SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow, + Restore Treatment Masque


I don’t…really know what’s gotten into SheaMoisture but they have seriously stepped up their hair masque game with this new JBCO line and the Manuka Honey line! This masque is SO GOOD! Overall, the masque is meant to “help promote growth by supporting hair’s elasticity, reducing the appearance of breakage and shredding.” The JBCO line is meant for for those who “regularly color, straighten, perm or heat style their hair, as well as kinky, curly or wavy natural styles.” I no longer perm my hair nor do I use heat on a regular basis BUT I am transitioning so I need all the moisturizing masques I can get my product junkie hands on. SO I was thrilled when I rinsed this masque out and it left my hair so soft, shiny, detangled, on and on. The only drawback? It smelled a little like…play-doh. It wasn’t TOO strong and I didn’t smell it once I rinsed the masque out but yea…slight kindergarten flashbacks when applying it to my hair. Also, the packaging boasts about the addition of peppermint oil which is meant to “stimulate the scalp for an invigorating experience.” Yea…I didn’t feel the peppermint oil. Nonetheless, I loved this product and I would highly recommend it! I purchased this masque at CVS for $12.99 for 12oz.


Water (Aqua), Cetyl Alcohol, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Glycerin, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Stearyl Alcohol, Fragrance (Essential Oil Blend), Behentrimonium Chloride, Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein PG-Propyl Silanetriol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil*, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Mauritia Flexuosa Fruit Oil, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Vinegar, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Acetyl Tetrapeptide-3, Niacin, Dextran, Trifolium Pratense (Clover) Flower Extract, Caramel, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract *Certified Organic Ingredient


After a thorough shampoo and condition, I part my hair into four sections. Applying the masque to each section of my hair, I use a wide tooth comb to ensure equal distribution. After I’ve applied the masque to each section of my hair, I pile my hair into two top knots (one on each side of my head) and place two plastic caps on my head. I then sit underneath my bonnet dryer for 30 minutes and rinse!


Carol’s Daughter Lisa’s Hair Elixir Restoring Hair Oil


This “elixir” is meant to be used before shampooing as a hot oil treatment. I bought this product from the Carol’s Daughter website for $20 for 4.25 fl oz.


Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Ocimum Basilicum (Basil) Oil,Cinnamomum Camphora (Camphor) Oil, Thuja Occidentalis (Cedar Leaf) Leaf Oil, Mentha Arvensis (Cornmint) Leaf Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus (Eucalyptus) Oil, Guaiacum Officinalis Guiacwood) Oil, Gurjon Balsam Oil

The basil oil is meant to strengthen the hair, the mint oil is meant to rejuvenate the scalp and the eucalyptus oil is meant to clarify the hair and scalp as well. This product also contains almond oil which is great for moisture and shine. One of the benefits of this product is that it contains no parabens, no petroleum, no mineral oil and no artificial colors which I love!


I use this product, at times, when I do a pre-shampoo treatment. You can apply this treatment, while applying your pre shampoo treatment, by sectioning your hair into 4 sections and applying the oil to your scalp while you apply the pre poo treatment to the length and ends of your hair. After applying both, I sit under my hair steamer for about 15-20 minutes. The ingredients in this product deliver a great tingling sensation on your scalp BUT because of the mixture of basil, mint AND eucalyptus this oil has a strong scent. After using 30 minutes of this oil, your nose will be over the smell for sure.
This product does deliver on moisturizing your scalp and roots of your hair, but I don’t think that the results match the price.

While this product does provide moisture for the scalp, I prefer to use my own DIY treatments as I see more shine and moisture when using these, and most likely will not purchase this product again.


Hot Oil Treatments


Rather than write an entirely new blog on the many benefits of a hot oil treatment for your hair and scalp, I thought I’d share this great article that I found on Curly Nikki (below) that does all that and more! Please note, however, that these oils can all be purchased from your local GNC store ranging anywhere from $2-20. These oils come in nice sized bottles (like the ones pictured below) and as a little bit of oil does go a long way, they last you a good while. Also I found a great YouTube video that shows the perfect way, in my opinion, to apply a hot oil treatment! Enjoy

I have been doing hot oil treatments since I was pretty young. I remember my mother buying these tubes of oil that was to be left in a cup of hot water for a certain amount of time. My mother would pierce the tube and squeeze wonderfully warm oil all over my head and allow it to sit for about 10 minutes before rinsing out. This was always the best part of getting my hair done.

