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DIY Coconut Conditioner for Natural Hair

When I first went natural I was strictly a DIY girl. I experimented with all sorts of butters, oils, powders, etc. I haven’t done a DIY hair mix in a long time but I plan on slowly incorporating more in my natural hair routine.

Coconut is something I always used in my beauty routine. I wrote an article all about the benefits of coconut oil. This recipe is strictly coconut from the meat, oil, and milk. Coconuts have so many amazing benefits here are just a few:

Coconut Manna/ Butter– moisturizes and prevents hair fall. Strengthens hair follicles and repairs damage  and prevents further damage made by chemicals, heat, and other harsh treatments.

Coconut Oil– penetrates the hair shaft bringing in additional moisture and shine

Coconut Milk– nourishes hair providing natural moisture from root to tip. Stimulates hair for healthy strong growth.

 

DIY Coconut Conditioner Recipe

1/2 cup Coconut Manna

2 tablespoon Coconut Oil

1/2 cup Coconut Milk

I didn’t accurately take measurements. Usually I just eye ball it and depending on the length of your hair is how much you need for successful application. You can use this as a hot oil treatment, pre-poo, or deep conditioner. Watch the video below to see how I made my mixture and applied it to my hair.

 

 

Infinity Jars Review

I love DIY beauty and cosmetic formulations using herbs, oils, and butters. I haven’t made my own products in a while but I’ve been itching to get back into it. There was a time when I made my own deep conditioners and body oils. So when Infinity Jars sent these to me for review I thought this would be the perfect time to start again.

Infinity Jars is an ultra violet glass which blocks out visible light and keeps contents fresh with an air tight seal. Plus they are gorgeous! They just motivate the kitchen chemist in me to start concocting beauty treatments. You can also use these to store herbs, spices, and other kitchen items as well.

I decided to get the 100 ml jar for DIY deep conditioners and face masks, 50 ml spray bottle which is great for hair or facial mists, 100 ml pump bottle for gels and oil mixes. I’m so excited to start making us of these jars. Stay tuned for some DIY beauty mixes coming in the next few weeks.

Camille Rose Naturals Not so Natural?

In case you haven’t heard Camille Rose Naturals recently had a class action lawsuit filed against them. The premise of this suit  filed in November 2016, claims that the natural hair care brand has deceptively marketed their products as natural.  I have been a fan of this brand for a few years and in fact have used their products and talked about them on the blog.

 

The products of concern were Sweet Ginger Cleansing Rinse, Moroccan Pear Conditioning Custard, Algae Renew Deep Conditioner Mask, and Coconut Water Penetrating Hair Treatment.  The complainant states that Camille Rose Naturals rinses, conditioners, and hair treatments contain several synthetic ingredients. Of the ingredients in question is stearic acid which is classified as synthetic by federal regulations. According to the (EWG) Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database the overall hazard of this ingredient is low but derived of animal origin. Stearic acid is often used in cosmetics as a cleaning agent or mild surfactant. The other ingredients named in the lawsuit are sorbic acid, a synthetic preservative, tocopherol acetate, a synthetic substance used in pesticide formulations. It is important to mention that all of these ingredients were ranked low concern of toxicity by EWG.

 

I tried doing a specific search for the Camille Rose Naturals brand in the EWG Skin Deep database but nothing has been added yet. I recently discussed how the cosmetics industry should provide non-toxic products for women of color. Even though the natural hair care industry has grown tremendously this does not mean that all of the products that are labeled “natural” actually are in fact non-toxic and or organic. I discussed this on the blog as well.  As consumers you have to be diligent and do your own research. You cannot rely on the FDA or brands to educate you, as the beauty product industry is still unregulated. This means that anyone can use the word natural to market a product. This lawsuit is an example of how something can be labeled as natural and not actually contain all “natural” ingredients. Secondly the term “natural” has never actually been defined. Maybe this will urge the FDA to start actually regulating the use of these terms.

The sad thing about these lawsuits is that they are potentially damaging to small and growing businesses like Camille Rose Naturals. This is not the only beauty brand that uses the term natural in their labeling and marketing. For this lawsuit to gain merit than the majority of the natural hair care industry should be in serious trouble as well. Many natural hair care brands use the term “natural” to refer to women wearing their hair in it’s natural state not referring to the ingredients in the products itself.

Granted these ingredients mentioned in the lawsuit are not 100% plant-based but the potential of causing serious harm or concern to a persons health is low. This is why I continue to use these products and discuss them on my platform. Although none of the Camille Rose products mentioned in the lawsuit are what I personally use. If you have concerns with these ingredients I suggest you do conduct your own research and make the best decision for your health concerns.

 

Weigh in on your thoughts. Do you feel this lawsuit has any merit? Have you used Camille Rose Naturals products before? If so is this a concern for you?

