• Let’s Talk Hair–Part 4–Products, DIY & Hair Care Techniques

    Posted on December 12, 2011 by in Hair

    In Let’s Talk Hair–Part 4, I organized the hair care articles that I’ve written so far to make it easier to understand how to care for your hair in the most natural and simple way depending on your hair type.  I’ve had readers and friends benefit from many of the tips on this blog.  I’ve also had others say that they tried a hair recipe in the blog that just didn’t work out as they wished.

    I’m hoping that this article will help you create the best regimen for your hair needs.  Also know that you do not have to be dependent on chemical hair care products to have beautiful hair.  If you are not interested in DIY hair care I’ve listed a bunch of great chemical free companies that create hair care products in Cosmetic Ingredients To Avoid.

    Cleanse

    I’ve chosen to go the no ‘poo route with my hair care.  In other words I am no longer using shampoo to cleanse my hair.  Recently I purchased the Terressentials Organic Pure Earth Hair Wash, a bentonite clay based hair cleanser.  Many of my readers here have mentioned that I should try it in the past, as well as a few others on Hairlista.  Because I do make so many of my beauty products, it has been lovely so far not having to prepare my entire hair care routine.  I plan to do a review on it at the end of this month, or beginning of the new year.

    Many of the hair cleansing recipes that I’ve created and shared have been for those who are interested in the no ‘poo hair regimen.  With any very natural hair cleanser or no ‘poo hair regimen you will most likely go through a transition period.  My transition period lasted for about two months.  My hair looked fine, although it just wasn’t behaving exactly as I would have liked.  It also took some time for me to figure out exactly what I needed to use.  The one product that I had to give up was flax seed gel.  Flax seed gel worked well for me on top of a store bought conditioner, yet not so well alone.  I may use it to smooth down my hair for an updo, but no longer for setting my curls.

    Soapwort Root–A Natural Cleanser

    The soapwort cleanser is a very gentle hair wash that you can also use for face and body.  It does not suds up like regular shampoo, but it will cleanse very well.  If you have a very oily scalp you may want to alternate with rhassoul or bentonite clay for extra oil absorption.  This is a perfect cleanser for those with sensitive skin.  I would consider this the baby shampoo of natural cleansers because it is that gentle.

    Rhassoul Clay for Shampoo

    Clay masks or heavily diluted clay for a shampoo are my absolute favorite no ‘poo hair cleanser.  Both rhassoul and bentonite clay will detox your hair of any chemical hair products you may have used in the past.  For increased moisture, mix the clay with aloe vera for a diluted mix, or even coconut milk for a moisturizing detox mask.  I believe that clay shampoo will help you transition to a no ‘poo hair regimen the fastest.

    DIY Herbal Hair Rinse

    Herbal hair rinses feel like a spa treatment.  I’m learning so much about herbs for beauty and health.  Herbs add potent healing and strengthening qualities to beauty products.  You can try one herb for a hair rinse, or a combination of herbs for different results.  Herbal hair rinses are naturally acidic and bring the hair to a balanced pH.

    DIY Green Tea Cleansing Hair Rinse

    This cleansing hair rinse was my very first creation for my no ‘poo hair journey.  The more that I made this hair rinse, the less apple cider vinegar I used and the more honey I added.

    Deep Conditioning Treatments

    Deep conditioning treatments are especially necessary if you hair is not retaining moisture or needs more protein for strength.  Henna has been my consistent conditioning hair treatment since March 2010.  I used it weekly January and February this year.  Coconut milk is the simplest most inexpensive deep conditioning treatment in the bunch.

    Henna Beautiful Hair

    Body art quality henna is my favorite deep conditioning treatment hands down.  I can not rave enough about how henna has strengthened my hair, and provided a shine I didn’t think that my curls could ever have.  Since henna coats the hair cuticle, it is perfect for strengthening all hair types, especially chemically treated hair.

    Chemical hair treatments leave holes in the hair cuticle to change the hair structure or color.  Synthetic hair proteins and silicones are needed to make the hair feel lustrous and healthy again.  A natural way to fill in those damaged gaps is with henna.

    Please consider if you color your hair, you can not use henna then go back to chemical hair dyes.  If you have light colored hair may want to try cassia instead if being a red head isn’t the look you are going for.  Before doing either do your research first.  Because my hair is dark, having red highlights has been a beautiful bonus and hasn’t drastically changed my hair color.

