Do you wear your hair natural? No lye? As many will tell you, once you make a change to go natural your hair regimen must also change. This frequently includes an adjustment to the types of products you use on your coils. A number of your old stand-bys may no longer lend you the same results on your kinks as they did on your straight hair.
Product junkies will agree — you can spend hundreds of dollars testing out the numerous products available on the market, many of which are supposedly intended for natural hair use. However, breaking the bank is really not necessary for a healthy, strong and shiny natural. You already have key ingredients in your own kitchen and bathroom!
Creating your own hair recipes not only saves money, but allows for a more intimate relationship with your hair — you can gain a much better insight as to what your hair craves, prefers, or rejects with your at-home experiments.
Get creative! There are a few simple rules to follow to find your perfect concoctions:
* Don’t mix too many things at once. Start out with simple recipes, say, mixing one main ingredient and adding a small amount of another. It’s much easier to determine what worked and what didn’t when your ingredients list is limited.
* Create two-ingredient mixes and try them until you find a mix that works well on your hair. If it’s a “perfect” mix, continue using it! If it’s a “pretty good” mix, retry the recipe with the same main ingredient then alter the secondary ingredient until you reach perfection. You may find you need to reverse the amounts used, making the main ingredient the secondary ingredient.
* If there is one particular ingredient you find most always works well on your hair, make it a staple for your hair recipes, adding it as a standard part of all your recipes.
* Alter the way you apply the mixes to your hair. Try dousing your hair with your Super Yogurt Surprise while your hair is drenching wet in the shower. Does it work well this way? Try another time by making it a bit more liquidy and spritz it on your dried hair with a spray bottle. Perhaps your hair responds better to this application.
* For ingredients, a general rule of thumb is if it’s ok to ingest, it’s probably ok to apply to your hair as well. Pureed fruit, honey, apple cider vinegar and many more items are great additions to homemade hair recipes.
* Take note of what works for you and how it worked. Some recipes may be better for clarifying while others make for great deep conditioners.
* Search and compare! If you’re a little timid about applying egg whites to your hair, make use of resources available to you before doing so. Search the Internet for your particular ingredients. You just may find others who have tried the same type of recipe and enjoyed success or experienced a nightmare.
* Go beyond your kitchen! Many cities have well-stocked health food and natural stores with a huge selection of ingredients to boost your hair recipes. Experiment with essential oils (a few drops go a long way!), xanthum gum (a thickener, also known as xanthan), as well as conditioners and leave-ins you won’t likely find at department stores and drug stores.
Remember, a recipe failure is a good thing. It lets you know what your hair simply does not respond to well. The worst likely thing that can happen with the use of your homemade products is the need to wash your hair again, so get creative!
Elle Paris is the owner of “My Natural” which provides no-nonsense user reviews for hundreds of products for natural hair care.