Thursday, 30 December 2010

Ingredients Glossary


I've never tried Burt's Bee's products before (even though they do seem to sound great!). I'm just mentioning them because I cam across a rather useful glossary on their website CLICK HERE to check it out.






Another useful site with information on ingredients is LUSH 

Sunday, 26 December 2010

New Year Hair Resolutions

I've been looking through pictures of my for the past year and I'm amazed at how much my hair has grown, I took advantage of this length and in the pat 2 months have blow dried my hair 5 times, my hair didn't like this at all and my ends are not in a good state. So my main priority this year is to retain length I want to see if I can grow more length than this year. Below are some of the things I'm going to do.
  1. Not going to use a blow dryer any more - AIR DRY ONLY!!!
  2. Dust ends on a regular basis
  3. Pre-poo with oil every time I wash my hair (try to apply the night before, oils I'll use Olive oil, Avocado Oil and Coconut Oil)
  4. More protective styling (starting with crochet braids in the New Year after I've taken off these bad ends)
  5. Protein conditioner every 6-8 weeks (Giovanni Nutrafix or Aubrey Organics Glycogen Protein Conditioner)
  6. Try to do natural protein treatments - using eggs and avocado
  7. Deep moisture condition every week
  8. Bentonite clay mask with Marshmallow once a month
  9. Regularly moisturise
  10. Wash once a week
  11. Invest in a steamer
I came across this "Healthy Hair Challenge" after I finished writing this post - looks good!

Monday, 20 December 2010

Thirsty Roots

I have recently started to make more use of my profile at Natural Sunshine.com, and while surfing the web for new hairstyles I cam across another natural hair community site called Thirsty Roots.com, what attracted me at first was the downloadable hair style ebook, but there is lots of interesting thing on the site, including a Natural Hair Glossary . Use links to take a look at both community sites.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Protective Styling




What in my opinion is protective styling? Protective styling to me, allows your hair to have a rest from you playing with it and passing a comb, brush or your hands (naughty!) through it on a daily basis. Protective styling allows you to retain the length of your hair by protecting the ends, the oldest hair on your head. It also helps to avoid the hairs rubbing against each other which can cause tangles and knots. Protective styles can also help to retain moisture protecting your hair from the elements and avoiding it drying out.

There are some people who think that they need to wear protective styles all the time, I don't believe in this and at present I have had mini twists in for 2 weeks and I'm getting bored (see picture above). It's true that wearing protective styles would be best to retain the most length but why have natural hair if you can't show it off? I'll still get to my hair goals as long as I stick to low manipulation and low heat regimens. Low manipulation to me is, doing two strand twists and then wearing a twist out, I would only blow my hair out for a special occasion and as of yet I haven't used straight iron

Think of protective styles as Lucozade for your hair, metaphorically speaking that is. People drink Lucozade to give them energy, but they don't wait until their on their last legs to fuel up. Don't wait until your hair is breaking and dry and reached the point of no return before you fuel up (do a protective style).

My advice is don't become obsessive with protective styles, natural hair is a thing of beauty, to be enjoyed by you and seen in awe by others, don't hide is away. Only use protective styles to give your hair that bit of respite, give it time to fuel up and then show it off!

Below something I found from internet research (but was written for relaxed hair):

Types of Protective Styles


Protective styles fall into two categories: Complete and Low-manipulation protective styles. A good regimen will contain a healthy mixture of both types-for variety and for your sanity!

Complete Protective Styles are styles that have the ends out of sight and are 100% protective. These styles include: all varieties of buns, chignons (French rolls), tucked styles, phonytails (phony-ponies), wigs, and sew-in type weaves.

Low-Manipulation Styles are styles that do expose the ends to some degree, but are protective in that they drastically cut down on the manipulation (combing/handling) the hair experiences. These styles include: Rollersets, Braids, cornrows, some updo's or pinned up styles, braidouts and twistouts.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Facebook

I have now set up a Facebook page titled 4Nappiness4Eva, head on over and hit the 'Like' button

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Natural Hair Care Recipes

All Natural Homemade Hair Care Recipes: Shampoo, Conditioner, Hair Serum, Hairspray, gel, hot oil treatments, natural hair serum recipes, hair loss recipes and more! Make your own natural hair care products with simple recipes. Learn about the ingredients you can put in your shampoos, conditioners and homemade styling products. Do it yourself, Homemade natural hair care recipes. Natural homemade anti-frizz serums, herbal shampoos, organic hot oil treatments, brown sugar scalp scrubs and more. Information on herbs, essential oils and ingredients you can add to your hair care recipes to suit all your hair care needs! Click post title to go to the website.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Staple Products - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

