Posts tagged ‘no-poo’

Rhassoul Clay, Why Deep Condition With Mud?

So anyone that has discussed natural hair with me knows what bentonite clay is, knows that i LOVE it, and of all the tools in my natural hair and beauty arsenal, this clay is one of my favorites!  Now I’ll start by saying,  I’m not a “if you can’t be with the one you love, love the one your with”, kind of girl.  If I find something I’m absolutely in love with, and works wonders for me- I stick with it, and don’t stray easily.  So it took a while for all the buzz surrounding the rhassoul clay in the natural hair community finally caught my attention, and true to my nature prompted me to start researching, here’s what I found…

 Rhassoul Clay

 Rhassoul clay comes from Morocco and sometimes is referred to as Moroccan Ghassoul Clay, it is naturally found and mined from  deep within the Atlas Mountains in the northeastern region of Morocco.  After the mineral-rich clay is extracted via the mining process it gets washed and sun-dried.

Did you know that rhassoul clay has been used for over 1400 years as a soap, shampoo, and skin conditioner?  I didn’t, and it’s still used today in the finest spas all over the world.

The word rhassoul comes from the Arabic word “rassala” meaning “washing”. Moroccan Rhassoul Clay can be used as detoxifying cleanser, skin conditioner, shampoo, and facial and body mask. It has a number of outstanding benefits that surpass those of other clays because it contains the highest content of silica, magnesium, potassium and calcium, and because of its absorption ability.

Mineral Content

  • Silica- 58%
  • Aluminum- 2.47%
  • Iron- 0.64%
  • Sodium- 2.3%
  • Magnesium- 25.2%
  • Calcium- 2.34%
  • Moisture- <8%

Studies that shown that Moroccan Rhassoul Clay reduces dryness, improves skin clarity and elasticity and has extractive abilities that remove impurities and unblock pores, even stubborn blackheads. As a hair treatment, Moroccan Rhassoul Clay cleanses the hair, removing impurities, and leaves hair bouncy and voluminous.

Clinical studies have shown that a single use of Moroccan Rhassoul: (Although several sites discuss this studies findings, I have been unable to locate the actual study, so am unable to definitively confirm the findings)

  • Reduces dryness (79%)
  • Reduces flakiness (41%)
  • Improves skin clarity (68%)
  • Improves skin elasticity / firmness (24%)
  • Improves skin texture (106%)
  • Removes surface oil and oil from inside and around comedons
  • Removes dead skin layers, resulting in a general smoothing of the surface skin

After my research and the review of one of my favorite YouTubers (Whitney aka Naptural 85) I had to try it for myself!  I purchased Anita Grant’s rhassoul deep conditioning  cubes, which you can find here Anita Grant Rhassoul Deep Conditioning Cubes

I LOVED THEM!!! My hair felt amazing! I did not bother to section my hair prior to application as I usually do when cleansing, and I was rockin’ a 6 day old twist out when I tried this product,  so my hair was far from detangled. I wanted to give it a true test, and it passed wit flying colors!  I applied the clay (after I dissolved the cubes  in warm coconut milk and mixed well) to my hair and after about 5 min I could already feel how much softer my hair was, and my hair was falling apart…easily separating… making tangles non-existent!  I have not to date used any product that has made my hair feel so fantastic.  My love affair with the bentonite clay is not over, but has been diminished in light of this new rival.  I have not decided yet, but I may be switching altogether.  My only issue with the Anita Grant cubes is that they are not vegan (they contain honey) I did not realize this before I got them, but I plan on mixing up my on vegan version of this deep conditioning recipe (I’ll be sure to post once perfected).

As much as I loved the way the clay makes my hair and skin feel,  perhaps the best part about Rhassoul clay is what it does not contain: no petrochemical derivatives, no synthetic preservatives, no surfactants or artificial colors … all of which are common in most soaps, cleansers, and shampoos.  Amazing products that are safe and free from harmful chemicals, makes this hippie chick very happy!

References:

http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/learn/rhassoul.php

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Bentonite Clay, Why Wash Your Hair With Mud?

