Moisturizing Cocktail for Curls: Reader Recommendations

nebulaenova/ flickr

nebulaenova/ flickr

Hope everyone’s ready to celebrate the 4th with a bang!

Until then, I have a new reader recommendation’s post for inquiring heads.

One BLACKSTRANDS reader, Angela, recommended a homemade moisturizer that sounds great for everyday (or as needed) use. After a salon visit with a natural hair stylist,  she picked up a few tips for creating her own moisturizing cocktail for at home upkeep.

check it out:

– 2 cups olive oil
– 2 cups water
– 1 cup vegetable glycerin
– 5 drops of essential oil (my favorites are lemongrass and lavender)
– pour all ingredients into a large spray bottle, shake, and spritz all over hair

* The stylist also told me that if I want a deep conditioner, mix this in with whatever conditioner I use in the shower.

Just a little helpful hair relief from the scorching heat out there!

:: Hope this helps ::


Filed under: Reader Recommendations, , , ,


Laura Billings / flickr

Laura Billings / flickr

Thanks to BLACKSTRANDS reader Angela, we have a very detailed addition to our reader recommendation’s segment.

The first henna post seemed to create quite a buzz, so hopefully this will help with any more questions that are looming. If you feel you are ready to take the henna plunge, here’s a play-by-play from someone whose been doing henna for about 20 years. She also has henna available at her shop, (just follow the link and click “product catalog”) : De’esse – The Sycamore Scent Shop and Boutique.

So here goes!

** Lot’s of people are buying products labeled as “black henna” and experiencing terrible reactions to it. These “compound” premixed hennas can contain a dangerous chemical called PPD that has been responsible for some bad allergic reactions and even death.

There is no such thing as Black Henna, or brown henna or neutral henna. True henna only produces one color: Red. There is a whole other deal if you want to get into using Indigo with Henna for darker deeper red and brown shades – and the issues of using henna over white or grey hair… But we can save that for another day. **

First, applying Henna is not really rocket science. Following a couple of simple steps to prepare, will avoid most problems. The equipment needed is simple – gloves, plastic wrap, old towels, newspaper, lemon juice or vinegar and a lot of inexpensive conditioner for rinsing out – plus good conditioner for later.

1. Henna has to be prepared ahead of time – nothing complex – it just needs time to “cure” as it were. The natural dye molecule inside the ground leaf needs to be mixed with an acid (lemon juice, tea or vinegar) to start the release process – and put in a warm place for a number of hours. Sometimes the dye will release within a few hours – but it is best to let it sit for a minimum of 4 or 5 maximum of 12 or so to get the optimum results.

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Filed under: Reader Recommendations,

READER RECOMMENDATION: Lauren’s Pick – homemade sugar scrub!


Courtsey of BLACKSTRANDS reader Lauren, we have a new edition to our reader recommendations section!

Interested in a homemade natural aid for smooth and soft skin?? I am.

Here is Lauren’s step-by-step guide to making your own homemade sugar-scrub for skin exfoliation:

I’ll just get some regular sugar (to me salt is drying), olive oil, honey, lemon juice, and my Proclaim olive oil version of the hot 6 oil.  I just mix it all together, shower with soap,  dry off and then rub the scrub all over myself. Then I rinse that off,  pat dry and I don’t even have to put on my normal lotion.

It makes my skin so soft and it’s the cheapest scrub I’ve ever used, because its all stuff I’d normally have in my house!! Talk about fresh ingredients.

Kudos to Lauren for the addition!

Wanna share your own tips and/or routines?? Help make us all happy!

email me at

Filed under: Reader Recommendations

READER RECOMMENDATION: Maryama’s Pick – Earthly Delights Shampoo and Conditioner





And our first reader recommendation comes from….


Maryama recommends Earthly Delights Shampoo and Conditioner. The line contains all natural oils and distilled water, but it  also lathers great for strong, clean and healthy hair!

You can purchase the shampoo and/or conditioner from any local Whole Foods store for $10-15 (depending on your location). This sounds like a great buy for those who are very picky when choosing  a shampoo (i.e. ME), and looking for a more organic cleansing method.  You can find the product by searching the brand at:



In case you’re wondering, here’s the ingredients:

SHAMPOO: Distilled Water, sage, rosemary, nettles, wheatgerm soap, horsetails, essential oils of ylang ylang, neroli & sweet orange.
**Contains no alcohol, animal products, color, or sulfates
CONDITIONER: Deionized water, vegetable glcerine, rice bran oil, avocado oil, wheatgerm protein, panthanol, amino acids, vegetable emulsifying wax, essential oils of neroli, cinnamon & coconut.
**Contains no alcohol or animal products


Filed under: Reader Recommendations