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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Conair Shower Comb

I honestly don't know how I would have survived my first year of being napptural without my $2.49 Conair Shower Comb from CVS. $1.49 if you are lucky enough to find the same comb in the basket below minus the packaging.

The comb has soft wide rubber-coated plastic teeth that glides through the hair distributing conditioner evenly. The tail of the comb is actually a hook that let's you easily hang your comb in the shower.

This comb is my saving grace for in-shower conditioning/detangling sessions. If you have thick, kinky, coarse hair, you have got to invest in one of these.

Update: 2/16/2009 - I snagged two @ $1 each on clearance today at CVS. I'm giving one to my mentor, as she has never heard of the shower comb. She's gonna love it.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Shikakai "Fruit for the Hair"

Acacia Concinna is a small shrub-like tree which grows in the warm, dry plains of central India. For centuries the people who have had access to this tree have used its pod-like fruit to clean their hair. They collect, dry and grind this pod into a powder which is considered a superior cleanser for "lustrous long hair" and has been reported as "promoting hair growth and preventing dandruff". Because of these benefits, this powder was named "shikakai" which literally translates as "fruit for the hair" .

Today this fruit is grown commercially in large quantities in India and the Far East. As a result, shikakai powder is readily available and continues to be commonly used as a preferred shampoo. The dried, powdered fruit is sold in attractive packages that show women with long, beautiful, shiny hair. Many popular brands are sold throughout India. Typically, shikakai is mixed with water to make a paste which is worked through the hair. It lathers moderately and cleans hair beautifully. It has a natural low pH, is extremely mild, and doesn't strip hair of natural oils. Usually no rinse or conditioner is used since shikakai also acts as a detangler. This ancient product is probably the world's original pH balanced shampoo.

Shikakai Hair Powder For Hair Wash and hair Care. It acts as a natural astringent for hair care. It clears dandruff and dirt accumulated on the scalp and strengthens hair roots. It promotes luxuriant hair growth.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Aloe Vera Hair Care

Hair problem has affected zillions of people all over the world. If you have tried different medications, or natural oils or herbs, give a try to Aloe Vera.It is an excellent and reliable treatment for hair care, and is used by many people across the globe. It contains natural conditioners that make your hair soft, healthy, strong and soft.

There are certain special enzymes in Aloe Vera that make it good for hair care. It has anti-inflammatory properties that keep your hair strong and healthy, and stops hair fall.

Hair Loss and Aloe Vera.

If you are concerned about consistent hair fall, get some Aloe Vera. Apply Aloe Vera gel on your scalp. You are suggested to consult a skin specialist to deal with any side effects of applying this. This stops your hair from falling down as it strengthens your hair. Your hair will get shiny and give the look of healthy as well.

Visit any store and look for any Aloe Vera based shampoos, oils, and conditioners. Read the ingredients carefully, and the instructions on how to apply these. Also, there are different products for different kinds of hair. Select carefully for what kind of product your hair require.

Aloe Vera is beneficial for your hair for many reasons. Not only hat the hair stop falling, or that these get healthy, it is good for your scalp as well. Even media had highlighted its benefits and Aloe Vera products are advertised over different mediums.

However, while purchasing any Aloe Vera based product, read the percentage of ingredients carefully and verify the reputation and credibility of manufacturer. There are many fake companies that run their second grade products in the stores but the products are not good in quality.
Think carefully before deciding anything, and purchase only those products that claim required percentage of Aloe Vera.

Aloe Vera and Advantages

A massage of Aloe Vera oil on your scalp increases the blood circulation. It gives you relief and feeling of being fresh by removing the stress and anxiety. Aloe Vera has been particularly used by Native Americans and in South Asia, and you can find more people with healthy hair in these regions of the world.

Aloe Vera and Hair Care

The main constituents of Aloe Vera gel are coconut milk and wheat germ oil, apart from other products in small amounts. You can use this as a shampoo and is an excellent product for our hair problem. It strengthens your hair and prevents hair loss, besides giving shine to your hair.



