Friday, 30 December 2016

So, does Porosity really matter?

Hey there curlies! 

The first step to solving a problem is to identify it right?  So, I did some research and found out that I have low porosity hair after doing the strand test.

What is hair porosity?
It is your hairs ability to absorb moisture and is categorized by having ~ Low, Normal and High porosity. Knowing where you fall under will help you to know the needs of your hair as well as what products work best for your hair. This can explain why certain products work well in someone else's hair but not yours.

See the above chart on how to go about doing the strand test.

(1) Hair that is LOW POROSITY has difficulty absorbing moisture easily. This  means that the cuticle is tight, making product penetration difficult, which can lead to  product buildup. For low porosity hair, regular deep conditioning treatments using heat (I sometimes use a hot towel) are helpful because it helps in retaining moisture penetration.

Use lighter oils,( I use almond and  grapeseed)
Ayurvedic treatments help to open the cuticle.
 Low porosity hair can benefit from clay treatments.
 Low Porosity Hair takes quite some time to fully air dry, sometimes a day or two. The good thing about low porosity hair is that once moisture is infused, it holds onto it due to the tight cuticles.

(2) Hair that is of NORMAL POROSITY absorbs and retains just the right amount of water.
Use cool water for your final rinse.
Moisturise and seal as needed.
Seal with light oils.

(3) Hair that is of HIGH POROSITY has cuticles that have holes or tears  from chemical treatments, harsh combing or brushing or overuse of heat, that causes it to take in  moisture quickly. Seems good enough right? Nope! the water will escape just as easily, leaving your hair dry all the time.
Protein treatments will help fill the gaps in hair cuticle.

 Deep condition more times with a protein conditioner than a moisturising one.

Apple cider vinegar rinses will help seal the cuticle and lock in moisture.

Cold water rinses, heavier oils and water based moisturisers are all best for high porosity hair.
Keep heat at a minimum- no rather don't use heat at all if you can.

I have low porosity hair and it can get tricky sometimes. My hair craves moisture but has difficulty getting it in. What works most for me is doing weekly co-washes and using heat when I deep condition.
 I sometimes feel like my hair takes foreveeeeerrr to get drenched in water on wash days... I've also learned that low porosity hair don't take on color very well too.   
My hair works well with liquid-y products. If I dont use a moisturiser, I use a bit of oil  to seal in the water on damp hair.
When I use a product and it says to leave on for 20 minutes, then I leave it on for about forty to forty five minutes instead. I double the time because our hair needs a longer time to absorb products. 
 I moisturise and seal when my hair is about 70% dry, if I don't then the products applied won't absorb but will sit on top of my hair. So,  as you can see - porosity really does matter.  It was a game changer for me and it can be for you too.
Thank you for stopping by  and for more hair tips and discussions join my page.
Follow me here, where I post and do product reviews.

Do you know the porosity of your hair? How are you taking care of it?

Until next time,
- Stay Magical

Saturday, 10 December 2016

How I made Amla infused oil...

Hey there,
This is a semi- long post*
As my love affair with all things ayurvedic deepens, I now introduce you to my homemade Amla oil recipe!
I'm totally excited to be sharing with you on how I made my very own Amla oil! I've always been skeptical of buying Amla oil because it just doesn't smell like the Amla we used back in the day...and some of it contains mineral oil too. 

Amla is known to nourish and grow the hair.
Amla oil is actually made by soaking the dried fruit in a base of an oil like coconut, olive, almond oil, etc. 
There are so many things that you can infuse with oil, it is ridiculous! 
So while the Amla was heating I quickly threw in a little Brahmi  powder too. (This is one of my favorites.) Brahmi is an ayurvedic herb that strengthens the hair roots and helps with itchy scalp and dandruff issues. I wrote a post on most of the herbs and their benefits. You can read all about it here.

Anyhuu, let's get on with it- I used  less than half a packet of Amla powder,

Some Brahmi powder,
Half the bottle grapeseed oil, which I think is 125ml,
100ml of almond oil ( I'm totally not good with measurements I just eyeball everything*)
A few drops of castor oil, I didn't want the mixture to turn out thick, so go easy on this one.
You will  also need:
Lemongrass essential oil, use any essential oil you prefer-
a bowl and spoon for stirring,
a bottle or container for storing the amla infused oil.
Here's the thing- the plan was to just use Amla powder and an oil but it turned out to be more than that, (things changed as the mixtress in me came out to play, lol) It's always fun trying out new things!
Make sure you put paper on the table because it can get a little messy.