    DIY Protein Hair Pack

    Sea algae used in many natural hair conditioner for hair strength and shine was my inspiration for this protein hair pack.  I believe this recipe is best for limp, damaged, or chemically treated hair.

    Coconut Milk-My New Deep Conditioner

    Coconut milk proved to be the best base for my henna treatments.  Since then I love using coconut milk as a base for many of my hair treatments.  Coconut milk is a deep conditioning treatment that can be done straight out of the can.  You don’t have to add anything unless you want to, and I love how inexpensive this hair treatment is.  You will experience soft and shiny locks with this conditioner.  Use can use coconut milk as a pre-cleansing treatment.

    Missing Creamy Conditioners No More

    Here is a detangling deep conditioner with added shine from the addition of apple cider vinegar.  This one is also very nourishing to hair.  This is also a wonderful pre-cleansing hair treatment.

    The Wonders of Wheat Germ Oil

    Wheat germ oil is a fantastic ceramide oil.  Ceramide oils bind to hair strands increasing moisture retention and improving the texture of hair.  Wheat germ oil mixed with any deep conditioning treatment is amazing!

    Amla–Ayurvedic Herb for Health and Beauty

    Amla is known for increasing hair growth and also bringing life back to lifeless curls.  Amla hair masks can be mixed up easily by adding water or of course coconut milk with powdered amla which can be found online or in Indian grocery stores.  The dried herbs can be used for a tea rinse or to infuse into an oil.

    Simple Rinse Out Conditioners

    I don’t have that many rinse out conditioner recipes.  My main focus has been deep conditioning and leave-in conditioners.  Along with the two listed, apple cider vinegar and water makes another great final rinsing conditioner.  The best ratio is 1 part apple  cider vinegar to 3 parts water.  Using more water to vinegar is also okay as well.  Adjust it to suit your own hair needs.

    Hibiscus Petals

    Hibiscus petal powder can be added to henna to increase the dye release to a rich burgundy.  In this case for a rinse out conditioner, making an herbal tea infusion is the best method.

    DIY Herbal Hair Rinse

    There are so many herbal hair rinses that you can create and enjoy.  The healing properties in herbs are more powerful than any synthetic ingredient because they provide long term benefits versus temporary fixes.  Like I mentioned before herbal rinses feel luxurious.

    Leave-In Conditioners & Stylers

    Leave-in conditioners are so important.  If your hair is properly nourished, styling products can be omitted or at least used less.  A few super simple leave-ins are aloe vera juice, jojoba oil, camellia oil, and castor oil (on wet thick curly/coily hair).

    DIY Leave-In Conditioner–Simple Green Beauty

    Here is my all time favorite leave-in conditioner especially when my hair was shorter, and when I wear two strand twists.  The scent is absolutely refreshing!  Aloe vera juice is a wonderful moisturizer and pH balancer.  This conditioner is a very light leave-in that can be even lighter by reducing the amount of vegetable glycerin added.

    DIY Curl Conditioning Serum

    This curl conditioning serum is hydrating and gives dull curls a bit of a boost.  A little goes a long way with this recipe.

    Infusium 23 The Natural Way (Remixed)

    Both panthenol and silk amino acids are in this recipe are not natural ingredients because they are lab created.  Yet there is also the addition of liquid vitamins and other goodies.  This recipe is best for damaged or chemically treated hair.

    DIY Natural Hair Gel

    Flax seed gel is so popular in the curly hair community.  As one of my readers commented, this gel is so good but doesn’t work for everybody.  Nothing works for everybody and figuring out what works best for you is key.  With flax seed gel you can mix it with other oils or aloe vera juice or use it alone.  It is best stored in the fridge and lasts about a week most.

    Flax Seed Gel Made Easy

    This hair recipe is more of a curl refreshing spray.  It is made much simpler than in the previous article and can be mixed with essential oils to your preference.

    Coconuts-Nothing But Goodness!

    For a while I believed that coconut oil was the best thing for my hair, then it wasn’t working so well, and now I’m back loving it again.  Some products are not synergistic together.  Now that I’m no longer using store bought conditioners and coconut oil is able to penetrate my hair shaft easily, it has again proven to be very good for my hair.  I also share my love for coconut milk and coconut water in this article.

    DIY Moisturizing Hair Detangler

    This recipe includes both panthenol and silk amino acids.  If you do not have damaged or chemically treated hair you will probably like this recipe most omitting the silk amino acids.  The guar gum is what makes this detangler so silky and knots will literally melt away.

