AfroVeda Product Review

This will be a short and simple three in one review.  I had previously only tried one Afroveda product, Cocolatte Moisture Mask, which I liked a lot but found it to be a little too pricey compared to like products.  However there was a great sale going on at the site Naturally so I decided to check out some additional AfroVeda products.

PUR Whipped Hair Gelly, 8 oz $13.50 ing: aloe vera gel, Ashwagandha Herb, Amla Powder, Bhringaraj Powder, Brahmi Powder, Neem Leaf Extract; Nettle, Castor Oil, Almond Oil, Mustard Seed Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil (organic), Vanilla Essential Oil.

This product is not a gel but a cream, reminds me of Curls Whipped Cream, and the product states that can be used on wet hair to define curls.  I tried it for a wash-n-go and it was a fail. My hair was soft and moisturized but the curls were not defined .  I used it as a twist cream and it worked fine however I did need to follow up with a sealant. Overall the product was just okay for me.

Curl Define, 8 oz $15.50 ing: Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Rice Milk, Water, Jojoba Oil, Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Nettle Leaf, Ayurvedic Botanicals of Ashwagandha Powder, Bhringaraj Powder, Brahmi Powder, Amalaki Herb and Neem Leaf; Bay Leaf, Horsetail Leaf Extract, Palm Oil, Glyceryl Stearate (and) Cetearyl Alcohol (and) Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, (an edible, natural, ultra-mild self-emulsifying wax), Aloe Vera Leaf Gel, Xanthan Gum, Gluconolactone (and) Sodium Benzoate (a natural preservative), and love. Essential oil blend of Sweet Orange and Vanilla.

Again this product is not a gel either but more like a buttercream, reminds me of Donna Marie Super Buttercreme, and the product states that it can be used for braid and twist styles.  I used this product as a sealant for my twists on top of PUR Whipped Hair Gelly, I also used it alone and it worked well both ways.  I think the marketing is a little misleading because it is called Curl Define but it is not a curl definer. If you are looking for a nice whipped buttercream then this will do the trick.

Hemp Seed Lock Twist & Roll Butter, 8 oz $19.50 ing: Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Rice Milk, Purified Water, Hemp Seed Oil, Shea Butter, Mango Seed Butter, Ayurvedic Botanicals of Ashwagandha Herb, Amla Powder, Bhringaraj Powder, Brahmi Powder, Neem Leaf Extract; Nettle, Castor Oil, Almond Oil, Mustard Seed Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil (organic), Xanthan Gum, Glyceryl Stearate (and) Cetearyl Alcohol (and) Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate (an edible, natural, ultra-mild self-emulsifying wax), Sweet Almond Wax, Carnauba Wax, Palm Oil, Coconut Oil, Gluconolactone (and) Sodium Benzoate (a natural preservative), Essential Oil Blend, and love.

This product is accurately named it is a thick butter.  I did not use the product on my hair because I could not stand the smell of the product.  I cannot pin point the scent but it smells like earthy essential oils similar to patchouli, myrrh and the like.  I would not recommend this product as a loc butter unless you like thick butters.  For my son this product would result in build up in the hair.  I would use one of the others products listed about instead.

So those are my thoughts on these products from AfroVeda, so far the Cocolatte is the best thing from this company.  If you have tried any AfroVeda products and you loved them give me a recommendation on what you think I should try next. 

DIY: Ayurvedic Deep Treatment

My BTF Holly at Curl Rehab is doing an ayurvedic challenge and it had me thinking about some ‘vedic recipes I have laying around.  Here is one for an Ayurvedic Deep Treatment that is a quick and easy was to incorporate Ayurveda into your regimen, honestly it is similar to a henna gloss.  Now I am not the encyclopedia of all things Vedic but you can read more about it here or let your fingers do the walking through a google search. Take this quiz to help determine your dosha if you are so inclined. 

 Ayurvedic Deep Treatment

  • 1/4 cup plain full fat greek yogurt (or use cheapy condish)
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp castor oil
  • 4-6 Tbsp favorite ayurvedic herbs: Bhringaraj, Brahmi, Amla,  Henna, Cassia, Neem,  Tulsi, etc…

Place yogurt (or condish) into a plastic non-metallic bowl.  Add ayurvedic herbs and mix thoroughly.  Add oils and continue to mix to your desired texture.  Apply to hair, cover with conditioning cap for 20-30 mins then rinse.

