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!