Get $5 off of your first order at http://www.iherb.com if you use code CAR231.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Rosemary Oil

Rosemary oil and rosemary teas are used extensively for hair care in shampoos and lotions. Regular use of rosemary oil helps in stimulating follicles, as a result of which, hair grow longer and stronger. It is also believed that rosemary oil slows down premature hair loss and graying of hair. Hence it is an excellent tonic for bald people. Rosemary essential oil is also beneficial for dry and flaky scalps. Regular massage of scalp with rosemary oil nourishes the scalp and removes dandruff. Further, it is often mixed with tea tree oil and basil oil to treat scalp problems.


Coconut Oil

Since their childhood, people living in most of the coastal areas of the world, more specifically in the areas where coconut grows in abundance, such as in the Indian Subcontinent, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, Burma, Philippines etc., know the one and the only, the sweet smelling coconut oil as their only hair oil. Coconut oil has been in use as hair oil for ages and it has shown remarkable results. Certain components in it keep the hair strong, vitalized, nourished and protected from effects of ageing. Let us see those components and their effects on hair.

Lauric Acid: One of the most responsible reasons behind hair fall and hair loss is microbial action on the scalp and hair roots. So, to protect hair against them, what we need is an antimicrobial agent. Lauric Acid present in Coconut Oil is one of them. It is basically a triglyceride which yields a monoglyceride called Monolaurin when acted upon by a species of bacteria which breaks the glycerol bonds. This monolaurin has excellent antimicrobial properties.

Capric Acid: This is yet another triglyceride present in Coconut oil, which, like Lauric Acid, yields another monoglyceride called Monocaprin due to bacterial action, having antimicrobial properties similar to that of monolaurin.

Vitamin-E: Almost every aptly educated person knows the importance of vitamin-E for skin and hair. It keeps scalp and skin healthy and hair rejuvenated.

Moisture Retaining Capacity: Coconut Oil has high moisture retaining capacity, since it is not broken down easily nor evaporated, being very stable. It does not let moisture escape thus keeping hair moistened and soft. This prevents breakage of hair. Coconut Oil is a far better conditioner for hair than any synthetic one available in the market.

Anti-Dandruff: The various fatty acids present in Coconut Oil serve as very good anti dandruff agents and are way better than any anti dandruff shampoo. A regular application can help you get rid of dandruffs for ever.

Styling: Coconut oil can be good styling oil for hair too, as it melts on heating and then condenses on cooling. So when you apply it on your hair, it thins and spreads evenly due to heat of the scalp. Soon afterwards, as the hair comes in contact with air, the oil on hair condenses on cooling and thus works as a styling gel or cream.

If you ever visit coastal parts of India, like West Bengal, Kerala, Coastal Tamil Nadu etc, you will be surprised to see lots and lots of old men and women, in their 70s and 80s, still having thick jet black hair. Thanks to the coastal climate, the rice and fish meal and of course, to the pure coconut oil they use on hair.

Coconut oil is one of the best natural nutrition for hair. It helps in healthy growth of hair providing them a shinny complexion. Regular massage of the head with coconut oil ensures that your scalp is free of dandruff, lice, and lice eggs, even if your scalp is dry. Coconut oil is extensively used in the Indian sub-continent for hair care. It is an excellent conditioner and helps in the re-growth of damaged air. It also provides the essential proteins required for nourishing damaged hair. It is therefore used as hair care oil and used in manufacturing various conditioners, and dandruff relief creams. Coconut oil is normally applied topically for hair care.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Rules for Growing African American Hair

July 10, 2007 by

Unfortunately, very few hair care products available in today’s market cater to curly textured, wavy, or tightly S-coiled hair textures. As a result, individuals, especially African Americans with textured hair are unable to truly experience healthy hair or discover the true lusciousness of Black Hair or Ethnic Hair. Curly or "kinky" hair needs moisture. African American or Ethnic Hair is no different than any other hair type. African American, Biracial, and Ethnic Hair can grow and thrive, even with the application of heat and chemicals (although this should be avoided). Here is a guide on buying Black, Ethnic, or African American hair care products.

Rule #1: Avoid Bad Hair Product Ingredients: Many commercially available hair care products denoted for African American or ethnic hair use harmful ingredients. Be certain to check the ingredients in your hair care products. The following ingredients are awful for ethnic or African American hair, not only stifling African American and Ethnic hair's health, true texture, and hair growth, but also harmful to the body.