BENTONITE CLAY..WHAT EXACTLY IS IT?
Bentonite, also referred to as Montmorillonite, is one of the most effective and powerful healing clays used to treat both internal and external maladies. Bentonite can be used externally as a  mud pack,  in skin care recipes, and to cleanse your hair.  Bentonite clay carries a strong ionic negative charge, the negative charge seeks something positive to attach to.  There are a few types of bentonite clay, but the two most commonly used for hair and skin are sodium and calcium.
How Does It Work?
Can clay really properly cleanse the hair? You bet, and better than your chemical laden shampoo!  The reason cleansing with bentonite clay is so effective is because of the uniquely strong ionic negative charge which essentially act as a “magnet” attracting to itself any substance with a positive ionic charge.  Substances that carry a positive ionic charge include toxins, bacteria, viruses, parasites and other impurities.  The clay attracts these impurities, drawing it out of the hair.  These substances are both attach themselves to the outside of the clay molecules (sticking to it like Velcro) and are absorbed into the clay molecules; as you rinse away the clay it carries all of the impurities with it while leaving the much needed natural oils in tact.  Giving you clean hair without stripping it like shampoo. With the added benefit of containing no parabens, mineral oils, silicones, ect. like most shampoos.Both clays,( Sodium and Calcium) swell and react when combined with water but the calcium swells less making it possible to pass through the colon for internal detoxification freely. Whereas the Sodium Bentonite, when mixed with water, creates a swelling of 7 times the amount making it extremely absorbing, so this type is suitable and beneficial for external use (like on the hair and skin).
Sodium Bentonite, Why Beneficial For Hair?

Sodium Bentonite Clay has a high negative charge, and therefore a strong “attraction” to heavy metals and toxins that it comes in contact with. With this stronger charge, it is able to pull in more unwanted  toxins from the hair, thoroughly cleansing the hair by removing product buildup allowing for better moisture. Better moisture means healthier, stronger, more beautiful hair! Not to mention easier styling. This type of cleansing I found left my hair feeling incredibly soft and shinny, added shine is due to the combination of  acidic fluids like ACV or AloeVera Juice (I use Aloe Juice).  There have been claims that cleansing with the bentonite clay can enhance your curl pattern and makes hair more manageable, now while I could find no scientifically documented proof to back this up, I have personally found this to be true.   When I was still using shampoo and conditioner I used to DREAD wash day.  I have very, very thick hair and lots of it! So the task of detangling was always one of exasperation for me.  I used to use, without exaggeration, close to half a bottle of conditioner and wide tooth comb designed especially for detangling to get through this head.  And it would still take loads of time, and patience – both of which I tend to run short on.  Since I started cleansing with the bentonite clay, wash day is a breeze! My hair does not really get tangled anymore!  I’ve noticed a significant decrease in single strand knots, I am now able to easily finger detangle my hair (which means less breakage from combs and brushes), and time, WOW, maybe 4-6 min max to detangle my whole head!  As far as enhanced curl pattern I have notice more defined slightly looser curls since using.  If you can’t tell I LOVE CLEANSING WITH THE CLAY!

BENTONITE CLAY…HOW TO MIX
  1. Combine Bentonite Clay and equal parts Apple Cider Vinegar( and/ or ) Aloe Vera Juice, and a few drops of essential oils of your choice ( I like to add lavender, sweet orange, and rosemary).  Mix to the consistency of batter.  Be sure to only use plastic or wooden utensils when mixing, as the metal will lessen the effect of the clay.  Each batch will vary from person to person, mix enough ingredients to cover the thickness and length for your hair.
  2. I prefer to section hair in 4-6 sections( this helps to ensure all of my strands get attention) and apply mixture to damp unclean hair.
  3.  You can use the clay as a mask, allowing the mixture to sit on the hair for 15-20 minutes (apply a plastic conditioning cap so mixture does not dry).  I recommend the mask for those who use lots of styling products and heavy butters, as you may have more build up).  For myself and those who use little to no products and natural oils and gel, I recommend massaging mixture into hair (one section at a time) gently pulling downward on strands smoothing the cuticle for about 2 min.
  4. Rinse mixture with lukewarm water until all clay is rinsed from the hair.  It is important to rinse thoroughly! If clay is left on the hair it will continue to work and cause hair to become dry.
  5. You can stop the cleansing process here or follow up with a deep conditioner, I use my recipe for my all natural deep conditioning treatment. If you want the recipe click the link :) https://hippiechicchick.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/all-natural-deep-conditioning-treatment-2/
  6. Seal in moisture and style hair as usual.

