DIY Aloe Vera Skincare Mask

Greetings Daizies,

For the first time in a long time I did a DIY skincare mask. My routine for skin is pretty simple and consistent. I don’t venture too far out from my routine but aloe vera seemed like a safe place to start back up with a DIY project.

Aloe Vera Benefits

Aloe vera is known for it’s soothing properties. It’s often used for treating sunburns and cuts. Aloe vera is rich in antioxidants and antibacterial properties. It can help relieve itchiness and inflammation and well. Seeing aloe vera in hair product ingredients was also comforting for these reasons and they are just as beneficial for skin as well. 

Expected Results

I was hoping this mask would eliminate the blemishes by the next morning! I had a few small bumps on my cheekbone and forehead that I wanted to get rid of. I also wanted my skin to feel very moisturized. I thought aloe vera itself would be sticky and slimy

Mixing It All Together

  • Squeeze about a tea spoon of aloe vera juice from a fresh plant
  • Add 1 drop of honey
  • Add a few drops of sweet almond oil and/or lemongrass oil, eucalyptus oil

To apply the mixture I just dipped my finger tips on the cup and rubbed on my face in a gentle circular motion.

Actual Results

A little goes a long way with the ingredients. Since it was only my face, the small amount worked just fine and it was far from sticky. I used the mask three times with a different variation of essential oils. It was a relaxing experience with the cooling effect of the aloe vera and the calming of the essential oils. After washing the aloe vera mixture my skin felt fresh and supple.  breakout on my forehead minimized a bit, and slightly got smaller on my cheekbone. However, the mask didn’t prevent the future breakout of a few more bumps on my other cheekbone.  

Final Thoughts

Mixing the aloe vera was fun. I thought the process was quite relaxing, as most masks are. It’s not my favorite as a go-to blemish treatment but I thought it was great for self care. I still am excited to use it for my hair next. The aloe vera plant is pretty large so I’ll see what other cool uses I can get out of it this week!

As always,

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Product Review: Shea Moisture Red Palm Oil and Cocoa Butter Curl Stretch Pudding

Hey Daizies,

This year I’ve tried a lot of new products and this curl stretch pudding is by far my favorite new product of the year. It gave me the best twist outs ever for grad season and so much more. In the past, I’ve never felt strongly about any product that was allegedly for twist or braid outs because they typically worked like any other leave-in conditioner or moisturizer. But I was amazed with the results of this one.

Pre-Purchase Research

I heard about the Red Palm Oil line on The Friend Zone podcast wellness segment and I was interested in learning more about the red palm oil ingredient because I had never heard of it being used in hair products.  Upon further research I learned that red palm oil comes from the fruit of the oil palm tree. The oil has a reddish tone which is where the name “red palm oil” comes from. It wasn’t super easy to find information on red palm oil benefits so I had to do a little digging to find out what it was all about. According to Dr. Ericz, red palm oil is full of Vitamin E, “water soluble antioxidants”, and phospholipids. A lot of science terms basically saying there’s some good stuff in there.

The Red Palm Oil Shea Moisture line was kind of hard to find in stores and especially on Amazon Prime, so I waited about 4-5 months since I didn’t want to pay shipping costs to buy it directly from the Shea Moisture website. One day I found the very last curl stretch pudding at Walmart and swiped it for a whopping $11.97. I was like “this better be good” for a whole twelve dollars.

Aesthetics Review

This product is perfect for those allergic to coconut oil. There are so many products infused with coconut oil, especially in the Shea Moisture line, but this product uses cocoa butter instead which definitely adds a familiar scent. I loved that the product was very thick and creamy. I mean thick as in if you gently shake the jar from side to side, the cream won’t move. This is perfect for my dense and coily 4c/4b hair and I was excited to have such a luscious product. The smell was so unique, especially since I’m used to the typical shea and coconut oil combo scent.

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Twist Out Application Process

I washed my hair  2 days prior to starting the twist out process. I like to stretch my hair for two days so that it’s easier to divide my hair into twists and I don’t have to detangle as much. I applied the curl pudding to each section and then finger detangled the piece to make sure I would have a nice and neat twist. I wanted a ringlet look so I used smaller sections.

Does it Do What it Says?

“Curl Stretch” ” Elongates and Defines Curls”

How can a product stretch your curls? I sure found out with this product. The curl stretch pudding contains flaxseed oil, which is known to aid in stretching natural hair. When using any water based product, it’s common for a little shrinkage to occur just by nature. Normally when I do twist outs, my twists hang at the back of my neck. But with the curl stretch pudding I could feel my twists hanging at my shoulders and even my collar bone. So it actually DID stretch my curls! I know I’ve already posted tons of my grad photos, but of course professional pics are the best way to show off what I’m talking about!

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I used this product the day before my grad photos. An Interesting day to try a product for the first time but I tell you I had never seen such an amazing twist out in my life as I was getting ready for my pictures. I was so happy with the results! I used it again for my actual graduation and I knew then that this was the product for me for twist outs. I had a full and lengthy twist out without having to wait for the second or third day for volume and hang time.

