Chic Chick Natural and Ayurvedic Hair and Skin Care Product Giveaway!

Eleanor J'adore - Chic Chick Product Giveaway

Ever since moving back to South Africa I’ve really been struggling with dry skin, so I couldn’t have been any  happier when Chic Chick contacted me and asked if I’d like to try out some of their skin and hair products along with doing a giveaway. I immediately hopped online to see what they’re all about and since you know I love all things natural I was over the moon when I discovered that they refer to themselves as a new generation hair and skin care company, supplying natural and Ayurvedic products for all hair and skin types, including powders such as henna and indigo. I had the opportunity to try a range of products. Some I fell in love with, others not so much and I’ll tell you why. But make sure you read to the end as I have a fabulous giveaway to the value of R1 300 that you don’t want to miss out on.

Fresh Chocolat Facial Cleansing Powder

Eleanor J'adore - Chic Chick Product Giveaway

I’m starting off with probably my favourite product I was given to try: a rich, luxurious cleanser that you activate with a bit of water, promising to gently cleanse, eliminate toxins and softly even skin tone. The cleanser consists of a range of natural powders, the most notable being cocoa shell powder and bentonite clay, that you mix with water to create a paste and then apply to your face. You can use it as an everyday cleanser or a mask, depending on how long you leave it on for.

I adore how this product makes my skin feel after each use: soft, moisturised and without any tightness. I especially love using it in the mornings as a mask while I sit and relax in the bath. The faint smell of chocolate is an added bonus.

Rose Water

Eleanor J'adore - Chic Chick Product Giveaway

If you’ve ever wanted to use a 100% all natural toner without any alcohol, consider giving rose water a try. I love to spritz a little on my face after I’ve cleansed it to prepare my skin for moisturising. You’ll love the distinct smell of roses you’ll get when applying this to your face, while it tones, balances and refreshes your skin. According to the site it’s perfect for all skin types as it maintains the pH balance and stimulates the regenerating process. It can also be used as a moisturising tonic on natural hair.

Rosehip Oil

Eleanor J'adore - Chic Chick Product Giveaway

This is without a doubt the most luxurious oil I have ever used on my skin. If you’ve never heard of rosehip oil, don’t despair – I was only just introduced to it as well. My usual moisturising regime consisted only of applying coconut oil to my damp skin, but it hasn’t been working so well for me lately. Hence the introduction of rosehip oil. I apply it after my moisturiser by dropping 5 drops into my hand and gently pressing it into my skin. It leaves my skin moisturised, supple and feeling quite firm. If I’ve dispensed too much oil I’ll massage the leftover into my nails and cuticles. I also love that the bottle comes with a handy dropper to make application easier.

Coffee Bar – Hair Booster Mask

Eleanor J'adore - Chic Chick Product Giveaway

I haven’t had such mixed feelings about a product in a long time, but this hair booster mask certainly calls for it. You apply it to your hair after placing the little hearts into a container, pouring warm water over it and allowing it to melt and then mixing it into a thick yoghurt-like paste. While my hair has never been softer and my curls have never popped as much as it did after this application, I’ve also never struggled to get a product out of my hair like this before. It took about 5 washes over 3 days to get the last of the clay out of my hair.

The ingredients are absolutely amazing: Acacia Concinna (Shikakai)Powder, Cocoa Butter(Theobrama Cacao), Shea Butter, Inca Inchi, Thyme Powder,  Emblica Officinalis (Amla) Powder, Sea Moss Extract, Bacopa Monniera (Brahmi) Powder, Eclipta Alba (Bhringraj) Powder, Trigonella Foenum Graecum Extract, Vitamin E(Tocopherol). So I’d definitely try it again, but I’ll probably chat to the owner of the company for some advice on how not to let the product stay stuck in my curls for days on end.

Raw Honey

Eleanor J'adore - Chic Chick Product Giveaway

I haven’t actually used this honey yet as I still have another container on the go and I’d like to finish that one first, but I love the fact that they stock 100% raw honey, perfect to use as a mask for both hair and skin.

Rhassoul Clay

Eleanor J'adore - Chic Chick Product Giveaway

I haven’t gotten around to try the Rhassoul clay either, although it’s definitely one of my next products to try. I’ve heard too many good things about it to not give it a go. Again, it’s perfect for hair and skin and I’m going to fully review this clay in the near future, so keep an eye out for it.

