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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Why Buy Homemade Soaps?

In today’s market it is common for people buy products that contain chemically-based ingredients. Although the majority of these chemicals are deemed safe, there is plenty of debate regarding the long term affects chemicals can have on an individual’s health. Homemade soap consists of natural ingredients, and it can leave you refreshed and moisturized without adverse side effects. Here are a few reasons to use homemade soap.



1. Homemade soaps can help you avoid skin rashes.
Chemically-based soaps usually include surfactants and other synthetic products made from chemicals. The danger with these soaps is that these chemical products usually remove natural oils from your skin, leaving it exposed and susceptible to irritation. The bacteria that accumulates on the exposed layer of your skin can cause rashes. Homemade natural soaps, however, are derived from vegetable or animal fat. These fats do not remove the natural oils on your skin. Instead, they replenish the nutrients the skin needs to avoid rashes.

2. Homemade soaps moisturize naturally.
One of the benefits of natural soaps is that after only a few washes your skin will be left as moisturized as it would be after using lotion. Homemade soap stimulates the natural acid mantle of the skin. This leaves the skin moisturized and healthy after only after a few washes. Now if you live in a area where you have hard water, using soap with hard water does not mix well. You can use the best moisturizing soap out on the market, but bathing or showering with hard water, (or overly chlorinated water) can do a lot of damage to your skin over time. I live in a area where the water is so badly chlorinated that you my bathroom smells like the Y or a swimming pool area. Not good. So if you do have hard water, get a water filter for your shower or invest in getting a water softener.

3. Homemade soaps reduce the appearance of blemishes.
Many products in the market claim to diminish scars and blemishes. However, soaps and skin cleansers that include strong chemicals may cause adverse side effects. Homemade soap is not only safe and natural, but it can help reduce the appearance of blemishes and scars over time. Dead Sea Mud soap is great for helps reducing dark spots and even out skin tone.

4. Homemade soaps promote healthy skin.
The homemade soap making process usually involves a chemical reaction between lye and oils or fats. Many store brand soaps include lye. This is a chemical compound that is not advantageous for the skin as it can upset the chemical balance. During production of homemade soap, however, lye is often converted to glycerin. Glycerin is critical in maintaining healthy skin.

5. Homemade soaps are more cost effective and reduce infections.
The strong chemicals found in various store brand soaps have been known to cause skin infections in consumers. Homemade soap is an excellent alternative for people with sensitive skin. The natural ingredients found in homemade soap do not usually upset the biological or chemical balance in the skin. Not only do store brand soaps often cause skin irritation, but it much more cost effective than synthetically manufactured soap. Natural soaps are an excellent alternative to chemically-based store brands. They are gentler and safer for your skin. However, homemade soaps are even better for your skin, and they are unbelievably inexpensive to make.

Having healthy skin that is well-moisturized and free of irritation goes a long way. The soaps in many stores are full of chemicals that can irritate and infect the skin. The natural ingredients that are found in homemade soap are much safer and gentler. Since homemade soap is also more cost-effective than synthetically-manufactured soaps, it’s an obvious choice.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

To-morrow is Saint Valentine's day, All in the morning betime, And I a maid at your window, To be your Valentine. Then up he rose, and donn'd his clothes, And dupp'd the chamber-door; Let in the maid, that out a maid Never departed more.
—William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act IV, Scene 5

Happy Valentine's Day
Michelle

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

From Relaxed to Natural

My Niece Ashley
A lot more women of color are seeking to transition from relaxed to natural hair texture.Whether it’s because they miss their natural texture and aspire to wear their do curly or they have encountered issues in growing their relaxed hair long is up for debate. How do you  go natural with the minimum level of fuss, and of course hair breakage?. I too have stepped away from relaxers over a year ago and it feels good. I myself  have naturally curly wavy hair that at times can be very thick and hard to manage. As a little girl, I horrid memories of my mom sitting me on the floor for hours trying to untangle my long thick hair. It was painful til one day I begged my mom to relax it. With much hesitation and worrying that my hair would fall out because I am of a multiracial background and don't have the same type of hair my mom does, she eventually gave in and my nightmares of getting my hair done was over. I have also tried to talk my mom into taking the natural route but she has told me she just can't do it.