1) Isopropyl Alcohol: Dries and Breaks African American or Ethnic hair. It is found in color rinses, anti-freeze

2) Mineral Oil/Petrolatum: It used as a moisturizer in African American or Ethnic hair care products; however, it coats African American or Ethnic hair, actually preventing moisture from getting into the thirsty hair. It is a derivative of crude oil and a cheap industrial grease component. It also prevents the release of toxins from African American or Ethnic hair and alters the skin respiration by preventing oxygen release.

3) Polyethylene Glycol (PEG): Strips African American or Ethnic hair of critical moisture. Used as an emulsifier in products, dissolves oils and grease.

4) Propylene Glycol (PG): An active component in many African American or Ethnic hair care products, make up, lotions, mouthwashes, and deodorant, PG is the active component of anti-freeze and actually deteriorates the protein and cellular structure of African American or Ethnic hair. Protein is what your hair needs to thrive. Workers actually use gloves and goggles when dealing with this substance due to its chemical side effects and toxicity.

5) Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)/ Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES): A cheap foaming and thickening agent that strips African American or Ethnic hair of moisture and causes skin and scalp irritation. 95% of all hair shampoos contain this ingredient or a derivative. Avoid it completely; TEA lauryl is just as bad, if not worse. Do not be fooled by the use of the word TEA. Shampooing African American or Ethnic hair with a product that contains these can lead to the absorption of excessive nitrates.

6) Diethanolamine (DEA), Momoethnanolamine (MEA), Triethanolamine (TEA): Usually listed as an ingredient containing a neutralizing compound, i.e. as Cocamide DEA or Lauramide DEA, repeated skin applications of DEA-based detergents are known to form cancer causing nitrates

Rule #2: Avoid Hair Coloring, Rinses, and Dyes. Look on the pack of the ingredient label and check for FD&C Colors: Many individuals with African American or Ethnic hair experience scalp irritation due to these. If you have an irritated scalp ,your hair will not grow long or remain healthy.

Rule #3: Avoid Hair Products with Synthetic Fragrances: Unless natural fragrance, created by items such as essential oils and seasonings, fragrances can include up to 4,000 additional ingredients, specifically more Propylene Glycol that is harmful and damaging to African American or Ethnic hair care. Fragrance can lead to headaches, dizziness, rashes, skin discoloration, violent coughing, and vomiting.

Rule # 4: Avoid Products with Chemical Preservatives: Nearly all brands of Black/ African American and Ethnic Skin and Hair Care Products contain hair and health harmful toxins, especially parabens that are used to extend products' shelf lives. While these companies make huge profits, it is at the expense of your hair and health being exposed to cancer causing elements, such as formaldehyde or formaldehyde-donors. According to the Mayo clinic, formaldehyde can irritate the respiratory system, cause skin reactions and trigger heart palpitations.

Rule # 5: Abandon your typical beauty supply store or drugstore. Curly or ethnic hair needs natural hair care products because the sulfates, chemicals, alcohols, and silicones in 99% of hair care products have a moisture stripping effect. Ethnic hair needs moisture to grow, become strong, and stay manageable. Without moisture your hair will become dry and damaged. Try Beauty 4 Ashes GodHead (a great all natural) or Tigi BedHead (a quality synthetic shampoo) if you cannot find GodHead.

Rule #6 Only purchase all natural hair care products tailored for your hair type. Visit your local health foods store or find great hair care product for purchase online. The hair care industry is finally seeing the light and making hair care products that truly work for ethnic hair.

Beauty 4 Ashes Christian Health & Beauty, a beauty conglomerate, acclaimed internationally, makes 100% natural ethnic hair care products for general hair health and hair growth (wwwdiscoverb4acom). Their products have received great ratings in the States as well. Most shampoos and conditioners are Aloe Vera based and contain natural oils like jojoba, shea, avocado, sunflower, coconut, olive, wheat germ, etc.

The next best option is Aubrey Organics and Burt Bees. Although not made specifically for African American or Ethnic hair, Aubrey Organics' products are 100% natural and contain many natural oils. (wwwaubreyorganicscom).

You may also try Ojon or Carol's Daughter. Although their products do contain some of the ingredients above, they are superior to traditional drugstore products.

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Essential Oils

Many women are turning to the use of natural oils to treat their hair and skin.

Essential Oils are known for their therapeutic and medicinal properties. They are used commonly as pure and natural therapeutic treatments offering an effective natural alternative to everyday medications and beauty products commonly found in stores.

