Product Review: Tropical Traditions Organic Coconut Hair Oil

For the past month I have been experimenting with Tropical Traditions Organic Hair Oil.  I love coconut oil for cooking and in body products but I am not the biggest fan in using it on my hair.  This was going to be a real challenge.

Tropical Traditions

Organic Hair Oils

8 oz for $18.99 unscented / $19.50 lavender or rosemary

I was given the opportunity to review these products and honestly I am not quite sure why I accepted.  My hair is medium porosity and I find coconut oil alone to be a bit too heavy for my hair.  I have used it in pre-poos and DIY oil blends but it honestly is not one of my favorite oils.  I fully intended on experimenting mostly on my son, JK, who’s hair is high porosity and is very dry in the morning despite my best moisturizing efforts I find acceptable for the regimen of a 6-year-old boy.

When I first received the product it was already chilly here in KY so I fully expected to have to heat up the oil in order to liquefy it (coconut oil solidifies at around 70 degrees).  However I was surprised to discover it was perfectly liquid due to its specific blend of ingredients the oil is able to stay liquid even at temps as low as 40 degrees (I put it outside on the balcony on a cold night just to see).

ing: organic jojoba, organic gold label standard virgin coconut oil, organic macadamia nut oil, organic rosehip oil, organica shea butter, organic lavender essential oil, and organic carrot seed oil.

I won’t get into the the deets about coconut oil as the folks a TT did a great job of that on their website FAQ.  I will cover the 3 different ways they described to use the hair oil.

1.  Leave-in conditioner.  As I stated before my son JK has high porosity dry hair.  Every night as part of bath time we wet his hair and after getting out of the bath I massaged about a dime-sized amount throughout his hair.  The oil worked as a moisture sealant to keep the moisture in the hair.  The oil absorbed well into his hair without leaving oil spots on the pillowcase when applied 30 minutes before bedtime and in the morning his hair was not as dry or matted.  Compared to using other products raw shea butter left his bedding greasy and lighter oils like safflower left his hair too dry.  Using this oil at night is now a permanent part of his regimen.

2.  Hot-oil treatment.  I normally pre-poo my hair with an oil/humectant/conditioner mixture but I decided to use this hair oil alone to see how it performed.  I warmed the hair oil by placing the bottle in cup of hot water then applied generous amount to dry, tangled hair twisting into sections.  I covered my hair with a plastic cap and allowed to sit for about 20-30 minutes before washing, conditioning, detangling and styling.  The hot-oil pre-poo did help with detangling and softening the hair but not as well as my regular pre-poo mix.

3.Shine Serum.  I tried the product on a braid-out by smoothing over the braids as I unraveled them.  While it did give some sheen it was not a shiny as traditional silicone-based shine serum.  I used also on JK’s fro and had a similar result.  The product did add a bit of sheen and was not greasy but I would not market it as a shine serum.

I was really impressed by this oil blend.  I think the jojoba oil base has a lot to do with my reason for liking it as I use it in my hair and body regimen.  I will say that the mix of jojoba and coconut oil did make a difference in JK’s dry hair and allowed it to stay soft without being greasy.  While it’s on the pricey side, the product is an excellent blend of high quality oils which would be pricey to purchase individually.  I will definitely continue using this as part of JK’s nightly regimen but would not repurchase solely to use for my six-year-old unless it was on sale.  After using the oil for a month we have only used about 1/4 of the bottle which means we have at least 3 more months worth of regular uses.  That calculates out to about $5 per month which I find to be acceptable.  The product also works as a nice body oil after the bath or shower or as a face pack for DIY facial treatment so the multi-uses adds to the appeal.  All in all if you are looking for quality, organic oil blend I would recommend this product.

To purchase your own bottle check out this link http://tinyurl.com/bujz9qf

Disclaimer: TropicalTraditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

Product Review Darcy’s Botanicals Organic Coconut & Hibiscus Oil

Darcy’s Botanicals

Organic Coconut & Hibiscus Conditioning Oil

4 oz bottle

Available locally @ Go Natural Hair & Body Boutique $12

I was in the mood to add a little shine to my ‘do but I wanted something natural that did not use silicone or mineral oil as a shine agent. I went by my local natural hair store to see what I could find and this product caught my eye.  It is no secret that I am a lover of Darcy’s Botanicals products, but I have never tried the conditioning oil.  I love the natural ingredients and found it to be a winner and wanted to share it with you.

ing: Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Fractionated Coconut Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, and Japanese Camellia Japonica Oil infused with Organic Hibiscus Flowers.

