Ayurveda, Patel Brothers & Mixology

Henna.  Amla. Brahmi. Neem.  These are just a few ingredients you may here tossed around natural hair boards by those who practice Ayurveda.  Ayurveda is not a cult or religion, but rather the a belief of using traditional/alternative medicine to achieve health.  Like Veganism it is simply a lifestyle choice.  But just like you can decide to have a meat-less dairy-free lunch you can dabble in Ayurveda and incorporate whatever practices you find beneficial.  In regards to hair care Ayurveda includes the use of natural herbs, oils and roots to promote hair health, wellness and cure common ailments such as dandruff, hair loss, thinning, etc.

Ayurveda originated in South Asia (India, China, & Nepal) so to find common products you need only take a trip to your local Indian or Asian Grocer.  Patel Brothers is a national chain of Indian grocery stores and can be found in just about everywhere across the US.  While the stores are sort of small they are are stacked with all sorts of health and beauty ‘vedic treatments.

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  • Henna used to strengthen the hair but is also a natural hair stain (red)
  • Amla used to contol shedding and hair loss
  • Brahmi used to treat dandruff or itchy scalp
  • Neem used to control dryness or itchy scalp (also a natural bug repellent)
  • Indigo used to strengthen or thicken  the hair but is also a natural stain (black)
  • Tulsi used to soothe and cure scalp disorders
  • Kewra Water used to soothe and cleanse irritated scalp (similar to rose water)

You can buy the herbs in powder form mixing them with just plain water, oils, or even coconut milk to make a hair paste.  You can also add them to conditioners, make a tea rinse or a hair spritz.  There is a great post on Lola’s Green Hair and Natural Review concerning the use of ‘vedic treatments.

However, buyer beware because all things that glitter are not gold!  There are also products carried in Patel Brothers that are sub-standard.  So make sure you are careful to read the ingredients.  If you see hair oil with mineral oil as the first ingredient I would avoid it.  There are also imitation henna, indigo, and other powders so make sure you research how to tell the real from the fake.

I am simply a ‘vedic dabbler.  I done a henna gloss to color and strengthen my hair, cassia paste to bring life back to my daughter’s hair.  On this trip to Patel Brothers I picked up some Vatika oil which is a coconut based oil with a lot of neem in it.  It is said to nourish the hair and scalp and also help with itching especially for those with locs.  While I have yet to use it on my hair I did use it on my beagle to help repel bugs as he often has allergic reactions in the summer to bites and stings.  It made his coat shiny and so far has not suffered any rashes so I say its working.  I have rubbed a little on my arms and legs before going on an evening run and it has helped repel the insects.

So don’t be vexed by ‘vedic treatments, start simple and experiment.  When you find something that works for you be sure to share it here with us. 


Blended Beauty Independence Day Sale

Blended Beauty is having an Independence Day Sale from now until July 5th 2011.

Take an additional 20% off any TWO items with coupon code: CheersThe4th at checkout on http://www.blendedbeauty.com

I have not tried these products, but the company has been around for sometime.  You can find plenty threads about the products use on hair forums, message boards or on youtube. Here is a review from YTer PrettyDimples01 http://youtu.be/a0RDWOnHAEo

The company also has a guide to help you select the best products for your hair needs.  Blended Beauty products are 98-99% natural and do not contain petroleum, mineral oil, silicone or acrylics.

Product Review: Yummi Goodz

Yummi Goodz

Green Tea Shampoo & Conditioner

The Wet Look

Soap Bar

I received these products a while back and it has taken me a long time to write this review, honestly because I didn’t really like them.  I hate writing bad reviews so when I don’t like a product I often put it on a shelf for another day to try to see if it can change my mind or lend it to a friend.  I put it on the shelf and just revisited it again this weekend and the results were still mediocre. *shrugs*

Yummi Goodz is the product line of Cleo Cartel a well known stylist and make-up artist in Northern California.  I’m a Cali girl so I always want to blow-up my state.  I received the products from my girl Rashida at a meet-up we had several months back.  She gave me several products to check out but I was most interested in the soap bar as we have dry sensitive skin in my family and my son prefers bars to liquid.  The products in this line are vegan which is kind of neat, but not necessary, however I knew that a vegan product would not contain any gross additives, sulfates, mineral oil, petroleum, etc.

