…everybody goes natural.
One of the first items on my to-do list when I decided to transition to my natural hair was to get rid of many of our store-bought hair remedies and replace them with products that use natural ingredients, many of which I could even make at home.
I love the ability to raid the pantry shelves and find, literally, hair food. These goodies would do absolutely nothing for my permed hair, and with two textures making their presence well known, I still have to be careful. Once, I mixed avocadoes, honey and olive oil–a deep conditioner that my natural hair loves. My permed hair rebelled, and it took me 4 hours (!!) to detangle my hair. Ouch.
Undoubtedly, there are enough synthetically processed shampoos, conditioners, etc. to satisfy anyone that wants a simple shop-and-go transition experience in the multi-million dollar hair industry. But personally, my use of raw, whole foods on my hair parallels what is happening with my life in other areas as well. In this season, I am much more conscious of raw, whole foods and lots of water, and ingredient lists that I can actually read and understand. And though the kids have a blast with my concoctions, there is no question that we are all better off for having made the switch. Not too long ago, a girlfriend at church wanted to know what was going on with me. She said it with a true sense of wonder, marvelling that my skin was glowing, and loving my hair (now much shorter courtesy of the oldest’s last cut), and on and on. In truth, there is no major change, and I told her so. Yet, I also recognize that as I get closer to this next level of who I really am, curly hair and little ostentation, it is undescribably liberating, and perhaps that manifests itself in ways that I don’t necessarily see.
Here are a couple of my favorite links/ articles on homemade hair concoctions.
Though I’m no expert, my only advice to the transitioner would be a word of caution that one texture of hair can thrive on a mixture that keeps the other texture from talking to you for weeks. Be open, but also be cautious.
A personal favorite of mine is flax seed gel as a curl definer. One of my favorite young YouTubers walks through a very simple process to get this gel, which far exceeds the results of any store-bought gel I’ve seen. Plus, you can customize it, adding your own scents and oils. What product line could beat that?
(The detailed instructions are all in the video, but since I took the time to take pictures, I might as well list it out, right?)
The flax seeds cost about $3-5 at our grocery store. They were shelved in the health food section. Incidentally, I found great buys on grapeseed and coconut oil there, too. Who knew? You simply heat the seeds in water, which extracts the gel from the seeds.
Straining these seeds is a messy, fairly cumbersome process. If you enjoy creating art masterpieces with paper mache, this is the activity for you. Once the straining is over, however, it’s all downhill from here.
After straining, add your own oils and even a hint of lavender or other scent to make it you. The oils give shine and moisture. You only need about a quarter-sized amount of it at any given time, you don’t have to use it daily, and it lasts a long time if I keep it refrigerated after I use it.
I love this stuff, and I couldn’t believe its effect on my hair.
Of course, this is a shot of hair that is still primarily relaxed. But even on hair that is now natural (as is the bottom 1/3 of the back) the results were superb.
I’m about 9 months into my transition with another 9 months to go, if the Lord says the same. Yeah, I’m looking forward to experiencing more and more of that freedom with each day.