Protective styling

Protective styling is arguably a key component to any successful hair care journey. For this reason alone I'm surprised that I have never talked about it here.I'll attempt to do that now.

Protective styling is simply put, styling your hair in a manner that protects your strands from the harsh elements of the cold, windy, and icy weather as well as just plain over manipulation that we put our hair through when it isn't in protective styles. What do I mean by this? Well I know for me that it took a long while into my hair care journey before I finally got over having my hands in my hair every 5 seconds. Some go even further and comb and brush their hair every single day to several times a day. The problem with this is that our hair strands are much like fibers. Over manipulation of them will cause them to lose their elasticity, thickness, and strength. Because we are striving for (most of us) long and thick healthy hair we have to be mindful of keeping our hair as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
Any style that keeps you from manipulating your hair for a good length of time while the ends are covered or tucked can be considered a protective style. This can be two strand twists, braids, buns, or even wigs and sew-ins. Earlier in my hair journey I used kinky twists as a protective style quite often.

One school of thought on the issue of protective styling is that "I'd rather wear my hair out and enjoy it rather than keep it put away all the time just to obtain length". I totally understand this and at one point even wrestled with this line of thinking myself. To that I will say, as I find myself saying so often, there is a healthy balance that can be struck. I fully intend to enjoy EVERY stage of my hair growth on the way to my goal length, whatever that is. Having said that I want to actually be able to reach that goal length with healthy hair. My fear for people who only protective style until they reach a desired length is that once that reach said length they won't know how to style it in a manner that promotes health because all they've done is protective style and they will lose the length that hid for so long. (Does that make sense?)  In my opinion the right place to be in somewhere in the middle of the two extremes.


Reflection and Revisit: Natural Deodorant 2

You know how you can be fully aware of something and then you share this awareness with others and it's like you're relearning what you have just shared? That has been my experience after posting and rereading the "All Natural Deodorant" post. I had gone back to antiperspirants until I could perfect my recipe. I don't know what I was thinking because now that just seems foolish. At the same time though, no one wants to running around town leaving their "mark" LOL. Still, that caused me to do some reflection.

As I sat and thought about the two deodorants I made I knew that #2 was the one I wanted to improve upon. I figured I'd add a bit more baking soda since that is the deodorizing property and the tea tree oil since it is anti fungal and anti bacterial. I figured I'd add more peppermint because of it's antiseptic properties and also because I like to add peppermint anytime I use tea tree oil as I don't particularly like the smell of the tea tree.

Before I could even tweak my mix though, I ran across some information that I think is very important to pass on. Apparently, once you stop using antiperspirants your body may go through a detox process in which it will rid itself of the toxins that have been trapped by the antiperspirant use. This will cause you to perspire a bit more than normal and may even make you natural deodorant seem ineffective. This calls for patience and should last only a few weeks at most (or so I'm told), So with that in mind I have decided to use the #2 deodorant as is for  few weeks and hope that this information holds true.

What in the world do I do in the meantime though? Exfoliating the underarm area while you shower can help speed the detox process along. Also, wiping  your underarms with rubbing alcohol a few times a week can help. Alcohol can cause irritation if applied too often so use sparingly. I plan to carry my deodorant in my purse for the next  several weeks to be sure I'm as fresh smelling as possible. One more important thing to note is that your underarms should be clean when applying any natural deodorant so if you do reapply you also clean your armpits again.

What others have tried:
There are many, many natural ingredients you can use to make your own deodorant and I will list a few that others have tried with great success.

Mineral salts- Some very common natural deodorants have employed the use of mineral salts in their formula. I thought of doing a spray using some form of this.

Milk of Magnesia- Yes you read correctly, I mean the stuff used for constipation. I have heard really incredible things about this one.

Baking Soda- Some people choose to use baking soda alone as a deodorant, but others have problems with skin irritation.

I didn't list any commercial natural deodorant brands but there are plenty out there.


More Info on Antiperspirants

I shared a link with a reader after receiving a comment and I thought that the information contained was so useful that I should post a link to the site for you to read as well. It has a wealth of information that sheds much more light on the subject than I have.


My First Attempt: All Natural Deodorant

For the first installment in the "all things natural" addition to the blog I have tackled...well attempted to tackle a homeade deodorant. Why deodorant? First of all I have always had problems wearing "deodorant". No matter what brand I use whether it happens in a few weeks or a few months of purchase I eventually break out and itch really bad. It is unfortunately something I have come to get used to. Sad huh? Well typically when we purchase "deodorant" from our local stores we are not only buying and using deodorant we are also getting antiperspirant. This leads to the second reason I decided to make my own deodorant.
The problem with antiperspirants is that as the name suggests it keeps you from perspiring. God in his infinite wisdom designed our bodies to rid itself of toxins through perspiration. The main areas our bodies use to eliminate toxins are behind the knees, behind the ears, groin area and our armpits.
When we use antiperspirants we are inhibiting our bodies from eliminating these toxins which in turn causes the body to deposit them into lymph nodes. Eventually all these toxins build up and cause cell mutation. This is also known as Cancer.
Now before I continue, allow me to say that there are reports that will conflict with the information I have shared and it is within your right to do what you will with this information. I am sharing why I am choosing not to use antiperspirants anymore.

So what did I do next? I searched for a some all natural deodorant recipes and found two that I was interested in trying. I will post the ingredients to both recipes below. I will say that I planned to be very detailed with you guys and do daily checks and log every detail. Well that never happened. It's ok though. I am still sharing the results with you guys even if it is months later. Lol.
I started out using one deodorant on my right armpit and the other on my left armpit. A few hours later the first one had checked out for the day. LOL. The second deodorant lasted several hours but not to my satisfaction. I plan to tweak the second recipe and try it again and I will do a better job and bringing you in in the whole process this time. Unfortunately I am using antiperspirant again until I find a recipe that works well but I have to tell you typing all this up has really motivated me to stop using the stuff once and for all.

Deodorant 1(the one that quit after 2 hours)

1 Tbsp Arrowroot Powder (This can be substituted for Corn Starch)
1 Tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp Coconut oil
1 Tbsp Shea Butter
1 Tbsp of Cocoa Butter
2 drops of Peppermint Oil
2 drops Tea Tree Oil
2 drops of Lime Essential Oil

In hindsight I would do a few things differently with this recipe. For starters I would eliminate the Cocoa Butter altogether. I hate the smell and the recipe just seems to contain too much butter. I would also probably double the amount of baking soda I used. Baking soda is a great deodorizing agent, but it can cause also cause irritation if you use too much. This is why I was conservative in my use of it. Lastly, the Lime Oil was purely for fragrance and let me just say that it did not go over well with the scent of the Cocoa Butter.

Deodorant 2

4 Tsp Coconut oil
1 Tbsp Shea Butter
1/4 cup Arrowroot powder
3 drops Tea Tree Oil
3 drops Peppermint Oil

I'm not entirely sure just yet what I would do to tweak this one. We'll see. I plan to do a "second attempt" within the next week or so.

Additional info: I have edited this post to add a bit of info that might be helpful in case any should try to make your own all natural deodorant. It is important to understand that if you do make a true deodorant (not antiperspirant) you WILL still sweat. The purpose of the deodorant is to eliminate any foul or offensive odor. I realize that this a new concept for most of us and everyone will not like this. I'm finding that when you choose to embrace things that are natural versus chemical laden you will have to adjust your expectation a bit. The health benefits in this and many other cases far outweigh the small inconveniences.