Tag Archives: Amla

Ayurveda : : Cassia & Coconut Milk

Ayurveda : : Cassia & Coconut Milk

 

My love for ayurveda continues yet again!

So a month or so ago I used henna for the first time after being afraid of it for so long lol and I LOVED how it made my hair feel and how SHINY and strong my hair felt. I think part of my self-imposed fear of henna was the color commitment because I have a dream of lightening my hair one day (like Beyonce light lol #dontjudgeme) so I have been trying to really nurture my hair to be able to do something to drastic (if I build up enough courage do something SO drastic like that) but anywho, I say that to say that I was introduced to an alternative to henna….cassia obovata!!

It’s basically henna without the color. It gives you all the conditioning benefits of henna and is sometimes referred to as neutral henna. It doesn’t give off any color but if you have blonde hair, it will accentuate your natural highlights. If you are grey, it will make your hair blonde. For dark hair, it just conditions and makes it shiny :o)

Since I was sent some packets of cassia by a very special dear friend of mine (thank you love!), I don’t have any information on where it came from, the brand, cost, etc. What I do know is the kind I used is USDA organic and of super high quality :o)

cassia_coconut_milk_lacocobellaWhen I used henna, I mixed it with just water and a little bit of oil but THIS time, I mixed the cassia with COCONUT MILK!!! OMG!!! The moment I applied it to my hair I was like forget water! I’m using coconut milk for ALL my ayurvedic treatments from now on!! lol It makes the paste SO much creamier and easier to apply. It’s super smooth and just makes it better, for lack of better words lol. I think I also mixed in some oil (I think avacado oil or grapeseed, can’t remember which one)

I mixed the coconut oil and cassia and let it sit overnight. I guess I only did that because I did it for the henna BUT then again, I am not trying to get a dye release so I probably didn’t need to do it lol it just seemed like a nice gesture haha

Here’s the paste, I use the entire can of Foco brand coconut milk and it was thick and creamy :o) If you decide to use coconut milk, BE SURE to check the ingredients to ensure it doesn’t have sugars and added stuff in it (the ingredient listed as a preservative is fine though, you just don’t want the sweetened sugar kinds).

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I applied the paste in sections and it was a BREEZE to apply. I didn’t have to tape newspaper all over my walls, floor and sink lol. It wasn’t messy to apply because of the texture, it stayed where I put it. It just felt so smooth and creamy. I know,I know, it’s weird that I’m really excited about the applying part lol Here’s how the paste looked in my hair. It’s green like henna is.

cassia_coconut_milk_lacocobella4 cassia_coconut_milk_lacocobella cassia_coconut_milk_lacocobella2 cassia_coconut_milk_lacocobella3After I was done applying the paste, I sectioned my hair off, pinned the sections down and put on a plastic cap and then wrapped with with my Christmas edition saran wrap lol this time I didn’t wrap my head as tight as the last time lol I had a headache like a mug because I OD’d on the saran wrap! Good thing is that using the coconut prevented the paste from dripping, which I sometimes get when I use water/teas and oils with my ayurvedic treatments. I left the paste in for about 8 hours (applied in the afternoon and went about my day at home, rinsed out at night. I probably didn’t need to leave it in for that long but oh well).

Here’s me lookin crazy with my saran helmet!cassia_coconut_milk_lacocobella5OK so here’s the thing, I didn’t take any pics of my hair after I rinsed out the cassia paste because, well, it just looked really, really bad. I now see why some naturals don’t like to use henna/cassia often because it really does loosen your curl pattern. I guess I was naive and was thinking looser curl pattern = elongated curls lol welp, I was wrong! Looser curl pattern (for me) means undefined curls that just look like a hot mess! I was sadly disappointed because I LOVE the conditioning results from the cassia and henna but after using henna 2x and cassia 1x, I really see a difference in the curl pattern.

Yes, I still use amla and I know amla kind of “reverses” henna by defining your curls but its almost like a cat and mouse situation where I feel the henna and amla just counter each other. So I need to figure out the frequency that I would continue to use cassia and henna because I don’t want to lose my curl pattern, I like when they are springy and bouncy! But then again I can’t get over the shine and cassia and henna gives me.

I haven’t really been one to mix different ayurvedic powders with eachother but I think I may start doing that, meaning, I can still use cassia/henna in small amounts AND mix it with amla, brahmi, neem, etc. and still get the conditioning benefits from the cassia/henna. I still have several boxes of the Reshma Femme henna in the different color variations which contain amla already mixed in so I plan to continue using them for the rest of the year and see if cassia/henna are something I want to continue for the long run! (Of course I will share the findings with you :o) )

What have been your experiences with cassia and henna?! What have you done about the curl loosening? TIPS PLEASE!

