Monday, January 31, 2011

Is Natural Hair Accepted More from Other Races??




Accepting natural hair begins with us

by JC with Black Girl Long Hair

A lot of times, I'll hear statements like;

"White people appreciate my natural hair more than black people."
"I get more compliments from non black people on my natural hair."
Followed by some variation of "It's so sad. Why are black people like this?"

I'm not going to disagree with those statements. They've been true in my own life at various points. But I am INSANELY uncomfortable with what they suggest.

So, then, for us to accept that we look black we have to be surrounded by people who aren't black?

White people/non blacks have been implicated in many ways in the black hair experience.

Slavery and segregation have been cited as the reasons black people can't accept themselves. The American beauty standard -- as expressed in media and fashion -- has been blamed for being too eurocentric.

The whole "only non black people appreciate my natural hair" seems an odd follow up to that.

I do think that the way we are and have been perceived by other races has its place in the natural hair discussion.

But I also think our focus, when it comes to hair, is too external.
Many black women struggle with a fundamental lack of pride in their physical appearance. So isn't the most powerful thing that we can do now, at this point in our history, is love ourselves and love our hair?

Love of our hair has got to start with us, within our families. It's something we have to spread to our parents, spouses and siblings, and teach to our children. And though we date and marry people both within and outside of our race, we remain black women and we still must learn to love who we are.

Wow! Great post..It's interesting to hear the perspective of others on the issue of natural hair and race. In my personal experience, I have had many other ethnic groups show a lot of appreciation of my natural hair..more than I thought. Sadly, I have heard more negative comments, not towards me, but towards hair texture in general from other blacks. I hear more about 'good hair' and 'bad hair' from blacks. And, surprisingly, I've heard more horror stories in the work place from blacks. Many blacks have referred to natural hair as 'uprofessional' 'lazy' 'rebellious' 'unkept' 'ugly' and the list goes on. When is it going to end? From the stories that I've read and the comments that I've heard, why is natural hair less accepted from black people? Why do some women still have to 'convince' their husbands of the beauty and benefits of going natural? And why do I still read comments where blacks state that 'going natural is for people with certain types of hair...' or with certain curl patterns. I do get tired of explaining why I chose to go natural and how long do I think that I'm going to remain natural? Or hearing, 'well every one's hair is not like yours'..I should hope not, then that would make us robots instead of unique individuals. While I appreciate the compliments, I wish more blacks, even if they don't choose to go the natural route, would learn to love and appreciate our natural hair.

So, what's your experience with natural hair and race?

Let's Talk Hair:Creating Your Hair Regimen


For those who are new to the O'Natural scene as well as the veteran curlies who just haven't quite gotten the hang of it, there's nothing more overwhelming than trying to come up and maintain a hair regimen. Returning to our natural texture is usually a time of education and experimentation. To avoid wasting products, money and energy, here is a starting point for creating and KEEPING your O'Natural curly regimen. The object of a regimen is to maintain healthy curly, kinky and coily hair. Now, depending on the qualities of your hair (thick, thin, long, short,fine, coarse, kinky, curly) the regimen may change. Below is a good foundational beginning to having healthy beautiful tresses.

Basic Regimen:
  • Cleanse
  • Condition/Detangle
  • Moisturize
  • Seal
  • Deep Treat/ Repair

The Breakdown:
  • Cleansing: Shampoo is meant to lift the hair cuticle, break up oil and dirt and suspend it so that it's rinsed away. When we use shampoo, the focus should be on our scalp since that's where the dirt is at. Try not to tousle or scrunch the hair while shampooing, this causes the hair to tangle. Try to aim for an O'Natural shampoo; one without sulfates, which cause dryness.
  • Condition/Detangle: Conditioning the hair closes the cuticle, making it easier to detangle and comb through. Conditioner is supposed to coat the hair. Conditioner can also be used to gently cleanse the hair, known as co-washing. Try to aim for conditioners that are silicone free...or at least aim for conditioners with water soluble silicones (see my post on co washing). If you happen to use conditioners with silicones, please be sure to clarify at least twice per month. If you do not, then hair can become dull and lifeless.
  • Moisturize: Natural hair tends to be dry. Fitting a moisturizer into your regimen is of the utmost importance for acquiring healthy hair. First and foremost, water is one of the best moisturizers..nothing beats this. Adding water into a spritz bottle for a quick pick me up for your hair can do wonders. Now, I'm not saying to completely saturate your hair, that can take forever to dry, but just a quick squirt squirt squirt, is enough to get you going. When searching for moisturizing products, please be sure that water is pretty high up on the list..I prefer products where water is the first ingredient. I also like to make my own products and add extra moisture to my hair.
  • Seal: I cannot stress how important it is to seal the moisture into the hair. Moisture is lost when cuticle is raised and water leaves the hair. By laying a sealant on top of the hair ensures that the moisture is locked in, keeping your hair soft and shiny all day. There are so many oils to choose from (Castor, Grapeseed, Jojoba, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Extra Virgin Coconut Oil). If you add your favorite oil to your moisturizing spritz, you actually kill two birds with one stone by moisturizing and sealing at the same time.
  • Deep Treatments/Repair: Because no ones hair is perfect and we all get breakage, lack moisture and need help. Natural hair that has not been processed (relaxers, heated treatments, hair dyes) usually do not lack protein, but the curlier the hair, the more moisture that it needs. A deep moisture treatment is a great way to start off. Adding more moisturizing elements is an added bonus (honey, carrier oils).
Now that you have the basics, it is up to you and what your hair likes as to how often. For me, I follow this regimen weekly, with co-washes in between. But remember, it is what works for you and your hair. Soooo, beautiful naturals, enjoy your journey, and I truly hope this helps make things a lot easier.

Happy Healthy Hair

credit: some info found at www.naturallycurly.com

Saturday, January 29, 2011

It's All About the Raw HONEY


Hola Chicas/Chicos...it's all about the honey today. I can't rave enough about the benefits of raw honey. When dealing with raw honey, you get all of the benefits that this natural goodness has to offer. When honey is filtered and processed, the benefits have been stripped away and you are basically left with golden brown 'sugar'. Honey is an absolute gift for your hair and skin. When used for conditioners or rinses, honey, being a natural humectant, attracts and binds moisture to your hair. Since this article is all about the 'raw honey', I am going to include the various ways to use this golden goodness. Enjoy!

