Natural hair info sharing, caring, styles & topics

Fros in the Sun 2019

Summer makes us think of dresses, cookouts, and carefree days of fun! Summer is also the time to have fun with your natural hair and to let it shine. We’re finally free from the cold, snow, and wind of winter that necessitate tucking our hair away. But we also spend more time outdoors in the summer, which presents its own challenges to keeping natural hair healthy.

So before you head out to the cookout, Here are a few tips for maintaining healthy, beautiful natural hair this summer!

SUN: Even though the cold and wind of winter are gone, your hair still needs protection. The sun’s UV radiation can quickly damage your hair if you are outside for long, as well as burn your scalp and even discolor your hair. Use a leave-in conditioner with SPF to protect your hair and scalp. One of my favorite hair dressings protects my hair from the sun’s UV rays and adds impeccable shine, Hair Bling by https://www.originalmoxie.com/hair-glossing-treatment-trial/?sku=HBHS05&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIhe_soOPm4gIVEarsCh21jwI2EAQYAiABEgKftPD_BwE If you know you’ll be outside for an extended period of time, cover your hair with a scarf or hat.

HEAT: The sun is already drying out your hair, so don’t amplify the effect with heat tools. (Plus, who wants to deal with a blowout in summer humidity?) So PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE put away the straightener and blow dryer, and make the summer heat-free!

CLIMATE: Humid and parched climates have different effects on natural hair, and require different products.

  • In dry environments, the air tends to suck moisture from your hair. In this case, you’ll need to use anti-humectants to protect your hair from drying out. Olive oil and jojoba oil are a few anti-humectants you can try.
  • If you live in a humid climate, use humectants which draw moisture in from the air to moisturize your hair. Some natural humectants are honey and glycerin. However, if you hate frizz, don’t use humectants even in humid environments. I personally mix a little vegetable glycerin and water in a spray bottle for hot & humid days. My hair is colored is this helps draw in the moisture.

STYLING: Speaking of humidity and frizz- use them to your advantage! Summer might not be the perfect time for a blowout, but it is a great time to rock an afro, puffs, or other voluminous styles. Pay attention to how your hair reacts to humidity, and use that knowledge to try different styles and celebrate your natural hair.

PRODUCTS: Use lighter products in the summer, and less of them. Since you sweat more in the summer, limiting product buildup on your scalp will keep you from needing to wash your hair all the time, and will keep your hair from looking weighed down. 

SHAMPOO: Even using less products in the summer, you might need to shampoo more often than normal, depending on how active your lifestyle is. Use a sulfate-free, clarifying shampoo after outdoor activities like swimming, hiking, running, biking, etc… anything that results in sweat, saltwater, or chlorine coming in contact with your hair. If you do these activities more than once a week, use co-wash on some days.

ior to swimming. This limits the amount of chlorine or saltwater your hair will absorb (both chlorine and saltwater dry out natural hair.) We also recommend putting your hair in twists, which further limits water absorption as well as tangles. After swimming, wash your hair thoroughly with shampoo or co-wash. If you swim often, integrate protein treatments into your regimen to maintain the strength of your hair.

MOISTURE: This one is simple: keep your hair moisturized. (Do we sound like a broken record yet?) The summer sun and heat tend to strip moisture away from your hair, and shampooing more often makes it worse. Use a moisturizer or leave-in conditioner every day, or try the LOC (liquid, oil, cream) method to keep your hair from drying out throughout the day. I love Shea Moisture’s Jamaican Black Castor Oil Line https://www.sheamoisture.com/jamaican-black-castor-oil-strengthen-and-restore-leave-in-conditioner—6oz/764302215813.html

DEEP CONDITION: Speaking of moisture, deep conditioning is the best way to keep your hair hydrated (and nourished) throughout the summer. Deep condition at least every two weeks, and try doing it more often if your hair seems to be drying out too quickly.

DRINKING WATER: Drink lots of water and eat plenty of fresh fruits & vegetables! If your body is dehydrated or malnourished, your hair will be too. Most doctors recommend drinking at least 64 oz of water a day, which is eight glasses of water or two 32oz water bottles. Remember if you’re sweating, you need to drink even more!

Hope these tips are Helpful! Have an Amazing Summer 🌞

Natural hair info sharing, caring, styles & topics

DIY Kitchen Hair Masks

Dry, damaged hair? Gunky curls? What if you could pull together items that you already have in your kitchen for a DIY hair mask treatment for damaged hair? Ingredients that are not only cheap, but proven to be some of the best when it comes to vitamins and minerals  – like eggs, coconut oil, bananas, olive oil, honey, or avocado?