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super defined first day twist out

“Moisturizing Cocoa Butter”

Shea butter is more prevalent in this product, seeing as how it is the 3rd ingredient listed and cocoa butter is the 14th. So it’s hard to tell if what I’m loving so much is the shea butter or indeed the cocoa butter. Either way, it’s a good pairing of both the cocoa and shea butter. All together, it felt moisturizing without being too oily or heavy.

“Frizz-free finish”

I didn’t have any problems with frizz during the take-down process. The strands came out exactly in the form that I had twisted them. I simply unravelled them and didn’t even have to separate them too much in order to get my desired fullness.

“Light hold”

The style lasted throughout the day and maintained it’s look. With the humid weather, the twist out expanded and got a little poofier as the days went on. To make the twist out style last for a few days, I recommend sectioning hair into about 4-5 ponytails at night and moisturizing with a light oil. You can even twist the front few pieces to allude to a fresh twist-out.

Overall

I love the red palm oil curl stretch pudding. It’s my favorite product right now. I haven’t tried it with a braid out yet but I am excited to see those results. It’s a pricey product, so I am trying my best to use it sparingly. I’m interested to see how the entire line works for my hair. There’s a conditioner, shampoo, shine butter, and styling gelee that I hope to eventually try.


Shea Moisture Curl Stretch Pudding, 12 Pound

What are your favorite curl stretching products? Feel free to share in the comments.

-POP

Love,

Daizha

DIY Prepoo & Detangler for Under $5

Hey Daizies! Detangling has made my wash days so much easier as my hair continues to grow. Detangling is the process of unraveling the tangles from root to tip of each section of your hair. This process allows my hair to not got extremely tangled when the water touches my hair and shrinks up. Your hair is in its weakest state when its wet, and tangles ultimately lead to breakage. I want to maintain length and healthy ends, which is why I always detangle before any part of wash day.

The term prepoo alone involves lathering your hair with a conditioner so that less nutrients are stripped during the shampoo process. While you can always buy sulfate-free shampoo, the process of manipulating your hair and using water still can strip a little bit of nutrients from your hair.

I combine both methods by using pre-poo ingredients and the action of detangling at the same time. There are tons of detangling products you could buy but I’ve come up with a DIY detangler that’s worked great for the past year.

$1

The first ingredient is Vo5 conditioner. I can’t believe this dollar tree staple of childhood would find its way back into my hair care routine. Because you can find it at the dollar tree, you probably would overlook it but you don’t always need to break the bank to maintain your hair. This conditioner is great for detangling because it is thick, creamy, and has great slip. It’s nourishing formula is provides an ample amount of hydration that is needed while I’m manipulating my hair and therefore, the strands won’t be prone to snapping when I’m going through them with my fingers.

The ingredients:Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Cetyl Alcohol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Stearalkonium Chloride, Stearyl Alcohol, Steareth-21, Glyceryl Stearate, Prunus Persica (Peach) Fruit Extract, Soy Molk, Passiflora Incarnata Flower Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Biotin, Niacinamide, Polysorbate 20, Ascorbic Acid, Panthenol, Propylene Glycol, DMDM Hydantoin, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance (Parfum), Red 40 (Ci 16035), Red 4 (Ci 14700), Orange 4 (Ci 15510).

Nothing amazing stands out in the ingredients but there aren’t any red flags among the formula.

$3-$4

The next step that takes the Vo5 to the next level is Extra Virgin Olive Oil. EVOO is a penetrating oil and really gets through the shaft of the hair strand. This extra moisture is an excellent prepoo ingredient and the more moisturized my hair is, the easier it is to detangle as well. You can get olive oil in the oil and flour section of your grocery store for around $3-$4. It doesn’t really matter what brand you get since the ingredients should be the same.

I mix together the conditioner and oil with water and shake together in a spray bottle.  You can also use a plastic bowl you don’t care about, but the application is easier for me if I use a spray bottle. I then section my hair in 4 parts and begin the process of detangling which takes me about an hour on a good day.

What is your favorite DIY detangler?

-POP

How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Natural Hair

 

I’ve mentioned ACV in a few blog posts before but haven’t made a specific post detailing how I go about using it in my hair routine. My love for ACV came about during the times when my scalp just doesn’t stop itching. Usually, this happens every few months and seems although I deep condition every week and shampoo every two weeks, there are times when there’s still too much build up and my scalp becomes irritated. I reach for ACV and then these problems cease.

The benefits of ACV seemed too good to be true. When I first heard of using the vinegar for hair I was wondering what could be so great about apple cider vinegar and why was everyone raving about it. Well, for starters ACV has pH balancing properties. Before I thought pH balance was only something internal but I had no idea your scalp had a pH balance and this prevents the growth of bacteria and dryness. Basically pH balance is an important part of scalp health and ultimately hair growth. It acts as a natural cleanser and removes product buildup and dirt from gels, leave-ins and other daily products. These properties explain why my hair and scalp feel so relieved after using the rinse.