Green Tea Shampoo 10 oz

ing: glycerin, water, shea, green tea, citrus, mint, almond oil and essential oils

This product is very watery.  As you can see from the ingredients there are no thickening agents so it will actually pour out once opened.  There is some very light-blink and you missed it- sudsing action though while it is not important it was hard for me to know if I even got the product distributed through my hair.  I would not recommend this shampoo to those who use a lot of heavy products or gels as I do not think it has enough cleaning power.  This would be a nice daily poo for the “natural-naturals” or loc wearers.  It has a pleasant green tea scent and good ingredients.  I last used this poo after coming home from the park where I was sweaty and gross but my hair was basically product-free and it did a fine job cleansing.  However the first time I used it after using gel and my hair still felt grimy so I brought in an old standby to do the job.

Green Tea Conditioner 10 oz

ing: waters, shea butter, green tea, mint, sage oil, veggies, ginger and aloe vera gel, almond oil and essential oils.

Similar to the shampoo the conditioner is very watery also. You would think that most aloe vera gel products would be a little thicker but it isn’t.  I used this entire bottle in just 3 uses because it is so runny it just pours out.  I think this product would probably make a better leave-in conditioner and should come in a spray/spritz bottle.  Either way it was okay as a light condish, nothing to write home about.  Would not be good for co-washing.  Actually it seemed like a DIY moisturizing spritz whipped up in someone’s kitchen.  This also had the nice green tea scent that I liked.

The Wet Look

ing: water, shea butter, slippery elm, almond oil, burdock root, marshmallow root oil, red castor oil, essential oils.

This was not as watery as the shampoo or conditioner, more like a really runny lotion.  It has a very odd smell.  My daughter and I have pin-pointed it to be tropical punch kool-aid right out the package before you add water and sugar.  I did not care for the smell.  I used this product twice and both results were lack-luster.  I let my daughter use it and she said she didn’t feel like it was doing anything.  I used it on my son and his hair also felt dry within a few hours.  I think someone with locs would like this product because it have moisturizing ingredients but does not leave the hair greasy or film.

Soap Bar

I do not know the ingredients because they were not listed on the bar. I believe we had a Milk Bar, but I do not remember the actual name.  The soap bar was really the only part of the line we liked.  It provided good cleansing, but it was also moisturizing. We used it as a whole body bar and shampoo bar on my son.  It kept his hair both clean and soft.  While I liked the bar I would say you could pick up one like it from a local market.  The bar did fall apart rather easily so we had to use a soap saver to help prolong its use.

Bottom line I would not actually purchase these products.  While I think the manufacturer is off to a nice start they have a long way to go before their products are market ready.  The shampoo and conditioner are not packaged correctly and need to either be thickened or place into a container that does not allow them to leak out.  The Wet Look moisturizer is just very mediocre and was not a very good.  Also the labels on the packages were not professional quality.  The ingredients and instructions are kind of difficult to read and not very clear.  The website is not very clear, difficult to navigate and over-all not very useful.  Those who are more into natural products, or those with locs or fine/thin hair may really like these products.  I hope the mfg’er understands that this is an honest review as I believe there is room for improvement.

Have you tried Yummi Goodz? What are your thoughts on their products?

Henna Gloss Treatment

I won a box of henna from my BBF Natural Review several months prior and just got around to doing a henna treatment.  Henna application can be quite a whole day process so I wanted to make sure it was a day where the kids were away and I had no obligations.  I opted to do a henna gloss over the traditional henna treatment.  The gloss method is easier to apply and rinse out.

So on with the show…


1 box Jamila henna 100 grams

1 tea bag Chamomile

8 oz  hot water

1 Tbsp lime juice

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 cup Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner w/ aloe & avocado

I poured the henna into a cheap plastic, non reactive bowl, that I use for all my hair treatments.  Next I heated one cup of  hot water in the microwave for one minute.  I placed the tea bag in the cup of hot water and let it steep for about five minutes.  After I removed the tea bag I poured the tea into the bowl containing henna while stirring until it was fully blended.

henna + tea

Then I added the lime juice and vinegar.  You can add any acid of your choice.  I planned to only use lime juice, but I did not have enough.  I stirred it in completely before adding in the oil.

henna + tea + acid + oil

Next I covered the mixture and allowed it to sit for 6 hours to release the dye from the henna.  I added the condish to the mix then applied it to my hair using color applicator bottle which helps keep the mess of application to a minimum.

henna mix + condish

I covered my hair with 2 plastic caps and let it sit for 3 hours.  To remove the henna from my hair I ran a shallow bath and dunked my hair into it.  I used my fingers to gently massage and separate my hair coaxing the henna out.  After 5 minutes I sat up let the water out and repeated again for a second time.  After the second time I turned on the shower and ran water over my head until I was sure then henna had been removed.

before, what am i gonna do with this bird's nest?