Honey For Your Hair:

Pre-Cleansing Honey Conditioner: Nourishes the hair and the scalp
  • Combine 3-6 TBSP of Raw Honey
  • 1-2 TBSP of Jojoba Oil or Olive Oil
  • Few drops of your favorite essential oil (lavender, tea tree, peppermint, sandalwood)
  • Mix all ingredients. Apply to hair in sections and massage into scalp. Leave on for 20-30 minutes. Rinse. Follow with your favorite shampoo and conditioner.
Honey Rinse:
  • 1/4 cup of Olive Oil (Extra Virgin)
  • 1/4 cup of Almond Oil
  • 1 TBSP of Jojoba Oil
  • 1 TBSP of Raw Honey (do not use more or it may be too sticky)
  • Mix and apply to hair. Rinse with warm water and Voila! Beautiful moisturized curls.
Honey Smoothie Hair Mask:
  • 1 Mashed Banana
  • 1 Egg
  • 3 TBSP of milk (I use Almond Milk)
  • 3 TBSP of Honey
  • 5 TBSP of Olive Oil
  • Combine in bowl and apply to hair from roots to ends. Let mask soak in your hair for 20-30 minutes. Rinse with cool water. Shampoo and Condition as usual.
Honey Deep Conditioner
  • Using your favorite conditioner as a deep conditioner, combine 1 TBSP of raw honey and 1 TBSP of Olive Oil. Mix and apply to hair. Sit under a heat cap or use a very warm towel for a minimum of 30 minutes. Rinse.
Avocado/Raw Honey Deep Conditioner:
  • Combine 1 Avocado (I use a hand mixer or the magic bullet to mix ingredients)
  • 1 TBSP of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 TBSP of Raw Honey
  • Apply and cover head for 20-30 minutes.
  • Rinse


Honey For Your Skin:

Honey Face Scrub
  • Combine 1 TBSP of Raw Honey
  • 1 TBSP of Brown Sugar
  • Using small circular motions, apply the mixture to clean skin for 3-5 minutes.
  • Rinse or gently remove with a warm face cloth.
  • Final rinse with cool water.
  • Tone. Moisturize
Honey Yogurt Face Mask:
  • 1 TBSP of finely ground Oatmeal
  • 1 TBSP of organic plain yogurt
  • Add a few drops of Honey (warmed)
  • Mix yogurt and oatmeal in a bowl and then add in warm honey.
  • Apply mask over face and neck. Let set for 10 minutes. Rinse with warm water. Final rinse with cool water. Tone. Moisturize.
Honey Spot Treatment:
  • Combine 1 TBSP of Raw Honey
  • 1/2 TBSP of Cinnamon
  • Apply to each blemish and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water, final rinse with cool water. Tone. Moisturize.
Honey Spot Treatment for Hyperpigmentation:
  • Combine 1/2 TSP of Raw Honey
  • 1/2 TSP of the juice of a lemon
  • Apply mixture to infected area
  • Warm a towel and apply to area for 10-15 min.
  • Rinse
Now there are probably hundreds of concoctions that are available for skin and hair. Try one, try them all, let us know what you think.

Happy Healthy Journey

Friday, January 28, 2011

My Natural Hair Journey Video



Ok, here is my video that documents my journey to O'Natural...I will begin adding more tutorial videos and my O'Natural hair updates..if any of you have your own blog or video's please leave your blog info in the comments section. As for your videos, I welcome anyone who would like their video featured on this blog, just send me an email so that I can create a post just for you. This journey is about sharing and inspiring..so I encourage you all to share your info and natural health and beauty tips...

Just a little info about me. I began my transition in January 2010, so I've been on a journey to O'Natural for a year now. I BC'd (Big Chopped) and became 100% O'Natural in August 2010. What inspired me to go completely natural were a couple of things. First, the Chris Rock movie 'Good Hair' gave me a boost. Second, wanting my children to have an appreciation for natural hair and beauty and not to just accept what society has deemed as the standard of beauty. Even if they become adults and choose to alter their hair, I want them to be equipped with the knowledge of natural health and beauty. I want them to have an appreciation and respect for each person's standard of beauty; women who rock natural or relaxed, short or long, men who rock short or long, dreads, afro or closely cropped hair. I don't want them plagued with the stereotypical thinking of having certain hair textures as 'bad' or 'good', but that all hair that is healthy and maintained is 'good'. That nappy, kinky or coily hair should not be viewed as negative, because everything that The Most High creates is 'good'. And lastly, I am truly blessed and thankful that I have a husband who is 100% educated and supportive on natural hair...thanks, Babe



Happy Health..Keep Inspiring

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Let's Talk Hair: Preventing Dandruff the O'Natural Way



Ok, let's talk about the annoyance of dandruff. First off, dandruff is not as prevalent as the makers of commercial dandruff shampoos would have us to believe. Many people believe that the white flakes taking over their scalp and cascading down their shoulders blanketing their clothes is dandruff, however, it is not. That's more likely dry scalp. So before you attempt to treat your scalp, it is best to know what you are treating: dandruff, dry scalp or product buildup. Dandruff is a contagious disease caused by bacteria. So please be cautious when sharing combs, brushes or hats. Also, the misconception of applying and leaving oils on the scalp is a setup for scalp issues down the line. Because the scalp produces its own oil (sebum) and has pores, the application of additional oils will tell the scalp that it does not need to produce its necessary oils and will clog the pores of the scalp as well leading to issues of dry scalp and/or dandruff. 

Before we get into preventative measures, let's first distinguish the difference between dandruff and dry scalp.

