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How to Cocktail Curly Hair Products

CristinaC

2015-10-16 15:05:49

How to Cocktail Curly Hair Products

What is curly cocktailing and how do you mix your own? Start here.

Many of us spend our lives searching for that one unicorn product. The one that provides everlasting moisture, shine, frizz-less texture that lasts 5 days straight and feels soft to the touch. The product whose ingredient label lists all natural, organic ingredient names we can pronounce, contains no chemicals or preservatives, has a neverending shelf life, costs $5 and can be found nation wide in our local drugstores.

If you have found your Holy Grail hair product, congratulations. But for those who are still looking, there is a way to get exactly what you want, when you want it – we call it cocktailing.

What is cocktailing?

Cocktailing is combining store bought products with raw ingredients to create your own personalized product. You know cooking at home is way better for you than eating out because in your kitchen you have control over what’s going into your food – the same can be said for cocktailing your own hair products.

For example, if you love the hold of your gel but it leaves your hair feeling dry, you have options! You can mix in your favorite leave-in conditioner, customize a curl cream, or even use aloe vera gel instead. With a few minor alterations, you can breathe new life into that graveyard of un-loved products under your bathroom sink.

Here are a few easy cocktails to start you on your way to becoming a brilliant mixologist.

2nd Day Hair Refresher

Everyone’s telling you to “shampoo less.” But if your hair is prone to dryness or product buildup is weighing your hair down by day 3, then you need a light, moisturizing refresher. This will reactivate any product you applied in previous days and help reshape any creases that happened while you were sleeping.

  • Step 1 – Fill an empty spray bottle (you can either buy one or use an empty product bottle) halfway with distilled water. Distilled water contains no impurities, minerals, contaminants, or gases, and has a desirable pH level of 7.
  • Step 2 – Add 1-2 tablespoons of your favorite leave-in conditioner (we like Karen’s Body Beautiful Sweet Ambrosia Leave-in Conditioner or Kinky Curly Knot Today). Shake until the mixture is fully incorporated.
  • Step 3 – In the morning spritz your dry, flattened 2nd (or 4th or 5th) day hair lightly. Flip your head forward and spritz  upside down, gently scrunching your hair with your fingers. If you have curls, coils or waves do not to brush or rake your fingers through your hair. Then spot treat any out of shape or frizzy spots using your fingers or, if you prefer, a heat styling tool.
Easiest Cocktail. Ever.

If your hair is in need of a transformational treatment – but you don’t have the budget for a fancy deep conditioner – then simply upgrade your daily conditioner.

  • Step 1 – Add 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil to your daily conditioner. Shake until fully mixed.
  • Step 2 – Condition as you normally would. Or for a deeper treatment saturate your hair with the conditioner and put on a shower cap for 15-30 minutes, then rinse.

Super simple right? As with all hair tips, everyone’s hair is different so you may find that 1 tablespoon of oil is plenty for you, or you may need more moisture – I have seen some women use a ratio of ¾ conditioner ¼ oil, and even up to 50/50 conditioner and oil. And you may find that instead of olive oil, your hair reacts better to grapeseed oil or honey (yes, honey!). When you are just starting out, mix a small cocktail in a bowl rather than dumping the oil straight into your conditioner bottle so that you can play with the quantities and oils until you find what works.

Moisturizing Curl Definer

Styling products are notorious for containing drying ingredients like alcohols, mineral oil or petrolatum, which can be especially problematic for curly, coily and wavy hair. In our pursuit of fighting frizz, we are drying out our hair, which can lead to even more frizz.

Instead, cocktail your own styler with the ultimate do-it-all ingredient: aloe vera.

Aloe vera is a do-it-all ingredient for hair. In the curly community we use it for moisturizing, detangling, scalp healing, hair growth, dandruff fighting, pH balancing and so much more. It can even give your curls a soft, touchable hold when used as a gel.

  • Step 1 – For women with wavy hair or if you prefer a fluffy wash and go, pure aloe vera gel may be all you need to give you light hold and definition – you can stop here. For tighter curls, you can move on to the next step.
  • Step 2 – Melt a tablespoon of shea butter in a bowl over a cup of hot water (like a mini double boiler). Add a tablespoon each of aloe vera gel and coconut into your softened shea butter.
  • Step 3 – Mix until fully incorporated (you can use a spoon or a hand mixer). Apply this mix to your hair for moisture and soft, touchable hold.

Where to get aloe vera gel?

You can use aloe vera gel straight from the leaves of the aloe vera plant, or you can buy aloe vera gel for $5. Our community loves Fruit of the Earth,Lily of the Desert and Trader Joe’s. Most aloe vera gels (even the ones that say “100% pure”) still contain additives and preservatives, and the Trader Joe’s contains parabens, but our community still loves the way they work.

With so many different hairtypes out there, no hair product can be one size fits all, so save yourself the time and money and create your own dream product.

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