STAYING
Giovanni Smooth as Silk Conditioner

Giovanni Direct Leave in Conditioner

Giovanni Triple Treat Conditioner

Afro Shampoo Bar - By Shea Butter Cottage (LOVE, LOVE, LOVE)

Twisted Mango Custard 9for twists and braids) - BeUNIQUE Hair Care

Moisture Lotion (daily moisturiser) - BeUNIQUE Hair Care

Sea Curls (curl defining gel) - BeUNIQUE Hair Care

Conditioning Cream (softens & conditions) - BeUNIQUE Hair Care

Natural oils (to many to mention but my hair loves Avocado Oil & Grapeseed Oil these to oils also have a high resistance to heat so good to use when blow drying the hair)

Shine moisture spritz - my own concoction (not perfected yet!)

Herbal decoctions and infusions

Bentonite Clay


NEW
Dr. Organics Vitamin E Conditioner - Really like, and nice to mix with Giovanni Smooth as Silk Conditioner

Biotin Conditioner - Mill Creek Botanicals - Still unsure, but still good enough to keep using and also try other products in the range (Bought from Sheel Pharmacy in Lewisham near the bus garage)

GOING
Aubrey Organics White Camellia Ultra-Smooth Conditioner

Garnier Fructis Repair and Shine Conditioner

Faith in Nature Conditioners

Dr Bronners Castile Soap

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

'Fro Hawk

While going through the early stages of my natural hair journey one of my goals was to get my hair long enough so that I could rock a 'fro hawk and yes, I've done it! I went out clubbing with a friend at the weekend and I decided that this was going to be the weekend that I would rock my dream style, I knew that to get the volume I wanted I would have to blow dry my hair, I used avocado and grapeseed oil as heat protectants. My results are pictured below, I include a picture of when I got home, sweat and heat in the club made my twist out expand! I also include a picture of day 3 hair achieved by just re-twisting. 


Monday, 1 November 2010

Not such a bad hair day

Last night it got to 6pm and I was like, damn, I haven't washed my hair, I hate washing my hair that late but I have to wash it once a week. I shampooed my hair with a Rhassoul Shampoo Bar by Shea Butter Cottage, it was a different experience from using the Afro Shampoo Bar , it didn't pop my curls like the Afro Shampoo bar, but my hair felt squeaky clean without feeling dry, which was good as I had quite a bit of gel in my hair. I then used the new conditioner that I had brought earlier in the week Dr. Organic Vitamin E conditioner, I think I like this conditioner although, as with any hair product you can not provide a fair assessment after just one week. What I can say is, that it's thick and foams up a treat, and I used it to detangle using my Denman D4 brush, it smells a little medicinal but I think it did moisturise my hair. I left it on for about 40mins with a plastic cap.

While the conditioner was in my hair I went to the kitchen to create two new products I made a leave-in conditioner and a hair styling lotion with added flax seed gel so that I could twist my hair. I rinsed my hair put in the leave-in and two strand twist my hair with the styling lotion, I did the twists larger than usual due to the time and put some flat twists in the front and went to bed with my hair wet (shock, horror).



This morning I used the hair dryer to dry my hair a little bit more with the intention of doing a twist out as I really didn't like the look of the twists as they were. I started to undo the twists and I really didn't like the look of it, it looked too chunky, I put some grapeseed oil on my hands and split them up some more, I ended up looking like I'd been electrocuted. So I smoothed the back of my hair with some moisturising lotion and also used some of the styling lotion and put my hair in a puff, and it looked really good.

But why did I give this post the title 'not such a bad hair day'? because my hair can tend to get dry when the ends are left out, but it feels moisturised, smooth and silky and not greasy. Now I don't know if it's the combination of products that had that effect or just one, but I will use Dr. Organics again and my leave-in.

See you next week!

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Dr. Organic @ Holland & Barrett

Was out with my Mum the other day and she dragged me in to Holland & Barrett, and I ended up buying some hair conditioner, I'm not usually one to impulse buy, but the display looked so inviting, yeah I'm weak. Anyhow the display was of a new brand on the scene Dr. Organic, they make skin care and hair care products. The conditioners that I looked at were Aloe Vera, Manuka Honey, Lavender, Vitamin E and Pomegranate, they also do Green Tea. I chose to purchase the Vitamin E conditioner, because it said it was moisturising, it cost £5.25 for 250ml, which I think is a fair price, and at the moment Holland Barrett are offering buy one get one half price on anything in store. It has a slight fragrance to it and is a thick consistency, I haven't tried it yet, I just wanted to share, but I'll be sure to do a review when I do try it.