The product even contains hibiscus flower petals in the jar which not only made it look pretty but added to the authenticity IMO.  It has a light floral smell that is very subtle and would not interfere with perfumes or lotions to become odoriferous.

5 Things I Loved About This Product

  • The oil is very light.  I was a little hesitant because it is coconut oil based that it would be too heavy but that was not the case.
  • It has a great nozzle/trigger mechanism that creates a nice mist to evenly distribute the product over the hair and scalp.
  • I think this product would be good for daily sealing without excessive build-up.
  • Adds great sheen and shine to the hair without leaving it greasy.
  • Contains hibiscus which is said to promote hair growth and also help control dandruff.

Although I am not a person who really goes for shine, I would most definitely purchase this product.  The quality of ingredients, effective nozzle and multi-use make it an easy pick. Use to add shine to the hair, as a scalp oil, to seal in moisture or get rid of the gel crunch.  This oil would also be great to use on the skin after bath/shower.

Enter our Darcy’s Botanicals Pumpkin Seed Conditioner Giveaway by clicking this link.

Avo-Coco Hair Smoothie

DIY Deep Conditioner you can whip up yourself in your own kitchen.
1 ripe avocado
1 ripe banana
6 oz  coconut milk
2 Tbsp oil, try coconut or olive oil
1Tbsp honey

Mash avocado and banana in a bowl.  Stir or whisk in coconut milk, oil and honey.  Apply to hair, cover with plastic cap and allow to sit for 15-20 minutes.  Rinse and proceed with styling.  For a recipe with more protein check out this post.

This is a super delicious smoothie that is good enough to eat!

Summer Hair Care Tips

these are my adorable nieces on the California coast

Summer is here and for most of you that means a change in regimen.  We will discuss a few tips, products and styles to help deal with the summer heat, humidity and fun.

Mastering the Wash-n-Go

The WnG is a go-to style for many naturals in the summer time.  It is meant to be a quick easy style with low manipulation that gets you on your way.  Start by cleansing, co-washing or wetting your hair in the shower.  Add your favorite leave-in or moisturizer for additional softness.  Layer on a gel or custard to help provide additional curl definition.  Finish up with an oil or butter to help seal it all in, decrease any crunch from the gel and add shine.

  • Moisturizer/Leave-In: Oyin Hair Dew, Komaza Care Shea Butter Hair Lotion, Karen’s Body Beautiful Sweet Ambrosia, Shea Moisture Hair Milk and Alaffia Shea & Coconut Hair Lotion.
  • Gel/Custard: Koils by Nature Herbal Gel, Eco Styler Gel, Kinky Curly Curling Custard, Darcy’s Botanicals Curling Jelly, Aloe Vera Gel and Komaza Care Califa Styling Pudding, Kiss My Face Upper Management Gel.
  • Sealant: Castor oil, shea butter, coconut oil, Oyin Burnt Sugar Pomade, Koils by Nature Nourishing Hair & Body Butter, Pura Body Naturals Cupuacu Butter and Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Hold & Shine Moisture Mist.

Protective Styles

When its hot outside sometimes the last thing you want is to be bothered with your hair.  There are a lot of great protective styles that are perfect for summer.

Braids: Whether you chose to braid up your own hair into small pixies braids (as seen in this picture)  or go for extensions this is a style that last for a while and is easy to maintain.  Be sure to cleanse your scalp regularly and keep it moisturized.

Twists: Kinky twists are a very popular choice for summer.  They are quicker to install then braids and are fairly light.  Mini-twists done with your own natural hair are another great way to go. It may take a while to get them in but the style can last for weeks.

Cornrow/Flat-twist: These styles are great options for those who would just like to have hair tucked away and not have to worry about a thing!  With or without extensions this style can be very feminine and creative by fancy parting and by adding accessories.

Turban/Headwrap: A turban is an awesome way to protect your hair while being lazy.  In the picture here you would never know that I had a lumpy fro that I hadn’t combed in over a week!  All you need is a scarf and some imagination.  If you want more info on tying headwraps check out this post.