For those of you who are not mixologist or just don’t have the time to be,  Terressential Pure Earth Hair Wash is amazing, and what I use when I’m to lazy to mix my own!  I included a link to their website in the reference section at the bottom of the article.

So You Know…

This is info taken directly from the terressentials  website, I don’t work for them or anything, I just found it extreamly helpful when I first started using the bentonite clay to cleanse with so wanted to include it here.

“Chemical hair treatments permanently alter the outer layer of the hair shaft creating a porous cuticle – under a microscope chemically treated hair looks like Swiss cheese. Once hair is damaged by chemical colorings, perms or straightening chemicals, people are sold a myriad of synthetic products that artificially coat the hair with plastic or protein polymers to make it look and feel undamaged. The more damaged the hair, the more porous it becomes; the more porous the hair, the more it absorbs these synthetic “protein” polymers (e.g. soy, wheat or oat proteins – that are NOT edible foods), plastic polymers such as PVP (petrochemical polyvinyl pyrrolidone) and gum coating agents. These are the substances the “mud” removes in the detox protocol, but the detox process takes time.

Sometimes when people begin using the Hair Wash, their hair may feel stiff, sticky, oily, heavy or dry. This feeling may persist until the residues of protein and plastic polymers have been completely removed, but if you’re patient, the end result is worth the wait! After using our “mud” for one to three weeks, most people love it and find it a joy to use. As new hair grows in to replace old damaged hair, you’ll probably be amazed at the difference. For some folks with very chemically damaged hair, they may not like the way their hair feels after the detox, because our Pure Earth Hair Wash contains none of the vinyl or protein plastic polymers to coat their hair to make it feel or look undamaged.

If you intend to continue using chemical treatments for your hair, you will probably not be happy with the look of your hair when it is cleaned with the clay cleanser and finally free from the synthetic plastic coating agents. Chemically damaged hair without plastic coating agents may appear to look darker because the hair is roughened and will not be shiny and reflect light. Damaged hair can also look straw-like and feel rough to the touch. Damaged hair tends to tangle much more easily and is weakened because of the chemical’s erosion to the cuticle leaving it more susceptible to breakage.”

Bottom line is if you have severely damaged unhealthy hair, you may not want to use the clay, as it will call you OUT! 

I get asked about why I use the bentonite clay instead of shampoo and condition often, I tried to cover it all, but if I left you with questions still feel free to post them in the comments section! Happy hair cleansing!

XOXO Hippiechicchick

P.S. There are other cleansing and conditioning clays, I will post about theses in the future!

Refrences:

http://www.terressentials.com/

http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/learn/bentonite.php

How To Keep Natural Hair Moisturized

I think the single biggest misconception among those with kinky hair texture is that oil is a  moisturizer. But many feel the need to add excessive amounts of oils to the hair and scalp because black skin produces less sebum (aka oil) right? Wrong! Consider this myth busted.  The reason afro-textured hair tends to be dry is because the sebum has to travel the length of the hair to coat the strands. The kinkier the hair, the more difficulty the sebum has traveling down the hair, therefore the more dry or dull the hair looks.  There are of course exceptions to every rule and there are some who produce more or less oil than average, but this is in reference to healthy scalp function.

Hair needs moisture to maintain good health and elasticity. What is the ultimate moisturizer?  WATER!  This makes  water-based products and of course water itself the best things to use to achieve the greatest moisture benefit!  The hair optimally should be nourished and treated daily with water, even if it’s just a refreshing spritz.  The molecular structure  of water allows it to penetrate the hair shaft, moisturizing the hair. Oil molecules are too large to penetrate the hair shaft and therefore sit on the strands acting as a barrier.  This serves an extreamly useful and beneficial purpose for the hair, but moisturizing is not one of them.  With that being said, here is an exception…

Moisturizing Oil?

Coconut oil is It is also one of the few oils that penetrates the hair shaft. Studies have confirmed that the ability of coconut oil to penetrate the hair shaft is likely due to its low molecular weight and straight linear chains. These characteristics coupled with its high affinity (or attraction) to hair proteins cause the coconut oil to penetrate the hair shaft.