Overall, I’m really impressed with the website as each product has usage directions explaining in detail how to use it as well as  a comprehensive list of the ingredients. I’ll definitely be purchasing from them again.

GIVEAWAY!

Eleanor J'adore - Chic Chick Product Giveaway

Now for the exciting part!

I have three Chic Chick hampers to give away to the value of R435. That’s right. Three lucky readers will each win a prize containing the following products:

  1. Fresh Chocolat Facial Cleansing Powder
  2. Rose Water
  3. Coffee Bar – Hair Booster Mask
  4. Botanical Scalp Therapy / Neem Oil Therapy / Oil Moisture Therapy (one oil per winner)

How to enter

  1. Make sure you like my Facebook page and comment on the giveaway picture with something like “Enter me in the Eleanor J’adore Chic Chick Giveaway.”
  2. Like and share the Giveaway photo.
  3. Winners must be willing to share a mini review of their experience using the products on the Chic Chick website.

The fine print

  1. The competition is open to those residing in South Africa only.
  2. Entries will be accepted until Sunday, 27 September at 8pm South African time.
  3. Winners will be drawn on Monday, 28 September and announced on my Facebook page.

Good luck!

Signature

Achieving 2nd, 3rd and 4th day hair

IMG_3146

How to maintain a curly hair style for more than just one day

For some curly girls achieving 2nd day hair can seem like a rather elusive, pie-in-the-sky idea. With dryness and loss of curl definition coming into play, the mere thought of trying to maintain that lovely naturally curly hairstyle  for days on end can seem rather futile.

However the reason to consider maintaining a style for more than just one day means that you can save resources on the days after you’ve created  the style in the following ways:

1.Spending less time styling and manipulating your hair, which means you can get out the door sooner, and

2.Using less product and ultimately money by not having to style your hair from scratch everyday.

There are various ways that you can preserve your hairstyle for days, but here I’ve broken down the method I use most of the time on my long hair into a 4 step process.

Start with well moisturised hair

IMG_3088

If it’s not moisturised the hair will dry out really quickly by the end of the second day, making the possibility of 3rd and even 4th day hair just a pipe dream. For me this starts with my wash routine. I make sure that I incorporate a deep conditioning session after I’ver cleansed my hair, and after the deep conditioner has been rinsed out I apply a leave-in conditioner and seal in the moisture with coconut oil.

Ensure your hair is dry before you remove your rollers or unravel your twists/braids

IMG_3091

If you’ve decided to set your hair in rollers or in a twist/braid-out, make sure your hair has dried properly before you unravel it. If not, your hair will turn to frizz and those defined curls you were trying to create will be in vain. Obviously ignore this step if you’ve opted for a wash and go.

Prep your hair properly at night

IMG_3094

To make sure your curls will last for days, it’s important that you don’t crush your curls while sleeping on them. So the way do it is by piling all my hair on top of my head and making a ponytail as high as I can. This is also known as the ‘pineapple’. Then I take my silk scarf and tie it around my head to protect my hairline all around. I also sleep on a silk-lined pillowcase so that the curls sticking out of the ponytail always lie on silk and not cotton, which will rob my strands of moisture.

How to take your hair down the next morning

IMG_3089

Simply remove the scarf and take your hair out of the hair tie. At this moment the hair will probably be sticking up towards the ceiling – don’t worry, that’s normal. All you have to do now is gently pull your hair down, shake your head from side to side, fluff and pull your hair to where you want it to lay.

Usually if I’m on 2nd day hair I only smooth over a bit of coconut oil for shine and to calm some of the frizzies, but once it gets to the 3rd or 4th day, I might scrunch in a bit of leave-in conditioner on my ends before I apply coconut oil, to boost the moisture level. Of course you can spritz with water, the simplest and cheapest way to moisturise, but then you risk your hair shrinking up. It’s really up to you.

As the days go on your hair will stretch out due to the ‘pineappling’ method, giving you more length. It will also become bigger and a little frizzier as that’s just something our natural hair does, however I do think most naturals love big hair, and personally I don’t mind a bit of frizz as it looks more natural. One of the main things to keep in mind though is to keep your hair moisturised. Dry curls won’t ever result in 2nd day hair, never mind a 3rd or 4th day.

