Sunday, December 14, 2014

9 All Natural Haircare Practices-What Works And What Didn't

It's been a year since I started using natural hair products and it's been fun experimenting. I've saved cash from ditching the manufactured products and the unnecessary chemicals too!

1) Co-washing:

It's useful when you need a light wash but still have to shampoo the next day. Co-washed hair becomes flatter and greasier faster than shampooed hair. I co-wash because I go to the gym almost everyday and can't stand sweaty hair. I use Tressemme Naturals.

2) Using Ayurvedic Herbs For Washing Hair:

My staples are shikikai and aritha powders. They gently clean and remove drandruff. As for other herbs like alma, maka, tulsi and brahmi, I add them to my cleansing mix but it's hard to tell if they do anything. I guess that's what happens when you use too many things at once. I know shikikai and aritha works so I'll only replace the"shikritha" powders when they run out.

3) Oiling Hair: 

I used to oil my ends and no matter what I used, coconut, olive, almond, jojoba, avocado, grapeseed, rosehip oils, I would get stringy looking hair. For coconut, grapeseed and rosehip oils, my hair would feel even drier than before. Avocado is my favorite oil because it feels the most nourishing. But no oil makes my hair feel moisturised. It just coats it. As for oiling the scalp and hair overnight, I've never done it consistently enough to know if it makes a difference but it's too messy. I only oil my hair before a gym session, when I know I have to wash it out soon.

4) Black Jamaican Castor Oil: 

Yes indeed this works. I can't explain how but it's regrown hair for me. Every few nights I massage a few drops on where my hair has thinned out and it's regrown to how my hair was in my early twenties. When I'm oiling my hair, I use this on my scalp. Sometimes I'd thin it out with Kumarika oil. I also use BJCO on my excema and it calms it down and protects the skin. This stuff is gold!

5) Coconut Oil:

This does'nt work for me anymore. It's too light to weigh my frizzies down and isn't moisturising at all. My hair looks stringy and feels dry. I bought a small bottle of Parachute years ago and I won't be replacing it. There are more effective oils such as olive and avocado.

6) Henna:

I'm obsessed with henna! It gives a red tint and conditions the hair. The day after a long henna treatment is the best because I have "wonder hair". Straighter, thicker-feeling, and very shiny. I happily henna my hair every month for atleast 5 hours at a time. My favorite brand is Jamila. This one has given the most intense red colour for me.

7) Shealoe:

I've recently discovered this combo of half and half aloe vera gel emulsified with shea butter. Shea butter on it's own is heavy but mixed with a light, liquid and moisturising ingredient, it makes a effective moisturiser for ends. I was tired of using oils that only make it feel drier. This mix is perfect for keeping my ends nourished and smooth without that dry-coated feeling.

8) Glycerin and Water Moisturiser:

Works well on skin as a light refreshing moisturiser. I tried it on my hair and it made more tangles and feels sticky. The strands cling together and my hair felt weaker. Now after washing I wait until my hair is almost dry and use a Tangle Teezer to get rid of the knots. I finish the ends with shealoe.

9) Avoiding SLS. Mineral Oil and Silicones:

The jury's out on whether these things ruin your hair or not. There are alternatives to SLS effective enough to remove dirt and grease. Personally SLS free or not, I'm fine with it because it gets washed out anyway. As for silicones, they remain on the hair. Granted for kick-ass detangling, silicone products are the most effective. My personal preference is to avoid them and look after the hair so they don't need silicones. Too much and they make hair flat and it builds up. This requires a strong wash to clarify the hair. So SLS is OK for very dirty days and avoid silicones. As for mineral oil, there isn't enough conclusive evidence that it causes harm. It can be washed out so I'm not bothered using products containing mineral oil.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Nails Inc Alexa Cashmere Nail Polish

Nails Inc has a deal where an express manicure is £10 with a purchase of a nail polish. I chose this satin grey lilac from the Alex Chung range for £15. 

This is my favourite neutral colour. There are so many taupe, greys and beiges out there but add a little shimmer, a bit of lilac and it's the perfect nail polish. Relaxed and chic. Sometimes it's grey and other times it's mauve. The polish turns matte with a textured finish but with a top coat the finish will be smooth and shiny. Cashmere can be worn in a few ways. Looks amazing with glitter on top of it-I have to try that next time!