Product Review: Afroveda Cocolatte Moisture Mask

Afroveda

Cocolatte Moisture Mask

$17.50 for 8 oz

A thick moisturizing cream that is pleasantly scented just like a delicious chocolate latte as it is adequately named.  Afroveda products as the name suggests are made with Ayurvedic extracts like amla, brahmi and neem to support traditional, balanced approach to hair care.

ing: Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Rice Milk, Purified Water, Avocado Oil, Coconut Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Almond Oil,Sunflower Seed Oil, Ayurvedic Botanicals of Ashwagandha Herb, Amla Powder, Bhringaraj Powder, Brahmi Powder, Neem Leaf Extract, Nettle, Castor Oil, Mustard Seed Oil, Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter, Jojoba Oil, Neem Oil, Mustard Oil, Xanthan Gum, Glyceryl Stearate (and) Cetearyl Alcohol (and) Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Phenoxyethanol and Caprylyl Glycol, and love.

Ok so I have a confession.  I have discriminated against this product line.  Last year the natural community was up in arms when Mala, owner of Afroveda, announced a massive price hike doubling/tripling the price of her products–dubbed Afrovedagate.  I had not tried Afroveda but I was turned off by the sob story of a poor woman trying to make ends meet by mixing products in her kitchen with little or no help and raising infrastructure costs.  As a consumer I was annoyed, so I vowed not to support them on GP.  *arms crossed and foot stomped*  Fast forward to today and me visiting my local natural hair store shopping for gifts for a friend.  Afroveda products were on sale and I was caught by the Cocolatte Moisture Mask.  It smelled so good and felt great between my fingers, I was buying it on sale so I reasoned I wasn’t really supporting the company.

I was sure my friend would love the product for retaining moisture, but how could I advise her on its use if I never used it myself?  Yep that’s what kind of friend I am, the kind who uses your gift first to make sure its okay –poison test :)  I spritzed my hair with a light leave-in conditioner them scooped up about a nickel-sized amount to apply over my twists.  ZOMIGOODNESS!  Yeah, this stuff is freaking amazing.  Quite possibly my favorite moisture-sealant ever, I will have to do a head to head competition, but I think this is it.

5 Things I Love About This Product

  1. It smells so darn delicious.  It reminds me of a fancy coffee house, so yummy!
  2. I have heard a lot of complaints about the consistenscy and separation with this product line but the texture was a perfectly thick whipped cream.
  3. A little really goes a long way.  This 8 oz jar would last me months even with daily use.
  4. It left my hair very soft and with a long lasting moisture-seal.
  5. The flip top container is the perfect method for holding, distributing the product.

Okay now all that I said previously is true, however it is not all skittles and sunshine.  One issue is that the ingredients listed from the jar (see above) are not the same as those listed on the website.  There are some ingredients listed on the jar that are not on the website and vice versa.  Also there are ingredients that are listed in different order.  That is a big red flag for me.  Secondly, the shelf life statement “This product is preserved with a paraben-free, wide-spectrum cosmetic preservative. Please use within 6-9 months, refrigerate or freeze for longer-term storage” is listed on the website, but not on the actual product. Stike two.  The size of the jar is not even identified on the product.  I was able to deduce the size based on the cost, but this should be listed on the product.  That seems like a rookie oversight for someone who has been making products for a while.

Final conclusion: I probably would not purchase this product again.  Though it worked freaking amazingly on my hair there just seems to be a level of shadiness that leaves me skeptical.  While I think the current price is fair, I would hate to get attached to a product only to have them go thru a major price hike again.  So while this is a great product my intuition leads me to not consider purchasing again in the future. However if I could find the product locally on sale I might be swayed to pick it up again.  For now I am going to wrap up the product and give it to my friend as if I never used it. *shh it’s our secret*

Product Review: Vatika Oil

Dabur

Vatika Oil

$3 for 5 oz.

