Saturday, 17 February 2018

Beast Mode... An Ayurvedic Hair Challenge

Is it possible to have a chilled out challenge? I'm trying.

The rules of the challenge are simple to explain but tricky to find in one place.

1. It is hosted and being run by Curly Proverbz
2. It is an ayurvedic/plant based challenge with a prize for the winner . It runs for 3 months and has two start dates: 1st Feb - 1st May OR 14th Feb - 14th May.
3. To enter the challenge [and the competition, I assume], you post a picture on instagram or facebook with the tags:  #beastmodehairkit #curlyproverbzhairgrowthchallenge, #bellebarorganic .

1st prize 6 months supply of the hair growth kit by belle bar.

2nd prize 3 months
3rd Prize $65 gift card for belle bar organic for email entry

4. If you hate DIY-ing with a passion, she has collaborated with bellebarorganics so you can get some of the products from them. She shows how she uses them here.
5. If you love DIY-ing (or have a ridiculously-sized stash to use up, like me πŸ˜…), then the essential videos seem to be:

  • A hair tea [video for DIY recipe here and how she uses it in a week here]
  • A hair oil [video for DIY recipe here, how she applies and uses it here] combined with scalp massage [video here]
  • A deep conditioning mix [video here]
Because I'm DIY4lyfe, I fall in with the budget crowd, whose suggested routine looks like this:
The stuff in italics and bolded are my own personal notes as to how I'm going to modify it for myself.

Week 1
Prepoo with oil [Onion Garlic ] OR Gloss (1 tsp of your favourite ayurvedic powder) and conditioner
Shampoo & Moisturizing DC – Anita Grant Coconut Monoi shampoo & Shea Moisture JBCO.
Leave in conditioner – Shea Butter Cottage leave in or Anita Grant Double Cream
Use DIY tea max 3 days in a week. [See recipe below]
DIY Oil scalp and massage max 3 days in a week. [See recipe below]
Moisturise and seal daily [Using Jasmine oil or Almocado Coco Moisture Butter]

Week 2
Cowash or Clay Wash & Moisturizing DC. Rhassoul Clay or Eden Body Works Coconut Cowash and  Shea Moisture JBCO
Leave in conditioner – Shea Butter Cottage leave in or Anita Grant Double Cream
Use DIY tea max 3 days in a week. [See recipe below]
DIY Oil scalp and massage max 3 days in a week. [See recipe below]
Moisturise and seal daily [Using Strengthening tea or more moisturising tea and jasmine oil or Almocado coco moisture butter]


Drink Bamboo tea at least every other day, take Vitamin D, eat lots of veggies 
[She suggests MSM, Vitamin C and a multivitamin]

My alterations & recipes
1. The Onion Garlic Prepoo instead of using the DIY oil as a prepoo.
I caught wind of this video down below and thought it was worth a try every other week. I liked her video on how Ayurveda could be applied to coily hair and how she showed her results using the prepoo over a couple of months.

I always have onions and garlic in the house so I thought, eh what harm can it do?πŸ’πŸ™ˆ Apparently, it's anti-bacterial so might sort out any grunk causing bacteria and contains sulfur which is good for growing hair follicles.

                                                                        We shall see.

Doesn't the hair tea look pretty??
2. My DIY tea this week consists of 1 tablespoon each of :

  • Catnip - reduces split ends and conditions hair.
  • Green Tea - blocks DHT and reduces shedding.
  • Infused jasmine flowers - Waste not, want not, right? Left over from this successful venture. The leftover oil still on the flowers adds some richness to the mixture.
  • Hops - adds shine, strength and makes hair appear thicker.
  • Calendula - soothing, soothing, and even more scalp soothing! Moisturizes and restore strands, increases collagen production and circulation in hair follicles.
  • Coltsfoot - contains high content of cystine (an amino acid), sulfur and silica (minerals); will strengthen the hair, promote growth. Soothes the scalp,  softens and adds elasticity and sheen to the hair shaft. Guards against microbial infection, and exhibits anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Red Cornflowers - to make it look pretty and appealing!
  • Lavender flowers - for the smell. The scent of hops is not to be trifled with.

When I made it into a tea, I used 2 tablespoons of the tea mix and I added 1 tablespoon of some ayurvedic powder (I couldn't find my henna) and 1 teaspoon of amla then poured hot water over it and left to steep for 4-6 hours.

