Posts tagged ‘anita grant’

February 28, 2010

Sharing…

It’s always fun to treat yourself to something homemade no matter if it’s warm, gooey & straight out of the oven or something shared with a friend. This weekend I made use of what little time I had in between shuffling to and from the library to make another oil blend for hair/scalp/body. Typically I find that I’m always in stock of all the supplies I’d need to make an ideal blend, though choosing which specific oils to fuse with different herbs always leaves me a bit lost.

I had no formula, except the want of something a bit romantic in scent and light, nothing heavy to clog the pores. I doubt I’ve mentioned on here before…but aside from the seductive smell of all things chocolate, I am a fiend for anything lavender scented. Feed me lavender vanilla anytime during the year, and I’m a sucker! The blend instantly brings a smile to my face, and I’ve been in love since my Mum bought home a lavender oil rub from Origins many years ago.

When my Mum did come for visit last holiday, I made her a shea-butter based lavender butter that was quite similar to her Origins collection, but this go-round, I was in the mood for using up my oil stash. Rather than making an oil blend targeting my scalp, I opted for a little wiggle room & had some fun playing around with Jasmine Flowers which has such a beautifully delicate fragrance.  Last year I treated myself to Anita Grant’s Coconut & Rosewood Dry Oil Spray, a lovely light oil spray with rose buds infused throughout. Versatile enough to use as an after bath/hair/body oil, I was anxious to try my hand at something similar.

Lavender is aromatic perennial evergreen shrub. Its woody stems bear lavender or purple flowers from late spring to early autumn, although there are varieties with blossoms of white or pink. Lavender is native to the Mediterranean, but now cultivated in cool-winter, dry-summer areas in Europe and the Western United States. The use of Lavender goes back thousands of years, with the first recorded uses by the Egyptians during the mummification process. Both the Greeks and the Romans had many uses for it, the most popular being for bathing, cooking, as an ingredient in perfume, healing wounds, and as an insect repellent. Discorides wrote that taken internally, lavender would help with indigestion and sore throats, and externally to clean wounds and burns. Lavender was used as an after-bath perfume by the Romans, who gave the herb its name from the Latin lavare, to wash.

What I Used:

I love to use glass jars to store and mix the infusion, because no lie-I want to see the fruits of my labor…no matter how small or big;-). And for the sake of all things pretty…it looks nice simmering on my windowsill for what will be the next 3-4 wks before I opt to use. For the past two days I have been perpetually sniffing the jar! The smell of infused lavender is ridiculously enticing…you really do just want to lather it all over and take a long luxurious bath. The lavender mixed with the alluring jasmine flowers is…

*pausing to sniff the jar..

…it’s heaven. You must try it! The oils I used are fast penetrating, and sink into the skin almost immediately leaving behind a long lasting aroma.

Coltsfoot Herb Benefits:

  • Organic Coltsfoot is a medicated herb with an abundance of natural plant sulfur, silicic and amino acids.
  • Organic Coltsfoot helps to heal dandruff, reduce scalp build up and is purported to strengthen the hair shaft adding sheen and elasticity.
  • Organic Coltsfoot also helps to regulate over productive sebaceous (sebum) glands whilst increasing elasticity of the skin & scalp. Coltsfoot stimulates collagen production which makes it excellent for an herbal hair spritz or final hair rinse infusion.

My love for all things lavender also stems from it’s versatility. Whether it’s winter/spring/summer…it’s always appropriate & welcomed into any skin regimen. It’s a light enough scent to stand on it’s own, or mixed with mint, Ylang Ylang, Patchouli or my long time favorite Vanilla! Next up, I hope to share & mix up another blend using rose buds & petals, Hibiscus Flower, Chamomile, and perhaps an Almond Cookie devotion from another one of my favorite scents!

*For more great mixes & inspiration check out one of my fav mixtress gurus, Amina of Coup de Couer fame. Great places to check out herbs/essential oil & to purchase online:

Mountain Rose Herbs

From Nature With Love

Anita Grant

Texas Natural Supply

August 8, 2009

Oils & Goodies

I’m biding time today before heading out to run some errands, but finally got around to a project that’s been at the front of my mind for the past few weeks.  I made my oil infusion for my scalp using some oils in my stash, along with herbs I’d ordered some months ago.  I could really kick myself simply because it took no longer than five minutes to mix everything and set it aside to steep.  Here’s what went into the infusion:018

  • Sweet Almond Oil
  • Babussu Oil
  • Grapeseed Oil
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Vitamin E Oil
  • Rosehip Seed Oil
  • White Willow Bark
  • Marshmallow Root Herb
  • Nettle Leaf Herb
  • Geranium (essential oil)

I eyeballed everything, using the Sweet Almond Oil as my main carrier.