Damaged Curls

Hair styling can be harsh on your fragile tresses and scalp. Heat styling, bleaching, dying, and the overuse of hair products mess with delicate pH levels, strip your hair of natural oils, dry the hair shaft, and can leave hair looking lifeless and brittle.

Moisturizing hair mask treatments fill the beauty market, but they often come at a hefty price. They also tend to bear labels marked with ingredients that you’ve never heard of – ingredients that you hope will help your hair, not add to the problem.

DIY Hair Mask That Work

The following eight DIY hair masks take mere minutes to whip up, so you can smooth on your own homemade treatment, slip on a shower cap, and relax in the knowledge that you’re finally doing the best thing possible for healthy hair!

DIY Hair Mask | One Two Cosmetics1. The Basic Egg

Eggs are the best! Especially their yolks which are chock-full of protein, vitamins, and fats. For oily hair, egg white can help remove excess oil from your hair, whereas egg yolk acts as a moisturizer for dry, brittle hair. Egg whites also have bacteria-eating enzymes that can cleanse your scalp of any invading nasties.

Apply your choice of egg component to clean, damp hair. Pop on a shower cap to avoid egg-drip, and leave on your hair for 20 minutes. Rinse under cool water, and shampoo your hair as usual.

2. Coconut Oil

Is there anything that coconut oil can’t do?! From cooking to makeup removal, coconut oil is full of antioxidants, vitamins, and essential fatty acids. It also has antibacterial/antifungal properties.

Coconut oil is exceptionally moisturizing and free of all those harsh chemicals that you’ll find in many hair conditioners. 

Perhaps most significantly, coconut oil has been found to be the only oil that can reduce protein loss in hair when used as a pre-poo or post-post-poo product.

So, here’s a basic DIY hair mask for damaged hair that brings the amazing benefits of coconut oil!

Warm ¼ cup of coconut oil so that it’s liquid, and apply it to wet or dry hair. Leave it on for a good hour, or sleep with it in overnight for a truly intense condition – just pop on a shower cap to keep your pillow clean. Rinse the coconut oil out of your hair, and wash it as normal.

3. Honey and Banana

Honey and banana don’t just taste great together, they also form a powerful healthy hair partnership.

DIY Hair Mask | One Two CosmeticsHoney is a natural emollient, or moisturizer, and it seals moisture into your hair. This can help to combat breakage. But, it also has some mighty antibacterial properties. Honey may help to ward off itchy scalp issues caused by bacteria, while also soothing any irritation.2

Banana, on the other hand, can help hair manageability, moisturize the skin, and may even help to control dandruff.3 This is because bananas are filled with natural oils, potassium, and vitamins A,B,C, and E.

Want only the best for your hair? Whip up this homemade duo by taking one ripe banana, and mixing it with a tablespoon of raw honey. Apply the mixture to you your scalp and hair for half an hour, then rinse with warm water. Shampoo as usual.

4. Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil forms a thin waxy coating on your hair shaft, making it a perfect moisturizer for dry or frizzy hair. Even though it’s an oil, it’s also able to remove excess sebum that builds up on your scalp and makes hair oily. Massaging jojoba oil regularly into your scalp can assist in good blood circulation and add moisture to the hair and scalp. It may also ease itchy scalp issues.4

Mix jojoba oil with either your shampoo or conditioner. This prevents the shampoo from stripping off the natural oil in your hair. Or you can apply some jojoba oil to the ends of your hair after washing as a homemade leave-in conditioner.

5. Avocado and Mayonnaise

Your favorite sandwich duo just became your best hair conditioner.

We already know how good eggs are for your hair, so mayonnaise (which contains eggs) is a no-brainer. It’s also a little easier to use. Mayonnaise also has the added benefit of added oil, which, when combined with egg, adds an extra dose of rich moisture. Avocado is bursting with healthy, nutritious, monounsaturated fats that can help make your hair feel softer and look smoother.

Mash half an avocado and mix it well with two tablespoons of mayonnaise (or you can use an egg yolk or two). Apply to damp hair, making sure to saturate the ends, and allow the mayo mix to soak in for 20 minutes. Rinse, and wash your hair as usual.

6. Yogurt, Honey, and Olive Oil

DIY Hair Mask | One Two CosmeticsYou just read about the benefits of honey with banana, but another great combo is honey with yogurt and olive oil.

Olive oil is a great moisturizer. It’s rich in antioxidants and vitamins A and E. Olive oil can help protect the keratin in your hair, and it seals in moisture, making your hair stronger and shinier. A little olive oil is also a great quick-fix for dry, split ends after you’ve styled your hair.

Yogurt is high in protein which makes it a serious DIY hair mask contender. 