What the website says:
A nourishing conditioner suitable for all hair types formulated with Organic Vitamin E, Aloe Vera, Shea butter, Hydrolyzed milk protein, Panthenol and Sunflower oil. A deeply soothing and effective conditioner formulated to lock in moisture, which restores natural condition by penetrating and coating the hair’s external fibres and cellular keratin matrix, promoting rehydration and restoring the hair into beautiful and manageable condition. See picture below, he colour isn't right my conditioner is rich golden colour.



Garnier Fructis £1 @ ASDA

I went grocery shopping yesterday and picked up some Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine for £1

MONEY, MONEY, MONEY...

...or rather lack of it, not sure if I spoke about this before but it's my blog so I write what I want. Feeling a little frustrated I sat down this morning and worked out that I have 7 products that I want to market. The problem is having the finance to get the business off the ground. At the moment costs include; safety assessments and challenge testing at £180 per product! Then having to pay for labels, each jar needing 2 labels each, and then actually paying for the jars to put the product in AND having enough stock of the ingredients to have enough of each product to actually start selling. So it's seeming like I need to win the lottery or have a very generous friend to get this project off the ground. *sad face*. Hopefully by next year I'll be able to market at least one product from my potential range. All the products I'm creating are for styling a maintenance I only created one deep conditioner. Reason being I'm happy using Shea Butter Cottage shampoo bars, Giovanni conditioners and Garnier Fructis conditioners.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Hair Journal

Can I remind anyone reading this record is more for me to remember what I do rather then me giving advice, so apologises for any vagueness, but I do welcome questions or comments.

This weekend I did a deep treatment I'm going to do this every week, I used a hot oil mixture on my hair and layered on top of this my own deep treatment mix, I put a plastic bag on my head, and then sat under a heat cap for 1 hour. I washed it off using Afro Shampoo Bar from Shea Butter Cottage (I always use this to shampoo in my hair, and would only use Shea Butter products to shampoo my hair), I then detangled using Giovanni Smooth as Silk. I detangled my hair in 4 sections using my brand new Denman D4 brush which I purchased from Boots and I'm in love with it, and yes, I know, some of you may be thinking I'm a bit late, but I just didn't believe the hype, (although I did have a D14 when I had  TWA), I thought I'd try it because I felt that my detangling comb was causing too much stress to my hair.

After detangling I rinsed my hair undoing one section, rinsing tying that section back up and moving on to the next. Just to digress a little, I don't believe there is anything such as a 'snag free' hair band my hair still snags on those supposedly 'snag free' hair bands, so I'll have to invest in some large hair grips. So any way rinsed my hair then sprayed with a watered down leave in (Giovanni Direct Leave-in and a decotion of marshmallow and comfrey root). I then sealed in moisture using a mix of oils, and layered on top my own moisture cream.

My mum canerowed the front of my hair using Twisted Mango Custard and I 2 strand twisted the back. My intention was to have a twist out this didn't work too well so I pulled it back, then that in the week fro'ed it out.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Hair Journal

I've decided that its time that I try my best to keep a hair journal, mainly because there are times when I love my hair and it feels really moisturised and soft, and there are other times when it's dry and I think WHAT DID I DO?! It can be hard for me to remember because I do make my own products and sometimes I use remnants of something that just happens to be left in the bathroom and  forget what's in it. I have now got to the stage in my kitchen experiments where I have been able to recreate a handful of products with great success. So now I want to start using them on a regular basis so that I can see how good my creations really are. This is probably an apt time for me to start doing this as my camera was stolen and I can't make any YouTube videos at the moment.

So last week every morning my hair only took 5 minutes to do! Let me tell you what I did. Wash day: I used a Bentonite Deep treatment mask, this was mixed up the week before but I had some left over so I mixed in some preservative so it would last and it worked great. I then mixed a marshmallow and comfrey decotion with Giovanni leave in conditioner in a spray bottle and used that to detangle, I then sealed my ends with a mixture of natural oils and used a new product that I'm working on (it hasn't got a name yet), it's a mixture of butters and conditioner and helps to soften and moisturise the hair. I then used my favourite creation so far Sea Curls, a curl defining gel that I've created. Then every morning after I sprayed with water shook my hair and I was out the door. I didn't touch a single hair on my head until next wash day, and when I did I couldn't believe how moisturised and soft my hair felt.


Thursday, 23 September 2010

BeUNIQUEhaircare.co.uk is now trading!

I've taken the first step of many, the BeUNIQUE website is now up and running and trading, we're selling herbs and powders, including Bentonite Clay and Marshmallow Root Powder that you can use to make deep conditioners, and final rinses, as well as moisturising spritz for your hair. So go along to http://www.beuniquehaircare.co.uk/ and take a look at what's on offer.



