Readers I hate to waste time and money on beauty products. Before I try anything new on my hair, I either read up about it on the Web, read labels or ask friends and family for reviews and testimonials. That would be the 4c ladies, because that is where I fall on the hair type spectrum. I visit stores to check out prices, and root around on shelves to find the smallest size before considering spending my hard-earned dollars on something I might not like. For all my visits to beauty salons, I’ve bought a grand total of only two bottles of product from those places. I usually visit outlet malls, or wait for sales at drug stores before committing to those pricey jars and bottles of Aveda and Biolage. Even Giovanni, as divine as it smells and with its endorsements from a number of hair vloggers on YouTube, will only get a second look during a special. And sometimes I write to the company asking for sample sizes. Readers, lest you think I’m cheap about my hair, I’m not. I just hate the thought of pricey jars of products, tried and rejected, collecting dust in my bathroom drawers and cabinets.
So imagine how silly I felt when I went looking for a few small bottles of essential oils to create a mixture for a hot oil treatment the other day. I found what I needed alright. Plus a virtual horde of essential oils stashed in my bathroom cabinet. Can you believe it?
Take a look at all those amber- and indigo-colored bottles.
Go on, zoom in on those little holistic dynamos.
Shocking, isn’t it? I dug up geranium, grape seed, lavender, myrrh, palmarosa, tea tree oil, vitamin E, ylang ylang and peppermint. All of that was in my cabinet, on top of … wait for it … the new supplies of virgin coconut oil and Jamaican Black castor oil (big up!), which I have been using. There is enough here to last me until the end of days.
This was a pleasant surprise and ridiculous at the same time. I mean, here I am staying up two or three nights a week—four or five, really–to read up, until my eyes water, on ph balances, co-washing, recipes for homemade leave-in treatments and shea-butter based hair-dressing concoctions. I could have been trying out my own the whole time! So I went on another research bender, looking up all the oils I’ve had in my cabinet for who knows how long. First I had to figure out how long they’ve been there, and whether they had lost their potency. And I don’t think I can use all of these oils in my hair. I’m a little skeptical about the geranium, for one.
For the most part, though, I think I have enough here to mix some decent batches for soothing everyday scalp moisture (not literally; more like three times a week), and occasional hot-oil treatments.
Sigh. I put it down to sleep-deprived foggy headedness. But I can’t help it. I get so wound up at night after long work days that even after putting Baby to bed, I plop down in front of the computer for a session of fiction writing, filling out bills, laughing at Facebook updates or reading hair blogs. If I get to sleep before midnight, it’s rare. Hubby says I’m a night owl, but readers, it ain’t that glamorous to be a night owl. I’m not exactly sauntering past bridge and tunnel wannabees to get behind the velvet rope at a culturally hip club or restaurant.
Well, reader, no one said every turn on my holistic hair care journey was going to be simple. But I am hoping that they will be mostly smart.
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Update: If anyone has a recipe for an effective hot-oil treatment for 4c hair, or knows of someone who has, please be a gem and leave a comment and a link. Thanks!