It’s particularly great for dry and damaged hair as it can smooth those frizzy ends, not to mention the milk fat. Some people also believe that it soothes their itchy scalp.5 This may be due to all those good little probiotics, as studies are showing that topical probiotics may also be able to help dry, itchy skin from the outside.6

Mix one teaspoon of olive oil with ¼ cup of yogurt and one tablespoon of honey, and apply the mixture to damp hair. Leave in for around 20 minutes, then wash your hair as usual.

7. Apple Cider Vinegar and Argan Oil

Apple cider vinegar and argan oil work beautifully in tandem for both cleansing and moisturizing the hair, sans all those chemical additives in normal shampoo and conditioner. Apple cider vinegar removes product buildup that can make your hair look dull and lifeless. It also has a pH level that is very close to human hair. Some hair products can upset this delicate balance, resulting in dry hair and scalp irritation. Argan oil steps in to deeply nourish your hair.

Mix two tablespoons of argan oil with one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, and work the combo through your hair from roots to tips. Let it sit for around 15 minutes, and then wash and style your hair as usual.

8. Beer and Egg

Settle back for happy hour: just you, your hair, and a bottle of beer! Fermented products, like beer, are high in yeast. Brewers yeast contains large amounts of B vitamins – thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and B6.7

Together these B’s help to produce cellular energy and help the body’s cells to divide (including hair cells).8

Brewers yeast is also a rich source of biotin which may assist in the long-term health of hair and nails.9,10 Brewers yeast also contains many essential minerals, like zinc, selenium, and copper. Combine this with the nourishing benefits of a nice fatty egg, and you have a super luxurious, inexpensive, homemade, natural DIY hair mask.

Mix ½ cup of flat beer (leave it out for a while before you use it) with a raw egg. You can also add a teaspoon of oil. Apply to clean, damp hair, pop on a shower cap, and sit for 15 minutes (time to drink some beer). Then, wash as usual.

*If you prefer not to use actual beer, you can easily buy pure brewer’s yeast online. Mix 5 tbsp of brewer’s yeast with ½ tbsp of olive oil to form a paste. Add a splash of water to make it more manageable. Apply to dry hair, then wrap hair in plastic wrap and leave for one hour before washing hair as normal.

Time For Pampering?

If healthy hair is what you seek, remember that olive oil is not just for salads, and frothy ales are not just for toasting friends! And, with the money you’ll save on expensive hair treatments, you can take those gorgeous tresses out on the town for a nice meal instead.


Sources
1.http://www.beauty-review.nl/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Effect-of-mineral-oil-sunflower-oil-and-coconut-oil-on-prevention-of-hair-damage.pdf
2.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3609166/
3.http://www.phytojournal.com/vol1Issue3/Issue_sept_2012/9.1.pdf
4.https://www.healthline.com/health/jojoba-oil-for-hair#research
5.https://www.womenshealthmag.com/beauty/g19944968/greek-yogurt-beauty-tips/
6.https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Effect-of-a-lotion-containing-the-heat-treated-NCC-Blanchet-R%C3%A9thor%C3%A9-Bourd%C3%A8s/12ad67cd0134300ded0de81566fcdf5b8aac68bc
7.http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/custom/1323569/2
8.https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/hn-2922005
9.https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320222.php
10.https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Biotin-HealthProfessional/

Natural Hair, Living and Lifestyles

Healthy Hair Made W/ Love

For me, consistently eating healthy, has been the most challenging part of my natural hair journey! There are some major factors that influence our hair—genetics, age, hormones, nutrient deficiencies, and more—but what we eat is one of the few things we can do to control our hair’s behavior. After all, if we are predisposed to thin, so-so hair, we wouldn’t want to make it worse by consuming the wrong foods, would you? Even hair that looks like it belongs in a commercial, we’d want to protect that look, right? That’s where picking the right healthy foods for hair growth comes in.

KALE & SPINACH

Spinach and Kale are incredibly nutritious and beneficial veggies to add to your regular diet.

Because these powerhouse greens are high in vitamin C, vitamin K and calcium, they help to strengthen your hair.

Plus, thanks to their high water content, they provide your hair with moisture and contribute to its overall appearance.

SWEET POTATOES

Rich in vitamin A, sweet potatoes are excellent for cell growth thanks to its high beta-carotene content.

Without enough vitamin A, our curls can really become dried out and brittle.

Bonus: the antioxidants in them also fight aging, your skin will thank you as well.

LENTILS

Protein is an important component for hair growth because without enough protein for keratin (which gives our hair its structure), strands become weaker and hair growth slows down immensely.

Lentils are a great source of iron-rich protein and can assist in maintaining steady lengthening of your curls over time.