1/2way there

all covered, did i mention that i forgot to wear gloves? lol @ orange palms

aah, the showercap life

after henna

After the henna was completely rinsed out, I treated my hair to a DIY deep conditioning treatment Hair Guacamole.  You should always follow a henna treatment with a good deep conditioner because henna while strengthening is also very drying even when doing a henna gloss.

yum, hair guac

After all this time an effort I can say that my hair feels AWESOME!  My curls feel alive, vibrant, and stronger!  This is def going into my regular regi, maybe once every 2-3 months.  So if you are thinking about giving henna a try, or maybe revisiting it after a bad experience, I hope you give this method a try.

twisted up. el fin.

Product Review: Koils By Nature Herbal Gel

Koils By Nature

Available at koilsbynature.com

16 oz for $12

From the website:

Soothing Herbal Lavender & Eucalyptus Gel contains no alcohol and will not dry out your hair.  Soothing Herbal Lavender & Eucalyptus will provide your hair with great hold and is excellent for defining your natural curl, two-strand twist and excellent for smoothing your edges.  The Shea oil & honey will keep your hair moisturized, soft and lustrous. Soothing Herbal Lavender & Eucalyptus gel works great in combination with the Nourishing Hair & Body Butter.

I really liked this gel. My hair does not like protein gels like your typical store brands, but prefers gels made from mucilage like aloe, flax seed, marshmallow roots, etc.  This gel provides a mild hold and is great for Wash-N-Go’s or for twisting styles.  It helps promote the curl in my hair so it is probably not good for slicking back edges but I did not try it.  I ordered the Eucalyptus & Lavender gel which is what the package read, however the smell and the ingredients list let me know that I actually received the peppermint gel.  It took me a while to figure out why the gel was scented so strongly with mint but after discovering the mix-up I decided to keep it anyway.  The gel has more of a watery feel then a sticky one which is fine by me.

5 Things I Liked About This Product:

1.  The ingredients are natural and alcohol free.

2.  A little gel goes a long way.  I purchased this gel back in November and it lasted until March.

3.  The gel provides just enough hold without making the hair crunchy or crispy.  If you do happen to use too much you can easily add some water if the hair is still wet or you can add some hair butter if it is dry.

4.  The gel does not flake and is good for 2-3 day hair.

5.  While the gel is not moisturizing it is not overly drying either. 

I liked this gel and will re-order it again, however I will not order the peppermint scent as it is very strong, too much for my liking.  On a positive note I applied the gel to my wash-n-go one morning when I had a stuffy nose and it opened my nose right up :)

Wash-N-Go using KBN Herbal Gel

Product Review: Oyin Handmade Greg Juice

Oyin Greg Juice

Available at oyinhandmade.com

$11 for 8 oz

An oil-free spritz containing herb-infused water, vegetable moisturizers and natural humectants that moisturize the hair and scalp, refresh dry hair, and aid in detangling. It also makes a great hair perfume.  This spritz comes in two additional scents: Juices & Berries (fruity cocktail) or Frank Juice (a musky masculine scent).

I have used this spritz to moisten and refreshen my scalp while in twists and braids and also to revive my dry ends.

This is the second Juice I have purchased from Oyin Handmade. I first purchased the Juices & Berries back in November and have just now reached the last ounce of the bottle.  While Juices and Berries if very sweet smelling, this spray has a light herbal-citrus smell that is delightful and perfect for both men and women.

This product is ideal for any hair type as it is oil free so you can follow up with the oil or butter of your choice if desired to seal in moisture. While I can easily make my own spritz (and I do) I still love Oyin’s juices is they are lighter then my homemade spritz but do the job just right and they smell DIVINE.

