Pursuit of Natural

life, levity, & the pursuit of natural


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Coconut Oil

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Errbody and they mama were singing the praises of coconut oil. Meanwhile, I’m checking the price tag (you know Organic ain’t cheap.) Five bucks wasn’t much, but would it last through all the prepooing, oil sealing, and DIY deep conditioning? I decided to give it a go to see if it proved more protective for my ends and the integrity of my strands.

I slapped it on. Every time I remoisturized I oiled up. Then came wash day. I still found the stuff clinging to my ends. You know, the ones I dabbed with coconut oil for a little extra TLC. It was just sitting there not penetrated into the hair strands.

Clearly, I’d overdone it and had to scale way back. I recommend looking through some of NappyFu’s videos for your coconut oil and natural hair education and tips. Y’all, she breaks it all the way down. I definitely could’ve benefited from these videos at the time.

These days, I only use coconut oil occasionally and lightly. Once a week, if at all. I also mix it with my regular oil (pretty sure that was a NappyFu tip), which works just as well by itself and my hair is doing okay. I used coconut oil to detangle and prepoo after a month long protective style, and I will again if I ever return to that style. It works wonders on matting and complex tangles.

But for everyday use, I stick with my tried and true regular degular oil. Coconut oil builds up too fast. It may melt in my hands but it re-solidifies on my hair.  Like grease, I found it attracted dirt and trapped odor. That being the case, I also wouldn’t apply coconut oil to a long-term protective style. It’s hard enough to get rid of buildup locked into braids or twists, let alone buildup as water resistant as coconut oil.

Rather, regular use of coconut oil is probably most effective for those who wash more than once a week. Frequent washing could mitigate buildup and this oil will mitigate hygral fatigue.

So, that’s my experience with coconut oil so far. It’s good used sparingly and on occasion, amazing for detangling, and probably best for regimens that include frequent washing.

What’s your experience with coconut oil? Share in the comments. And if you’re a fan of The Pursuit, like this post, subscribe, and follow me @edinPON


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That Time I Used Body Wash on My Hair

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Girl, what? What had happened was…

I had my protective style take down all planned out: replenish my product stash as I was running low on everything, detangle, prepoo overnight, and then the next day wash and set.

So, I take out my protective style, douse my hair in coconut oil, detangle, and sleep in a shower cap. Next day, I get an early start, hop in the shower and WHERE THE HECK IS MY SHAMPOO?!

I didn’t buy any. Got all the extra ingredients that went into that DIY deep conditioner but totally and completely forgot to buy shampoo. I’m standing in the shower wondering what I’m going to do with a head full of coconut oil–that stuff won’t come out with conditioner. Sometimes it even takes a second wash to get rid of all the build up.

I stared at my body wash.

And stared.

Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. I’d go HAM with my regular conditioner afterwards, just to be safe.

Yoooo. My hair has never been so furious with me. It was so stripped. So rough. No amount of conditioner could’ve appeased my fro. It took two weeks to fully recover.

I stock up on conditioner and shampoo now.

The end.

 

Have you ever done something stupid to your hair when you knew better? Spill it in the comments! If you liked this post, then “like” this post. Subscribe and follow me @edinPON


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Empties

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Necessity is the mother of invention, but who knew going natural meant becoming a DIY alchemist? Now, the industry is catching up, but back when I went natural, every natural hair guru had her own recipe for deep conditioners, hair masks, leave-ins, protein treatments, and gels.

To which I’d go, “That’s so easy even I can make it!” and then never get around to it. About all the DIY-ing I did was mix leave-in conditioner sprays or cleansers–oh and that brown sugar scrub! My skin was as smooth as a baby’s behind!

Back to the point: you need somewhere to store all these concoctions, and it’s likely you’ve already got all the jars and bottles you need in your product stash. So, instead of throwing away your empties, consider reusing them.

Old gel tubs for your new deep conditioner. Oil spray bottles for misting your hair with water or a leave-in mixture. Applicator bottles for DIY-scalp treatments and cleansers. Pump bottles for oils that always seem to leak from their original pop-tops if you don’t set them down upright, like, say, when you decide to do your hair from the comfort of your bed (pro-tip: save your beddings and use some kind of a drop cloth!)

Always make sure to properly clean and sanitize the containers before use. Soap and boiling water is usually sufficient. There shouldn’t be any strong lingering scent or fragrance, if it is indeed clean.

Finally, don’t be a pack rat. If you aren’t using your recycled container now and you are likely to get another one anyways, put it in the bin. You can always find some handy-sized containers in the dollar store.