Distinguishing The Difference:
  • Dandruff is a mixture of sebum, sweat, bacteria and scalp tissue. It is ALWAYS yellow or orange colored due to the sebum and sweat.
  • Dandruff flakes out of the hair or sticks to the scalp. This is known as honeycomb dandruff. It usually appears in large areas of the scalp at a time, and is distinctly different than dry scalp when you see them side by side.
  • Dry scalp is an overshedding of dead and dehydrated skin cells on the scalp caused by itching, scratching, over combing and severe hydration of the sebaceous glands. This shedding is of a white color. In fact, this white color is what you may see in the dandruff shampoo commercials.
  • Dry scalp is the opposite of dandruff. Although, similar treatments can be used for both. Dry scalp is easier to battle and is usually attributed to bad products being used.
Dandruff Prevention:
  • Keep your hair CLEAN. People who do not keep their hair clean and washed are more susceptible to dandruff. This is due to bacteria that sits on the scalp too long mixes with the sebum.
  • Stay clear from harsh products. People who have overactive sebaceous glands need to avoid using any product that can cause waxy buildup: hair greases (petroleum and mineral based), balms and oily styling products. People with this situation need to wash hair every other day to keep it free from bacteria. Look for shampoos with Tea Tree Oil in it or add Tea Tree Essential Oil to your shampoo.
  • Scratching and Digging into scalp. Try not to scrape, dig or claw at your scalp or at dry patches on your scalp...this can let bacteria in. It also causes more aggravation of dry scalp and can spread dandruff.
  • Do Not Share Combs: Just as it was mentioned earlier, dandruff is contagious, so keep your hair toys to yourself and do not share others.
  • Keep your scalp moisturized. Use natural moisturizers and oils. Be sure to condition. Ahemmm.. for those of you who do not feel the need to use a conditioner. Even the most professional shampoos are drying, so you need a good conditioner to restore moisture back into your hair. Deep conditioners are excellent for doing this. Adding carrier oils and essential oil to your conditioner or deep conditioner is an excellent way to add even more moisture and prevent the trespass of bacteria.
O'Natural Ways To Prevent Dandruff:
  • Hot Oils: Massaging with hot oils (extra virgin coconut and olive oil) help to rid the scalp of flakes. Just heat up some oils, you may add some essential oils as well (peppermint, tea tree, rosemary, lavender), leave the solution on for 30-40 minutes.  This is a wonderful treatment that can be used weekly.
  • Become a Henna Head: Henna is a natural product that, in addition to providing extreme moisture, helps to control dandruff infections. Please be sure to use good quality henna, jamila henna is one..if you are relaxed, be sure to use BAQ (Body Art Quality) Henna.
  • Wash..Wash..Wash: Washing never harms the hair. It is the use of harsh shampoos that does. The hair should be kept scrupulously clean, and this is done by washing at least twice per week. When dandruff is concerned, be sure to keep combs, brushes, pillowcases ad towels clean, because there are chances of re infestation.
  • Once again Oil: Light oil massages help to dislodge dandruff flakes. Be sure to be extremely gentle when massaging, using only your fingertips, not your nails, to massage in small circular movements. Do this before cleansing the hair as you do not want to leave oils on your scalp.



A Clean Scalp = Happy Healthy Hair


Henna can be purchased at your local Indian grocery store or http://www.mehandi.com/ 


credits: some info found at http://www.associatedcontent.com/art

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Let's Talk Hair: Top 10 Natural Goodies For Your Hair












Shea Butter: A natural emollient (provides a layer of oil on top of the surface of the hair strand) which significantly reduces the amount of moisture lost. This is what is means when saying to seal the hair.


Coconut Oil: Another natural emollient perfect for sealing moisture in the hair.

Aloe Vera: Aloe vera adds true moisture to the hair. It is actually absorbed into the hair strand. Works wonderful as a gel, when added to Bentonite Clay for a clarifying treatment and when added to a homemade moisturizing spritz.


Vegetable Glycerin: Acts as a strong humectant (attracts moisture to the hair). When combined with aloe vera, it makes an even better natural moisturizing spritz.

Jojoba: Another humectant..excellent for damaged split ends. It is the closest oil to our natural sebum in our skin.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: An emollient and hair softener. The extra virgin on the label means it was produced using only physical means (no machines used) and has no chemical treatment to alter it. Adds excellent moisture when added to a deep conditioner.

Castor Oil: Not only is this vegetable oil a humectant..it also has anti fungal properties. Some apply it to temples to combat thinning edges. It is excellent when used to seal moisture into the hair.

Honey: A humectant that has anti bacterial properties. It is another ingredient that is excellent when added to a deep conditioner paired with extra virgin olive oil.
Avacado/Avacado Oil: Avacados are excellent because they are easily absorbed into the skin, which when using the oil, is a quick way to get multiple nutrients onto your scalp for improved hair growth.

Tea Tree Oil: Is a soothing remedy to a dry scalp with its antiseptic, anti fungal and anti bacterial properties. It is a concentrated Essential Oil, so a little goes a long way. Adding Tea Tree Oil to your favorite shampoo or conditioner is excellent in combating dandruff or dry itchy scalp.

Happy Healthy Hair

credits: some info found at www.naturallycurly.com

Monday, January 24, 2011

Let's Talk Hair: Fighting Frizz



Hola Chicas/Chicos..ok, let's talk about FRIZZ. Whether O'Natural or straight, we can all agree that frizzy hair is the enemy. In order to control frizzy hair, it is important to get to the 'root' of the problem. Most frizz is caused when dry hair becomes brittle and breaks, leaving a short strand of hair behind. Before we get into tips to fighting frizz, let's, first, take a look at some of the causes of frizzy hair.

Some Frizzy Causes:
  • Lack of Moisture
  • Lack of protein in the hair
  • Coloring, perming and bleaching the hair
  • Humid weather conditions
  • Using a towel to dry the hair. Instead, opt for a micorfiber towel or a good ole T-Shirt
  • Strong Winds
  • Overexposure to sun
  • Brushing curly hair. Brushes disrupt the natural curl and causes frizz and overmanipulation

O'Natural Frizzy Remedies:
  • Check Your Ingredients: Harsh chemicals and other ingredients contribute to frizzy hair. Reduce your dependency on shampoos with sulfates, sodium, calcium, lye and lithium hydroxide.
  • Heat: Keep away from heat. Excessive blow drying contributes to frizzy hair. Let your hair air dry. If you choose to blow dry, use a ceramic dryer with a diffuser on the lowest setting. A ceramic blow dryer uses negative ions, which help control frizz. Use less of your flat iron, curling iron and pressing comb, which can wreak havoc on your tresses.
  • O'Natural: When taking a style down, be sure to apply a natural butter or oil to your hands to minimize frizz.
  • Hands Off: I know, I know, it can be so hard to keep our paws out of our O' So Lovely natural tresses. Some of us are constantly combing, scrunching, or brushing our hair. When it comes to healthy hair, you don't need 100 strokes of the brush everyday. Leave those kinks, coils and curls alone. Constantly tampering contributes to frizzy hair...yikes
  • Keep it clean, but not everyday: Definitely keep those tresses and your scalp clean, but using harsh shampoos daily contributes to fizziness. Try co washing (conditioner washing) with a moisturizing conditioner instead, 2-3 times weekly.
  • Wuuuu Saahhhh: Relax and eat a healthy balanced meal. Stress and poor nutritional habits are direct culprits of frizzy hair, dry hair and split ends.
  • Moisturizing, Deep and Leave In Conditioners: Calm down frizzy hair by using a conditioner that contains Castor oil, Shea butter or Coconut oil. Deep conditioner treatments done weekly are excellent for retaining hair's moisture. Leave in conditioners protect and moisturize the hair between washings.
  • Vinegar: Apple Cider Vinegar rinses are excellent for smoothing out the cuticle and balancing PH levels.
Here is a list of helpful info on alcohol:

Good Alcohols:
    • Cetyl Alcohol: derived from coconut and palm oils
    • Acetyl Alcohol
    • Sterol Alcohol
    • Stearyl Alcohol: acts as an emollient and softener
    • Lauryl Alcohol
    • Lanolin Alcohol
    • Stearic Acid
Bad Alcohols:
  • Menthanol
  • Ethanol
  • Propanol
  • SDA40
  • Alcohol Denat
  • Specially Denaturated Alcohol
  • Isopropyl Alcohol
Happy Frizz Free Hair

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Documenting the Journey: 5 Months After My BC


August 6, 2010...the BC (Big Chop)..I absolutely loved the freedom in doing this..didn't have a clue of what to do with it, though..