Happy hair styling and remember to love your curls!

I originally wrote this article for the South African natural hair blog Good Hair Diaries. Please check it out for more great information and advice. 

How I prepped my hair for travel and styled it in England

Ever since I started my natural hair journey I’ve been aware that once I’d be taken out of my comfort zone of my flat it’s more than likely that I’d feel a little bit out of sorts doing my hair somewhere where I don’t have access to all my usual products. Not only that, but the fact that I’d be on holiday would mean that I should be out and about visiting with family and friends instead of being indoors spending hours doing my hair. So as the trip to England approached, I quickly came up with a game plan on how I would maintain my hair while on holiday.

Getting my hair travel ready 

Initially I had had a nice long deep conditioning session, followed by  a twist installation in mind for the day before I got on the plane, but as luck would have it, I didn’t have the time for either of those things. So instead I chose to clarify my hair, as I had planned to only co-wash while I’d be in England, and followed it up with a moisturising  conditioner which I oil rinsed out of my hair for added moisture and slip. Afterwards I added my usual products and let my hair air-dry. Once it was time for bed I pineappled it all, and by the time I boarded the plane the next day I chose to simply make a high bun as a protective style. Just before take-off I wrapped a pretty silk scarf around my head to protect the hair at the back from the fabric on the head rest. This method served me well because when I finally took down my hair at my final destination, my hair was still moisturised and soft.

Maintaining my hair while on holiday

As I mentioned before, I came up with a game plan well in advance of going on this trip. I had planned to travel to England without any hair products as I knew that I would buy quite a bit once I was there. So instead, Amazon became my best friend as I purchased the following As I Am products in the knowledge that I would mostly be wearing my hair in a wash & go state. This is what I ordered:

  • Coconut Cowash Cleansing Conditioner
  • Hydration Elation Intensive Conditioner
  • Leave-in Conditioner
  • Curling Jelly Coil and Curl Definer

I have mentioned it before that I really love this product line, but oh my word, using all 4 of these products together really was a heavenly spa treatment for my tresses. My wash & go’s looked Ah-mazing.

Here’s the why and the how:

I co-washed my hair twice while on holiday, and each time I followed it up with the intensive conditioner. I just left it on for a few minutes while I carried on with the rest of my shower routine. I loved how soft and moisturised it made my hair feel after leaving it on for just a few minutes. When it came to styling my hair, I made sure my hair was almost soaking wet while I applied the leave-in conditioner followed by the curling jelly. Adding product to soaking wet hair aids in locking in moisture and minimising frizz, especially with wash & go’s (well for me anyway). On the days that I needed to refresh the style in between washes, I would simply use my spray bottle to spritz my hair with water, smoothed through some leave-in, and then added some curling jelly again. As the jelly provides such great definition and moisture, I didn’t have to refresh every day either.

The only think I missed out on was my beloved coconut oil and by the beginning of the second week I caved and bought some from the local supermarket. I’d apply the oil after the leave-in and right before the curling jelly. I think it just just added that extra bit of shine and softness. The combination of these moisturising products really made for stress and hassle-free low maintenance holiday hair.

What more could a curly girl ask for?

Remember to always love your curls!

x

Disclaimer: I have not been sponsored to sing these products’ praises. I just really love it for my hair! 

Aloe Vera for strong, healthy, moisturised hair

One of the natural products that I now love to use on my hair is aloe vera. Besides water it’s probably the best moisturiser that I’ve used on my hair to date. It penetrates my strands so easily and it’s said that aloe vera can help towards reversing the damaging effects of the sun, wind, and hard water deposits found in a lot of metropolitan cities, which is great news for me living in Tokyo. I also love that it’s available in both juice and gel form.

This is how I use aloe vera

Juice

After I’ve cleansed my hair and right before I apply my leave-in conditioner, I apply a small handful of aloe vera juice to each of my 4 sections before I seal with an oil and twist my hair up. It also works as a natural detangler, because I can feel that as soon as I’ve applied it my hair is just so much easier to get through.

Gel

1.Wash and & Go’s

To achieve more defined curls, I smooth over a bit of the gel after I’ve applied my leave-in conditioner and sealed it with an oil. Essentially I use the gel as a styling product.

