My hair has been wrecked the last week or so.
On many every weekday morning, at 7:30 am, I have the mind of a root canal patient awakening from anesthesia and see no value in doing my hair so I throw it up in a bun. At 10:30 am, when I get a good look at myself in bathroom mirror at the office, I remember why doing my hair is good for my emotional well being and my career.
Then at 7:30 am the next day, I’ve forgotten everything I learned in the bathroom mirror the previous day and throw that mess in a bun. Then I went to the beach all day and thought it would be cool to just let my hair go, like an exotic mermaid, only to return home with a tangled mess.
So anyway, the point of this post is to show off the miracle results of nature’s beauty cream that is available to humans via my hair. Humor me.
The cure for my once beach-attacked/neglected strands? An overnight treatment with a batch of my DIY deep conditioner, this time, with extra coconut oil. There’s no situation that a smidgen of coconut oil can’t solve or at least improve.
Most weekday mornings, taming my wild curls and putting my clothes on properly buttoned is all that I can muster before I go out the door. Yes, me, the corporate power woman (ha) has shown up at work only to realize her shirt is on inside-out (and much to my chagrin, this was pointed out by a co-worker).
So if you haven’t gotten the message, I am completely NOT a morning person. Though I have been reserving 5 minutes of my morning routine to pack my lunch and make this lemon turmeric cleanse, even if it means putting on my makeup when I get to work. It takes me about 60 seconds to whip this together and I feel refreshed and quite literally cleansed after drinking this. I drink this at about 8:30 am, and by the time I get to work, I’ve noticed that I have much more energy, around 10 am. While it will never replace coffee, I have noticed that I am starting to crave this cleansing concoction just as much as my morning cup of coffee.
I’ve also noticed that my digestive system has improved and I swear my skin looks brighter, too!
I’ve recently gotten the hang of how to cook with turmeric (it’s what gives dishes like curry its golden yellow color) and have read numerous articles about the benefits of this root that is also used in Chinese and Indian herbal medicines.
The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, an antioxidant and is purported to have loads of benefits including improving digestion, acting as an anti-inflammatory, protecting against liver disease, and even inhibiting cancerous cells. Adding to this is the power of lemon. They are high in potassium, aid in flushing toxins from the body, and reduce bloating.
Lemon Turmeric Quick Cleanse
1. Squeeze 1/2 of a lemon into a 12 ounce glass (try to get some of the pulp in there too for added fiber!)
2. Pour 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder into the glass (I get mine from Trader Joes, although I’m sure you could find the root at a specialty market)
3. Fill the glass with water and enjoy!
If this is too sour, try heating the water and adding 1/2 tblspn of honey. If it’s too turmeric-y for your picky palette, try adding just 1/8 tsp of turmeric as I have found that it is an acquired taste.
Do you have a cleansing morning ritual? Please share!
This amazingly rich deep conditioner has lived on to become a staple in my hair care regimen. This wonderful formula of hair glop is like a curl whisperer, revitalizing my strands when they look sad and they just can’t even. Before I share my recipe, here are a few tips:
This will not have the same amount of slip as commercial conditioners. This is because this recipe is just oils and butters. Don’t worry: your strands will be much more amenable to your comb after this treatment!
Here’s a secret, my little duckies: beauty and cosmetic companies will add an ingredient, like argan oil, to their products. Yes, that “miracle” condish you just dropped serious funds on does have argan oil in it, but very little; it is probably one of the last items in the list of ingredients. This is because run of the mill ingredients, like glycerin, are cheaper and will be at the top of the list of ingredients, acting as filler. Making your own conditioner (and any DIY products) enables you to eliminate the filler ingredients and use the precious oils and butters more effectively than if they were diluted with other ingredients like many off-the-shelf products. Pay attention curly hair friends: If you have hair like mine (3a-c curls), then you probably feel as though most products do not offer enough moisture – I promise you that this conditioner will deliver!
– This recipe yields 1 treatment for my Diana Ross-esque mane (i.e. I have a shit-ton of hair). So if you aren’t
cursed blessed with as many strands as I, you might be able to squeeze 2 treatments out of this.
– This formula has been adapted from various deep conditioner recipes for my hair (3a/b, thick, curly, THIRSTAY). If your hair is not as coarse, you may want to decrease the amount of shea butter used. Another option is to only apply to the shaft and ends of hair, skipping the scalp. Your hair will probably feel a bit greasy right after you wash this out, but that’s okay. Give your hair a day to soak up the excess conditioner and you will have bouncy, quenched curls/locks/whatever your jazz is.
Now to the good stuff!
Natural Conditioner for Curly Hair
2 tbsp shea butter
1 tbsp coconut oil
1tsp jojoba oil (or another carrier oil like grapeseed, sweet almond, etc.)
1 tsp argan oil
Essential oils (optional – I like to add 2 drops of tea tree, 1-2 drops of rosemary, and 3-4 drops of lavender, but customize to your preference)
1.Combine the shea butter and coconut oil, leaving out the jojoba, argan, and essential oils, in a heat-safe glass container, like a Pyrex cup, and melt using a double boiler. If you’re an impatient spazz like me, microwave just until everything has melted, about 15 seconds. Careful! – don’t let the mixture boil or get too hot.
2. Remove from heat or microwave. Wait about a couple minutes for the mixture to cool then add the argan, jojoba, and your blend of essential oils (essential oils loose efficacy when heated so always wait for your base formula to cool prior to adding).
3. Place the Pyrex cup in a bowl of ice and wait for it to thicken, about 3-5 minutes. Or, for the aforementioned impatient, spazzy crowd, pop in the freezer for 5 minutes. Once the formula begins to cool and thicken, whip vigorously until fluffy and creamy. Overachievers can whip using a hand mixer for an even fluffier consistency. Dweebs.
4. You’ll want to apply this to wet hair. Shampoo hair, then slather on the conditioner. Seriously. Don’t be skurrd. Let your hair have at that conditioner. I squeeze out excess water and then slather any remaining conditioner on the ends of my hair. **Note to Curly Girl Method followers – I find that the conditioner absorbs better if I “shampoo” with my most cleansing product (currently in love with Jessicurl Cleansing Cream) to cleanse my hair’s palette, starting with a clean slate.
5. Use a gentle hair tie or scrunchie to make a loose top knot. If you have a general hunger for life and love lifting your arms above your head for extended periods of time, you can also wrap hair in a scarf and use a hair dryer to apply low heat, enhancing the conditioning effect.
6. Leave the treatment in for at least 1 hour. Bonus points if you leave in overnight. Oh, and if you do, make sure to use an old t-shirt to cover your pillow because your butter and oil-saturated head will grease everything it comes into contact with. Now come to terms with the fact that you probably will not get any action from the S.O. tonight.
7. Rinse off the conditioner, getting as much out with just water and finger-combing. If you don’t mind your hair feeling a little heavy, then just co-wash. Those with fine hair will definitely want to shampoo. Style hair as usual and marvel at how luscious your locks are. You are now the “after’ picture!