Thursday, December 9, 2010

Winterizing!! Beauty Essentials

So obviously the hawk is upon us with a vengeance here in Chicago. I've been living here all of my life but still I'm never quite ready! But I'm learning...

One of the things that I've struggled with during the last three years being a natural haired vixen is maintaining a healthy, thriving, quenched mane during the brutal winters here. I admit, protective styling is not my thing. I try, I keep it up for a while, then all of a sudden I'm back to hitting the pillow with my hair in all its unkempt glory.  Most days, I wake up to a dry and matted mess...and this is in the summer! Imagine my unruly hair battling against my lack of nightly maintenance AND the elements outside! Fortunately, my hair springs back to life as soon as the steam from my shower hits it. I'm a wash and go type of gal and my hair craves water!! But that's not enough and attempting to go outside in this weather with even a slightly damp head could leave me in a whole heap of sickness!! Soooo... I'll need something that will keep my hair moist ALL day and keep me from waking up in the morning with a thirsty brillo pad on top of my head. Coconut, grape-seed, castor, and olive oil are usually my best friends. But when the weather is cooler, I need more.

I've heard so much about Qhemet Biologics amongst the natural hair community. However, when it comes to spending a nice piece of change on a much hyped product, I'm a little hesitant. I've learned my lesson many times with these products (Miss Jessie's, Carols Daughter, etc). Most times, you can find something thats just as good or way better than those high end products marketed to natural ladies. You can even make a comparable or better quality product yourself!! Well, I decided to take the leap and try the Amla & Olive Heavy Cream only because I could hardly find one negative review and I knew I was in need of something great to conquer this feisty winter approaching.

As you can see, this product intends to be lush and decadent. It's thick and creamy like pudding. Heck, the name HEAVY is in the name. But for those of you who may be turned off by that, it's not what you think (if you have a thicker, dense, coarse and/or curly mane like myself). AOHC, as it's lovingly referred to in forums and posts, actually does not weigh your hair down. At least not in my case. It left my hair feeling light but super moisturized and it's not very greasy at all!! This product is also great for twists or sets (used sparingly), puffs, braids, etc.

This is about the amount I use on already dry hair. I like to use it before bed and it leaves my hair as soft in the morning as it was the night before. I use about 3/4th of this amount on damp hair. I prefer not to use it on super wet hair like a leave-in conditioner because it becomes very milky and doesn't coat the hair like it does when dry or just semi-damp.

Ingredients-- 100% Vegetarian 
Overall, even with the cost at almost $17 (for an 8 oz. jar that if used appropriately will last a very long time), I'm glad I made the investment. I will repurchase this if I run out of this jar in the midst of the winter, but would probably choose one of Qhemet's lighter products such as the highly acclaimed Burdock Root Butter Cream for warmer months. Click here for a guide to what products might be suitable for your hair type/texture according to Qhemet's site. I'm not sure what the ordering process is like at Qhemet Biologics online because everything seems to be sold out. I found my jar at a local health food store by using the retail locations link on their site.

My next newfound love--Tropic Isle Living Jamaican Black Castor Oil! This product is one that I've also heard a lot of great things about online. It's a great head-to-toe moisturizer. I use this on my face, hands, body, and to seal the ends of my hair, EVERYWHERE! Such a thick oily product would usually gives me pause (although Jamaican black castor oil seems to be a little thinner than regular castor oil). However, this does not leave a greasy residue. It soaks right into my skin and hair and leaves my usual dryness (aka ashiness) banished for the entire day even in harsh winter months! Even my hands, which suffer the worst from dryness due to constant washing, aren't nearly as dry as they were before black castor. Castor oil is also great for thinning hair. I can attest to the thickening properties after using it on my overly plucked eyebrows for several weeks. Score!!

This oil has a pretty strong nutty sent that I'm not too fond of. However, the scent goes away after a few minutes. Besides being thinner, I can't yet speak on many differences between regular and black castor oil. I do know that regular castor oil is filtered where black castor oil is unrefined and unfiltered (probably making it more potent). So if you like your oils in their natural state, black castor may be an option for you. I purchased from Amazon for $9.99 for 8 oz. but it is also available at Jamaican online retailers.

I also purchased the Tropic Isle Living Jamaican Black Castor Oil Hair Food from Amazon ($7.99 for a 4 oz. jar, and I should have bought two because I'm using this stuff FAST). This is similar to a pomade and again 100% all natural with no petroleum, mineral oil, or other yucky stuff. I like using this mixed with a little aloe vera (as an alternative to gel) on my edges when they are feeling a little stressed out.

This is a great universal product for myself, my husband, and two daughters. It leaves all of our hair shining, soft and moisturized. And it's an awesome scalp treatment! I love the creamy yet slightly gritty texture that just melts in my hands and soaks into my hair. I would say it is similar to the consistency of a whipped shea butter.

I must say I'm quite pleased with my new finds. And right in time to battle this Chicago Winter! The fact that all these products are 100% natural is just a fabulous added bonus!! I hope this helps you all conquer the cold months too! 

1 comment:

  1. I love Jamaican Black Castor Oil. This product has given my hair a new life. My hair used to be very rough and dry. It is a must buy to all women.