Can I tell you how ecstatic I was when my favorite mixtress Lola Zabeth selected little ol’ me to be a featured mixtress? Huh? Say what? Me? Lola makes the most fab mixes from Coconite Cassia bars to Slippery Elm Leave In even a recipe to make Rose water yeah she’s that badass. Read my Meet the Mixtress feature here.
While I consider myself a minor league mixtress, I am always challenging myself to see just what I am able to create. I hope that my recipes inspire my readers not only to try them, but to improve on them and branch out to other products. A lot of people contact me wondering how to become a mixtress and where to get started. Here are my tips on where to start.
- Improve on what you know. Have a conditioner without slip or a shampoo that is too drying? Try to improve it using common additives. To make a conditioner more slippery simply add oil. For a shampoo that is too drying try adding aloe vera juice or gel. Always experiment in small workable sizes.
- Replicate what you love. Those ingredients listed on the back of the bottle really are the contents of the product. Look at what is included and see if you can make it yourself. It might take you several attempts to make a suitable knock-off but who knows you may like your own version better.
- Know your hair. Find out what ingredients your hair likes and use them in your products. This is just a matter of trial and error coupled with attention to detail. Once you find an ingredient your hair likes look for similar products and see how they perform. My hair likes olive oil, but it loves safflower, sweet almond and rice bran oil all this I discovered with experimentation.
- Pick up some good quality ingredients. Every mixtress needs to have aloe vera gel, coconut oil, tea, flax seeds, olive oil, honey, yogurt and coconut milk to start with. My first mixes consisted of things I found in Wal-Mart. From there I moved on to fancier ingredients like Bentonite clay, jojoba oil, cassia, herbs (horsetail, nettle, marshmallow root), essential oils and more exotic oils and butters. If you live in a health conscience city these ingredients can be found in your local health food store, Whole Foods or Vitamin Shoppe. You can also find these ingredients online, my favorite retailer is VitaCost.com.
- Take good notes. Write down your recipes, especially your failures and try to figure out where you went wrong/right with each mix. How did I determine my hair likes a pre-poo mix of 50% oil to 50% humectant? Well I made a batch that was 25% oil to 75% humectant, then continued adjusting the quantities until I found my hair’s sweet spot.
- Work in small batches. When I was working on my whipped shealoe recipe I made at least 10 different mixtures but I used no more then 1 Tablespoon of each ingredient. By working in small batches you stretch your raw ingredients farther. Also when mixing in small batches you do not need to worry about preservatives because most mixes will be used immediately.
- Purchase mixing tools. You don’t have to spend big money, I pick up my tools from the dollar store. A set of measuring spoons and cups, mixing bowls that you don’t mind staining with henna or herbs, storage containers of various sizes, plastic mixing spoons and spatula. While most of these ingredients you use on your hair are non-toxic and safe to eat, it is just safe practice to avoid contamination among other things to pick up separate tools.
Outside of these 7 tips simply roll up your sleeves and have fun! You can check out my DIY Hair Treatments to provide some inspiration. Also save $10 on your next VitaCost.com order by clicking my referral link and signing up for an account. Happy Mixing!