AVOCADO

There are myriad DIY treatments that include avocado as an ingredient due to its awesome moisturizing properties, but you can do your hair a favor by doing more than just putting it on your hair. 

Eating avocados is great for your curls because they’re loaded with vitamin E, vitamin C, B6 and other nutrients including antioxidants that protect against cell damage.

ALOE VERA JUICE

We all know good old H20 is the chief source for moisture but sipping on aloe vera juice is also great for preventing parched hair.

It is helpful for bringing thickness back to thinning hair, reducing dandruff from excessive dryness and also stimulates hair growth.

Here’s to Good Healthy & Healthy Hair From The Inside Out

Natural Hair, Living and Lifestyles

Best Natural Ingredients For Natural Hair

I believe in natural hair care and have acquired my own natural hair care routine. If I had time, I would make all my hair products and out of necessity, sometimes do. Keeping hair natural by using natural ingredients makes hair healthy and they remain in a good condition even when you age. There are hundreds of ingredients found in nature that can be used in hair products or alone, but we never know which ones actually work. I have researched abs tried many natural ingredients. Here are some of my personal tried and true favorite ingredients that I look for in natural hair care products or mix myself:

Hibiscus provides many benefits for hair due to its vitamin C and amino acid rich composition. You can use the hibiscus flower either fresh or dried and also their leaves. These can be used to make oil, shampoo or just hair mask. There are a lot of commercial shampoos too that contain hibiscus as an active ingredient. I like the Shea Moisture Hibiscus line.

BANANA

In my no-shampoo journey, I have used a lot of kitchen ingredients on hair, banana being one of them. It is the rich source of the vitamins like A, vitamin B and it is the rich source of potassium, magnesium, and zinc. Banana makes hair soft and smooth and keeps it frizz free. You won’t find a lot of hair products containing banana (except The Body Shop ), so you can use it in the form of hair mask.

HONEY

Honey has strong antioxidant, germicidal and fungicidal properties as well as natural wax, making it great for conditioning hair, removing dandruff and stopping hair loss. Honey can be mixed with water to be used as hair rinse, added in various hair mask recipes and the products containing honey as an ingredient can be opted.

AMLA

Amla can do wonders for your hair just like it does for your skin. There are a lot of hair products that contain amla (hair oil, shampoo, mask etc.) but it is best used alone as hair treatment. To nourish your hair from root to tip, mix a little amla powder with water and keep it overnight. The next day, apply this paste to your hair, leave on for a few hours and wash with a mild shampoo.

METHI SEEDS OR FENUGREEK

The methi seeds are known to be used in a number of hair problems including dandruff, rough, and dry hair.  I have used methi for hair a lot of times and it really works amazingly in making hair dandruff-free and thick.

ROSEMARY

Rosemary oil is long known for hair growth. When rosemary essential oil is applied over the scalp, it helps stimulate hair growth and also keeps it dandruff-free. People also claim that it can prevent baldness or hair loss, slows greying, and can be used to treat dandruff and dry scalp. I mix it with Castor oil.

CARRIER OIL

Carrier oils are a popular hair care ingredients. It has the power to make your hair shinier, thicker, smooth and silky! You may try using one part castor oil, and one part of another oil such as argan, avocado, coconut or jojoba oil. Apply this on the scalp and hair and wrap your head using a warm towel.  

BHRINGRAJ

There are a lot of organic brands like kama Ayurveda, forest essentials etc. that have products containing bhringraj oil as an active ingredient. Bhringraj oil prevents hair fall, prevents greying, strengthens hair follicles, prevents split ends etc.

NEEM

Neem is a well known remedy for dandruff, itchy scalp and head lice. For dandruff treatment, you can boil neem leaves in water and use it as hair rinse. If you have head lice, you need make neem paste, add little apple cider vinegar to it and apply on scalp. Keep it for 1 hour and wash off.

GINGER

Ginger is rich in minerals and essential oils that make hair stronger, free of dandruff and other scalp problems. It contains anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial action that keeps scalp clean and clear. There aren’t a lot of hair products available commercially that contain ginger as an ingredient, so you can use it in natural hair remedies.

ESSENTIAL OILS

Essential oil not only makes hair healthy, but also adds a subtle sweet fragrance to it. These oils can be used with carrier oil like coconut oil before using. Take little amount on your palms and use it to massage your scalp. Keep it for 1 hour before hair washing. There are also a lot of commercial hair products containing lavender essential oil that can be used. 

VINEGAR: 

The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar will remove residue from product buildup and help you get shiny, lustrous locks.

