Amla and Bhringraj Powder Mix for Hair

Sunday, February 8, 2009

So yesterday was wash day. It went really well. These powders never cease to amaze me every time I use them. I never have any residue, my scalp looks and feels so clean. My hair feels soft and well conditioned.

In my Wash Day Hair Routine post, I mentioned I wanted to try mixing the Amla and Bhringraj powders into one tea. Well I took the plunge and it seemed to work well. I don't know if I'll stick to it though... that's because, well, I now know it's not bad (for my hair in particular), but I still don't know if I'm getting the best out of each powder when they are mixed. So I maybe going back to using them individually, until I can do further research.

I love wash days. And my hair always smells soooo good :)

My Wash Day Hair Regimen

Friday, February 6, 2009

I've tried to keep my regimen as K.I.S.S (Keep It Simple Sista) as possible, using the Crown and Glory Technique. For those who aren't familiar with this technique, it basically uses braids to aid hair growth and hair retention. I'll go into more detail on it and post up my results soon. While in braids I try to wash and deep condition twice a week, but will always wash at least once a week This is what I do on wash days:

  • I prepare all my ayurvedic herbs about 1 hour beforehand. I don't do specific measurements. I put more herb if my hair feels like it needs more cleaning or condition. I place the herb into a bowl then pour boiled water that I've let cool down for 10 minutes or so. The mixes are largely "teas," rather than pastes since I'm in braids.

From left: Shikakai tea, herbal tea, and cassia paste
  • I start with shikakai tea which I transfer into an empty VO5 squeeze bottle. I pour it over my head, one section at a time, and sort of rub/ massage it into my scalp. I refill the bottle about 2 more times and repeat, since I make about 2 litres of the stuff. It's normal to feel your hair harden a little with shikakai, just like during a protein treatment. I let it sit for about 5 minutes and then rinse.
  • I then repeat this with the amla tea and then the bhringraj tea. I've been wondering whether I could just mix the amla and bhringraj into one tea to shorten the process. I know people mix ayurvedic powders all the time, but I don't know if certain herbs work against each other, or if in fact some work synergistically together. So I just tend to use each one by itself, because I don't know. Maybe someone out there can chime in, I'd really appreciate it.
  • I towel dry my hair then do a moisturizing deep conditioning using cholesterol. Sometimes I'll mix other goodies into it. I apply it along the braid length till where my hair ends. With a shower cap, I get under my trusty hooded dryer for 30 - 40 minutes.
  • Every other week I'll either do a protein DC then follow up with a cholesterol DC or I'll mix the 2 DCs ... I'm not too sure which works best though.
  • I rinse out the DC then pour a tea with herbs like horsetail, nettle and whatever else I feel like on the day, over my scalp. I do it the same way as all the other teas. Wait 5 minutes then rinse. That's it.
I know it may look like a lot of steps, but it really isn't, and my hair is loving it! Let me know if you have a similar wash day or if you think there's something I could improve. I love to hear from you :)

My Black Hair Care Regimen - Natural Products

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I've finally found a regimen that's working for me! I've been consistent with it for the past 3 months, and it really feels like I've hit the nail on the head with this one.

As I mentioned in my Hair Introduction, Ayurvedic powders are the centre of my regimen. In particular, I use:

Shikakai (Acacia concinna): The powder contains saponins (cleansing agents). It hardly foams up at all, but it cleans like a dream. And you know how when you shampoo you get that squeaky, stripped feeling? Shikakai won't do that at all. I believe it has tannins in it like most of these ayurvedic herbs so it tends to harden the hair a little or maybe be a bit drying. But if mixed with a non drying herb like amla and bhringraj, the effect seems to subside. I'll go into how I use all these herbs soon.

Amla (Indian gooseberry) for healthy hair

Amla (Emblica officinalis): I've found this one is more conditioning rather than cleansing. It softens and defines my curl pattern. I fell that it darkens my hair. I love it. If you're thinking of mixing herbs, amla is a good one to mix with some of the more drying herbs like shikakai or henna.

Bhringraj (Eclipta alba): Bhringraj largley supports the scalp and promotes hair growth and premature greying. I remember reading a journal article on a study that showed that Bringraj oil increased hair growth. I'll probably do a post on this sometime soon. I use the powder for now though. This is also another good one to mix with the more drying herbs.

Cassia obovata for hair

Cassia (Cassia Obovata): Cassia has recently come into my life, and this is my true love lol. Originally, I'd wanted to use henna ... well I have used henna once years ago when I started out, it dried my hair out and I never used it again. Henna is great, but I went out and bought it without knowing what I was getting into. I'd read a couple of posts on and that was it. Fastward to today, I wanted to try it again because of its strengthening properties. The only thing is, I didn't want the colour change. No matter what anyone else says, Henna WILL colour your hair, even if it's mixed with other powders, or conditioner or whatever else. The active dye is deposited into the hair shaft regardless of what you do. I think there was a post on Long Hair Community forum about deactivating the Henna Lawsone dye. I've never done this, so I'm not too sure how well this works.

Well I suppose Cassia was the answer to my prayers then. It strengthens like Henna but doesn't colour dark hair at all. It will cause a colour change in blond hair and greys though. The shine it gives to hair hair is amazing. It also loosens the curl. The picture in my hair introduction post is of recently Cassia'd hair. I don't know how clear it is, I'll try and get a better one next time.

I also use herbs for hair like nettle, horsetail, burdock root and oatstraw.

In my next post I'll go over how I actually use all these herbs on wash day.

My Hair Introduction

Welcome to Urban Hair Care : ) I'm a 4b natural. Mostly shoulder length. 'Collar bone length' in some places and almost 'armpit length'in others, when stretched. My hair care journey started about 4 years ago when I decided to BC. I currently live in New Zealand, and moving to Australia in the next few weeks. This side of the world, there aren't too many black people, so the few black salons and products that you do find are very pricey. My hair was relaxed back then, and it suffered due to the lack of proper care. So I BC'd to a cute TWA (teeny weeny afro) ... Inspired by the beautiful ladies on

Because of school I got really busy and I didn't carry on researching hair care. Instead, I just left my hair alone for 2 years or so, either rocking a TWA, twists or braids. In the following years I joined more hair boards, and learned a lot more about black hair ... I'm still learning and it's only been in the last 1.5 years that I've really been paying my hair the attention it deserves. It's a lot healthier now, growing faster than ever and I'm retaining a lot more of it by avoiding breakage.

My regimen has changed quite a bit, but over the last 3 months I've narrowed it down to a few steps that are working well for me. Ayurvedic herbs are the integral part of my regimen. I love them!! I'll start going over my regimen in my next post ... so stay tuned!

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