I'm going down memory lane (in pictures) and giving you two of my all-natural hair care recipes that have contributed to my hair being healthier and more beautiful than ever!
Leading a natural life is easier said than done in our chemical-laden society. One may not realize the amount of chemicals we consume throughout the day until trying to eliminate said chemicals. I'm making progress each day but I, like everyone, fall back on old habits when in a hurry or traveling. For this "Gone Natural" series, I'll share my journey (successes and failures) on leading a more natural existence, one that coexists with the processes of nature versus an existence that tries to reverse nature or lives in combustion with it.
Growing up, my hair used to be dirty blonde with natural sunlights. During high school, like many of us women, the media and societal pressures made me feel like I should change my hair or dye it to be expressive, and I started changing the color of my hair from red to purple to blonde. I had this sudden urge when I was 17 to let my friend experiment on my hair (right before senior pictures, of course). She claimed to know what she was doing and I thought, "Why not?". We went for pink hair.
I destroyed my hair. My mom was horrified. My friend had moved to Orange County and started seeing this guy Alex to do her hair. She suggested I go to him and despite the cost of the swanky hair salon where Alex worked, my mom happily took me there for the sake of my hair.
Alex not only rescued my hair, but he made it fabulous, and we became best friends. For over a decade, we had a blast changing my look. Near the end of 2012, I decided to stop processing my hair and just let it grow out. I've always complained that my hair grows very slow (it's super thick!) but constantly dying it doesn't help. In fact, there was a time when I had a blonde chunk on the top of my hair that actually broke off. Alex and I laugh about that constantly now as we reminisce all the crazy styles we did. See my journey of forever-changing hairstyles since 2004 and how it looks now!
I must admit, I had forgotten what my normal hair color looked like or I mistakenly believed I couldn't have it again. We tell ourselves all kinds of things to avoid growing our hair out and convince ourselves that fake dyes are other colors are better than what we have. If I had just loved myself from a young age and not felt the urge to change my look, I could've saved thousands of dollars, avoiding ingesting pounds of toxic chemicals, and had beautiful, natural hair this whole time. Before, I wasn't one to get compliments for having beautiful hair, but that's now changed since going natural! At a yoga photoshoot, one stylist asked me if my hair is "virgin" (meaning not processed) and when I replied, "yes", she asked if I would consider selling my hair (she makes wigs). I said, "definitely not". But I was flattered nonetheless!
I use an all-natural homemade hair mask made of essential oils (recipe below) once a week to help stimulate the hair follicles and boost hair growth. I also made a serum that I use when I need some frizz control or shine (recipe also below). It's basically a homemade Moroccan oil. For shampoo & conditioner, I use organic and vegan brands and sometimes I skip that and rinse my scalp with straight apple cider vinegar. It helps to strip any buildup from products and the environment and gets my hair feeling clean and shiny. I've heard some girls say they use baking soda with water in place of shampoo but I haven't tried this yet (don't do this at the same time as vinegar as this could burn your scalp).
My hair is now back to the dirty blondish color as when I was a child and it gets blonde when I spend time in the sun. There are inches of my hair that are blonder than others from the different times of the year I live in Costa Rica as I spend more time outdoors there, and I like to think of my hair as rings on a tree, expressing the different places I've lived and been.
Rima's Homemade Moroccan Oil
This serum is appropriate for all hair types. The amount you use will be dependent on your hair situation! If you have greasy hair, use less. If you want frizz control or have hair that's drier, use a bit more.
- 1/4 cup organic Argan oil
- 1/4 cup organic Rosehips oil
- 1/4 cup organic Jojoba oil
- 1 teaspoon organic Vitamin E oil
- 10 - 20 drop of organic essential oils (think Lavender, Grapefruit, Sandalwood, or Peppermint)
- Measuring cup
- Glass storage jar or pump (oils will eat through the plastic)
- Mix equal parts of the first three ingredients plus Vitamin E oil together in the jar.
- Add an essential oil or a blend of 2 - 3, being careful not to use too much. Test it out as you add them. You can always add more but the first 4 ingredients are expensive and you don't want to waste them if you add too much essential oil.
- Mix it all up and use sparingly. A little goes a long way! Use about a teaspoon at a time and base it on your hair needs.
Rima's Hair Growing Hair Mask
This mask is invigorating and energizing for the scalp, and it promotes follicle health and boosts hair growth. I apply this once a week a few hours before washing my hair. I add the oils with a tear dropper around my scalp and comb it through to the ends (don't worry about saturating the hair, though, as this recipe is for the scalp). Then I add some coconut oil to the bowl and comb that through my hair! I throw it up and let it sit and do it's magic. It's appropriate for all hair types.
- 20 drops organic Rosemary essential oil
- 20 drops organic Sage essential oil
- 20 drops organic Peppermint essential oil
- Optional: 20 drops organic Lavender essential oil
- About 4 - 5 Tbs of organic Jojoba oil (or other carrier oil); use less or more based on the length of your hair
- Optional: Organic coconut oil, liquid
- Measuring spoon
- Glass bowl
- Tear dropper
- Mix ingredients together in glass bowl.
- Use tear dropper to add it along your scalp, massaging it into your scalp gently.
- Use the comb to spread the oil evenly and start to bring it down towards the ends (focus mostly on the scalp). Don't worry if it doesn't saturate all of your hair, as this mask is meant to stimulate the scalp mostly.
- Optional step: I put some liquid coconut oil (you can soften it with the heat from your hands if it's formed) in the bowl to get the additional oils and then I comb that through my hair to the ends to get extra conditioning.
- Let sit for 20 minutes to a couple of hours before washing and conditioning hair normally (I wash my hair twice to get the oil out).
- Repeat weekly or as needed.
*Allergen Warning: Make sure you're not allergic to ANY of these ingredients prior to applying this much oil to you hair. The peppermint oil causes a natural tingling sensation but there should never be burning or pain. If there is, wash immediately with soap and water.
More of my Hair Care Secrets
- My hair is fairly thick, so I only wash it once a week (twice MAXIMUM), even with yoga and all that jazz. It allows my hair to retain it's natural oils versus being stripped away by shampoo and replaced with conditioner.
- In between washing, I use the "Scritch and Preen" method. Google it. :-)
- I braid my hair a lot when going to sleep, for yoga, or just during the day. I wanted to learn how to do nice braids so I taught myself various methods via YouTube. Now, people act as if I'm performing magic. I often hear, "Did you braid that yourself?" "How did you do that?" And my favorite, "You look like Elsa!" All for a french braid. When I do a fish tail braid, people really go crazy. I love the compliments and it's super easy to do, so teach yourself and practice!
- You can also braid your hair to help style it by braiding when wet and then letting it down when dry. I do that all the time and it accentuates my natural waves. I rarely use heat on my hair anymore! If I do, it's for a special occasion and feels like a "treat" or feels strange.
What ways have you gone natural with your haircare regimen?
Stayed tuned for more to come in the "Gone Natural" Series! Subscribe to my newsletter below, share if you enjoyed on the left and please follow me on social media for the latest news on the right.
My forever-changing hair styles over the last decade
My hair is finally growing out again! It's literally taken a decade! The top picture, 2004, shows the longest my hair was before I chopped it off, and it's taken time and patience to grow it back out. I'm glad I no longer rely on dyes, plugs, or appliances to find my beauty and I can feel happy with who I am.