Tag Archives: Strengthening 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

Protein Hibiscus Flaxseed Gel

Hey Maicurlies,

Today I wanted to share another updated recipe: my Protein Hibiscus Flaxseed Gel (FSG).

Protein Hibiscus Flax Seed Gel (FSG)

                                                                 Protein Hibiscus Flax Seed Gel (FSG)

This is an updated mix from my previous recipes (here) and (here). There are a few similarities but the major difference is the addition of Gelatine (the protein) and Hibiscus Petals.

Those that have protein sensitive hair might think you need to skip this recipe however, it can be modified since the protein is an optional ingredient. I have been using this recipe for a while now since I have fine hair strands and protein gives the hair strength and elasticity and that is what I need. A lot of the times we are very diligent on making sure we moisturize our hair, use moisturizing based products, deep condition etc but sometimes forget that we still do require some protein in our routine. So if you feel that your hair is weak, if you are going through some chemical or heat damage or if you have fine and fragile hair strands and are only using moisturizing products then you might want to switch to a protein gel from time to time when it comes to styling your hair. Make sure to switch between the protein gel and non protein gel so you do not get a protein overload and whenever you are using a protein gel, ensure that you are using a moisturizing leave-in conditioner.

Now another point I want to make is that I like to use hibiscus since my hair loves ayurvedic herbs but please keep in mind: not to wear your favorite light top while setting your hair with the gel since hibiscus does give the gel a red/purple tone which could potentially stain your top while you hair is wet and touching it. Once you hair dries the colour will not rub off it is just while setting/as your hair dries. Since it does give a red/purple tint to the gel it could potentially do the same to the hair of those that have blond/light/bleached hair. If this is something you want to avoid then please avoiding adding hibiscus, those with dark hair will not really notice a major colour difference.

Ingredients/tools used:

Protein Hibiscus Flax Seed Gel (FSG)

                                           Protein Hibiscus Flax Seed Gel (FSG)

  • 12 oz Water (bottled water)
  • 2 oz Rose water (Optional – not really required, can be replaced with plain water but a good addition)
  • 2.5 oz Flax Seeds (this makes a thick gel – use less for a thinner gel)
  • Roughly 0.2 oz hibiscus petals (optional)
  • 0.2 oz Gelatine (protein optional – those with protein sensitive hair will want to skip it)
  • 0.2 oz DIY Coffee Bean infused Almond Oil (you can use any carrier oil)
  • 0.2 oz Glycerin (optional)
  • 5 drop Grapefruit Essential Oil (you can use any Essential Oil or none at all)*
  • 3 Capsules vitamin E oil – roughly 0.15 oz
  • Non Stick Pot
  • Spoon/spatula
  • Sieve
  • Disinfected container (squeeze/pump bottle is best)

*If you are pregnant do not use any essential oil.

Alternatives:

Rose Water can be replaced with regular water if you do not have any however, rose water does have its own nourishing properties (read here). If you do not want to use Hibiscus it can be skipped all together otherwise you could also use dried rose petals. Glycerine is a humectant that does not always play nice with peoples hair therefore, it can be skipped all together otherwise you can replace it with honey or agave nectar which also are humectants. (Humectants provide the hair with moisture from the air (humidity) however, it always depends on the weather conditions in the area where you live). If you have too much humidity it can cause frizz and if you do not have enough humidity in the air the results can be the opposite; drawing moisture from the hair outwards to the air which causes driness. Aloe Vera Juice can also be added to the mix if you have any on hand for its moisturizing properties. If you prefer your gel to be thinner either add more water e.g. 13 – 14 oz or reduce the amount of flax seeds use e.g. 1 – 1.5 oz.

Mixing Method:

1. I first warm up the water and rose water together in a pot, once it starts to lightly warm up I throw in the flax seeds and begin to stir. 2. After about 5 – 7 minutes of the liquids and flax seeds have started to boil I throw in the hibiscus petals and let that boil for a further 5 – 7 minutes while continuing to stir (you must stay by the pot the whole time and continue to stir). As the hibiscus boils you will notice the colour of the gel starts to change and as it boils the liquid starts to become thicker. 3. Depending on how thick you want your gel, remove it from the stove (the longer on the stove the thicker the gel) and immediately pour it through a sieve. (As soon as the seeds are out of the pot be sure to cover the pot with water to help with the clean up). 4. I squeeze out any excess gel from the seeds with a spoon/spatula and then transfer the seeds into a container. Let the seeds cool down before covering with an airtight lid and storing it in the freezer to be reused next time. 5. Let the gel cool down a little (it should still be warm) before adding the gelatine (skip if not making a protein gel). 6. I sprinkle half the gelatine evenly over the top of the gel and begin to stir then add the remaining and repeat. 7. I use an electric whisk to help breakup any lumps and clumps and also to help loosen the gel a little (otherwise it can become really thick and “jello- like” once it cools). 8. Let the gel completely cool down before adding the oils otherwise the heat will destroy their properties. I add the Coffee Infused Oil, Essential Oil, Vitamin E Oil and the Glycerine (optional) and stir before pouring it into a clean & disinfected pump container.