Available at Indian Grocery (Patel Brothers) or online 

On a recent trip to the Indian Grocery Patel Brothers to check out some ayurvedic treatments I picked up some Vatika oil.  Vatika oil is a coconut oil based hair oil that is mixed with henna, amla, brahmi and neem extracts which are said to help strengthen the hair, stimulate growth, and resolve dryness among other things.  These are common ‘vedic ingredients mixed into a daily oil for ease of application.  

ing:  Coconut oil, Neem, Brahmi, Fruit extracts of Amla, Bahera and Harar, Kapur kachri, Henna, Milk, Rosemary oil, Lemon oil, TBHQ (t-Butyl Hydroquinone), fragrance.

First thing you will notice about Vatika oil is the smell.  It doesn’t exactly stink, but it does not smell pleasant either. While it includes rosemary, lemon, tbhq and fragrance they cannot match the distinct stench, err scent of neem oil.  Which was not something I liked nor I could get used to.  I used it once to seal my hair hair and washed it later that day.

Being that the product is coconut oil based it also has the same properties in that it will be a solid at temps below 70 degrees and will be liquid at warmer temps.  The oil has a plastic stopper which keeps it from spilling out (nice) but if it is cold you will not be able to squeeze it out so keep that in mind.

While I did not like it for my hair I will say that it worked great as a natural bug spray. WHAT?!?! Yes, neem plant is a natural insect repellent so I applied some oil to my arms and legs before going out on an evening run and did not get bit once.  I also used some on my beagle for the same purpose and it worked fantastically.  However I did have to shower when I came in because that smell is…not good.

Have you used Vatika oil?  How do you incorporate it in your regimen? What did you think about the smell? 

The Truth About Henna Part 5: Indigo

Indigo, or Indigofera tinctoria,  is an herb that imparts a blue stain.  Indigo has been used for centuries to dye cloth or clothing and also works on hair.  It is commonly known as black henna but it isn’t really black or henna,  not even a distant relative.  Indigo does impart a dark blue or purple stain.  Like henna it comes in a dry powdered form and should be green or brown in color.

yep it's greenish, not blue

Indigo is not a conditioning treatment however, it is great natural way to cover grey hair.  Indigo does not need to dye release like henna so you do not need to add an acid and you can use it immediately.  Indigo is most often used with henna in a 2-step process to create a more natural looking color.  Indigo is a stain so please wear gloves when applying.

To make an indigo paste you can simply use just plain water. You can add some oil to help with ease of application or conditioner if you want to make a gloss.  Apply the indigo to your hair, wrap with plastic wrap or cover with a plastic cap and allow to sit for about 30-60 minutes.  Rinse thoroughly with plain water then wash/co-wash and follow up with a good deep conditioner.

As with any recipe you can alter this to your liking.  Give it a try and let us know how it worked for you.

For more info on Henna check out these posts: What is henna, traditional henna, henna gloss, cassia.

The Truth About Henna Part 4: Cassia

If you’ve done a little research about henna you probably run across the term cassia.  Cassia, often referred to as “Nuetral Henna”, is not henna at all.  Cassia Obovata is made from a small shrub in the same manner as henna however it contains Chysophanic acid which is a mild yellow stain.  This stain may lightly stain your hands or a white counter top but is not strong enough to stain dark colored hair. **If you purchase Rainbow Research Henna from Whole Foods a lot of their products use Cassia**

Cassia however is a great conditioning treatment and it is often used in place of henna as it provides the same benefits, but not the red color.  You can add other natural dyes to your cassia to create a colored-hue if you choose to.  While cassia will most likely not stain as harsh as henna it is still advised that you wear gloves when applying.

cassia My daughter SK’s hair was dry and frizzy so we opted to do a cassia treatment for her hair.  To create a cassia conditioning treatment you can follow the same methods for henna whether the traditional or the gloss.  Below is the recipe I opted for:

  • 8 ounces of cassia
  • 2 Tbsp of lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp of oliv oil
  • Green Tea steeped in boiling water

I combined the first three ingredients, then added enough tea until the mixture was brownie batter consistency.  (I used double the normal henna recipe because my daughter has a LOT of hair).  I allowed the recipe to sit for 30 minutes then applied to her hair using the shingle method.  Once the hair was covered I wrapped her hair in plastic wrap and let it sit for 2 hours.  She rinsed her hair several times until all the mixture was removed, then co-washed the hair and rinsed again. After the application SK’s hair was softer, more manageable and the frizz was gone.