GREEN & Black TEA

Few green tea hair products are available in the market; you can use the green tea alone too. It contains a high amount of antioxidants and stops hair from shedding.

COCONUT MILK AND OIL

Coconut milk and oil has been demonstrated to help with flexibility of the hair by penetrating the hair and improving hair strength. Coconut oil or milk itself can be used as hair mask alone. Apply oil or milk on hair and scalp, keep it for 2 hours and wash off using mild shampoo. There are tons of coconut hair products that you can probably give a try.

Share Your experiences with Natural Ingredients!

Natural Hair, Living and Lifestyles

Oil Rinsing

Oil rinsing has been popular for quite some time and has been known to alleviate several hair woes such as dry hair, frizzy hair, and hair prone to tangling. I have personally been oil rinsing for about a month now and love the results! My hair is shinier, softer and surprisingly feels very moisturized; especially now in the cold winter months, which I have never experienced this time of year.

In this article, we’ll be discussing oil rinsing benefits, best methods for practicing oil rinsing, oil rinsing vs hot oil treatment as well as the differences between oil rinsing for low porosity and high porosity hair. 

What is an Oil Rinse?

Rather than literal oil rinsing, as the name suggests, it’s more of an extra step you include in your hair care routine. It’s slightly different from hot oil treatments or adding oils to your deep conditioner. 

The purpose of oil rinsing is to lock in moisture, prevent curls from drying out and eliminate frizz post styling. So what are the benefits of oil rinsing?

What Are the Benefits of Oil Rinsing?

1. Moisture Retention

Oil rinsing aids with moisture retention. The three primary oils that are best for oil rinsing have been proven to be the only oils that can penetrate the hair shaft. 

2. Softens the Hair & Reduces Single Strand Knots

Oil rinsing can help soften the hair and reduce the incidence of single strand knots if not eliminate them completely. Single strand knots can be a very annoying problem that compromises length retention in the long run

3. Makes Detangling Easier

Depending on the process you use, oil rinsing can make detangling your hair a fast and easy process. Persistent oil rinsing over time will cut your styling time down significantly too.

4. Shinier Hair

With the combination of a few additional ingredients, expect oil rinsing to promote shinier hair as well.

Best Oils for Oil Rinsing Hair

There are three oils that are best for oil rinsing hair. They are olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil. These oils have been shown to penetrate the hair shaft so they are very effective for oil rinsing especially with method 2 below. 

How to Try Oil Rinsing on Your Hair

There are two ways to try out oil rinsing on hair. I have also recommended variations of these methods with other natural oils featured on the website:-

How to Try Oil Rinsing on Your Hair

There are two ways to try out oil rinsing on hair. I have also recommended variations of these methods with other natural oils featured on the website:-

Oil Rinsing Hair – Method 1

Oil Rinsing Hair – Method 2

This is the method I use and like because it makes my hair feel so soft afterward. Try both though before you settle. Your hair may like method 1 more and like the two. 

  • Shampoo your hair with your favorite sulphate free shampoo. 
  • Rinse your hair thoroughly then coat your hair with your preferred oil and smoothen throughout the hair.
  • Layer your preferred deep conditioner over the oil and smoothen through your strands in sections. 
  • Twist and pin up your hair.
  • Sit under a hair steamer for 30 minutes. 
  • Rinse out with cool water and finish off with a final blast of cold water. Oil Rinsing vs Hot Oil Treatment

Though the names sound similar, these are actually two different types of treatments for hair. Oil rinsing is a step between shampooing and conditioning your hair while a hot oil treatment takes place before you shampoo your hair aka a pre-poo.

Oil Rinsing Low Porosity Hair

Low porosity hair has a hard time letting moisture in. You need a regimen that will raise your cuticles sufficiently to let moisture and benefits of hair treatments in. However, method 2 would work best since applying heat will open up your cuticles. 

Oil Rinsing High Porosity Hair

High porosity, on the other hand, has a hard time retaining moisture and dries out quickly. In this scenario, method 1 would work best for high porosity hair. 

You can use any of the recommended natural oils for low porosity and high porosity hair. Incorporating oil rinsing into your regimen will lead to improved hair texture over time. 

Oil Rinsing Hair Every Day?

Oil rinsing every day isn’t a good idea and may be too much for your hair and lead to hair loss. Once or twice a week should be enough. 

Natural Hair, Living and Lifestyles

How to Maintain a Healthy Scalp

Healthy hair starts at the scalp. Think of your hair as a garden, with flowers that have roots in the soil. Your scalp is the soil for your hair! Without healthy soil that is full of nutrients and oxygen, while free of pollutants and harmful bacteria, a garden will never look its best. In the same way, the health of yo
— Read on naturallclub.com/blogs/the-naturall-club-blog/how-to-maintain-a-healthy-scalp

Natural Hair, Living and Lifestyles

Shea Butter Beneficial for Hair + More

What is it? Shea butter is fat that’s extracted from the nuts of the shea tree. It’s solid at warm temperatures and has an off-white or ivory color. Shea trees are native to West Africa, and most shea butter still comes from that region.

