Wash day y’all!

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Whether you’re newly natural or have been rocking your puffy halo for a while, or even a relaxed girl like myself; wash day should be easy. And it shouldn’t be a chore. We should feel relieved that we can flip our ‘fros and twirl our twist outs. Natural hair should be fun, fluffy and fancy free. So what’s the point if you’re taking just as much time as going to the beauty shop to do your hair when you’re natural?
If you don’t know, the phrase “wash day” is the day, not to be confused with a day of rest, that is reserved for grooming. For some women, wash day is a dance of complicated steps involving multiple products and oils and conditioning caps in an effort to achieve the perfect balance of moisture and softness. To that I say, wash DAY? A whole day? Really? I don’t have time for that. Actually, I won’t even entertain pretending like I’m making time for that. My “wash day” usually consists of the following (I’m also including my fav products):

Prepoo….if I feel like I need the extra moisture not a mandatory step (L’Oreal Total Repair conditioner mixed with EVOO) cover with plastic cap for 30 mins; during this time I’m usually doing something around the house or watching tv.

Shampoo 2x (L’Oreal Total Repair shampoo)

If I feel like it…..black tea rinse (Lipton black tea)

Deep condition (whatever conditioner I have on hand mixed with either EVOO or coconut oil) for 30 mins. I don’t sit under a dryer or steamer but I do put on a plastic cap and I typically am moving around so the body heat I generate is enough for me.

After rinsing I normally let my hair air dry for about 20 mins before I put my leave ins on my hair (Cantu Shea Butter leave in conditioner, Organix Coconut Milk anti breakage serum)

Then, I either wrap my hair if I plan on wearing it straight or I will Bantu knot it for the week
Total I spend maybe 1.5-2hours max on my “wash day” but honey some people I know and some blogs I’ve run across take the Wash Day at its total literal meaning LOL!

Within the last five years, so many companies launched hair care lines devoted to natural hair. Tons of products definitely increases our choice, but also increases our desire to stock our linen closets with six different conditioners—all still half-full—that sit there, unused like a coin collection. It makes sense that newly natural women try more products because figuring out what works is a valid challenge. But for the rest of us a few years (or decades) into the natural game, get a trusted product lineup and stick with it. Keep it simple. Using less product saves time and effort, and makes wash day fly by. Streamlining those products helps to keep wash day antics to a minimum. Your living space isn’t doubling as a meth lab, so there’s no reason to put the entire pantry and the contents under the kitchen sink on your hair and call it a hydrating masque. Ma’am. Stop it. No, seriously, stop it before you smell fumes.
Having a routine also helps to cut down on grooming time. Washing your hair should be like taking a shower. Not many people truly dread bathing, they just do it. Lather, rinse, repeat. It’s that simple. But not us. We want to co-wash, deep condition, suffer through awful smelling protein treatments, sit under the dryer for 47 minutes until hair glues itself to the top of the hooded dryer, rinse the hair for 12 more minutes, slather on extra virgin olive oil hot oil treatment on, sit under the dryer again for 21 minutes because 15 just doesn’t ‘feel’ long enough, rinse again, then finally begin to style. Who does that? Well, a lot of us actually.
The most important thing to note here is that there’s nothing wrong with natural hair that needs fixing. Unless you’re sleeping without a bonnet or satin pillowcase every night or rushing through combing your hair, you most likely don’t have glaring issues with your hair. And, this is especially true if your hair isn’t color-treated. That means there’s no need to always do all of the extra treatments and put in the the “just in case” products. Part of going natural is learning to be okay with what you’ve got. Letting go of trying to achieve perfectly formed zig zags, curls and coils with an array of products doesn’t mean you’re doomed to be unkempt. Besides, if it’s a humid day, fluffy hair will probably frizz even if a $22 curl activating serum is bonded to each coil. Hair will find a way to behave the way it wants. Let it do that.
Seriously, if you want to wash your hair on Saturday morning, do it. Just don’t take all day.

