The food fiasco...


Natural Natural products. We are constantly reminded of the benefits of using natural and/or organic products.

I've been eager to try out some of the hair conditioning home-techniques I've been told about, and read about online.

I've never been a fan of oily hair products. When people ask me what I use in my hair, the first thing I tell them to do is stay away from all oil and grease. For relaxed hair grease and oil can be a real problem. They make the hair clog together and tangle which can cause breakage. They also often only moisturise the roots, while leaving the tips dry and damaged. This is in part a result of excessive exposure to heat (blow drying and straightening).

Shea Butter Cocktail

I've known about the numerous uses of Shea Butter for a while. I know that it's meant to be great for the hair (natural) and skin. I'd shied away from it in the past because of my hair + oil aversion. But now that I'm going natural, it seemed to make sense to jump on the bandwagon like everyone else.

So I began by melting a generous amount of Shea butter, honey, and cinnamon. I was told that honey and cinnamon are both very good for your hair and help add shine and brightness to the general appearance.  I mixed this little concoction into the remnants of my normal conditioner; dark and lovely hair cholesterol for damaged hair...

I hopped into the shower and began this new beautifying process. I used Ghanaian black soap to wash my hair, as I was recently advised that this is also good and cleans hair really well. I got a good lather going and was pleased to see the dirt and grease swirling down my drain as I rinsed out the grey suds. My hair felt slightly tight, as if some of the elasticity had gone, but I thought nothing of it. This was the same thing that happened anytime I used head and shoulders shampoo too, nothing that some good old conditioner couldn't fix.

Ah so time to condition... I towel dried my hair, and began to spoon my 'special conditioner' into my hair. The mix was extremely heavy, and thick... Very greasy, and I was slightly worried that it would simply make the relaxed hair greasy, so I added more normal conditioner to the mix, placed a shower cap over the top and let it sit for about 45 minutes.

I always comb my hair out with a big wide-toothed comb before rinsing out the conditioner. This, I'm not going to lie, was a bit of a challenge with this gloopy, at this point slightly hard, magic natural mix in my hair. I persevered however, and managed to comb through most of it. Not without a little breakage. As I rinsed out the mix I noticed that my hair had in no way softened. Instead it remained tough and little sticky. Clumps of cinnamon fell to the shower floor, the water ran brown and never seemed to clear. After about 15 minutes, I decided to stop as I may be washing out the oils I had worked so hard to merge with my hair. I towel dried, and the hair looked and felt frizzy, brittle and sticky all at the same time. Disaster!

I got back in the shower and decided to try to shampoo out this conditioner-gone-wrong. This time choosing Dark and lovely moisture seal conditioning shampoo (which smells AMAZING). The shampoo seemed to be successful! I didn't bother conditioning again. I simply dried my hair, added my dark and lovely leave in conditioner. I tried to comb my hair through but still had problems and decided to just get on with blow drying it.

I attached the comb to the dryer and got to work. I noticed that my hair was still a little greasy, the strands stuck and clumped together, and the texture still wasn't right, but decided to continue. Halfway through I noticed specks of cinnamon and honey stuck at the top of the hair dryer comb, and flying around as I went through my hair. Exhausted I shrugged it off, and finished drying my hair. This hair did not fee soft, clean and rejuvenated. It felt heavy, tired, dirty, sticky and greasy. Even my natural undergrowth hadn't benefited from this food experiment...

I wrapped it overnight hoping that would help but it didn't. I could barely run my fingers through my hair the next day. It would have been funny had it not been so annoying!

I knew I had to wash it all over again... I wasn't happy about this at all. I had no conditioner left and was reluctant about using a similar mix.

I bought pink oil moisturising conditioner, some olive oil, and washed my hair the normal way.

2 days after starting my first natural hair experiment. It was finally normal. RELIEF!

Moral of this story:

1. Everyone's hair is different. Know what works for you. I knew my relaxed hair was prone to tangling. I also knew that my hair got greasy easily. So using melted shea butter and honey as a conditioner at home after washing with black soap was not a good idea.

2. You should also make sure you wash out conditioners properly. If you think something isn't right, don't ignore it.

3. There are A LOT of home remedies, tips, and advice on how to wash natural hair. Not all of them are right, not all are appropriate or compatible with your hair. Find out what works for you and be careful.