Among the many principles I stand by in the journey to know, love and care for my hair, one of those I never deter from is experimentation, which I refer to as ‘tweaking gained knowledge.’ During the early times of my journey, I was hell-bent on ‘plagiarizing’ other discovered methods without the addition or subtraction of knowledge. Eight years down the line, I’ve trained my mind to tweak whatever knowledge I gain to work for me and my hair.
For the past 3 weeks I have had my hair plaited in the reversed weaving style (DIDI) and I usually find it difficult to moisturise my hair because it lays so flat on my scalp and whatever product I apply most likely penetrates just the outer layer. I would squeeze in product but because of how flat the plait lies, it’s difficult to grab onto.
When I eventually took our the braids, I had my fingers crossed that I would lose very minimal hair, regardless of my ineffective moisturising method. Boy, did I lose a lump of hair! With a quick assessment (and good understanding) of my hair, I immediately knew what my hair required revival!
I understood that I had light product buildup – I also had to prep my hair for my next hairstyle for the long, dry season – so I had to cleanse my scalp with shampoo. Due to the amount of hair lost, I knew I had to both strengthen and deep condition my hair. I then realized the last time I detoxed my scalp was almost 6 months ago, and if I was going to gain some good length wearing my next hair style, those pores had to be unclogged. Before all this though, I had to pre-poo (I never skip this step because it sets the foundation for a successful and stress-free washday by aiding detangling and acting as an armour against any stripping agent.
You know what popped into my head immediately? CLAY! And why not, it gets 90% of the job done. It’s cleansing in nature, has the ability to pull out impurities, thereby a great detox. It revitalizes hair and improves elasticity; it’s a great curl-popper. It conditions and softens hair. So, I decided to get mixing. I got creative and added a few more ingredients to enhance the mix and each one had a good use.
The aim here was to spend less than 3 hours on a successful wash day.
1 and ½ handful of multani mitti clay powder
½ cup of ground cinnamon
½ cup of organic coconut oil
5 drops of peppermint essential oil
5 drops of tea tree essential oil
3-4 short pumps of Aphogee 2-minute Keratin Reconstructor
Water (added in small ratio between intervals while mixing till consistency is creamy)
Benefits of Each Ingredient
Mulatni Mitti Clay Powder
- Gentle cleanser
- Draws out impurities
- Detoxes scalp
- Great curl definer
- Softens and conditions hair
- Exfoliates scalp ( improves blood circulation in the process)
- Lifts dirt and debris
Organic Coconut Oil
- Has a linear molecular chain so penetrates hair shaft easily
- Moderates cleansing
- Anti-bacterial and anti-fungal in nature
- Conditions hair
Peppermint Essential Oil
- Stimulates hair follicles to encourage growth
Tea Tree Essential Oil
- Treats scalp conditions like dandruff, eczema, etc
- Create a healthy and sepsis-free environment on your scalp
- Anti-bacterial in nature
ApHogee Keratin Reconstructor
- To reduce shedding and breakage
- To dissolve knots and free tangles
- To instantly improve hair elasticity
- For hydration, for moisture
- For good slip during application
Note: I worked on dry, partly-moisturised hair, ‘thoroughly’ finger-detangled hair. You may work on dry or wet hair.
- Part hair into desired sections that are easy to work with.
- Scoop mix with fingers and apply liberally on each section, with focus on scalp, hair shaft and tips.
- On scalp, with the aid of your fingers, massage mix in circular motions to lift debris from scalp
- Once all sections are covered, make sure entire perimeter of hairline is covered with the mix also.
- Place a plastic bag or cap on your head ( to create a warm environment that will enhance pore opening, extraction of dirt and penetration of nutrients) and let sit for 1 hour, at most 1hour 30minutes.
Though these ingredients are basics that more or less every hairlista should have, its understandable if you don’t have it all. The clay is the main ingredient, the carrier oils for slip and sealing of nutrients and moisture, and the essential oils are for stimulation and creation of a healthy environment.
This was my first time ever trying out this DIY (do it yourself) blend and the results amazed me because some commercial deep conditioners will not give your hair this sort of feel. It was inspired by the urgency to spend as little amount of time as possible prepping and cleansing my hair. It took me about 2hours and 30minutes. This time frame includes the intervals during which I sectioned my hair, applied mix, steamed my hair and rinsed off.
For those who feel the need to do an extra deep conditioning treatment because clay is a detox ingredient, there’s no harm in that. I will advise though that you do this ‘extra’ on damp to dry hair, and don’t leave it in for longer than 1 hour to avoid hygral fatigue as your hair is already pumped with moisture.
Where did I get my ingredients from?
Multani mitti (Fuller’s earth) clay from Beautiphic Store
Tea Tree Essential Oil from My Nubian Roots
The rest were either imported, bought from a local market or gifted. All can be found in Nigeria though.
I hope you lovelies enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed putting together this article xoxo