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Fifty Shades of Coconut Oil….The links!

Yesterday, I posted a great list of 50 uses for coconut oil. Unfortunately the links I had with some of the uses weren’t there when I posted the blog so here’s the links and corresponding numbers on the list! Thanks to Karen for pointing it out to me!

Xoxo
Dee

4. http://www.swansonvitamins.com/blog/natural-health-tips/top-15-smoothie-ingredients

12. http://www.swansonvitamins.com/blog/kaitlins-blog/coconut-oil-coffee

13. http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/coconut-granola/

15. http://www.freecoconutrecipes.com/index.cfm/2009/7/25/Coconut-Oil-Vinegar-Salad-Dressing

19. http://www.swansonvitamins.com/blog/natural-health-and-wellness/diy-natural-sugar-scrub

21. http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2012/12/diy-coconut-oil-deodorant.html

22. http://healthimpactnews.com/2012/homemade-coconut-oil-lip-balms/

41. http://www.swansonvitamins.com/blog/natural-health-tips/essential-oils-aromatherapy-guide

47. http://www.theglutenfreevegan.com/2011/10/how-to-season-a-cast-iron-pan/

49. http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/the-health-benefits-of-coconut-oil/

Fifty Shades of Coconut Oil

So anyone that knows me well knows that I toot the horn of coconut oil awesomeness all the time and I did a bit of research to go beyond what I normally use it for…I put it on my hair and I use it for baking(I use separate jars for my hair and for cooking) so here’s some great uses for coconut oil thati hope all of y’all can use! Have fun!

Cooking and Eating
1) Cooking at High Heat – Some oils are unsafe to cook with at high temperatures, coconut oil is a great alternative.

2) On Toast Instead of Butter – Simply use coconut oil instead of butter on your toast.

3) Eat it by the Spoonful – Coconut oil is that delicious and healthful. Enjoy one spoonful each morning.

4) Smoothies – Add one tablespoon of coconut oil into your favorite smoothie recipe and increase your energy with the oil’s MCTs. Check out this post for the Top Smoothie Ingredients.

5) Fry Eggs – Lightly coat the bottom of your skillet with coconut oil to create a non-stick surface and delicious eggs.

6) Popping Popcorn – A sweet twist on a classic snack! To make stovetop popcorn, you need a heavy-bottomed pan. First, add the coconut oil and popcorn to the pot. Coat the area of the pot with the oil, and use just enough popcorn to make a single layer over the bottom of the pot. Give the pot a little shake to make sure all of the kernels are coated with oil. Next, place the pot over medium heat. Put the lid on the pot, leaving it slightly open so that steam can escape. It should take about five minutes for the popcorn to pop completely.

7) Popcorn Topping – Instead of butter, melt a little coconut oil and pour it over your popped popcorn. Then sprinkle lightly with Himalayan crystal salt.

8) Oven Baked Sweet Potato Chips – Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Thinly slice sweet potatoes to about 1/8” thick. Place slices on a baking sheet and brush lightly with coconut oil. Bake for about 15 minutes or until chips are lightly brown. Add salt to taste, and serve with salsa or dip. (Or just eat them plain – either way they’re delicious!)

9) Replace Vegetable Oil for Baking – Next time you make your favorite brownie recipe, replace the vegetable oil with coconut oil. Your friends will be begging you for the recipe.

10) Pan Frying – Next time you fry up a batch of sweet potato fries or a piece of chicken, use coconut oil.

11) Grilled Cheese with Coconut Oil – No need for butter the next time you are making a grilled cheese sandwich.

12) Coconut Oil Coffee – Adding a spoonful to your coffee is a delicious way to start your day with a huge energy boost! Here is a great recipe for coconut oil coffee.

13) Homemade Granola – Check out this delicious recipe for coconut granola.

14) A Spoonful in Tea – Allow some coconut oil to melt and mildly flavor your next cup of tea.

15) Salad Dressings – A simple recipe for a salad dressing with coconut oil can be found here.