Thursday, 2 September 2010

Who's your hairspiration?



I was just reading Angel's new post on http://www.thenaturallounge.com/ about Mahogany Boisseau and I felt so inspired to see a beautiful black woman with beautiful long hair the kind of hair that, in the past, I thought, was only achievable if you had a relaxer. I kind of decided this month that I was going to do my own mini growth challenge, but now I am inspired even more to want to look after my hair and grow healthy, long, natural hair.


WHO'S YOUR HAIRSPIRATION?
(please answer via posting comments) 

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

"Put down the Eco Styler!" - Dangerous Ingredient

I'm doing my public service bit and have come to inform you all about an ingredient called TRIETHANOLAMINE. You'll find this mostly used in hair gels and it's used in Eco Styler and African Essence (I'm sorry to say when desparate I still use my African Essence). Please read extract below taken from Aromantic.co.uk (http://www.aromantic.co.uk/buy-organic-natural-emulsifiers-cosmetic-skin-care-uk.htm)

"Another Emulsifier to avoid is Triethanolamine. It is produced within the petroleum industry and has been used for several decades (and continues to be used) within the cosmetics industry to support emulsification. This chemical is severely irritating for the eyes and skin. It penetrates the skin and can cause liver damage. In addition to this, when combined with nitrate ions - normally found in drinking water and many meat products - it produces a carcinogenic substance, Nitrosamine. It should never be used in Skin Care products but is regrettably, common in the UK."

Click here for detailed break down, and you can look up other ingredients too!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

1 Years Growth - Time to Celebrate



17 months natural and a whole year since my second BC (Big Chop), it’s gone so fast. I feel like I’m entering a new phase of my natural journey and saying goodbye to my TWA. So what lessons have I learnt on this journey:

The following is what I have learnt and advise from my own personal experience.

DON’T BE A PRODUCT JUNKIE!
When you first go natural it’s almost like being a kid in a sweet shop, you sit down and watch YouTube and want to order everything that is suggested. I’m not saying don’t try out different products, but there is no need to try out a new product every single week. I would say, that you need to stick with a product for at least 4-6 weeks to know if you hair likes it or not UNLESS, you have drastic results from the first use then, just say bye.

STAPLES ARE GOOD
Find the products that work for you and stick with them (this may contradict my 4th point, but oh well). Have the standard staples, the old friendlies that you can return to and won’t let you down. From a retail point of view my old friendlies are (these are products that are not used regularly but I know when desperate they’ll work, even if they’re on the bathroom shelf gathering dust!): African Essence hair gel, Dr. Bronner's Castile soap, Garnier Fructis repair and shine, Faith in Nature Conditioners. My staples (products used regularly): Afro Shampoo Bar by Shea Butter Cottage, Twisted Mango Custard by BeUNIQUE, my own leave in, my own curl definer and my own hair spritz. I use natural oils and herbal infusions, some oils regularly used jojoba, avocado, coconut, black seed, sapote, poppy seed, rice bran and castor.

BE PATIENT
It can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you’re hair isn’t growing that’s why it’s important to take pictures, not to be vain! But to document your journey, when you look back you’ll realise actually your growth was normal for you. Remember everyone is different you are unique, take time to get to know your hair, love your hair and it will love you back.

AS YOUR HAIR GROWS YOUR ROUTINE WILL CHANGE
As your hair grows you may to adjust what you do to it and what products you use, the products you used to achieve curls for your TWA (Teenie Weenie Afro) may not work as well as your hair gains length.

RESEARCH
Be aware of every single ingredient in your hair care products, I’m hoping you all know the basics, no mineral oil, no petrolatum and no parabens. Now cones, that’s another thing, me personally, I’ve learnt that my hair doesn’t like products with silicones in them, but they agree with some people, I would advise if you are going to use them make sure they are water soluble so that they don’t build up on your hair. Researching can be time consuming but you’ll start to get used to some of the frequently used ingredients and then it will become like second nature. When you research this is when you’ll realise that you maybe able to source the ingredients yourself and start making your own stuff.

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT
It’s not just what you put on your hair that’s important but also what goes in your body. Case in point I personally do not take in many liquids on a daily basis I can actually go a whole day and only have one drink with my evening meal. How my hair survived I DON’T KNOW. I have now started to drink more water and can see improvements in my hair and skin. Look up foods that improve hair health.

