Trying Something New-Grapeseed Oil

Hey guys!! I know I’ve been away for a while but I’m back. ūüôā

I just wanted to share with you guys something I ran across actually a few months ago. What is that? Grapeseed oil. I found it at my local Wal-Mart grocery store and decided to try it as I remembered reading rave reviews on it for natural hair back when I was a loose natural. Don’t worry as this oil is NOT going to replace my beloved coconut oil. There is another reason I wanted to try it as I’ve been looking for an oil that stays in a liquid state to blend with my herbal coconut oil mix. I figure that would help in keeping it “soft” in the winter. What do I mean by “soft”? Because of the saturated fat in coconut oil, it becomes a solid at temps below 77 degrees F.

English: Coconut oil in solid state

English: Coconut oil in solid state (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since I’ve started using my coconut oil infused with herbs, you can see what herbs I use here, the herbs seem to help the oil stay soft.¬† I just wanted to see if I could improve on the “soft” with an oil I can find locally and reasonably priced. This mix is the only thing I’m gonna use the grapeseed oil for. And as y’all already know and if you don’t, my hair does not like olive oil.¬† I may be infusing this grapeseed oil with some of or all of the herbs that I use in the coconut oil at a later date but for now, I’ve put some in with my already infused coconut oil.

Well this is an update as I had already started this post shortly after trying this new oil. After several months of using this grapeseed oil mixed in with my herbal coconut oil, I’m not crazy about it. To me, the consistency is a little to close to olive oil for my liking. Basically that means just a little bit too heavy and the smell is almost like olive oil.

Now I’ve looked around on the internet and everything I’ve read says this oil is odorless so maybe it’s the brand that I got or the bottle ended up in the olive oil conveyor belt and got mis-labeled. IMG_1913

It was only $5 for a 24 ounce bottle so that may have something to do with it but again from what I’ve read, grapeseed oil is inexpensive compared to extra virgin olive and coconut oil. That being said, ¬†I’m not sure I’ll be trying another brand on my dime. So, I’ll be using the remainder in a mix for skin use only, or and sticking with my herbal coconut oil.¬†

What is your favorite oil for your hair? Vote in the poll and tell me why in the comments.

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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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Daily Moisture and Sealing

Hey! I hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving if you celebrate it and if you braved the Black Friday crowds that you did not spend too much money.

I forgot to mention in my 4 year update that I’ve noticed that my hair was shedding. I remembered back in the day when I had a Jheri curl that my hair shedding had been reduced tremendously. Probably because of the activator and moisturizer that you had to put on it. Otherwise your hair would break off from being dry.

Jheri Curl Smile

Now I’m not trying in any way to revive those days but what I have been doing the past couple of weeks is to use a tiny amount of my herbal coconut oil (I’ll do ¬†post on this soon) to seal the moisture in after my daily spritzing with water. ¬†I decided to do this because I don’t use conditioner on my locs and I my oil has conditioning herbs in it. ¬†And it’ll be a pre treatment prior to my weekly washing. ¬†So yeah, I’m multi-tasking on my hair. ¬†Love that!! lol

I’m really liking the way that my locs are looking and feeling. I even got a complement on my hair from a much older family member yesterday who does not like dreadlocks. ¬†Y’all know how the older generation can be about natural hair, not to mention dreadlocks. But I’ll tell ya, you could have knocked me over with a feather as I was shocked!

You might not want to try this if your locs are still new. At least not daily as it could interfere with the locking process. But adding  moisture, oh yeah!

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4 Year Braidlock/Interlock Anniversary-Yeah It’s Late…real late

Hey guys! Popping in to share my 4 year braidlock anniversary and yeah, it’s real late. My braidlocks turned 4 years old on August 23, 2012. Y’all did get a bit of a preview of what they look like in July. I’ve mentioned it before that my hair growth is on the slower side of normal so there has not been a lot of change or growth since then.

You might be wondering why have in the title  braidlocks/interlocks. Well, I used braids to start the locking process and I interlock to maintain. I want that to be clear to anyone who might be reading and thinking about using this method to DIY  their own set of locs.

As far as any routine changes, not really. I’m interlocking the roots every other month at the start of the New Moon. And there happens to be one today…a Solar eclipse as a matter of fact. ¬†I make sure that I finish before the Full Moon which is two weeks later.
That way I have plenty of time allow for entire day(s) interruptions or if I just don’t feel like being bothered 1 or more days.

It is one of the down sides of having a large number of locs…the maintenance time. But I don’t like the scalpy look and my hair is fine and thin so a small number of locs does not look good on me. That was my pet peeve when my hair was loose. I really did not like the overall look of my twists. And I had 190-200 of them on my head.

I don’t think that I wrote about it but last year I experimented with a 4 and 6 month interval between interlocking sessions. While I absolutely loved the long breaks especially the 6 month break, I did not like the additional amount of time I had to devote to retightening. ¬†Also I was having trouble with my hair at the root staying in and with the correct loc.

I’m still washing weekly using raw African Black Soap and my herbal ACV for my scalp. I apply my herb infused coconut oil to my damp locs. I may or may not have mentioned it before, I completely air dry my locs. Meaning after rinsing, I do not use a towel or anything to get the water out of my locs. I let them dry on their own. I’ve found that my locs feel so much better after they are dry and still feel soft and moisturized the next day. And I’m still spritzing the locs pretty much everyday with water and a couple of drops of my favorite essential oils.