Skin Care

16) Cheekbone Highlighter – Apply a small amount on cheekbones over makeup.

17) Shaving Lotion – Close shave and a moisturizer at the same time.

18) Facial Scrub – Combine coconut oil with Himalayan crystal salt and apply to face each night. Washing it off is optional.

19) Body Scrub – Combine coconut oil and sugar. Check out this DIY Sugar Scrub recipe.

20) Makeup Remover – Healthier, stronger and longer eye lashes are just a bonus!

21) Homemade Deodorant – You only need a few ingredients in addition to coconut oil to make this simple deodorant recipe.

22) Homemade Lip Balm or Lip Gloss – Apply directly or create a flavored version with this simple lip balm recipe.

23) Diaper Rash Cream – Apply regularly to the baby’s bottom to improve skin health.

24) Sexual Lubricant – Our Facebook fans swear by this one 🙂

25) Stretch Mark Preventer During Pregnancy – This safe, healthy oil can be applied multiple times each day to help moisturize your stretching skin.

26) Nipple Cream During Breastfeeding – Coconut oil is a popular choice for nursing mothers because it is a natural safe product.

27) Massage Oil – Coconut oil is the perfect choice for a massage oil. Not too greasy and with a relaxing scent.

28) Body Moisturizer – Apply directly after showering.

29) Fade Age Spots – Rub on hands or other areas daily.

30) Sunburn Care – A great moisturizer to use after you’ve gotten a bit too much sun.

31) Facial Moisturizer – After you wash your face, massage a light layer on your skin.

32) Mix in Bath Water – Melt about 1/4 cup in the microwave and add it to your bath water and soak.

33) Tanning Oil – Put in a spray bottle and bring to beach. Spray on to keep skin moisturized.

34) Dry Feet Treatment – Mix with salt to form a foot scrub.

35) Elbow Rub – Helps manage the dry skin on your elbows.

Hair Care

36) Leave-in Overnight Conditioner – Looking for a deep conditioning hair treatment? Rub a small amount of oil into hair (mostly at ends), comb through and put hair in a loose bun before bed, and wash out in the morning.

37) Hair Flyaway Tamer – Use very sparingly on ends or areas with flyaways.

38) Defrizzer of Split Ends – Just put a tiny amount on your hands and run them through the frizzy areas.

39) Static Reducer – Rub your hands together with a little bit of coconut oil on them and run them through your static-y hair.

Other Healthy Uses for Coconut Oil
40) Homemade Toothpaste – Combine equal parts coconut oil and baking soda. Sweeten with stevia and flavor with your favorite essential oil.
41) Aromatherapy – Whether you like coconut or not, the soothing aroma of coconut oil is pleasing to us all and can help us wind down after a long, stressful day. Read The Beginner’s Guide to Aromatherapy.
42) Wound Care – Although you may not be ready to give up your Neosporin, coconut oil can even be used as a topical protector for wounds, shielding them with a thin chemical layer from outside contaminants. You can apply a small amount of coconut oil to small scrapes and cuts.
43) Metabolism Booster – 2 tablespoons per day are proven to rev up your metabolism.
44) Thyroid Supporter – Regular coconut oil consumption has been shown to support healthy thyroid function.
45) Energizer – 1 teaspoon can give you a burst of energy instead of turning towards a caffeinated energy drink.
46) Oil Pulling – Swish coconut oil around in your mouth for 10 minutes before brushing.

Using Coconut Oil Around The House
47) Season a Cast Iron Pan – Here is a nice explanation of how to season a cast iron pan with coconut oil.
48) Use it as a lubricant on small motors/electronics – One Facebook fan uses it to keep his juicer’s motor in top working condition.

Coconut Oil for Animals
49) Feed it to your Dog or Cat – Coconut oil isn’t just healthy for humans. Here is some good info on the benefits for dogs and cats.
50) Put It On Your Cat’s Paw – Put half a teaspoon on your kitty’s paw to keep a shiny coat and cut down on hairballs.

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