CONTINUE TO LEARN ABOUT YOUR HAIR
I’ve gotten to a point now where I know what my hair needs, but as it grows longer I’ll have to continue learning about it. I haven’t trimmed it yet so that’s something to learn, learning how to balance moisture and protein and knowing when your hair needs what, monitoring shed hair and differentiating it from hair loss. This can be time consuming, or maybe that’s just me being anal, and having to check the plug hole to see if the hairs I’ve lost have got roots attached or not!

In conclusion this journey not only has allowed me to fall in love with what God naturally blessed me with, but has also allowed me to use gifts he has blessed me with by taking a big step and starting my own hair care business although still in it’s infancy it’s something that is challenging me to what to improve myself and not to give up.

Just before I sign off for this post I want to give thanks to some people who have helped this past year. Obviously number one, the big G, God for giving me the vision to use what I was doing in the kitchen and turn it into something bigger. My husband for being patient when I spend hours in the kitchen creating products and then more time in the bathroom trying them out, my Mum for always asking how plans are going and not totally disowning me after my 2nd BC! Zoe Penny aka ReviveUK, purchasing her online 'how to guides' helped me to learn the basics to produce my own products, and last but not least Ronke Ige (Emi & Ben Natural Skin Care), for being an inspiration, igniting my entrepreneural fire and giving excellent advice.

Friday, 6 August 2010

The 'Fro'

Here are some pictures of me rocking an afro, my intention was to do a braid out, so I did do my hair in small plaits using Twisted Mango Custard, but when I let them out the definition gave way to frizz. I think I did them too small, so I played with it sprayed on some Coconut Cocktail - this softened the hair - and viola a beautiful afro, my hair had so much volume! My other reason for rocking a 'fro was because I had to dress up as superhero for a school event, and I decided to investigate what Black female superheros existed, and I found a woman called Misty Knight who sports a really big afro, and has an amazing figure. Check out the pictures.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

BeUNIQUE Hair Care Update

video
I'm overwhelmed with the interest from prospective buyers for my hair care products, and many people and YouTube subbies have been asking when I'm going to start trading. As much as I would love to just package my products and start trading, it's not as simple as that, there are certain things that I need to do in order to legally comply with cosmetic trading standards. For example, I have to get all formulations safety assessed and challenge tested, this is to ensure that I'm using the right preservation system/ technique (to prevent germs forming!).  All of this costs money, and so although I'm working on other items that I can sell through the BeUNIQUE website, the actual hair products that I'm developing may not be available until early next year. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, 4 June 2010

The ball is rolling...

BeUnique Hair Care is moving from a dream to reality, I have registered the company and it's now officially known as BE UNIQUE HAIR CARE LTD. I'm happy and scared at the same time, scared because now it's a little more real and getting registered is just the first step, and now I can't go back. The next step is to become certified so that I can legally make and trade homemade cosmetics. The plan was to have this whole thing off the ground by this time next year, but due to money being a big factor I don't think that will happen, but, it will happen!

Crochet Braids

So I've installed crochet braids, this was my second attempt, the first time I used Freetress Water Wave but it just seemed too silky to be able to stay, also I used the thread through and loop over technique. This time I used Freetress Bohemian Braid, and I used the thread through, and just knot technique (no loop), it stayed well. It took me 15 hours and 3 packs of hair, but I don't want to wear the hair down as there just seems to be too much hair. Next time I don't think I'll split the strand of hair and space it out a bit more along the cornrow that may reduce the bulk. For now I can live with it, and apart from twists this is my first protective style, I'm going to keep it in for 4 weeks if I can stretch to 6 that would be good.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Carrier Oil Comparison

The following information was taken from a post on the Long Hair Community

Almond Oil, Sweet (Prunus amygdalus var. dulcus)

medium-light; slightly oily, leaves a slight oily feeling on the skin; absorbs semi-quickly
emollient for conditioning/softening skin; great for dry, itchy skin rich in essential fatty acids, vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, and E used in massage oils, lotions, balms and soaps
in hair care, sweet almond oil helps condition, nourish, and soften hair moderately priced

NOTE: can stain sheets and clothing

COM 2

shelf life 1 year

Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis)

available in powder, gel or oil traditionally used for healing burns and injuries soothes dry damaged skin

COM 0

oil has a shelf life of 6 mo-1 yr

Aloe Vera Butter

extraction of aloe gel into a solid fraction of coconut oil so that it can be used like a butter melts on contact with the skin good for treating dry skin, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, sunburn and chapping

