Tag Archives: Essential Oils

Gel : : DIY Homemade Flax Seed Gel

Gel : : DIY Homemade Flax Seed Gel

*Long post alert* lol

So I have had some flax seeds sitting in my kitchen for over a year…literally lol!! I bought some from Whole Foods a LOOOOONG time ago after seeing a few YouTube videos on how to make your own hair gel for less than a few bucks AND you can re-use the seeds to make more gel! Needless to say, I never got around to using them lol until now! Glad they keep well and don’t go bad haha

So you may always hear me complaining about how I just can’t seem to get wash-n-gos right blah blah blah, so I’m like hmmmm, maybe the answer to all my hair problems is FLAX SEEDS!! lol well, I guess I dream big but I can’t say it is the answer l but I think I am a few steps closer which is good :o)

You may already know that flax seeds are super healthy and beneficial to the body internally but here’s a little bit about how flax seed gel is good for your hair. Flax seed gel is rich in omega-3 so its extremely nourishing and makes your hair soft and shiny. It helps define your curls because it has a light hold. You can use the gel for wash-n- go’s, twists, twist outs, etc. Another great thing about this homemade gel is it mixes well with other products, you know how sometimes commercial gels mixed with conditioners and other products can create white, cottage cheese like chunks all in your hair? Well, no worries with flax seed gel (another example of how all natural products work better and are in harmony with each other!)

Ok so how did I make the gel? Well, there a ton of recipes out there but it seems that the basis of all of them start with a simple ratio of flax seeds to water in order to get a good consistency — 1/4 cup of seeds, 2 cups of water ((most people say use distilled water which I’m sure is better but #AintNobodyGotTimeFaThat and I use good ole tap water)). Here’s what else you’ll need:

  • A stove :o)
  • Medium sized sauce pan
  • Wood spoon to stir mixture
  • An old stocking or small strainer
  • 1/4 cup flax seeds (You can use more/less seeds for thinner/thicker gel)
  • 2 cups of water
  • Carrier or Essential oils (optional)
  • Air tight container to store your gel (an old product container will be perfect…oh and one that doesn’t melt easy preferably….you’ll see why in a sec)

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So for the oils, I used a mixture of myrtle EO, lavender EO, peppermint EO, cederwood EO and castor oil. I love essential oils and tend to use them all at once lol They smell so divine!! Oh and I love Chipotle too lol

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Alright so I poured the 2 cups of water and 1/4 cup of flax seeds into a sauce pan, set the stove to a about medium heat and bring it to a boil. You have to stir often to make sure the seeds don’t stick. Once it starts boiling, you will see a frothy white covering on the top and the water will start to thicken. It’s kind of fun to watch lol I like “science-like” projects like these haha same sort of excitement when you mix baking soda and liquid aminos hehehomemade_flaxseed_gel_lacocobella_3

Here I turned down the burner a bit and you can really see the gel forming, its got a gooey, mucusy consistency. It will still be somewhat runny at this point because it is hot, once it cools it will thicken. I let it boil for about 7 mins or so.homemade_flaxseed_gel_lacocobella_4So here is the tricky part that  I really wish someone would have told me about lol ((or at least my common sense should have kicked in lol)). Alright so transferring the gel from the pot into the container was a MESS. FIRST, I should have realized that I should let the gel COOL DOWN a bit BEFORE trying to pour it into a plastic container or else THIS will happen….homemade_flaxseed_gel_lacocobella_FAIL

WHOMP WHOMP……. #Fail.  -__-  and yes the gel gets HOT, boiling hot to be exact duh Lauren!

Luckily, I had a glass jar available and I ended up using that BUT another very key step in transferring the gel into that container is to put the stocking around the opening of your container. I realized this AFTER I attempted the pour it into the melted container and I ended up getting seeds everywhere, I had like 3 bowls, a cookie sheet trying to control the mess. It was hectic needless to say lol and it shouldn’t have been! I had to think fast so I like grabbed everything that was in sight lol another one of my kitchen escapades of course haha I am sure if you attempt this, it will be a much smoother process :o)

So I say all that because in the pic below, you’ll see the stocking wrap around the top of the bowl ((just imagine the bowl is a nice, non-melted jar)), and you pour the gel and the seeds in the middle of the stocking. This prevents the seeds from getting in the gel.homemade_flaxseed_gel_lacocobella_5Then, you have to squeeeeeeeeze all the gel out through the stocking. I used some tongs to do this because, again, the gel is still quite hot. So keep doing this until you can get a good amount of the gel out through the stocking.homemade_flaxseed_gel_lacocobella_6

After all the squeezing, I added the oils I mentioned at the beginning of the post, stirred it a bit and poured the gel from the bowl into a jar (of course you will have already been squeezing it into your final, non-melted jar)…and thats it! The final product will look like the pic below.  The gel will keep for about 2 weeks if you keep it in the fridge.

