I’m usually a fan of formulated products, because, let’s be honest, any amount of book or Google research isn’t going to supercede a chemistry degree or extensive background in hair research. That’s why I mainly leave it to the pros. When I wrote my piece about not liking castor oil, a few people scoffed at me and suggested mixes with that oil, but no, I was talking about the purest form. Sometimes, that just doesn’t work. But I do have a few raw ingredients that I’ve used over the years that don’ t need the power of chemistry, and here they are:
So I kind of want to put exclamation points after that title, but I don’t want to be obvious with my bias. When my hair was shorter, I honestly wasn’t loving coconut oil that much, but later I did a challenge, and found the best brands and ways for it to work for me. Nutiva Coconut Oil seems creamier than other brands to me, and my hair just likes it better. I use it in a myriad of ways – to refresh a wash and go (fluffing it over my hair), oil rinse, on my ends, etc- it’s just very versatile to me, and I can also use it to cook!
I used to find the smell of rosemary so cloying, but now I find it soothing. It’s definitely too strong to use rosemary oil alone, but mixed with a carrier oil, it has claims of reducing breakage and strengthening ends. I’m in. I add maybe six drops or so to 8oz of good carrier oil, like jojoba or vitamin E. I especially love to use this mix to finish off a wash and go or oil rinse in the shower.
Am I allowed to say water in this article? It may be so obvious, but I still have some people asking me how shea butter or other oils moisturize, and it makes me sad. Oils do not provide moisture! They seal it, with the exception of a few (and even then I wouldn’t sub them for stronger moisturizers) that have slight moisturizing properties. Water is essential to moisture, which is why you’ll never hear me pitching any product that doesn’t have water or something similar as a multi-day moisturizer or leave-in. Spritzing my hair with water makes it feel great, and it really doesn’t ruin frizz control or definition. You can use filtered water (which I personally think is better due to all of the pollution in natural rain) or tap water to refresh your wash and go if you don’t feel like buying fancy spray leave-ins. Water is just as good, maybe better.
If you need a quick, natural deep conditioner, olive oil and honey is the best combo, in my opinion. The honey provides moisturizing properties while olive oil is great for scalp health and is even said to promote hair growth. Mix 1/4 cup of olive oil and 1/2 a cup of honey to wet hair, and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. I sometimes like to sleep with this mixture in my hair, but it can get messy since my hair is longer now. The picture above is from me after using the treatment in 2009! And it’s still awesome.
So what are you all using (besides castor oil, okay, just kidding)?