Amla Oil (Emblica officinalis)

good for all skin types used in hair products to strength and condition

shelf life 1-2 yrs

Andiroba Oil (Carapa guianensis)

has similar properties to that of Neem oil but *without* the characteristic un-friendly scent very light but rich contains a group of natural alpha hydroxy acids (a collagen booster and skin conditioner) currently being used as a natural oil base for many anti-wrinkle creams like Aveda & Oil of Olay great source of Essential Fatty Acids such as:
linoleic; required for the development of healthy skin and cell membranes, reducing puffiness and swelling. *vitamin F; helps to hydrate dry, parched skin palmitoleic; natural conditioner that imparts incredible softness to skin & hair myristic acid; regulates the skin cell regeneration, which prevents over active scaling accelerates the healing of unsightly skin damage balances the uncontrolled growth of skin cells balances the uncontrolled growth of the pigment producing cells treats insect bites, cuts, scrapes, abrasions, psoriasis, eczema, seborrheic dermatitis and age spots imparts a natural, non greasy, conditioning effect on both wavy, curly, and Afro hair types for sore, achy and tired muscles; used as a heat treatment the benefits are instantly noticeable used by professional athletes as a muscle rub and to treat sports injuries used by those suffering from arthritis and rheumatism used in salons as a hot oil treatment for their clients with thick naturally curly hair increases blood circulation in the scalp, which in turn promotes healthy hair growth will congeal, like butter, in cooler climates; simply place the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water to liquefy

Apricot Kernel Oil (Prunus armeniaca)

very light, non-greasy, rich oil; easily absorbed into the skin emollient for conditioning/softening skin good for dry, tired, mature or sensitive skin great for removing makeup and softening delicate skin around the eye rich in vitamins A, D & E and in both oleic acid and linoleic acid. frequently used in massage great moisturizing and conditioning oil for mature and sensitive skin and skin that is inflamed and dry
said to aid in the repair of the skins elasticity in prematurely aged skin

COM 2

shelf life of cold pressed and expeller 6 mo-1 yr

Argan Oil (Argania spinosa)

has anti-aging and restructuring properties wonderful skin and haircare product contains many antioxidants and is rich in vitamin E

shelf life 2 yrs

Avocado Oil (Persea gratissima) (also available in butter form)

medium weight; leaves no greasy residue rich in vitamins A, D and E said to have healing and regenerating properties heals scaly skin and scalp very penetrating; imparts valuable nutrients to the skin softens, increases elasticity, moisturizes dry or mature skins, heals eczema used to treat sun damaged skin that is dehydrated and under nourished said to help with the regenerating of skin cells believed to be a good hair stimulant and an excellent protein conditioner for the hair & scalp helps restore luster and hydrate dry and damaged ends may overpower a blend if not diluted with another carrier

COM 2

shelf life of refined or unrefined 1 yr

Babassu Oil (Orbignya oleifera)

fast penetrating oil one of nature’s richest emollients, beneficial for either dry or oily complexions used for generations by indigenous cultures of South America as a natural moisturizer gently moisturizes, conditions and adds luster to the skin with no greasy after-feel especially good for eczema, itchy, dry and inflamed skin nourish, moisturize, and restore hair strength, giving shiny, healthy-looking hairnon-comedogenic

shelf life 1-2 yrs

Baobab Oil (Adansonia digitata)

quick to absorb, exceptional moisturizing properties, does not clog pores, very rich and stable

shelf life 2 yrs

Blackcurrant Seed Oil (Ribes Nigrum)

rich source of GLA, superb moisturizer, can be used in place of evening primrose or borage seed oils, helps to improve acne and rosacea, great for dry, devitalized, damaged, and aging skin

shelf life 6 mo-1 yr

Black Raspberry Seed Oil (Rubus occidentalis)

ultra rich in antioxidants, essential fatty acids [30% of these are Omega-3s], contains Vitamin E

shelf life 1 yr

Black Seed Oil (Nigella sativa)

very concentrated with essential fatty acids, great healing properties, good for eczema, psoriasis and dry skin. Use caution with this oil if pregnant!

shelf life 6 mo-1 yr

Blueberry Seed Oil (Vaccinium corymbosum)

potent anti-oxidant, conditioning, non greasy, gentle blueberry aroma

shelf life 1 yr

Borage Oil (Borago officinalis) (aka Starflower Oil)

thin to medium, leaves a somewhat oily feel to the skin, excellent moisturizer in skin care nourishes and reinforces cell tissues and membranes, retains moisture and slows ageing, rich plant source of GLA, said to be excellent in treating many skin conditions, expensive and is usually blended in a small (often 10%) dilution with other carrier oils


shelf life 6 mo refrigerated; goes rancid rather quickly—must refrigerate

Brahmi Oil (Bacopa monniera)

used for its diuretic properties in India, relieves itchy scalp, helps with hair loss, purifies and tightens skin

shelf life 1 yr (infused in sweet almond oil)

