Issue 12  •  Spring 2013

Conditional Love: Hair Care for Every Kind of Kink

Written by Nakia Jackson

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Although It may no longer be winter,  it may still feel like winter for your hair. Dry air indoors and out can rob your hair of moisture and leave it looking dull. But you needn't wat until spring is in full force for your hair to look its best. Conditioners can make your hair softer, shinier, stronger, and prevent tangling. But not all conditioners are created equal. Some creamy concoctions are better for dry or damaged hair, while lighter rinses are best suited for fine or oily hair. Also, keep the following in mind:
Although It may no longer be winter,  it may still feel like winter for your hair. Dry air indoors and out can rob your hair of moisture and leave it looking dull. But you needn't wat until spring is in full force for your hair to look its best. Conditioners can make your hair softer, shinier, stronger, and prevent tangling. But not all conditioners are created equal. Some creamy concoctions are better for dry or damaged hair, while lighter rinses are best suited for fine or oily hair. Also, keep the following in mind:

•Conditioners won't make your hair grow, but they can prevent hair breakage, resulting in longer locks.

•If you have very long or thick hair, you may want to double the recipes below.

•With treatments that don't get rinsed out immediately, you can boost their effectiveness by putting a plastic cap or even a plastic shopping bag over your hair and wrapping your head with a towel. The heat from your head will help the conditioner do its magic. Plastic shopping bags are especially good for very long or thick hair that won't fit into your standard shower cap.

•The ends of your hair are the oldest and the most damaged part of your hair. Apply conditioners from the ends to the roots, and unless you also have a dry scalp, you can stop at the roots.

If your hair is very dry or damaged, conditioners that contain oils and proteins will strengthen your hair and help it retain moisture. These enriching goodies can be found in eggs and avocados, among other things. The following recipes include ingredients that keep hair from tangling, andmooth hair to create an all-natural shine. Adding a few drops of an essential oil to these recipes makes them smell wonderful, but it's optional. If you do choose the essential oil route, I suggest rosemary or sage for darker hair, and lemon for blondes.

MONSTER MASH

Conditioner
What You Will Need:
• ½ an avocado
• ½ cup yogurt
Mash the avocado and stir in the yogurt, or just dump both into the blender and blend until smooth. Work the treatment into your hair from ends to roots, and you can gently comb or finger comb your hair to make sure it's evenly distributed. Leave in for 20 minutes,  then rinse with cool water.

SWEET TOOTH

Conditioner
What You Will Need:
• 2 egg yolks
• 1 tablespoon honey
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Beat the egg yolks until smooth, then add the honey followed by olive oil and apple cider vinegar. This is best done by hand.  Leave in for 15 to 20 minutes, rinse thoroughly with warm water, then cool.

SOME LIKE IT HOT

Hot Oil Treatment
Hot oil treatments are great for hair that's slightly to very dry. They are simple and feel wonderful. These recipes also smell great too! For fine hair that's dry, they can be used before a gentle shampoo.
What You Will Need:
• ¼ cup castor oil
• 1 sprig fresh rosemary
Rub the rosemary between your palms to release the oils, add to the castor oil, and warm in the microwave over low heat for 30 to 45 seconds. Remove the rosemary, apply oil to hair, and leave for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse with cool water.

MINT CONDITION

Hot Oil Treatment
What You Will Need:
• ¼ cup olive oil
• 1 bag of peppermint tea
Warm the olive oil in the microwave on low heat for 45 seconds. Toss in the tea bag and steep for 10 minutes. Apply oil to hair and leave on for 10 to15 minutes. Rinse with cool water.

SMOOTH OVER

Smoothing Potion
If your hair doesn't need intense measures but is looking a little on the dry or dull side, it may need just a little more moisture or a touch of oil. Smoothing the hair will lend a glow to any head, so these recipes include ingredients for shine as well.
What You Will Need:
• ¼ cup honey
• 1 sprig fresh rosemary (optional)
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
If using the rosemary, rub between your palms to release the oils. Warm the honey with the rosemary in the microwave over low power for 90 seconds or over a double boiler for 10 minutes until just warm to the touch. Mix in the olive oil and apple cider vinegar and remove the rosemary before using. Leave on for 10 to 15 minutes, and then rinse with warm water followed by cool.

DAMAGED GOODS

Damage Rebuilder
• 1 egg yolk
• 1 teaspoon dried thyme
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 1/2 cup boiling water
This is a “hair tea” of sorts. Steep the dried thyme in the boiling water for 10 minutes, then strain, add the lemon juice, and let cool. A tea infuser or ball will make this a snap. Beat in the egg yolk once it's cooled—you don't want to cook the egg. Leave on for 10 to 15 minutes, and then rinse with cool water. This also works with hair that is fine or oily but also damaged.

SUGAR SWEET SHINE ON

Tangle Free Shine Booster
Fine or oily hair needs conditioning too, just of a lighter weight and involving few oils and creamy mixtures. If your hair is fine or oily and damaged, using the recipes for damaged hair before a gentle shampoo should help, but to boost shine and prevent tangles, try these:
What You Will Need:
• 1 bag peppermint tea
• 1 cup boiling water
• 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Another “hair tea.” Steep the tea for ten minutes in boiling water, add the apple cider vinegar, and allow to cool. A plastic spray bottle will make even distribution easy. Spray onto the hair, comb through, and rinse with cool water.

LET’S MAKE LEMONADE
Tangle Free Shine Booster
What You Will Need:
• 1 teaspoon dried thyme
• juice of ½ of a lemon
• 2 cups water
Steep the dried thyme in the boiling water for 10 minutes, then strain and let cool. Add the lemon juice and spray onto hair, comb through, and rinse with cool water.

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