Archive for the ‘Products’ Category

Coconut Oil Leaves My Hair Feeling Dry

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

I know coconut oil. I’ve cooked with it for years and I love to eat the nut and drink its milk. So just to see what coconut oil would do for my hair, since a lot of naturals I know swore by it, I purchased a huge organic container at Costco’s and was set to use it strictly on my hair in hopes to eliminate dryness and bring about a natural healthy shine.


I used it as a pre-poo. I applied it to my shampoo. I added it to my conditioner. And I put it on my hair and ends. As a result, coconut oil left my hair feeling just as dry, brittle and hard as it was before. What did I do wrong?

I used coconut oil.

It took me a while to figure this out but after some research I discovered that I am protein sensitive. This means my hair produces enough protein on its own, so if I add something to it that imitates protein, it will cause my tresses to become dry. Who knew? I didn’t.

Coconut oil has a limited amount of protein in it but acts like a protein when it is on the hair and bonds to the hair like a protein. Therefore, if your hair becomes a broom-like brittle mess after applying coconut oil, then you are protein sensitive too.

Olive oil penetrates my hair best so I am going to stick with that.

And, how did I use the huge container of coconut oil I purchased with confidence for my hair? On my skin as a moisturizer (during the warm months) and as a make-up remover.

Can H2O Damage Natural Hair?

Monday, February 4th, 2013

I think I may have figured out why my hair has been so dry for the past year and a half. I have always said the air in New Mexico is really dry, but I neglected to mention how hard the water is, and most of all, how a lot of folks here have experienced everything from itchy skin to poor hair growth because of it.

I only recently figured out the water thing after the harsh New Mexican H2O caused my brand new humidifier to clog and die. Before I realized the correlation to the harsh air and hard water I had to find a way to relieve my dry skin. Not to mention, help the hubs’ get relief from his itchy skin problems, my nasal congestion and frequent nose bleeds I experienced after blowing. I thought a humidifier would be the answer for those elements so I went out and purchased a Crane’s Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier for our bedroom.

After the humidifier just stopped working I took it back to the local drug store to get another one in exchange. I thought it broke because our puppy Bolo knocked it over being a busy-body but I wasn’t going to say that to the sales clerk. Instead I said, “After two months it just stopped working.” The clerk said, “You are not the only person to bring this humidifier back after two months of use. Apparently the water in New Mexico is so harsh it is damaging this device. So we are currently doing an experiment and are giving customers filters to use to test how long the humidifier will last.”

Then I had an ah-ha moment. If the water here is doing that kind of harm to a machine, imagine what it is doing to my tresses. Now I clearly understand why my hair broke off and stopped growing. It’s obviously the water and my hair is not used to it!

So now what?

Natural hair loves water but my water seems to be poisonous. So how am I going to provide moisture to my hair? How am I going to wash it?!

Okay, a shower filter is defiantly needed and I am going to stick to washing my hair every two weeks. I might extend it to three weeks. That thought caused the hubs to raise an eyebrow. He just doesn’t understand.

For styling, as an alternative to applying tap water for moisture, I now use Shea Moisture’s Coconut & Hibiscus Hold & Shine Moisture Mist. The first and main ingredient is deionized water. Then I saturate my hair with Kinky-Curly’s Knot Today Leave-In Natural Leave-In/Detangler, my homemade rosemary oil, Shea Moisture’s Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie with Coconut Oil, Silk Protein & Neem Oil and my homemade hair cream.

To help my skin stay moist in the land of enchantment I now religiously apply Shea Moisture’s Olive & Green Tea Bath, Body & Massage Oil with Avocado. Its anti-aging and ultra-moisturizing properties are amazing. Added to the oil, I spread on liberal amounts of my homemade body butter (I have a new recipe that I will post later) which also seems to work well for the hubs itchy skin.

Now one may think I am a spokesperson for Shea Moisture after reading my accolades about their products but I’m not. I just happen to like their stuff because it works. Like me, I hope it will help you, too.

Using Butter For Your Hair

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

It took me about two days to take out my braids. But first, it took two days to get myself in the mood to want to take them out. It was a lot of work but worth it overall. For eight weeks I really didn’t have to do too much to my hair. That was cool!

Once my braids were out my hair was super dry. It was disgusting. I needed a deep conditioner badly and didn’t feel like going to the store, walking up and down the aisles, looking at various products, reading labels that I can barely see because I need glasses but don’t want to get them, to find out which conditioner would be suitable for me. I just went to the kitchen, opened my refrigerator and grabbed two sticks of my husband’s butter that I purchased at Costco. I knew the butter would soften my hair and provide the moisture I desperately needed.

Terribly dry hair.

Regular butter that you may find at Costco.

I used two sticks.

Now it’s ready to be applied to my hair.

Immediately after applying the butter, my hair felt softer and moist. I loved it.