September 1st Month..I was able to a bit of hair for a front braid. With the help of Youtube and other natural blog sites, I was learning different ways to rock my hair.


October Month 2..Discovered the two strand twist out


November Month 3..Still loving the two strand twist out.. Learning how to fully keep my hair moisturized.


December Month 4: Blow out, flat iron length check...Loved the look, but missed my coils, kinks and curls.


January Month 5..This is my current look. I experimented with a two strand twist out fro hawk...I loved it!

Ok..so far this is my Happy Nappy Journey, and I must say, I haven't been this excited over my hair in a loooonnnnggg time..Be sure to document your journey, you will be amazed at where you began and where you are now. Be sure to stay educated on how to maintain your beautiful natural curls, and explore different styles to rock your hair...till next time

Happy Healthy Hair

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Surviving Your First Year as an O'Natural



All naturals, even the most experienced, can look back on their first year and momentarily feel excitement, freedom, fear, hopelessness, joy and at times discouragement. Well, being that it is my year anniversary since I've had a relaxer and began my transition to O'Natural-hood, I thought I would make this article about your first year as a natural the focus. Being that the first year is a great milestone, I just want to say well done beautiful naturals for hanging in there. I realize, as many do, that going natural is a difficult decision and the scares and lack of social acceptance that many have met could have been enough to throw in the towel, slam the door, return to the 'creamy crack'. But, before you give up, here is a list of support to help you on your way to your year anniversary as an O'Natural.

The List:
  • Educate Yourself: I cannot stress how important it is to research, research, research. Increasing your knowledge about your hair will prove extremely beneficial to the success of healthy beautiful natural hair. Some wonderful websites are: Nappturality, CurlyNikki, Natural Chica..just to name a few. And don't forget about the huge library of Youtube videos. Education is KEY!
  • Experiment: Have fun with your O'Natural. Again, the huge library of Youtube videos were absolute lifesavers for me in expressing new styles to rock my hair. The sad fact is that many of us never learned how to 'Properly' take care of our natural coils, kinks and curls. Learn what product works best for YOU. Sure there are hundreds of products that promise to do this or do that, but before you get too wrapped up and have to attend PJ Annonymous(Product Junkyism), stick to what your hair likes and know that what may work for one natural may not work for you..and that's ok. Experiement with styles that fit you best..if you don't have the head for a fro hawk..that's ok, rock a twist out..Trust me, you will soon master your routine and what hairstyles work for you.
  • Find A Support System: Going natural is not always a decision supported by our close ones. I can't tell you how many stories I have heard from many naturals whose families, spouses or friends didn't support their journey into natural hood. Comments like, 'nappy-headed' 'bald headed' kinka bugs' 'you'll never get a job looking like that' 'men don't like nappy hair' etc. etc..almost caused many of them hold up the white flag. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to find individuals who share your same story and can offer support and comfort you when needed. And it's always exciting to begin a new venture when surrounded by like minds. Remember, there are online communities that offer tons of support when you need it. I must say I have met some awesome people who are also on this journey to Natural-ville.
  • Document: It is sooo much fun to document your progress and later look back on it. Many naturals document on facebook, other natural blog sites and/or on youtube. Documenting your journey will help you realize that your hair is growing even when you think that it is not. It also helps you see where the health of your hair was and where it is currently.
  • Be Optimistic: Keep negativity to a minimum. Sometimes, it may be necessary to tell someone that their comment was not polite and you don't appreciate their destructive remarks. If they continue with their disrespect, then you may need to rethink that friendship and keep your distance. Hopefully they will see that the error of their ways created some distance and opt for more positive comments.
  • Keep Your Eyes On the Prize: Remember, there was a reason that you wanted to go natural. When you experience those 'bad days' try to remember that. Everyone's reason is different that made them want to go natural and leave process city..keep your eyes focused on what yours was.
  • It's Okay to have a bad hair day: These happen..point blank!! And they don't just happen because you are O'Natural. It happens because it just happens, just as sometimes your outfit isn't quite up to par, or your makeup looks like Tammy Fay Baker...it just happens! Sometimes hair, whether natural or relaxed, just will not cooperate...no matter how much you sweet talk it. It's like a relationship, just give it a little space, don't take it personal, make up and begin again the next day. Don't continue to 'nag' it...and you'll get along jesss fine.
Well, my lovely ladies and gents,I hope this help keep you moving towards your goal of O'Naturalism..

Happy Healthy Hair

credits: some info found at www.naturallycurly.com



So What's The Rave About: TEA TREE OIL

Tea tree oil benefits for skin & Hair
Ahhh, the wonderful Tea Tree Oil, also known as Melaluca. If it were truly up to me, tea tree oil would be in every shampoo, conditioner and skin care product, because it has so many wonderful benefits. Tea Tree Oil is a natural antibacterial disinfectant. It is a light yellow oil with a smell similar to nutmeg. Because of its wonderful properties, Tea Tree Oil is a natural agent for curing all three types of infectious organisms: viral, fungal and bacterial. Before I get into the wonderful benefits that this oil has on the hair and scalp, let me first cover the amazing benefits it has overall.

