My world is a whirlwind – I’m always thinking, writing, doing. So whenever I get a chance to leave it all behind, I do. Every weekend I try to indulge in a little me time, to nurture my body and spirit before chugging right back into the work week. Taking my Sunday afternoon to be a period of rejuvenation and indulgence is perfect — after grocery shopping, and before settling into an evening of cooking, laundry, and writing, I give my hair and body the love they deserve. Here’s what I did this last weekend.

I started with the usual pre-poo of pure coconut oil mixed with Ojon restorative hair treatment. I’ve reviewed Ojon before, but I gotta rave some more. I use it very sparingly (because it costs $55 for a tub!) and apply it to the most tangled parts of my roots. I supplement the rest with organic coconut oil, parting my hair and making sure my roots get lots of love. I let that sit for about an hour, maybe two while I enjoy some other beautifying routine — use a steam cap and do my nails, put on a face mask, or just read a book or magazine. It’s my time away from the demands of the computer and the television screen.

When enough time has passed, I enjoy a wonderful long hot shower with one of my favorite body washes. An affordably decadent new fave of mine is Olay Body Wash with Spa Exfoliating ribbons. It doesn’t smell especially girly, so the husband and I can both enjoy the scrubby moisturizing power of Olay — it’s just $6.95 at right now, and is well worth it.

Then, shampoo. Recently I went back to a not-so-oldie but goody — Hair Rules aloe grapefruit clarifying shampoo. It’s only recommended for kinky hair once a month, so my bottle has lasted and lasted. For $16,50, it’s a worthwhile investment.

This stuff makes my hair feel super clean and smell wonderful. And it manages to remove product buildup and residue without stripping away all of my oils. It’s probably my favorite of the Hair Rules line, that and the Quench Conditioner.

I like to end my Sunday beauty ritual with a scalp sugar scrub or a deep conditioning treatment — this past weekend I used the last little end of my Kiehls Olive Oil Deeply Repairative Hair Pak and combed my tresses through from the ends up to the roots.

That’s the only way I can do it! For those of you who have asked, do I still use the Denman brush? My answer is no – after personally witnessing Lorraine Massey’s horror at the mere suggestion, and also noticing that my hair after was way more frizzy and less perfectly spiralled after I used it, I went right back to the classic wide tooth comb. Works for me, always has.

The post-shower and shampoo styling products I use pretty much depends on how in a hurry I am. I’ve learned over time what my hair responds best to. I reach for a Miss Jessie’s product if I know I have time to let my hair dry thoroughly before I go out somewhere. If I’m in a hurry for work, sometimes I don’t have the time to even shampoo or co-wash my hair, so I just soak it and use some African Pride or Creme of Nature leave-in conditioner before I jet. (I really AM a drugstore diva, for real). When my hair needs nurturing, I use Curls Souffle, and most recently I fell head over heels for a product I was introduced to by Tracy Wilson Mourning, creator of the Honey Shine Mentoring Program. Is her hair not amazing?! She is even more stunning in person. I can’t wait for Tracy to release this product to the public. For now, all I can say is what I’ve already said before – aloe vera is the TRUTH. Right, Honey Brown Sugar?

More on this to come, for sure my bellas!

At the end of my Sunday ritual, I feel relaxed, beautiful, and ready to face the week ahead.

Do you have a weekly hair and beauty ritual? What are your favorite nurturing hair and bath products these days?