I wore a plastic cap for about an hour and washed it out. Afterwards my hair was softer. I think I might apply this conditioning method to my hair about once a month. I am in the process of creating a new haircare regime so I’ll see how it works.

Outdoor Activities

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

I spent an entire day kayaking down the calm currents of the Rio Grande River.

There was no humidity, there never is in the Southwest, but as usual it was very sunny. I knew I was going to be in direct sun light for at least three hours so I had to protect my hair from the sun’s harsh rays.

I followed the same routine I had while on vacation in Hawaii. I sprayed Jane Carter Solution’s Revitalizing Leave-In Conditioner: For De-Tangling and Protecting Hair from Heat Styling and the Sun on my braids then sealed it in with my homemade batch of African Shea Butter and Castor Oil mix.

I also added additional protection by tying one of my favorite ethnic scarfs around my hairline.

My braids have been in for 7 weeks and I said I was going to leave them in for 8 so I guess I’ll start taking them out soon. My hair needs a serious deep conditioning.

Shea Radiance

Monday, March 5th, 2012

Now that I live in New Mexico, I worry about having dry hair more than ever before. Therefore, I am always trying to find ways to keep my hair moist and soft.

Shea Radiance sent me a few samples and I was excited about experimenting with this line because the brand promotes moisture and softness. I am also attracted to Shea Radiance because all of their products are vegan and 10% of the profits go to Agricultural Initiative for Women in Africa (AGRIWA).

From experience I have discovered that my hair doesn’t always like vegan products. So with items designed for kinky, curly & wavy hair, and not expecting too much, I tried the Revitalizing Hair Oil, Moisturizing Hair Milk and Moisture Rich Hair Butter.

After washing and conditioning my hair – below is what I used.

Revitalizing Hair Oil with Shea & Marula Oils – The Revitalizing Hair Oil makes your hair feel wonderful with a blend of shea, marula, hemp and castor seed oils.

Ingredients - Sunflower oil, shea olein, baobab oil, hemp seed oil, castor seed oil, marula oil and Vitamin E oil.

My Experience – I heated the oil in an cast iron skillet. I think the oil soaked up some of the iron from the pan :) . After applying the oil to my hair, I wore a heating cap for 30 minutes. While the Revitalizing Hair Oil was in my hair it did felt soft and moist, when I rinsed it out, the moisture was still there but the softness really wasn’t.

Moisturizing Hair Milk with Shea Butter - Provides easy-to-comb hair, responsive curls and love-to-touch conditioned hair. The Moisturizing Hair Milk is almost weightless yet eliminates frizz and leaves hair soft and smooth. 

Ingredients- De-ionized Water, Aloe Vera Juice, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine Lactate, Polyquaternium-7, Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Phenethyl Alcohol and Ethylhexylglycerin, C14-22 Alkylalcohol (Vegetable Based Emulsifier), C12-20 Alkylglucoside (Vegetable Based Emulsifier), Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate (Vegetable-based Conditioning Agents), Hydroxypropyl Starch (Vegetable-based Conditioning Agents), Vegetable Glycerin, Butryospermum Parkii (Unrefined Shea Butter), Persea Gratissima (Avocado Seed) oil, Ricinus Communis (Castor Seed) oil, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp Seed) oil, Chamomile, Nettle and Horsetail Extracts, Citric Acid.

My Experience – I was able to detangle my hair with no problem, it felt moist, but not so soft, a little brittle. It was weird.

Moisture Rich Hair Butter with all Natural Shea Butter- Gives dry or damaged hair a luscious, nutrient-rich treatment. The Moisture Rich Hair Butter combines high concentrations of pure unrefined shea butter with a host of healing and essential oils. Decreases signs of damage and great for twists and locs.

Ingredients- Butryospermum Parkii (Unrefined Shea Butter), Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed butter, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) oil, Sweet Almond oil, Ricinus communis (Castor Seed) oil, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp Seed) oil, Gratissima (Avocado Seed) oil, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Behentrimonium Methosulfate and Cetearyl Alcohol (Vegetable-based Emulsifier), Glycerin, Panthenol, Calendula, Chamomile, Nettle and Horsetail Extracts Vitamin E, Pure Essential Oils.

My Experience – This product smells great. It reminded my Sicilian fiancé of an Italian pastry shop. It’s creamy, rich and thick. I used the Hair Butter to set my two-strand twists that I left in over night. The next morning my curls were extremelydefined and they lasted for five days. On the second and fourth days I re-applied the Moisturizing Hair Milk and Moisture Rich Hair Butter. I did not reset my twists at all. 

Overall, the products I used provided moisture, however my hair did not feel as soft as I would have liked. Perhaps the alcohol in the merchandise caused my tresses to feel brittle. Any ingredient ending in “ol” possesses alcohol.

On a scale of 1 to 5 curls I give Shea Radiance a minus 4. The minus is for the alcohol.

