Sunday, May 19, 2013

Hibiscus in Henna for your Hair

I did henna in my hair again this weekend and this time I tried adding hibiscus to the mix! I bought some dried hibiscus leaves and put them in a jar with 2 parts boiling water and 1 part vinegar. I sealed the jar and let the leaves infuse for about 3 weeks. The results was an extremely potent infusion of deep, deep red hibiscus tea.

I added that to my henna mix and did the rest as usual. It turned out AMAZING!! The color is much more vivid and much redder than it's ever been before. I love it!

I'd like to try hibiscus powder next time and see how it compares to using a super-strong tea mix.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Perfected DIY Conditioner Recipe

Okay so after over a month of playing with methodology and recipes and the like, I've FINALLY discovered the (almost) perfect way to make an all natural, homemade, great conditioner that you can use just like the store-bought stuff! Yay!

A friend was kind enough to give me some of his xanthan gum and I tried it out as an emulsifyer. It worked beautifully and I managed to find the right ratio of water to oil.

Here's how I do it.

You need an oil in your conditioner to help moisturize your hair and keep it soft. For this  you could technically use any oil but I love using my homemade oil conditioner as my oil base.

*NOTE: IF you use the homemade oil conditioner, which has vit. e oil, tea tree oil, and coconut oil (all natural preservatives) then this recipe will keep for several weeks outside of the fridge. If you are using almond oil or something else as your oil then you should consider adding a preservative to keep your mix from spoiling (gross!)

You will also want to have:
Xanthan gum
Filtered water (or boiled water - just be sure there are no hard minerals)
Green tea leaves

Step 1 - Making tea
You could use plain water if you want but green tea has so many benefits, especially for your scalp, that I decided to use it in my conditioner. I just steeped the tea in the water while I got the rest of my stuff ready!

Step 2 - Mixing the oil and the tea
You HAVE to mix everything before you add the xanthan gum so your next step. If you use the measuring system I use for my homemade oil conditioner solution then I would put 1 vial-full for every 1/2 cup of water you use. That's the equivalent to about 1tsp of oil for every cup of water. Mix them together and you're ready for step-3!

Step 3 - Xanthan Gum
Okay so once you have your oil and water (or tea) mixture put together it's time to use the emulsifier. You could try and use a plain old whisk for this but I highly recommend an electric one because, as my friend and I discovered, xanthan gum works VERY quickly and it is VERY potent.

So! For about 4 cups of water I would only use 2 - 3 tsp of xanthan gum. Not even kidding -- it takes that little.

Also, since it works VERY fast, make sure you have the blender running while you add it! You may have to add a little more to make up for the clumps that occur during the blending process.

Step 4 - Getting rid of clumps!
If you get clumps like I do then you should probably strain your mixture so you are rubbing concentrated clumps of xanthan gum in your hair. Thankfully this step is easy.

Sorry for the glare...

Step 5 - Bottle and enjoy!


Friday, April 12, 2013


So I've decided to try and start using homemade deodorants because I've heard of some of the awful things that are in the commercial ones. Why would I rub that all over my arm pits? Especially so close to the girls, so to speak. Don't want anything messing with my breast tissue.

I started off really easy. I know that coconut oil can be a natural deodorant but I didn't wanna just smear oil on my arm pits. So I added some things to make my own recipe!

Coconut oil
Scent (EO or fragrance oil)

STEP 1 - Melt your beeswax
I learned the hard way a while back that you do NOT need much beeswax to thicken a mixture. I used a very small slice off the brick I bought at the store. Beeswax is VERY cheap and since you need so little, it lasts you a while. Yay! Homemade AND cheap!


STEP 2 - Add the oils and scents
Melt the coconut oil and mix it well with the wax. Make sure you do not make the mixture too hot. Just warm or low heat will be fine. Also add your EOs/fragrances at this stage. I used rose EO and a blend of fragrance oils I got from the Ren. Faire a few years back.

STEP 3 - Place in the mold
I happened to have a glass dish laying around so I used it as my mold. I lined the edges with a tad bit of coconut oil so that the deodorant would pop from the mold with relative ease. I then put the hot wax in the mold and let it sit.

I let my mold chill for a time in the freezer and then popped it out of the mold with a knife. It worked rather well!

The final product went on very smoothly and so far it's worked very well for me! I will likely add more things to it in the future (like preservatives so I can make larger batches) but for now this works great!


Enjoy! :-)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

DIY Conditioner Recipe

I LOVE conditioners but I still haven't perfected my recipes. However, a friend and I got rather close to at least getting something close to an easy to use conditioner.

Don't get me wrong. The other conditioner recipes I have up on this blog are SUPER wonderful. But they are deep conditioners that are messy and require intense shampooing and ACV vinegar rinses after use. I want an amazing DIY conditioner that I can use AFTER shampooing without much worry of an oily scalp.

Here's the recipe we used!

4oz coconut oil infused with sage, thyme, and rosemary
2oz apricot oil
1oz vegetable glycerin (honey would work too)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp vitamin E oil
10 drops of tea tree oil
5 drops of peppermint oil

Wire strainer
Small pan
Whisk and/or spoon
Bottles for storage
Applicator bottle

Now, if you've ever used DIY conditioners then I bet you're thinking jeeze that's ALL oils!!!

We didn't have emulsifiers and water-oil blends spark bacteria REALLY quickly. So in order to avoid that we decided to follow a different method.

The oils are all stored in a (dark) glass bottles with a a drip bottle. We drip a small amount of oil into another applicator bottle with a nice spout and then fill it with warm water and shake well before applying.

Here's the step-by-step process for making it!!

STEP 1 - Infusing the coconut oil with the herbs!
We used a hot infusion method (stove-top) because we didn't plan ahead much. We put the oil on the heat (low) and then added the herbs. We let them steep in the warm/hot oil for about 45 minutes and then let it cool slightly.

STEP 2 - Strain the herbs
Straining the herbs was a little trickier than usual because of the sage. Sage has very small leaves so many of them slipped through the wire strainer. In order to catch the extra little sage leaves, line the wire strainer with cheesecloth.
Bad lighting.. sorry!
The resulting coconut oil should be nice and green (instead of the usual clear) thanks to the herbal infusion.

STEP 3 - Blend in the other oils and the glycerin
Now you just add the olive oil and apricot seed oil. My friend also added some sweet almond oil to hers but I avoided it because of allergies.

STEP 4 - Add your essential oils (EOs)!
You don't need to add the exact ones we did. Tea tree and mint are nice for your scalp but you can add others if you'd like.

Put your oil mixture in a clean and DRY glass bottle. Preferably a dark glass one. Too much light exposure can mess up the potency of the EOs.

Before showering, put about a teaspoon's worth of conditioner into your applicator bottle and then fill the rest with water. Depending on how big your bottle is you may need more or less oil. Just do a trial run first and then determine the ideal oil:water ratio.

You can use this after shampooing and it works great in conjunction with my vinegar hair rinse!

Enjoy! :-)

Monday, April 8, 2013

Coconut Oil Toothpaste Experiment

So I decided to try out making a toothpaste this past weekend. The results were interesting because I had no mint (or other yummy flavor) to help temper the taste of the mixture.

I tried mixing coconut oil and baking soda, which is a common toothpaste recipe, and it worked rather well, but the consistency freaked me out.

The oil was very slimy on my teeth and there was none of the usual toothpaste foam. The taste was very odd too. I love the smell of coconut oil, and when it's combined in baking and certain dishes the taste is great too.  But when mixed with baking soda, the taste was less than pleasant. Next time I'll try adding mint extract or something! :)

When I find a better recipe I'll share it!