I like using natural ingredients on my body when possible. I’m talking about Nature-al. Things that come from a tree, bush or seed peaks my interest. I’ve always wondered how women did things back in the days without Herbal essence or V05. I’m sure they used items from their surroundings to beautify themselves. There are thousands of hair products out there and the market is great for it. Some products are for curly hair, straight hair, frizzy or colored hair. And I’ve tried many. I’ve bought leave-in conditioners, deep conditioners, deep cleansing shampoo, no sulfate shampoo, and oils. Though I’ve had some wins and some fails with different products, my hair always responded well with products that had few ingredients or plant based items. In attaining the simplified life, I had to evaluate what was working for me and my hair and what was not, then get rid of the “nots”. When looking for a product, I wanted it to be multifunctional. I wanted a deep conditioner, leave-in conditioner, shampoo, and hair treatment all in one. Is that too much to ask.
Well, I may not have gotten everything I want yet, but I did reduce my products to about 4 items. I use them on a weekly or daily basis. Here are the items I have been using for my hair that actually gives me great results.
(Warning- henna naturally releases dyes to your hair. If you have light colored hair/grays, use cassia). A henna gloss is composed of Henna mixed with conditioner. The type of henna I use has 9 additional herbs that add extra benefits to your hair.
This acts as my shampoo and deep conditioner. If you naturally have dark hair, henna will not affect your hair color. Plus, adding conditioner to the henna reduces its potency. Side note: Henna can be used on straight hair and non-afro texture hair. This is a product from India and women from India use henna on their hair as well as the other herbs in the product. You can use pure henna but I prefer this particular brand as it has 9 other beneficial herbs that condition the hair, strengthens it, and cleanses the hair. Here are some of the herbs and its benefits: Shikakai leaves your hair clean & shiny, aloe vera moisturizes hair & makes it silky, methi conditions, nourishes & revitalizes hair, bhringraj makes hair luxuriant, amla darkens your hair color, neem fights scalp infection & prevents dandruff, hibiscus rejuvenates your hair and jatamansi prevents the graying of hair. Plus the conditioner adds a level of cleansing to the hair. That’s why I rarely shampoo my hair. I must admit that this process can get a bit messy so use a thick conditioner as a base for the gloss and rinse your hair in the kitchen sink. I add 2 tablespoons of the henna mix to about a cup of conditioner and leave it on my hair for at least 30 minutes or sometimes longer then rinse.
There are so many recipes and tips when making henna gloss, so I encourage you to experiment with different recipes to see what your hair likes. I get my henna from a local Indian store called Patel Brothers in Broward for about $9.
Water is my leave in conditioner. You may want to check to see if you have hard water in your area as it can make your hair brittle. If so, there are filters that can be attached to faucets and shower heads.
Before I go to bed, I add a bit of water on my hands (from the sink) and glide it on my hair to reset my curl pattern. Then I braid my hair in 3-4 jumbo braids. wrap my head with some stretchy fabric and go to sleep.
Black seed oil
This oil is my sealer and I consume it from time to time. To help save on cost, I usually dilute it with a carrier oil like grapeseed oil or olive because this oil is not cheap.
Black seed oil is made from cumin seeds and has many benefits. In my opinion, the viscosity of black seed oil is similar to castor oil. It is a pretty thick oil. It has a spicy and burnt smell to it. I like this oil because it helps treat scalp issues. After I rinse off the henna gloss, I proceed to oil my hair and scalp. I buy mines at the grocery store or Amazon for about $16.
I have been doing this routine for about 10 months now and it has worked very well for me. The only hair product that I buy on a regular basis now is conditioner because I use it as a base for my henna so it depletes quicker. I make sure to use coupons or search for deals when buying conditioners. Other than that, a big bag of henna can last a year and my black seed oil lasts about 8 months because I consume it as well (a little goes a long way). So for the whole year, I probably spend about $50 on hair products with the majority of my cost being the oil. That’s less than $5 a month.
Have you come up with a routine for your hair health? Please share.
I would really like to see your natural hair growth process. Your hair is super long. LOVE, LOVE LOVE! How long did it take for your hair to be that long? Have you always been natural?
I started my natural hair journey when I was in college. Over the years I’ve damaged my hair to the point had to cut most of it off. I was doing too much to it when I should have left it alone. I’m not sure how long it took me to get to my current length as I trim often, but I would say this henna gloss has really thickened my hair and caused it to be stronger.
Thanks for the info Cathy! Keep up the great work.
You got it Jaime!