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.