When using ACV it is important to use the right portions to reap all of the benefits. You don’t want to make the mistake of using too much of the ACV. I had the tendency of pouring too much ACV into my bottle of water just because I wanted to make sure it REALLY worked. However, when I used the portions of half water and half ACV, my hair felt harder and drier and my prior deep conditioning treatment seemed pointless. ACV is an acidic ingredient so dilutting with water is crucial. The measurements I use for my 4c and prone to dryness hair is 1 parts ACV and 3 parts water.

  • 1/4 cup of ACV and 3/4 cup of water

Easiest Way to Use ACV

I’ve tried using ACV before and after I condition, as well as using only ACV as a rinse and following with a leave-in conditioner. I typically use the rinse method when I have a protective style that has a lot of hair ie: crochet braids, twists, etc. When I have more time on my hands I use ACV as my shampoo and then follow with a conditioner to reapply the moisture.

To apply the ACV it is easiest to use with a spray bottle. You can spray the mixture directly onto the scalp or open the bottle top and rinse it throughout your hair. This process usually takes about 5-10 minutes. I then let the mixture sit on my hair for at least 5 minutes and then I rinse thoroughly with cool water.

I use ACV monthly or when an itchy scalp scenario arises. It’s not a weekly type of treatment due to its acidic nature. It’s been about a year since I first started using ACV and I gladly hold it in my arsenal of top DIY products for natural hair.

  Learn more about the benefits of ACV in detail here. 

-POP

 

What Should Be in Your Natural Hair Travel Kit?| Checklist for Packing

It’s the second half of summer’17 and in the spirit of vacation season, some of you may have experienced the cumbersome planning process when it comes to packing as a natural. Weeks before a trip I am usually thinking about how I will style my hair while I’m away. Based on the styles I plan, I can pack accordingly. While I have a tendency to overpack, I never want to cut corners when it comes to planning for my haircare regimen.  However, it is totally possible to pack a thorough natural hair travel kit that doesn’t involve taking your entire bathroom arsenal of hair products. Here’s how to do it:

Think functional

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Leave-In
  • Sealant

These are the main product areas I make sure to have when I am traveling and plan to wear my fro out at some time. Depending on the length of stay, the size of the products I take may vary. If I am only going to be gone for about a week, like with my trip to Cabo, I go to Walgreens and purchase tiny 3oz empty bottles that are TSA approved. I then put product into those bottles and double bag them using a ziplock bag or plastic bag. Short trips don’t require a separate hair product haul, just take what you’ve been using and put them into tiny bottles and you should be set!

Longer Stay = More Flexibility

You have more flexibility if you are checking in a luggage and with that comes the opportunity to add to your list of necessities. I could go a little while without Shea butter for a few days or even a week, but thinking about an entire 4 months without Shea butter would be hard to fathom. Now that I use it for more than just my hair, I would definitely crave moisturizing my body after a long warm shower. Furthermore, I can get by with using water and a leave-in conditioner for a braid or twist out, but an amazing curl enhancing product takes things to the next level. This comes in handy if I know I’m about to have a cute day and want to take some flawless pictures. As of now, Taliah Waajid’s Curly Curl Cream and Shea Moistures’ Coconut and Hibiscus Curling Cream are my top two favorites. With that, Shea butter and a curl definer are added to the list of necessities.

  • Butter
  • Curl Definer

Stock Up on Your Faves

For longer trips, think of products that would be hard to find overseas or whoever you’er going. For example, when packing to study abroad for a semester in Italy, I knew I probably wouldn’t come across my favorite Cantu Leave- In Conditioner. There aren’t sections in the store isles dedicated to natural hair in Europe. It took months to scout out where I could find ethnic stores in Milan and if I was headed to a city with more black people, like London or Amsterdam, going to the hair store was always apart of my itinerary.

After 2 months I finally found a hair store in Milan, after joining the right Facebook groups and getting solid directions on where to find the store. The brands were quite limiting and a simple bottle of leave-in conditioner would cost to the equivalent of $15 USD and for  smaller size than I would normally get. At this point my Cantu leave-in was almost gone but I refused to pay twice as much for half. I had to use other brands I wasn’t quite familiar with and didn’t like as much. In an attempt to pack modestly, I only brought one jar of leave-in knowing dang well I use about 2 every two months. My advice here would be to PACK YOUR FAVES IN BULK. You will thank yourself later.

Another product that’s hard to come by is a sulfate-free shampoo. Even when I finally found the hair store in Milan, and the one in Rome, the shampoos had sulfates and other ingredients I normally avoided. Again, I had only brought one bottle and definitely wished I had brought more. But have no fear, there’s always DIY cleansing methods and ACV became my best friend.

Logistics

  • Shea butter melts even if its in your checked luggage or carry on. Avoid wasting your product by bagging your butter.
  • Tape the lid shut for you bottles and creamy products or IT WILL LEAK!
  • Even after taping, things can get rough when transporting. Put your bottles in bags to avoid loosing precious ounces of your products
  • If you do end up buying products from the markets or grocery stores, make sure you use Google translate app to translate the ingredients to make sure you’re not buying a product with harmful chemicals or ingredients

With that, I hope preparing for your natural hair while traveling is a little easier and you can focus more on the trip itself! In short, think of what you can’t live without and the basic necessities for your hair to be happy and healthy.

-POP