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jace says:
November 25, 2008, 12:09 pm
can you share anymore about Tracy Wilson Mourning's product?
thfromthabay says:
November 25, 2008, 12:25 pm
WOW I'm really envious of your weekly treat, my beauty regiment is nothing like yours with my 2 two-year olds and 6-year old tugging at my apron strings. On top of that my husband is a banker so Sunday has been dubbed "Family day". Through all of the 7 days we have not one of them is a mom beauty day, I have to squeeze in 10 here and there to get myself looking decent. I do sneak off every 2 weeks for a mani/pedi. I'm newly natural (for the third time) each of the times before I had no idea of the Mecca of willing hair & beauty helpers like yourself online. I'm learning so much and having a lot of fun experimenting with items from my kitchen and the drugstore, products online, and a family friend recently chopped about 3 feet off of one of her aloe plants when I asked her where I could get one! So in no particular order, aloe, olive oil, honey, Cantu Shea leave-in (not all natural but shea is the 2nd ingredient to water which to me is excellent for a drugstore item), Trader Joe’s Nourish? I believe, IC olive oil leave in treatment and styling gel have been my 2 go to items for right now being my hair is pretty short. Bella I just want to thank you and all the other beautiful women online for being so helpful and really putting yourself out there, I know that everybody is not nice all the time when leaving comments or emails and hide behind there anonymity and you put yourself out there to help other women and most of us really appreciate it! -Thfromthabay, Tiffany
KindredSmile says:
November 25, 2008, 12:33 pm
Reading this post made me think of the aloe plant that was a mainstay in my grandmother's kitchen. I don't have much of a green thumb, but I'm going to get one of my own before the new year! My ritual, like the rest of my life, thrives on multitasking. I prepoo with Olive Oil and Suave Conditioner, rinse, then I scrub my scalp with melted shea butter and brown sugar. Afterwards, I shampoo with Creme of Nature Moisturizing shampoo (the old one in the green bottle - yes, I still have some left!). Next, I deep condition with Olive Oil and Aphogee's Reconstructor for at least an hour while I apply a facial mask, shave my legs, and apply nail strengthener (no manicures for me!). After rinsing again, I rollerset and air dry. I'm a drugstore diva too, so posts like this really help! Thanks, Bella!
TJ says:
November 25, 2008, 12:43 pm
I LOVE the Ojon restorative hair treatment! Don't love the price, but the stuff really works. Creme of Nature's detangling shampoo has always been a reliable shampoo/conditioner for me, too. Tea tree oil usually does the trick for me if I'm having any scalp issues.
Et Cetera says:
November 25, 2008, 12:53 pm
Thanks for the post. I am a big fan of coconut oil but I've never used it as a pre-poo treatment. Sounds like a good idea. My hair is always brittle after shampooing but it's a necessary evil. Next time I shampoo I will try this. Thanks.
Brownngirl says:
November 25, 2008, 2:37 pm
I also did a pre-poo with Head & Shoulders (Trying to fight that dandruff) and virgin coconut oil. I let it sit for 45 minutes under a plastic cap and put some heat on it with a blow-dryer. Then I shampooed with Infusium moisturizing shampoo, and conditioned with my mix of Suave conditioner & olive oil. Rinsed. Used a little Infusium leave-in treatment and Just for Me 2-in-1 detangler/conditioner and rolled it up in big plasic rollers. I like to do that because I have options afterward. I can just wear my curly-fro, or slick it up to a high bun (it gives the bun more volume) or even flat iron it without me having to blow all my hair straight (I try to avoid blow-drying my hair a lot). It sounds like a lot, but it's no chore for me. I love pampering myself. It's like a project! =)
bella says:
November 25, 2008, 3:54 pm
jace - It's a hair product she had for sale at an event I attended recently, but it isn't yet on sale to the public. A styling creme/moisturizer with an aloe vera base and lavender. My hair is SO happy with it right now, but because it isn't yet for sale, I don't want to shout to the high heavens about it. I know afrobellas and curly girlies are going to love it when it does!
NaturalGloLady says:
November 25, 2008, 4:42 pm