As with any recipe you can alter this to your liking.  Give it a try and let us know how it worked for you.

For more info on Henna check out these posts: what is henna, henna application, henna gloss, indigo.

The Truth About Henna Part 3: Henna Gloss

henna-in-natural-hairAnother method of applying henna is called the henna gloss.  The henna gloss is ideal for those who want the benefits of a henna treatment, but with and easier rinsing method and less color.  A henna gloss is normally a creamier paste made with oil, acid, and conditioner or another creamy ingredient.  It can also include teas, herbs, or humectants.

For shoulder length hair of average thickness use 100 grams or 4 ounces of henna.  If your hair is longer of thicker you may want to use more.

Add 1-2 cup of hot water, 1/2 cup at a time.  Mix until it just forms a paste.  You may opt to infuse the water with tea or herbs.

If you want subtle red color add 1-2 Tbsp of an acid such as lemon juice or vinegar to help release the dye from the henna.  If you just want conditioning then you can skip this step.

Add 1-2 Tbsp of your favorite oil.  If you are adding any additional humectants like honey or agave add 1-2 Tbsp now.

Stir in 1-2 cups of conditioner until the batter is smooth and the consistency of cake/brownie batter.  You may opt to use Greek yogurt or coconut milk in place of conditioner.

If you are looking for subtle color cover the gloss mix with plastic wrap and allow to sit for several hours or overnight.  If you are just looking to condition use immediately.  Apply the gloss to the hair in the shingle technique (the same method as applying a perm) from root to the tip.  Cover hair with plastic cap or saran wrap and allow to sit for at least one hour.

Rinse your hair thoroughly until the water runs clear.  Then co-wash your hair to remove remaining henna and continue your wash process as normal.  As with any recipe you can cater it to your liking.  You can use this gloss about once a month.

Natural Review By L Coconut Milk Henna Gloss

Curli Nikki’s Henna Gloss

Read about my henna gloss treatment here.

For more info on henna check my main henna post.

The Truth About Henna Part 2: Traditional Application

henna application on natural hairThe traditional method of henna application involves making the dry henna into a paste with the use of an acid to release the color, oil to aid in application, additional herbs/tea for conditioning/color, and water to mix.  If you are using a henna bar you only need to grate or chop the bar and mix with hot water.

For shoulder length average thickness hair you will need 100 grams or 4 ounces of henna.  If your hair is longer or thicker you may want to double the quantity.

You want to add 1-2 Tbsp of an acid such as lemon juice or vinegar to help release the dye from the henna.

Add 1-2 Tablespoons of your favorite oil (Olive, safflower, coconut, almond) to help smooth the batter and make it easier to apply.

Boil some water and add herbs like cinnamon, paprika, amla or teas like Chamomile, Red Zinger, Green or Ceylon.  Add the water to the henna mixture and stir until smooth and about the consistency of brownie/cake batter.  If it is too thick add more water.

Cover the henna mix allow to sit for several hours or overnight.  The longer you allow the henna to sit the more prominent the dye.  Then apply henna to dry hair in shingle technique avoiding the scalp.  Cover your hair with plastic cap or saran wrap and allow to sit for at least one hour.

Rinse your hair thoroughly.  The henna will be dry and caked like mud so it will take at least 10 minutes of rinsing.  You can also run water in the tub and simply let your hair soak while you gently massage it.  Once the water runs clear through your hair, follow up with a conditioner and rinse again.  Lastly shampoo and conditioner as normal.

As with any recipe you can cater it to your liking.  The henna color will gradually fade in 4-6 weeks.  You can repeat this process every 4 weeks.  You can either discard or freeze leftover henna for future use.  Go here for henna gloss recipe.

Henna Tutorials from YouTube: