The weather’s taken a turn for the frightful, and the cold weather is wreaking havoc on your skin and hair. Naturally curlicious tresses start taking on that Brillo Pad look when parched.
Over the past two weeks I’ve gotten many an anguished e mail, pleading for tips on maintaining moisture. I got your back, bellas!
Even though I live in a generally humid part of the world, I know what it’s like to be ashy and dry. This Ask Afrobella will be a two-parter. I’m in the process of road testing some wonderfully emollient skin creams and body butters. For now, let’s talk hair.
Whether you straighten and color it with chemicals, twist it into locks, or let your fro grow wild and free, your hair needs moisture. To me, a good, indulgent hot oil treatment is the ultimate curl quencher. Motown Girl features a list of hair recipes worth trying.
Some of them get fancy, with ingredients like Silk Peptide powder, xanthum gum, and vegetable glycerin. I haven’t gotten that brave yet, but I have tried her Honey and Olive Oil conditioner (scroll down to find it), which is one step beyond the traditional olive oil treatment you already may have tried. Heat 3 teaspoons of honey in the microwave for ten seconds, and mix the hot honey with 1/4 cup of EVOO (as as Rachel Ray would call it). Slather it on from root to tip and cover your oily locks with a plastic shower cap for half an hour. For a more intense treatment, wrap a hot towel around your plastic shower cap and wear that for an hour, or even better, bring out the old steam cap for campy fun. Shampoo well (avoid that slippery shower, rinse in the sink), condition as normal, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how soft and shiny your hair is.
That treatment should work for you, regardless of the texture of your hair. Bellas who remain skeptical of DIY oil treatments should stick to perennial favorites, like Alberto V05 Moisturizing Formula or ye olde Queen Helene Cholesterol.
Another good one is the rich and creamy Organic Root Stimulator Hair Mayonnaise.
My family has used this product for years, and although I stray, I usually find myself back at good old Hair Mayo. For the record, it doesn’t smell like mayonnaise. The scent can be compared to any thick, generic conditioner. The product slathers on thick, works well for both relaxed and afro bellas, and is ideal for hot towel or steam cap treatments.
The moisture doesn’t have to end with a deep conditioning treatment. At the advice of some of my favorite commenters (thanks, Coffy and Fenix Star!) I logged on to drugstore.com and bought Cantu Grow Strong Strengthening Treatment.
I love it! The product works well, and is so affordable ($4.99, baby!) that I plan to buy more from the Cantu line (although the Daily Shea Butter Oil Moisturizer didn’t impress me much). I apply Grow Strong after my shower, when my hair is still quite wet. It makes my curls very defined and “boingy,” if such a word exists. I know I already trashed products with the word “gro” in the title, but this stuff actually seems to be working for me. I recommend it without reservation. My next Cantu purchase will probably be the 5-star rated Leave In Conditioning Repair Cream.
Another product I’ve been using and loving is My Earthly Basics Daily Cream Hairdress. The mixture of olive, jojoba, and wheat germ oil makes my curls happy, while the essential oil (peppermint? tea tree? One of those two) leaves my scalp with a refreshing tingle. FYI, holiday shoppers – My Earthly Basics is also offering lovely holiday gift bags with your choice of products packaged in a gold organza gift bag with a silk ribbon. You choose the products, and they add a scented candle, body loofah and pumice stone. The company also makes wonderfully decadent creams and body butters, so expect to see those reviewed in Moisturize Your Situation, part deux. Check them out ASAP!
For you bellas who AREN’T on a budget, now’s the time to spring for some Miss Jessie’s! The products everyone’s asked me about are currently on a buy one get one free deal that I am definitely not going to pass up.
What are your favorite moisturizing products? I’m currently looking for a good moisturizing shampoo (my hair seems to have suddenly developed an immunity to Aussie Moist), so let me know if you have recommendations!