I poured the Amla and Brahmi powder in a saucepan and heated it on medium heat, until it got hot. I then added the oils.
  While stirring I thought of throwing in some fresh curry leaves from our garden and a stick of cinnamon. I'm sure you all know by now that curry leaves prevents pre-mature greying ( I just discovered a single strand of silver recently), as well as helps with hair growth. Cinnamon has vitamins and antioxidants which help improve the condition of the scalp Aaannd yes - hair growth!
   I didn't leave the mixture on too long, I didn't want it to boil. You will notice that it starts to look blackish brown.
 You can see the indents of cinnamon stick and curry leaves.
I poured everything into the bowl to cool. I added a few drops of lemongrass essential oil, ooh the aroma that filled my kitchen...sigh** the joys of being a curlygirl...

I let the mixture soak for up to five days for double potency.  The oil was clean when I poured it into the bottles, no need for a strainer or a funnel. I was super excited when I saw the resemblance of the color! A thick consistency like mud was left behind at bottom of the bowl. I kept it for future use. I'll probably add some conditioner to it and do an Amla gloss.
I will use my Amla infused oil for pre- poo and hot oil treatments. I'm going to mix a little with some essential oil and do scalp massages too. Oh, and not forgetting to add some to my ayurvedic hair masks as well. The options are endless...

Look at that color! 

So, will you try this ayurvedic doctor's  recipe, lol!
Keep me updated if you do on my hair page.

Until next time,
Stay Natural  -Stay Magical
Xoxo  - Marlene Louw

Sunday, 4 December 2016

I use tea on my hair..I think you should too!

Hello again!

 I can sometimes be a major procrastinator because I suppose to do this post like a month ago on tea rinses. So let me get straight  on with it.
After I did my first tea rinse, I immediately knew that it will be a keeper! One of the things that stood out for me about tea rinsing is that it decreases shedding and thickens the hair. Tea rinsing also strengthens hair. After reading up on tea rinses, I knew I just had to give it a try.
Tea cleanses the scalp by removing build up. Black tea contains caffeine so it may cause possible hair growth too. The first time I tried it, I noticed a significant difference. I simply loved it!
But my hair was very dry due to the fact that I didn't rinse the tea out.

So I tried different methods to get the best results for my hair. There are many different types of teas that you can choose from and they each have their benefits too.
Green tea reduces shedding and stimulates hair growth. It  has been known to soothe and reduce inflammation of the scalp as well as psoriasis.
Black tea strengthens the hair and helps with dandruff issues. I just recently discovered that a cup of black tea contains more caffeine than a cup of coffee! Kind of weird, right?
Here's how I tea rinse: 
I tea rinse after I've washed my hair and before I deep condition. I found that tea can be very drying too, so always follow up with a deep conditioner. I use four tea bags. You can use more or less if you like.

Two of which is green tea and two of chai tea, I love chai because of the cardamon and cinnamon. ( bonus). I let it steep until fully cooled down then I  add a few drops of peppermint essential oil. You can choose any essential oil of your choice. You can even try adding some acv or lemon juice too. After I wash and rinse my hair, I pour the cooled tea over my hair and massage. My scalp sings thank, thank you, thank you... because of the peppermint, I love it! I then apply deep conditioner over it, for me this seals in the goodness of the tea. I wrap my head and leave it on for an hour. I rinse thoroughly, then I proceed to moisturise and style. I usually do twists.
There are a  variety of ways to tea rinse. Again-  keep in mind that tea  can make your hair a bit hard, so deep condition and moisturise thoroughly. Some naturals pour the tea into a spray bottle and spray on the scalp and hair.
You can do the tea rinse, massage and rinse off, then deep condition. You have to try different methods to find the best possible one for you.
Before I end I must add that since I'm doing the tea rinsing, hair shedding is practically zero - woot woot! Tea rinsing will definitely be a staple in my regimen. Oh; one more thing - your hair darkens over time with black tea as you use it constantly.
I'll be trying out the coffee rinse soon...
Are you doing tea rinses too? What do you think of it?
Until next time,
Stay Natural  - Stay Magical
Xoxo - Marlene Louw

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