Hey guys! I’m back from vacation but easing my way back into the groove of things so this week and next I’ll have some guest bloggers vying for you guys’ love and affection on the site! First up is Talisa, so show her some love!
By no stretch of the imagination am I a chef. I’ve never been the type to stay in the kitchen preparing a meal for longer than ten or fifteen minutes, max (salads and smoothies for the win). When I was forced to stop relaxing my hair, one of the ever-popular natural hair practices was creating DIY butter mixes. It seemed like everyone and their next-door-neighbor had a special concoction that made their hair thrive. I meanwhile, resisted for about a year. One day, I cracked. My hair fell in love with a mango butter mix I’d made on a whim, and there began my obsession with whipping up little creations for my hair & skin. I’m a huge fan of scents and that led me right to exploring a bit more about the benefits of some of the most popular essential oils. Surprisingly, these little gems pack quite a punch; they’re great for superb-smelling strands and so much more. Being the multi-purpose maven that I am, I thought I’d share the greats with you guys. Starting with a favorite of many…
Lavender Essential Oil
In the age of constantly swamped-schedules, did you know that there are apps to remind us to relax? Lavender oil is the perfect companion to help you wind down after a long day. A few drops on my pillow and I’m usually out within ten minutes. Take it from a one-time insomniac (thanks, college all-nighters!), rest is precious. If it takes too long for your mind and body to wind down for a siesta, lavender essential oil should do the trick. It’s also effective for cuts, bruises and burns (lest we forget, I’m no chef, an accident or two has happened before), and a drop or two can even be added to your laundry to add a special something to your intimates on laundry day.
Rosemary Essential Oil
I’m a huge fan of the rosemary plant, which I use for soothing my scalp while in a protective style like box braids. Steeped in hot water and made as a tea then spritzed onto the scalp, it takes care of the slightest itch I may get from the synthetic hair. The essential oil is a great substitute for the same use. This earthy-scented wonder is also effective for treating headaches, by inhalation of a few drops, or topical application to the temples. Add a few drops to your favorite body lotion and you’ll be left with toned, hydrated skin, or massage a few drops to your face if you are acne-prone and tend to be left with dark spots. It’s anti-inflammatory qualities help to treat other common skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis.
Tea Tree Essential Oil
Another favorite of naturals with troublesome scalps, tea-tree essential oil has been a mainstay in a wide range of hair products for ages. Just like rosemary, it has excellent anti-inflammatory properties. Say goodbye to painful razor burns and ingrown hairs when you apply this oil to the affected area; it’s an effective soother.
Peppermint Essential Oil
That fresh, cooling sensation you get from your favorite toothpaste, mouthwash, chewing gum or mint? You guessed it — peppermint E.O may be mixed somewhere in there. It’s another power-packed scalp-soother, alongside rosemary and tea-tree mentioned earlier. For everyday use, and to be prepared for those just-in-case moments, I think this essential oil should be a mainstay in just about everyone’s purse or bag. Car-sick? One or two drops massaged onto the wrists, or inhaled from the bottle, provides soothing comfort on the bumpiest of rides. Falling asleep in class after that all-nighter? One drop rubbed under the nose will help you stay alert and attentive (Adieu, coffee). You may be all-too-familiar with the monthly perils of being female — peppermint E.O. helps to soothe the stomach of minor pains and cramps, when rubbed on the abdomen area.
So there you have it! More than just a pick-me-up for your shea butter stash, there’s little these oils can’t do. A few words of caution though; be sure that any essential oil you use isn’t digested, or used in too high amounts. No more than two or three drops, and you’re set! Due to their potency, it isn’t advised to go overboard with the amounts used.