Lack of Healthy Beauty options for Black Women

Recently the Environmental Working Group did a study on the market for black cosmetics. According to the studies less than 25% of products marketed to black women score low in potentially dangerous hazardous ingredients. This means that the majority of products currently on the market targeted at black women contain ingredients that can potentially cause serious harm to our health. They also updated their Skin Deep database to include over 1,000 products marketed to black women. This is awesome news because now you can check the hazardous levels of the products you probably use regularly.

I’ve been pushing the green lifestyle for a while now and it amazes me just how much women of color are still not aware. Even in my everyday life I meet women who have no idea that their personal care products are not safe. The looks on faces is one of shock and astonishment when I proceed to tell them that they cannot trust crafty marketing or even the government for that matter when it comes to beauty product shopping. Just a few days ago I was having a conversation with a black woman from my church about Secret deodorant. I stopped using traditional deodorant and actually go without most days. I wrote an article on the blog discussing the dangers of using traditional deodorant and natural alternatives. To sum it up I explained to this woman that she should stop using Secret deodorant because of the aluminum and other carcinogens that are linked to breast cancer and other diseases. Thankfully her response was one of gratitude as if I saved her life. In actuality I pretty much did in the long run.

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Even though I’m still able to educate people I come in contact with in person and online via this blog; what that conversation and EWG’s report tells me is that there is still more work to be done. Research has mostly focused on chemical hair straighteners for black women and girls. As a woman sporting her natural hair, I think it’s awesome how the natural hair movement has exploded. However it’s bigger than just our hair. While it’s great that we are embracing our curls and staying away from parabens and sulfates in our hair products, what about our lipsticks, lotions, etc.?? And truth be told not even all the natural hair products are actually “natural”. You still have to read your labels and be cautious when purchasing those items as well. It’s sad that it feels like you need a degree in chemistry in order to buy beauty products but unfortunately until better regulation is in place this is what we have to do. We have to continue to educate ourselves about the ingredients in everything that we use.

ewg_bwc_straightners_c02

image from ewg.org

As I look around at the various blogs, events, and social media platforms I don’t really see a wealth of information about being conscious when it comes to every other beauty product that is used in the black community aside from our hair. This gives off the message that all we are focused on is our hair. So as long as our hair is slayed then we’re good. Sorry (not sorry) ladies but this is not enough! With black women being the highest on the list of fibroids, infertility, and other health concerns we should be much more prevalent about the practices of our whole body not just hair.

source: ewg.org

source: ewg.org

“This report makes clear the lack of safer alternatives for black women. Demand for these products is increasing and the cosmetics industry needs to provide healthy beauty options for black women” –Women’s Voices for the Earth. This is one of the many reasons why I created my holiday gift guide featuring black owned green beauty brands. While there aren’t as many as others there are still options.

You may be reading this article and thinking; well what can I do about it. Continue to support green beauty bloggers like myself and other organizations such as Women’s Voices for the Earth and Black Women for Wellness. Stay up to date on what hazardous ingredients are by checking websites and databases like Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep and the ThinkDirty app. Think twice before just picking up an item at your local retailer and placing it in your shopping cart. Take the time to read the label, read the ingredients in the product. If you’re not sure what an ingredient is look it up through one of the databases I mentioned. If you see that a product has harmful ingredients start looking for safer alternatives. Start supporting organic natural beauty brands like the ones I mentioned in my holiday gift guide.

Major companies only see and understand money. People always tell me that buying organic or going green is expensive. I admit that yes at times it can be a bit pricier than traditional items. However I believe in the buying power we have. The beauty industry is a trillion dollar business with black women accounting for the majority of that. If more people made conscious decisions when it comes to buying beauty products a lot can change. If you can get companies to stop using sulfates I believe we can push them to create all beauty products without toxic ingredients. Trust me they will take notice of people opting not to buy toxic beauty products when they start losing money.

 

Have you read EWG report? What are your thoughts?

Resource: ewg.org Big Market for Black Cosmetics but less Hazardous Choices Limited 

Black Owned Non-Toxic Beauty Brands | 2016 Holiday Gift Guide

This platform is all about uplifting and spreading the word on healthy non-toxic living. In keeping up with the spirit of upliftment and encouragement I wanted to highlight some awesome women of color who have created amazing non-toxic beauty brands. Here is a list of black-owned green beauty and non-toxic brands to support this holiday season!

 

Skin & Body Care

All-Natural & Organic Vegan based skin care line Jacqs Organics

Natural & Organic, Spa Quality Skincare Apple Rose Beauty 

Caribbean Inspired Organic Handcrafted Skincare  Calypso Glow 

All natural aromatherapy skin and hair care line Natural Annie Essentials 

Pure, natural, luxurious skin care LaBelle Femme Products

Artisan natural skin care beauty products Zandra Beauty

Natural handmade skin care with beneficial ingredients Oh Honey Skin Care

All natural, multi purpose vegan beauty product Base Butter 

Natural fun bath & body products Pooka Pure and Simple 

High quality natural skin care products from natural ingredients Okoko Cosmetiques 

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