These oils contain natural plant materials from which they are derived offering a soothing remedy for many common human ailments. These natural oils are volatile and
are obtained by a steam distillation process.

100% pure natural essential oils are known to be most effective. However, you must be very knowledgeable about the use of these oils and their combinations in order to begin using them. It's best to consult a knowledgeable essential oil/aromatherapy doctor prior to considering using and combining these oils.

Note: You should not apply the undiluted essential oil on your body as these are very concentrated and you may experience discomfort. These oils should also never be taken internally.


It's usually hard to find the right hair oil for ethnic and multi-ethnic women. Many products claim to be "everything" but really offer "nothing".
When looking for a good essential hair oil , opt for the natural hair oils (like the ones listed
below). Try to stay away from petroleum, waxy oils or petrolatum. What these man-made products do is cause build-up on the hair and scalp. They don't allow the hair and scalp to breathe which can be detrimental to proper hair growth.
To keep your curls healthy, try the following natural essential oils:

Patchouli Oil - Adds moisture and sheen to dreads.
Sage Oil - Stimulates growth and is said to kill bacteria.
Rosemary Oil - Adds sheen to hair, stimulates growth is said to be good at fighting dandruff.
Sweet Almond Oil - Great for fighting a dry, itchy scalp. Contains vitamins E and F. Also good for itchy scalp.
Primrose Oil - Conditiions and moisturizes hair.
Jojoba Oil - Great for adding moisture to a dry scalp. Jojoba oil smoothes and conditions hair.
Avocado Oil - Contains vitamins A, D, and E.
Birch Oil - Great anti-dandruff scalp soother.
Calendula Oil - Light astringent. Is said to soothe the scalp and eczema problems.
Olive or Extra Olive Oil - An excellent leave-in conditioner.
Emu Oil - Natural & non-toxic, non-comedogenic (does not clog pores)...fights dandruff.

These essential oils are great at adding moisture and sheen to locks and other natural styles.



St.John's wort


Apple Cider Vinegar

10 Synthetic Cosmetic Ingredients To AVOID
By Aubrey Hampton

If you want natural products, you have to be willing to search them out, to learn to read labels, and to refuse to settle for half-natural hair and skin care. Below I've listed and described my "ten most wanted" � the ten chemicals I most want to see off the labels of so-called natural hair and skin care products.

1. imidazolidinyl Urea and Diazolidinyl Urea

These are the most commonly used preservatives after the parabens. They are well established as a primary cause of contact dermatitis (American Academy of Dermatology). Two trade names for these chemicals are Germall II and Germall 115. Neither of the Germall chemicals have a good antifungal, and must be combined withother preservatives. Germall 115 releases formaldehyde at just over 10�. These chemicals are toxic.

2. Methyl and Propyl and Butyl and Ethyl Paraben

Used as inhibitors of microbial growth and to extend shelf life of products. Widely used even though they are known to be toxic. Have caused many allergic reactions and skin rashes. Methyl paraben combines benzoic acid with the methyl group of chemicals. Highly toxic.

3. Petrolatum

I see this on lip products from time to time, which is humorous to me because they're usually advertised as protecting the lips from sunburn, chapping and so forth. Petrolatum is mineral oil jelly, and mineral oil causes a lot of problems when used on the skin photosensitivity (i.e., promotes sun damage), and it tends to interfere with the body's ownnatural moisturizing mechanism, leading to dry skin and chapping. You are being sold a product that creates the very conditions it claims to alleviate. Manufacturers use petrolatum because it is unbelievably cheap.

4. Propylene Glycol

Ideally this is a vegetable glycerin mixed with grain alcohol, both of which are natural. Usually it is a synthetic petrochemical mix used as a humectant. Has been known to cause allergic and toxic reactions.

5. PVP/VA Copolymer

A petroleum-derived chemical used in hairsprays, wavesets and other cosmetics. It can be considered toxic, since particles may contribute to foreign bodies in the lungs of sensitive persons.

6. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

This synthetic substance is used in shampoos for its detergent and foam-building abilities. It causes eye irritations, skin rashes, hair loss, scalp scurf similar to dandruff, and allergic reactions. It is frequently disguised in pseudo-natural cosmetics with the parenthetic explanation "comes from coconut."

