Monthly Archives: September 2013

Raw Unrefined African Shea Butter

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Raw Shea Butter Mix

I’ve been wanting to get my hands on some raw unrefined African Shea butter for the longest. I’ve often wondered what the difference was between unrefined and refined Shea butter, and learned that unrefined Shea butter is superior in that it retains all its natural vitamins, especially vitamin A and vitamin E. Refined Shea butter is also good to use but the refining process may diminish the vitamin potency.

I finally ordered 10lbs worth form Amazon.com and when it came I was as giddy as a kid in a candy store! I’m constantly reading and trying to educate myself on what’s good for the hair, natural hair in particular, and one thing that I’ve found is that Shea butter has a lot of wonderful benefits for your hair and skin:

Shea butter has been used to help heal burns, sores, scars, dermatitis, psoriasis, dandruff, and stretch marks. It can also help diminish wrinkles by moisturizing the skin, promoting cell renewal, and increasing circulation. Shea butter also contains cinnamic acid, a substance that helps protect the skin from harmful UV rays.

Shea butter is a particularly effective moisturizer because it contains so many fatty acids, which are needed to retain skin moisture and elasticity. The high fatty acid content of Shea butter also makes it an excellent additive to soap, shampoos, anti-aging creams, cosmetics, lotions, and massage oils—its soft, butter-like texture melts readily into the skin.

Shea butter protects the skin from both environmental and free-radical damage. It contains vitamins A and E, and has demonstrated both antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Those are a lot of wonderful benefits!

Next I wanted to know the best way to prepare my Shea butter. I’m not big on making concoctions that require a lot of ingredients. I strongly believe that less is more, so imagine my happiness in learning that when you add too many things to Shea butter it loses it’s potency and effectiveness.

I’ve said it before that YouTube can be a blessing and a curse because there are literally millions of how to videos on everything under the sun, especially when it comes to caring for natural hair. What I searched for in particular was how to make your own hair moisturizer using raw Shea butter. The videos that used more than 3 ingredients I didn’t bother watching. In the end I decided I would use what I already had: Raw Shea butter and organic coconut oil.

The Shea butter arrived to me in a soft and smooth state so it made mixing and whipping it with my hand mixer very easy. I gently melted down some coconut oil on the stove and whipped it up with the hand mixer and then put it into some air tight containers.

My entire family use it for their hair and on their skin and everyone loves how it is softening their hair and skin. My two girls and I have very coarse hair. My 9 year old and I also have very thick hair. What I’ve learned over the years is that heavier oils work better on our hair than light oils. This is why I stuck to using Blue Magic hair grease for so many years on our hair because it worked for us. Now I’ve found something better than Blue Magic to use on our hair – Shea butter. Unlike Blue Magic hair grease you can use Shea butter not only on your hair but also on your skin, and with beautiful results. What a wonderful all natural product to have and keep in your home that your entire family can use!

Patience is a Virtue

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I’m now 5 months into my natural hair journey and if there’s one thing this process has taught me, it’s patience. I was so eager for my hair to grow, and in the beginning it seemed like it was growing at a snails pace. Now it seems to have hit it’s stride and my hair is growing at a rapid speed!  What all of this has made me realize and appreciate is how my scalp needed time to heal – inside and out. I can only imagine the damage I’ve done to my scalp over the past 25+ years of having chemically relaxed hair.  I marvel at how amazing the human body is with its natural ability to heal itself over time. I know my scalp is nowhere near healed. As a matter of fact, I’ve read that it can take up to a year or more for your scalp and hair follicles to heal. More patience is definitely needed.

There are still a few products I’d like to try (like the Aloe Vera gel), that I haven’t gotten around to trying yet. I have a small to do list, and over time I hope to cross those things off. In the mean time I am getting my braids in October and I couldn’t be more excited! I’m getting the beautiful Senegalese twists. This is a style that is typically worn very long, like past the middle of your back but I don’t want mine that long. As always I’ll post pictures. 😉

As I look at the pictures of my hair growth progress from May 2013 until now I have to be honest: I LOVE my big chop picture! I LOVE the short hair! I’ve always loved short hair, and that was the shortest I have ever gone and I loved every minute of it! My husband, on the other hand…he didn’t like it. He got used to it, but he didn’t like it that short. Speaking of hubby, he said I look SEXY with my fro!! Awww sookie-sookie now! HAHAHAAHHA! He’s a sweetie pie. I know this was a lot for him to take in and accept, and over time he did. Now he loves my lop-sided afro as much as I do, lol! Patience was involved once again.

I’ve embraced and will continue to embrace every part of my journey. The highs and lows, ups and downs. I know in my bones I made the best decision and the right decision, and it feels good. I also know that as I continue along and experiment with different styles, not all of them will turn out the way I want them to. I’m not going to have good hair days every day. Patience will always be the number one virtue in this journey.