Sob...sigh. I wanted to try the African Pride giveaway for a weekend ritual but I haven't received mine yet..I'm sad. I'll keep checking my mailbox. Thanks, Bella for the chance to win.
Mrs.Mckinzie says:
November 25, 2008, 5:50 pm
Bella, girl you was right about these African Pride products.My hair felt like silk when I used it,and my hair loves the Cantu also.Thank you! for always giving us your honest opinion.
November 25, 2008, 6:04 pm
Great post. I love reading about what products other women are using. Bella, I must say the sugar scalp scrub has changed my hair routine. Kindredsmile, I never thought to use shea butter instead of olive oil. I have to try that this weekend.
Alicia/InstantVintage says:
November 25, 2008, 7:36 pm
I need to get back to my weekend rituals. Thanks for the product info, Bella.
Sarah Bellum says:
November 25, 2008, 7:57 pm
You make it sound great. Brilliant move using coconut oil. The Beauty Brains said it was the only natural oil shown to penetrate and strengthen hair. And if you like the ribbons effect, you should try out the new Herbalessences. P&G uses the ribbon technology there too.
Chanel says:
November 25, 2008, 10:48 pm
to Et Cetera: a good pre-poo to do for dry brittle hair is olive oil and honey. Leave it on for about twenty minutes before shampooing and it makes your hair very manageable and moisturized! Great post afrobella :)
Nubeauti says:
November 26, 2008, 1:14 am
Starting my ritual on THIS Sunday, when I get in from church. We usually take the kids out to the reservoir area and let them run around and play out there but since it's cold now...I get a ME day! Yay!
Los Angelista says:
November 26, 2008, 4:40 am
Ok, I totally want her hair! It looks amazing. I can't wait till mine grows to that length. I just hope her product isn't some crazy, astronomical price. We have enough of those.
Wes says:
November 26, 2008, 10:01 am
I recently met a woman who had the most GORGEOUS head of hair ever. I HAD to ask her about her routine. Her hair was a nice golden brown/blonde blend and she had a 4a/b texture- her coils were PERFECT. She told me she used Hair Rules products. Up until that time, I had never heard about that line. I still haven't tried it yet, but I keep hearing great things about it.
DblDee says:
November 26, 2008, 11:01 am
Tuesday is my beauty day: I agree with you Bella the Ojon, has worked wonders for my hair. I've been using it for a few years now, I started back during my relaxer days. -- I put on my hair with a little jojoba oil, then I give my dog a bath, because she need her day of beauty too. But most importantly once she has had a bath she'll leave me alone for about 2hrs. :) I put a mud mask on my face and just relax for a few minutes in total QUIET. I love Olay, but has anyone tried the Olay Botanical? Hydrate is my favorite, it has the scent of patchouli with soy oil. So Nice!! Lately since it has been cold I've been rockin' the two strand twist. I use Twist n' Loc Honey Wax with shea butter for my twist that works really well and twist are shiny and the product smells good (that's important to me). I use a leave-in: Cantu Shea Leave-in mixed with jojoba oil, twice a week. I use jojoba oil alot, it is very good for the hair and skin. I even use a few drops on my dog to control the dander. It's a miracle oil for real.
Beautychemist says:
November 27, 2008, 12:22 am
I gave Ojon Restorative Treatment to my sister to try and she LOVES, LOVES, LOVES the stuff. She uses it gingerly because it is pricey but worth it; now I can't wait to try it! In the meantime I made a mixture of coconut oil, palm oil, olive oil, monoi butter and rosemary oil that I put on at night with a plastic cap. I suffer from extreme dryness so this really helps to keep my hair from breaking.
HomeSpaGoddess says:
November 27, 2008, 3:55 am
Hope you and yours have a beauty full Thanksgiving!
NaturalHair58 says:
November 28, 2008, 2:09 pm