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If You LOVE Coconut Oil….

If You LOVE Coconut Oil….

…then you’ll LOVE Dabur Vatika Enriched Coconut Hair Oil! This stuff…is amazing. You may already know how deep my love for coconut oil already is….this just brought it to a whole new level….

Since I have been on an Ayurveda kick, this was one of the products I recently bought at my local Indian market for $3.99. You ready for this?? It’s a coconut oil herbal concoction made in heaven (or India for that matter lol). Let me start by just sharing the incredible natural ingredients and why they are great:

  • Coconut Oil – Penetrates hair shaft, promotes hair growth & nourishment
  • Neem – Anti-microbial, fights dandruff & hair shed
  • Brahmi – Revitalizes hair 
  • Amla – Strengthens roots, delays graying & hair shed
  • Bahera – Helps maintains hair color
  • Harar – Protects from UV rays, delays graying
  • Kapur Kachari – Antiseptic
  • Henna – Colorant, hair conditioner & restorative
  • Milk – Nourishes scalp & roots
  • Rosemary oil – Stimulates hair growth, slows down hair loss & graying, relieves dandruff
  • Lemon Oil – Astringent, fights dandruff, controls sebum flow

This oil is super creamy, emollient and light…and that yummy coconut scent with a hint of lemon… mmmmm…..

It makes for a wonderful treatment for both your strands and your scalp. It is also great as a hot oil treatment, a pre-shampoo treatment or even an overnight treatment. You can also use it finger detangle or even mix it with your fav conditioner. This stuff just works no matter how you use it. Here’s what the packaging says:

Dabur Vatika Hair Oil is a premium coconut hair oil enriched with Henna, Amla (Indian Gooseberry), Lemon and five other trusted herbs. The unique and natural formulation of Vatika Oil ensures deeper oil penetration. Giving your hair and scalp complete nourishment for problem free, healthy hair. While Henna forms a protective coat to prevent oxidation, Amla strengthens the hair-roots and the astringent action of Lemon prevents dandruff.

I also use it lubricate my hands when un-twisting and as a moisture “refresher” when I fluff my twists. Remember, coconut oil actually penetrates the hair shaft (unlike other oils) so this strengthens and nourishes your hair PLUS the phenomenal herbs penetrate as well! It’s a win-win deal. I have also been massaging the oil into my scalp (only a little) since the herbs help strengthen your roots and prevent hair loss (LOVE the rosemary oil). It leaves your hair super shiny, not oily (if you don’t go crazy with it) and lightly scented. The moisture lasted for a few days without having to reapply (my hair is low po though…)

The only thing I can say I dislike about this product, is the packaging—you have to squeeze it out of the bottle through a tiny hole at the top. So if the oil isn’t above room temp, it will solidify. Good news is, you have to pop the bottle into the microwave for about 16 secs to melt it a bit (or in some hot water). One thing I discovered though, on accident I may add, if you squeeze the bottle hard enough while it is still solid, the white plastic part at the top with the hole pops out lol. That solved my issue with the packaging. Genius. Dabur also has a bunch of other products (like the Amla Oil)  that appear to be great products as well. I am kind of excited to try more of them hehe

This product is banging. I will be adding to my essentials list….it is overall #WINNING! Go head and get you some ;o)

Product : : Dabur Amla Oil

Product : : Dabur Amla Oil

Earlier this week I talked about Ayurvedic health care and I mentioned I purchase some Amla Oil from my local Indian grocer. Now, I have tried Amla powder before in the past (thanks to my wonderful friend Fleurzty of www.textureplayground.com who is a pro at amla lol) so when I was at my local Indian market, I saw amla oil and thought, hey, the benefits of amla in a bottle! So since I can be impulsive lol, I went ahead and bought it…it was only about $4.

As I read the ingredients, I kind of did a *side eye* because lots of naturals have given a bad rap to mineral oil and here it is the first ingredient. But reading the box and knowing how well Ayurvedic products work, I figured it couldn’t be that bad. Check out what’s inside below..

Ingredients
Mineral oil, Veg oil (Sesame oil, Canola oil, Peanut oil, Cotton seed oil, Palmolein oil), Oil ext of Goodeberry (Amla), Colours Yellow (12700), Green (61565), Red (12150), Perfume, Anti-oxidant-Tert butyl hydroquinone (TNHQ).

