All Natural Leave-In Conditioner

It has been a great and beautiful journey for me these past few years learning to embrace my natural hair. I have over that time learned many things about what works best for my hair to make it achieve a certain look. Most people experience a phase of PJism (Product Junkie-ism, lol) where you purchase any and everything that is recommended, sounds good, has a pretty label (ok, well maybe that last one is just me, lol). I went through this phase and I loved it. It was trial and error and I learned ALOT. The next phase was a narrowing down process. I sort of grew up. I became more selective with products. I wasn't as quick to jump on every bandwagon. I slowly began to shift into a phase of less is more.

Somewhere along the line, I'm not quite sure where, I became concerned about the ingredients I was putting in my hair. No cones, no parabens, no sulfates. (I will share more on this subject later for those who are unaware of these chemicals listed) It can get quite overwhelming reading labels and let me just say right now that I am NOT well versed in reading them. I know a few things to watch out for and that is it. I even went through a phase where I decided, "forget this labeling reading stuff, it works on my hair so I'm going to use it". Well that didn't last too long. I couldn't in good conscience continue to blindly ignore what I was putting on and in not just my own hair but in my families hair as well.

I again ever so slowly began to try more all natural alternatives to hair products. I told you guys in a recent post about an all natural leave in. I won't keep you in suspense. The magic in a bottle (or plant) is none other than ALOE VERA JUICE (AVJ)!!

A well known youtuber sang the praises of a leave in that she concocted using several ingredients. One of the ingredients was Aloe Vera Juice. I tried her leave-in with few alterations and wasn't thrilled with the consistency. Eventually I decided to simply use the juice alone. Let me first tell you what aloe is supposed to do.

I have to give a disclaimer here: I am not a chemist and I don't have a lot of patience and time for looking into too many things in depth (unless I'm called to) so I will just tell you what I have "heard" and then I will tell you MY experience with it. If you are really interested I encourage you to conduct your own research.

When we shampoo our hair the cuticle (outer layers) of our hair are lifted up and enables the hair to be fully cleansed. This can be a harsh process for our hair. Once the hair is rinsed the job of the conditioner is to then moisturize the hair and lay the cuticle back down having it well moisturized and resulting in beautiful healthy hair. This doesn't always happen. Alot of times we have products with cones (silicones) or proteins in them that make the cuticle appear to be closed. Now back to the AVJ, this all natural product is said to be able to really close the cuticle of the hair as well as add another element of moisture.
PEOPLE let me tell you....it WORKS! Since I have been using the AVJ I have experienced such a difference in my hair. It is MUCH softer. The ends of the hair which we know is the oldest hair on our heads, is even smooth. It literally feels as if the cuticle is now flattened.
I did a post last year where I documented in great detail, the woes I have with my oldest daughter's hair. If you are not familiar with this click here. I washed her hair and used this beautiful product that God provided for us and ran out of time. I had to do the dreaded puff as we were on our way somewhere. A few days later when I had time to cowash her hair, because rewashing is necessary in these situations, I did just that. I was all prepared for the detangling session that was sure to be at least an hour. Let me tell you I applied the AVJ and proceeded to detangle her hair in 10-15 minutes! Yes, you heard me correctly. I was SOLD! I was using Cantu Shea butter leave in prior to this and I don't think I ever did a review on it but I was completely happy with it. It was great. I felt kind of bad not using it anymore. I had just purchased a brand new bottle of it, but I just couldn't justify using all those chemicals when I had an alternative that was chemical free and found in nature.

I personally use this kind, but If you're interested I suggest you just try whatever you like. I would suggest using one without any additives and you will need to keep it refrigerated. I keep mine in a spray bottle. This particular brand is a bit pricey as it is a whole leaf concentrate. There are conflicting reports on whether or not this is any better that the inner gel filet of aloe juice. I don't know the answer to this concern as I have only used this one kind but my sister in law has used the inner gel filet AVJ with great success. Please let me know if any of you try this and have a testimonial.


Repost: It's deeper than just hair.

I wrote this post back in May of 2009 and I have to say looking back on it, I am proud of it. I truly meant all that was said here and I wanted to repost it as I realize I have new readers who may not have ever read it. Enjoy and feel free to share your thoughts.

