Friday, February 19, 2010

Get in the Kitchen to Hair Condition - Spritz for (dread) locs

locs require special care for a variety of reasons. They need moisture but you should avoid things that cause build up and attract lint and dirt.

Homemade loc spritz:

Mix olive oil, almond oil and jojoba oil in a bottle with witchhazel. Of all of the oils most of it should be olive oil. Shake and spritz.  You can add your favorite essential oil or alcohol free perfume for fragrance.  Once again I do not have exact measurements it is a matter of trail and error and personal preference.  I tend to add more olive oil when it's dry and cold out.  No the olive oil smell doesn't stay on the hair.

I use witchhazel, which can be found at a drugstore, instead of water because locs can get dry rot.  If they are kept wet/damp they may be susceptible to getting mold in them.  Witchhazel is a mild astringent/antiseptic that can also be used on things like bug bites and minor wounds. Sometimes I use it as a facial toner, when I'm breaking out.

Get a bottle that gives more of a mist than a direct stream. Spritz the hair, give your hair a quick rub nnd shake to keep the oil from just sitting on the surface that's it!

You don't have to shampoo natural hair - try a co-wash instead!

Co-washing is simply using a conditioner to wash your hair instead of shampoo.  The harsh detergents in shampoos can often strip black natural hair of oils causing dryness and tangeling.  Since black hair tends to be dense it's not really needed to remove all of the oils to keep it from going limp. The conditioner combined with the agitation of your fingers will still remove odour, sweat, dirt and hair products.

Pick up your favorite non-expensive conditioner and wash your hair with that.  I used to like to use Aussie Moist conditioner.  You'll probably find that your hair will be softer and more moist than if you use shampoo.

On occasion use a shampoo to really kind of clarify your hair. For those of you that "grease" your scalp because it is dry/flakey co-washing may help reduce the scalp dryness thus stopping the need to "grease" your scalp.  I never did scalp "greasing"  it just caused my scalp to sweat and get stinky.  I think it used to help cause my face to break out too.  

However with my locks I do use shampoo. For a while I've been using Dr. Bronners Castille Soap.  It can be found in health stores.  I don't co-wash my locs because locs are basically strands of matted hair.  I do not really want to loosen my locs, however I condition with a traditional conditoner about once every 6 weeks to keep them healthy.  I use natural oils like Castor or olive oil to condition them about every second wash.

Get in the Kitchen to Hair Condition

I've said it a few times already but I like to use natural type products to take care of my hair.  You can get in the kitchen to hair condition.  A lot of things that we eat are good conditioners for natural hair.

Hair conditioning recipes:

I deep condition with olive oil, heat it up apply to hair and put a plastic cap/bag on hair. I also do the same with Castor oil.  You can go under a hair dryer or put a towel in the microwave for a bit and then wrap it  around the plastic cap. I then rinse it out with warm water and then rinse my hair with as cold of water as I can stand. I mean COLLLLD it helps to reseal the hair follicles.

When wearing an afro I used to mash up avocado, olive oil, maybe a 1/4 of a bannana , about 3 tablespoons of plain yogurt and a little honey, maybe a teaspoon. Once again put a cap on your head and let it sit.  I haven't done this since I've had locks I don't want anything to get stuck in them since this mix can be a bit chunky and very creamy.

Keeping Natural Black Hair Moisturized

Here is something simple, cheap and natural that worked for me.

Simply mix glycerine and water in a spray bottle, shake it and spritz the hair with it.

Glycerine is a clear, sweet tasting, slightly thick substance that you can buy at your local drugstore.  It is not expensive and can often be found in the area of the drugstore that sells withchazel and almond oil. It costs less than 5 dollars for a pretty decent sized bottle - also keep in mind that you will be diluting it with water.

This is the same glycerine that is put in suppositories and is used for the same reason.  In a suppository glycerine attracts water to the bowel the help dissolve hard feces.  I'm only talking about glycerine and doo-doo because it also attracts water/moisture to hair and skin.  If you can put glycerine inside of your body it is safe to put on your hair. You will find that glycerine is an ingredient in a lot of bath soaps for the same reason.  I tend to be drawn to hair products that are more natural.

I do not have an exact measurement of how much water and how much glycerine to use because everyone's hair is different.  If you have more of a loose curl or silky texture you probably want to use a bit less glycerine in your mix because it may weigh your hair down. If you have a tighter curl and more wooly texture you may want to add more glycerine.

It basically comes down to trail and error.  With repeated and excessive use it may cause your hair to become slightly sticky or limp, however when it gets to that point it's probably time to wash your hair anyway.

A glycerine/water mix is also great for men's/boy's hair because it is odourless.

If you'd like you can add a bit of jojoba oil and your favorite essential oil to your spritz  for fragrance.  Jojoba oil is one of the closest oils to the natural oil produced by human skin.  You can buy it  at a health store. It is fairly expensive considering the size of bottle that you will get but you only need to use a few drops.

Lastly you can put the glycerine/water spritz on your skin.  I wouldn't recommend it as a daily lotion because your skin will feel a bit sticky, you may want to use it at bed time on occasion if you have really dry skin.  It's great for dry areas like elbows.  Also if you are showing your legs and want a nice healthy sheen on your legs you can use a very diluted glycerine/water spritz to get a nice healthy sheen.