We’ve been err *insert-best-thought-out-lie-here*!

read neglect!

I wish we had an awesome excuse and could say we’ve been under wraps because we just finished writing our 1000 page asilia bible, or have just come from cutting the ribbon on our new asilia spa or have……you get the drift.

Unfortunately, we’ve just neglected our baby.

We are in need of an intervention!

Ladies….

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More Homemade Facials

Since I started with the natural facials, I just love spontaneously whipping up something right from my kitchen in no time, with ingredients that I know without a doubt are great for my skin. Their being edible is immaterial ofcourse! I just did a cleanser, scrub and exfoliant that has left my skin feeling lush! I can’t keep my hands off of it and neither can Sookie. Here goes…

Orange Peel Cleanser

Orange peel is great for removing dirt from the face as well as a quick revitalizer. Simply take the orange peel and use the fleshy white inside to rub gently on the skin. Its really simple and works well as a start to any facial.

Olive Oil and Sugar scrub

After I was done with the orange, without rinsing off the little orange bits, I took slightly less than a teaspoon full of sugar, with a dash of olive oil, and spread it on my skin. This is great as a scrub and exfoliant. Rub the mixture on the face, and massage with small circular motions. (I also rubbed some on my lips, it removes the dead skin and is great for chaffed lips.) Olive oil is perfect because it doesn’t clog your pores, and it helps retain the natural moisture of the skin. If you don’t have olive oil on hand, you can try any other natural oils. This is actually a variation of jmmk’s castor oil face scrub.

Honey mask

Lastly, i rinsed off the olive oil and sugar, spread some raw honey on my face;  got a container filled with boiled water and steamed my face for about 5 minutes. Honey is a humectant therefore is great for hydration, leaving your skin silky soft! Once this was done, I washed everything all off with warm water, did a final cold rinse and moisturized with my beloved nivea soft moisturizing cream. My goodnessssss, heavenly skin!!!

What I love most is that these treatments are short, easy to do and the results are definitely Asilia prime!

Apple Cider Vinegar – How To’s and its Versatility

Ok, so I’ve always used Heinz Apple Cider Vinegar as a part of my salad dressing, but I had NO IDEA as to how versatile and beneficial Apple Cider Vinegar is. Apart from being an ancient remedy for just about everything; I read a few blogs and articles where people used it to aid in digestion, boost the immune system, as a detox, after facials, as a toner, in the hair, among many other unmentionables (Yeast infection anyone? 😀 ).

It was just too much for me not to try it! As I mentioned, I already had the Heinz stuff in my house but all the sites recommend using organic, non processed/ pasteurized ACV and so I went and bought some Bragg ACV. It is made from organically grown apples that are not heated or pasteurized. It is left raw and unfiltered and as a result it is cloudy and has a brownish color, reminiscent of oxidizing apples. Although Bragg seems to be the most popular organic ACV on the net, there are lots of other brands to choose from. The important thing is to make sure it is organic and still has ‘the mother’ in it. (When I first heard this it sounded like crazy cult talk! THE MOTHER!? 😀 ) Apparently ‘the mother has’ numerous health benefits. More about ‘the mother’ here.

So I got my bragg on started using it as a ‘daily detox’ first thing in the morning. One table spoon of ACV to a large glass of water. I was surprised to actually notice a difference! It leaves you feeling nicely flushed out, and doesn’t taste as bad as I expected. Highly recommended!

ACV drink recipe

1 Tablespoon of Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar
600ml Drinking Water
3 teaspoons of honey

(If you really can’t stand the taste you can add it to juice instead.)

Yesterday night after my moisturizing deep conditioner I decided to try final ACV rinse in my hair. I was skeptical because really, who puts vinegar in their hair?! I washed out my DC, used my herbal essences conditioner and rinsed that out and used the ACV mix as a final rinse, followed by a dash of water. I was so pleasantly surprised! My hair was softer and felt stronger too!

ACV hair rinse recipe

2 Tablespoons of Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Litre of (preferably distilled) tepid Water

I loved the effects and will try it again, to make sure it wasn’t a fluke! I’ll also try after a facial as a toner and see what happens. All in all, Organic full-of-goodness Apple Cider Vinegar – Asilia Prime!