All the herbs used are certified organic, purchased from the fab Anita Grant over @anitagrant.com.  The benefits of all herbs & oils used in the infusion aid in a multiple of factors, a few being the calming of scalp irritation, inflammation, dandruff, psoriasis and something I’m much too familiar with…eczema.

*How does it work?

If you look closely on the label of most commercial dandruff shampoos you will find listed in the ingredients

“Salicylic Acid”

or

“Salicin” which is derived from White Willow Bark.

Salicin is a substance that when taken orally is converted by the digestive process to salicylic acid (beta hydroxy acid – BHA for short). The process of converting Willow Bark to salicylic acid requires the presence of enzymes to turn the salicin into salicylic acid.

White Willow bark was the original source of Aspirin back in the day. The active extract of the bark, salicin, was isolated into a crystalline form in 1828 by a French pharmacist Henri

Leroux & an Italian chemist Raffaele Piria. These 2 men separated the Salicylic Acid from the Willow Barks and synthesized it to form Salicin, a chemical derivative of salicylic acid aka Aspirin.

Bayer is the only commercial company to still use a high percentage of Salicylic Acid in their Aspirins meanwhile others have a 50/50 ratio of Talc & Salicylic Acid.

Willow Bark, in it’s herbal form, retains more of its aspirin-like composition. Chinese physicians have used White Willow Bark to relieve pain since 500 B.C. because it’s an effect & efficient

natural healing herb.

According to the book “Preservatives for Cosmetics” by David Steinberg

“Salicylic Acid also has anti microbial & fungicidal properties.”

Topical Properties:

Antiseptic, diaphoretic, diuretic, febrifuge (a refrigerant, like topical rubbing alcohol), astringent and tonic.

White willow Bark aka “herbal aspirin” – is a potent natural healer excellent when used to reduce inflammation.

More info on other herbs used can be found here and here.  I’m hoping to let the oils and herbs infuse/steep for a solid two weeks before using, applying directly to my scalp 2-3 times a week. I purchased a medicine dropper from the Container Store for a mere buck and will place in that for easier application.  Thankfully though, at least for the past few weeks, I have seen a significant improvement in my scalp situation…less dryness after washing means less having to apply coconut oil each night.  The oil infusion I hope just to serve as a way to contain the situation, helping to ward off flareups and sudden inflammation areas.  Next up is my hair rinse (currently cooling on the stove;-), which I’ll use for tomorrow’s wash/final rinse.  Recipe and details on the rinse I’ll post Monday along with final results.

blogpic

A little hair goodie I found over at the Anthropologie sale going on right now.  A GREAT selection of sweet hair bows and pins to choose from.  This one was an impulse buy…but I’m seriously thinking of heading back to stock up.  This one came in several different soft and beautiful shades.  The headbands and bows are all within affordable price range $9.95-19.95 (in store prices).

*info via anitagrant.com

January 26, 2009

Bentonite Blunder

I’d been planning on experimenting with my latest conditioning find, Bentonite Clay for about two weeks,  but had to put it off until yesterday.  My excitement had built to a point where I honestly felt what was in store for my hair was a world of wonders….

…alas I fudged it up.  I failed to follow directions the way they were meant to be followed and ended up with something so cakey…something so….crumbly and messey that I immediately had to rinse it out of hair.  The mixture, pulled from anita grant’s website called for:

Instructions:
Mix 1 to 2 parts Bentonite clay
Slowly add *water to the clay until you achieve a pancake mix texture.
Apply to your hair (dry or wet)
Allow to set for between 15 – 20 minutes
Rinse thoroughly until it’s all out of your curls, kinks and coils.

My mistake was substituting coconut milk for coconut oil,  a pretty dramatic substitution if you’re overcompensating.  I added water to the mix but definitely allowed myself to be too heavy handed with the coco oil! The mix was able to achieve a pancake like consistency but I’m almost certain the oil added something else altogether to the formula.  My thought process going forward is to use a much lighter oil that has less fatty substance to it, but to be certain to use water as my natural base, at least to start off.

here’s the brand curlyniki used and that’s commonly found at health food stores, I picked my supply up at the Vitamin Shop: aztec_clay

After thoroughly rinsing the clay out of my hair, I ended up co-washing and immediately detangled with my KCKT.  For my next hair processing session I plan to try the bentonite mixture again, hoping to achieve better results.

This curly-head is not a quitter!!