ALSO, save your seeds! You can reuse them :o) just store them in another air-tight container, keep them in the fridge until you need to make more gel. So economical :o)homemade_flaxseed_gel_lacocobella_7

If none of the above made any sense lol just watch this video by one of my hair crushes Naptural85 below ((I know, I know, I probably could have spared you and put this at the beginning of this post haha))

Annnnnddd for the results on my hair…. ok so I am still very torn about wash-n-go’s. I feel like this did nothing for me when I used it straight up on my natural curl pattern BUT keep in mind, my hair in the pics below is extremely raggedy on the ends because I am growing out old color and it makes my curl pattern look all jacked. I say this because I got a trim since I did this WNG and my curls are definitely more poppin but yea….so um I may have to revisit this wash-n-go and I need to put a really good leave-in on first. Ugh, I’ll figure it out one day…

Freshly applied, day 1….

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Here is day 1 hair at the end of the day, completely dry….. booooo another WHOMP WHOMP :o( homemade_flaxseed_gel_lacocobella_13 homemade_flaxseed_gel_lacocobella_11 homemade_flaxseed_gel_lacocobella_12 homemade_flaxseed_gel_lacocobella_14

BUT WAIT!!! There is hope for this gel!!!  I have seen several gels advertised to be used for twists and I would just always write that use off because I always think of anything pertaining to gel being crunchy and without movement, not soft and full of body like butters so I am like how is that supposed to work for twists? Unless you wanted some stiff crunchy twists. But I had seen several fellow curlies use gels but mixed with a butter or leave-in for twist-outs. The butter/leave-in helps keep the hair soft and pliable while still allowing some hold from the gel.

So when in doubt, I always return to my trusty twist-outs and I decided to try it with this gel. And let me tell you, I like it!! I don’t know why I had never tried this before! I used the flax seed gel and a butter and I LOOOVED the results!! My hair was very defined, soft and super shiny! Plus I was able to get all the benefits of the flax seed. I also really loved that the gel sort of kept my hair from feeling oily or heavy. It also helped battle humidity a bit which is a HUGE plus over here on the east coast. Check out the results below!

twistout_flaxseed_gel_lacocobella3twistout_flaxseed_gel_lacocobellatwistout_flaxseed_gel_lacocobella4  twistout_flaxseed_gel_lacocobella2

Hopefully you’ve made it this far down the post and are still reading this lol but I hope you can benefit from making a homemade gel and save you some dollas. I am certainly working on my wash-n-gos this summer and have a few things I want to try and hopefully get it right. I have gotten quite a few tips from readers and I will definitely be taking your advice! I will be sure to post my results!

Alrighty, that’s enough for now. Until next time :o)

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Treatment :: Karen’s Body Beautiful Secret Weapon Restorative Hair Treatment

Treatment :: Karen’s Body Beautiful Secret Weapon Restorative Hair Treatment

Hey there :o)

OK I have finally tried and reviewed ALL the products from Karen’s Body Beautiful that are available in select Target stores NOW! The last review is on the Secret Weapon Restorative Hair Treatment which retails for $25 for 4 oz and $38 for 8 oz on KBB’s site and also on CurlMart 4 oz for $25. YES I know, I know, KBB’s price point is a bit on the high side BUT you really are paying for what you get, high quality, all-natural, consistency in results and a little goes a long way. I’ve mentioned in the past that I was an avid user of the Sweet Ambrosia, it was something I ALWAYS made sure I saved up for and my hair was probably the healthiest it had ever been (that was back in 2008). It’s definitely worth the investment. Oh and if you missed my other posts on KBB product experiences, check them out below:

The thing I LOVE most about KBB (besides the fact that her products are all natural and work phenomenally well AND consistently) is that there is literally a product for EVERY need that a natural may have. You know how we have SO many steps, rituals and practices in maintaining our hair, and KBB recognizes that and literally has a product for every step of the way. It makes being natural really easy if you hate having to search around for different products or if you don’t like mixing up a bunch of different things. KBB already has it covered for you!

Now,I don’t mean that KBB’s products are like a “system” where its like Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, I mean that there is a product for every need and hair type i.e. moisture, spritzer, sealing, hold, treatment, pre-poo, condition, scalp, etc. etc. I also love that some of her products have multiple uses, not just what’s indicated on the labels. PLus they all work really well together so you can mix and match! It’s just an extremely well-rounded line of products and you can clearly tell the KBB listens to what us naturals need, how we use our products and I am sure she uses her own stuff on herself! I just love it! :o) ….and now you can buy all this right down the street from Target! #winning :o)

But ok, let’s stay focused lol back to the Secret Weapon Restorative Hair Treatment….