I know, I know….in addition to the mineral oil it has canola oil and peanut oil and dyes…I was like wtf too but the oil is supposed to strengthen the hair’s roots, soften hair, make hair shinier and darker, I mean this stuff has been used for years by Indian women and is the most popular oil used in India. So knowing all that made me feel a bit better about putting something you could fry chicken and fries (re: canola) with in my hair lol

So I followed the recommended use by applying the oil to my scalp, massaging it in and letting it sit overnight. I slept with a plastic cap on my hair and then a bonnet over it. I wore the plastic cap to help warm up the oil and help it penetrate (and to avoid any oil stains on my pillow lol). I took the cap off in the morning….omg…my hair was soooooooo soft! I was truly shocked! It even gets better…I virtually had NO shed. Like, this stuff must have glued the roots of my hair into my head or something lol it was amazing! Normally I could gently stroke my hair and still have shed hair come out but this time, I literally had no loose strands. I’m calling this super glue oil lol

The product recommends that you wash your hair the next morning after so this is another reason I feel that the oils in this product are harmless, you aren’t letting them sit on your hair for long. To me, this is definitely not an oil you’d use to seal your hair or anything like that but rather as a treatment before you know you’re going to wash.

I used the oil a couple times a week when I wore a wash-n-go (because I knew I was going to get my hair wet). I also put a few drops in part of my hair that is thinning just because. I didn’t wash this out because I used just a teeny bit. I wouldn’t use this during the weeks that I do twist-outs because I do not wash my hair.

Overall, I have seen a HUGE improvement in the amount of hair shed so I will continue to use this bottle of the oil as a treatment on my scalp. Since I plan to incorporate more Ayurvedic products to my regimen that yield the same results as the amla oil, I may not buy this regularly…but we’ll see…

— Have you tried alma? What do you think about the mineral oil content?

Ayurvedic Hair Care

Ayurvedic Hair Care

What it do?!

I mentioned the term Ayurveda in my review of Henna Sooq’s Cocoveda Shampoo Bar and I wanted to expand on the basics of Ayurvedic haircare, based on research I’ve done on the web. I stress the word basics because I am no pro at this and the concept of Ayurveda can be deep…so I’m keeping it simple for the purpose of natural hair…

Ayurvedic hair care is part of a 5,000+ year old holistic healing practice that originated in India. It is no secret that Indian women have been blessed with absolute gorgeous hair that is strong, long, thick and shiny….an Ayurvedic hair care regimen is why! Us naturals can take note and adapt a few things from Indian women.

Ayurvedic regimens consist of natural herbal/plant mixtures and powders that yield wonderful benefits like stronger, thicker, healthier, shinier and my favorite benefit…stronger roots! This means waaayy less shed! I am all for using the most natural, chemical free products to help me achieve healthy hair and I plan to introduce more Ayurvedic remedies to my regimen. I recently purchased some Alma powder, Alma oil and Vatika Oil from my local Indian market (India Bazaar if you’re in the Montgomery County area). I will post about my experiences with each of these items as I use them.

I know for some newly naturals, it may be a bit scary to come out of your comfort zone and jump into the whole Do-It-Yourself, holistic mentality of some hardcore naturals but the results of a more natural regimen are worth it, even if it’s incorporating at least one type of Ayurvedic practice into your regimen. You will see a difference!  Just remember, God created plants and herbs for the benefit of man WAY before chemicals and other synthetic ingredients were invented (by man not God) so it makes perfect sense that natural ingredients work better for natural hair :o) Another great thing about an Ayurvedic/all-natural regimen is that it is CHEAP!! Most products are under $5 and you can mix and match to make your own blends.

Here’s a few of the most commonly used Ayurvedic items for hair and a few of their benefits:

  • Henna
    • Natural way to color hair with red tones
    • Conditions, thickens and strengthens hair
    • Increases shine
    • Loosens curl pattern
    • Reduces split ends
    • Alleviates dandruff and kills lice
  • Indigo
    • Mixed with henna creates brown, black and blue tones in hair
  • Aritha
    • Cleanses hair (naturally lathers)
    • Creates bounciness in hair
    • Clarifies scalp
  • Amla
    • Strengthens roots
    • Defines curl pattern
    • Promotes hair growth
    • Strengthens hair
    • Tones down the red in henna treatments and darkens hair
    • Is a natural astringent
  • Neem
    • Promotes smooth, shiny hair
    • Anti-fungal, anti-bacterial
    • Alleviates scalp ailments like psoriasis, eczema
    • Astringent
    • Kills lice
  • Brahmi
    • Strengthens roots
    • Darkens hair
    • Makes the hair denser and shinier
    • Delays grey hairs
    • Reduces hair loss
    • Controls dandruff and treats eczema and psoriasis
  • Shikakai
    • Cleanses hair
    • pH balanced
    • Detangles hair
    • Strengthens roots
    • Prevents dandruff
    • Increases bounciness and silkiness of hair
  • Bhringraj
    • Encourages hair growth
    • Reduces hair loss
    • Reduces shed
    • Delays grey hairs

The only downside, in my opinion, to an ayurvedic hair care regimen is you must have discipline and do treatments consistently for best results. Most treatments, you’ll need about 30-60 mins to allow it to work. If you are able to incorporate the practices habitually then you are good! I plan to try and do a treatment at least once a week.