Brazil Nut Oil (Bertholletia excelsa)

rich in proteins and vitamins E and A, rich emollient/moisturizer similar to sesame oil, high in essential fatty acids, amino acids, zinc, vitamin A and E, and selenium, an important antioxidant, oil lubricates and moisturizes skin, helps prevent dryness, promotes a clear complexion, very stable


FOR MORE CLICK THE LINK (Title of the post)

Shower Filter

The area in which I live has extremely hard water, I never turn on my washing machine without using water softener and I feel like I'm forever scrubbing my stainless steel sink. I believe the the hard water in the area has had an effect on my hair, and it's scientifically proven that hard water damages your hair. Below are some useful links:
I had been looking into purchasing some magnets that are supposed to prevent limescale in your pipes, and therefore minimising the hardness of water that comes out of the tap, but then I thought there must be some kind of attachment that I can buy that I can put onto the shower. So I set about researching, I came across the Paragon Luxury Hand-Held Shower Head Filter which was featured on Oprah:



I didn't end up buying this particular one, I  instead purchased the Sprite Shower Royale Filtered Hand-Held in Chrome Colour.


When weighing up the cost effectiveness I found this to be more value for money, you need to think about how often you will need to change the filters and how much the filters are. I bought a hand held version as I don't have a shower cubicle, but you can get shower head filters for standing showers too. I bought my shower from Allergy Liberation. Sprite Shower Filters are independently proven to be the most EFFECTIVE shower filters on the market today.

I used the shower on my hair for the first time last night and I can say, with confidence, that I noticed a considerable difference, the soap didn't take as long to lather, my hair felt soft and it had less tangles, leading to an easier detangling process, it was also easy to install. I would recommend the shower filter to everyone, I wish I had one from the first day of my BC.

Shea Butter Cottage - Akua Wood

I'm in love with Shea Butter Cottage, it's one of those sites that you keep looking at, and in your head add products to a secret wish list. I've only tried one product, but let me tell you where my love is coming from. Akua Wood, (the owner) works with ingredients that I like, ingredients that I, at first thought, only I was incorporating into hair products. Her site is extreemley informative too, telling you what the ingredients will do for your skin and hair.

Last night I washed my hair with her Afro Shampoo Bar I LOVE IT! and it has great ingredients, I'm not a fan of shop bought shampoo and since the BC the only thing I use in my hair that's a soap is Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap. Well, let me tell you, the Afro Soap is great, as soon as I put it on my hair my curls began to pop, and my hair felt so soft it was amazing! (I think my new filtered shower head helped too). One of the ingredients is murumuru butter which is great for afro hair and I also use this ingredient in my homemade conditioner, so my hair had double softness.

All I can say is keep it up Akua, and if you haven't been to her site do so ASAP!

Apologies

I've just been going through the blog and noticed comments on some of the posting, I wasn't aware that they were there and so that's why I haven't responded. I'm going to go to the settings now to see if it will email me when people comment.

Back in the kitchen...

So I only managed to keep the kinky twists in for a week, they didn't turn out like I wanted them to and were quite annoying, next time I'm going to try crochet braids. Taking out the kinky twists gave me the opportunity to work my version of Smooth and Shine Curl Activator Gel. I was in the kitchen this morning working on it, and it's in my hair now, the formula I made up is not exactly how I want it to be, but it's well on it's way to doing what I want it to do. I co-washed my hair TIGI Moisture Maniac then sprayed with my moisturising spritz then put the gel mixture on. It has defined my curls and I was able to style it in record time. I'm currently waiting to see how it dries. Things I don't want it to do is: dry hard and crispy, flake or dry white, I'm hoping to have a soft hold. I've also used some to hold down the baby hairs so we'll see how it goes.

So, so far in the BeUnique Hair Care range we have:

  • Twisted Mango Custard - for twists and braids
  • Coconut Cocktail - a moisturising, hair softening spritz
  • Shea Passion Puddin' - a curl defining hair cream, with soft hold
  • Next will be a moisture lotion and hair butter

BeUnique: The Journey

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Grabbing an opportunity


So I've been at it again, researching ingredients! I'm still on my quest to perfect the perfect gel, one that will hold your curl pattern, and provide shine and moisture without the crunch. A gel that is spoken highly of in the natural YouTube community is Smooth and Shine Curl Activator Gel, but people are no longer happy with it because of the change in it's ingredients, it now has amongst other things parabens (shock, horror). I myself have never tried the gel, but not one to miss an opportunity, I am setting myself the challenge of recreating this so called wonder gel. I'm going to use the original good stuff, but take out the artificial stuff e.g. carbomer which is a polymer, Triethanolamine which is a thickener that can cause dryness, DMDM Hydantoin a preservative and Oleth 20 which is a surfactant and emulsifying agent.