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Description
Karen’s Body Beautiful Secret Weapon Restorative Hair Treatment is a velvety textured deep conditioning pre-shampoo treatment that strengthens, repairs and restores tresses. Filled with Argan, Carrot Seed, Aloe Vera Oils, Pygeum, Nettle, & Saw Palmetto Extracts and Rosemary & Rose Otto Essential Oils.

Melt Secret Weapon in your palms. Thoroughly massage into hair and scalp. Leave in hair for at least 20 minutes or even overnight (wear a shower cap). Shampoo and condition. Use weekly

Ingredients
Palm Oil, Lecithin, Argan Oil, Vegetable Wax, Citric Acid, Vitamin C & E, Aloe Vera Oil, Pygeum & Saw Palmetto Extracts, Stevia, Silica, Rosemary & Carrot Seed Essentials Oils, Biotin, Nettle & Rose Otto Essential Oil. Glycerin Free. Paraben Free. Silicone Free. Sulfate Free. Protein Free

This product is really unique to me. I have never seen a pre-made product intended for pre-shampooing (see, this is what I mean by KBB has a product for everything a natural already does!). Most pre-poo treatments I’ve ever done or hear others talk about are just applying oil on their hair and sleeping with a plastic cap overnight. So this takes that practice to another level. You still get the benefits of the oils but this contains other enhancing ingredients like the stevia, silica, biotin and all those delectable essential oils :o) It is unscented which kind of saddened me because you know I love KBB’s scents. Oh well :o)

I apply this creamy, emollient treatment the night before wash day on dry hair. It surprisingly has a lot of slip so I didn’t have to go overboard on the application. I leave my hair in about 4 sections, pin them down close to my head (for comfort sleeping), place a shower cap on, then my scarf over the plastic and go to bed. The next day, I rinse out the treatment, wash and condition regularly. I really, really like how strong my hair feels after this treatment! You can definitely tell that it penetrates your strands. I didn’t have as many snap, crackles and pops after my hair was dry!

This is definitely a higher end product and my hair is pretty healthy at this point (by the grace of God and good hair practices!) so I don’t think I would buy this regularly but I definitely would consider treating myself to this maybe 1-2x a year to give my hair a strengthening boost. If you are trying to recover your hair from damage from maybe heat or color (or even relaxer!) and trying to nourish it back to health, this may work wonders for you :o)

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Tip Tuesday! — Dry, Itchy Scalp

Tip Tuesday! — Dry, Itchy Scalp

Do you suffer from a super dry, itchy scalp during the winter?

I get a lot of questions about this….First off, DON’T keep greasing your scalp! When I say grease, I mean the Blue Magic, Ultra Sheen, Softee kind. That’s a huge no no!

Those kinds of hair dressings are made of petroleum (like Vaseline petroleum!) and they do nothing for your scalp except cause even more problems. They clog your pores, don’t penetrate your hair or skin and trap dirt—all of which contribute to scalp issues (think bacterial and fungal problems!) Don’t believe me, just Google it! Google knows everything ;o) lol

Rather than use a heavy grease, keep your scalp CLEAN and apply a lighter oil like pure coconut (no, not Blue Magic Coconut lol), grapeseed or jojoba. Adding a few drops of essential oils like tea tree, peppermint or rosemary will help improve your scalp even more. Thyme and Cedarwood EO’s are really great for the scalp as well. The key is to oil your scalp on clean hair, other wise you may just trap dirt on your scalp. If you desperately need to, re-oil 1-2 in between washes.

If you can’t wash your hair often, try co-washing, just make sure you are getting rid of dirt and the flaky residue regularly. When the flakes are mixed with the oil, you will get a funky mess on your scalp which can cause your scalp to itch even more.

One last tip is….you guessed it….ayurvedic treatments! I am telling you, these GOD sends help with EVERY hair issue one can think of! Try them out!

Hope this helps!

Wanna see my baby hairs?!

Wanna see my baby hairs?!

I know I keep talking about how I was losing hair, it was falling out, blah bla blah, and I’m sure you’re like uh I can’t tell, well I CAN!! dangit….

Anyway, here’s a picture of what the hairs look like growing in all over my head. The hair is about 2.5″ and really fine, like baby hairs lol I started my “re-growth mission” last November. Not the fastest growth rate but hey, it’s growing and healthy :o)

I was amazed at how much hair I actually did lose because these baby hairs are ALL over my head. I was like dang! So ladies, if you are noticing an excessive or increased amount of shed hair i.e. the hair in your brush/sink/shower, you may have some hair loss issues going on. It is actually very common in women too so don’t over look it. It took me a couple years to realize the increase because it was so gradual. Thanks to my Essential Oil concoction and Ayurvedic treatments, my hair is growing back :o)

NOTE: If you have sudden or severe hair loss GO TO YOUR DOCTOR! There may be some other underlying, auto-immune type issue going on in your bod. I don’t want anyone coming back mad at me lol do whatchu gotta do, k?