The rectangular silver top bottle looks smarter than the round bottles but the top is purely ornamental. It's not attached to the brush so you have to pull it off and unscrew the bottle. The brush is the thick "pro" type so it's easier to apply the nail polish.

PS. The midi ring is from Forever 21-only £2! 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Bioderma Atoderm Pack and Repairing Hand Cream

Love Bioderma but hate paying a premium outside of France? This will make you feel a little more envious of the French.

I was Secret Santa for a girlfriend and while in Paris, I went to Parashop at Place D'Italie. This store sells heaps of European but mainly French skin and haircare products.

I found the perfect gift for less than £10. This Bioderma travel pack contains Atoderm gentle shower gel 100ml, Nourishing Cream 15ml, Crealine H2o micellar water 100ml and Light cream 15ml. It was only EUR 8.60. 

And if that wasn't a steal already, I bought a pack of 3 x Repairing hand cream 50ml for EUR 5. The total cost was the equivalent to AUD 20.55. A tube of hand cream alone is AUD 14.95 in Oz!

I gifted the travel pack and a hand cream and my girlfriend was pleased. 

My advice for those in London, buy a cheap return Eurostar for the day, splurge on Bioderma and Nuxe, cheese and champagne and you will break even on the cost of your train ticket :)

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Kumarika Nourishing Hair Oil

The benefits of a henna treatment seem to wash out quickly on me. Its been less than a week or two washes and my hair is tangly again. My hair kept caught onto christmas trees as I walked past them today!

My girlfriend brought my back a bottle of this Kumarika hair oil Sri Lanka. She says everyone uses King Coconut Oil there to nourish their scalp and make hair grow. In Sri Lanka it's not unusual to oil your hair and leave it in all day. But it's not a socially acceptable thing to do in the western world. She says that there is a big difference to her hair and her sister's, who lives in Sri Lanka. Of course genetics plays a part but apparently oiling your hair, eating gelatin from meat products and maintaining a healthy diet is the reason why hair grows thicker.  

I was excited to try king coconut oil. It's also made with rice, but I'm not sure how. There has to be mineral oil in this because there's no way coconut oil can stay liquid at this time of the year. Still, I'm willing to give it a try because my girlfriend raves about it. 

The bottle contains an ornamental sprig of rice. I tried googling for the ingredients but couldn't find anything. There are no instructions on the label. 

The oil is very light and gives smoothness and shine. It will still make hair look stringy if you use too much but no way as bad as pure coconut oil.  There is a tolerable scent that goes away after a while. I like how there's a stopper with a little hole on the top so you can control how much comes out. This oil is more for smoothing down frizzies and ends and oiling the scalp. 

This is definitely nicer smelling and lighter than the alma oils and heenara oils I've tried. And the bottle is also the prettiest!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Henna Update-Mixing With Coconut Milk

Check out my henna stash! The Nupur, Ayur Rajastani and Jamila for hair was bought in Australia. I went a bit nuts buying henna. I saw two of the brands featured in superprincessjo's youtube videos and was so happy to not only find them in my neighbourhood in Sydney, I also found Jamila!

The Nupur is in a huge bag and only cost $6.50, the Ayur was $2.60 and the Jamila was $3. How could I resist? Even though I still have henna from Hesh and Top Op to go through.

It's been 9 weeks since my Jamila BAQ treatment and the colour has faded. I decided to try the Hesh henna mixed with coconut milk. There are a few raves about using only coconut milk and I wanted to experiment and see if colour can be released without acid.

I added a little water because I thought the milk would be too oily on it's own. The henna mixture smelt less grassy and the consistency was gelatinous. I tested the henna over a period of six, 12 and 24 hours standing. It had good colour release at 24 hours because the stain is still faint on my hand after a week!

I put the mix in the freezer for a day or two and then I took it out the night before I used it. The mix was in my hair for 5 hours. A tip: a coconut milk mix will loosen when it's warmed on your head so watch out for drips.

The result? Super shiny conditioned hair. All the wonders of henned hair with a burgundy tint. It's browner than red and no way as intense as the Jamila BAQ. I used Red Zinger tea last time so the jury's out on whether it was the mixing ingredient or the Hesh henna. Still it was a great conditioning treatment and I will top up for more red in a few weeks.

Edited to add: It's been two weeks and the henna is still bleeding on to my towels after I've washed my hair. I wonder if it's because of the lack of acid in the mix.

I'd love to hear your recommendations for henna brands!


Related Posts with Thumbnails