How I Combat Winter Loc Dryness

Hi everyone! I’m back with a post to discuss an email question I got about loc dryness and winter weather especially baby locs, where it’s not advised to put any oil on them at that stage of development.

I think there are a few things that need to be looked at. Now this list is not necessarily in any particular order of importance though the first one I’m gonna list…is.

1. The amount of water you are drinking and your diet in general.

The body needs water and nutrients to do all the things it needs to do to keep you upright and on this side of the dirt.  lol  Our hair while serving a purposeful function, is not necessary for our survival and is therefore last on the line when the nutrients are dished out. So, if there is not enough coming in, your hair ain’t gonna get any. lol  Make sure you get enough of  the good stuff, ie veggies, fruits  water so that there will be enough left over for your hair/locs after the body has gotten what it needs. I’ve noticed when I’ve stepped up my veggie intake, my locs are better for having done that.

2.  Product buildup on your hair before locking.

If you are about to loc your hair or have just started the locking process, I would recommend clarifying your hair. I wish I would have done this before locking my hair. See the next point about why.

3. The shampoo you’re using.

The type of shampoo you are using can make a huge difference in how your locs/hair retain moisture. If your hair is  sensitive to silicone and they buildup on the hair or are already built up on the hair, this can prevent absorption of moisture into the locs. Some natural soaps/shampoos can have the same effect though not from silicone but from other ingredients  although natural, not agreeing with your hair. Dr. Bronner’s soap had this effect on my locs. My use of shea butter in my loose hair days and a brief period after the year mark had the same effect as well.

4. Your drying method.

I mentioned in an earlier update that I air dry my locs. I noticed that when I allow my locs to air dry, they stayed hydrated and soft longer. For the last year I have not had to spritz my locs with water in between washes. I feel that this is due to letting my locs keep all that they can, the moisture that’s put in when washing and rinsing. When my locs were babies, I would sit under the dryer in the winter. However, I had to spritz them everyday because they felt scratchy and crunchy. This started to not make sense to me so I stopped using the hair/blow dryer.

Now I just washed my locs this past Thursday putting a scant…and I do mean scant amount of oil on them because I’m out of oil that’s been strained of the herbs that were infused into the oil and I was too lazy to strain the bottle I’ve got in order to use the oil. So you might as well say I did not put any oil on my locs. lol It’s now Saturday, 2 days later and my locs still feel moisturized.  Ah ha..this is great because that means my oil will last even longer than it already does! Which means…less work for me!! As I  get older, I’m all about simplifying my life. Any who, the drying thang brings me to the next point.

   5. Forced Air Heating & Cooling

Ok how does a hair/blow dryer dry? The answer is in the label especially the blow dryer…it blows out heated air. And what is one  of the things we naturals are told to decrease because of the (pun intended) drying effects…heat. The heated air from the dryer is forcing the moisture out of your locs/hair faster than it can absorb it.

Well the furnace/heater that are in a lot of homes is basically a big ole dryer. So, it is going to have the same effect on your hair  as using a hair dryer, just not as fast. That’s why you hear the experts saying if you are plagued with sinus issues, scratchy  throats, dry skin etc in the winter, the humidity level in your home is too low. These big dryers are…drying out the humidity in the air to heat the air quickly.

So, if you have not allowed your locs/hair to soak up all the moisture they could hold and you are in a forced air heated environment…weIl you’re probably gonna have dry locs/hair. This means you will have to replace that moisture somehow which will mean spritzing with water as often as needed. If the humidity levels in your home are low it may help to have some water sitting in a few bowls around the house.

This winter is the first one where I’m not using any forced air heating and I can tell the difference in my locs as I have cut down the amount of oil I was putting on them after washing for reasons stated above. See, laziness pays off sometimes. ūüôā  Plus I do not have a low humidity issue in my home.

Now I know the question asked was about winter dryness but the same thing applies in the summer as a lot of folks spend a lot of time indoors under air conditioning. AC works under the same basic principle. Instead of forcing in heated air, it’s forcing in cooled air with the moisture (humidity) removed from it. This is why your locs/hair can feel dry in the summer as well even though you live in an area with humid summers.

6. Cotton pillowcases, scarves, hats.

Yes, these things can rob your locs/hair of moisture so wear a satiny type fabric under your hats if you are in an area where you  need to put a hat on your head in the winter. I wear one of those cheap, polyester sleep caps that you can get at the beauty  supply store under my hat when I have to wear one. I got mine from Wal-Mart, in the hair accessories aisle.