The Benefits of Tea Tree Oil:
  • Acne Treatment: Due to its bacterial and fungal properties. Here are some natural mixtures to use for acne flare ups: Tea Tree Oil/ Aloe Vera Gel. Combine 1 TSP of Aloe Vera Gel to 2 drops of Tea Tree Oil and dab on infected area. You can leave overnight or rinse after 20 minutes. You can also add Tea Tree Oil to your Oil Cleanser mixture and to your natural toner for added benefits. Tea Tree Oil is as effective as benzoyl peroxide, however, it is not as harsh nor as drying...but it does take a little longer to work.
  • Boils and Carbuncles: Tea Tree Oil speeds up the healing process and relieves discomfort. Here is a wonderful application of using Tea Tree Oil for Boils and Carbuncles: Just dab a cotton swab into your Tea Tree Oil and apply to the infected area several times per day.
  • Toenail Fungus: Due to its antifungal properties, Tea Tree Oil is extremely helpful in curing toenail infections. Tea Tree Oil for Toenail Infections: Simply apply 1 to 2 drops of Tea Tree Oil directly onto the infected toenail and rub it in and around the tip of the nail, 2 times per day.
  • Warts: Treat warts by applying pure Tea Tree Oil 3 times per day. Yo can also continue treatment for 6 weeks after the wart was gone or it may return.
  • Bad Breathe, Inflamed Gums and Plaque: Tea Tree Oil, when used as a mouth wash, acts as a natural cure for bad breathe, gingivitis, plaque and inflamed gums. It also kills mouth bacteria prior to dental surgery and reduces mouth irritation caused by dental procedures. Tea Tree Oil Mouth wash: Add 3 drops of Tea Tree Oil to a cup of warm water and use as a mouthwash 2 to 3 times daily. be sure not to swallow. You may also add 1 drop of the oil to your toothpaste as you brush.
  • Yeast Infections: Tea Tree Oil is an effective use for yeast infections when used as a douche. Tea Tree Oil Douche: Combine 1 TSP of Tea Tree Oil to 1 TSP of isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol), mix the solution, which should be a milky white. Store the solution in a dropper bottle. Add 10 drops of the solution to a pint of water. Use this douche once per day for a week in order to rinse the vagina.
  • Sore Throat and Congestion: This wonderful oil combined with a simple steam inhalation technique naturally cures congestion, sore throat, chest infections and clears up mucus. Tea Tree Oil Steam Inhalation: Fill a large cooking pot or bowl with water and bring to a boil. Remove the pot from the stove and add 2-3 drops of tea tree oil into it. Cover your head with a towel and lean over the top of the pot or bowl so that the long ends of the towel are hanging down at the two sides of the bowl. Inhale the vapors for about 5-10 minutes. Repeat this process each night before bed until symptoms are cured completely.
  • Canker Sores and Laryngitis: When diluted in water, Tea Tree Oil is an effective treatment for canker sores and laryngitis. Tea Tree Oil for Canker Sores and Laryngitis: Add 3-4 drops of Tea Tree Oil to 1 cup of warm water and gargle this solution twice daily. Do not swallow.

Tea Tree Oil for the Hair and Scalp:
  • Tea Tree Oil helps in the prevention of bacterial and fungal infections of the scalp. This has a direct benefit to hair, especially ethnic hair since many harmful products may have been previously applied.
  • Tea Tree Oil naturally cleanses the sebaceous glands on the scalp.
  • Tea Tree Oil is beneficial in treating dandruff and lice.
  • By adding Tea Tree Oil to your shampoo or conditioner, it conditions the hair, improves hair density and unblock the clogged hair follicles.
Using Tea Tree Oil for Dandruff and Lice:

Dandruff:
  • Combine 25 drops of essence of tea tree and 50 ml of jojoba oil or coconut and apply thoroughly into the scalp, Cover your head with a hot towel for 1 hour and then wash the hair with a mild shampoo to which you add 10 drops of essence of tea tree. It is best to apply the shampoo without wetting the hair first. Wash hair well with warm water.
Lice:
  • Rinse hair daily with pH neutral shampoo, containing 20 to 60 drops of essential oil per 100 ml of shampoo. Leave for ten minutes before rinsing. You could add a little lavender oil to the conditioner or the wash water for extra effect and a pleasant scent.
Caution: if you have sensitive skin, dilute the Tea Tree Oil in a carrier oil first, then apply.
  • Carrier Oils: Jojoba, Coconut, Grapeseed, Castor, Almond, Olive
Happy Health

credits: some info found at www.b4tea.com

Monday, January 17, 2011

Let's Talk Hair: Arggh! I Still Have DRY HAIR



Have you tried different products that claim to moisturize, however, you still struggle with dry hair?? I know, dry hair can be an absolute pain to deal with. Dry hair can make you want to throw in the towel, due to its cause of breakage, hard crunchy hair and plain ole' frustration. Well, before you scrap all of your favorite hair products, let's take a look at the 'dry hair checklist' to see if there are any changes we can make to your current regimen and see if we can salvage the problem.

The Dry Hair Checklist:
  • Your Shampoo Regimen: Because many of the products we use have silicones in them, especially non water soluble silicones (Cyclomethicone, Dimethicone, Amodimehticone, Dimethiconol, Phenyl Trimethicone), it is extremely important that you clarify (see my article on the importance of clarifying and natural clarifying solutions). What silicones do is coat or seal the hair shaft therefore preventing moisture from permeating the hair follicles. This means that if you use products that are heavy in 'cones' you may notice that your moisturizing products will not be doing their job. Initially, it may feel moisturized, but as it dries it feels straw like, brittle and thirsty. Instead opt for natural ways to polish, style and moisturize your tresses (carrier oils, natural butters, squalene available at http://www.texasnaturalsupply.com/ , Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil). Anytime after you clarify, be sure to follow up with a deep condition to replenish moisture.
  • Your Moisturizing Regimen: What are you using to moisturize your hair? In what order are you using these products? I ask this, because if you use an oil or butter before applying your favorite water based moisturizing application, then you have sealed the hair shaft before, therefore locking the moisturizer out. It is very important to apply your favorite water based moisturizer first, then seal with an oil or butter. Another important factor of not applying your oil before moisturizing is that the molecules in most oils are too large to permeate the hair shaft. This means that most oils that you use to moisturize your hair are not capable of 'moisturizing' it. Instead of moisturized hair, you feel a dry greasy mess. Try to apply your leave in conditioner as your moisturizer prior to applying your oils. And always use a 'water based' moisturizer or conditioner.
  • Your Shampoo Technique: If need be, shampoo in the mirror and focus, focus, focus on cleansing your scalp. Shampooing in the mirror allows you to inspect your scalp to ensure that it is properly cleansed. Opt for shampooing in sections of four, instead of your entire head all at once.
  • Your Hair's Porosity: Overly porous hair is usually caused by chemical treatments (relaxers, texturizers, hair dyes) and improper thermal practices (blow dryers, flat irons, pressing combs). When the hair is porous, it is filled with holes along the hair shaft. Protein treatments are excellent for combating porous hair. Also, ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) rinses are excellent for porous problem solving.
  • Your Water May Be Hard: Mineral buildup is a result of hard water, which contributes to dry hair. Mineral deposits act the same way as our other enemy..silicones. In order to defeat the enemy of hard water 'mineral' buildup is to clarify twice weekly (see my post of clarifying for natural clarifying solutions) or incorporate weekly apple cider vinegar rinses. ACV acts a a gentle clarifyer to remove product and mineral buildup. Always use cool spring water to do your final rinses using Apple Cider Vinegar.


