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”.
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.
Another comparison shot. And yes, I wore the same shirt that I had on last year. This happens to be one of my favorite shirts that was a thrift store find at $.75. Yeah, 75 cents! It was originally $1.25 but on certain days, certain colored tags are on anywhere from 25%-50% off. Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about! Lookin’ cute and fly on the cheap!!!
18 months today and I could not be happier with my locs. I think they are still condensing in the back. Definitely it is the case in the top. Most of my ends are pretty much sealed but there are a few curly Qs which I think give them character and pizazz. I’m still lovin the journey though. Y’all know I’m hooked on comparison pics so here goes. lol
While shampooing my locs one day, a continuation of the “Freedom of My Locs” post came to mind.
Using the natural soaps, I can also use my mix as a body wash or break off a piece of the chunk and use it as is. This is great because I don’t have to have soap and shampoo which has freed up a lot of cabinet space. In a small bathroom, that makes a huge difference. It also cuts down on the number of chemicals absorbed through my skin. Don’t know if this is related but I have not had as many colds as I’ve had in the past. As emotionally trying this past year has been I have not had one cold. This is very unusual for me because when my emotions are taken through the fire, that’s when I get sick. I was doing the same with Dr. Bronner’s though I’m still using it as a body wash until I use it up. Then I’ll decide whether to go with the black soap for head to toe cleaning. It’s looking like I will be doing that.
Since the African Black Soap leaves my locs clean and soft, I don’t use a rinse out type conditioner. Again that’s one less bottle of product to go in my bathroom cabinet.
My shealoe mix that I’ve tinkered with, serves as my leave-in conditioner and moisturizer for my locs. It also serves as an all over body moisturizer including my face. That’s a minimum of 3 bottles/jars of product eliminated as I used to have all that stuff in the cabinet.
Less stuff to have to buy. Ahh, the freedom of my locs! Have I mentioned that I’m lovin my locs?!
Hey everyone! Here’s a product review of sorts. I have been using Raw African Black Soap since October ’09 and I love, love, love it. I wanted to give it a good long test run before I wrote about it. It gets my locs very clean but not stripped even with 2 times a week usage. Needless to say I’m no longer using Dr Bronner’scastille soap as shampoo. I will use the remainder of the Dr. Bronner’s that I have as a body wash and DH has started using it as well. Once that’s gone I just may use the black soap for all over hygiene.
Why did I change? I was noticing a greasy film on my locs right after washing while wet and there was buildup on two of the nape locs. This seemed odd to me because at that time I was not using anything else on my locs. No oils, butters, gels styling products. Just a few drops of essential oils and I mean just a few in a pint spritz bottle and I was using ACV on my scalp and washing weekly. Plus, I was diluting the soap with long rinses after shampooing. Also they were kinda rough and scratchy once they dried. So I was on a quest to find something else that was natural and budget friendly.
So, I purchased the bulk raw soap from Butters-N-Bars.com after being given a bottle of their black soap herbal shampoo by BearneseBrown on YouTube as a contest winning. It arrived in 4 big chunks that look like meat loaf and are in sealed in zip lock bags. Thanks to LaLoced, who so graciously did a tutorial on her YouTube channel showing how to make a liquid version from the raw bulk soap. It’s been almost 4 months since getting my order and making my first batch of shampoo. The chunk pictured above is the 1st one I’m working on. I’m on the second batch of shampoo, ending up with about 32 oz this time. I made it 1 month to the day ago and I’ve got 24 oz of shampoo left. I know this because the bottles I’ve got to put it in are 24 oz, so that means I had to use 2 bottles to house the batch. It looks as though this is going to be more economical than the Dr. Bronner’s.
The result has been soft locs. When I put my homemade shealoe butter mixture that I have tinkered around with…OMG, super soft locs. Even the “kitchen” and hairline areas, y’all know from the creamy crack days, where the beautician laid that stuff on first ‘cuz it was supposed to be the nappiest, roughest hardest hair on your head. Well I’m finding out that those same areas are loosely curled and wavy. As a result, the shorter hairs in those areas don’t want to stay in the loc especially since I need to wash my hair 2 times a week. There are some pics below. But that’s alright with me. One part of the loc mission has been accomplished as I was determined to have soft locs using the goodness from Mother Nature. Now I’m patiently awaitin‘ for the length to show. Y’all, I am so lovin‘ my locs!!