As for the pillowcase, you don’t have to spend a ton of money on satin pillowcases. I just got a yard of satiny like material that was  on sale and tied it on my pillow as a pillowcase. I have a post of it here. One of these days, I’ll actually sew the fabric as a pillowcase…maybe. ūüėČ

Well that’s all that comes to mind for to ideas about why your locs are dry and how I combat winter dryness or dryness period. I hope that helps and if any of you guys that are vets or any loc’ers in the loc game have any other tips or things that you do, put them in the comments below. ūüôā

 

 

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Make Your Own Nyle Herbal Oil pt 2

In my last post I said I was going to talk about the reasons why I chose the method that I used to make an herbal coconut oil. So here I am, the one that you love. ūüôā Sorry but that 80’s song popped in my head as I wrote that. lol

Anywho…I was on Annie’s Remedies and stumbled across this page that talks about the different methods for making an oil infusion. “Great”, I said to myself! ¬†After reading the entire page, I decided on the solar crock pot method. Wait a minute! That was not listed on the site so what in the heck are you talking about ?!! I know that’s what you are saying. ¬† Let me explain. What I mean by that is I use the solar infusion method where you are putting the herbs and oils into your jar but instead of the Sun, a crock pot will be the heat source.

English: Slow Coooker/ Crock pot's parts This ...

English: Slow cooker/ Crock pot’s parts This photo depicts the major parts of a crock-pot, namely the heating component, the ceramic pot and a glass lid. This particular crock-pot is made by RIVAL. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Why do it that way? I’ll tell ya. I liked the sound of the crock pot method but I did not want the hassle of having to transfer the heated oil and plant material from the crock pot into the jars. Ditto for the double boiler method. ¬†Plus, the lady who gave me the inspiration to infuse my own oil burned herself. She was using the double boiler method. I don’t remember the exact details but the jar shattered after putting the hot oil into the jar. Needless to say I was not to keen on trying it myself.

Sooo, I thought about the solar infusion method. I liked the sound of the solar method but the only place where I get 6 or more hours of Sun is along my driveway which is in the front yard of my house. That means I’d have to put the jars out there everyday and remember to bring them in at night or the threat of rain etc. Not such a good idea and gives me more to do when I have to leave the house. Also the neighborhood cat

When It's an Auspicious Day, the Cats Will Play

When It’s an Auspicious Day, the Cats Will Play (Photo credit: Jezlyn26)

who’s a sweetie by the way, would probably think that the jars are toys so there’s no telling what would happen to them. ¬†However, I liked the idea that once I got the herbs and oil in the jar that was it until I was ready to strain the material out for use. And I only have to handle hot oil one time.

So I though hmmm, maybe I can combine the two. I know that on low heat, my crock pot heats slowly and I did not have to worry the oil burning, the water going too fast and all that other jazz one must be concerned with in dealing with oil and a stove. ¬†And since I to do my infusions in the winter, it doubles as a humidifier. ¬†Now that’s true multi-tasking. ¬†Love that!

OK, sounds great right but why does it take so long you ask? ¬†I think it’s because of the low heat being used and the use of dried herbs.

Can you speed up the process by using high heat? Maybe, if ¬†you are using oils that can tolerate high heat such as coconut oil. ¬† But from my research on infusing oils and from talking to a herbalist, high heat destroys the herb. Of course I did not want to destroy the herbs otherwise what’s the point of doing herbal infusions, right? ¬†I had previously done an herbal infusion by heating the herbs and oil for several hours but I was not impressed with the resulting oil. The second time, I left the herbs in for 8 weeks and 3 months. Again there did not seem to be any difference in the infused oil vs plain coconut oil. Maybe the infusion would turn out different if I had used fresh herbs.