It may seem like I'm taking out a lot but I'm replacing them with more naturally derived ingredients. One heads up I'll give away for free is I'm going to experiment with Carregeenan, which is used to provide hold in gel. While researching today I found out that Carregeenan is the gelatinous extracts of the Chondrus crispus seaweed. What the hell is Chondrus crispus seaweed? I here you say, well it's Irish Moss which is very good for afro textured hair. When Irish Moss is boiled up with water it produces a gel this is the Carregeenan, therefore I propose that in much the same way many naturals have tried the homemade Flax seed gel, you can also try to produce Carregeenan from Irish Moss.

Carregeenan will not obviously be the only ingredient I use in my hair gel, but it used to replace some of the thickening and emulsifying properties of the other ingredients that I'm taking out of the original formula for the Smooth and Shine Gel. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Making moves..

At church last week the guest pastor was telling us where to find money, he told us 10 places that money is hiding two of those places where in 'problems' and in 'you'. There are always going to be problems in the world and if you can find a solution for them you will have the potential to make money. Money is on the inside of us, because we have ideas and need to take up opportunities when they arise.


I had a problem that was my hair and I know other naturals have similar problems but rather than paying through the nose for hair products I wanted to create my own, to meet the specific problems of my hair. So you see money potentially is on the inside of me. I have spoken on YouTube about hair products that I want to create and some people have shown an interest in purchasing them. So I've decided to be proactive get off my bottom and get the ball rolling, I have 3 products that will soon be ready to sell.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

African Essence Hair Gel


So like i said previously I did fall of the wagon and used shop bought gel, but it made my hair hard and once I read the ingredients and wanted to wash it out right away. The key ingredient is PVP this is a polymer and it's what helps to clump the curls together and help define them. So my reaction was I found a natural silicone all I have to do is find a natural polymer or to be more specific a biopolymer. I found one that I could only source from China called Pullulan. But then after searching on the internet for hours I cam across Aubery Organics B5 Design Gel and Aubery Organics Moisturising Jelly.


I have purchased these products because they use Gum Tragacath and Gum Arabic, which should be good substitutes for PVPs. So once I try them I'll tell you how it goes, but I have also bought the aforementioned gums in a bid to create my own gel. I WILL NOT GIVE UP!


New growth

I don't seem to update this blog that often but when I'm not on here, I'm usually uploading to YouTube. I think if I commit to updating once a month that will do me.

Well I'm feeling so, so right now, I thought that I had perfected the recipe for my hair gel, but I can't seem to get the exact match the same as the batch that I loved so much. So I'm starting from scratch. I did make a new product that I kind of like and I used it to do my twists and twist out, it's a mango butter hair balm which has two different butters in it and three oils one of them being meadowfoam seed oil which is supposed to be good for shine a moisture I used this to do my twists and my hair was really soft when I did the twist out. I also moisturised every day with an oil and water spritz one of the oils was coconut.

I tried an experiment with my hair gel, I melted a small amount of my mango hair balm and mixed in with my gel, it has created hold that defined my curls so I may experiment some more. I also fell of the wagon for a day opting to use shop bought gel but I hated it so much, so like I said I only lasted a day

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Holla - it's been a while

I haven't posted for a while due to not having time to sit down long enough, and sometimes it's easier to just post a video on YouTube.

I've begun to get into a routine with my hair and have found the products that it likes and I'm going to stick with them, I tried a new product reluctantly last week and my hair didn't respond well probably because it had parabens in it (I know shock horror!). It was TIGI Bedhead Moisture Maniac, people rave about it on YouTube, but my hair doesn't like it.

Another mishap this week, and another thing my hair doesn't like INDIAN POWDERS, I tried them my hair smelled like curry and it messed up my curl pattern I was sooooooooo unimpressed.

So okay the products I use and my hair likes, and are currently my staples are:
Garnier Fructis Repair and Shine Conditioner (I want to try sleek and shine too)
Faith in Nature Conditioners
Oyin Whipped Pudding (which I have now finished :( but will create my own)
Giovanni Smooth as Silk Conditioner
Giovanni Direct Leave in Conditioner
Dr Bronners Castile Soap
Water and vegetable glycerine
Natural oils (to many to mention but my hair loves Avocado Oil)
My own homemade hair gel and moisture cream
Afro Shampoo Bar - By Shea Butter Cottage
Aubrey Organics White Camellia Ultra-Smooth Conditioner

So that's all I'm using for now as well as experimenting with making my own conditioners and deep conditioners, but my hair gel is the only one so far that I'm really happy with.