Check out my review for Oyin Juices & Berries >>> https://derbycitynaturals.wordpress.com/2011/04/01/product-review-oyin-juices-berries-2/

Another plus is that Oyin ships your products out immediately (I normally get them within 3-4 days) and they include little candies in each shipment.  They also use biodegradable packing peanuts which is good for the environment!

DIY Natural Hair Care Recipe


Looking for more natural ways to care for your hair? Check out these recipes.


Cleansing Rinse-gentle clarifier

2 c distilled water

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar or juice of one lemon

Mix ingredients then pour over hair.


Soapwort Shampoo -a gentle shampoo for normal to dry hair

1/2 c crushed soapwort root

8 c water

Place the soapwort in the water in pot over medium heat.  Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer for 15 minutes.  Strain out the leaves and root and pour into a clean bottle.  Use as a shampoo rinse.


Oil Rinse

1 cup olive oil

10 drops essential oil

-for dandruff treatment or dryness use sage, rosemary or tea tree oil

-for overall health use lavender, chamomile or rose oil

Mix oils and allow to sit for 24 hours.  After washing or conditioning the hair pour oil over hair and or scalp. Store in a cool dark place away from sunlight.


Rose-Jojoba Conditioning Rinse

1 cup rosewater

1 Tbsp jojoba oil

10 drops vitamin E oil

Warm water in a double boiler, when hot add jojoba oil.  Whisk in vitamin E oil and blend well.  Apply to clean hair.


Natural Hair Pomade

1 cup olive oil

1/2 cup beeswax

1 Tbsp coconut oil

Melt ingredients over low heat.  Pour into heat proof container and let cool at room temp, about 30 minutes.

Do You Pre-Poo?

A Pre-Poo is easy, customizable, DIY treatment for your hair.  Plain and simply it is a conditioning treatment used to moisturizer and/or strengthen the hair that is applied prior to shampooing, hence the name pre-poo.  There are many different types of pre-poos from simple hot oil treatments to complex herbal/ayurvedic blends.  The beauty of it all is that you can add whatever you want according to your hair needs.  Below are a few simple pre-poo recipes that I have used.  I use a color applicator bottle to mix the ingredients.  You can pick one up at any Beauty Supply Store.


Basic Hot Oil Treatment

-1/2 cup Olive Oil (or your favorite oil)

Pour oil into color applicator bottle and place bottle into a cup of hot water for 3 minutes or until warm.

Apply to entire length of hair.

Cover hair with conditioning cap or hot towel for 10 minutes.

Rinse hair and co/wash as usual.


Triple Treat Pre-Poo ~ Conditioner, Oil & Humectant

-3 oz Suave Naturals Tropical Coconut Conditioner

-2 oz Olive Oil

-2 oz Honey

Pour all ingredients into applicator bottle.  With your finger covering the nozzle shake well until blended.

Apply to the entire length of the hair.

Cover hair with conditioning cap, then sit under warm hooded dryer or apply hot towel for 10-20 minutes.

Rinse hair and wash/co-wash as usual


This is my favorite pre-poo mix as I have discovered that this is what works best for my hair.  I often vary the ingredients and ratios based on what I feel my hair needs at that particular time.  If you feel like your hair needs protein replace the Suave condish with V05 Moisture Milk or Giovannii Smooth as Silk condish which has silk proteins.  Or you can substitute plain yogurt for the conditioner.  You can add any oil of your choosing or an oil blend.  As for humectants if you do not like honey you can try Agave Nectar available in the cooking section of the grocery store or you can use vegetable glycerin.


Herbal Oil Glaze

-1 Tbsp herbs

-1 cup oil

-2 Tbsp cassia or colloidal oatmeal

Add herbs and oil to a pot and steep gently over low heat.

Remove herbs and stir in cassia/oatmeal to make a paste.

Apply to the entire length of the hair.

Cover hair with conditioning cap, then sit under warm hooded dryer or apply hot towel for 10-20 minutes.

Rinse hair and wash/co-wash as usual.


There are many natural plants herbs and extracts that are said to aid in conditioning, hair growth, and scalp issues.  These include the use of cassia, henna, rosemary, lavendar, aloe, amla, hibiscus, brahmi, collodial oatmeal or essential oils.  You can steep herbs in water or oil over low heat to infuse them or add ground powders or essential oils directly into mixtures.