Let's fight the enemy of 'dry hair' for our natural tresses and make this journey an O' So Great one.

Happy Healthy Hair Journey!

some info found at www.themoptopmaven.com

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Let's Talk Hair: Cheap Must Have Goodies for your O'Natural



Greetings Chicas/Chicos...here are some wonderful goodies for your O'Natural that will not break the bank. These goodies have received excellent reviews from other naturals, myself included. Since it can become quite easy to succumb to product junky-ism, I thought this list would help some to fight those urges and on a budget. Enjoy!

Must Haves For O'Naturals: Choose a few or choose them all...
  • ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar). This will be your staple for clarifying and final rinses due to its awesome properties. $2-$4 at local grocery and health food stores
  • Hydracap Processing Cap. $4.00. This is great if you don't have the moolah for the more expensive heating cap or hard hat dryers. All you need is your favorite DC (Deep Conditioner) and this processing cap. Sally's Beauty Supply stores.
  • Jilbere Shower Comb. $2.00. This is a great cheap comb that does the detangling job. Relaxed, Transitioning or Natural, your tresses will thank you. Any local beauty store.
  • Herbal Essence Hello Hydration Conditioner. $3.00. This is perfect for co-washing and deep conditioning. It is an excellent aid for detangling. An local walmart, target, walgreen, rite aid.
  • Accessories. $1.00 and up. These are absolutely fantastic for TWAs (teeny weeny afros), Transitioners, and O'Naturals..doll up your look with flowers, headbands, bows, beanies.
  • Essential Oils: $3 and up. These are great for cleaning the scalp, promoting hair growth, fighting infections, adding fragrance, etc. (some great oils are: Tea Tree, Peppermint, Rosemary, Lavender, Lemon Grass, Sweet Orange Oil, etc.) These can be found at herb shops, health food stores.
  • Carrier Oils: Carrier Oils are your new best friend for sealing in moisture, adding softness and shine, promoting hair growth, protecting your tresses. Some great carrier oils are: Castor Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Almond Oil. These can be found at your health food stores, gourmet groceries, farmer's market.
  • Henna: $.99-$7.99 Henna is a staple for excellent deep conditions. They are also natural hair colorants that are great for hiding greys. They promote hair growth and strengthens the hair. If you are relaxed, please be sure to use Body Art Quality (BAQ) Henna. This is found at any local Indian Grocery or http://www.mehandi.com/
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: $3-$10. EVOO is excellent for sealing the moisture in the hair or adding it to a deep conditioner for added moisture. This can be found at any local grocery store.
  • Extra Virgin Coconut Oil: $5-$10. EVCO is excellent for adding moisture and shine, strengthening hair, and sealing moisture into the hair. This can be found at any health food store and farmer's market.
  • Vatika Oil: $4- $5.This is an excellent, excellent, excellent oil for moisture, strengthening hair and promoting hair growth. It is an extra virgin coconut oil infused with wonderful essential oils. This can be found at any local Indian Grocery Store. (please be sure to read the label to make sure that it is coconut oil and not mineral oil.)
  • Silk or Satin bonnet or Satin Pillow Case. $3 and up. Ok, this is a must for protecting your tresses at night. It ensures that your hair will maintain its moisture and protect it from shedding and breakage. There are a number of beauty stores that carry these items.
  • Bobby Pins and Duckbill Clips: $1 and up. Of course these are a natural's life saver in so many situations. Excellent for twist n curls (duckbill clips), frohawks (bobby pins), etc
Well, I hope this list helps you on your journey remember, once you find what works for you, stick with it to combat product junky-ism..

Happy Kinky Coily

Friday, January 14, 2011

Let's Talk Skin: TONE UP WITH A NATURAL TONER



Greetings, beautiful naturals...I can't express how important it is to incorporate a toner into your facial cleansing regimen. Let's face it, we all want clear, smooth, blemish free skin...and it is absolutely attainable. Before we get into different ways to mix up your toner, let's take a look at the importance and benefits of using a natural toner.

Benefits of Natural Toners:
  • Making your own toner allows you the pleasure of controlling what goes onto your beautiful skin.
  • Toners give the skin a FINAL CLEANSING, TIGHTENS PORES AND PROTECTS the skin from environmental pollutants.
  • Natural toners infuse the skin with nutrients in addition to restoring the skin's natural PH levels.
  • Natural toners keep the skin tissue hydrated while stimulating the skin cells to promote cell regeneration.
  • Help remove impurities on your skin and help keep infections at bay.
  • By closing the pores, natural toners give the skin a smooth look and feel.

Now that we've covered the wonderful benefits of using a natural toner, let's talk about the different ways to create your own O'Natural toner.

TONER MIXES:

Green Tea/Apple Cider Vinegar..now this is the mixture that I use and I can't rave enough about it.
  • 2oz Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 oz distilled water (this you will boil and add 3 green tea bags to and steep for 20 minutes, then let cool.)
  • 10 drops of Jojoba Oil
  • 5 drops of Tea Tree Oil
  • 5 drops of Lemon Grass Oil (this is optional. I add it to dilute the smell of the vinegar and it has wonderful antibacterial properties)
  • Mix the ingredients in a spray bottle. Be sure to shake well before each use, as natural elements tend to seperate.
Tea Tree Toner:
  • 2oz of Witch Hazel
  • 5 drops of Tea Tree Oil
  • 10 drops of Jojoba Oil
Aloe Vera/Green Tea Toner: (excellent for dry skin)
  • 2 oz Aloe Vera juice/gel
  • 2 oz distilled water (boil, add 3 green tea bags, steep for 20 min. allow to cool)
  • 5 drops of Sweet Orange Oil
  • 5 drops of Vegetable Glycerin
  • 5 drops of Lavender Oil
Rosewater Toner:
  • 1 -1/4 cups of Rose water (now you can buy rose water already prepared, just be sure that it is pure rose water and distilled water ONLY. Or you can follow the method below on how to prepare your own rose water)
  • 6-8 drops of Glycerin (Use less glycerin if your skin is oily. More if your skin is dry)
  • 3/4 cups of Witch Hazel
  • This combination makes 2 cups. Combine and transfer into a spray bottle for ease of use.
Directions on How To Make Rose Water:
  • 2 cups of firmly packed fresh rose petals.
  • 2 -1/4 of water, distilled preferably.
  • Place the rose petals in a sauce pan and cover with water. Simmer over low heat until water is reduced by half. Let cool and strain out the petals. Store in a sterile jar or bottle.
Note: Add a Vitamin E capsule or 2-3 drops of Rosemary Oil as a preservative to any natural toner.

where to buy: any local health food store: Whole Foods, Green Life, Vitamin Shoppe, Earthfare

Let's Talk Skin: The Oil Cleansing Method



Ok, I know you may be wondering, why on earth would I recommend using oil on the skin? Simply put, cleansing with oil is a gentle way to remove dirt, bacteria and excess oil from your pores. Surprisingly, water does not dissolve oils, but oils do. This is why most commercial facial cleansers are comprised of harsh sufactants.These harsh surfactants strip away your skin's natural sebum, leaving it dry and irritated. Do not be afraid of applying oil to your face. Oil alone does not cause pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, cysts...these are the results of several different factors, such as: hormones, bacteria, dead skin cells, and the buildup of these factors. Your skin naturally produces oil because it needs it, and it is there for the benefit of your skin..so it will function properly.