2. Up-do’s

On the days I wear my hair up and feel like like I need a bit of extra help to smooth down the fly-aways and frizzies, aloe vera gel does the trick.

In both cases I love that it dries soft on my hair and doesn’t leave those unwanted white flakes that so many gels do.

During the winter months I added a bit of aloe vera gel to my home-made shea butter mix, which made an amazing hair cream.

If you’re wondering which brands I use, I use the Aubrey Organics line of aloe vera juice and gel, which I purchase at Loft. If you’re reading this in South Africa, I’m sure you can find aloe vera at both Clicks and Dis-chem stores as well as any health store.Aloe Vera

Benefits of aloe vera

1. It makes an awesome moisturiser – Without the proper moisture levels, we all know what happens to our hair. It becomes dry and brittle and can eventually break off. Aloe vera is a miracle worker in this department.
2. It prevents hair loss – This is one of the reasons it can be found is so many hair products such as shampoos and conditioners. If your favourite hair products do not contain aloe vera you can simply mix it in with your products of choice. You can also use raw aloe vera gel straight from the plant as a hair treatment. Here’s how:
  • Cut the aloe vera leaf from the stem upward.
  • Use a spoon to remove all the gel.
  • Apply it to damp hair, starting at the scalp and working your way down to the ends.
  • Cover your hair in in a plastic cap and wrap it up in a warm towel. Leave the treatment in for 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Rinse, wash and style as usual.

3. It maintains the pH level of the hair and scalp

The natural pH level of hair and scalp is 4 – 4.5 i.e more on the acidic scale. Aloe vera’s pH level is 4.5 – 5.5. Therefore, the plant can be used to restore hair and scalp to its natural condition without using additional chemical substances. I’ve found out that it’s important to avoid the hair shaft from becoming too alkaline or too acidic. If your hair is too acidic or alkaline it can cause the cuticle to contract or open but keeping it at its natural state will keep the cuticle closed and healthy, and will help the hair to maintain its ability to retain moisture and ultimately stay soft and manageable.

4. It reduces dandruff

To get rid of dandruff, simply apply aloe vera juice to the scalp and leave it on for 30 minutes before washing it.

A few aloe vera tips
  • Aloe vera contains vitamin E which is very good for our skin.
  • Apparently aloe vera is one of many natural conditioning methods used by girls in the Caribbean, where it is widely available, and can be used on natural or relaxed hair.
  • Aloe vera gel is good for skin burns and acne.
  • Aloe vera can be bought as a household plant.

Let me know how and if you incorporate aloe vera into your natural hair care regime and what results you’ve achieved with it.

Love your curls,

x

aloe vera plant image source

Winter hair care for natural hair

While it’s all Summer lovin’ for us folk in the Northern hemisphere, my natural girls in South Africa are experiencing the complete opposite: dry, cold Winter air competing with them to rob as much precious moisture from their strands as possible. We all know that the ensuing dryness can lead to weak and brittle hair, which is why it’s vital to protect the strands at all costs during the chilly months.

Believe it or not, it is possible to get through the Winter without letting your hair get damaged. Here’s how.

Wash your hair more often

Dry hair is only going to be moisturised by the one true moisturiser – water. Therefore it stands to reason that the more you moisturise, the longer your hair will stay hydrated.

Deep condition more often

Deep conditioning really does do wonders for putting back moisture lost through the elements. It doesn’t have to be expensive either. A simple home-made conditioner comprising some everyday kitchen ingredients can work wonders. Check out some of my favourite DIY deep conditioners over here. Once applied wrap your hair in plastic wrap or put on a shower cap, cover with a towel and leave it on for anything from 30 minutes to an hour (or more) to ensure deeply nourished strands.

Try and oil rinse

Coating your hair with oil before or after you’ve applied your conditioner is another way to ensure softer and longer lasting moisturised tresses. Oil rinsing is great because it reduces the chances of single strand knots from forming, it makes detangling easier and it’s a natural shine enhancer.

