Tag Archives: how to care for natural hair

Caramel Hair Softener – Recipe from: Hair Care Rehab

Hello Maicurlies,

I have come back with ANOTHER DIY!!! 

DIY Caramel Hair Softener from "Hair Care Rehab" - Audrey Davis Sivasothy

DIY Caramel Hair Softener from “Hair Care Rehab” – Audrey Davis Sivasothy

I can not take credit for this gorgeous, delicious, luscious looking DIY  recipe though, all credit goes to the talented author and Naturalista Audrey Davis Sivasothy and her wonderful book Hair Care Rehab. You can read all about how much I love this book in my review here.

I contacted Audrey to check if it would be alright for me to use her recipe in a “how to” video/blog post and she was happy for me to share, so here it is! And Thank You Audrey!!! 

According to the book (and my own personal experience) this recipe will:

  • Soften & hydrate the hair
  • Reduce Frizz
  • Strengthen the hair
  • Lengthen curls
  • Improve curl definition

I also found it:

  • Provides shine
  • Reduces tangles 
  • Provides bounce

Now before I move on I will reiterate what the book says: you will want to do this on a day when you have “me time”, so I suggest doing this on a “pamper day” when you know you will not be rushed simply because for some of you after application you might want to follow up with shampoo and a quick Deep Condition (more about this further down). 

Ingredients/Tools:

Caramel Hair Softener Ingredients

  • 2 overripe Bananas (the more ripe they are the better)
  • 4 oz Water 
  • 1 oz Lemon Juice (in the original recipe it mentions using 2 oz but I use less*)
  • 2 oz Raw/Natural Honey
  • 4 oz Maple Syrup or Molasses
  • 2 oz Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • 1 oz Plain Flour
  • Mixing container
  • Blender
  • Sieve
  • Spoon
  • Pot

*I use less Lemon Juice because it tends to be too acidic for my hair and can dry it out, I suggest for your first attempt using less than 2 oz and then increasing if you so please.  

Ratio/Ingredient Alternatives:

  • Replace Honey with Agave Nectar
  • Use either Maple Syrup or Molasses
  • Use any carrier oil you wish in place of the EVOO (e.g. Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Almond Oil, Avocado Oil etc)
  • Use Corn Flour in place of Plain Flour
  • Baby Banana food in place of real bananas (I always find real bananas work better)

You can use half the ingredients mentioned to make less.

Mixing Instructions:

I first cut the bananas into 2 – 3 pieces and then blend them, you want to make sure they basically turn into banana “mushy juice”. (This is where using overripe bananas come into play because the more ripe they are the easier it will be to get a smooth mix without too many bits). Next I add the water and lemon juice and re-blend. After this I highly suggest using a sieve, this will help further eliminate banana bits (which are so difficult to get out of curly/kinky hair). You then can add the honey, maple syrup, EVOO and stir. The last ingredient is the flour which, should be done in halves and blended in between to make sure it is lump free.

The last step is warming up the mix. You only want to lightly warm it up, NOT boil it! The warming up will only take a few minutes and as soon as this happens you will notice the mixture thickening. Turn off the stove as soon as you notice the thickening otherwise you will be left with a lumpy and thick hard to use mix. 

Application:

You must allow the recipe to cool down to room temperature before you apply (please do not burn your fingers or scalp!) I prefer to apply onto damp hair (doesn’t have to be freshly washed) and then cover with a shower cap, plastic bag and scarf for 1.5 hours (you can leave it on for 45 minutes – 1.5 hours no more time is required). I normally only follow up with a conditioner to rinse my hair and then move onto styling without the need to Shampoo or do an Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) rinse or a Deep Conditioner.

Of course I have a video of my mixing process:

Things to keep in mind:

  1. This is NOT a temporary relaxer! I have seen a few videos/blog stating that the caramel treatment works as a “mild/temporary relaxer” for the hair….I don’t know how one could come up with that but NO! The recipe provides the hair with so much moisture and nourishment that dry hair (at least my dry hair) basically absorbs all that goodness which ends up making my curls “heavy” (for lack of a better word). This heaviness makes my curls appear longer which I guess is why some people claim it is a “temporary relaxer” but again NO, it just leaves your hair not dry!
  2. If you can know you will not be able to use all the mix in one go either use less of the ingredients, give some away or as a last resort store the remaining in your freezer. Do not leave it in your fridge for more than a few days because it will go moldy!
  3. If you store it in your freezer, I suggest gently double broiling in a heat proof glass bowl over water since it will become really thick and almost impossible to manipulate onto your hair once it has been frozen. 
  4. Some of you might feel the need to follow up with shampoo afterwards or perhaps an ACV rinse. If you use shampoo then you might consider doing a quick 10 minute deep condition just to make sure your hair doesn’t feel stripped because of the shampoo. 
  5. If you are allergic to ANY of the ingredients please DO NOT USE THEM! There are always alternative ingredients, such as those mentioned above or other recipes you can use without risking your health.
  6. If any of the ingredients are new to your routine, please do a patch test before you apply it all over your hair, to avoid any unforeseen allergic reactions. 

I would love to hear what you think if you give this a try, or if you already have used the Caramel Hair Softener please let me know what you thought!

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