I love this site. This is my first time responding. I started my natural process about 15 months ago and like many of you became a product junkie. I started with Carol's Daughter, Kinky-curly now I'm using Miss Jessie's. When I started I was getting my hair twisted at the salon. I realized that I can do that myself. It has taken a while for me to become comfortable with doing my hair myself after going to the salon every two weeks for the last 30 years!!! Yea, the 58 in my name is the year I was born:) Last weekend I shampooed with Kinky=curly shampoo and conditioned overnight with Miss Jessie's Rapid Recovery. The next morning I rinsed and finised with twist out with Curly Meringue. I left the twist in all day Sunday and the next morning I took them out and separated. I love it!! My husband commented "Wow you really look sexy- you finally got it right" So this will be my routine for a while. Nightly since then I retwist at night with the Curly Buttercream. Looking for suggestions/ideas. Also, I ordered a Mimi's Diva Dryer Hair Towel, shower detangler and Denman Classic Brush from Curls- any comments or suggestions. Did I waste my money???
D-Ski says:
November 30, 2008, 2:39 am
It is so imperative that we take the time, energy and effort that we give so selflessly to our selves! Not too long ago, a co-worker of mine called me in utter tears at the job ready to walk out because she had had enough and through prayer and asking the right questions, I realozed that she doesn't take time out for herself as she should. The ritual that Sister Bella walks us through in on her Sunday is so simple, that we all should be doing it. As for the Ojon Restorative Hair Treatment, by far it is a must have for any woman of color with textured,natural,relaxed hair. Yes, it is pricey, however, it is extremely concentrated so half of a teaspoon goes a long way. I use it as a pre poo and my hair is so strong and shiny.
Beth says:
December 1, 2008, 1:03 am
Hey Y'all, I've been a natural for around 10 years, and have had teeny-weeny afros, afros, single-strand twists, 2-strand twists, and locks. Basically, I tend not to keep my hair the same for more than a year! Anyway, I've had a bunch of different regimens, but have gone increasingly natural and d.i.y. I try to avoid stuff with mineral oil and petroleum (they just seemed to sit on my 4b/c hair, and never soak in), and started making my own stuff to save cash. Here's my current routine: 1) Shampoo with Chagrin Valley Soap Shampoo bar. I like the babasu-marshmallow one best. I stopped using shampoos containing sodium laurel sulfates around half a year ago, and settled on the soap bars because I liked them and they're affordable. They also last since I don't store them in the shower (I usually wash my hair in the sink, anyhow) 2) Condition with some variety of natural conditioner. Currently, I'm using one of the natural ones from Trader Joes (good ingredients!) and the hair mask from "Say Yes to Carrots" for a deep conditioning every now and again. I've been pretty happy with both products. For a "once in a while" product, I'm willing to shell out the $16 for "Say Yes to Carrots;" it's good stuff. I usually leave it in for at least 20 minutes while I do things around the house. 3) Rise conditioner completely, then pour apple cider vinegar rinse through hair. (I usually dilute the ACV in a lot of water--say 2C water to 1/3C ACV. When I used more concentrated solutions, I would do a final water rinse afterward.) I think that the ACV rinse has helped with clearing up my dandruff problem; it didn't happen over night, but after a couple of months, I pretty much don't get dandruff any longer. 4) Apply diy hair oil to scalp. I like to mix a light oil like apricot kernal (what was on sale) or sweet almond with something heavier, like jojoba, and essential oils. My essential oil mix usually includes mint for the tingle, rosemary for the growth stimulation, as well as tea-tree and neem (small amounts--it smells funky) for their dandruff fighting properties. (Again, I don't have dandruff now, but I'm not going to stop any regimen that might have ended it!) 5) When my hair was shorter, I just added my version of mosheloe (I added some essential oils and cocoa butter, and mix it over a double boiler) and called it a day. Now, I use mosheloe (Afrobella had a post on it I think? That, or google it) to do twists. 6) Finally, I spray with my hair spritz. It is a water base with glycerine, honey, and little jojoba (I shake it before using). I use the spray throughout the week, or smooth on a bit of mosheloe if my hair gets especially dry.
J. Smith says:
December 8, 2008, 3:00 pm
The Hair Rules Shampoo is fantastic!! Thank you for the suggestion. I have been trying to outgrow my relaxer and just do a texterizer every 6 months, but my daughters have that natuaral coily hair and I am so glad to have this blog to read the suggestions and comments, very helpful ladies.