    The Beauty of Camellia Oil

    Camellia oil is one of the lightest shine enhancing oils that I’ve used.  I was turned on to camellia oil by other women in the long hair community that used it as their only leave-in conditioner.  You really don’t need much and it’s light natural scent is subtly seductive.

    My Hair Journey

    I’ve learned so much about my hair over this past year.  Because this is not only a hair blog, I don’t always discuss every single discovery I’ve had with my hair.  One thing that I believe that will improve your hair regimen is to embrace what you hair does naturally and not fight with it.  Instead figure out how to shape your hair as you like without stressing it.  That is the main reason why I braid my hair wet to set my curls versus just wash my hair and go.  It is a gentlest way to shape my hair, then I just let it be wild if it wishes afterwards.

    Curly Hair-Not So Minimalist

    When I first started growing out my hair I was doing the most because I thought it was the only way to care for my hair.  This year I’ve learned that less is more in so many areas of my life including hair care.

    No Poo and Soap Free

    In this article I share how I stopped using shampoos, had gone back to rhassoul clay hair washes, yet was still using store bought conditioners.  Phenoxyethanol was the preservative in one of my favorite conditioners, and I just had a feeling that it was something that I no longer wanted to use any more because of it.

    Ceramide Oils and Lush Fabulous Hair Care Tips

    Here’s an article where I share what has worked for me so far growing out my hair.  I was asked again today what I am doing to my hair and the products that I use.  Most people are surprised how simple my hair care is and that I make so many of my own products.  You really don’t need much.  Hair care techniques can be even more important than the products you use.

    My Henna Regimen Simplified

    Some of you were wondering how I was going to keep up my henna treatments no longer using shampoos or conditioners.  Well it’s in this article that I give you those details.

    Avoiding Tangles

    Avoiding Tangles is again about hair techniques that have proven very effective in my hair care regimen.

    Henna Is So Much Better Than Texturizers!!

    I’m not crazy about relaxers, texturizers, hair dyes, or perms.  Anything that chemically alters the hair makes it harder to keep the hair strong and healthy especially without the use of chemcial ingredients.  It is also harder to grow out your hair to long lengths if your hair’s natural bonds are weakened, although it isn’t impossible.

    I wrote this article for anyone who is interested in taming frizz or making it easier to wear straight styles.  I believe that henna can do exactly that for you.  I’m a curly girl not against straight hair, I’m just not crazy about the harmful chemicals used to achieve it.

    New Additions to Hair Care

    In this article I share my hair growth progress over the past year and also some new additions to my hair care.  I had thought about blow drying my hair more often, but I’m realizing that once or twice a year will probably be enough.

    I hope that this was helpful to you.  If you have any questions, let’s talk hair below in the comments section.  Also check out Part 1, 2, and 3 if you haven’t already.  Have a beautiful day!

    (Image by D Sharon Pruitt)

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8 Responses so far.

  1. Emma says:

    Hi! First, let me tell you that your blog is incredibly amazing and you’re a very wise girl.
    I have a few questions for you. I’ve been trying to go no ‘poo recently, so I tried the common method that I read everywhere that is baking soda/apple cider vinegar and also white vinegar and then I made a honey mask. It is definitely not working, the first time I did it, my hair felt a bit dry and was really dull, I usually have oily scalp, and this method seemed to worse my oily scalp. The second time I did it, my scalp was even worse at the next day. Then I read your blog and I knew I was making a mistake.
    Which I liked about the method I was using is that it didn’t gave body or volume to my hair. I have curly hair but a couple of months ago I get a pixie haircut inspired by Emma Watson, and I wanted exactly the same kind of pixie she had, that was very flat, tamed and shiny, not even a hair out of its place. My hair when chopped, it strangely became straight and I don’t need any styling product but I do definitely have a problem with the volume, but to control this, I just use a hat when my hair is almost dry until it’s completely dry. Since the no ‘poo method I’ve been using didn’t worked, I’ve been considering other methods and the one that sounded good to me was the rhassoul clay method, the problem is that I have read out there that it gaves too much volume and body and I’m a little afraid of it and of not being able to control it with a hat, that I actually want to stop using because I feel it’s damaging my hair a bit, but I still want to try the clay because my oily scalp surely needs more than a hair rinse. Can you give me some recommendations about what to use to cleanse my hair or maybe how to balance the clay mixture so it can work well to me?
    Another thing, I totally love incredibly and excessively shiny hair, I think shine is the most important thing to me when it comes to hair, specially because I have black hair and if it doesn’t have the proper shine, it looks really dull and lifeless. Can the hair rinses give me the shine I’m looking for? Which one you think is better, the green tea-based or the herbal rinse? How do you think I should build up my hair care regime?

