So this week I had focus and a clear goal in mind as far as my hair went. Cleanse, cleanse cleanse! Because I’d been thrown off track with my ‘hair schedule,’ I had to steer myself in the right direction by removing all the product buildup my hair had accumulated from the slick-back do’s, pinups, and buns that required more gel than I ever like to use. Thankfully I didn’t have any flareups around my hairline from using too much product, but instead the rest of my scalp felt a tad irritated from lack of proper cleansing. This week to start the process, I first focused on my scalp and worked my way down.
I was long out of bentonite clay, but knew that my scalp could really benefit from a treatment, so I headed over to Vitamin World to score a tub and while there picked up a bottle of Nature’s Gate conditioner (tea tree calming). In the past, to mix a good batch of bentonite for proper cleaning/nourishing, I’d often mixed in ACV, coconut oil, hemp oil, vitamin E oil, honey & agave nectar…all of which I had lying around, but decided to experiment with some powders instead. In a mixing bowl went a heaping mound of bentonite clay, marshmallow root powder, nettle powder and enough water to form a cake like batter. The powders I’d purchased a while back at an Indian Store that supplies a wide variety of herbs. For $3, I was able to snag about 45 grams of each…a price I still consider reasonable considering I didn’t pay shipping costs!
*Nettle leaf has been used as a hair and scalp treatment for centuries, and again, those uses are being supported by research as well. Nettle leaf extract seems to promote hair regrowth and thicken hair, as well as reducing dandruff and scalp conditions when used as a rinse. The nettle leaf and root both have medicinal properties, but each is more effective against different complaints. Nettle leaf is used traditionally as a diuretic, and as a treatment for rheumatism and arthritis. In Germany, a standardized extract is sold for the treatment of inflammatory conditions and prostate diseases. Nettle leaf’s effectiveness against rheumatism and other inflammatory diseases is well documented, and borne out by chemical analysis of the plant.
*This sweet mucilaginous (a.k.a. plant protein) rich herb has expectorant properties that strengthens the cell tissues and controls bacterial infections. Marshmallow is medicated, conditioning herb that provides an abundance of ‘slip’ which helps to nourish and detangle naturally curly, wavy & Afro type hair.
Safe for Skin!*Boosts the skin’s immunity at cellular level helping to minimize skin inflammation as well as fighting any skin degeneration.
For added goodness, I topped off with about a tablespoon of Hemp Seed Oil, then applied the mix to freshly pre-pooed hair (used Suave Coconut Condish), dividing in sections as I went along to evenly distribute. I guess the best way to describe the application process is to compare it to how you’d normally apply a regular relaxer. I start at the scalp, massaging the mix in, then evenly coating each section of hair. I do this for the entire head, smooth down any potential lumps from the clay mix, and sit with a conditioning cap for 45 minutes.
I began rinsing with lukewarm water to avoid drying out the scalp, then followed with Nature’s Gate Tea Tree Calming Conditioner to help rinse out any remaining residue. You want to make sure the water runs clear and not murky to ensure you rid your scalp and hair of any clumps of clay. After rinsing the mix out, I DC’d with AOHR conditioner for yet another 45 minutes. I detangled, separated into sections by twisting, then cold-rinsed. And just to make sure the process wasn’t long enough, I did a final rinse with ACV, first applying directly to roots to rid any lingering residue, then applied to rest of hair.
Afterwards, I honestly couldn’t wait to see how my hair turned out, so I raced to a mirror to inspect and noticed my hair was SUPER clean and shiny, and my scalp…felt amazingly fresh! Didn’t truly feel like experimenting with any new goodies this week, so I dipped into my Donna Marie Lock & Twist Pudding, over Alaffia’s Virgin Coconut & Shea Hair Lotion as a leave-in. To avoid over-moisturizing similar to last week, I opted for the Alaffia because it’s a penetrating conditioning leave-in that goes on light, sort of what I needed this week to give my scalp and hair a break from too much stuff. I twisted in record time again this week…clocked in at about an hour or so!! Managed to clip the roots to prevent the poof, air dried because I thankfully had time on my side this weekend, and sealed my ends this morning with Afroveda’s Hemp Butter before untwisting to shiny, bouncy, CLEAN hair and scalp. And because it’s just become habit and adds that extra ‘umpf,’ I smoothed some KBB hair creme before heading out the door.
*Neem info courtesy of www.mountainroseherbs.com
*Marshmallow Root info courtesy of www.anitagrant.com
tiniest of disclaimers: please use judgement when using herbs for medicinal purposes, or consult with a doctor before using. All recipes or procedures listed are not meant to treat any form of ailment.