7. Stearalkonium Chloride

A chemical used in hair conditioners and creams. Causes allergic reactions. Stearalkonium chloride was developed by the fabric industry as a fabric softener, and is a lot cheaper and easier to use in hairconditioning formulas than proteins or herbals, which do help hair health. Toxic.

8. Synthetic Colors

The synthetic colors used to supposedly make a cosmetic "pretty" should be avoided at all costs, along with hair dyes. They will be labeled as FD&C or D&C, followed by a color and a number. Example: FD&C Red No. 6 / D&C Green No.6. Synthetic colors are believed to be cancer-causing agents. If a cosmetic contains them, don't use it.

9. Synthetic Fragrances

The synthetic fragrances used in cosmetics can have as many as 200 ingredients. There is no way to know what the chemicals are, since on the label it will simply say "Fragrance." Some of the problems caused by these chemicals are headaches, dizziness, rash, hyperpigmentation, violent coughing, vomiting, skin irritation buy a cosmetic that has the word "Fragrance" on the ingredients label.

10. Triethanolamine

Often used in cosmetics to adjust the pH, and used with many fatty acids to convert acid to salt (stearate), which then becomes the base for a cleanser. TEA causes allergic reactions including eye problems, dryness of hair and skin, and could be toxic if absorbed into the body over a long period of time.

To Summarize:

Look for natural ingredients in the products you buy. Do not use cosmetics that are artificially colored. Is the shampoo bright green or blue? Very likely it contains a coal tar color. Does the product contain synthetic fragrances? Don't buy it. You may find that some of your allergy problems will suddenly disappear when you no longer use cosmetics formulated with petrochemicals and other synthetics.

Ten Best Carrier Oils For Hair

Ten Best Carrier Oils For Hair
by Karen M. Shelton


I was recently asked to research this topic for one of the beauty magazinesthat I write for on a regular basis. The magazine editor asked me to write about carrier oils and to limit my list to "just ten" oils. Although I tried to talk her into letting me write about the top 25 oils, she made me promise to limit myself to just ten oils. UGH. This assignment was pure torture. One thing I have trouble with is limiting myself to ten of anything. When it comes to carrier oils there are so many great ones, that it was frustrating to limit myself to just ten. Although I did my best and based my final list on my own favorites, I realize that I did not get close to covering every great carrier oil that is currently available.

Carrier or fixed oils also known as base oils and vegetable oils are usuallyproduced by cold or expeller method, pressed from seeds, kernels, fruit and nuts. The normal purpose of a carrier oil is to carry and dilute an essential oil for use in massage, or as a hot oil treatment for hair, skin or other parts of the body.There are many benefits to using natural carrier oils as the base ingredientfor conditioning treatments for your hair.

Natural oils provide great benefits to hair by attracting moisture and maintaining it within the cuticle. While there are many different types of natural carrier oils that can be used to treat your hair, the type of oil that you select should depend on your hair type, personal preference, budget and needs. Each oil carries its own signature and has healing effects by themselves.

Hazelnut oil is astringent, macadamia nut oils support suppleness and sesame oil is much heavier. Heavy oils, such as olive and coconut, should be reserved for those with thick, curly, or coarse hair. Lighter oils, such as sweet almond, sesame or grapeseed, are good for fine or thin hair.

One word of warning, some people have allergies to the different ingredients in the various carrier oils. Whether you are allergic to olives or almonds, keep this in mind before trying some of the oils that are listed here.

Listed below are some of the top ten oils to try for hair oiling andconditioning treatments. Keep in mind that there are many more oils available for use and that this list only includes my top ten favorites.

1. Jojoba

Jojoba is the mystical elixir oil of choice for many people suffering from a variety of hair woes. The reason that jojoba is such a great choice as a healing hair conditioner and moisturizer is that the molecular structure of jojoba is very similar to the natural oil or sebum that is produced by the sebaceous glands in the human scalp.

Extremely damaged hair or hair that tends to break, split or tangle usually responds well to jojoba oil. The beauty of this oil is that you can use it straight or in a mix and will work for just about all types of hair.

Depending on your hair type and needs you can buy various compositions that include heavy, medium or light concentrations of the jojoba in the mix. Jojoba oil is extracted from the jojoba bean and it is a liquid wax. Unfortunately in some cases, jojoba can clog pores. Jojoba is very stable and can be stored for years without going rancid. Jojoba oil was also used as a substitute for sperm whale oil and spermaceti what used to be the oil of choice for cosmetics.