 

Has going natural made you a DIYer? What hair products do you make yourself? Do you reuse or recycle any containers? Share below, or find me @edinPON or +EdinPursuitOfNatural on G+. Don’t forget to like, follow, and share!

 

 

 


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Ophelia Debelia Fixes Her Scrunchy

Happy birthday to me! Today, I turn growner. Let’s have a tutorial to celebrate, shall we?

I wish I remember where in the community I saw a comment to the effect of “scrunchies are the only things that hold my hair, but they’ve gone out of style.”

To that I say: In-style or not, you’ll pry my scrunchies from my cold dead hands! And even then, while the rest of the herd is shambling after survivors who are clearly too fast to catch, I’ll be the one zombie “Thriller”-dancing off to the beauty supply store’s long-gone-out-of-business sale.

But about my scrunchies. For me, being natural has meant being crafty and creative about hair care. Sewing is a big part of that effort. (¡Gracias Mamá!)

Please remain seated. I’m aware not everyone was taught the Ancient Arts—all that measuring and cutting and pinning and threading. Good news! This tutorial requires no sewing.

Here to help demonstrate how to fix a scrunchy is Ophelia Debelia. (Professionally-lit photos? What blog have you been reading?)

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Collect the following items:

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You’ll, of course, need your sad scrunchy.

STEP 1: Rip open the seam of your scrunchy

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Once you’ve got it open, remove the old elastic.

STEP 2: Feed your new elastic

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Clip the safety pin to one end of the elastic and use the pin to push through the scrunchy casing.

No, you don’t need to measure length, with numbers and junk like that. Just make sure it’s long enough to go all the way through. Then cut off the excess and knot the ends together.

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STEP 3: Hide the evidence…
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If you ripped open the seam more than a little, like a lot, and it is now flapping open all ugly, just glue it shut. I prefer hand-sewing it because I’ve been told many, many, many, many times by mi mamá to be neat, okay?

That’s it. Your scrunchy is back from the dead. It’s alive!

done

Bye!

(P.S.: Happy holidays and a merry new year!)

You got questions? Hit the comments section.


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My Jar of Gel

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to lay this jar of gel to rest, as it never laid my edges.

Sometimes along this journey, a special product will come into your life and make you wonder how you ever got by without it. Argan Oil EcoStyler wasn’t that product. It was 16 ounces, two bucks and change. Your girl thought it was a bargain.

Sometimes a thrifty natural will get to thinking she’s missing out.  Everywhere I turned, people were extolling the benefits of hair gel. It slicked your edges and made your wash and go pop. Or caused a disaster. Or defined curls. Or made the ends ball up. Or just had to be applied properly, at the right time, with Holy Water an extra prayer or two for best results. Even on tightly coiled hair!

Well, I found out for myself. Tried it on three different occasions, using different techniques before conceding gel (mostly glycerin, but that’s another story) was not for me.

So here we are, over a year later, paying our respects to this gel that so thoroughly disrespected my fro. Gone too full, it lives on in crunchy, tangled memories, as a reminder that sometimes I’m really not missing out. I’m doing all right by my fro.

Goodbye Argan Oil EcoStyler. Dust to dust, ash to ash. Scrape this junk into the trash. (I’m keeping the jar, though, for DIY purposes.)

Bye!

You still got questions? Hit the comments.


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Beggars Can’t Be Product Junkies

“Woe unto me, oh!” I thought when I started my natural hair journey, “I am truly the most pitiable natural to have ever gone natural. No essential oils. No raw shea butter. No even any silk to lay my head on! Lord, why did you lead me out of the captivity of creamy crack to abandon me with only fifteen dollars worth of new products?”

I’m down to ten bucks now, and I’m still using the same leave-in conditioner, four years later. The brand not the jar—I’m not that much of an economizer.

I also couldn’t be wasteful or heavy-handed, so my products—save for conditioner, because y’all know how it be– lasted me months. Still do. My entire stash costs less than a single high-end product. They fit in a single basket on a single shelf, and my fave comes from the tap.

All this to say: if my predominantly 4c, mixed textured crown can thrive on a tight budget, yours can too, no matter where you shop—yes, even at the dollar store.

Thrifty doesn’t mean cheap or stingy, so pick a leave-in conditioner, an oil or butter, and a wash-out conditioner with ingredients your hair actually likes and build from there. Read blogs and watch YouTube videos. Sooner or later, you’ll find it’s the techniques that make the difference not brand recs. That’s what I’m here to talk about. That and any ensuing hilarity.

Bye!

You still got questions? Hit the comments