Friday, July 30, 2010

Experiment with Coffee!!!

Okay so I read online that you could use coffee to stop shedding and add sheen to your hair, so I decided to try it. I brewed a plain cup of coffee at normal strength and poured it in a cup after cooling. In the shower I let warm water run through my hair then I used some Aubrey's Island naturals conditioner. I then poured the cup of coffee through my hair and let it sit for about 4 min while I finished showering. I then rinsed it off. I love the smell of coffee, so the aroma was a treat for me. However, I don't know how it would smell on my hair when it was dry, so I used some Honeysuckle Rose afterward and rinsed. Next time I may try not rinsing it off. My hair felt a bit stronger and defined but I couldn't tell if it stopped the shedding. I combed through my hair with my shower comb and I had no broken hairs; all the hairs had bulbs on them, which was good for me. Overall I loved how my hair felt after it dried. It was soft and defined. I will continue to do this once a week and report my findings later on. I also read that Coffee is a natural way to dye hair, which is good for me since I have pieces of brown hair I want gone from when I dyed my hair. I didn't notice a significant change in color, but with continued use it may darken my hair.

Here are some pics of the before and after: I still have some relaxed pieces in my hair so I have different textures... the second picture below you could see my true texture, except for the ends.

First two pics are before and the next two are after. Hair was about 90% dry.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Some natural products purchased and review!

As I stated in my first post, I am on my way to limiting the chemicals in my products and home, so I decided to replace some of my items with ones that are more natural. I know I also spoke about not spending a whole lot of money, but with some calculations I figured out what I can purchase that will last me a long time. I also bought some items to make household cleaners with. I will list what I bought and I will review each item as I use them. I will also list prices for easy reference. On my side link bar labeled "Useful links and forums," I added some links to hair forums I am a part of and sites that I use for references, to purchase items through and recipes. Skin so deep cosmetic database is a great site to check the products you have and see how hazardous they are on a score form 0-10, 10 being the most hazardous. I think all items posted below have a hazard score of 2 and below, except for Aubrey because of the vitamin A and citric acid, which too me is fine. I also plan on posting my concoctions and experiments on here as I try them. If there are any other sites, blogs or forums that you may have related to these subjects, please let me know :).

All items except for the baking soda, ACV, Crystal deodorant stick and white vinegar were purchased at

ACV: use to clarify my hair

Baking Soda: Use to make cleaners and to clarify hair.

White vinegar: use mixture with borax as an all purpose cleaner.

Crystal Body deodorant stick 4.25 oz 4.89 ...has no aluminum Cholorohydrate. Actually there are only two ingredients: Natural Mineral Salts and Ammonium Alum. I have to say I was skeptical about this because, honestly I tend to need some strong deodorants :P. This has no scent and it is a solid bar (feels like a solid dry glycerin soap). It is not wet at all. You have to wet it a little and smooth it under your armpits. I have been using this for three days now, and it is summetime, I am so so so so so impressed. I have absolutely no body smell under my pits. OMG I wish I would have known about this. I literally kept rubbing my fingers and smelling to see if there was anything (I know gross). I didn't even re-apply. I tried this after shaving and no stinging. On the back it says that this can last up to one year. I am so happy because I use to go through my dove and secret deodorants every 2 to 3 months and feel like I'm just masking my smell. This is a keeper. It's cheap, chemical free (hazard score of 0)and it works. Sorry for the long review but I love it.

Aubrey honeysuckle rose conditioner and Island naturals: 11 oz purchased from
Love these conditioners, especially the honeysuckle one. I've been using this for some time now and it's so thick that it last me along time. I put some in a spray bottle with water and mix with extra virgin olive oil and use as spritz. I noticed with this I have to alternate with other conditioners because the wheat germ oil in it which acts like a protein, so my hair doesn't feel as moist with constant use. This is one of my keepers even though it has a hazard score of 3 on the cosmetic database. I do not like their shampoos because they are too drying.

Giovanni Smooth as silk conditioner: Hazard score of 2 and it works great to moisturize.

Giovanni Direct Leave-In™ Conditioner -- 8.5 fl oz

Desert Essence Natural Tea Tree Oil Toothpaste Mint -- 7 oz

Desert Essence Castile Liquid Soap with Organic Tea Tree Oil -- 32 fl oz
$7.08 I plan on using this to make my homemade dishwashing liquid, floor cleaner and laundry soap.

Tom's of Maine Natural Cleansing Mouthwash Spearmint -- 16 fl oz

Heritage Products Rose Petals Rosewater -- 4 fl oz - I will be adding this to my hair moisture spritz. Will post review when I get it.

Heritage Products Castor Oil Hexane-Free -- 8 fl oz
$3.48 I love castor oil especially mixed with shea butter to seal my hair and for my body. It whips nicely with shea butter.