It is easy to see how the ability to penetrate the hair shaft and the high affinity to proteins makes coconut oil so beneficial for the hair. Not only does the high affinity to proteins help it penetrate the hair shaft, but it also discourages protein loss and reduces the occurrence of hygral fatigue. Studies conducted in India confirm that when compared to mineral oil and sunflower oil, “coconut oil was the only oil found to reduce the protein loss remarkably for both undamaged and damaged hair when used as a pre-wash and post-wash grooming product.” Another study suggests that coconut oil reduces the ability of the hair shaft to swell and thereby reduces the likelihood of hygral fatigue. Hygral fatigue is caused when the hair swells and constricts due to the absorption and loss of water. This makes coconut oil a most excellent oil to pre-poo with.  (Pre-pooing- A treatment applied prior to cleansing. It usually consists of oils and applied a few hours before cleansing or the night before the cleansing. This is usually performed to help the hair maintain necessary moisture during a cleansing  process.)  

Determine Hair Porosity

Our hair is naturally porous ( Having minute holes through which liquid or air may pass).  This means just as quickly as we fill our tresses with moisture it can escape.  The cuticle is the outer layer of the hair, it’s made up of scale like cells that look similar to shingles on a roof.  These “shingles” can be raised or tightly compact which determines the level of the hairs porosity.  Determining your hair’s porosity is very important, because it will largely effect how you moisturize and retain moisture for your hair.

  • Low Porosity

Low Porosity

Low– po is when the cuticle of the hair shaft is tightly compact.  This type of hair is more difficult to moisturize, as the compact nature of the cuticle does not allow moisture to easily enter or leave the hair shaft.  You will notice your hair takes longer to get thoroughly wet, and both water and product tends to just sit on top of the hair as opposed to entering it.  To moisturize this type of hair heat is actually a good thing.  Now hold up! Put down the blow dryer and back away from the flat iron!  I mean we are usually taught to use cool to cold water when washing and conditioning hair to seal the cuticle and add shine, but for low-po hair you should cleanse and condition with warm water. The warm water will help to temporarily lift the cuticle allowing moisture to enter the hair shaft more easily.  After cleansing and conditioning you can rinse with cool water or acv to close cuticle.  You will also benefit from using a hooded dryer or heat cap when deep conditioning.

  • Normal Porosity

Normal Porosity

No- po hair is when the cuticle is compact and permits moisture to pass through the hair shaft into the cortex as necessary, but does not allow too much moisture to penetrate the cortex. This hair type is pretty easy to moisturize and keep moisturized, and should stay moisturized with regular cleansing and conditioning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • High Porosity

High Porosity

Hi-po hair has a cuticle with wide spaces in between the cuticle and the shaft.  High porosity hair is a sign of damage secondary to chemicals (including color),  heat, or rough manipulation.  Although your hair may feel dry it is capable of absorbing A LOT of water, due to the large openings in the cuticle.  Generally the more porous the hair the more moisture it tends to absorbs.  Since our aim is to moisturize, this seems good, but more is not always better- sometimes it’s just more; and too much moisture creates a whole new set of problems.  Like over drying, high porosity hair absorbs more water when wet – but also looses more as it dries.  Hi-po hair can also stretch beyond a healthy limit due to the increased weight of  hair when full of water, this constant stretching of the hair causes it to become weaker and more prone to breakage.  For hi-po hair minimizing if not eliminating heat is a good idea and consider dry finger detangling with oil as opposed to detangling with a brush or comb while hair is wet and more fragile.

 

 

 

 

Porosity Test

After hair is cleansed and free from any and all products, place a strand in a glass of room temp water.  Normal to low porosity strands will float. High porosity hair will sink to the bottom of the glass from absorbing loads of water and becoming too heavy to float.

 

Why Oil Is Also Important

Since our hair is naturally porous, after we get the moisture in there- how do we keep it?  Here’s where oil is the the most important. It sits on the hair shaft since the molecules are too large to enter it, coating the hair and sealing in moisture.  Oils also lubricate our strands making the hairs slide over each other more easily reducing tangles and friction.  It is important to use the oil to seal already moisturized hair. If you use oils without  moisturizing before , the oil will seal the moisture out of the hair strand and lead to a coated feel and eventual dryness. Build up from heavy oils is one of the main culprits in a scenario where we feel like no matter what we do, our hair is still dry!  You may have to remove current build up first, and then the moisture can get in.