Again why so long and why not use fresh herbs? I wanted a product that did not have any water content. When a product has water in it you have to contend with spoilage and I did not have nor want to have to deal with chemical preservatives. As I mentioned in the video, plants have a high water content when they are fresh. Using dried herbs lets me get around that to a degree because the water has been, of course dried out. I’m not a herbalist but my theory is because of the lack of water present, it takes awhile longer to get the herbs to release the good stuff. Remember the old school wine commercial quote ” A fine wine takes time”? I bet the same thing applies with herbal oil infusions…at least for me. The proof is in the pudding as I am continually amazed at how my locs feel and look after using my herbal oil infusion as opposed to when I was using virgin coconut oil straight. So this stuff is spiked, kicked up a notch… BAM. ūüôā

In the last post, I forgot to include pics of what the oil looks like after the infusion process and 6 months or more of ¬†“simmering”. lol

IMG_1779

 

This jar was done February 2012. Because I don’t need to use much on my hair and I did about 3 jars in 2010, I have not cracked this one open yet.

IMG_1771

This is the oil after the plant material has been strained out. Like the pic above the oil is somewhat solid because coconut oil goes from liquid to solid at temperatures below 77 degrees. The aloe powder settles to the bottom of the jar.

IMG_1778

Here is the oil when it’s above 77 degrees and the aloe powder mixed. As you can see it’s the very dark green/brown that I mentioned in the last post. That’s probably due to the aloe powder, nettle, hibiscus and sage. I have another herbal infusion that I’ve done that does not have those herbs but some of the others I mentioned and it’s a tan color.

In another post¬†I’ll go into the why’s of each ingredient I decided to use as I did not do that in the videos I posted on here and on my YouTube channel.

 

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Make your own Nyle Herbal Coconut Oil pt 1

Red hibiscus

Red hibiscus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hey y’all I promised in my post here that I would share my herbal coconut oil concoction. I did videos on my YouTube channel earlier last year but forgot to blog about it here.

The inspiration to make my own herbal oil came from ¬†hearing about Vatika Coconut Oil, Nyle Herbal Hair Oil¬†and the Profectiv Hair Strengthener. The Profectiv was given as a present to all the ladies at my husband’s family reunion in 2009. ¬†I was already using Tropical Traditions Gold Label Coconut Oil so I thought what if I could make my own Vatika, Nyle/Profectiv type oil using coconut oil.

The inspiration for the choice of herbs I used are from some of the ingredients listed on the jar of Profectiv Daily Anti -Breakage Hair Strengthner I had and the Nyle Herbal Hair Oil I had researched after hearing about it on YouTube. Back then the Profectiv was not an oil but a…well, I really don’t know how to describe it. It was a milky color with a slight pink tint and had a loose gel like texture. They were listed as extracts however I was impressed by the number of natural things in it like horsetail and sage . Glycerin was and still is in the product… but pretty high on the list back then. Nice for attracting moisture but I really dislike the sticky feeling it leaves on my hair. For me, it also attracts dirt, something I definitely did not want to do for my locs. And you were supposed to be using this stuff daily. I never bought the Nyle Herbal Hair Oil but it’s ingredient list showed it had hibiscus and fenugreek extracts along with coconut oil.

This was three years ago as I see now at the time of this post, the list of ingredients for the Profectiv has changed quite a bit. Currently, ¬†Propylene Glycol is quite high on the list of ingredients with silicones following close behind. I’m not sure but I don’t think it was like that back then and if it was on the list it was close to the bottom. Otherwise I would have never used the product. It also has Lanolin, Olive oil and silicones that I don’t remember being in the product either. I think I’ve mentioned before that my hair does not like Olive Oil nor silicone.

That’s another reason why I wanted to make my own product because I know how companies for various reasons, will change the formulation of a product by adding cheaper chemicals. I wish that I would have kept the label on the jar of Profectiv so that I could see changes at the time of this post vs when I first did my concoction oil. I also think Nyle Herbal Hair Oil has changed their formulation as well because I don’t remember seeing mineral oil listed as an ingredient. No surprise really but…Wow!

The other inspiration was from research done on Anita Grant’s old website and other websites for information on herbs for dry hair.

Now, the trouble was I had no idea how to get the herbs into the oil. Thanks to a YouTube friend and subscriber and also Annie’s Remedies, I learned how to do herbal oil infusions. I would give y’all the link to her channel but I recently discovered she’s no longer on YouTube. ūüė¶

OK, here’s what I came up with.

Ingredient list:

Virgin Coconut Oil – of course right?! However use whatever oil you like.

And the following dried herbs:

Aloe Powder
Benzoin Gum Powder
Burdock Root
Chamomile

English: Flower of a Yellow Chamomile (Anthemi...