Shea butter has been used as a cosmetic ingredient for centuries. Its high concentration of vitamins and fatty acids — combined with its easy-to-spread consistency — make it a great product for smoothing, soothing, and conditioning your skin.

Curious? Here are 22 reasons to add it to your routine, how to use it, and more.

Shea butter is technically a tree nut product. But unlike most tree nut products, it’s very low in the proteins that can trigger allergies.

In fact, there’s no medical literature documenting an allergy to topical shea butter.

Shea butter doesn’t contain chemical irritants known to dry out skin, and it doesn’t clog pores. It’s appropriate for nearly any skin type.

1. It’s safe for all skin types Shea butter is technically a tree nut product. But unlike most tree nut products, it’s very low in the proteins that can trigger allergies.

In fact, there’s no medical literature documenting an allergy to topical shea butter.

Shea butter doesn’t contain chemical irritants known to dry out skin, and it doesn’t clog pores. It’s appropriate for nearly any skin type.

2. It’s moisturizing Shea butter is typically used for its moisturizing effects. These benefits are tied to shea’s fatty acid content, including linoleic, oleic, stearic, and palmitic acids. When you apply shea topically, these oils are rapidly absorbed into your skin. They act as a “refatting” agent, restoring lipids and rapidly creating moisture. This restores the barrier between your skin and the outside environment, holding moisture in and reducing your risk of dryness.
3. It won’t make your skin oily Shea butter contains high levels of linoleic acid and oleic acid. These two acids balance each other out. That means shea butter is easy for your skin to fully absorb and won’t make your skin look oily after application.
4. It’s anti-inflammatory The plant esters of shea butter have been found to have anti-inflammatory properties. When applied to the skin, shea triggers cytokines and other inflammatory cells to slow their production. This may help minimize irritation caused by environmental factors, such as dry weather, as well as inflammatory skin conditions, such as eczema. Shea butter has significant levels of vitamins A and E, which means it promotes strong antioxidant activity.
5. It’s antioxidant Shea butter has significant levels of vitamins A and E, which means it promotes strong antioxidant activity. Antioxidants are important anti-aging agents. They protect your skin cells from free radicals that can lead to premature aging and dull-looking skin.
6. It’s antibacterial A 2012 study suggests that oral doses of shea bark extract can lead to decreased antimicrobial activity in animals. Although more research is needed, this could indicate possible antibacterial benefits in humans. Because of this, some speculate that topical application may decrease the amount of acne-causing bacteria on the skin.
7. It’s antifungal Shea tree products have been established as powerful ingredients to fight skin infections caused by fungi. While shea butter may not be able to treat every kind of fungal infection, we know that it kills spores of the fungi that causes ringworm and athlete’s foot.
8. It may help prevent acne Shea butter is rich in different kinds of fatty acids. This unique composition helps clear your skin of excess oil (sebum).

At the same time, shea butter restores moisture to your skin and locks it in to your epidermis, so your skin doesn’t dry out or feel “stripped” of oil. The result is a restoration of the natural balance of oils in your skin — which may help stop acne before it starts.