Brainwashing the pups: Some hair care tips for newbies

So, when you get on this Asilia Revolution you inadvertently want to convert everyone around you! I live near my sister and my cousin who for the purposes of this blog shall be Sookie and Lulu (cheers to Kip for the names!). Sookie has teenie weenie braids on right now and relaxed resilient 4b (4G in her opinion!) hair somewhere underneath them. Lulu has usually lush 3c natural hair currently suffering from a “braid hangover”.

Kipepeo and I have preached the Asilia way and they are kicking & screaming to get away believers! Woop woop! We shall post progress pics in time but I thought this would be the perfect post to introduce some staples/tips for newbies.

5 tips for happy healthy hair

1. Protect

Lay off the heat. Lay off the heat. LAY OFF THE HEAT. Heat is one of the major obstacles to healthy hair, the worst being blow dryers, tongs, flat irons i.e. direct heat. Learn how to air dry, and if heat must be used, make sure the settings are low, and heat protectants are essential. (Air drying can give you hell at the beginning but it gets better, I promise. A post on this will follow in the near future.)

Smart styling is also a key factor in protecting. Use protective styles which:

  1. Protect your ends
  2. Keep your hair off your collar (abrasion with our collars causes frizz and breakage)

Protective styles include buns, up-dos, roller sets, braids and so on. (A post on these too shall one day follow.)


2. Moisturize

Hair loves moisture. Think co-washes, leave in’s and moisture DCs. As always, I must proclaim : Water is the best moisturizer. After moisturizing always remember to seal in the moisture with an oil such as olive oil, castor oil, jojoba oil and so on.

3. Deep Condition (DC aka Treatments)

This helps maintain your protein-moisture balance. DC at least twice a month, and switch it up between the two.

4. Cut back on the chemicals

Relaxers, and hair color/dye all weaken the hair. If you relax and intend to continue, stretch the time between your relaxers and DO NOT overlap the old relaxed hair. I mean NEVER EVER EVER “re-relax” already relaxed hair. This is a recipe for disaster. Chemical users, should amp up their moisture and deep conditioners to keep the hair happy after the chemical torture!

5. Find a Regimen and stick to it!

Healthy hair care is a continuous affair; you have to commit. The K.I.S.S theory works best for this. Find your staples: shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioners, moisturizers and oils. (Know the ingredients in your products. Find out if your “moisturizing shampoo” is really moisturizing or simply a marketing gimmick. Know the ingredients to avoid and those to embrace.) Once you’ve done this, decide how often you will wash, co-wash, deep condition and so on. Stick to your regimen, and your hair will love you for this. Here ‘s a great detailed article on regimen building.

Good luck newbies!  Heres to Sookie and Lulu!


Moisture moisture moisture….did I say moisture?

This is one of the key factors that ensure your hair stays happy and healthy. Audrey Sivasothy a self made hair guru with beautiful locks to boot, explains all about the fine art of balancing protein with moisture here.

Before I got into a whole new world of hair care, as far as I was concerned some ‘hair moisturizing lotion’ such as this every other day would without a doubt keep my hair ‘moisturized’. However, I have come to learn that the only true moisturizer is water. Although a whole book could be written about moisture and the great deception that is most commercial hair care products, this post will focus on my leave in conditioner/moisturizer.

As part of my regimen, I make a point of keeping my hair moist through out the day. Because it is not realistic to heave around bottles of product with you as you go about your day, I needed a simple effective solution. In addition, because I knew from my research what my hair needed to remain soft and moisturized without weighing it down, I decided to make my own leave in moisturizer.

My ‘recipe’ is simple. The moisturizer is made up of mostly water, very little conditioner, a tad bit of honey – (honey is a humectant and therefore attracts and retains moisture), and a dash of EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) to help seal in all the goodness. I bought a spritz bottle that’s small enough to carry in my bag, and whenever I get a chance (or my hair feels like it needs it), I zip into a bathroom and moisturize it. Because I live in an extremely hot and humid country, it has really worked wonders.

Before I started this moisturizing regimen, my hair would be dry and frizzy by evening. Now, it is always slightly moist and doesn’t frizz like it did. Breakage has drastically reduced, and I believe moisture has contributed greatly to this. For beginners in the hair game, it should be among your number one priorities.

