Caring for Your Coils & Curls
Textured hair needs a lot of love and gentle care. Kinky coily hair will thrive, if cared for with specific attention to its texture. Remember, curls and kinks tend to be dryer that straighter hair. Also, some styles will call for heavier creams and butters, while others will need a lighter moisturizing touch.
A little trial and error on your part will be necessary. It does not matter how many Youtube videos you watch or how many hair care books that you read. You'll quickly learn that your hair may or may not behave the way your favorite YouTuber's does. Often your texture will be totally different, or the density of your hair is different, or the products are totally different, and even the climate you live in can affect the look of your hair. Just play around and have fun! Once you figure out what your hair loves AND what it hates, you will fall in love with your natural kinks, coils and curls.
Often times, we go in search of the perfect product for our hair and quickly become 'product junkies'. We've all been there. You end up with 20 containers of stuff that are all supposed to do the same thing and none of it does anything and it ends up in the Product Cemetery under the sink or in the linen closet, just taking up space.
Most often, these products will contain additives and preservatives that are harmful for your tempermental coils; even the ones that are designed specifically for natural hair. Preservatives are added to keep ingredients 'fresh' and allows for the product to be able to sit on shelves for weeks/months at a time. This is one reason why I prefer to use brands that offer natural products without the harsh chemical additives and only natural preservatives (if any).
Now dont get me wrong! You can find countless products of the shelves containing certain ingredients that are very good for your hair but when you look at the ingredients list, you will see that the wonderful ingredient is 25th on the list. So basically there's garbage before and after it! You can definitely make your own products with more efficacy then what whatever that drop of Olive Oil is doing!
By the way, homemade haircare recipes are a good option if you are looking for all natural, highly potnet potions, looking to stretch your beauty budget, or if you find your hair to be sensitive or resistent to many retail products. Making your own favorite blends will give you the most customized control of your curly hair beauty regiment and will save your some coins!
Please keep in mind that, there are no "one size fits all" remedies. So free free to mix & match, or make substitions as you please.
These recipes and treatment will work nicely on their own and in conjunction with your favorite retail products. So have fun and experiment. Learn which ingredients work best for your hair, then artfully combine them to create your own natural Sunshine in a Bottle!
BECOME A LABEL READER
Many popular retail hair care products are saturated with harmful synthetic materials that do more hare than good for health and vitality of your hair. Curly, Kinky, Coily hair will specifically be damaged from using products that contain:
Propylene Glycol- inhibits skin cell growht; causes rashes, dry skin and skin irritation.
Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate- surfactant that corrodes hair follicles, impairs ability to grow hair and causes inflammation of skin.
Oleyl betaine- causes dry hair, dandruff and dry scalp.
Mineral oils- petroleum products clog pores. The molecules are too big to be absorbed by your skin, scalp and hair.
Also, make sure you have an idea of the pH levels of the products you are using. In general I would stick to products with a pH between 4.5 and 6.5 because it is balancing for your hair. So, be hyper vigilant! You are your hair's best advocate. Be sure to check your labels and your levels. You may be surprised to learn how many products you have right now with ingredients that are counter productive to your hair health. You can easily fortify retail products or just create your own natural replacements.
No matter what you use, be very aware of how it affects your hair and always be ready to make adjustments when necessary.
KEEPING YOUR RECIPES SAFE
Your all natural & fresh concoctions will be perishable. They will NOT last forever! You will want to take care to avoid the mixtures becoming unstable when they begin to oxide. Once this happens, your mixtures will go rancid! There are a few things that you can do to help.
Just remember that mixtures are sensitive to heat, light, oxygen & moisture.
Use darker bottles to help preserve and prolong the shelf-life. Keep your ingredients and mixtures in the medicine cabinet, a closet, drawer, etc, if you are not refrigerating them.
Kep your lids on tight and replace them quickly. Do not leave anything open for prolonged periods of time. Oxidation (exposure to air) is not your friend.
Do not store your mixtures near heat of any kind (i.e. candles, flat irons, and other electronics). It is best to keep what you can in the refrigerator (I purchased a small beauty fridge that fits on my bathroom sink).
If your products are not water based, keep them away from water! Oil base dmixtures will spoil much quicker when exposed to moisture.
You can also extend the life of your mixture by adding antioxidants such as: Vitamin E, Rosemary Oil or Tea Tree Oil. By doing so you will guard your mixtures from Free Radicals and preserve the stability of the proteins in the mixtures, as well as the proteins in your hair.
HOW TO REDUCE GERMS AND BACTERIA
When creating your mixtures, take special care not to introduce bacteria into your finished products. You can cut down on bacteria growth by taking these precautions:
Clean your containers thoroughly, prior to adding any ingredients. Use alcohol to clean your storage containers with alcohol and allow the alcohol to completely eveaporate before adding anything to them.
Boil or filter your water. Or you can use distilled water.
DO NOT put your finglers in your products! This will transfer bacteria and cross contaminateyour products. Instead, scoopout a bit with a clean and sterile utensil, for each application or pour a bit in your hand.
You can also combat bacteria growth by making just enough for a single or limited use. Avoid making large batches. You do not want to waste your ingredients. Plus, anything unused after 30 days should be discarded, especially water based products.
Water has a pH of 7. This is an ideal environment for microbes and germs to grow and party. You can lower the pH levels of your mixtures by sparingly adding natural anit-microbial (listed below) that are slightly acidic to reduce and prevent germs.
Aloe Vera Juice
Apple Cidar Vinegar
Tea Tree Oil
Final Tip on Safety and Freshnesss: Always smell before applying anything that is not made made fresh that day. If it doesnt smell right, DON'T USE IT!
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