2. Olive

This oil expressed from ripe olive fruit has a definite flavor and aroma. Olive oil has been used by people in the Mediterranean region for centuries as a food and cosmetic aide. It is best to only use the olive oil that is created from the first cold pressing which results in the extra virgin oil classification. Avoid the lesser olive oil varieties and consider using organic options if they are available. Beneficial for hair that is dry or damage, this oil work best for coarse, thick hair.

Olive oil is suitable for use in the treatment of scalp conditions and dry skin.It does have quite a distinctive color and odor of its own, which not everyone will appreciate, and it is rather heavy. Some people will find it preferable touse olive oil in combination with another, lighter base oil. Ranges in price from $2.30 for 4 ounces to $25.00 for 1 gallon.

3. Coconut

Coconut and palm kernel oils were recognized as health oils in Ayurvedic medicine almost 4000 years ago. In India, coconut oil has been a favorite oil for skin and hair for many years. There are several types of coconut includingvirgin white, fractionated coconut oil or the exotic Monoi oil (pronounced Mon-oy) that was originated in Tahiti and has been in use for over 2000 years.

The most commonly available coconut oil is Refined, Bleached & Deodorized oil. This oil is produced from copra which is dried coconut meat. Due to the air or sun drying process the resulting oil must be refined, bleached and deodorized in order to make it suitable for human consumption and use. The final product is yellowish-white in color with a thick texture and no taste or odor. At room temperature coconut oil is a solid, white substance with only a faint scent. The oil liquefies when its container is placed in warm water.

Monoi is touted as special because the unusual volcanic soil of the Tahitian islands impart qualities to the ingredients which can not be duplicated anywhere else in the world. Golden yellow color. An elegant moisturizer and superfatting agent. Great for nourishing the hair to give it a healthy shine and fewer tangles it is often recommended for the control of dry scalp and dandruff.

4. Sweet Almond Oil

Popular with the ancient Romans, this very pale yellow and odorless oil from Italy nourishes dry, flaky, itchy, sensitive scalps. Although lighter than olive, this cold pressed oil made from almond kernels provides excellent lubricating and penetrating properties. This oil contains glucosides, vitamins and minerals and it is a favorite carrier oil for aromatherapy massage blends, although it can be used by itself for moisturizing hair and skin.

Midwives have historically used sweet almond oil during pregnancy and labor to prevent rips and tears. Produced primarily in Italy and Spain, it is also produced in California.

Relatively inexpensive at approximately $2.50 for 4 ounces, this normally safe oil should not be used by people who have known almond or nut allegories in order to avoid an unpleasant reaction.

It is important to note that sweet almond oil and bitter almond oil are different. Bitter almond oil should never be used as a base for any type of massage oil because it contains acids that can burn.

5. Sesame Oil

This is a clear oil that is light and comes from Italy. It is made from the uncooked seeds and it is an expressed extraction. It ranges in price from $2.25 to $39.95 for 1 gallon. This oil is known to block approximately 30% of the sun�s UV rays. It can be used to help protect the skin and hair from the sun. This oil is used in many suncare preparations for the hair and body.

Sesame oil, extracted from the raw un-toasted sesame seed, has no aroma and is a light yellow in color. It contains 85% unsaturated and 15% saturated fatty acids. It can be added to other oils to enrich them. Mix with cold-pressed oils like wheat-germ or jojoba to inhibit oxidation of the oil. Sesame becomes rancid quickly and must be stored in a cool place. Some sesame oil is produced from the cooked seed which produces a heavy-scented brown oil. This oil is not recommended skin or hair treatments.

6. Aloe Vera Oil & Gel

Oil from the slightly green tinged, succulent aloe vera desert plant contains one of the most precious substances for human scalps, hair and skin. This odorless oil, which is different from aloe vera gel, is rich in enzymes, vitamins, proteins and minerals that support health.

Not only does aloe vera oil help maintain proper moisture balances, it stimulates circulation which is helpful for hair growth. Excellent for dandruff, this oil will also soothe psoriasis and eczema of the scalp. Aloe vera oil applied to a sunburned, infected or raw scalp will receive special soothing and healing.

