Sunday, February 6, 2011

Hair Care Revisited

Well after about a year of trying different things I think I've finally worked out something that actually works for my hair. And I have to say that its so simple I'm mad it took me so long (about 8 months) to try it.

In the end I've pretty much done what many people call "going natural". After months of trying different chemical laden store bought products that seemed to work for a short time before the dandruff came back full force I've settle on a pretty small list of things to use.

I wash my hair twice a week now. There's the main wash during the weekend which I've expended into an overall cleansing process that I do about every other Sunday where I shave (both ends), wash my hair, and shower. Kind of a way to clear away last week to get ready for the coming week. When I do this main wash I first dissolve about 3tbsp of baking soda in a liter of hot water and pour it over my head and rub it in like shampoo. Let that sit for a few minutes and rinse it out like shampoo. This serves to soften up the dirts and oils and dandruff that have collected on your scalp so the shampoo has an easier job.

Shampoo - In a 4oz. bottle (that I once had jojoba oil in):
A little under 2oz. of Castile Soap

Just enough Jojoba Oil to get to the halfway mark of the bottle

About 10-15 drops of Rosemary Oil

After this you should have right around a 1/2 full bottle. Fill the rest with hot water. But I recommend a slow stream because if you turn it on full blast you will cause the castile soap to lather and you'll end up with a bottle full of suds.

Use it just like you would use any other shampoo.

A few thing:
Jojoba Oil, while a nice all around oil, is pretty pricey. That 4oz. bottle I mixed that shampoo in cost about $13. I got somewhat lucky and found it in a nature food store that's about 2 hours from my house (but I go there about twice a month so its not that big a deal) but if you can't find it near you it can be found online in a lots of places like Amazon.

Castile Soap is a soap made from a small list of ingredients. (This is what is actually listed on the bottle):
  • Water
  • Coconut Oil
  • Potassium Hydroxide (which is lost during the saponifying process)
  • Organic Olive Oil
  • Tea Tree Extract (The bottle I'm reading this from is the Tea Tree scented soap. The extract will vary depending on which one you buy like Lavender, Almond, etc....)
  • Organic Hemp Oil
  • Organic Jojoba Oil
  • Citric Acid
  • Tocopherol

Compared to the list of ingredients on most shampoos I don't think that's too bad. I have been able to find this in the same store as the Jojoba Oil but it can be found online as well.

Rosemary Oil can be pricey if you don't notice that you don't use that much of it at a time. Yes you could pay about $10 for a 3oz. bottle but bear in mind that you are only using it about 10 drops at a time so it will last you for a good while. Just like the other two you can pick this up in stores and find it online.

Oh and after I finish washing my hair and I dry it I oil my scalp with a mixture of 1 part Shea Butter (was able to get it at a beauty store but can probably be found online) 2 parts Jojoba Oil and about 5 drops of Rosemary Oil. Melt the Shea Butter down then mix in the oils. What should happen is that the Shea Butter will resolidify however the oils should be enough to keep them from solidifying completely leaving you with something like soft butter that melts as soon as you rub it between your fingers to put it on your scalp. I also use this twice daily (in the morning before work and at night after getting home with a sleep cap on top).

As for the second weekly wash that usually comes on Wednesday. I start with the baking soda dissolved in water like I mentioned above and use it the same as above. However instead of using my shampoo mix I mix about a 1/4 cup of vinegar in a liter of water and rinse my hair with that. Let it sit in for a few minutes then rise out with water.

Let me tell you this has worked wonders for my hair. My poor afro was no longer hard and brittle. It was actually soft and my scalp didn't itch all the damn time.

Yeah I said "was". You see after experimenting on my hair with so many products (and more importantly getting up the nerve to have more than 1 inch cut off my hair in over 6 years) I just had to cut off Fro (noticed I haven't been tipping my Fro lately?). So now that my hair is short, even short enough to wear hats, I can now regrow my Fro with this proper regimen of care and it will be greater than ever. (Insert maniacal laugh fading into silence.)