Saturday, February 10, 2007

what I learned

I spent much of 2006 researching natural hair care online. The first two websites I found were Aldrea's Do-It-Yourself Natural Hair, and Motown Girl. Those two ladies were a large part of my inspiration to let go of my relaxer. And because I learned so much from their sites, I decided that I would document my process as well. Let's face it, there are not a lot of resources out here for someone thinking of transitioning. So the more, the merrier, right?

One of the things that I found most immediately useful from Motown Girl was her homemade hair recipes. My beautician had already told me that I should use Extra Virgin Olive Oil on my hair & scalp. And because I have excema, I already knew that Essential Oils of Neem, Nettles, Bergamot and Tea Tree were going to ease some of my itchy, scratchy suffering. But the idea that I could pretty much eliminate chemicals from my hair regime had never occurred to me. Of course, I didn't realize the types of chemicals I had been putting on my head all these years...until I did some digging around, that is.

The first thing I found out was how drying shampoos with Sodium Lauryl Sulphate are (and Lauryl Sulphate, and Sodium Laureth Sulphate and Ammonium Lauryl Sulphate). Light bulb moment - a good friend of mine had told me once that she doesn't shampoo her hair. I was just meeting her at the time & didn't want to be rude, intrusive or just plain ole' ingorant, so I just smiled & nodded. It was a new concept for me, but I figured she always looked and smelled clean, so it must be working for her. Never really thought of that again, until I started poking around online. Who knew? And of course, Motown Girl has a pretty comprehensive list of ingredients to avoid.

While I had the micro braids, I didn't want to spend money on SLS-free shampoo, since I had all that fake hair. But I did get a color applicator (approximately $2 at Sally Beauty) so that I could easily put the oil on my scalp every day.

1 ounce of Olive Oil
30 drops of Tea Tree Oil
30 drops of Bergamot Oil

With this little concoction, my hair was always shiny and didn't feel dry, itchy or flaky.

Sometimes, in addition to (or instead of) the Essential Oils listed above, I would use Peppermint Essential Oil or Rosemary Essential Oil.

And my search for the right shampoo & conditioner continued...

No comments: