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What is Argan Oil:

Argan oil native to Morocco, is an organic product that is extracted from the kernels (nuts) of argan trees. Due to its nourishing and nutritional benefits it was/is an extremely popular ingredient in many cosmetic products and nothing is better than using it in its natural pure form!

Where Can I Get it?:

You can pick argan oil from Pharmacies, some grocery stores, Vitamin Stores and of course Online. (My sister brought me two bottles of Liquid Gold directly from the source). From what my sister told me she picked up the bottle from a local women’s group who work argan tree farms to help supplement their household. When I heard that I loved the oil a little more (thank you sis)! 

Here are a few sources online that I would trust:

I have seen a number of hair care manufacturers that produce argan Oil however, I tend to say buy 100% natural pure oil versus something that claims to be argan oil but contains other ingredients as well (always check your labels). 9 times out of 10 a Brand Oil that is labeled with argan Oil but contains other oils usually means you are not really getting your monies worth! Having other oils in the bottle is not necessarily a bad thing but since it usually costs a bit of money to purchase anything with argan Oil on its label you want to know you are getting something out of the product. Many times companies that include a mix of oils also include other ingredients that you might not be aware of e.g. silicons (cones) and perhaps even the dreaded mineral oil/paraffinum liquidum. For some of us, cones are not a “bad” thing either however you need to keep in mind that cons are water insoluble which means, that you will need some kind of cleansing agent (e.g. shampoo) to get rid of them when you wash your hair in order to really remove product build up from products with cones in them. Cones do not penetrate the hair strands and do not contain any independent health benifits for the hair but what they are able to do is to provide shine, the feeling of softness and work as barriers- closing the cutilce of our hair which gives your hair a feeling of softness. It is the barrier effect that can sometimes cause issues for some of us. When it comes to paraffinum liquidum, I need to stress that I always suggest to stay away from products that includes paraffinum liquidum.

Argan Oil

Benefits of Argan Oil For Hair:

Argan oil is known to make the hair soft, smooth and shiny. Thanks to the antioxidants and essential fatty acids present in the oil It also has the ability to condition the hair, reduce frizz and improve the overall health of the hair. The oil is not only ideal to lock in moisture (apply after you have moisturized your hair) but since it is able to penetrate the hair strands to its core, it is able to provide the hair with nourishing properties from the inside out. Those with a dry, itchy or irritated scalp can benefit from using argan oil since it is known to help sooth the scalp. This is also beneficial for those that suffer from dandruff as it is easily absorbed into the scalps pores, providing moisturizing elements to the skin (scalp) and boost new skin cell growth. 

Benefits of Argan Oil For Skin:

The oil is packed with vitamin A & vitamin E which are known for their healing abilities along with a high fatty acid content. It also has anti-oxidants properties, filled with Omega-6 fatty acids and linoleic acid all of which help with inflammation and moisturizing the skin. The vitamin E in the oil helps to boost the regeneration of new skin cells which helps to provide you with a youthful skin that “glows”. Those suffering with acne might benefit from using the oil to help sooth the skin and heal blemishes. Argan oil can be used on your whole body (including your face) and since it is a non-greasy oil it quickly is absorbed into the skin. The application of the oil on your skin can help reduce the appearance of fine lines, light stretch marks, razor burns/bumps and can even be used to help soften dry and cracked heals, dry hands and brittle nails. Those that suffer from dry cracked lips (e.g. yours truly) can apply a drop of oil on your lips to help heal cracks, keep your lips soft, smooth, moisturized and conditioned.

How I Use Argan Oil:

Since the oil is not particularly cheap (and the two I got where gifts from Morocco) I use them sparingly and choose not to experiment with the oil or blend it in with some of my DIY mixes. Instead, I like to use it as a scalp massage oil in the morning or as part of the L.O.C method (liquid/leave-in, Oil, Cream) when I moisturize my hair. (I have details on the L.O.C method here). I am also using it for my skin as well as my super dry lips!

Do you use argan oil? If so, do you use it for your hair and/or skin? I would love to hear from you! 

Thanks

Maicurls

Maicurls

Are we obsessed with hair growth pills – Global Couture

Hey Maicurlies,

I sometimes forget to mention some of the articles I have written for the absolutely fantastic blog Global Couture. You should seriously check out the blog (not only for my articles 😉 ) they have fantastic stories, awe inspiring naturals, hair tips and much much more! 

For my last article I touched on a topic that might make you roll your eyes at me…potentially…

I wrote about the sudden emergence of hair, nails and skin pills everywhere! Now before I get the side eye, I mentioned in the article and will mention here that I have nothing against these types of pills (as long as they are healthy and if they happen to be all natural even better).

However, my “issue” with them is if they are used as a replacement for healthy hair routines. If they are being taken in place of having a good healthy routine that involves giving ones hair tender loving care in the hopes that you will wake up with “long luscious healthy hair” that is when I frown. 

I also have issues with false advertising! Seriously false ads give me allergic reactions! I believe that the vitamins, minerals etc in the pills can help our hair of course however, I have seen some before and after pictures that are just blatant lies! E.g. people tugging on randomly long pieces of hair with their neck almost bent completely back to show “how much growth they saw in 1 month”. Some fall victim to a vicious cycle of not having a healthy routine, turning to the “quick fix” tablets, a setback and then repeating it, all in the hopes that the tablets will give them the results they long for and they just end up spending tons of money and time. Again that is when I frown.

I cover all of this in the article and would love to hear what you think! 

Thanks

Maicurls

Maicurls