Hairstyling aids can make thin hair look thick, straight hair curly, and curly hair straight. Mousse adds extra volume and hair spray holds your hairdo in place all day long. Thousands of styling aids exist on the market today, some of them highly expensive. In this chapter, you’ll save yourself some money while protecting your hair from harm and still having all the tools you need to style your hair effectively. The following recipes are designed to keep your hairstyle looking fresh all day long.
Pomade was originally made from grease and was used to make the hair shiny and slick. It never really dried but remained pliable. Think back to men’s hairstyles in the ’50s and early ’60s. Styles like the pompadour and the ducktail used pomade to hold them in place.
If you want a slicked-back look, a wet look, or a ponytail or bun with absolutely no fly-away strands, use a pomade. It washes out easily with warm water and shampoo.
To create your own pomade, melt two tablespoons of beeswax and a quarter cup of coconut oil in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly. Whisk in one tablespoon of olive oil, keeping your pan on low heat. Once everything is well-blended, remove it from the heat and add three to five drops of an essential oil, for fragrance. Cool completely and store in an airtight container. This will keep well for one or two months when stored in a dark spot.
Gel Chamomile is gentle on the hair and although it is traditionally used more often for blonds, even brunettes can benefit from this gentle styling aid. The xanthan gum powder called for in this recipe can usually be found in a pharmacy, at a health food store, or online.
Boil one cup of water and steep in it two chamomile tea bags (or one tablespoon of dried chamomile flowers) and one mint teabag (or a half tablespoon of dried mint). Cover the cup and wait until it is cool. Strain out the solids if necessary and whisk in a third cup of aloe vera gel, one tablespoon of lemon juice one teaspoon of honey (optional) and a half teaspoon of xanthan gum powder. The mixture should thicken slowly. Store this in an airtight container. To use this product, rub no more than a quarter-sized drop into damp or dry hair before you style it.
This cream will keep curly hair from becoming too frizzy. It also brings shine and manageability to your hair, mostly because it coats the hair strands in rich beeswax, coconut oil, and shea butter.
Melt two tablespoons of shea butter, two tablespoons of coconut oil, one tablespoon of beeswax and one tablespoon of almond oil in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly. Once melted, let the substance cool slightly before adding five drops of an essential oil. Mix it in well and then pour the mixture into a jar. Let the cream cool completely before using.
To use, take a pea-sized piece of the cream and rub it in your hands. Scrunch it through your hair when it’s completely dry. This cream will store well for about a month if kept in an airtight container in a dark corner.
Gel Flax seed strengthens hair and renders it less prone to breakage, thanks to its Omega-3 fatty acids.
You can make this hair gel by soaking a quarter cup of flax seeds in two cups of water and one tablespoon of aloe vera gel for at least six hours. Pour the whole mixture into a saucepan on high heat and bring it to a boil. Turn the heat down and let it simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The seeds will start to thicken. Keep an eye on the mixture and do not let it thicken too much. Put some on a spoon and tip it slightly. If it runs to the edge and drops quickly, it needs more simmer time. If it drips off slowly, it is done. If it doesn’t move, it is too thick, and you’ll want to add a little hot water.
Once you’ve reached the right consistency, turn off the heat and strain it into a glass bowl, discarding the solids. Let the mixture cool to room temperature before stirring in three to five drops of an essential oil of your choice. Pour this mixture into an airtight container. This will keep for a week. If you won’t use that much in a week, you can pour the gel into an ice cube tray and freeze it. Once the cubes are frozen, you can pop them out into a freezer bag, removing and thawing a cube as you need it.
To use, rub a small amount in your hands and apply it to damp or dry hair before styling.
Hair cream is good for smoothing curls and bringing fly-away and frizzy hair under control. It will also add shine to your hair. Be careful about how much you use if you have oily hair because it can add to the oiliness.
To create this concoction, start with a microwaveable measuring cup. Combine two tablespoons of shea butter with a quarter tablespoon of coconut oil in the measuring cup and microwave it for a few seconds, until it melts. Add a half teaspoon of olive oil, three-quarters of a teaspoon of almond oil, and three-quarters of a tablespoon of aloe vera gel. Whip it up with a wire whisk and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Place it in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning pull out the bowl and let the contents come to room temperature. Mix in a few drops of essential oil for added scent, before using.
To use this hair cream, take a small amount and massage it into the hair strands, avoiding the scalp. You can use a blow dryer or just let it air dry. This cream will last about one month in an airtight container stored in a dark area. If you think it is more than you can use in a month, just set it in the refrigerator, but always let it come to room temperature before using.
This hairspray holds well, even on humid days. Besides, the lemon is good for your hair. It is no stickier than commercial hairspray and it does not attract bugs. Brush it out before going to bed at night.
To make lemon hairspray, slice one lemon into a saucepan, along with two cups of water. Bring this liquid to a boil. Immediately turn down the heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes, stirring constantly. The lemon will make your kitchen smell wonderful. Let the mixture cool for 15 to 30 minutes and strain the liquid into a spray bottle. Discard the solids and let the spray cool to room temperature before using.
Salty Wave Spray
Whenever my sister goes to the beach, her hair just automatically becomes wavy. I think it is the salt spray that makes the waves appear in her hair. Consequently, whenever she wants a wavy hairstyle, she uses sea salt spray to make her natural waves more pronounced.
Bring eight ounces of water to a boil, then remove it from the heat. Steep three bags of green tea in the saucepan, covered, until it is cooled to room temperature. If possible, steep it overnight. Remove the bags and put the saucepan back on the burner to bring the liquid to a boil.
Once it starts to boil, turn the heat down to a slow simmer. Add one tablespoon of sea salt and stir until it completely dissolves. Remove it from the heat and let the solution cool again. Once cool, add two tablespoons of aloe vera gel and five drops of an essential oil. Pour into a spray bottle and shake well before use.
To apply, bow your head until your hair falls forward, then spray the underside of your hair using your fingers to scrunch it. Raise your head up and smooth your hair into place. Let it air dry and you will have beautiful waves.
Shea Butter Mousse
Most commercial mousse products contain a ton of alcohol that can dry your hair out. Yet, people with thin or flat hair really need mousse for the lift it provides. This mousse is made from moisturizing shea butter and will work for any hair type. You will need a glass bowl to whip up this mousse; metal can generate a chemical reaction that will not allow the mousse to work properly.
Combine a quarter cup of coconut oil and a quarter cup of shea butter in a glass bowl and whip it with an electric mixer until it is light and fluffy. This might take 10 to 15 minutes. Gently fold in one or two drops of essential oil, using a rubber spatula. Apply this to damp hair, just as you would with a commercial mousse. Style your hair as you normally would. If you have any mousse leftover, and they’re probably will be a little, seal it in an airtight container and store it in a cool, dark area. This mousse should be good for about a month.