Storage:

FSG has a short shelf life so it is essential to store it in the fridge whenever it is not being used! It generally will be go for 2 weeks 3 weeks  maximum however, you can save some of your gel if you know it won’t be used up before it goes bad by pouring some into ice-cube trays in the freezer. Put the gel ice-blocks in a sandwich bag and remove some cubes whenever you need some gel.

Benefits:

Protein Hibiscus Flax Seed Gel (FSG)

                             Protein Hibiscus Flax Seed Gel (FSG)

So while I have previously written about all the nourishing benefits of FSG (yes this gel actually has more than the ability of giving your hair some hold) I will quickly jot down some of the benefits of FSG in general along with the benefits of a protein FSG:

  • Its rich source of vitamin E holds the power to help with hair growth.
  • Provides the hair with shine.
  • It contains moisturizing elements (along with the additional moisturizing ingredients added) helps keep the hair moisturized.
  • Provides nourishment to the hair roots, shaft, and the scalp.
  • Gives the hair a light hold that is not crunchy or flakely
  • Helps smooth the hairs  cuticle
  • Said to help prevent early hair discolouration thanks to the Vitamin E in the flax seeds.
  • Contains Omega-3 fatty acid that helps nourish the hair follicles.
  • Provides additional elasticity thanks to the Omega-3 fatty acid.
  • The addition of protein provides the hair with strength especially for those with fine/chemically damage/heat damaged hair.
  • The addition of protein also helps reestablish the elasticity of the hair (when you use a moisturizing leave-in and follow up with a protein gel).

This is the “how to” video:

I would love to hear what you think of this recipe. If you try the protein version (or skip it) I would really like to hear how it worked for 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

Protein Strengthening and Fortifying Deep Conditioner

Hey Maicurlies,

A little while ago I wrote a post about a DIY Protein Deep Conditioner (DC) and raved about how much I liked my new mix. Since that previous post (read here) I have recorded a “how to” video of my recipe:

Protein Strengthening & Fortifying DC

Protein Strengthening & Fortifying DC

Ingredients:

  • 0.8oz. of warm plain water (to help dissolve the Gelatine)
  • 1.3oz. Unflavoured Gelatine
  • 4oz. Conditioner (I prefer using a moisturizing conditioner so my hair is overloaded with protein)
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 1.3oz hibiscus/green tea
  • 0.2oz Coffee Infused Almond Oil (you can use any carrier oil)

There are 3 things I want to mention about my mix:

  1. This is a STRONG Protein DC so if you have protein sensitive hair this probably is NOT for you.
  2. This recipe includes non vegan/vegetarian friendly ingredients but you can replace them with other ingredients if you wish e.g. yogurt or even an overripe avocado that has been blended and passed through a sieve.
  3. ALWAYS follow up with a moisturizing DC afterwards to restore the moisture/protein balance in your hair.

Mixing Instructions:

  1. First sprinkle the Gelatine over the warm water and stir rigorously to make sure everything dissolves. (You could also sprinkle it over the warm hibiscus/green tea)
  2. Add the dissolved Gelatine to the conditioner.
  3. Add the egg yolk (I use the egg whites for breakfast so I don’t waste anything).
  4. Add the coffee infused almond oil (you can use any carrier oil).
  5. Slowly pour in the hibiscus/green tea.
  6. For good measure I pour my mix into a tall container to whisk (a tall container helps to avoid splashing) and that is it! 
Protein Strengthening & Fortifying DC

Protein Strengthening & Fortifying DC

How I apply the Deep Conditioner:

I only apply this mix every 5 weeks on damp hair has has been cleansed. After application I cover my hair with a shower cap or clingfilm, followed by a plastic bag and an old scarf to help keep my head warm or a damp and lightly warm face cloth. DO NOT USE  a steamer, heated cap etc. because it can cook the eggs in your hair! I leave the DC on my hair for 45 minutes to maximum 1 hour and then rinse it out and follow up with my Moisturizing Deep Conditioner to restore the elasticity balance in my hair. 

Would love to hear what you think if you try this recipe! 

Thanks

Maicurls

Maicurls