Articles By Quinn Smith

Honey has many nutritional and medicinal uses, but did you know it can be beneficial in your beauty routine? Honey is a humectant (which means that it helps to retain moisture) and an emollient (meaning that it softens and smoothes), which “naturally” makes it a great conditioner and moisturizer. It is also rich in vitamins and minerals, so using it in your hair care routine can leave your tresses looking shinier, feeling softer, and in an overall more healthy condition. Recent studies have also shown that because of honey’s antibacterial and antioxidant properties, it can also prove beneficial in keeping your scalp healthy and promoting hair growth! There are many things you can do with honey; try out our latest honey deep conditioner recipe called "Honey, You Need to Deep Condition."

MORE: Curl Chemist: The Buzz About Honey

Maintaining proper moisture is important for all hair types, but coily hair is even more susceptible to damage if it lacks moisture. Because of the structure of coily hair follicles, moisture can escape from the shaft quite easily, so not only is it a must to restore and maintain precious moisture, it’s important to find a way to seal it in. Here are 12 products to help moisturize coily hair and keep that moisture in!

If you have oily skin and then you have probably been conditioned to believe that oil (whether it came from your own pores or from outside sources) is the enemy. And if you think about it, oil in reference to skin is not the only oil that gets a bad rap. Only recently did we discover that there is such a thing as “good” oils for use in our diets as well. We now know that there are healthy oils and fats that we should eat (in moderation, of course) to help keep our bodies performing at their best. They supply essential fatty acids for brain and nerve function, cardiovascular health and beautiful skin. We can add these healthful oils into our diets by eating items like nuts, avocado, olive oil and coconut. Even with this dietary “aha moment,” many still balk at the notion of actually using oil in skin and hair care routines.

Furthermore, if you have ever shopped for natural oils then you know they can be very pricey, so when you do buy one it is useful to know that they have many uses and benefits that are well worth the investment. Here are five oils that serve double duty in your beauty regimen: they have just as many benefits for your hair as they do your skin.

MORE: Shampoo-Free with Cleansing Conditioners

Bentonite clay mask

What is bentonite clay?

Bentonite is an impure clay that usually forms from the weathering of volcanic ash and in the presence of water.  There are several types of bentonite, each named after the respective dominant element, like potassium, sodium, calcium, and aluminum.

Clays like bentonite have long been used to help rid the body of toxins and to provide it with nutrients. Sometimes animals turn to eating dirt and clay to help remove poisons from their systems or in times of illness or distress.

Bentonite can be used externally as a poultice, mud pack or in the bath and, in skin care recipes. Good quality bentonite should be a grey or cream color and anything that appears to be  “pure white” is suspect. It is often times packaged and distributed in powder form and should have a very fine, velvet-like feel. It is odorless and non-staining.

Bentonite clay is made of aged volcanic ash and is quite unique due to its ability to produce an electrical charge when hydrated. Upon contact with fluid, its electrical components change, giving it the ability to absorb toxins. Bentonite is known for its ability to absorb and remove toxins, heavy metals, impurities and chemicals.

How to use it

Bentonite clay

When it becomes mixed with water, bentonite clay rapidly swells open like a highly porous sponge, allowing toxins to be drawn into the sponge through electrical attraction and once there, they are bound inside of it. The clay then releases its minerals for the body to use.

Bentonite also helps oxygenate the cells, as it pulls excess hydrogen and allows the cells to replace it with oxygen instead. NEVER let bentonite come in to contact with anything metal, as this will reduce the effectiveness. You can mix it with water, apple cider vinegar, or extra virgin olive oil in a glass or plastic vessel and use plastic utensils to thoroughly mix.

There are many uses for bentonite: 

Use Bentonite clay on

  • burns
  • blemishes
  • insect bites
  • eczema
  • dry hair & scalp
  1. A paste of bentonite clay and water can be used on the skin for any irritation like blemishes, insect bites, cuts, skin itching  or burns. Leave it on until it dries and then wash it off. This can be especially calming to skin suffering from eczema, psoriasis, chicken pox, etc.
  2. For more severe issues (like burns), you can create a poultice by putting a thick layer of clay on the skin and applying a wet gauze or cloth over it, then wrap the area and leave the poultice on, changing every 2 hours.
  3. For smooth and healthy skin, make a paste of bentonite and water and apply to your face as a mask. Leave it on for 20 minutes and wash off.  This can be done once or twice a week.
  4. Adding a ¼ cup of bentonite to a bath can serve as a very relaxing and detoxifying bath that soothes and softens the skin.
  5. Bentonite can be used to clarify AND condition the hair (in one step!), by effectively removing  product build-up without stripping the hair like shampoo, leaving your hair conditioned and moisturized throughout.

MORE: Younger Looking Skin for All Ages

Oils used to be the bad guy, but now they’re all the rage. Every curly and her mama is raving about the benefits of coconut oil. But there is more to the world of oils than coconut and EVOO! Here are a few more oils that your hair (and skin) will be happy to be introduced to.

As tempting as it is to want to sink into a hot bath or relax in a steamy shower, particularly with the harsh weather and dropping temperatures outside, using hot water can sometimes dry out our skin and hair. Cold water is actually known to be better for you, and unlike hot water, it does not dry skin and hair, making them prone to damage. Find out why you should consider taking a cold shower from now on!

Split ends occur when the hair shaft splits or frays due to damage, environmental causes, or overuse of heat. Once they develop, the only remedy is a pair of scissors. But there are steps that you can take to prevent and protect your hair from developing those pesky split ends. Treating and protecting your ends will lead to fewer tangles (a curly girls’ ultimate foe) and ultimately length retention.

A new year means a chance to refocus and set new goals for ourselves. While we all have every intention of living up to the lofty resolutions we set for ourselves, sometimes life can get in the way! Here are a few realistic tips that will help you look better and feel better this year, past the first week of January and beyond!

To start the year with your hair at its healthy best, it is important to make sure your products and routines are in tip top shape. Here are some pointers that will help make sure you start the year with hair that looks and feels healthy.

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