There are sooooo many herbs and natural rememdies to great hair so do your research and find what works for you! Don’t be overwhelmed by all the choices, experiment and have fun with it! Lots of the powders can double as facial masks!

here are a couple of links to help get you started! Hesh and Dabur are very popular brands and super cheap! Just make sure you buy them from reputable vendors and always check expiration dates on boxes.

Have fun!

— What Ayurvedic practices do you incorporate in your regimen?

Product :: Henna Sooq Cocoveda Shampoo Bar

Product :: Henna Sooq Cocoveda Shampoo Bar

Something new….

During my visit to the Baltimore Natural Hair Care Expo, I picked up something I had never tried before… shampoo bars! I think I am in love with the concept of washing my hair with a bar of soap lol I get a kick out of little things like that :o)

So during the expo, the Henna Sooq booth was the first thing I saw as I walked in. It’s a Maryland based company that sells a ton of henna and ayurvedic (<---I'll post about this very soon!) products. They were doing henna body art at the show! Everything they sell is 100% pure and natural. Check out their site and blog, they have a plethora of products and provide a ton of helpful information on the benefits of henna and ayurvedic hair care. It makes me really want to try more of their products and get into using henna.

Any who, back at the expo, they had a bunch of different types of hand crafted bars, which all smelt nice and earthy—some better than others—but all pretty good for the most part. I was definitely staring at the display for a good five mins trying to decide which two to get lol. After reading the ingredients and talking with one of the owners, Jamal (who was really nice, cool and helpful by the way), I ended up getting the full sizes (4.25 oz) of the Cocoveda Shampoo Bar and the Black Velvet Body Bar (good for hair and body; haven’t used the Black Velvet yet though) for the 2 for $10 deal (they are $7 online).

I chose the Cocoveda bar because of the ingrediants (and the cocoa-y scent!). The owner assured me that this was one of the most moisturizing. It’s rich and lathers really well, pH balanced and all natural. This bar also helps stimulate hair growth due to the ginger essential oil content and amla. I know the bars look a bit scary lol but they are harmless :o)

Here’s what’s in the Cocoveda bar:

Unrefined organic shea butter, cocoa butter, organic high oleic sunflower oil, organic coconut milk, organic henna, organic amla, shikakai, bhringraj, bhrahmi, nagarmotha, ginger essential oil

Oh and another thing, these bars will last a really long time. I imagine I could get at least 20 washes (?) out of one bar, maybe even more than that. The website instructs you to cut pieces of the bar so that you don’t get the entire thing wet each time you wash.

Now for the fun part…using the bar! lol I sectioned my hair in about 6 sections while in the shower and rubbed the wet bar on my scalp. It creates enough natural lather that it can spread over the length of your hair. I made sure I did a good scalp scrubbing and let it sit in my hair until I washed each section. Then I rinsed it all out at the end and applied my conditioner.

My hair is like super SQUEAKY clean…like literally squeaky as in you can hear your hair squeak lol. That feeling can be mistaken for it being dry or waxy but its because of the ayurvedic ingredients opening up the hair cuticle so it’s imperative that you use a good conditioner right away to close the cuticles back up. It’s good for low porosity hair since it’s difficult for our hair cuticles to up and “receive” the conditioner. And as soon as I applied conditioner, that weird squeaky feeling went away and it was pure hair bliss after that! Super clean, shiny, bouncy, weightless curls!

My fav part is how well it cleaned my scalp. I had been having “issues” with my scalp and ayurvedic products supposedly help so we’ll see after some uses. I must say though, it’s been over a week (I co-washed once) and my scalp is not itchy like it normally would have been by now. That’s the only reason why I had been washing so frequently with shampoo so I’m really excited about the benefit of these bars. I may have the to freedom to go back to co-washing more like I used to. Kinda geeked about that :o)

This is definitely a keeper! You know I had been looking for a shampoo sooooo I may add this to my .essentials list hehe. Using a solid as a shampoo may not be for everyone since it’s a different concept than your average shampoo-in-a bottle, but at the very least, it’s fun to use! Lots of folks have given up liquid shampoos to bars and swear by them. Just google it and give it a try ;o)

Im excited to try the other bar I got and other ones as well!

—Any experiences with shampoo bars?