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.
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Thursday, May 16, 2013
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:
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.
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
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!
Scent (EO or fragrance oil)
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!
Thursday, April 11, 2013
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
Whisk and/or spoon
Bottles for storage
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!|
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.
HOW TO USE
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!
Monday, April 8, 2013
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!
Sunday, April 7, 2013
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar (acv)
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 12oz of sparkling water (club soda works too)
STEP 1 - Ginger and lemon
Grate the ginger and mix it with the lemon juice. Make sure the juices from the ginger are added also! Let this sit for a few minutes and then strain it.
STEP 2 - Honey and ACV
Mix the honey into the acv thoroughly and add to the ginger lemon mixture.
STEP 3 - Add it all together!Pour the lemon, acv, honey, and ginger mix into a glass over some ice. Pour your sparkling water over the mix and stir lightly.
There you have it! If the drink it too sharp or sour then add more honey and less acv. If you want more bite then add more acv and less honey.
This body scrub is great for using at the end of your shower routine, especially on your legs and arms after shaving. I also like to use it all over my booty cause, well, why not.
Here's my recipe!
- Brown sugar -- exfoliates dead skin, thus exposing your new, healthy skin to more oxygen!
- Coconut oil -- mosturizes and heals. Supposedly helps with cellulite and skin cell regeneration too. Nice!
- Vanilla extract -- just cause I like vanilla and it smells AMAZING in this mix.
Since you just mix this all up I feel like having a step by step explanation is unnecessary, so I'll just give you the picture play by play with some short comments.
In retrospect I feel like adding the coconut oil first may have let me blend the sugar in more easily but it doesn't really matter. It works fine either way!
At this stage you can mix it up and THEN add the vanilla, or you can just do like I did and add the vanilla before mixing.
Now, there is no benefit at all to the vanilla apart from making it smell like heaven. I LOVE brown sugar and vanilla. Mix that with the wonderfully sweet and rich smell of coconut oil and you have the best smelling body scrub ever! I almost want to eat some! I mean, it's food grade coconut oil... I guess I could! :-P
Here's the result! Just rub it all over your skin and then rinse off the sugar. Your skin will have a sweet smell and a smooth, soft texture.
My recipe is very simple. Really I just mix the two together.
- Coconut oil
- Coconut milk (make sure you get unsweetened!!)
You can make your own coconut milk if you'd like but I have not attempted that yet. As soon as I do though I will share my experience and give a step-by-step guide of what to do (and not to do.)
STEP 1 - Coconut oil!
I always put in my oil first because then I can slowly add the milk and blend it as I go. This gets you a much smoother blend. I really recommend that you leave the coconut oil room temperature. Don't melt it down because when you blend the milk it will thin the mix. Having everything already at room temperature will let you know how firm or fluid your mix will be at room temperature. If you melt the oil then it will be harder to gauge how thick the end result will be.
STEP 2 - Milk!
Slowly add the coconut milk and blend as you add. If your coconut milk is chilled then make sure you let it reach room temperature (or put it in the microwave for a few seconds) so that it doesn't harden the oil.
Step 3 - Blend together
I use a whisk because I feel that it blends everything together better. Remember that coconut milk has water in it (if you look at the ingredients it should have water, coconut, and guar gum*) so you have to battle the oil/water separation.
*Speaking of guar gum... that is one reason why making it homemade is better. Cuts out unnecessary things.
Step 4 - Bottle and keep in the fridge
Your mix should last you a few weeks if kept in the fridge. Since its so easy to make, I tend to do this in small bi-weekly batches. I keep my extra coconut milk in the freezer so it lasts longer. Make sure you shake well before you use this on your hair. It WILL separate unless you can find an emulsifier to use in it.
This can be applied to wet or dry hair. If you add honey or vegetable glycerin then be sure to only apply it to wet hair. Otherwise though I recommend you apply it to dry hair and let it sit for a while. I tried putting it on wet hair and it got very runny.