9. It helps boost collagen production Shea butter contains triterpenes. These naturally occurring chemical compounds are thought to deactivate collagen fiber destruction. This may minimize the appearance of fine lines and result in plumper skin.
10. It helps promote cell regeneration Shea’s moisturizing and antioxidant properties work together to help your skin generate healthy new cells. Your body is constantly making new skin cells and getting rid of dead skin cells. You actually get rid of anywhere between 30,000 to 40,000 old skin cells each day. Dead skin cells sit on the top. New skin cells form at the bottom of the upper layer of skin (epidermis). With the right moisture balance on the surface of your skin, you’ll have fewer dead skin cells in the way of fresh cell regeneration in the epidermis.
11. It may help reduce the appearance of stretch marks and scarring It’s thought that shea butter stops keloid fibroblasts — scar tissue — from reproducing, while encouraging healthy cell growth to take their place. This may help your skin heal, minimizing the appearance of stretch marks and scarring.
12. It may help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles By boosting collagen production and promoting new cell generation, shea butter may help reduce what researchers call photoaging — the wrinkles and fine lines that environmental stress and aging can create on skin.
13. It offers added sun protection Shea butter can’t be used by itself as an effective sunscreen. But using shea butter on your skin does give you some added sun protection, so layer it over your favorite sunscreen on days you’ll be spending outside. Shea butter contains an estimated SPF of 3 to 4.
14. It may help prevent hair breakage Shea butter hasn’t been studied specifically for its ability to make hair stronger. But one 2017 study found that a chemically similar West African plant made hair significantly more resistant to breakage.
15. It may help treat dandruff One way to treat dandruff (atopic dermatitis) is to restore moisture to your dry and irritated scalp. One 2018 review found that shea butter, when used in combination with other moisturizers, could help decrease dandruff flakes and reduce risk of flare-ups. More research is needed to determine how effective shea is when used alone.
16. It may help soothe conditions like eczema, dermatitis, and psoriasis Shea’s anti-inflammatory properties help soothe skin and relieve itching. This may prove especially helpful for inflammatory skin conditions, such as eczema andpsoriasis. Shea also absorbs rapidly, which could mean quick relief for flare-ups. Research even suggests that shea butter could work just as well as medicated creams in treating eczema.
17. It may help soothe sunburn and other skin burns Research suggests that oils may be beneficial for superficial (first-degree) skin burns, such as sunburn. Shea’s anti-inflammatory components may reduce redness and swelling. Its fatty acid components may also soothe the skin by retaining moisture during the healing process. Although the researchers in this study established that the use of shea butter, aloe vera, and other natural products is common, more research is needed to assess their efficacy.
18. It may help soothe insect bites Shea butter has been traditionally used to soothe bee stings and insect bites. Anecdotal evidence suggests that shea butter may help bring down swelling that bites and stings can cause. That said, there isn’t any clinical research to support this. If you’re experiencing severe pain and swelling from stings or bites, consider seeing a health professional and stick to proven treatments.
19. It can help promote wound healing In addition to reducing underlying inflammation, shea is also linked to the tissue remodeling that’s crucial for treating wounds. Its protective fatty acids may also help shield wounds from environmental irritants during the healing process.
20. It may help relieve arthritis pain Arthritis is caused by underlying inflammation in the joints. A 2016 animal study on shea oil concentrate suggests that it can help reduce inflammation while also protecting joints from further damage. Although this study focused on knee joints, these potential benefits could extend to other areas of the body.
21. It may help soothe muscle soreness Muscles that have been overextended can be affected by inflammation and stiffness as your body repairs muscle tissue. Shea butter may help sore muscles in the same way it may help joint pain — by reducing inflammation.
22. It may help relieve congestion A 1979 study suggests that shea butter may help alleviate nasal congestion. When used in nasal drops, shea butter may reduce inflammation in the nasal passages. It could also help reduce mucosal damage, which often leads to nasal congestion.

These effects could be beneficial when dealing with allergies, sinusitis, or the common cold.

Where do all of these benefits come from?

The benefits of shea butter come from its chemical makeup. Shea butter contains:

  • linoleic, palmitic, stearic, and oleic fatty acids, ingredients that balance oils on your skin
  • vitamins A, E, and F, antioxidant vitamins that promote circulation and healthy skin cell growth
  • triglycerides, the fatty part of the shea nut that nourishes and conditions your skin
  • cetyl esters, the waxy part of the shea nut butter that conditions skin and locks in moisture

Keep in mind that the exact makeup varies according to where the shea nuts are harvested from. You may also find shea butter mixed with added ingredients, such as tea tree oil or lavender oil. 

How to use shea butter

On skin

You can apply shea butter directly to your skin. Raw, unrefined shea butter is easy to spread.

You can use your fingers to scoop a teaspoon or so of shea butter from your jar, and then rub it onto your skin until it’s completely absorbed.

Shea butter is slippery and can keep makeup from adhering to your face, so you may prefer to apply it at night before bed.

On hair

Raw shea butter can also be applied directly to your hair.

If your hair is naturally curly or porous, consider using shea butter as a conditioner. Make sure your hair has absorbed most of the shea butter before rinsing and styling as usual. You can also use a small amount of shea butter as a leave-in conditioner.

If your hair is naturally straight, thin, or fine, consider using shea butter on the ends of your hair. Applying shea butter to your roots may cause an oily-looking buildup.

Storage

Shea butter should be stored slightly below room temperature, so that it stays solid and easy to spread.

Possible side effects and risks

There are no documented cases of topical shea butter allergies. Even people with tree nut allergies should be able to use shea butter on their skin.

That said, discontinue use if you begin experiencing irritation and inflammation. Seek emergency medical attention if you experience severe pain, swelling, or difficulty breathing.

