It seems like at the moment there are a million and one new product lines popping up for natural hair. Many of them are great, some average, and a few are just glorified coconut oil or shea butter with fragrance. Although there are some great brands out there that I enjoy buying products from, a good way to save money, and to get to know your hair better is to make your own products.
Here are a few pointers to developing your own sprays, butters oil mixes etc.
1) Determine what kind of products your hair already likes.
For example, if your hair doesn't generally cope well with thick butters you've purchased from some product lines, it might not be the best idea to buy a truckload of shea butter yourself. That's not to say you shouldn't experiment, but try to keep a track of what your hair already likes. Do products with glycerine high on the ingredients list make your hair soft? Does your hair like oils or respond better to water based products? Does it like thick creams or more runny lotions?
This might seem cheeky, but look on the ingredient list of your favourite product, and see if you can replicate it yourself. If it's high in olive oil for example, you can get that from your local shop for really cheap. Local health shops can provide you with essential and fragrance oils.
2) Source a good website to buy ingredients from. One good website I've tried is Shea Butter cottage :http://www.akuawood.co.uk/. She has a good range of ingredients from shea and mango butters, to castor oil and herbs.Trawl the internet for reviews of good websites that are affordable, reliable with shipping, and have good ingredient quality.
3) Get mixing!
Here's a recipe for a basic spray that I use for my protective styles:
1 part conditioner (I use Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose)
4 parts water (filtered is best)
1 part Vegetable Glycerine (I sometimes use Rosewater and Glycerine)
3 drops of an essential oil of my choice e.g Rosemary
Use clean utensils. I personally like to keep separate utensils for mixing hair products and eating food :-) (sounds obvious - but some people might not have a problem with it).
Good things to have are a hand mixer for butters. If you don't have one or don't want to invest in one, you can melt down butters in the microwave or warm the container in hot water, and mix them that way.
4) Make sure you keep your products fresh. Natural home made products go off very quickly, especially if they are water based, so add a preservative like Vitamin E oil to make sure your products have a longer shelf life, and where possible, keep them in the fridge.
Peace , Love and Hair grease folks!!
Comment, ask questions, share your own recipes!