Aura Cacia Sweet Orange Essential Oil -- 0.5 fl oz I love addint this to my homemade stuff for the scent. Especially when mixed with lavander and vanilla...mmm

Aura Cacia 100% Pure Essential Oil Rosemary -- .5 fl oz

Jason Kids Only ! Toothpaste Strawberry -- 4.2 oz $3.19
This is for my four year old son who still swallows his toothpaste. It is flouride free and has a good taste. I've been using this for about 3 months on my son and he is still on the same toothpaste bottle. Hazard score of 2...lowest I could find for any toothpaste.

Dr. Bronner's Castile Liquid Soap Baby Mild -- 16 fl oz I plan on using this to wash my hair in place of shampoo and for cleaning.

Heritage Products Vegetable Glycerin -- 4 fl oz Plan on using this for my homemade moisture spritz.

Lily of the Desert Organic Whole Leaf Aloe Vera Juice -- 32 fl oz using this for my moistur spritz as well.

Kiss My Face Pure Olive Oil Bar Soap -- 8 oz This has a hazard score of zero and 8oz is a huge size for the price.

Desert Essence Jojoba Oil -- 4 fl oz

Giovanni Magnetic Restructuring Conditioner -- 8.5 fl o $5.25 $5.25

Crystal Body Deodorant Spray -- 4 fl oz


Nature's Alchemy 100% Pure Essential Oil Tea Tree -- 0.5 fl oz

Aura Cacia Cold Pressed Oil Sweet Almond -- 4 fl oz

Kirk's Natural Castile Soap, Original -- 4 oz Each / Pack of 3
$3.90 I'm using this to grate for my home made laundry soap. Will post recipe.

Heritage Products Aura Glow Lavender -- 2 fl oz for scent

All this came out to 100.00 and this is literally everything for my family that should last at least 6 months. No buying cleaning products or shampoos, deodorants and so forth. I will post some recipes I'm going to try and will review them after I try them. Let me know if you have any ideas as to how I can use some of these items as well.

First Post: Natural hair and health journey

First off I will like to start this post by saying that I to not like labels, nor do I consider myself a "crunchy" person (actually my political views are on the conservative side hee hee). My lifestyle and choices are not due to an over concern for the environment or some fad about "going green", although I think as a Christian we should do are best to care for what God has blessed us with. Anyway, about a few years ago I moved away from my hometown in NY and did not have my local Dominican salon to go to any longer. I refused to relax my hair as I had done previously. I was forced to take care of my hair on my own. I began researching online and joined several hair forums, such as longhaircare and naturally curly. It was from these sites that I began to learn about hair and how to truly care for it. I began buying products recommended on these sites and constantly read labels on products. The problem was that I had become a "product junky" and could not leave a store without a new hair product in my hand. I'm an ethnic women (of mixed origin) with kinky curly hair (or 3c hair) and have spent lots of money on hair products; I'm talking about hundreds of dollars a year. I always had longish hair but it was not healthy. I actually could not get my hair past BSL (bra-strap length) without it splitting and breaking. My mom just didn't believe in cutting hair but she never taught me to love my curly hair. She has the same texture hair as I and relaxes every 2 months and straightens constantly. After much research I realized I was spending so much money on hair products and putting so much chemicals into my hair and body. Even the products that are labeled as natural are not always natural and usually tend to be pricier. When I was taking out money from my savings to purchase hair products, I realized enough is enough. After two years on trying products on my hair, I've decided to give up highly chemical products and use a few natural products, but mostly homemade stuff. I have to admit that I have know idea what the long term affects are for using non commercial products since I have always bought conventional hair products. For the first time, instead of me trying to alter my hair into what I want it to be, I will let my hair do what it wants and truly get to know my hair texture.

So what exactly am I doing for this natural change? Well like I stated above, I got rid of all my products that have harmful chemicals in goodbye, Suave, Garnier, Pantene and Creme of Nature :( I kept my Aubrey Organic Honeysuckle Rose and Island Natural and my Giovanni stuff. I have also made my own leave-in using stuff from my kitchen and essential oils. I will post some of my recipes on my next few posts. I eventually would like to just use homemade stuff, but I will see how it goes first. My goal is to be natural, chemical free without spending money. In fact, I want to show myself and others that you can be healthy and natural and spend less money than you would buying commercial products. I've also extended this philosophy to everything I buy, use and eat at home. I try to cook and eat healthier and use "green friendly" products now. However, I refuse to spend any more money than I use to so I try to make my cleaning products as well. As a mother and wife I realize everything I do affects my family. If I'm healthy, so are they. I'm also a licensed nurse, so health is something I'm use to thinking about.

I will post on different topics which include but are not limited to, natural hair and products, product reviews, homemade recipes, mothering, spirituality, food reviews and exercising.