Friday, 28 November 2014

Hair oils, Waxes and Butters

*Note- if you are trying a scent or herbal property for the first time. Please do a sensitivity test. All natural products can be irritant. Be safe and test a small amount on your inner arm. Should you have a bad reaction it will be on a small patch and in a place that can be easily hidden.

Hair oils, waxes and butters used correctly can give hair life and lustre. They come in different forms with different structures and can be so versatile to be adapted and changed to suit your hair needs.

There is much debate as to which are good, better and why. Some are easier to use than others and are readily usable to targeting immediate hair concerns. Others however need a bit of processing to change the structure slightly to be used effectively. I am that crazy person who applies first and asks questions later. I have had many mishaps due to this curious nature. 

While oils can be easily used on their own.Waxes and butters tend to work better when they are emulsified into oils. They apply beautifully to the hair and do a great job of softening and slipping making it an absolute joy to use. 

My list of favourites:
Carrier Oils include: They are used to carry/ or infuse with other things such as herbs for either their scent or their functional properties.

*Note that carrier oils can be applied in larger amounts. However a few tablespoons at a time is usually enough unless you have very long hair. Also, when applying oils it is not necessary to apply it to your scalp. If you do, be sure to wash your scalp with either a co-wash or a shampoo. You do not want to cause buildup and blocked pores. Your scalp contains oils already. If you oversupply oil you can affect this balance and create problems. The more oil you add the less oil your scalp will produce.

Frequent washing of hair with stripping agents can lead to either an oil overreaction where your scalp overproduces oils to rectify this balance. Or it could lead to your hair becoming crispy and needing more product to remain moisturised.

So think of the current state of your hair in relation to what your current process is.

Olive oil
Grape seed oil
Jojoba oil
Coconut oil
Sweet Almond
Sunflower oil
Peach Kernel oil
Broccoli Seed oil
Crambe Seed oil
Meadowfoam Seed oil
Carrot tissue oil
Safflower oil
Rice Bran oil
Wheat Germ oil
Argan oil
Castor oil
Vitamin E oil
Neem Oil

Essential oils: These are concentrated oils used to scent or boost carrier oils with a functional properties. Essential oils should not be heated as this can cause breakdown in their functions for application. As aromatherapy yes, do heat them but not in hair and skincare. Also, these oils are potent so a few drops are plenty to be effective.

*Note that these concentrated oils should never be applied unmixed to your hair or skin. They require a carrier oil to mix into.

Rose-Geranium blend
Ylang Ylang
Tea Tree

Not at all a long list these are only my favourites. 

Butters: These are solid oils. They are similar to oils however they are heavier. Are better suited as pre-treatments to nourish hair.

*Some butters like Shea can give an ashy look to your hair if used on their own. Because they are solid at room temperature they don't melt as easily as a coconut butter. Shea is best used melted and mixed with other oils to change this compact structure. 

Shea Butter
Cocoa Butter
Mango Butter
Olive Butter
Mowrah butter
Sal butter
Illipe Butter
Coffee butter

Waxes: Have several functions, water has a polar molecular structure and oil has a non-polar molecular structure. Thus they do not attract one another and do not mix. Once a wax product is added they are able to mix by means of emulsion. So, lotions and creams of aqueous bases are possible.  
Jojoba wax
Olive Wax
Rice Bran wax

I enjoy making my own products. I find it rewarding. I am that kind of DIY person. I had spent years trying to find products that would just do some good to my hair. i have recently come across some very promising ones. I enjoy using them. They are eco-friendly, organic, they are free of much of the yuk out in the market. I love how they make my hair look and feel. I will share some of these with you later. 

Here are some images of my oil blends, pre-poo treatments and conditioners. 

Various oils 

Butters and emulsions

Coconut, Cocoa, Aloe Hair Cream

Rooibos, Olive, Shea, Sandalwood Hair cream

Hair cream emulsion

Hair cream absorbed into my skin

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