Making the decision to go natural for me was not a great call or something that weighed heavy on my heart. Quite simply, my cousin/best friend made the decison to go natural and made the comment that it would be great if I were to go along with her. I thought about it for a little bit and decided that it wasn't a bad idea. I'd always had fast growing hair so if I hated it I would just grow it back out and relax it. No big deal. So I told her yes. That is how my journey began.
Well in this process it has become a sort of passion for me. Wearing my natural hair has changed my life in more ways than I ever imagined. For starters it has turned me into a true do-it-yourselfer. I have learned sooooo much about how to care for my hair in the past year, from my transition to now; 10 months natural. I love being able to think of a style and attempting it on my own hair. I love that I know when my hair's moisture/protein balance is off. I love that I know how to take care of my own hair and I actually prefer it.
One year ago I was clueless about my hair. Yes my hair grew fast, but I would always have breakage in my crown area. If I wasn't going to the salon my hair was a mess and I hated wash days. That's like my favorite day now. Or should I say days, considering that in the summer I cowash atleast 3 times a week.
Over time being natural has allowed me to embrace a me that I didn't realize I was denying. Not just me "Shara". but me black woman. I quickly began to be offended when hearing the term, "good hair" or "bad hair". I can't stand to hear, "they need to put a perm on that girls nappy hair". It is so offensive to me for a person to be considered less attractive if their hair isn't straight. Now granted there are some unpleasant looking natural heads of hair that need to get it together or mom's that need to learn how to care for their daughter's natural hair, but that is the same for relaxed, texlaxed, and the like. It is so sad to see a beautiful little black girl walking around with pretty, straight hair in some nice bun but the outer edges have been eaten away due to over processing of harsh chemicals or weakened due to the same. And before I go any further I want to say that I do not think relaxers are the worst thing in the world. My issue is when people think that straight hair alone equals beauty.
The main reason for my post is yet to be discussed. I am making this blog post in honor of My Lord. I have through the journey of becoming natural have found a truer understanding and appreciation for God's handiwork; ME! I AM HIS CREATION. He made me with kinky curly hair. He made me with different textures in this head of hair. My big nose that I have always hated and wished away; Yep he hand crafted that and placed it right above my full lips. He thought he did a great job yet here I am having the nerve to call what the Masters hands created, too big. WOW. That's audacious! I'm learning more and more that my being placed here is simply for HIS glory. I was created for his glory. He made me exactly how he wanted me to be and I am learning to see the beauty in what I once saw as less than.


After the break.....

After quite the break I am back! Sorry to have been gone for so long but I had a ton of things going on (still do really) and I just plain needed a break. I hope you guys are well and are having a great time with your hair.

It has never been my intention to have a blog that was updated daily, but somewhere along the line I got caught up things and forgot that and began to feel guilty for not doing so. I want to update regularly as I always have something to share, it just may not be your idea of regular. Now that that's out of the way let's move on to updates.

I have undergone quite a transformation since the last time I have talked to you guys. I have moved into more of a natural hair care journey in every sense of the word. What I mean is that I have slowly been incorporating more natural hair products into my regimen, eliminating one's with harsh chemicals. I have not totally eradicated all chemical products from my stash but I am doing well with it.

I have mixed my own shea butter for quite some time. Almost for my entire natural hair journey. Have I ever mentioned that before? Hmm...I don't recall. Anyway, that was perfect for twists and such but I really needed a lighter moisturizer as well. I went on a search and tried many things. Both commercial and all natural products. I will do some reviews on the ones I have tried soon. I will say that I have finally found one that works.

I happened upon an all natural leave in that is a MIRACLE WORKER!!! I am very excited to tell you guys about this one. Some of my followers will have already heard me rave about this product but for those of you that haven't be prepared for a life changing product. Well that's a bit dramatic. Let's not place hair that high on the importance scale. But really it has definitely made my life easier.

Another product I have used since before I even completed my transition is my glycerin mix spray. I use this as a moisturizer before sealing with my shea butter. Clearly it works well since I have been using it for almost 3 years.

You guys know that I don't stray in the area of shampoos from my beloved CON (Creme of Nature) but I did find myself searching for an all natural substitute. I have tried several poos and yes am still on the hunt. I will still do a review of the ones I have tried. They are not all bad. They just didn't fully satisfy me.

I am still using the same conditioners as always which are ORS Replenishing Conditioner as well as ORS Hair Mayo. For cowashing I am still using V05 Moisture Milks and Herbal Essences Totally Twisted. Those have not changed but not for lack of trying. I simply haven't found replacements. I love those conditioners. If you're in the market for a new conditioner try one of these.

I plan to share all these things with you guys in detail in future posts. Don't worry, I will do them very soon.