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Can I get a hit? (of Henna, that is.)

Hennaheads Unite!!
My name is Shawnette and I am addicted to henna. There. I said it.

I freakin’ love this stuff!!! Hate the smell, but love, love, LOVE the results. I could spew on for days about the shine and softness and strength, yada, yada, but I won’t. I’m just going to get to the nitty gritty and post my mix. And I invite all of you closet henna heads to step forth and embrace your madness like I have.

I’m sure you all know by now that I don’t measure anything… Fair warning: it’s very messy!!

150g Karishma Herbal Henna (Primo stuff, man!)
2Tbsp raw honey
2Tbsp whole fat yogurt
2oz Aloe gel (or juice)
2oz Amla Gold Oil
1Tbsp Coconut Oil
2Tbsp Sheacocoa
2oz Lemon juice
1c Hot Espresso
Rubber Gloves (Henna will stain your hands)
2 Plastic Baggie Caps

Pour henna into a bowl. Add lemon juice and hot espresso and stir well. Should be thick, like mud. Cover tightly and let sit overnight for color release. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Put on your gloves. Section your hair and work the henna through from root to end, making sure to coat every strand. Put on your baggie cap and let it soak in for at least an hour (conditioning). If you’re doing it for color, at least 4 hours. Rinse well and then deep condition with baggie cap for at least 30 minutes.


Tips:
1. Wear 2 pairs of gloves in case one gets a hole. Don’t ask me.
2. If you don’t have any disposeable shower caps, plastic grocery bags work well. (Recycle!!!)
3. Use towels that you don’t mind getting yucky because henna stains. I bought brown towels just for my henna nights.
4. I use a cheap conditioner to get the henna out. I can usually pick up some VO5 for less than $1.
5. If your henna has twigs, use a strainer to sift them out.
6. You can get henna cheap at your local Indian grocery. No need to spend goo gobs on shipping.
7. If you buy it locally, make sure the package specifies that it can be used on hands and feet. If not, don’t buy it.
8. There is no such thing as “black henna”. If the package says it’s black henna, don’t buy it. (“Black henna” contains PPD, a very harmful chemical.)

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Bentonite Hair and Face Mask

As you may already know, I’m a glass artist aka lampwork artist. I make small sculptures by melting and shaping glass rods using a torch. Most times I work off-mandrel, but I started off as a bead maker. Apparently, I’ve always been a mixologist because I also make my own bead release (a type of clay that you dip your mandrel in so that the melted glass won’t stick). Well guess what? Two key ingredients in bead release are Bentonite and Kaolin, both of which are SUPERB deep conditioners for your hair. I had no clue!! I’ve actually never used Kaolin in my hair, but if Bentonite were a man, I’d marry him! As much as I love my henna, I must say Bentonite is closing the gap pretty darned quick!

Anyways, on to my recipe:

(Keep in mind I don’t measure anything, sooo…)

Bentonite (Green Clay, Mutani Mitti, Fuller’s Earth)
Plain Whole Fat Yogurt
Coconut Oil
Coconut Milk
Deep Conditioner (your choice)
Baggie Cap (or plastic bag)
Medium Size Ziploc bowl (or snything similar, because they’re cheap, disposable and have lids)

Put about 2oz bentonite into a good size bowl. Moisten with some water. Some people use distilled, but I used tap. Use enough to get it thoroughly wet. It should be extremely thick. Add 2Tbsp or so of cocnut oil, 2oz yogurt and 4oz coconut milk. Mix well. Mixture will be very thick (soft clay, not quite runny). If it’s too thick, add a bit more water or milk. If it’s too thin, add a bit more clay, but not too much because the clay really swells up.

Hair:
Spread through your hair, making sure that ever strand is coated. Smooth lots on the surface and smush it down so that it gets on your scalp. Let air dry for at least 30 mins. You can leave it on for as long as you like as it won’t harm your hair. Rinse well and follow with a deep conditioning treatment with baggie cap.

Face:
Smooth over face about 1/4″ thick and let dry for 5-10 mins (any more than 15-20 mins may cause irritation). Rinse well.

Tips:

1. I use the Glad/Ziploc bowls because they have lids that fit tightly so that leftovers can be stored for future use. This mask will keep in the refrigerator. Just add a bit of water to rehydrate.

2. When I used the mask on my face, I left it on for 20 mins. Way too long for my skin! I had a sort of red/rashy thing starting up but I just rubbed aloe all over my face and it went away immediately.)

3. If you have shorter hair, you can use less ingredients. Again, I don’t measure anything so just use what you think will be enough. (You can also use just straight Bentonite with nothing but water and a bit of oil for slip.)

4. You can mix it with just water, if you like. Whatever works for you.

5. Sometimes, I add  Maka (Bhringraj) to the mix. I buy Hesh brand and use half of it. It’s really good for your scalp and skin.  I’ve noticed my hair is a lot softer afterwards when I add it in. I also add it to my henna mix, if I’m not using Karishma.

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Flax Seed Gel (my way)

I guess if you’re going to make flax cream, it would help if you knew how to make flax seed gel, huh? Lol! (BTW, flax seed gel is an all natural hair gel. The thicker you make it, the better/stronger the hold. It doesn’t flake and if you accidentally ingest some, so what. People eat flax seeds all the time.)