English: Flower of a Yellow Chamomile (Anthemis tinctoria) Fran√ßais : Fleur d’Anth√©mis des teinturiers (Anthemis tinctoria). Portugu√™s: Flor de Camomila-dos-tintureiros (Anthemis tinctoria). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Coltfoot Leaf
Comfrey Leaf
Comfrey Root
Hibiscus Flower
Fenugreek Seed Powder
Irish Moss
Calendula (Marigold) Flower
Marshmallow Root
Mullein Leaf
Patchouli
Rose Buds and Petals
Nettle Leaf

Sage

Sage

Sage (Photo credit: lord_bute)

Shavegrass (Horsetail)
Slippery Elm Bark
Violet Leaf
Citric Acid for preserving and

Glass jars w/lids (recycled ones are awesome) to hold all of the goodies.

Keep in mind if you want to follow the actual Vatika Oil or the Nyle oil ingredients, by all means do so. I wanted to use herbs that were readily available to me at my local health food store.

For those of you that have been with me for a while already know the answer to the question “How much of each do you use?” ūüôā ¬†For those of you who don’t, the answer is… I don’t have a set measurement amount. Heck, I hardly ever measure anything. lol However I will use the same spoon or whatever device I’m using and add more of some herbs like sage, rosebuds and nettle. I add according to what I feel like my hair needs. It’s also dependant on the size of the glass jar you choose. ¬†Ok here are the intricate instructions: ¬†ūüėČ

  1.  Put one round of all the herbs into the jar.
  2.  Melt the oil getting it nice and warm. You can do this while you are putting your herbs in the jar.
  3. ¬†Pour some oil into the jar making sure to cover the herbs and mix very well. ¬†It helps to use a folding method like you’re mixing ingredients for a cake or pie and a pumping motion. This insures that the herbs at the bottom get mixed in with the herbs at the top. ¬†It also helps to get any air pockets out. See the note below.
  4. Add another round of herbs, then oil again covering the herbs and mix well.
  5.   Repeat step 4 until your jar is full and screw the lid on very tight.

See… It’s pretty easy but a little bit time-consuming. ¬†If you’ve already scrolled down and watched the video you might have noticed that I’ve changed the instructions a bit. I remembered from the last batch I did ( the video is the filming of it) that it’s a little difficult to mix the oil and herbs when the jar is full of herbs. I’m thinking doing it in the way I have listed above should be easier.

Also it should help in making sure that you have the most amount of oil you can get in to be infused with the good stuff from the plant material. I guess because you are dealing with oil and not water it takes a bit longer for the oil to penetrate the plant material and absorb the oil. Heating the oil helps with this and so does the mixing.

***Note: be careful when mixing with a metal utensil as constant tapping on the bottom of the jar can cause it to crack!***

You’ll want to make sure that the finished jar has oil covering the herbs as this helps to keep the herbs from going rancid (spoiling).

To heat the mixture in the jars, I use an old crock pot, the kind with the ceramic insert. I put the jars in and fill it with water then turn it on the lowest setting of heat. I do this for 8 or more hours per day for 2 weeks. Then I label the jars with the date and put them aside to set for at least 6 months.

When that time has passed, strain out the plant material using a strainer to get the big stuff out. Re-strain using a knee-high stocking to get the smaller particles into your storage jar. You can add essential oils like lavender for further preserving and others for additional benefits for your hair or fragrance.

The resulting oil will be dark green almost brown in color. This will vary of course depending on the combination of herbs used to infuse into the oil.

In the next post I’ll cover why I chose to use this method. If you want to see how I do the infusion check out the videos below.

The same videos are available on my YouTube channel here, here.

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How I Use (Coconut) Oil on My Locs

Hey guys! I hope this post finds everyone well.

Violeta over at Oceangrins did an update post on her “itchy” situation. ūüėČ There, a question was asked by Naturalocs on the use of coconut oil and water on locs. She said that coconut oil was softening her skin but not her locs and she asked was there a certain way to use it. I thought that this might help others so I decided to answer here in a post.

I’ll start by saying I have fine/thin hair. Now I’ve been using coconut oil on my then loose natural hair for a little bit before locking. I liked it but it was not softening my hair in the way I would have liked. I started locking about year after this point ¬†so I stopped using coconut oil and all oils for that matter until my locs were further along into the locking process. A year or so later I decided to revisit coconut oil on my locs.

