~ Maximize the Health, Shine, Volume and Beauty of your Long Hair ~


  Current Favorites

 The key elements to my hair care regimen:  pre-treat, CO wash and HALO Rinse.

Smoothing Shine

1 tablespoon Honey
1 tablespoon Aloe vera gel
1 tablespoon Lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon Oil (optional)
1/2 teaspoon vinegar
8 cups distilled water

Combine all ingredients; shake or stir.  Store in refrigerator.

Pour a cupful (about 6 oz) of HALO Rinse for each use.  Wash and condition hair as usual; squeeze out excess water.  Dip length of hair in cup of HALO Rinse; soak.  Pour remaining HALO rinse over hair.  Do NOT rinse out.  Dry as usual.  Recipe will yield about 10 uses; store in refrigerator.  

Also can be used as a pre-wash soak; or a rinse-out after regular conditioner.

More about HALO rinse here

Instead of distilled water, I use herb tea as the base:
-Boil 8 c water; 
-add handful of dried horsetail herb;
-set aside to cool.
-Pour through sieve into pitcher, straining out herbs;
-add all other ingredients; 
-shake or stir well.
Use other herbs as desired.



CO Shine Smoothie

Conditioner Only (CO) hair washing was pioneered by Dr. Hugh Malloy, a dermatologist.  An article where he discusses the destructive effects of shampoo on hair and scalp and outlines his recommended conditioner hair wash is here.   This method is further discussed on the Long Hair Community Discussion Board here, and is also recommended in the book "Curly Girl," by Lorraine Massey & Deborah Chiel here.

I mix a CO (Conditioner Only) Shine Smoothie for cleansing -- to a bottle of Suave Milk & Honey Conditioner, I add 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar.  Work this mixture gently into the scalp area of my hair.  I apply the Smoothie to dry hair, before showering.  For the length, I add honey, about half and half with the CO Smoothie mix, then smooth onto the length of my hair.  Or I use a pre-treatment conditioner (below).  Pile the length on top of my head; add a shower cap and leave it to penetrate for about 30 mins.

I wash my hair upside down for added volume and to keep products off my sensitive scalp.  When I shower, I let the length of my hair fall foward, add a couple handfuls of water, and gently work in the Smoothie mix again, then rinse, upside down.  Squeeze out excess water then add a second, more moisturizing conditioner to the length; pile up and shower cap; let it penetrate for the duration of my shower.  Release to the front and wet-comb the conditioner through very slowly and gently, starting at the ends, using a seamless wide-tooth comb.  Rinse, upside down, using cool to cold water.   Squeeze out excess water; then soak the length in HALO Rinse, and pour remaining HALO Rinse over hair.

Let it drip a few minutes in the shower, then squeeze dry.  Create a twisted-hair-turban using a large microfiber towel; leave the towel on for 30 mins.  Release hair upside down; gently run fingers through hair (to separate strands for better curl formation and to speed drying).   Add leave-ins, if any.  Bring length together (still upside down), and gently twist to form a loose Gibson-girl style bun.  Secure with jaw clips or Ficcare; then run fingers through the loose hair around the face to lift from head and fluff up the scalp area  to create volume while drying.  Air dry. 

If I don't have time for a wet-bun to dry, I will dry with hair loose down my back, but have to add leave-ins to control frizz.  I use smaller clips to form a puffy half-up to create volume while drying.  On the rare occasions I blow dry (a couple of times per year), I use a cool setting and only dry the roots. 


Favorite CO cleansing conditioners:

Suave Milk & Honey

Alberto VO5 Kiwi Lime Squeeze

Nature's Gate Chamomile conditioner 

White Rain Extra Body 


Heavy moisturizing conditioners do not work well for cleansing.  The cheaper conditioners, particularly ones that are labeled "volume" or "extra body" formula, are the ones that provide gentle cleansing.  I have almost completely eliminated sulfates (detergents - sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate) from my hair care routine.  The result is hair that is cleaner, shinier, and requires less-frequent cleansing.  My scalp used to require prescription medication for sebbhoreic dermatitis, but is now in perfect condition, medication-free.  This gentle cleansing method also improves the condition of my hair and promotes healthy, long hair.  I am also currently using conditioners that do not contain silicone-derived ingredients ("cones"), which tended to build-up and dry my hair, especially at the ends.  Conditioners and leave-ins without silicone are listed here.