…patience = progress :o)

Essential Oils for Scalp and Hair

Essential Oils for Scalp and Hair

Hello!!

image via Google Images

I love essential oils (EO), they are one of the many gifts God has given us….well, the plants and herbs they are derived from are the gifts technically :o) EO’s have been used as home remedies for years and can treat almost any ailment you can think of. Of course I’ll be focusing on hair health. You probably see them listed in your favorite products ALL the time. There are just SO many uses for them and SO many to choose from. They add a boost to almost anything you put them in. The oils work best when absorbed directly into your skin/scalp. Applying EO’s just to your hair limits the benefits they have for your scalp (healthy scalp = healthy hair that grows). Below are a few benefits of EO’s when used for healthy hair.

  • Help alleviate skin/scalp conditions
  • Stimulate sebaceous glands in scalp
  • Balances sebaceous glands in scalp (i.e. brings over or under oily scalps back to normal)
  • Minimize dandruff
  • Stimulates hair growth
  • Treats alopecia

Essential oils are VERY potent so you shouldn’t apply them directly to your scalp without diluting them with something. If you want to create your own oil therapy mixture, you must use a “carrier oil” (I’ll talk about these in a sec) or you can add a few drops to the following:

  • Your fav shampoo or conditioner
  • Spritzer bottle (i.e. water, aloe vera juice)
  • The water in your steamer
  • Hot oil treatments
  • Hair butters
  • Ayurveda treatments

If you’re like me, you’re like “uhhhh where do I start, there are too many”. I really got in to EO’s because I was losing my hair and started Googling home remedies. The common theme I discovered was EO’s.

*****SIDEBAR: I did NOT talk to a physician about my hair loss. Yea I probably could have but I had just lost my mother and was stressed/depressed so I was pretty sure that had a LOT to do with my hair loss. I never suffered hair loss until right after she passed. I told myself that if I did not see improvements after using the EOs for a few months, I would visit my doctor. I saw improvements :o)

Any who, there’s typically four categories in regards to hair loss/growth usage. To summarize the four categories, they are:

  • Stimulating (increasing cellular metabolism and/or new cell generation)
  • Nutritive (offering vitamins, other co-factors and essential fats necessary for healthy follicle function),
  • Balancing (returns over-oily or over-dry skin to a balanced state, balances over- or under-active hormones at a cellular level, and/or reduces excess inflammation from any number or sources)
  • Immune-supportive (heal scalp/skin infections that may inhibit optimal

I came up with a concoction to treat my hair loss and applied my mixture directly to my scalp every other day for about 2 months consistently. When I did this, I had to wash my hair more frequent because I didn’t want all the oil to clog my pores. I know that seems sort of contradictory but remember, too much of a good thing isn’t always good. If I keep my scalp clean and clear, the EO’s can absorb better. My hair has started to grow back but since I am doing ayurvedic treatments more often, I don’t need to do this oil therapy as often, especially since it is the summer time. I prefer to do the oil treatments in the winter when my scalp gets dry.

Here’s the oils I used, which have all been known to help grow hair and reduce hair loss. I mixed these with a carrier oil mixture of EVOO, grapeseed, jojoba and a teeny bit of castor. I bought all my EO’s from Camden-Grey. PLEASE do your own research before you use EO’s because some have health risks (just like any medicinal treatment would)

  • Rosemary — Stimulating, rejuvenates hair follicles, cleanses and restores sebum levels to normal ***Should NOT be used by women who are pregnant
  • Myrtle — Astringent, Anti-bacterial, Antiseptic
  • Cedarwood — Antiseptic, balances sebum
  • Thyme — Tonic for scalp, Antiseptic
  • Tea Tree — Anti-bacterial, Antiseptic
  • Lavender — Balancing,  antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, healing and regenerative

I mentioned before that EO’s are extremely potent and you must use a carrier oil. Carriers dilute the EO and “carry” the EO’s into your skin. Here are some popular carrier oils, many of which you probably already use :o)

  • Sweet almond
  • Avocado
  • Coconut
  • Olive
  • Hempseed
  • Grapeseed
  • Castor
  • Cocoa butter
  • Argan
  • Jojoba
  • Sesame
  • Sunflower
  • Shea butter

So that’s my abbreviated overview of essential oils!

— Which essential oils are your fave and you do you use them!?