Sunday, November 1, 2009

More on my hair treatments

Since my last update on my hair on April 10th (read it here) where I was at war with my scalp but loving my hair I have been in love with both amazingly. I think the hot coconut oil treatment I did really helped even everything out and let me basically start fresh. The conditioner/treatment thing we put on our shower seems to help with the soap scum issues I was having with baking soda washes. My routine since then has basically been a once or twice weekly baking soda wash with an apple cider vinegar with rosemary essential oil rinse. (read about my no poo start and recipe I use here) I think the rosemary helped some too with my scalp. Things have been going great and no real issues.

I used up my coconut oil last week and was really not wanting to buy more (for the reasons I discuss in my last post about hair, link is above). I read around and apparently shea butter is pretty good to use on hair too and I have been wanting to get some to use on my skin as well so I decided to go that way. My hair has been really dry recently and the idea of a thicker moisturizer really appealed to me. I bought a glass jar (yay for glass jars I love reusing them for other things) of handcrafted shea butter with lavender and mint essential oils from Alaffia. It is not organic but it is fair trade, the organic option was in a heavy plastic jar so I was leaning towards the glass. Shea butter is a lot thicker than coconut oil and it is a bit harder to work through my hair than oil but it is not difficult, it also seems to moisturize a bit better.

Last week I noticed my head was getting flaky again and yesterday after I showered it was HORRIBLY flaky and it hurt. It felt tight and cracked and sore, not very itchy though. So last night I gave myself another scalp oil treatment, this time I opted for grapeseed oil. After I applied it I tied up my hair and slept on it to let it soak in. I also looked around for some other treatments I could use and made myself a thyme tea to use on my scalp. I used 1 tablespoon of thyme in 1/2 a cup of hot water, it smelt great. I let it cool and covered it and put it in the fridge.

I then thought about making some sort deep conditioner or something for the length of my hair since it has been so dry and the season is changing and it is only going to get worse with the cold dry winter weather. I remembered how much my hair seemed to like the flaxseed wash I tried a couple times (read it about here and here) and decided to make a batch and use it just on the length of my hair since it doesn't do so good with the scalp and I didn't want to end up with a weird greasy patch like before. I made a batch, 1 table spoon of whole flaxseeds in 1 cup of water brought to a boil and then simmered for at least 5 mins. To this I also added a bit of clove and a 1/4 stick of cinnamon. It smelled so good, I strained the mixture into a heat safe container that I had a chamomile tea bag in and another tea bag of lavender. I let them steep for a bit and then took them out, let the mixture cool and covered it and put it in the fridge to be used in the morning.

This flaxseed wash is AMAZING as a once in a while wash for you hair. It makes my hair dry so quickly and it makes my natural waves come out in full force. It also seems to brighten up my hair a bit too, clove is suppose to highlight red so that could be a factor too but I didn't use cloves last time and it looked bright then too. The grapeseed oil and thyme tea rinse also seemed to help my scalp a lot. When I showered in the morning I massaged my scalp thoroughly then continued massaging while I used my normal baking soda wash. Followed that with the thyme tea rinse and more massaging and rinsing. That was followed by using the flaxseed wash on the length of my hair and a thorough rinse. As it was drying I worked in some shea butter to the length and then just left it alone.

The color and texture and look and EVERYTHING of my hair is amazing today.
Just look at it:

It took very little effort, the only effort was making the mixtures, which was not difficult at all.
I am definitely going to add a flaxseed wash back into my routine, maybe once or twice a month, I am also thinking of buying some shikakai and trying that as a wash instead of baking soda. The baking soda works but I would like to try and find something different. I read about shikakai on the no poo livejournal page I always fall back on for loads of information on no pooing. Apparently it is used just like baking soda to make a wash, it is also rather cheap like baking soda is, I found it available on amazon. Hopefully I can keep the love going and have trouble free scalp and hair.

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