Now, while we are talking about clarifying your skin externally, let's touch on the internal importance. WATER..if you have acne prone skin, drink up.

Now, most oil cleansers combine 50% Castor Oil to 50% Extra Virgin Olive Oil, but you can pick the best mixture for you. Castor Oil is used as the base in the oil cleansing method because it helps to draw out toxins, slough dead skin cells, excess oil and dirt from your pores. The secondary oil acts more like a moisturizer and carrier oil to deliver theraputic properties deep into the skin. I have combo/acne prone skin, so I use 60% Castor Oil, 20% Sweet Almond Oil and 20% Grapeseed Oil. I also add a few drops of tea tree and peppermint oil to my mixture.

Here are wonderful oils for certain skin types:

  • Oily Acne Prone Skin: Grapeseed Oil, Hazelnut Oil, Jojoba Oil, Flax seed, Neem Oil, Almond Oil, Castor Oil
  • Dry Mature Skin: Evening Primrose Oil, Olive Oil, Avacado Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil
  • Sensitive Skin: Meadowfoam Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Rosehip Oil
Here are some wonderful essential oils for certain skin types:
  • Oily Skin: Tea Tree Oil, Peppermint Oil, Lavender Oil, Rosewood Oil, Bergamont Oil
  • Dry Skin: Cedarwood Oil, Rose, Myrrh, Chamomile, Pachouli
  • Acne Prone: Frankincense, Lemon Grass, Clary Sage, Tea Tree, Peppermint


The Oil Cleansing Method Directions:
  • You'll need a soft washcloth, your oil blend, and hot, running water.

  • Pour a generous puddle of oil into the palm of your hand. Roughly, the size of a quarter, but more is acceptable. Rub your hands together to warm the oil and smooth over your face.

  • Begin massaging the oil into your face. This will remove makeup, dirt, and other impurities, so there is no need to use a makeup remover or wash your face prior to the massage. I've found that this removes even my stubborn waterproof mascara and concealor.

  • Using slow, firm motions across the skin, massage the oil deeply into your pores. Take your time and focus on your problem areas. You want the oil to work into your pores so that blackheads and the like can be dissolved and steamed away.

  • As you're massaging, let your mind drift off to something calming and breathe deeply. Take this time to relax and release some of the stress that your body is harboring. Sit down, breathe deeply, and take your time. Give the oil enough time to work on dissolving the impurities in your pores and give yourself enough time to unwind. Picture what your face would look like if it were completely clear and free from blemishes. Focus on that image and know that it is attainable. Trust that it is attainable. Accept that it is attainable. You can have clear skin, free of blemishes and you will have clear skin, free of blemishes. Focus on perfect skin and breathe deeply.

  • Once you're satisfied that your pores are saturated and you're feeling calm, pick up your washcloth and soak it in clean, steamy water. We want the water to be warm enough to open your pores and remove the oil. Cool water will not open your pores, nor will it remove the oil efficiently. We're not scalding our skin, we're steaming to coax our pores to release the oil carrying the impurities. We're essentially steaming our skin as an esthetician would, but without the luxury of a steam machine.

  • Hold the washcloth to cover your face. Allow it to stay until it cools. You will feel your pores releasing the impurities. Wipe the oil gently away and rinse the washcloth well in hot, running water. Hold the washcloth to your face again, allowing it to cool. Wipe gently, rinse well, and repeat two or three more times. Avoid any temptation to scrub, as you'll find it's completely unnecessary and your skin will be soft, smooth, and free of flakes without the additional manual exfoliation and irritation that will result. Impurities, dead skin cells, and bacteria will be gently swept away.

  • Have no fear of the oil, as the steamy washcloth will remove it. The Castor Oil, though it is an oil, will help with the removal of the other oils, as well. It is our main cleansing oil and is easily removed with warm water.
  • If your skin feels tight, take a tiny drop of your oil blend. I use Grapeseed oil as my moisturizer, because it is a natural astringent and is the lightest of all the oils. Trust me, it does not make your skin feel oily. Rub it between your clean, damp palms and pat it onto your damp skin. Gently massage any oil residue into your skin so there is no film of oil left sitting on the surface. Your skin should now glow!

  • Word of the wise..do not reuse the same wash cloth if you have not washed it. Wash cloths harbor bacteria which is a major culprit of the little nasty critters we hate..yikes!
Remember, choose the oil blend that works for you...

where to buy: Any health food store, Whole Foods, EarthFare, Vitamin Shoppe, Nutrition World

Happy Health

credits: info found at www.theoilcleansingmethod.com

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Let's Talk Skin: Raw Honey and Brown Sugar Scrub

Oooo la la..this is going to be a royal treat for your skin. The Raw Honey and Brown Sugar Scrub. Not only is it a tasty facial scrub for your face, it is excellent to use on your lips and those rough areas on your body, such as elbows, knees and feet. For a wonderful scrub that you can use once or twice per week, here is all that you need to do:

Honey and Brown Sugar Facial Scrub:

What You'll Need:
  • Raw honey: The use of raw honey gently exfoliates the skin and stimulates circulation without causing irritation and dryness. Raw honey is a humectant which has the quality of attracting and retaining moisture, so it balances the skin moisture to give a soft glowing complexion. Another one of the amazing raw honey benefits for skin is its protection against sunburns.
  • Brown Sugar: Exfoliating the skin with a brown sugar scrub cleans and tightens pores giving the skin a more even uniform appearance; pores look smaller, skin tone more even. It can also diminish the damage to the skin caused by acne and other skin conditions.Using a brown sugar scrub improves your skin's ability to retain its natural moisture balance.
  • Essential Oil (optional)..I add 2 drops of tea tree oil
  • Wash Cloth
Directions:

  • Mix 1 TBSP Raw Honey to 1 TBSP of Brown Sugar. Add 2 drops of an essential oil geared towards acne control (peppermint, tea tree, rosemary). Apply the mixture to a clean face in upward circular motions for 3-5 minutes. Take your damp warm wash cloth and gently wipe the mixture off of your face. Repeat until the scrub is completely removed. Follow with a cool water rinse. Tone. Moisturize.
Oh my Goodness, your face is going to faithfully thank you for this one. Your skin is going to feel extremely smooth as the facial removes excess oil and dead skin cells through exfoliation. We all can agree that acne is the 'devil' so this scrub works overtime to keep the enemy at bay. And really, who doesn't want healthy, smooth, hydrated skin?