Coconut Oil squircle

Coconut Oil squircle (Photo credit: Ennor)

To be honest, I’m not sure what made me start applying coconut oil to wet hair. ¬†I liked it but still not exactly what I was looking for. When I was using it on my loose hair, I applied it onto dry hair. That worked OK but that was it…just OK.

Then after I locked, either by design or by accident (probably the latter) I applied it on my damp locs. I know this might sound crazy but what I mean by damp hair is …just washed hair. I wait until my locs have stopped dripping water but before they are slightly damp. Kinda like when you wash jeans and take them out of the washer right after it’s stopped. They are not dripping but they are wetter than a lightweight t-shirt would be that was washed in the same load. I don’t towel dry my locs or dry with anything.¬†Applying a nice amount, I go through my locs, making sure I get the top and bottom of the locs. ¬† That’s the only time I apply coconut oil until wash day rolls around a week later. During the week, if my locs are feeling a bit dry, I’ll spritz with water only. This softens my locs right back up.

This is I was looking for! Now, why have I gone thru all that description? Because I did not get quite the same result when I started with dry locs dampened by spritzing with water. Looking at the post noted below, I see why I’ve changed how I was using coconut oil on my locs and remember this routine was before I came up with my herbal coconut oil concoction. ¬†I’ll do a post later sharing my concoction.

So try using coconut oil on your hair/locs on wash day, and don’t wait until your hair is completely dry. If that does not work, it might be that you hair does not like coconut oil. ¬†My hair does not like olive oil.

Hope that helps. ūüôā

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An Herbal Apple Cider Vinegar(ACV) Cleanse for My Oily, Flakey, Sore Scalp

Hey everyone! I hope this post finds you well.

 

Scalp Treatment

Scalp Treatment (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I thought I’d share what I use to cleanse my scalp. ¬†Though I never been medically diagnosed but based on my research, I think I’ve got a mild case of Seborrheic dermatitis. This has been a problem for as long as I can remember and it gets worse when the weather changes. If¬† I don’t keep the oily build up off my scalp, I produce enough flakes to supply a mini ski slope. ¬†Also my scalp gets quite sore and not just from scratching either. Ironically the soreness would go away when I scratched my scalp with a comb.

Now I had already tried dandruff shampoos, rosemary, tea tree, lavender, peppermint, sage and cedarwood¬†essential oils, oiling my scalp with natural oils and aloe vera juice/gels.¬† All of these made my scalp flare up more. In the summer of 2010 while in the 3rd day of retightening and right after washing my braidlocks, I noticed that I still had greasy flakes. The kicker was I had not oiled my scalp in 5 days…from the last wash. ¬†And I had not oiled my scalp then either! :-0¬†¬† Silly me, I thought I had been suffering from a dry scalp all these years! :-0

So I decided to again search for a more natural, cheaper way to help with the oil build up. ¬†Quotidianlight on Youtube had done a video on Seborrheic dermatitis¬†and in it she mentioned salicylic acid. The light bulb went off in my head because I had found out a few months prior that salicylic acid is white willow bark. It’s basically nature’s aspirin.¬†¬†Well I’ll be! ¬†Momma Nature knows best and has been at it waaay longer than man has. I decided to ¬†revise (many times lol ) what I had concocted before, combine it with straight Apple Cider Vinegar which I had used at the beginning of my loc journey. ¬†This is what I came up with:

  • ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) Any kind will do. I use the Walmart brand.

    Apple Cider Vinegar

    Apple Cider Vinegar (Photo credit: AndyRobertsPhotos)

  • Sage Tea (This is just sage leaves steeped in heated water then cooled) I use it to cut the ACV instead of just plain water.
  • And the following dried herbs:¬† Burdock Root, Comfrey Root and Leaves, Horsetail aka Shavegrass, German Chamomile, Nettle, Hibiscus Flower, Sage ( in addition to the tea) , Slippery Elm (I heard it keeps the Comfrey from going rancid), Peppermint and White Willow Bark
  • Aloe Powder
  • Neem Powder,¬† if¬† I remember to put it in the mix. lol
  • Lavender or Cedarwood essential oils for preservative (because of the sage tea being made w/water) and for the soothing properties too.
  • Peppermint essential oil ( for extra tingle)
I don’t really measure anything but I use approx 2 teaspoons of everything adding one or two more of what I feel I need.