There was a period of time where I just wasn’t making the time for these luxurious treatments anymore. I can’t imagine why I would give up such a relaxing experience. Well, in the past 5 years I have come back to my senses and revisited the hot oil treatment. I went to the local chemist and bought a few treatments in the same tube that my mother had brought home. I tried all of them, and they were cool, but my hair didn’t feel like anything amazing. I decided to start making my own hot oil treatments, and it seems as if the gates to some wonderfully happy place just opened up. I started with warming just plain old extra virgin olive oil and applying it to my hair and scalp for about an hour or so. I would then wrap my hair in plastic cling wrap, a shower cap or a plastic bag if that was the only thing available. After rinsing the oil out and shampoo’ing once, my hair was soft like silk and shined so beautifully. I honestly couldn’t believe it. I immediately went to work researching how certain oils benefit the hair and scalp-

Coconut Oil: It stimulates hair growth, softens the hair and conditions the scalp. It also can also help eliminate dandruff!

Olive Oil: Olive oil is high in the antioxidants Vitamins A and E providing anti-aging properties and it has disinfectant properties, is moisturizing, soothing and healing.

Castor Oil: Adds strength to your hair, so those of you with thin hair that breaks easily, think about using castor oil in your hot oil hair pack.

Almond Oil: It helps condition, nourish, and soften hair while stimulating hair growth!

Jojoba Oil: It leaves your hair soft and light, without weighing it down.

All of these oils should be available at your local health food store, and a few of them are available at your local chemist and supermarkets.

What You Will Need:

Oil blend
Hot Water
Plastic Shower Cap or Plastic Cling Wrap or Plastic Bag
How To Apply Your Hot Oil Treatment
Put your oil in a heat safe plastic bottle or glass container
Place the container in a pot of hot water for a minute or two
Test on wrist and then apply oil to scalp, roots and length of hair
Massage oil into your scalp for about five minutes
Cover hair with a plastic cap
Dip towel in hot water to make it hot. Ring out the excess water and wrap towel around your head.
Allow the oil to sit on your hair for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight
Warming the oil and towel will allow the hair follicle to open up so that the oils can soak in all the goodness. It’s ok if your towel doesn’t stay warm for very long, the oils will soak in…trust me!

Rinse the oil out of your hair in the shower and follow-up with a shampoo or conditioner. The end result should be soft and shiny hair!

May I Mix Several Oils Together?

Absolutely! Mix until you find your perfect oil blend. If you suffer from a dry and flaky scalp, you may want to mix coconut and castor oil together in a jar and put it away for those hectic flaky weeks. Do you want to thicken your hair and possibly boost hair growth? Mix almond and castor oil together and go wild.

You hair does not need to be drenched in oil, so don’t worry about going broke behind this.
You can do these treatments weekly if you want and have time.
Keep track of how certain oils make your hair look and feel, so that you can find a perfect oil blend.
The oil mix need not be very hot, warm oils suffice!


Essential Oil General Overview


Essential Oils are one of the best natural reconstructors and moisturizers of hair! It is imperative to incorporate these into your hair regimen but remember NOT to overdue it! A little generally tends go a long way with essential oils. Rather than write a whole blog post about the use of essential oils and which ones are best for what, I decided to snag this article from Curly Nikki to share with you all. It sums it all up way better than I can and come from an expert in curly and natural hair cair: Hair Liberty’s Nicole Harmon!

Q: What’s the best oil to use on my hair? How should I use it?

A: There’s really no wrong way to use vegetable oils, but just like any other product, when you find the right oil for your hair, everything from detangling to styling will be easier.

Oils for Conditioning

Best Choices: Coconut, Olive, Avocado, and Castor Oil
These oils are high in saturated or monounsaturated fat. Oils in this category are easily absorbed through the cuticle layer into the inner cortex of the hair. Once the oil is inside it can give the strands a bit more strength against breakage.

Best Use: Apply generously to dry hair an hour or more before shampooing. For a faster treatment, cover with a plastic cap and sit under a bonnet dryer for 20 minutes on low.
These oils should not be applied to wet hair because water will only prevent the oil from absorbing (remember water and oil don’t mix).

Coconut, Olive, Avocado, and Castor Oil are considered medium to heavy oils. If you have fine natural hair, don’t use these to style or your hair may turn out stiff and piecey looking.

