Before I go onto the next leg of my natural hair journey, I wanted to share this leg of the journey before I forget. When I decided to allow my natural hair to grow (no longer buzzing it off every 2 to 3 weeks to a ¼ inch of growth), I realized I needed to create a couple of hair oils to help seal the moisture into my growing 4C hair. After spending much time reading blogs and watching YouTube videos, I came up with my own hair concoctions. I actually made 3 concoctions.
Concoction #1: Leave In Conditioner
After shampooing and conditioning my hair I felt I needed something with a little heft to seal in the moisture of my newly washed hair. I only used the leave in conditioner right after a shampooing, not on a daily basis. Because it had shea butter in it I didn’t want to use it daily for fear of product buildup. The good thing is once I conditioned my hair with it, my hair seemed to remain moisturized for a few days so I didn’t need to use it daily. Here’s what I used to create my leave in conditioner concoction:
Equal parts of:
To the mixture I added several squirts of argan oil and peppermint essential oil
To make the conditioner I had to warm the ingredients in a pot because the shea butter needed to melt. After the ingredients were mixed I then placed it in a container and let it cool.
Concoction #2 – Daily hair oil
For those in between wash days when when I moisturized my hair by spritzing it with water I’d seal it with my daily hair oil. Here’s what I used for concoction #2.
Equal parts of
- Coconut Oil and
- Castor Oil (not Jamaican Black)
To the oil mixture again I added several squirts of argan oil and the following essential oils:
- Ylang Ylang
I created this concoction in the winter so I had to warm it in a saucepan. My coconut oil was solid and needed heat which allowed me to mix the ingredients together. As with concoction #1, I put it in a container and let it cool.
Concoction # 3 Hair Gel
On the rare occasions when I wanted curl definition from my Bantu knots I used the flax seed gel. It held the curl and didn’t leave white flakes (as I’ve heard so many other hair gels have been known to do). I used this simple recipe that I found online (I modified the recipe to make a smaller amount).
The hair concoctions were always a moving target. Sometimes I’d switch up essential oils or add other healthy oils such as olive oil or jojoba oil. Bottom line my hair received a nice mix of natural oils and essential oils and it liked it. My hair appeared to be happy and healthy with no breakage or thinning.
Homemade Protein Conditioner
While I’m sharing my old pre-dreadlock hair routine, I might as well share the good and bad with my homemade protein conditioner. From reading online I learned that it is important to use a protein conditioner every so often. Unfortunately, when I first started the protein conditioner I hadn’t yet read that it should be done “every so often.” As such, I over conditioned my hair with protein. Here’s what I did and why I did it.
Kefir as a Protein Deep Conditioner
I make raw milk kefir. I have milk kefir grains and I go to the farm to get raw milk and make kefir. I know there are no additives in my kefir so I felt safe in using it on my hair. It has plenty of protein, b vitamins and biotin. How could I go wrong?
The first time I used it on my hair, my hair looked and felt great. It cleaned my hair and coated it with nutrients and protein. The next week I did the same thing. By the third week I wanted to put a henna in my hair to help cover the grey. After the henna I used kefir again! Well…after that my hair felt very hard and brittle. It wasn’t until the henna/kefir wash that I decided to go online to find out why my hair felt so brittle. DUH! Way too much protein.
Fortunately, I moisturized it like crazy and left the protein treatments alone. Right around that time is when I stumbled upon Coily Queens Rock and began implementing the porosity correction protocol which made an immediate difference in my hair’s texture (I wrote about it here). Midway through the porosity correction is when I decided to get dreadlocks. Isn’t it amazing how one thing begets another?
If I didn’t twist my hair for dreadlocks, I would have happily continued on my journey mixing and experimenting with natural ingredients. Now that I’m aiming for locs (not sure if its locks or locs), everything has changed. I no longer need all those products. I’m handing them over to my daughter.
With dreadlocks less is better so now I alternate weekly shampooing between the scalp-conditioning homemade honey shampoo and Dr. Bronner’s castile soap (diluted). To moisturize my hair I spritz it with a half and half combination of rose water and liquid vitamin e and my hair feels great! I never knew rosewater and vitamin e oil could make my hair feel so soft. I learned about the rosewater/vitamin e mixture from Yannie the Locologist’s Youtube videos. Although her YouTube channel was very helpful, she encourages viewers to go to her Facebook page for additional tips.
There you have it. I’ve shared with you the concoctions I used while growing out my 4C hair. From here on in it’s all about the dreadlock journey.