Aloe Vera gel, Suave Milk & Honey Conditioner, Giovanni Direct Leave In 




  Oyin Shine + Define Leave In, Hamadi Shea Hair Mask, Terax Crema, 

Curly Brunette's Shea It Ain't So (here), Virgin Coconut Oil (here).




Pre-Treatment Favorites (Length only)

HALO Rinse

  Carrot Oil

Shea It Ain't So 

Hamadi Shea Hair Mask

pure virgin coconut oil

Ojon Restorative Hair Treatment

honey - aloe - lemon juice (equal parts) 

Aubrey Organics Glycogen Protein Balancing Conditioner

Aubrey Organics Island Naturals Replenishing Conditioner + honey

Goth Rosary Daily Use Hair Conditioner & Humectant - Mayhem



Favorite Shiny Hair Shampoos

(use occasionally)

Aveda Camomile

ABBA Creme Moist 

PureOlogy HydrateShampoo

Giovanni Golden Wheat Shampoo

 Aveda Sap Moss Nourishing Concentrate 

Back to Basics Tangerine Grapefruit Clarifying Shampoo

Burt's Bees Super Shiny Grapefruit & Sugar Beet Shampoo

Elucence Moisture Acidifying Shampoo 

Herbavita Chamomile Shampoo

Tigi Bed Head Moisture Maniac


 Rotating Favorites for Second (Moisturizing) Conditioner

Hamadi Shea Hair Mask

Biolage Conditioning Balm

Kerasilk Treatment by Goldwell

Kenra Volumizing Conditioner (amodimethicone)

Elucence Extended Moisture Repair Treatment

Goth Rosary Daily Conditioner & Humectant

Jessicurl Too Shea! Extra Moisturizing Conditioner

Tigi Catwalk Oatmeal & Honey Treatment Conditioner

Elucence Moisture Balancing Conditioner

L'ANZA Daily Elements Nourishing Conditioner 
(was Urban Elements Deep Conditioner)

L'ANZA Daily Elements Mint Revitalizer 
(was Urban Elements Daily Revitalizer) 

Phyto Organics Humectin 
(was Nexxus Humectress)

Terax Crema (reformulated July 2006)

 Leave In

Aura Gel + Beauty Without Cruelty Leave In + Goth Rosary Conditioner

Curly Brunette's Shea It Ain't So (ends)

broccoli seed oil


Favorite Shine Serums

HALO Rinse

Broccoli Seed Oil + Aloe Vera gel

Joico Spray Glacé



Favorite Rainy-Day Leave Ins:

Oyin Shine + Define

Curly Brunette's Shea It Ain't So

Broccoli Seed Oil + Aloe Vera gel

Akiva Naturals Healthy Hair Honey 

Joico Spray Glacé

Giovanni Direct



Favorite Hair- & Skin-Friendly Oils

Used as a pre-wash moisturizer, in-shower conditioner, deep treatment, or (sparingly) as a leave-in to add moisture, shine, and control frizz, pure natural oils can be so great for your hair.  Also very moisturizing and cleansing for your skin.  My personal favorite face wash is pure avocado oil mixed with a bit of pure walnut oil.  Here are some skin- and hair-friendly favorites.

Apricot Kernel Oil
Avocado Oil
Broccoli Seed Oil
Carrot Oil
Castor Oil
Coconut Oil
Flaxseed Oil
Golden Jojoba Oil
Macadamia Nut Oil
Meadowfoam Seed Oil
Olive Oil - Extra Virgin
Red Palm Oil
Sesame Seed Oil
Sunflower Oil
Sweet Almond Oil
Walnut Oil
Wheat Germ Oil




 Supporting Lovely Long Hair for Women of All Ages