Following on from a post I did about a supplier of natural products for both skin and hair, Chic Chick I thought I would review some of the items they lovingly gifted me, one being the Cassia Obovata powder. I used it first as I did not think it would effect the colour/tone of my colour treated hair and would help strengthen and reduce the breakage as well as condition the hair. (I have not looked after my hair well right through winter - sigh).
The Chic Chick Cassia Obovata is double packaged to ensure freshness.There is quite a bit of info out there about Cassia, always do a strand/patch test if you are not sure of the results of any product - some people might be allergic. Cassia apparently can be used to enhance the colour of naturally blonde and gray hair if mixed with lemon or orange juice and then left for 12hours before applying and then kept on the hair with a plastic covering for up to 3hours. Adding some 100% Henna to the Cassia can change a lighter blonde colour to strawberry blonde. Cassia does not lighten dark colored hair. Overall it is good and beneficial for all hair types, (even for permanent colour treated and bleached hair). It has anti fungal properties and can be used to treat dandruff. If you live in a hard water area, make sure you hair is clear of mineral build up before use and this can be done using a chelating shampoo - must say chelating on the bottle (ORS Olive Oil Creamy Aloe Shampoo has some chelating properties).
Add water a bit at a time and soon the mixture will take on a yogurt constistency. Mix enough for the length of your hair. I thought I had mixed to much but it was just right as didn't have any left (I used half a pack)
Now this was my first time using Cassia Obovata and because I had did my research I was quite comfortable to just get on with using it. (Cassia might loosen curl patterns - really depends on one's hair). I washed and conditioned and detangled my hair with my Giovanni Tea Tree Shampoo and Conditioner (review in the pipeline). I then mixed up half of the packet I had, firstly with a dash of hot water (this was by mistake) and then warm water. Mix a little water at a time until the mixture is of a yogurt consistency. I had mixed this in a glass bowl with a plastic spatula (okay the handle of the spatula as I could not find a plastic spoon and did not think to use a wooden one (o: improvise), I stay away from mixing natural powder/clay in metal or stainless steel containers or utensils and as much as they are said to be natural and should be fine in the stainless steel container, you just never know how pure it is so I rather avoid contaminating it or creating any reactions before even using it. I then sectioned my hair and clipped each section ready to be covered with the mixture. I applied from root to tip making sure the hair and roots were well covers and then twisted each section. (it is advisable to make sure hair is well detangled before applying the mix and do not try parting the hair too much once the mixture is on - the mixture starts to dry and stiffen as you work with it. Once done I then covered with a plastic shower cap and then a head scarf and then tried to wait for an hour but was too tired and went to bed. 6-8 hours later I rinsed the mix out using conditioner as well to try and get it all out. I applied a cream that also acted as a leave in a little oil but my hair was shinny without the oil.
Above: Before the Cassia treatment.
Above: Hair was washed with shampoo and then conditioner and detangled. Once detangled hair was sectioned.
Above: The mixed Cassia powder was applied to the hair with little to no mess at all
Above: the mixture does smooth the hair. Each section was twisted and pinned up.
Above: Once done, the hair was covered with a plastic cap and left aloneThe Hair Loves: The no mess application. It goes on like a hair mask. I was a little apprehensive but this powder mixed well and even adhered well to the hair. I think I dripped just once on my shoulder and that was that. I used my hands with no gloves to apply it and my hands did not stain. (Its more likely to get messy when rinsing it out)
Above: I sometimes feel like its harder to work with product and hair if using gloves - so I went ahead without gloves and my hands were not stained.The hair loves that this powder can be used on a any hair type even hair that is permanently colour treated like mine.
The hair loves the shine it gets immediately once rinsed. The breakage seemed to reduce as well (I did a moisture deep condition a week later and saw much less hair on the comb). The hair was also soft to a degree not too much though and was also strengthened - it works a like a super natural protein treatment.
The hair loves the slight boost in colour and hair tone the hair took - a little more golden and the dry very blonde ends were not dry looking. Total love.
Above: Left - the next day when the plastic was removed. Right - once hair was rinsed.It also felt like this powder clarified the hair to a degree - a reset of the hair which I find is great as the product takes better but also a bit too much on the drying side which was my fault and I explain this below. I used another conditioner whilst rinsing as a co-wash (CHI Olive Nutrition Conditioner) and this worked better than it did before the treatment.
And did my curls pop - they certainly did and were more pronounced without the assistance of any other product. Hair was still frizzy which was okay - I have been dragging my feet about getting a trim.
Above: Curl pattern was more enhanced and the colour was slightly richer in my opinionThe Hair Could do More of Less of: Mmm, apart from the smell which you may not like but can't really fault or change as it also verifies that it is 100% natural, not much to add or take away - it is not as difficult to use as one would think.
The Hair Did Not Take Well To: The dryness - I hardly suffer from an itchy scalp but my scalp itched like crazy the next few days - I rinsed and conditioned and oiled the scalp daily although I could have oiled it better. I thought it was a reaction but there was no visible evidence of this. I do believe it is my own fault - I kept this on over night - the recommended time is 30mins to an hour or 4hours if conditioning the hair with the powder and 6hours if using the powder to enhance blonde coloured hair as mentioned above - I did my own thing. It dried my scalp.
I also do not think I rinsed well which will indeed dry the scalp. I really think I could have rinsed longer and kept it in sections as I rinsed. (I loosened the sections and rinsed). I also wish I had done a moisture treatment soon after rather than a week later as oiling the scalp only worked for a little bit. I would recommend also using the greenhouse/bagging method at night to help restore lost moisture (one should be doing this any way at least once a week, JHB is too dry).
Above: The hair the next day. I embrace my shrinkage as it helps my hair not snag on clothing on my shoulders.
Above: This was the evening of the next day (sorry, I had to use the camera flash)Would I use Cassia Obovata powder as both a conditioning and strengthening treatment - a definite yes - maybe once a month, and I will stick to the recommended time to keep it on. I love that it can be used on all hair types. if hair is strong but appears dry - hair can still shine and be dry - then one must increase moisture or the keeping of moisture in the hair. Would I use this as a blonde colour enhancer...a definite yes. I like the golden hue it gives my blondish ends what more if I had mixed it with lemon.
I will be using this powder again and update this post with any further findings. I like that just one use gives specific results.
So - do the homework and listen to your hair and go on, visit www.chicchick.co.za to purchase the Cassia Obovata powder. (you can also contact them if you have any questions about the product before buying).