    Thanks so much! Keep up the good work!

  2. Dawn Michelle says:

    Hi Emma!

    Thank you so much for your beautiful compliment! For your no ‘poo regimen there will be some trial and error. Before you choose not to, I would try the Rhassoul clay shampoo and even mix in a bit of honey for shine and frizz control. An herbal rinse following the Rhassoul wash with watercress and strawberry leaf may also help as they are recommended herbs for oily hair and scalp. Also Instead of using a cap to tame your hair try out a silk scarf. It will gentle on hair without any friction.

    I experienced a two month transition with my no ‘poo hair regimen and when you have an oily scalp it is common to experience a longer transition depending on the hair products you used in the past. You scalp will need some time to balance itself. I don’t have an oily scalp but I was just thinking if arrowroot powder and/or kaolin clay would assist your transition as a hair powder to help absorb the extra oil like a natural dry shampoo. This isn’t something that I can try but I can do some research.

    I hope that this helps and keep me posted how this works out for you. Peace and Sunshine!

  3. holly says:

    Hello-

    amazing blog, i’m so glad i discovered it. i am beggining my own hair journey to attempt to revive my once shiney and lovely hair from the frizzy, thin mess it has become. i switched to natural and some organice products about a year ago, but am still feeling like i could do better. i love the idea of poo free, but with my straight, fine and thin hair i’m wondering how this would work. i know everyone has to explore what works best for their hair, but do you have any poo free reccomendations for that type of hair? i just dont think a conditioner or oils would work to cleanse my hair.

    thank you so much for all the wonderful information!!

  4. holly says:

    oh, i also wanted to mention that i am caucasian so i’m not sure if this information best pertains to african american hair types. also, currently i wash my hair every other day and by that time it is much in need.

    thanks so much!

  5. Dawn Michelle says:

    Hi Holly,
    Shampoo is drying to hair no matter what hair type you have and creates a cycle of your scalp producing excess sebum because of the imbalance similar to drying out the skin with acne treatments. There are pH balanced shampoos yet if they contain sulfates they are for sure too harsh. When you go no ‘poo your hair and scalp will go through a transition. I first went no ‘poo with conditioner only, then went further with only herbs, teas, etc. I’m now making my own botantical conditioner which is an amazing emulsion of aloe, oils, and herbs. You can read about that here.
    It really is trial and error and there are many ways to cleanse the hair without shampoo. You can use rhassoul or bentonite clay, shikakai or aritha (Ayurvedic herbs), apple cider vinegar, or herbs like soapwort root which gently cleanses without stripping the hair. Just keep in mind that there are products geared to all hair types like Wen which agree that the conditioner only method is actually healthier for all hair types. I think finding an oil free botanical conditioner that is chemical free may be another great option for your hair description. You can learn more about ingredients here and here. I hope that this is helpful in some way to you.
    Have a beautiful day,
    Dawn Michelle
    I’m so glad you like the blog!

  6. Holly says:

    Dawn-

    Thank you so much! I just wanted to say, THANK YOU for helping us all who are just starting out with DIY and natural beauty regimines. Your advice is saving so many people time and energy and making it all seem a bit more dooable. Your beautiful and amazingly generous.

    keep up the good work!

  7. Holly says:

    Dawn-

    Sorry to ask so many questions but i have a few more:
    1. IS the DIY Leave in Conditioner meant to be made with Aloe Juice or Gel
    2. Deep conditioners such as coconut milk, do you rinse them out after?
    3. when i read rinses, like herbal rinse and ACV rinse, do i rinse them out with water or is that the final rinse to my hair?
    4. If i do not wish to dye my hair, would you still reccommend henna?

    thanks so much!

  8. Dawn Michelle says:

    Hi Holly,
    Here are the answers to your questions :)
    1. Aloe vera juice
    2. Rinse out
    3. Herbal rinses can be a final rinse, ACV rinse out
    4. Cassia is neutral in color, yet will give a golden tint to very light colored hair
    You are so welcome!
    Have a wonderful weekend!
    Dawn Michelle