There are no hard and fast rules as to what ingredients and you should use, but do your research first. Water is always a must, and natural oils such as castor oil, coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba oil are great to seal in the moisture. You can even try add a drop of one of the essential oils. The rest is up to you.

Banana Treatment: Crime or Prime?

Wow…WHAT an experience! Me being the lover of experiments that I am, I decided to try a banana treatment on my hair. Bananas are known for replenishing moisture and adding fabulous shine to hair, as well as being great for the scalp.

To quote miss banana head:

Bananas contain tryptophan, a rich amino acid that is known to be extremely beneficial for hair and skin. They are chock full of potassium which adds super softening properties to the hair shaft. Along with vitamins A, B, C and E bananas contain rich natural oils and carbohydrates. All these goodies shore up the natural elasticity of the hair and prevents split ends.

So I got two extremely ripe bananas and pureed them. Mixed in one egg (because it was my protein DC day) and two dollops of mayo. I let the mixture sit for a bit, and man did it look gross! The mixture smelled only of banana, and I thought that was a good thing because hey, it masked the egg smell right? So wrong. Hmm…more on that later.

I let the treatment sit in for about 4 hours, and by the time those hours were up, I was so ready to wash it off. I did one rinse with cool water because there was egg in the treatment, and then tried to wash out the stuff. It was a MESS! There were banana particles all over me and my bathroom. It took forever trying to wash out the banana bits from my head, and after forty minutes, i was fed up! (aside: if by any chance you end up in this predicament, section the hair into about ten to fifteen sections; rinse and add conditioner to each. The conditioner adds slip, making it easier to pick out the banana boogers and is way more effective than rinsing the whole head. ) Adding insult to injury, I reeked of a banana factory!  Adding more conditioner did not help the situation. This I hated.

However there is a silver lining: Once I was all nice and dry, bathroom washed and all, is when I actually noticed the state of my hair. It was extremely shiny! Unmistakeably so. But even then, randomly amidst the shine were still a few persistent ‘nana flecks. I gave up. The bits were gone in a day but it took about three days for the smell to completely disappear. I know, not fun! I was ready to declare this an asilia crime but guys the shiiiine!

So I’ve done some more reading up on banana as a hair treatment and it seems all hope is not lost. Here are a few tips for those brave enough to try:

  1. Try substitute bananas with banana baby food. It is simply banana with some citric acid as a preservative. It eliminates the problem of particles as well as the strong smell.
  2. If you decide to use bananas, or cannot find the baby food; Make sure you thoroughly blend the banana, adding a bit at a time, and after blending the fruit, take the mixture through a sieve. Straining it ensures there will never be any particles to pick out of the hair. EVER.  (Point to note: Simply mashing will not do.)

All in all i was thoroughly tortured, BUT I’m not ready to let that shine go and so I will not give up just yet. It will take a while to gather courage but when I do, I shall attempt this treatment again. So if your in search of moisture and shine, go ahead, give it a try. However, be advised, it is not for the faint of heart.

Flexi rods

So I’ve never for the life of me been able to put rollers on my own head and have them stay put. I also have never understood how people can sleep with the hard rollers the whole night through. So I was ABSOLUTELY STOKED when I saw these on youtube, and two days later my friend happened to randomly mention that she used these ‘rod like things’ instead of rollers. Serendipity anyone? I had no idea I could get them here so as soon as I found out, I went and bought them before all stock suddenly disappeared from all stores. You know how sneaky Murphy can be. I bought 20 of them but I’ll be going for more. They cost about  $4 for a pack of ten and they worked like magic! I did my flexi rod set after washing the hair, towel blotting, and using ORS Olive Oil, sealing with EVOO. I did mine at night and let them air dry through the night. They were extremely easy to get on, and relatively comfortable to sleep in. Once I took them out the following morning they had my hair in really tight spiral curls which i separated and had a nice curly fro a la this. The style seemed to look better the longer I wore it, and lasted about 4days. This is a great protective style, and is especially good for the hair because it requires no heat and very low manipulation; simply finger combing will do for several days. The two videos below show the technique I used to do my flexi rod set.

They work for both relaxed and natural heads, and I’ve even seen them done on braids. They are easy to style, versatile and help the ends dry smooth even when air drying (and I didn’t use end papers). My verdict? These are certified Asilia Prime!