Made from an infused process, aloe vera oil is a descendent from an African plant that is now commonly found in the desert areas of the United States. This oil ranges in price from $2.50 for 4 ounces to $19.95 for 1 gallon.

The Aloe Vera plant is a type of lily that has a special ability to retain water. This is an excellent carrier for both oral and topical applications of essential oils.

7. Kukui Nut

Made from the official state tree of Hawaii, kukui nut oil has been used by Hawaiians for hundreds of years. This oil contains essential fatty acids such as linoleic and linolenic acids which are very similar to skin lipids and provide high penetrability and moisturizing benefits to hair and skin. Known to benefit acne, eczema and psoriasis, kukui nut oil can also be used to treatsunburns and chapped skin.

Kukui nut oil can be used alone as a hair and scalp oil or added to shampoo to add special nourishing and softening benefits. More expensive than other oils, kukui ranges in price from approximately $7.50 for 4 ounces to $135.00 for 1 gallon.

8. Shea Butter

This butter is from the kernels of the shea nut tree, Butyrospermum parkii, native to Western Africa. It is a tallow-like substance extracted by hydraulic pressing or screw expellers. In crude form, it can be yellow or grey but is whitish if refined. Shea butter is non-toxic and non-irritating and derived totally from renewable natural resources. Traditionally it has been used in Africa as a medical balm for rheumatism, muscle aches, burns, and light wounds. Its unique fatty acid composition makes it a suitable emollient for many skin care applications, such as baby care products, massage creams, make-up, and similar products. One unique characteristic of shea butter is its content of unsaponiables (up to 8%) which imparts soothing properties and provides extra sun protection.

9. Grapeseed Oil

This oil from Italy has a slight flavor with a slight odor. It is an expressed oil made from the seed. This is one of the lightest oils. The skin absorbs it easily. Good to use as a skin oil or body oil. Slightly astringent and tightens and tones. Does not aggravate acne.

A natural preservative made from extracts of citrus seeds and pulp. Ranges in prices from $3.50 for 4 ounces to $35.00 for 1 gallon.

10. Avocado Oil

This clear oil comes mostly from South America and is made from the fleshy fruit of the avocado. It is an expressed extraction process. Similar to sebaceous fat, the oil quickly merges with it. Touted as a hair growth stimulant, this oil nourishes and restores dry, dehydrated and mature hair and skin. Great for healing dry or permed hair. Problems, especially psoriasis of the scalp, respond to its high content of vitamins A, B and E along with lecithin, proteins and fatty acids. Avocado oil has its own distinct aroma and extracted from the flesh of the avocado. An excellent softener, it is easily absorbed.

It goes rancid quickly. Buy in small amounts and refrigerate. Ranges in prices from $3.50 for 4 ounces to $60.00 for 1 gallon.

An alterative to pure avocado oil is avocado pear oil which is an oil made from the fruit of both avocados and pears. It is an expressed extraction process. Ranges in prices from $3.50 for 4 ounces to $45.00 for 1 gallon.

11. Safflower This is a clear oil that is light and comes from Guatemala. It is made from the seeds and is is an expressed extraction. It ranges in price from $2.50 to $22.95 for 1 gallon. This oil has a light texture and penetrates the skin well. It is cheap and readily available in an unrefined state, making it a useful oil base for a blend.

Summary Other great hair oils include Black Current Seed Oil and Borage Seed Oil fordry, dehydrated, mature hair. Can be priced at $350 per gallon for both.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Chemicals to Avoid


in hair relaxers to make hair permanently straight. Powerful alkaline
and caustic ingredient. Used in cleaning products that help dissolve
debris including hair from drains.

FACT: Breaks the protein
bonds that give the hair strength. Depletes the scalp of sebum (natural
oils) and makes hair very weak and prone to breakage. If used
incorrectly, can cause severe damage to the scalp. Products that say
“no-lye” just substitute the sodium hydroxide with calcium or guanidine.

Found in: Chemical straighteners, soaps

SULPHATE (ALES). (any sulphate, for that matter)

in 99% of all shampoos for foam. These are the same ingredients found
in many cleaning products such as floor cleaners and car engine

FACT: Dries and irritates the skin and hair by
stripping it of natural oils. Prevents the natural regulation of
moisture. (Why do you think we have to use conditioner after washing
our hair?)