DIY fenugreek oil 
Originally, I was going to make a traditional amla oil and then infused fenugreek but I...forgot 
So far I have some fenugreek infused coconut oil and some fenugreek infused sesame oil.

I'll be using both for my head massages and seeing how I like it 'em. 

Are you taking part? On Instagram or facebook?

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Do More With Less - Stash Busting 2018

How does this keep happening?

There are layers to this madness. Also, the rest of it is in my room.

Looking at this basket full of...well, stuff, I sigh.
My body feels heavy. 
Why do I keep hoarding? 
I find it so easy to tell myself that I'm actually quite minimalistic compared to some people but I know that the only area of my life that I'm truly pleased with how much (little?) I have is my skin care routine. I half want to push it all into a cupboard for another year, shoving my hand in intermittently for whatever single product I desire (ignoring all others!) and then rinse and repeat for the new year 2019.

Naaah. I can feel that this year is a going to be a year of letting go.

And jeez, isn't that a scary thought? To let go? To release? It's almost easier to stay in the spaces we've set out for ourselves than to explore the frightening liberation of a huge world without the weight. To stay buried under all the things I persuaded myself I needed in order to succeed at my hair goals and thus at life.

This year, I want to get down to mid back length (I'm about an inch or two away from my back bra strap). Having this hoard is definitely not going to help me get there. Lemme strip back and find what works for me, rather than trying to (unsuccessfully) emulate the success of others.

I'm still going to try and I AM going to be more mindful about my hair care. No more rush job on a Sunday because I think I should. I want to do less in general, so that I have the time to really experience the little I will be doing.

So rather than: 'wash deep condition strengthen condition stretch moisturise wait to dry style for twenty years go go go'...I want to just do one at a time and do it well. Does that make sense? I feel really wishy washy here and vague with my ramblings, but I know what I mean in my belly. I can feel the fire starting to crackle there for the fighting and struggling and fear and anxiety coming this year and I'm determined to face it without the weight of somebody else's armour.

The plan  hope/desire hair-wise for this year:

  • Keep using henna.
  • Moisturise regularly using my herb teas.
  • Decide what products I like and will actually use (I'm a sucker for a good smell or a natural hair fad). I am currently building a spreadsheet and dear God, it is a behemoth of a thing. I know I'll be grateful when it's done but right now, it feels like extreme self-flagellation by Excel πŸ˜‚
  • Get rid of products I'm ambivalent about [including through this blog and instagram]. 
  • Keep my needs and routines simple. 
  • Connect with people, not 'brands', on Instagram. (You know what I mean. Can't have a conversation with an actual person, just getting media snippets and regurgitated niceties. If I don't know where their general interests lay...well, no ma'am, no ham, no thank you.)

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Saturday, 22 July 2017

This Week's Tea

You ready, huh?

Welp, sorry to disappoint you. But the only scandalous thing around here (at the moment) is my shedding - absolutely shameful!

Friday, 14 July 2017

Is this...Hair Dysmorphic Disorder?

Around this time of the year, my most terrible (hair-related) condition kicks in:

Hair Dysmorphic Disorder is anxiety based on:
- The mistaken idea that your hair is longer/shorter or bigger/smaller than it is.
- An unrealistic perception of your hair's current state.
- A distorted view of what your hair is actually like.
-Watching too many blasted Youtube videos at a time

Symptoms may include (but are not limited to)

  • Excessively switching up your routine every two weeks as the last one clearly wasn't working because your hair absolutely, most definitely has NOT grown since you last measured it two seconds ago ....

But I just ate some veggies now and they're s'posed to be good for GROWTH!
Why am I still at this length?!
  • Spending a long time and a lot of money trying to cover up what you think is wrong with your hair - if you can't pay the bills but you can buy that fancy 130% guaranteed growth oil, and you spend half your life upside down and nauseous for the sake of growth then you may be suffering from hair dysmorphic disorder!
  • Constantly comparing your hair to other people's on the internet and thus losing all sense of perception. (Please read An Inch is an Inch for an idea of what this loss of perception looks like. Also, beware of Small Girls with Big Hair, and also petite ladies who seemingly have 3 inches between their shoulders and their waistline compared to your 14 inches.)
The hair on the small girl has literally been copied and pasted on the bigger girl. Promise. 
  • Constant incredulity at the difference between the 'growth' of your hair and someone else's - "How come her hair is growing so fast?? Mine doesn't grow. My hair is broken/useless/not as great." etc etc 
Ma'am! Have a seat. Her hair was already longer to begin with.