Dr. Hauschka Cosmetics

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

One day, to enhance my personal makeup collection, I went to Whole Foods to purchase a few items from my favorite vegan line. As I swatched my selected brand on the back of my hand I noticed a sales representative from Dr. Hauschka Cosmetics. I am familiar with the brand but always felt that the company did not make products suitable for my brown skin. So, because of that, it had been years since I paid any attention to the line. But given that I was standing right next to a rep I had to share my experience. The conversation went something like this…

PTN: So, you are a sales rep for Dr. Hauschka?

DH:      Yes I am.

PTN: You  know your company doesn’t produce makeup I can wear.

DH:      We do have colors you can wear.

PTN: I don’t think so. Especially in a foundation.

DH:      My colleague is African American and she wears this brand.

PTN: What’s her complexion?

DH:      Like yours’. Actually she’s from Haiti. As a foundation or tinted moisturizer you can use our Translucent Make-up 04. That’s their darkest color.

PTN: Let me try some on my hand. It didn’t look right. This doesn’t match.

DH:       That’s your hand. Your color is different on your face.

PTN: Mmmm. I don’t know. Maybe I need to come in wearing no makeup and give it a try.

DH:       I can give you some of our makeup to try. See if you like it. I’ll put together a nice package for you and we can meet back here so I can give it to you.

PTN: Really?! Sure I would love that. I’m no fool. I am not going to pass up free organic makeup no matter what. Okay let’s meet soon.

About Dr. Hauschka Cosmetics

Based in Germany - Dr. Hauschka manufactures a complete line of natural organic makeup that is BDIH certified. The products are frequent award winners and have received Best Natural Make-Up Range at the Natural Beauty Awards in 2006 and Elle’s Green Star for Best Mascara in 2008. In addition, Bio-Fach alone (the world’s largest natural products trade show, whose awards are considered the most prestigious in the natural industry) has spotlighted Dr. Hauschka’s cosmetics on more than one occasion.

Below are the gifted products and their results on me.

  • Volume Mascara in Perl Anthracite This color looks black. However, there is a color Black mascara available.

  • Make-up Palette in Cool Breeze - Eyeshadows: Apricot, Brown, Aqua. Kajal Eyeliner: Aqua. Lip Colors:Rosé and Red. I was gifted this palette because of the blue shadow and eyeliner. I was looking for blues in another brand so Kimberlee, the sales rep (, wanted me to try their blues and I love them.
  • Rouge Powder 02
  • Kajal Eyeliner 02 in Elegante

  • Stone Colours Collection Lip Colour in Brown 04.

No make-up

I have a bit of a red eye.

In the photos I am wearing:

  • Translucent Make-Up 04
  • Eye shadows in Smoky Violet, Brown and Apricot.
  • Eyeliner: Aqua and the shadow under the waterline is also Aqua
  • Checks are contoured with the Cool Breeze powder duo. Blush: Rouge Powder 02
  • Lips: Brown 04
  • Volume Mascara in Pearl Anthracite

On me, the makeup is not very pigmented, and therefore offers a more natural look. If you are around my complexion, and like the look of a hint of makeup, then this brand can be for you.

What do you think?

Quick Run

Monday, November 7th, 2011

I made a quick hair care product run to pick up just a few items. I actually needed to buy these things. I ran out. That hasn’t happend in a long time. Matter of fact, I can’t remember when.

Homemade Lavender Oil

Monday, August 8th, 2011

I like that New Mexico has a lot of local farms and farmer’s markets that sell a variety of organic produce and other foods within an hour or less from where I live.

One morning while driving on Rio Grande at 25 miles an hour (this is the speed limit on this strip and they are very serious about not going any faster than that for at least a mile or so) I discovered a farm that grows and sells all things Lavender.

Since Lavender is one of my favorite essential oils, (I use it in all of my home made stuff) I became excited when I saw the farm and decided to stop and take a look around.

With all of the fresh organic Lavender for sale (I missed the harvest in June) I purchased a bunch for $10 to make my own oil along with the strongest organic Lavender essential oil I’ve ever experienced. That was the best $15 I spent to date.

Below are photos of the farm and how I made my verison of Lavender oil. This was my first attempt at doing this. It’s a very simple recipe. Check it out.

Los Poblanos Farm House.

Lavender fields

My bunch of Lavender

A goat grazing.

Lavender after I pulled all of the flowers off of each stem.

I placed the flowers in a glass bottle.

I saturated the Lavender flowers with organic Safflower oil.

I added seven drops of organic Lavender essential oil to the bottle

And I was done.

I poured enough Safflower oil into the bottle of Lavender to cover the flowers only.

I plan to let the mixture sit in a dark cool place for two weeks before I strain it and use the Lavender oil on my hair and skin. 

I will post an update about the oil in about two weeks or so.