Oils for Sealing

Best Choices: Almond , Grapeseed, Flaxseed, and Sunflower Oil
These oils that are high in polyunsaturated fat. Polyunsaturated fats stay on the surface of the strand instead of absorbing inside. When the goal is to seal moisture into your hair, you need oils that stay on the top cuticle layers.

Best Use: Make your own finishing spray by putting one of these oils in a mister or spray bottle. Spray on damp or dry hair to seal in moisture or add shine to a wet set or blow out.
These oils can also be used as pre-shampoo oil treatments when you don’t have time to wait for the benefits of a conditioning oil.

None of the oils mentioned here last longer than 1 year once opened. Expired oils make your hair more prone to sun damage, so they are not worth using. Maximize the shelf life of your oils by keeping them away from heat and light. Store them in a cool, dry place like a kitchen pantry or a closet instead of the bathroom cabinet.


Peppermint & Coconut Oil


One of my favorite pre poo treatment lately has been this recipe I discovered on Curly Nikki!! A peppermint and coconut oil treatment! While this treatment can be used as a deep conditioner, I prefer to prepoo with coconut oil overnight because it penetrates so deeply into the hair shaft. This treatment promises to “deliver a blast of moisture to your scalp and hair,” while helping to untangle curls, as well as protecting your hair from being stripped of natural oils. Peppermint oil stimulates the scalp to promote growth while coconut oil nourishes, reduces hair fall and detangles.

When making this treatment you’ll need 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil (I prefer two, the more the merrier!) and 5-10 drops of peppermint oils. Peppermint oil can be purchased at any local GNC! Eucalyptus oil is also a great natural oil as well but may not stimulate the scalp as effectively as peppermint oil.

When applying this treatment you want to make sure hair is damp but NOT shampooed, if using as a pre-poo treatment. Then, mix the ingredients together either in your hand or a small bowl and apply to scalp and hair from root to tip! If not sleeping overnight with this pre-poo you can cover hair with a plastic cap and sit under a steamer or bonnet dryer for 30 minutes. If sleeping overnight with this treatment, put hair in a loose top knot and place a plastic cap over the hair. Sleep. Wake up and shampoo and condition per usual!

Below is a picture of this pre-poo treatment in different stages. Looking counterclockwise, the first pic is the mixture after it has been melted down, the second is after it has been taken out of the freezer (10 minutes), the last picture is how it looks after it has been whipped (with an electric mixer) for 8 minutes, and the third picture is what the final product looks like after I put it in a container.


Homemade Deep Conditioners


Although I’m a huge product junkie, if you can’t tell by now, I do love organic products and using essential oils (jojoba, avocado, almond, etc). Therefore, I have lately begun to dabble in making my own homemade deep conditioners. Here is a YouTube video that shows a great way to make your own DIY deep conditioner as well as the way to effectively apply the mixture.
Below I have a list of recipes that can be used to make your own deep condtioners. These recipes do NOT have to be duplicated exactly and you can make remixes of them of course!

Honey Humectant

2 tablespoons of mango butter
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
1 tablespoon of shea butter
2 tablespoons of honey
1 teaspoon of jojoba oil

Coconut Conditioner*

3 tablespoons of coconut oil
1 tablespoon of shea butter
2 teaspoons of jojoba oil
1 teaspoon of avocado oil
1 tablespoon of olive oil

Almonds & Avocados

1/2 mashed avocado
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon almond oil

When applying these DIY’s, I like to mix them with store bought deep conditioners but you can also use them without any store bought additions. My favorites to mix are Beautiful Textures deep conditioner OR the Anti Breakage Masque from SheaMoisture. When applying, after a fresh shampoo and conditioner, I like to part my damp hair into four sections. Within each section I will apply the store bought deep condtioner FIRST (paying special attention to the ends of my hair) and then the DIY second as it acts as a sealant, locking in all the yummy moisture that the deep conditioner is providing to my hair’s cuticle. As mentioned in a previous blog, I like to use the Tangle Tamer (available at any Sally’s) or a wide tooth comb in order to ensure equal distribution throughout my hair. Once I have done this, I pile all my hair into a top knot and cover with a plastic cap. At this point I like to sit under a bonnet dryer for about 25-30 minutes but recently I have begun using my Secura hair steamer as the steam opens up the hairs cuticle allowing for deeper penetration of both deep conditioners. A bonnet dryer, however, works just as well! Once the 30 minutes is up, rinse well and apply leave in’s and style prep products and you’re golden!

*very hydrating!