This often results in a sense of dissatisfaction, distress, and a lack of remembering how awesome your hair actually is.

Post inspired (especially the last point) by this picture and  then this picture.
How'm I gonna be this old and can't tell the difference between mebbe Armpit Length and definitely Waist Length??Mess...

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Fine Bun

Styled in 10 minutes flat Γ  la Neffyfrofro yesterday night.

I think I'm going to have to keep this in for another night and day.

My hair never does too well in buns. It doesn't want me to have nice thing and thus I fear this will not end well πŸ˜•
Wish me luck y'all πŸ˜‚πŸ˜­

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Wash Day Inspired by 22nd Century Natural Woman and the Ladies of Chad

That is a long arse title but writing this up made me feel like this wash day was a long one. 
I promise it wasn't as long as it apparently appears.

I started off by slathering my head in the last of my fenugreek infused coconut oil.

It shouldn't have been the last but I got fed up and made sure it was.

After about an hour, I jumped into the shower with Mane Choice Easy on the Curls Shampoo, making sure to cleanse. Usually I twist or plait my hair but today I decided to bantu knot instead.

There were a few moments of unraveling but I liked it better - it made my hair easier to access for the different steps and I felt I was manipulating it less.

Then I stroked on a DIY deep conditioner  I'd made earlier inspired by 22nd Century Natural Woman's Deep conditioner. (Her channel is here).

I used:

  • a tablespoon of shea butter,
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 generous tablespoon of honey
  • about 1/4 cup (60ml) of freshly boiled rosemary tea (rosemary leaves + hot water - DONE)
  • 2 teaspoons of guar gum.

Experimenting down to my very bones, I started off by throwing everything except the guar gum and rosemary tea in a bowl and smashing them together with my electric whisk.

No dice.

So I just kept adding guar gum and rosemary tea in turn until it all sort of came together and stopped looking like it was on the verge of separation.

My deep conditioner ended up having an interesting moulding dough texture (too much guar gum?)

 but it slid on my hair smoover than a 90s R'n'B love song.

 Aaaaall my liiiiiife....been waiting for someone like yooooou

Bantu knots were the stretch keeper of the day and they were all covered with a plastic cap and then submerged under with an impromptu head wrap before wandering around for a while.
In public or just in my house? You deciiide...

Came back and uncovered everything. I'd expected the DC to have hardened but it was still liquidy and soft.
I rinsed it out easily with warm water and there was some exceptional slip thanks to the guar gum. I bantu knotted again (SERIOUSLY. WHY HAVE I NEVER DONE THIS BEFORE?!) and smothered my hair in a T-shirt to dry/be less wet.

What to do next? Well, I'd seen this video on facebook...

And I thought to myself, yeah, nah, I don't know where to find chΓ©bΓ© seeds (a gluten free brand just comes up - okay, okay so I did try to find it - LOL! πŸ˜‚) but I found the slathering action of the concoction really soothing and reasoned it was just really well protected with heavy protected then braided. I do that anyway without the heavy product. And when it's the first of July, but the coconut oil looks like this:

Solid as a rock!

Then maybe my hair needs a little bit heavy duty protection.

So I left on Alikays Lemongrass leave in, and then added my butterful delight from Almocado - the Twist and Twirl cream. It's a water based butter cream and I think I may be in love. But more on that later.

I went in with the butter on the ends - as in, no subtlety here please, I want - no, need -  to believe it is buttered.

'Cept even MORE generous!
My hair went from this on the ends:

Bare hair

With Alikay Naturals Lemon Grass Leave In

To this.
Aaand finally, with Almocado Twist and Twirl Buttercream!
I choose this area to show the different squiggles on my head too - although it made a significant difference on the right, I don't think it made any on  the left.

And then I braided it. I did have some obvious residue because I've never used so much before (and a little of this stuff normally goes a loooooong way for me) but, like I said, I was inspired by the women of Chad for some extra protection against our British summertime weather™. I popped a scarf on it then bed.

This morning, some of the plaits still had white stuff but by the end of the day, it was all gone.

I'm hoping that the extra butter layer helps with moisture and keeping my ends feeling nourished. We'll see how that goes.

I mean, I'm just like....I better not wake up tomorrow with some crispy hair.