Found in: shampoo/conditioner, bar soap, body wash,
face cleanser, liquid hand soap, acne treatment, hair dye, mascara,
shaving products, moisturizer, toothpaste, sunscreen, makeup remover,
perfume, cologne


Used in many cosmetic products as a lubricant

Derives from crude oil (the same ingredient used to cut metal!). Coats
the hair shaft and clogs pores thereby preventing toxins from being
released. This also prevents other ingredients to penetrate into the
hair shaft.

Found in: Almost every personal care product,
especially creams, lotions, hair products, wax depilatories, eyebrow
pencils, eye shadow, liquid powder, and lipstick.


because it is called a humectant gives the product a firmer
consistency. Keeps product from melting in high heat or freezing when
it is cold.

FACT: Active ingredient in anti-freeze which is used
in car brake fluid. Strong enough to remove barnacles from boats! It
slowly destroys the protein and cellular structure and can lead to

Found in: shampoo/conditioner, bar soap, body wash,
face cleanser, liquid hand soap, acne treatment, hair dye, shaving
products, moisturizer, makeup remover, toothpaste, sunscreen, perfume,
cologne, deodorant, toner/astringent, foundation, bronzer powder, nail
polish, lip products, eye shadow/pencil, and mascara.

5. DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (Monoethanolamine), & TEA (triethanolamine)

Used to adjust the PH balance

These chemicals are already restricted in Europe due to the known
creation of carcinogenic compounds called nitrosamines. They are
hormone-disrupting chemicals that easily absorb into the skin.

in: shampoo, body wash/cleansers, bath oils, facial cleanser, liquid
hand soap, bar soap, hair products, acne treatment, baby wash, shaving
products, body scrubs, foot odor/cream/treatment, deodorant,
moisturizer, and hair dye/spray.


Used as a cleaning agent and disinfectant

FACT: better known as rubbing alcohol. Known to dry out and break off hair

Found in: hair color rinses, hair products, body rubs, hand lotions, after-shave lotions, fragrances.

7. DIMETHICONE/COPOLYOL/CYCLOMETHICONE (and any ingredient ending in “cone”)

as emollients (skin softeners), as lubricants, as thickeners, and as
volatile liquids that make coatings feel smooth, but evaporate without
leaving a greasy residue.

FACT: Coats the hair shaft thereby
preventing moisture from penetrating. Weighs the hair down and
contributes to build-up. They can accumulate in the liver and lymph
nodes and promote the development of tumors.

Found in: hair products, conditioner, shampoo and many other cosmetics.


Used as a preservative for a longer shelf live and to prevent the growth of mold and mildew.

There is an ongoing debate as to harmful effects of these parabens and
whether or not they are carcinogens because they act like estrogen. The
fact remains they accumulate in the bloodstream.

Found in:
moisturizers, shampoos, conditioners, hair products hair styling gels,
nail creams, foundations, facial masks, skin creams, deodorants, and
baby lotions.


Used as a preservative.

FACT: releases formaldehyde, which can irritate the respiratory system and cause skin reactions among other things.

in: moisturizer, styling products, shampoo/conditioner, hair
spray/dyes, anti-aging treatment, facial cleanser, sunscreen, facial
moisturizer, foundation, eye makeup, acne treatment, mascara, body
wash/cleansers, deodorant, concealer, exfoliator, powder, body scrubs,
bath oils/salts, eye/contact care, lip makeup, shaving products,
after-sun product, douche/personal cleanser, makeup remover/depilatory
cream/hair remover, liquid hand soap, nail treatments, pain relief
rub/ointment, and fragrance.

8. FD&C (Food, Drug and Cosmetic) COLOR PIGMENTS

Used to add color to products.

FACT: Synthetic colors made from coal tar. They contain heavy metal salts that penetrate into the scalp and skin.


Used to make products smell appealing

Manufactures are not required to list what the synthetic fragrances
are. Some ingredients may cause irritation and sickness such as rashes
and headaches to sensitive people.

10. YOU

A consumer just looking to make their body look and feel better

Companies and businesses rely on your ignorance to continue selling
their products. Their main goal is to have the cheapest production cost
possible (using synthetic, artificial and chemically altered
alternatives) thereby increasing their profit margins. All of this is
done at the expense of your health and well being.

Found in: every corner of the world

Author: Unknown