Thursday, July 28, 2011

Natural hair: Let's talk Products for healthy hair: Vatika

My personal experience with Vatika
I started using vatika since my college days at Purdue University! I was introduced to Vatika and to Amla oil by an Indian woman who used to work at the Cafeteria in the Union Market (On Purdue's West Lafayette campus)! I was always complimenting her long, healthy and shiny hair when she introduced me to these two products she called the 'secret to beautiful Indian hair'!
At the time I was not natural and already had healthy hair but I was curious about trying something new and loved the idea of treating my hair with authentic Indian products! Vatika is not a product just for naturals, it's a great product for any type of hair.

Ways to use Vatika
There are many ways to use Vatika, it's all a matter of personal preference but I have enjoyed the product
  • as an ingredient to homemade deep conditioners,
  • as a styling aid
  • as a leave in conditioner
  • and recently in my prepoo

Vatika get challenging to squeeze out through the little hole so I always do without it and use ample amount! Since the oil tend to harden during colder months I just put some in a small ramekin and place it in one containing hot water. I also run the whole bottle under hot water at times...Whatever works and fit my fancy to make it more fluid!

Why is Vatika so good for your hair? The Ingredients!

What make Vatika so enriching for (natural) hair are the amazing natural ingredients. Please note that as I list below the ingredients present in Vatika, I will share some interesting facts about some of those ingredients because it's great to know that the benefits of these ingredients is not just limited to hair care and I want you to be more informed about their other benefits.
The ingredients in Vatika are the following:
  • Coconut oil.  The phenomenal health benefits of coconut oil will require a post of its own on the subject. The least that can be said is that in hair care coconut oil nourish and promote hair growth. It's health benefits include weigth loss and natural healing of certain conditions. 
  • Neem benefits hair by preventing hair loss and promoteing hair growth. Neem is anti-microbial!  For gardening, neem oil provides a great natual alternative to insecticides! ( I used it on my plants)
  • Brahmi which is used as an hair revitalizer is an herb grown in marshy areas of India, Nepal, Viet nam, China, Shri Lanka and areas in Southern American States like Florida. It's also grown in Hawaii. Brahimi is grown in damp conditions! The herb has many medicinal used thanks to its antioxidants and other health properties!
  • Fruits extract of Amla. According to my Indian friend amla keeps the hair dark therefore delaying graying. It also nourish the hair and prevent from breakages
  • Henna mostly known as a hair colorant also provides nourishment to our hair! In Guinea henna was used as a beauty product for enhancing the soles of women's feet! In India henna seems to be mainly used to beautify women's hands especially for special occasionssuch as weddings. I grew up in Africa and many Moroccan friends also used henna to create beautiful designs in the palms of their hands!
  • Bahera and harar. Bahera has many health proterties. As far as hair care is concerned it's known to rejuvenate hair. In terms of overall health benefits, Bahera can be used to fight many physical ailments, it's a sedative and it also helps with vision.
  • Kapur kachri. This herb is actually an antiseptic used to treat a wide range of conditions such as nausea, hiccup, local inflammations, bronchitis, asthma etc. The rhizome of the plant is a tonic and stimulant! I am not personaly sure about how it benefits our hair but can't argue with Indian wisdom! If it's in it there got to be a great reason!
  • Cow's Milk provides nourishment.
  • Rosemary oil promotes hair growth, prevent hair loss, treat lice.
  • Lemon oil is a hair tonic, it helps get rid dandruff, promotes strong healthy and shiny hair. It's health benefits extend from weight loss to asthma treatments, skin care, stress relief etc.  Lemon oil has just too many benefits to name here...

Benefits of Vatika Oil
I can attest to the following benefits of Vatika
  • Strenghten the hair
  • Prevent breakage
  • Good stylying aid
  • Stimulate hair growth
  • You DO NOT HAVE TO HAVE NATURAL HAIR TO ENJOY the benefits of Vatika

Have you use Vatika before? What do you like about it?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Natural hair: Let's talk What's prepoo?

Hello friends.

It's been a while since we talked hair, natural that's it! Well today briefly wanted to talk about hair!

If you are a new natural or juts becoming more acquainted with the world and lingo of naturalistas, you have probably heard the term prepoo and wonder what in the world that was!

The first time I heard the term prepoo I almost thought it was a mixed dog breed. You know like shipoo,maltipoo....but no! Here prepoo is not about a cute dog breed it's about a hair treatment that many naturalistas adopt to maintain healthy hair and protect their hair from the stripping effects of shampoo.

So prepoo is simply what they do to their hair before shampooing! It's applying oil and/or conditioners to your hair for a given period of time before shampooing!

How long do you prepoo?
The amount of time is subjective! Some people do it for at least 20mns to half an hour, others for a couple of hours and some might go longer! It's just a matter of choice and convenience.

What to use?
There seems to be no set rule or no set ingredients to prepooing as most people use products they like best on their hair. A lot of time it's through trial and errors that they get to make final conclusions on the products that are best for them.

The most common product is coconut oil as many natural will testify to its benefits on their hair!
Some go with the kind you get from the grocery store others would select a brand such as Vatika because it's a blend of fantastic natural oils and ingredients.

Here is what a few people report using on their hair:

Honey + olive oil
Aloe juice+jojoba oil covered with coconut oil and left for a couple of hours before shampooing
Mayo + olive oil
Coconut oil
Castor Oil
Grapeseed Oil

Many people mix any of the oils above, adding other ingredients as well or use them as the sole ingredient for their prepoo.

I have used coconut oil and EVOO on mine and I am pretty content with this mixture!

Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

 However, my favorite natural product has been Vatika! Which I have used for 13 years now, well before ever knowing about natural hair, prepoo etc. Before getting into prepoo I used Vatika for deep conditioning and for styling my hair.

Vatika Coconut Indian oil

Do you prepoo on wet or dry hair?
This is another subjective questions. Each time I ask naturalistas if they prepoo on wet or dry hair I realize that half would say dry and the other half would say wet. So I don't think that there's a right answer to this question. It's all a matter of preference, after all that's what hair styling comes down to!Isn't it? Just a matter of preference!

How often do you prepoo?
Most people prefer to prepoo each time they shampoo their hair! I fall into this category unless I shampoo my hair at the gym right after swimming!
So...have you prepooed your hair  before? What did you like about it? What's your favorite prepoo ingredients. Do you do it or wet or dry hair? How long do you keep it on?

Update: Wednesday July 27
I have been thinking about a comment made earlier this week about prepoo not being necessary in one's opinion and I have concluded that prepoo is beneficial and worth it especially if someone has dry hair. A friend of mine explained that she actually prepoo for hours and DC after her shampoo as prepoo is a must for her due to her having very dry hair.

I think prepoo is like marinating meat or fish! It might not be mandatory but when you cook that meat or fish it's so infused with flavor and so tender that there's just no comparison. I also view prepoo as something my mom used to do when my twin and I were kids. She would apply shea butter on our skins before we shower even though we  would washed away most of the shea butter it would still leave our skin smooth and babylike.

So prepoo is a matter of opinion and necessity to some, at the end of the day we have to listen to our hair. The way I see it having rich ingredients penetrating our hair before shampoing or cowashing can only be good for our hair!

So what about you? Do you prepoo? Why or why not? If yes what do you use and how long do you prepoo? How do you think prepoo benefits your hair?