First heat the ACV in a pot. Low heat is preferred and even better if you have a glass pot.¬† Add the herbs, put a top on the pot and let them simmer on very low heat for at least an hour. I try to let mine go for 2 hours or more. Then place the mix in a glass jar. I don’t like having to do this all the time so I generally will ¬†use 3-4 cups of Apple Cider Vinegar. ¬†Make sure the ACV is covering the herbs completely in the jar.¬† Vinegar is a preservative and by making sure the herbs are covered, they won’t go rancid. After letting this mixture set for a few days though I’ll let mine steep a lot longer, strain the herbs out. Place in the container of your choice. I like to use a mesh strainer first for the big stuff, then strain a second time with knee-high stocking for the small stuff.

When I first started using this particular combo which has gone through some additions and subtraction of herbs (mainly for cost

Vinegar is commonly infused with spices or her...

Vinegar is commonly infused with spices or herbs‚ÄĒas here, with oregano (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

reasons), I was using the ACV mix straight, no chaser. That was to get my scalp under control which took about 6 weeks. Then I started cutting it with plain water resulting in a  50-50, 40-60 mix. Later I decided to use sage tea since sage has been used for conditioning for eons and is supposed to be quite good for dandruff.

I’ve been using this for about 1 1/2 years now and my scalp really likes it. What I do is apply the mixture on my scalp with a spray bottle making sure that I get all areas of the scalp and message in well. Then, I let the mixture set on my scalp for at least 30 minutes. Sometimes I’ll put on a conditioning cap. The other herbs and the sage tea cut the vinegar smell down a little bit, however it does not bother me and rinses out easily so no vinegar smell is left in my locs.

The result for me has been a better feeling scalp that’s not still sore after washing it and I can cancel the contract to supply flakes for the ski slope in my area that does not get snow. lol ¬†As long as I keep up with washing my scalp at least weekly, I’m fine. Otherwise my scalp threatens me with early termination warnings for cancelling that ski slope contract. ¬†ūüôā ¬†Also note, I don’t put anything else on my scalp. No shampoo, soap, oil or anything else for that matter besides water of course.

I also use this as a facial cleanser/toner.

Hopefully this will spark some ideas for you to try if you are suffering with this issue.  Share your concoctions!

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How to Latch/Interlock Your Braidlocks/Locs using a Homemade NappyLock Tool

Here’s a video I did for my YouTube channel showing how I latch/interlock my new growth using my homemade NappyLock tool.¬† It’s a metal yarn needle that I have modified to make it easier to use on my braidlocks.

I hope this demonstration is helpful to you and empowers you to maintain your locs on your own.

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How to Make A Cheap Latching/Interlocking Nappylock Tool for Locs

For the past 2 years or so I have been interlocking aka latching my roots with a size 13/16 metal yarn/tapestry needle. These needles can be purchased from almost any craft store. I found mine at Micheal’s in a package of 4 for $3.30 including tax when I first got them and I just purchased another package of 2 today for the same price. So, that means the price has gone up but it’s still much much cheaper than the Nappylock tool.¬† You might be able to find a larger size so you won’t have to modify it but that’s the only size I’ve been able to find in my neck of the woods.

First let me say don’t get nervous about this being a needle. The business end is rounded so there are not sharp edges or points to damage or snag your hair. Those of you with micro interlocs might be able to use the needle as is. Also it was too long for me to use on my locs when I first purchased the needles at about the 1 year mark. You probably can make it shorter by sawing it down with a hacksaw but i did not want to do that because that was extra work. lol¬† So I waited until my locs got a bit longer. For me, at the time I started using it my locs at about 15 months were still in the budding/swelling stage especially the ones in the back so I had to make the eye wider. It’s super easy to do however it does take a bit of patience. I’ll confess that I broke two of the needles…that’s how I learned that it takes patience to get it right. lol

What you’ll need for this project is:

  • ¬†A metal yarn/tapestry needle.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†

Of course right?! This reminds me of how my grandmother would give my Mom recipe instructions. She’d write in her letter (the recipe was an integral part of the body of the letter) saying, “If you don’t already have (the main ingredient of the recipe), go to the store and get it.” If it was frozen she’d say “unthaw x”. If x ingredient was in a can¬† she’d say “get the can opener and open the can”. For some reason this was always absolutely hilarious to me, I guess because you’d have to really be an airhead not to understand her instructions.

  • Needle or round nose pliers.
  • Needle-nose pliers

    Image via Wikipedia

    An alternative is a small flathead screwdriver.