Swimming

What is summertime without enjoying the cool water of the ocean or your neighborhood pool?  While natural hair loves water you do want to be wary of chlorine in pools and water parks and the salinity of the ocean.

  • Protect: The suns rays are not only harmful for your skin but they can also be harmful for your hair.  So if you are going to spend a large amount of time outside cover your head with a hat or scarf or use a product that includes sun protection like Ouidad Sun Shield Leave-In Conditioner or by simply diluting your favorite sunblock with water and spritzing it on your hair.
  • Coat: Before you dive into the water grab your favorite condish and slather it on.  The conditioner will work to create a barrier between your hair and the chlorine/salt.  You can use a cheapy condish like Suave or V05 or you can pick up conditioners specifically formulated to protect against chlorine like Ion Swimmer’s Leave-In or Circle of Friends Kylie’s Pre-Swim Conditioner.
  • Cover: Swimmer’s caps may not be very popular or cool-looking but there is no better way to protect your hair then to avoid the harshness of chlorine by keeping it from coming into contact with your hair.
  • Cleanse: Once you are out of the water head toward the showers and rinse your hair ASAP.  Then follow-up with a swimmer’s shampoo formulated to remove chlorine/salt from the hair.  Ion Swimmer’s Shampoo, L’oreal Kids Swim & Sport Shampoo, Aubrey Orgnaics Normalizing Shampoo, California Baby Swimmer’s Shampoo, Joico K-pak Chelating Shampoo, Paul Mitchell Shampoo 3 and Kinky Curly Come Clean.
  • Condition: Most swimmers shampoos are really strong clarifiers and have a tendency to leave your hair feeling dry so be sure you follow-up with a good deep conditioner to restore moisture and balance to your hair like Anita Grant Rhassoul Clay, Aussie Moist 3-Minute Miracle, Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque, Jessicurl Weekly Deep Conditioning Treatment.

This is my sis C Rose reppin’ for the swimsuit shot cuz i’m not gonna be able to do it :)

Oils for Natural Hair

One of the plights of curly hair is dryness.  The sebum from your scalp has a difficult time making it down the shaft of the hair which results in dryness.  Oils do not moisturize the hair.  However they do help retain moisture within the shaft by creating a barrier.  There are a lot of natural oils on the market that are great for sealing the hair and scalp:

  • Olive Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Safflower Oil
  • Grapeseed Oil
  • Jojoba Oil
  • Hemp Seed Oil
  • Sweet Almond Oil
  • Rice Bran Oil
  • Argan (Moroccan) Oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Avocado Oil
  • Sesame Oil
  • Castor Oil

You can find most oils in your local grocery store.  Some oils you will find in the health and beauty section, others will be in the baking aisle.  My motto is: If it is good enough to eat, then it’s good enough to put on your hair.  Other oils can be found at a health food store like Whole Foods or online.

So which oils should you use? This like the other product questions is simply a matter of what your hair likes. Olive oil is by far the most wildly available and inexpensive.  Coconut and Castor oils are both fairly viscous and easy to find.  Safflower, Sesame and Sunflower oils are all light oils are are priced fairly reasonably.  Grapeseed oil is great for heat protection and Rice Bran oil works as a natural sunscreen for hair.  Hemp, Avocado, and Almond oils are said to have additional nutrients to aid in hair growth.  Argan and Jojoba oils are the more “exotic” oils, more pricey than the others but worth it as they are marketed as being closest to natural sebum.

I have used almost all of the oils listed above.  My current favorites are Jojoba, Almond and Safflower oil.  I also use Castor oil but not for daily use as it is too heavy for my hair but it is great for smoothing.

Here is my current hair oil blend which is a modification of the Lika Flower Hair Oil Recipe from Thank God I’m Natural blog.

  • 4 ounces Almond oil
  • 2 ounces Safflower oil
  • 2 ounces Jojoba oil

I mix all the ingredients together in a color applicator bottle with a narrow tip and use on my dry scalp as well as rubbing a little on my hands to seal my hair after moisturizing.

Product Review: Tresemme Naturals Vibrantly Smooth Conditioner

Tresemme Naturals Vibrantly Smooth Conditioner w/ Coconut oil and Jojoba extract

Available in most drugstores

25 oz $4.00 – 6.00

I originally picked up this product for my daughter SK, who mercilessly slays bottles of conditioner and Kroger had a 2/$7 so I decided to try it.  Tresemme Naturals conditioners are silicone free, dye free, safe for color-treated hair and contain natural ingredients. I used the product twice, once as a conditioner after washing with Yes to Carrots shampoo and another time as a co-wash and it worked well both times.