Keeping your hair properly moisturized will minimize breakage keeping hair strong and healthy for maximum length retention. Even if long and strong is not your goal, I’m sure beautiful hair is.

References:

http://journal.scconline.org/pdf/cc2005/cc056n05/p00283-p00295.pdf

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15224783

Parabens, What Are They And What Are The Risk?

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What Is Paraben?

 

 

Parabens are a group of preservatives that are added to most cosmetic products and or some foods. Parabens are a low-cost and effective method of preserving items for relatively long periods of time. Although the chemicals known as parabens were once thought to be safe, there is some controversy over their use.

 

Function and Labeling

These preservatives are used in cosmetics and other products to protect the item against the growth of microorganisms.
It is important to be aware that the use of parabens in our personal products on a regular basis could be a risk your health.

Check product labels for: ethyl, butyl, isobutyl propyl, isopropyl and/or methylparaben.

Risk

Parabens  are also present in some foods, but these act very differently than those applied in personal care products.  First of all, in a food, other compounds are present in nature’s perfect balance. We’re talking antioxidants and enzymes that work together to create an overall healthful effect on the body.  Second, when parabens enter the body through foods, they have a much better chance to be metabolized because they’re going through the digestive system.  Stomach acids and other enzymes help to break them down to metabolites that are easily flushed out of the body.  Third, parabens behave much differently when applied to skin than when ingested in a food.

Recent Study found that parabens, when applied to skin, react with an enzyme called SULT.  In simplified terms, SULT is the enzyme that helps the body flush out estrogen.  So, when SULT enzymes are deactivated, estrogen levels increase.  Parabens were found to deactivate these important enzymes.  The study states “…these results suggest chronic topical application of parabens may lead to prolonged estrogenic effects in skin as a result of inhibition of estrogen sulfotransferase activity.”  Supporters of parabens are always talking about how little parabens are absorbed and how weak their estrogenic activity is–but with this study in mind, absorption and estrogen receptor activity really are moot points.  It’s a reaction with parabens in the skin that increases overall estrogen levels in the body.  Many reproductive cancers are estrogen-dependent and tumor growth is fueled by an excess of estrogen.  Uterine fibroids, endometriosis, adenomyosis, irregular menstruation–all of these reproductive problems are caused by an excess of estrogen.  So why would you want to apply these compounds to your skin!? 

Another pro-paraben argument that you’ll hear is that the skin metabolizes parabens quickly and they’re flushed out of the body.  Not so!  This Study found that after a month of applying methylparaben to skin cells, it “remained unmetabolized and persisted slightly” in the stateum corneum. Additionally, it was found to affect DNA expression in the skin cells, inhibiting collagen production, and possibly leading to early aging of cells.

How To Avoid

The David Suzuki foundation reports that 75 to 90 percent of cosmetics will contain parabens.  This includes shampoo, conditioners, skin creams, lotions, nail polish, moisturizers, make-up, shaving foam, deodorant, tanning lotions and toothpaste.  There are more and more paraben-free products available on the market, so that consumers can make a choice to limit their exposure to this chemical.

Refrences:

U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Parabens
Parabens inhibit human skin estrogen sulfotransferase activity: possible link to paraben estrogenic effects.
Prusakiewicz JJHarville HMZhang YAckermann CVoorman RL. Source Department of Pharmacokinetics, Dynamics, and Metabolism, Pfizer Global Research and Development, 2800 Plymouth Rd., 20/342S-D, Ann Arbor, MI 48105, USA. Jeff.Prusakiewicz@pfizer.com
Effects of methyl paraben on skin keratinocytes.
Ishiwatari SSuzuki THitomi TYoshino TMatsukuma STsuji T. Source Fancl Corporation, 12-13 Kamishinano, Yokohama 244-0806, Japan. shiishiwata@fancl.co.jp

Stephanie Greenwood from Chemical Of The Day

David Suzuki Foundation: Parabens

 

 

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