I’m still loving this journey and wish I had done this 8 years ago. Then I’d be ¬†coming to you with my 8th braidlock anniversary instead of my 4th year anniversary! I’ll get there for sure and for those that are just starting out on your journey, you will get there too!

Ok, here’s a few pics I took at the beginning of last month.¬†

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Where I get my coconut oil from


I’ve been asked where I purchase my coconut oil from in bulk. That place is Tropical Traditions. It is the gold label virgin coconut oil and for the 5 gallon bucket, it is a lot to shell out at one time. At $230 + shipping and to my area of the country that was $20 for a total of $250. I do use it for more than just my hair, as I mentioned in the previous post I cook with it, use it in my shealoe mix for my body (face included) and now I’m back to using it (the coconut oil alone) for my hair. I used to use the shealoe mix for my hair too when it was loose. Now, that works out to about $6.24 per 16oz which is the largest size I have seen offered in my neck of the woods. The cheapest I have run across is $9.99 at Walmart in the vitamin section which is virgin coconut oil to $19.99 at the health food store. Of course to get those savings, you do have to get the 5 gallon bucket. The savings gap is a lot less as the next size down from the 5 gallon is 1 gallon. The regular price for the 1 gallon bucket is $70+ shipping. That works out to a bit under $9.00 per 16 oz, since I’m sure shipping would be a bit less. Oh, I just went to the website and they have a special going on for 2-1 gallon pails for $99 until Sunday March 22,2008. That is equal to the per 16oz cost of the 5 gallon bucket. If you miss the sale, don’t worry they run sales quite often so I would not be surprised if you see that offer again very soon. At the regular price though, it is almost equal to the Walmart price but you don’t have the containers to throw out and clog the landfill every time you run out and purchase more, unless of course you are saving those containers to reuse. I reuse the one container I have when I was trying the virgin coconut oil for my shealoe mix. So, you can see you will save a significant amount by purchasing in bulk, especially if you are going to be using it a lot and there is no reason to end up paying more for the same product. Another more simplified example. The Walmart virgin coconut oil is as I said $9.99…$11.00 if you add tax, for the 16oz jar. To use 5 gallons you would have to buy 40 jars and no that is not a typo. At $11.00 a pop you will have spent $440. Which would you rather pay, besides free which is not an option here lol, $250 or $440? Y’all that’s my Virgo rising, gotta analyze. And you thought there was not going to be any astrology in here…not. But only a tiny bit, I’m not that proficient in it yet. Ok, back on topic.

As far as tips on storing it, I’ll includethis bit from the website:

“5. Does Coconut Oil need to be kept in the refrigerator, and how long does it last?

No, coconut oil does not need to be kept in the refrigerator. In the Philippines and other tropical climates, where the ambiance air temperature is much higher than North America, people traditionally have not refrigerated coconut oil. Virgin Coconut oil is very stable since it is unrefined and mostly saturated. The expiration dates on our Virgin Coconut Oils are for two years, and on our Expeller-pressed coconut oils they are 18 months, but they will usually be fine much longer than the expiration dates. We do recommend you store the oil out of direct sunlight. In the tropics coconut oil is almost always a liquid, since it‚Äôs melting point is about 76 degrees F. In North America it will usually be a solid, butter-like consistency. It can be stored in either form.”

Now unless you keep your house at temps approaching molten lava, I don’t think you have much to worry about. ūüôā

Hope that helps.

Disclaimer: All of the products mentioned in this post have been purchased by me. I have no affiliation with the manufacturer or distributor of the product nor am I being paid to review the product. The opinions set forth in this post are solely my personal opinion.

Coconut Oil

Virgin Coconut Oil that is. I had stopped using it in my hair for the last 5-6 months now because once I found out what makes my hair soft I did not want to go back to that slightly stiff feeling that I experienced when I was using coconut oil in the 1st month of locking. For the last couple of days I decided to give it a try again using the less is more principle that I’m using with essential oils. I put a really, really small amount in my hand, rub both hands together to melt it down then put it on my damp locs. Very nice and my locs absorb it quite well. It also looks like I only need to do this every 2-3 days. I had read back when my hair was loose that coconut oil penetrates and strengthens the hair strands so I wanted to take advantage of while I was locked too. I’m glad that I can still use it.

Virgin Coconut Oil is not machined processed so it retains its beneficial properties, however it is quite expensive compared to LoaAnn Coconut Oil that is refined which you can get at Walmart for just under $4 for a 32oz jar where I am in the country. To get the price per 16oz down, which is probably the most commonly sold quantity for the virgin coconut oil, you’ll want to purchase this item in bulk, especially if you’re going to cook with it and use it in skin/haircare as I do. I’m still using the 5 gal bucket I got Jan 2008 and have about 1/4 left.

So if oils are making your locs/hair feel stiff you might not have your hair at it’s proper moisture level and in the case of moisture more is more, use only a tiny amount of oils every few days or so.

Disclaimer: All of the products mentioned in this post have been purchased by me. I have no affiliation with the manufacturer or distributor of the product nor am I being paid to review the product. The opinions set forth in this post are solely my personal opinion.