Now that I’ve shared with you my trials and errors with shampoos, it’s time to share my trials and errors with homemade conditioners. Actually, my trials and errors weren’t so bad, it’s just that when you have kinky 4C hair like I do, you have to make sure the conditioner’s consistency is correct.
My First Conditioner
Before I ventured into making my own deep conditioner, I used Aubrey’s Island Naturals. I liked the smell and the way it made my hair feel. It gave me the “slip” I wanted and made my hair feel soft after it dried. The only problem was when I ran out of it and went to buy more, I found that Aubrey had changed their formula. Not having been a long-time user, I couldn’t say that I was very disappointed. All I know is that it smelled a little different. Still pleasant smelling, but different.
Their change in formula and my desire to be as natural as possible caused me to venture into making my own deep conditioner. Understand that a deep conditioner is much different than a quick wash out conditioner. From what I understand, deep conditioners are to penetrate the hair shaft, while the quickie conditioner adheres to the outside of the shaft. Either way, they make the hair feel softer.
Avocado and Vitamin E
I remembered that vitamin e is good for hair (and skin and a host of other things), so I decided to use vitamin e rich avocados in my mix. The first time I made the deep conditioner, I took an avocado, placed it in my Magic Bullet and whipped it. It was still too thick so I added avocado oil.
The avocado oil made it somewhat thinner so I used it. I applied it to my newly washed hair, placed a bag on my head followed by a hat. The hat was my make-shift heat source since I didn’t have a hair dryer.
I sat with the mixture on my hair for about 40 to 45 minutes then rinsed it out. That’s where the problem began. With hair as coily as mine, thick conditioners do not want to come out. My hair wraps itself around anything in its way, and those not so well-ground bits of avocado were trapped. I rinsed and rinsed and rinsed. I swore I still had small bits of avocado the next day stuck in my hair.
All in all my hair felt soft and healthy, but the bits of avocado had to go.
Note to self: Make a thinner conditioner.
Deep Conditioner Recipe Take Two
This time around I added a few liquid ingredients to my concoction. The ingredients were as follows:
- Honey (raw and organic)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Coconut milk (homemade coconut milk*)
- Lavender and Lemongrass essential oils
I put all these ingredients into the magic bullet and whipped them up. The addition of the coconut milk did much to loosen the consistency to a level where it could easily be rinsed from my hair.
As with the last go ‘round, I put a plastic bag on my head, this time I sandwiched a hot wet towel between two bags, put that on my head and then put the hat on my head. I let it stay on my hair for about 40 minutes, rinsed and viola! I LOVED the way my hair felt afterwards. Not only did it feel good, but I was able to rinse everything out. Success at last!
My daughter, whose hair isn’t as kinky as mine, used the conditioner too. She’s in love!
Since this conditioner has done such a great job with my hair, I’ve given up on the Aubrey conditioner and only use my homemade conditioner. Unfortunately, I bought Aubrey in bulk and now have 3 bottles sitting in my medicine cabinet that most likely I won’t use. Oh well, I’m sure I can give them away to someone.
My hair seems to love the weekly deep conditioning so I’m now including it as a part of my weekly hair cleaning routine. This now brings me to hair porosity…
Moisturizing and Hair Porosity
Here’s a quick high-level explanation of hair porosity. Porosity is a measure of how well or not hair absorbs and retains moisture. Highly porous hair absorbs moisture quickly but also loses it quickly. Low porosity hair has a more difficult time getting the moisture into the hair, but once there it holds onto it longer. As you can probably guess, I have highly porous hair. If a drop of rain fell in the Sahara desert while I was caravaning through, my hair would snatch that drop of rain before the desert would have a chance. As such, I’ve got to moisturize my hair often.
What I’ve learned, however, is that hair porosity doesn’t have to be a permanent condition. I came across another blog, Coily Queens Rock, where Ms. Vee (the blog owner) explains that hair porosity can be changed. She graciously explains how in her post Understanding Your Hair’s Porosity.
Her post is what made me go on the quest for finding a properly balanced shampoo (which I wrote about in my previous post). Anyway, according to Ms. Vee, hair porosity has much to do with not only dry hair, but single strand knots. By adjusting the hair’s porosity, the softer and more manageable the hair becomes.
Of course after reading through her blog, I decided to begin the 30-day porosity regimen. It basically entails washing my hair every 3 days with a pH balanced shampoo, deep conditioning it and then following it up with a cold apple cider vinegar rinse. The ACV rinse is followed by 3 minutes of rinsing hair in cold water. Yes, I did say cold water.
And the Porosity Regimen Begins
I started the regimen on May 1st and dutifully followed the Coily Queens instructions. I noticed a difference after the first wash and even more so after the second and third washes. It was amazing. My single strand knots all but vanished (if you have 4C hair, you know where I’m coming from with the single strand knots). My hair porosity seemed to be changing and I was happy…until…
A Whole New Twist
I mean literally, a whole new twist! When my hair is washed and allowed to air dry, it will coil into dreads. Not wanting to comb through the dreads and pull my hair out, I decided to twist my dreads (no comb or product needed, just twisting). Yes, I’ve decided to abandon the porosity correction routine and twist my hair so I’ll eventually have dreadlocks like my son. With dreadlocks things like knots and high porosity are a good thing. I believe my kinky 4C high porosity hair is an advantage and will help my twists to lock faster. And so another journey begins!
Stay tuned for my dread lock journey.
*Homemade coconut milk recipe:
- 1/4 cup coconut flakes
- 2 cups of water
Blend in Magic Bullet or blender for 2 to 3 minutes. Strain out the coconut pieces and use the remaining coconut milk.