Thursday, 25 April 2013

DIY: Making the Most of Your Deep Conditioner

One problem with relying on online products is the fact that replacing them can be difficult at times. Products can be out of stock, take a while to ship, or simply be unaffordable at the moment.So I'm running low on my Bee Mine --which has so far been my holy grail protein-free deep conditioner. What to do? Well the thing is you simply have to be resourceful and make the most of what you DO have.

Here's how to do this.

I have tons of conditioners--especially Aubrey because I stocked up when I found it for less than $10. The problem with Aubrey conditioners as I mentioned in past posts is that they don't do much for my hair and it truly is hit or miss for really moisturizing my hair. So that's where being resourceful becomes important.

You can MAKE it work!

I was focused on the Bee Mine conditioner, keeping in mind what made that conditioner work so well for my hair--the ingredients. So basically in making my "dupe" I used things on hand that either had the same ingredients or at least ingredients that performed the same function.

So here are the ingredients for the Bee Mine.

Distilled water, Cetearyl Alcohol, BTMS (mild emulsifier), 100% Organic Unrefined Shea Butter , 100% Organic Coconut Oil, Cupuacu Butter, Calendula Extract, Chamomile Extract, Organic Raw Honey, Paraben and Formaldehyde Free Preservative, Fragrance (Phthalate Free).

The ingredients in bold are already in one or more of the conditioners I already have on hand.

This time my mix was as follows (in order of quantity--I don't measure--see the video):

  • Giovani 50:50 Balanced Hair Remoisturizer
    Water-based and contains cetearyl alcohol, btms (behentrimonium methosulfate) which aids in detangling
  • Aubrey Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner + Aubrey Island Naturals Conditioner
    Water-based: HSR contains shea butter; Island Naturals contains a bit of protein, chamomile and coconut milk
  • HoneyActs as a humectant by helping to attract moisture--I used the regular, cheap honey
    *Added bonus for me is that honey can lighten hair slighty over time
  • A capful of Nature's Gate Pomegranate Sunflower Nourishing Conditioner
    Has a slightly acidic Ph which is a perfect match for hair
  • A capful of my DIY Herbal Hemp Oil mix
    contains a bit of chamomile and coconut oil; any fatty oil is great for making hair emoilent and this acts as my substitute for the capuacu butter

    After mixing this all together I noticed it had an extremely similar consistency and texture to the Bee Mine conditioner.

Why this combination of conditioners? All these products contain either ceramide oils (wheat germ, hemp etc.), small amounts of protein, and plenty of conditioning herbs. Because these conditioners are natural, I think it is safer to experiment with them. When using synthetic alternatives like Pantene or Motions, they are specifically forumlated to work as they are. Most importantly--who knows what interactions certain chemicals may have with others? Perhaps mixing them will cause excessive stickiness, flaking or it may just be less effective. Unless you're a chemist--I don't reccommend experimenting with commercial products that aren't all-natural.

My Wash Day

  1. Pre-poo'd hair with Aubrey Honeysuckle Rose and left it in for a few hours since I went out for the morning. Note: HSR works best for me as a pre-poo than as a post wash deep conditioner.
  2. Detangled hair with a generous amount of coconut oil. Coconut oil helps to protect hair during the washing process. Also, it is a main ingredient in the Bee Mine.
  3. Shampooed with Kenra Clarifying Shampoo
  4. Applied Sally's generic Joico K-Pak to the length of hair and left it on for 3 minutes. I decided to use this because while washing I noticed my ends were breaking a bit.
  5. I followed with a coffee rinse but did not wash it out. I don't do this often but many say it helps to reduce shedding. I used for shedding and to enhance my hair colour.
  6. Applied the Bee Mine Dupe all over my hair, covered hair with plastic bag and let it sit for 30 minutes.
  7. Followed up with Nature's Gate conditioner. I find that following a deep conditioner with an instant conditioner helps smooth my hair cuticles.

So How Did it Hold Up?

My hair felt amazingly soft!  Maybe even too soft? I don't think I've ever achieved such powerful results using a conditioner without heat. I will even go far enough to say that  it worked BETTER than the Bee Mine! Did I mention I'm also 12 weeks post relaxer? My new growth was moist and smooth. I didn't even bother using a leave-in. I simply sealed with sweet almond butter and called it a day.

I think one point I should make is this is how it worked for me and it may not work for everyone. This post is intended--not as a step-by-step tutorial--but as as guide. If your favourite conditioner is Carol's Daughter--try to make something that is similar to that with whatever you have. You could probably use any combination of conditioners, preferably natural. The important thing is to make sure it contains ingredients comparable to a conditioner that 100% works for you.

If you have dry hair, many can attest to simply adding honey and oils to your conditioners to make them even more moisturizing. Oils I like to use when doing this include olive oil, castor oil and hemp oil.  One caution with using honey is that it can cause build-up over time as it does slightly coat the hair. I don't reccommend weekly use of honey.

Bee Mine on the left; My mix on the right

Will this replace my Bee Mine?

I think probably not. Although it worked extremely well--it is a bit time consuming and not as convenient as a ready-made product. Also, when I run out of my Giovanni and Aubrey conditioners I may not repurchase them both. I've said this before: I hate buying things that suck on their own and then having to make them work. I also have to shop at different stores to get the best prices on all of them. For me, one-stop shopping wins out.

But if I were to continue mixing these conditioners (honey and oil is a must as well) it would definitely be more cost effective in the long run.

Bee Mine - $18-20 for 8 oz Vs. Aubrey+Giovanni+Any Oil+Honey - $25 minimum for 20 oz

Something to consider.

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