All Alcohols Are Not Created Equal

Too often I see people turning away from certain products because of alcohol ingredients. I used to be one of these people before I learned that all alcohol ingredients aren't necessarily bad for your hair.

The Good 
The ingredients that I see most frequently in products include Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, and Cetearyl Alcohol. When I see these on ingredients lists they are usually third or fourth on the lists. All three of these are natural fatty alcohols derived from coconut oil. They are widely used as emollients and stabilizing agents in conditioning and moisturizing treatments. These fatty alcohols give back that soft feeling into the hair by helping the cuticle to lie flat on the surface of the hair. They give our hair a soft feeling and manageability! Other good alcohols include Behenyl alcohol, Lauryl alcohol, and Isocetyl alcohol. These are also fatty alcohols that provide softening effects to the hair.

The Bad
The alcohols you do want to watch out for include SD Alcohol 40, Ethanol, SD Alcohol, Propyl, Propanol, and Isopropyl. These alcohols are used as solvent and they cause products to evaporate quickly. Because of this quality, these ingredients can be very drying to the hair. They can be the culprits of breakage and frizzy hair.

So before you decide to stay clear of products with alcohol in it, try and become familiar with the alcohols that are good and those that are bad. Once I became familiar with these names there were so many more products that I could try out (like i need any more products...). I like to keep a list of ingredients commonly found in hair products handy so that when I am out looking for new things to try out I can make sense of ingredients I do not recognize. The list that I keep bookmarked can be found here 

The products that you are avoiding may be the products that your hair loves!


Homemade Deep Conditioner: Greek Yogurt Hair Mask

Ingredients used: olive oil plain Greek yogurt, pure honey
I did not have any deep conditioner left for this past wash day nor did I want to go out and buy any, so I decided to try a homemade deep conditioner. I remembered watching a couple of video on Youtube about great results from using yogurt as a deep conditioner and I happened to have plain greek yogurt that I know I would not eat any time soon so I decided to put it to good use. Benefits of yogurt include providing shine, reducing frizz, detangling hair.Yogurt does contain protein and so its properties will help in strengthening hair. It's antibacterial properties will help to soothe the scalp and reduce itchiness. Some people like to add egg to yogurt to boost its potential as a protein treatment and some like to add oils and conditioner for moisturizing purposes. I needed a balance of protein and moisture but a little more on the moisture side so I added honey and olive oil to my Greek yogurt. 

I used about 2 about 3/4 of the container of Greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and one tablespoon of pure honey. I mixed the ingredients until I got a nice consistency.

After prepooing with coconut oil and then shampooing, I applied the yogurt mask to my hair in four sections. The mixture was very thick and went on like a mask would. 

I left the mix on under a plastic cap for about an hour while I watched Scandal (phenomenal show!) and then rinsed my hair out with warm water. As I rinsed, my hair felt very soft and moisturized. I was able to finger detangle in the shower and it didn't take much effort because the mask did a good job at separating the hair strands from each other. I did not like the smell of the yogurt in my hair so after rinsing and detangling in the shower I applied Suave Keratin Smoothing conditioner to rid of the smell.  After towel drying, my hair felt very soft and I did notice a very nice shine. 

I am very excited about this homemade conditioner and it is definitely a mix I would use if I don't have my favorite deep conditioners around or I just need a change.  The yogurt definitely detangles, moisturizes and brings great shine to my hair. The one thing I don't like is the smell of the yogurt. The next time I try this yogurt mask I will add an essential oil to mask the smell. 

Have any of you tried a homemade yogurt deep conditioner before? How did you like it?


21 Hair Questions Tag

I have been tagged by Kim at FancyFlairLady to do the 21 Hair Questions Tag. Thanks so much for tagging me, Kim! I tag anyone who reads this post! If you don't have a blog leave your answers below because I would love to know your answers!

1. Why did you start taking better care of your hair?
In the summer of 2010, I wanted a new style so i cut a bob and loved it. I wasn't too happy with the thickness of my hair though, so I started researching how to get it thicker. Researching online opened a whole new realm for me (Youtube, blogs, forurms, etc.) and I was inspired to start a hair jounrey. What really got me going though was a little later in 2010 when I went to a new salon to get a touch up and layers and the lady gave me a hair cut that I absolutely hated. At that point I got really serious about growing my hair long and healthy...

2. What are your 2 favorite hair products?
Grapeseed oil and Elasta QP Oilve Oil and Mango Butter

3. Who's hair did you admire as a child?
A cousin of mine. Her hair was always so thick and healthy

4. What is your ultimate goal length?
Waist Length

5. How are you going to celebrate when you reach your ultimate goal length?
I am probably going to straighten my hair and swing it all about the place all day long.

6. Two styles you want to try at your goal length?
Flexi rod roller sets and a big fat fishtail braid (I love them!)

7. Which do you prefer: Health or Length?
Definitely health

8. Which do you prefer: hair ties with no metal parts or butterfly clips?
I use hair ties most of the time, but recently I have been using banana clip and I think I prefer those.

9. What products do you prefer: salon brands, organic brands, BSS brands, Drugstore brands, or other?
I don't think I can chose one. I have tried all types of different products and have liked a good amount of them.

10. Which product/technique do you think is over-rated?
Green-house effect. It makes my hair too mushy. I prefer to just baggy my ends.

11. Which product/technique do you think is under-rated?
Oil rinsing. The process helps me to seal in a lot of moisture

12. What is your favorite part of your hair regimen?

13. What is the most annoying part of your hair regimen?

14. Oils or Butters?

15. Buns or Ponytails?

16. Wigs or Weaves?

17. What is your opinion of growth aids?
I haven't tried too many. But I think its the techniques you use with the growth aids that promote your hair growth and not just the product itself....that applies to any hair product though...

18. At what length do you consider hair long?

19. When is the last time you visited a salon?
October 2011

20. What do you like to surf most often: YouTube channels, personal blogs, or hair forums? 
It may be a tie between YouTube and blogs. I am a visual learner but I like reading about people's personal experiences.

21. And finally, what piece of advice would you give to someone just starting out on their hair journey?
Try and keep your journey simple, remember that health is much better than length, and try and be patient.

Tag! You're it...

"It's Really Not That Serious": Keep Your Hair Journey Simple

Sometimes we just need a reminder that our hair journeys do not have to be too complicated. We can reach our goals with simple regimens and simple products. As I was catching up on YouTube videos I came across an uplifting video by Shlinda1. She talks about how to have a successful hair journey on a budget and I don't think I could have put it into words any better. She has a great personality and is one is one of my favorite Youtubers to watch! Enjoy!