It seems the kinkier the hair the more prone to dehydration it is. No matter what your hair goals are, moisture is a critical portion of achieving them. For 4C’s like yours truly, the extreme bends in hair strands means the little water naturally present in hair isn’t enough to go around and the winding bends make it all but impossible for the water to travel down to the tips. The most aged parts of the hair strands are the tips which unfortunately means they are far removed from the scalp and don’t stand a chance of getting any moisture. And it only gets worse as the strands gain length.
My method of keeping my hair hydrated stems from a lot of different experiments. And while I vary the recipe based on mood and what I have on hand, it remains the same for the most part. The base (and key) ingredients for the detangler/ spray leave-in are:
¼ cup flaxseeds
¼ cup fenugreek seeds
½ cup marshmallow root
All three contain mucilage, which provides the much needed slip. They are also packed with minerals and vitamins that nourish the hair.
The recipe is super easy once the base is created:
- Bring ¼ cup detangler blend with 3 cups of water to a boil for 25 minutes. The water reduces to about half (decoction). Leave to cool for another 10 minutes.
- Filter the liquid and add a tablespoon each of some herbs (your preference). Stinging nettle and lavender were my choice for this recipe. I mostly use herbs that are great for dry hair in this section. No herb I know of causes any harm to the hair so use what you like/have.
- Optionally you can add a handful of rose petals for fragrance or use essential oils. Remember essential oils are still oils and will not dissolve in water. The best way is to lace the herbs you will use in step 3 with the essential oils before adding them to the mixture.
- At this point the PH of the mixture is about 6, unless you used citrus essential oils, which tend to increase acidity (that means the mix could go from PH 6 to 4.5 or lower – the acidity is increased ). A cup of aloe vera juice (gel will work too, maybe ½ a cup) balances the PH and enhances moisturizing ability of the mix. Final PH should be about 4.5.
- 1 teaspoon of Shea Butter water-soluble ups the moisturizing abilities of the mix. This step is also optional.
- ¼ teaspoon of liquid germall plus will preserve your mix so it lasts the same as any store bought product. I highly recommend a preservative because this formulation is water heavy which means it’s a breeding ground for bacteria and other pathogens if left unpreserved.
You will end up with about two cups of liquid. That may sound like a lot but it’s only really 16 ounces( enough to fill the bottles above). This is the one product I use before nightly braiding and sometimes in the morning especially on days I wear my hair in a roll, tuck and pin hair style, which is my default way of styling for now.
Pour into atomizer or spritz bottle and enjoy saying sayonara to dry hair. This product works as a detangler, misting freshener and a spray leave-in conditioner. Use as you see fit for your hair.
PS: This has been truly life changing. My hair has never been softer and easier to manage. I am very content with this formulation except for aesthetics. I want to make it look more appealing without sacrificing the perfect balance of moisture it gives my hair. Video will be up as soon as I figure it out. For now I am just extremely grateful for this wonderful leave-in.