I’ve tried and tried to make flax seed gel and it never turned out thick enough whenever I tried to follow someone else’s instructions, so I think you need to just keep trying until you get it right. Now, on with the How-To:

1/4c Whole Brown Flax Seeds (approximate)
3c COLD water
Large Tea Ball (see pic)
Empty container for your gel

Put the flax seeds into the tea ball and lock it. Put 3 cups of cold water into a sauce pan. Drop in the tea ball and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for about 30mins or so. Remove the tea ball and pour the liquid into your container. It will thicken as it cools.

Tips:
1. I boil mine down until I have 1-1.5 cups of liquid. I like it thick.

2. If it’s not quite thick enough, you can use a thickener like guar gum or xanthan gum. Mix the thickener with some Vitamin E oil (preservative) before adding because it clumps. (You’ll only need a tiny bit if you use Guar. I have no experience with Xanthan).

3. You can also mix it with Aloe Vera gel to thicken it up. I usually mix mine with aloe, even when it turns out perfect. My aloe has preservatives in it and it adds a bit of moisture so that it doesn’t make your hair “crunchy”. (Straight FSG makes my hair a bit hard).

4. You can use pantyhose, cheesecloth or anything else as a strainer, but I found that the tea ball works the best and is the easiest for cleanup.

5. I reuse my seeds for at least 2 batches. After each batch, i put the tea ball in the refrigerator. When it’s time to toss the seeds, I just stick the ball back in the fridge to cool and then pop it open and dump the seeds in the garbage. They’ll be all clumped together.

6. If you don’t use a preservative, you need to keep it in the refrigerator or it will go bad in a couple of days.

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Flax Cream for the Hair and Body

I found out about flax cream on Nappturality.com and have made a couple of batches that I liked, but tonight I tried something new (more oils) and it came out freakin’ awesome!!! It’s been colder than normal for the past few days, so my feet have been a bit dry & rough. I put some of this cream on them and they are butter soft now. I love, love LOVE it!!! It’s much lighter than my standard mix.

Just like the rest of my concoctions, I didn’t measure anything this time either, so all measurements are approximate.

4-5Tbsp Unrefined Shea Butter
2-3Tbsp Coconut Oil
1oz Avocado Oil
4oz Flax Seed Gel (thick) (recipe here)

Mix the shea with the oils until it’s smooth. Fold in the flax gel a little at a time and whip until it’s fluffy, like whipped cream.

Tips:

1. I usually soften my shea in the microwave, but since it’s such a small amount and it’s mixed with oils, I recommend doing it by hand. Heat isn’t necessarily your friend when it comes to shea butter (causes graininess).

2. This is a very light mixture, so it works great on fine/silky hair but it might be a bit oily if you use too much.

3. If your shea is grainy, it’s ok. My shea is a bit grainy this time, which leads me to believe that it was previously melted and cooled. The graininess has not affected the effectiveness of the end product. The grains “melt” in if you rub them.

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Shae’s Deep Conditioner

(All measurements are approximate because I almost never measure anything)

Version I

2-3Tbsp ElastaQP DPR-11
2-3Tbsp Plain whole fat yogurt
2oz Suave Naturals Coconut Conditioner
2oz coconut Oil
.5oz Vitamin E Oil

Version II

2-3Tbsp ElastaQP DPR-11
4oz Plain whole fat yogurt (plain baby yogurt)
1Tbsp Coconut Oil
2-3Tbsp Powdered Buttermilk
2-3Tbsp Powdered Coconut Milk/Cream

Mix everything in a small bowl until well blended. Work through previously detangled hair, making sure every strand is well coated and then baggie for at least 15 mins. I usually do 30-60 minutes.

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Shae’s Pudding (Curly pudding for the financially challenged.)

Ok, I absolutely love my hair, but I’m always looking for something “better”. (Aren’t we all?) I’ve been known to spend some bucks on latest greatest thing but the economy has put a crimp on my spending. I’ve been wanting to try Miss Jessie’s, but I just can’t justify the expense. Besides, I kinda like jackin’ around with stuff for my skin and hair, so this is the concoction that I’ve come up with. It works awesome! My son even lets me use it on his hair!

20oz jar IC Hair Polisher Styling Gel – $3.99 (I used the Olive. Smells yummy!)
4oz Unrefined Raw Shea Butter – $5.99 for 16oz
1oz Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Already on hand because I use it for cooking.

Using a hand blender or food processor, whip the shea butter. Add the olive oil and while still mixing, add the styling gel a little at a time. Continue to whip until smooth. I use it on damp or dry hair, not soaking wet hair because I really don’t like the Jheri Curl look. (And I’m lazy. Shingling takes wayyy too long!)

Enjoy! Your hair and your bank account will thank you.

 

Tips:

1. For extra moisture, substitute 4oz pure aloe gel for 4oz of the IC gel.
2. Substitute 2oz coconut oil for 2oz shea butter and the mix will smell yummy. (I hate the way shea butter smells.)