 Natural Transitioning from Relaxed Hair Without Cutting

While you are transitioning it is important to remember that you will need to moisturize, deep condition and use hot oil treatments.

You are entering a whole new world with your hair and it is one that is less traveled by many women of color who want to gain healthier longer hair. So the first thing to do is to look at the product labels, read ingredients on hair care products, make a list of moisture retaining ingredients so that you can purchase products that will maintain your curl definition, provide softness and manageability as well as retain moisture for added length. I have tried a lot of these so called curl enhancers and a lot of them weigh my hair down and leave a lot of build up and residue which leaves my hair a mess.

Try using sulfate free shampoos, unrefined Shea butter, extra virgin olive oil, coconut milk, carrot oil.Essential oils and moisturizing gels and creams is what you need to apply to your hair on a daily basis around the temples, hairline and ends of your hair. It is recommended to try and get the right PH balance in your hair by using Aloe Vera  gel, coconut oil and a cream based leave in conditioner on the hair. The key is to keep the ends from drying out and breaking off. I myself created a hair cream made up of Shea Butter, Sweet Almond oil, Castor oil, and Coconut oil, and scented with Rosemary Mint Essential oil. This works for me and I love how it makes my hair feels. It gives enough shine and balance to my hair without that heavy "greasy" feel to it

Transitioning Without Chopping Everything Off

Have you made the decision to grow out your relaxer? My niece decided to go natural and she decided to to just cut everything off and start over from scratch.(her photo in the left) It takes a lot of guts to do that but she did it and she looks wonderful. No fuss and I am sure it is much easier to manage. Well, I will be the first to tell you that growing out your relaxer, or transitioning from relaxed to natural, is much easier said than done. It is really hard. Getting up on the morning is not much to desire when I look in the mirror and start to put a comb through it. OMG it gets so tangled.  So I started out brushing my hair before I go to bed, either I twist it or braid it and wrap it in a silky scarf. Now when I get up in the morning, I don't look like Frankinstein's Bride. LOL.

Here are some tips to help you with your transition:

One way to transition, use braids!  Not only are braids the BEST protective style, but briads will give you a break from your multi-textured hair and you can grow out your relaxer without even really noticing the change(s) your hair is going through.

Don't Slack On Moisture!  You will have to be extra excessive with your moisturizing routine because it's true that when you start to grow out your relaxer, your hair is more prone to breakage - that's because your fragile line of demarcation (the point at which your new growth meets your relaxed ends) is "exposed." 

I also use a hot oil treatment a Deep Conditioner in my hair to make it softer and easy to manage..

**To minimize breakage, maintain a consistent moisture and deep conditioning schedule - THIS IS IMPERATIVE TO LIMIT DAMAGE AND BREAKAGE CAUSED BY TRANSITIONING



   I also like to use my Leave In Detangler. This is fantastic and it is great to us on any hair type.This detangler works by making the hair cuticles less prone to latch onto each other, which leaves hair tangled. I have really thick wavy hair and this works great on it. Gentle enough to use on kids.

Don't Get Discouraged!  Find yourself a transitioning buddy.  Transitioning will undoubtedly be difficult and it will help if you can find someone to keep you encouraged and focused while you make this journey. Look I don't profess to know all there is know about going natural, I am the last person to know about all of this but with all the info I have gotten from friends that have gone through or is thinking about going natural as I am, I picked up some good advice along with other research to help me along and I hope with all this information, you can get started on your journey to healthy hair.

Thanks again for stopping by
Michelle 

New Soap Arrived

Rice Flower and Shea Oatmeal Soap

This is a very nice and lovely scented soap. One of my favorite scents that I had to make into a bar. If you are not familiar with Rice Flower and Shea here it was it is.... A softly scented rice flower blends beautifully with creamy shea butter. Yes it is a Bath and Body Works Duplicate. This will make a great Valentines Day Gift for your loved one or treat yourself. :-)

Available at all our online locations. Website, Etsy, Luulla and New location is The Craft Star 

Thanks for stopping by
Michelle