Use the LOC / LCO method to moisturise and seal 

If your hair is really suffering, use the LOC / LCO method to lock in moisture. If not, dry and brittle ends can lead to breakage and split ends. Try using a thicker oil like avocado or castor oil to seal the ends. These two oils work well as they are really thick and do an effective job without congealing in the cold weather the way coconut oil and shea butter do. See this article to get the how-to for the LOC / LCO methods.

Try low manipulation / protective styling

Wearing your hair up and out of the way with the ends protected is an ideal way to help prevent moisture from escaping the hair. Have a look at this piece for advice on simple protective styling for ultimate length retention.

Keep your hair off your back and shoulders

Hair resting against woollen collars, scarves and jackets can cause havoc on your ends because of the friction from the fabric, so try to wear your up on the days you choose to wear clothes made up of these types of fabrics.

Line hats and beanies with a silk / satin scarf before you put them on

I think this is pretty self explanatory. The silk / satin will protect your hair from the drying out effect of the woollen hats and beanies.

Wear a satin bonnet / scarf and sleep on a satin pillowcase

It may sound like overkill to do both, but trust me your tresses will thank you for providing the extra barrier to prevent moisture from escaping.

Moisturise from the inside

As with my Summer hair care tips, making sure you moisturise your body from the inside too will go a long way in keeping both your skin and hair healthy and hydrated.

I’ve made use of all these tips during the past Japanese Winter, and I managed to keep my strands healthy, strong and moisturised for the best part of it. I was also able to retain the length, so much so that I was surprised at how much my hair has grown, including a trim at the end of the Winter.

If you have any more tips that you think I should include in this list, please let me know in the comments section below. That way I can compile and share them with my other readers. Also, if you have any more questions that I can answer on how to keep your hair moisturised and soft during the Winter, jot them down below and I’ll try and help as much as I can.

Thanks so much for reading and as always, love your hair…

xxx

Image Souce

8 Summer Natural Hair Care Tips

????????????????????????????????????????

With summer practically on the northern hemisphere doorstep I’ve scoured my favourite natural hair blogs and collated the best advice that I plan to follow for my natural summer hair care routine.

Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise

I think moisturising your hair will always come up as the no 1 hair care tip, no matter the season, and it couldn’t be more apt than to ensure healthy hair during the summer. The hot air temperature and the direct sunlight on your hair can really cause havoc on your tresses by drying it out, which leads to brittle hair and eventual breakage.

A few ways to guarantee moisturised hair:

  1. Incorporate nourishing deep conditioning treatments into your wash routine to replenish what the the sun has taken out.
  2. Use moisturisers / leave-in conditioners with water as its first ingredient. This means the product is water based.
  3. Keep a spray bottle handy containing water and / or your favourite moisturising ingredients to spritz and re-moisturise as needed.

Seal in the moisture

There has been some debate going on weather oils really do seal moisture into the hair or whether it’s just a myth. From my experience I can attest that oils and butters really work. If you find that they are too heavy for your strands during the Summer, try switching to a lighter one. If you’ve mainly been using butters during the Winter, opt for an oil like avocado or olive oil during the Summer. Or if you’ve been using heavier oils during the Winter, switch to a lighter one for the Summer, like argan, coconut or sweet almond oil. If this is still too heavy for you, then just apply a light oil to the ends of your hair, where moisture is most likely to escape from first.

Some say that applying gels over your leave-in conditioner can also seal in moisture. I’ve never used gel as a sealant, but go ahead and give it a try to see if this works for you.

Refrigerate your hair products

Rinsing your hair with cold water after you’ve washed it and applying cold products from the fridge will encourage the cuticle to close, which ensures shinier and moisturised hair for longer.

Rock cute low manipulation styes on the days it’s too hot to have all your hair out

As much as I love wearing my hair down during the Summer there are some days that it’s honestly just too hot to have all my hair out around my face. For those days I plan to wear simple low manipulation up-do styles. Some of my current styles include the high and low bun, the puff  and the roll and tuck up-do. Goddess braids is a style I’d like to try as I think it’s ultra chic, feminine and perfect for hot Summer days. Add a cute flower or headband and you’ll be good to go.

Protect the hair from direct sunlight

The easiest way to do this is to wear hats and scarves. I love this method as it creates a direct barrier between your strands and the harsh drying effects of the sun. Of course the fact that hats and scarves add a completely new dimension to your look is an added bonus.