5 Things I Liked About This Product:

1.  It’s silicone free.  You have to be careful with some drugstore products as they normally contain cones and I prefer not to use them.

2.  It’s priced just right and comes in a large size.

3.  It has a nice refreshing clean scent.

4.  It is light but has good slip for detangling.

5.  It contains coconut and jojoba oil which are both ingredients my hair loves!

While this was a good conditioner there are a few things I didn’t like.  The fragrance is listed very high on the list, though it is not strong or overpowering.  It contains alcohol and isopropyl alcohol which are both drying alcohols though it was NOT drying on my hair.  I would recommend this product to other naturals and suggest you give it a try.

Coco-Banana Hair Smoothie

 

As promised I cleaned out my kitchen and made use of some over-ripened bananas. Below is the recipe used which is enough for 2 applications so you can share with a friend, mix in up in a blender and drink or store in the fridge for 1 week.

3 Ripe Bananas (or use banana baby food)

1/2 cup Coconut Water (or Coconut Milk)

1/2 to 3/4 cup Natural Sour Cream (or Yogurt)

1 Tbsp Honey (or Agave Nectar)

Peel bananas and place in a bowl. Mash bananas with fork. Add coconut water and gently stir. Add sour cream or yogurt and stir. Lastly add honey and mix thoroughly. I poured the mixture into a color applicator bottle from the beauty supply store and cut the tip so that the opening was larger.

Wet hair and separate into 4-6 sections.Apply  the mixture first to the roots using the shingle method then spread to the ends. Massage the mixture into my hair and scalp, cover and let sit for 15 minutes.

Rinse hair thoroughly then wash/cowash, condition and detangle.

**I had a run in with banana boogers–small pieces of banana stuck in my hair after co washing. The came out in detangling with the Denman brush. However to avoid this problem you can place the mixture in the blender to get rid of the lumps or substitute banana baby food for whole bananas.

Coconut Milk Mixology

 

Coconuts are one of the most versatile plants. The leaves of the tree are used to make thatch roofs, the fiber from the husk used to make brushes and ropes, the shells used as a fuel source for fire and of course there is the meat and water that yield many uses.

Most are aware of the benefits of coconut oil in hair, but coconut milk is another hair wonder. Coconut milk is rich in nutrients and contains a low amount of protein. Coconut milk can add life to dry, damaged, tangled hair leaving the hair soft, shiny, smooth and manageable. Because of the high amount of lauric acid, which is anti-fungal, microbial, bacterial and viral it also works to combat dandruff.

Coconut milk can be applied directly to the hair though it is runny so you make sure you wear a towel or drape or apply in the shower. There are additional recipes for coconut milk listed below.

 

Tips on using Coconut Milk:

Look for Coconut milk in the Asian/Ethnic Aisle of your grocer.

Purchase Unsweetened or Unflavored Coconut milk.

Coconut milk will separate while it has been sitting on store shelves so shake the can before opening.

Refrigerate unused portions in a sealed container and use within a week or freeze for up to 3 months.

 

Coconut Milk Pre-Poo

½ cup coconut milk (4 oz or ¼ of a can)

½ cup favorite conditioner or yogurt

¼ cup honey –optional for extra moisture

Mix together in a non-reactive bowl and apply to hair. Cover with plastic cap and allow to sit for 15-30 minutes (add heat for extra conditioning). Rinse from hair and wash/co-wash as usual.

 

All Natural Conditioning Pre-Poo

1 Ripe Avocado

1 Ripe Banana

1 cup Coconut Milk

Mash banana and avocado together in a non-reactive bowl then slowly stir in coconut milk. Apply to hair, cover with plastic cap and sit for 15-30 minutes. Rinse mixture from your hair and wash/co-wash as usual.

 

Coconut Hair Mask

1 cup Powdered Coconut Milk

Warm Water

Place powdered coconut milk in a bowl. Slowly add warm water ¼ cup at a time mixing after each addition of water until desired consistency is reached. Apply to hair, cover with plastic cap and sit for 15-30 minutes. Rinse mixture from your hair and wash/cowash as usual.

For a creamier mixture substitute plain yogurt instead of water.