Products to try

If you want to get the most out of your shea butter, purchase it in its raw and unrefined form. The more that shea butter is processed, the more its amazing, all-natural properties are diluted.

For this reason, shea butter is classified by a grading system from A to F, with grade A being the most pure form of shea butter you can buy.

Buying shea butter that’s raw and unrefined also helps more of your purchase count toward supporting the communities that actually harvest and grow shea nuts. You can go a step further by purchasing grade A shea butter that’s labeled “fair trade.”

Here are a few products to try that support the West African communities producing most of the world’s shea tree nut supply:

The bottom line

Shea butter is packed with essential nutrients that can enhance your natural complexion and help you glow from the inside out.

Although it’s considered safe every skin type, many products containing shea butter have other ingredients mixed in.

If you experience any side effects that you suspect are connected to a shea butter product, discontinue use and see a doctor or other healthcare provider. They can help determine what’s causing your symptoms and advise you on any next steps.

Information derived from Healthline Magazine

Natural Hair, Living and Lifestyles

How Hormones Affect Hair Health/Tips To Help

Menopause is a natural biological process that all women experience at some point in their lives. During this time, the body goes through numerous physical changes as it adjusts to fluctuating hormone levels. Many women have unpleasant symptoms during menopause, including hot flashes, mood swings, and insomnia. Hair loss is another common occurrence. 

Hair loss tends to be subtler in women than it is in men. Most women experience overall hair thinning rather than noticeable bald spots. The thinning can occur on the front, sides, or top of the head. Hair may also fall out in large clumps during brushing and showering.

Research suggests that hair loss during menopause is the result of a hormonal imbalance. Specifically, it’s related to a lowered production of estrogen and progesterone. These hormones help hair grow faster and stay on the head for longer periods of time. When the levels of estrogen and progesterone drop, hair grows more slowly and becomes much thinner. A decrease in these hormones also triggers an increase in the production of androgens, or a group of male hormones. Androgens shrink hair follicles, resulting in hair loss on the head. In some cases, however, these hormones can cause more hair to grow on the face. This is why some menopausal women develop facial “peach fuzz” and small sprouts of hair on the chin.

For women going through menopause, the cause of hair loss is almost always related to hormonal changes. However, there are many other factors that can contribute to hair loss during menopause. These include extremely high levels of stress, illness, or a lack of certain nutrients. Diagnostic blood tests that can help rule out other causes of hair loss include thyroid tests, and/or a complete blood count.

Hair loss may make you feel self-conscious about your physical appearance, but the condition isn’t permanent. There are also steps you can take to treat hair loss and improve the quality of your hair. Follow these tips to keep your locks healthy and strong during menopause.

 

1. Reduce Stress

It’s important to keep your stress levels in check to prevent a hormonal imbalance. Reduced estrogen production can affect your brain chemistry and cause mood swings, anxiety, and depression. However, doing yoga and other breathing relaxation methods are especially effective in fighting menopausal symptoms. Exercising regularly can also help reduce stress. 

 

2. Get Moving

Exercise is a key component of a healthy lifestyle. You’ll feel stronger and happier once you incorporate exercise into your daily routine. It also helps prevent some of the other symptoms of menopause, including mood swings, weight gain, and insomnia. All of these factors are important for maintaining hormonal balance, which promotes healthy hair growth.

3. Eat Well

Eating a balanced, low-fat diet is your best defense against hair loss. Make sure you include an adequate amount of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables in every meal. It’s also important to incorporate mono-saturated oils, such as olive oil and sesame oil, into your diet. Drinking green tea and taking vitamin B6 and folic acid supplements may help restore hair growth as well. Essential fatty acids also play a crucial role in maintaining hair health. These fatty acids can be found in the following foods:

salmon

tuna

flaxseed oil

walnuts

almonds

4. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Your body needs to be hydrated in order to function properly. Load up on H2O all day long and pass on juices, sodas, and other flavored drinks that contain more sugar than your body needs. The amount of water needed varies from person to person and depends on various factors, including overall health and exercise intensity. As a general rule, however, you should aim to have eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. 

5. Keep It Natural

In order to prevent drying and breakage, it’s best to stay away from heat tools, such as hair dryers and straightening irons. Extensions and other styling methods can also weaken your hair and cause early hair loss. If you must dye your hair, choose an all-natural hair color. Artificial chemicals found in dyes and perms can compromise your scalp and hair health. When you wash your hair, always use a nourishing conditioner to keep your scalp healthy and promote healthy hair growth.

If you swim, make sure to wear a swimming cap, as chlorine can contribute to hair breakage. When out in the sun or the wind for extended periods of time, it’s important to wear a hat to protect your hair from drying and breakage.

Information derived from Healthline Magazine