Wet your hair and apply oils/conditioner before swimming

Hair that is already wet from tap water is less likely to absorb more water, which will help it to absorb less chlorinated / sea water. Once sea water has dried on the hair it can have a drying effect as it draws moisture out of the hair. As unstylish as it might feel, consider wearing a swimming cap if you’re going to be spending lots of time in the water, especially chlorinated water as is can be very damaging. Rinse the chlorinated / sea water out of your hair as soon as you’ve had enough water play for the day.

Ditch the satin scarf and sleep on a satin pillowcase only

Those nights when it’s so hot that you can’t bear the thought of wearing a scarf / bonnet to bed, simply prep your hair for the night as you usually would and sleep on a satin pillowcase only, foregoing the scarf / bonnet. You’ll be a lot more comfortable.

Moisturise from the inside too

Generally I struggle to drink a perfect 8 glasses of water a day, and with Summer comes the added cocktail hour every day, which can cause dehydration. But since I’m placing a huge focus on keeping healthy throughout the Summer I plan to hydrate myself from the inside too. The advice I’ve come across is to drink 1 glass of water for every alcoholic drink. This will help to ensure healthy tresses from the inside out.

Love your curls! x

What are some of the ways that you protect your hair during the Summer?

P.S. Next week I plan to write a piece for all my curly girls in the southern hemisphere on Winter hair care, especially for those in South Africa where it’s cold as @#$% right now. So make sure you check back over here during the course of the week.

Image Source

L.O.C / L.C.O. methods for super hydrated hair

LOC-method-1

Source: Naturallycurly.com

Right, you’ve just washed your hair and are about to start the moisturising process. You’re armed with your favourite leave-in conditioner and oil because you know you have to seal in all that moisture. Yet a day or two after washing, even hours, your strands end up so dry that it’s literally screaming out for more hydration.

If this sounds like you, the L.O.C. method might help. L.O.C is an abbreviation which refers to the order in which you apply your moisturising products: Liquid, oil and cream. This means that you layer the products onto your hair to ensure hydrated strands for as long as possible.

Steps to follow the L.O.C. method

  1. Apply liquid – This refers to water, but can also be a water-based product, for example a moisturising leave-in conditioner. Right now I’m using Cantu Shea Butter Leave-in Conditioning Repair Cream right after I’ve washed my hair.  The next step is to seal it all in.
  2. Apply a thin layer of oil to your strands. The best oils to use are those that have the ability to penetrate the hair shaft. These oils are coconut, avocado and olive oils and will help the hair to hold on to the water molecules, initiating the sealing process.
  3. Lastly, apply a creamy moisturiser to your hair to seal in all the moisturising goodness. My winter cream is my home-made whipped shea butter mix.

This may sound like a lot of product, but trust me, if you have very dry hair, or live in an area with an extremely dry climate causing your hair to dry out quickly, you might want to give this method a try. The important thing to remember is not to overdo the amount of product you use. The simple act of layering the products in this way will help your thirsty tresses hold on to as much moisture as possible. This is the method that I’ve been using in the dry Japanese winter, and although my hair still dries out, it’s not happening nearly as fast as it would otherwise.

During the summer though, I follow the L.C.O. method, which is merely a reversal in the order in which you apply your sealants. So I’d start with:

  1. Liquid, which is the water I washed my hair with.
  2. Then I apply the cream.  In the summer my Cantu Shea Butter Leave-in Conditioning Repair Cream will serve as a cream.
  3. Lastly I apply coconut oil.

As you can probably tell, my summer routine uses a lighter layering of products as the Tokyo climate is very humid, so I don’t need all the extra moisture protection.

For moisture maintenance during the week, follow the same steps as when moisturising straight after a wash, except that you can put some water in a spray bottle and give your hair a light sptritz, so as not to get it soaking wet. Follow up with a thin layer of your sealants. Do concentrate the moisture on your ends as this is the oldest part of your hair and is prone to drying out quicker than any other part. Remember, ensuring moisturised ends will lead to less breakage from drying out, which means you can actually hold on to your new growth.

My advice would be to play around with specific products, as well as the order in which you apply them until you find a combination that works best for you.

As always, love your curls, x

Do you use the L.O.C. / L.C.O. method? Which products work best for you?