    A yellow flathead screwdriver

    Image via Wikipedia

    Note: If you use a flathead screwdriver instead of the needle nose/round nose pliers, then add an extra dose of patience.

Step 1.

Open the pliers and with your palm facing the floor insert the tip of the pliers into the middle of eye of the needle.

Step 2.

Slowly and gently turn the pliers to the left or right, whichever direction is comfortable for you.

Step 3.

Remove the pliers and repeat steps 1 & 2 inserting the pliers further into the eye of the needle until the eye is large enough to fit your largest loc.

It’s important to remove and re-insert the pliers to do it like I said because it forces you to increase the eye a little bit at a time. Trying to get the eye wide enough all at once will result in breaking the eye. Even more so if you are using a flathead screwdriver to do this. Remember earlier I said that I broke 2 needles? This is why. ūüôā ¬† Fortunately @ $3.30¬† for a pack of 4, that means each needle is about $.83 (price based on the first set purchased) and $1.66 each (based on the more recent purchase) so I don’t feel too bad about it.

Here’s the final result.¬†

That wasn’t so bad was it?

If that was not clear and you are able to view video, here is the video I did for my YouTube channel.

Let me know if you use this and how you like it.

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Rosemary is in my Hair!

For the last 3 weeks or so I have been experimenting with a spritz that consists of fresh rosemary, a few dried rosebuds and a tiny bit of dried sage. The rosemary you see in the picture above is one of three shrubs from my very own garden…that I’ve been growing for 6 years! And, I’ve not used any of it until now. Can you say, DUH?! Yeah, I’ve been Rip Van Winkle, sleeping big time on this.

Rosemary is an herb/shrub that is very easy to grow. It likes a well draining soil and is drought tolerant once it is established. I planted these in the spring of 2004. Our winter, spring and summers have been drier than normal since ’03 with the worst year in ’07. It was so bad that we had pretty severe watering restrictions but my rosemary made it through just fine surviving on whatever rain Mother Nature gave it. I do not and have not given it any additional water since the first year after it was in the ground. It’s pest free, trouble free and loves the heat and humidity we have. Now that’s my kind of plant. It’s Latin name means “dew of the sea” because it was first discovered growing along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea.

It also smells absolutely wonderful when you brush up against it or run your hand across the leaves. Much better than the essential oil to my nose, but the essential oil is more concentrated. I’ve read somewhere, that it takes 70lbs of plant material to get 1lb of EO. Don’t quote me on that, but I know the ratio of plant material needed to what you get as an EO is pretty wide. You know, kinda like cooking collard greens. When you are picking those big bunches, it looks like you are gonna have a whole mess of greens, but when they finish cooking, you swear somebody stole some out the pot. lol

For hair, fresh rosemary is awesome!! Now I have used the essential oil in the past and it seemed to dry my hair out which I think is why I was afraid to try the fresh or dried but the fresh plant is the exact opposite. And I had no idea how to use it, so that’s probably why it’s taken so long for me to try it. It seems to kick up my herb infused shealoe up 360 notches, takes away the oilyness and leaves my locs nice and soft. Even when there is not much humidity in the air or I’m in an air conditioned place for awhile, my locs are not feeling crunchy like they were before as ,it started to get hot around here. We really don’t have a spring season so it starts to get hot in April, where business feel the need to turn on A/C. A/C draws moisture out of the air so I’m figuring it means it’s doing the same thing to my locs. Since I don’t use A/C, I was noticing that when I did go out, my locs were fine before I left and when I returned home. But they felt crunchy while I was out somewhere, inside under air conditioning. One of the benefits of HIL syndrome I guess, because I may not have noticed that otherwise. I’m also spraying it on my scalp to see if it will stimulate growth along with conditioning my scalp. Rosemary has been used for a very long time as a hair conditioner and for darkening the hair.

I’ll type out how to make your own rosemary water later in the next post and post the video. If you want to see the video sooner, it’s already posted on my YouTube channel, titled “How to make Rosemary Water”.

TTYL

Edited 1/30/2012 while re-tagging after the move to WordPress:

I no longer use rosemary water as a spritz. It was too much for my hair and scalp but I’m considering using rosemary water/tea along with with the sage tea that I use to cut my herbal ACV mix for my scalp. I’ll post about that at a later time but I’ll post the video on the blog here.