I try to do this facial scrub at least two times per week. I have combination acne prone skin, so taking care of my skin is an absolute priority in keeping my little acne enemies on lock down. And I must say, this scrub has worked wonders. Give it a try before you spend your money on chemical peels, commercial facial scrubs, etc. And many of the ingredients are right in your kitchen cabinet. Also, use it in the shower as a body scrub, your body will thank you for it.

The Results:


Where to buy: any health food store or local grocery. Farmer's market (be sure to buy 100% raw honey, or purchase from your local bee farmer.)

Happy Health

Let's Talk Hair: 10 Excellent Tips for Transitioners



Ok..let's talk TRANSITIONING. Now, I know how frustrating working with two textures can be as you venture on your journey to O'Natural, I did it for 8 months, and let me tell you, it was no picnic. Detangling for an hour and a half in the shower, shedding, etc. etc...But, don't give up. Congratulate yourselves on striving to go O'Natural. Remember, you have a vision and we're here to help you reach that vision. The goal is to blend two different textures into one. Now, let's talk about some excellent tips for all of you lovely transitioners.

The 10 Tips:
Try the Bantu Knot Out or a Natural Girl's favorite: the twist out

DETANGLE when the hair is wet and slippery with conditioner using a WIDE TOOTH COMB. Always start at the ENDS and work your way up to the root.
Keep your scalp CLEAN. Be sure to cleanse anywhere from every 2 days to weekly.

Keep your hair moisturized. Dry hair causes breakage..nothing beats water when it comes to moisturizing your hair, but you can also add your favorite oil on top of it.
Get used to DEEP CONDITIONING. These should no longer be a 'special treatment'. Weekly deep conditioners are excellent for transitioners.
Wind down your use of HEAT. Try air drying all of your styles instead.

Protect your EDGES. Avoid protective styles (braids, weaves) that put too much tension on your edges. That area is the thinnest and most fragile.

Be GENTLE. The part where your new growth meets your relaxed ends is called the 'DEMARCATION' and it is the weakest part of your hair. Take your time when detangling and styling.
  • GRADUALLY cut your processed or damaged ends. Depending on the length you had to start with, give yourself a good trim each month. Remember, use HAIR SHEARS not SCISSORS.

ENJOY your journey and don't succumb to pressure of a time limit.


I hope these tips help you on your O'Natural journey..

Healthy Hair = Happy Hair

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

So What's The Rave About: FLAX SEEDS


Ok...it is so amazing that a tiny little seed has so many benefits. Not only is flaxseed good for your internal health, but it is an excellent external goody as well. I must say, when I was struggling with a bout of high blood pressure after the birth of my third child, the doctor prescribed a high blood pressure medicine in order to lower my post partum mishap. I took immediate action, prayed and asked God for knowledge on finding a natural alternative and behold I was led to this seedy goodness! Needless to say, after taking the flaxseed oil daily, at my next doctor visit, my blood pressure was back to normal..yaay! I'm definitely an advocate of trusting His natural goodness over man's chemicals.

Before I get into the uses of this seedy wonder, let's, first, look at the benefits.

The Benefits of Flaxseeds:
  • An excellent source of protein and fiber.
  • Including flaxseed in your daily diet can help you manage your weight. Besides stabilizing your sugar levels , flax expands five times in bulk when ingested. Flax taken half an hour before meals will help you eat less, so you will lose weight while simultaneously strengthening your immune system.
  • Flax seed, with its high concentration of lignans, is a great choice for all women, whether younger, middle-aged, or older, as a natural way to normalize the menstrual cycle, manage menopause, and lower the risk of osteoporosis , cancer and heart disease.
  • Flax seeds help Reduce the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease - It aids in decreasing the so-called "bad" cholesterol. Increase the "good" cholesterol, decrease blood pressure, suppress the development of atherosclerosis and inflammation, and enhances blood vessel tone.
  • The insoluble fibre in flax seed is helpful in regulating bowel movements, increasing the frequency of bowel movements, and preventing or treating bowel irregularities and constipation.
  • Flax seeds help with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder).
  • Flax seeds enhance the immune system.
  • Alleviates dry skin, eczema and psoriasis
  • Protects against cancer, especially hormone sensitive cancers, such as breast and prostrate.
  • Reduces the threat of blood clots.
  • Increases sense of calmness under stress.
  • Lowers high blood pressure.
  • Flax seeds fights Diabetes.

Flax seeds and the skin and hair: Facials and Hair Goodies to try

  • Rosemary and Flaxseed Facial Mask
You will need:
1/2 cup of flaxseeds, 2 cups of water, Rosemary Essential Oil

Directions:
Bring water to a boil then remove from heat. Add flax seed and allow to steep for about 30
minutes, when the mixture becomes a gel, remove the seeds. Allow to cool, then add 3 drops
of Rosemary Essential Oil to your mask. Apply the mask to your face and allow to sit for 5-10
minutes. Rinse face with cool water and lightly pat dry (I use a papertowel to pat my face dry).

Benefits:
The Flax seed facial mask imparts nutrients in your skin that will help keep it smooth and
hydrated. The Rosemary Oil helps to clean, calm and prevent breakouts on the skin.

  • Flaxseed Gel
You Will Need:
Flax Seeds, Cheesecloth or cloth napkin ( I use a new pair of pantyhose for a strainer),
strong paper towel, essential oil of your choice for fragrance, Vitamin E (preservative)

Directions:
Take 2 TBSP of flax seeds and one cup of distilled water. Place them in a small sauce pan
and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove the pot from the heat and let the mixture cool
completely. Don't stir the mixture. Strain the mixture through a cheese cloth, papertowel, or
pantyhose to remove the flaxseeds. Cool the gel completely before adding your favorite
essential oil (lavender, rosemary, lemongrass, peppermint, etc) and Vitamin E. Enjoy!

Where to buy: Whole Foods, any health food store, any farmer's market.

A wonderful way to enjoy your flax seeds is to add them to a protein shake, add 2 TSP to your favorite natural juice or water, sprinkle over your salad.

Happy Health