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The Caramel Treatment – A Natural Hair Softener

The caramel treatment is a product in the E’tae product line. Boasting an all natural line up of ingredients from honey, bananas to olive oil, this product delivers in its ability to seriously soften and hydrate the driest and roughest hair textures. It helps people who relax their hair to ‘stretch’ their relaxer for longer periods and helps people with natural hair by softening its texture for easier detangling and manageability.

The results of the caramel treatment are not permanent; they last for up to 4 weeks so should be reapplied monthly for continued benefits. Many report ‘loosening’ of hair texture as well as less shrinkage after the treatment but this is likely due to the added weight of the product as well as the increased moisture levels in the hair. For this reason, the caramel treatment is excellent for helping to straightening the natural hair as it takes less heat to get smoother results as well as better moisture retention.

No doubt the product is excellent but due to its perishable nature (no preservatives are used), the price tag for monthly treatments can become quite unappealing. Most of the ingredients in the product can be found in many average kitchens so making your own caramel treatment seems a more attractive approach for those who wish to use it on a regular basis.

By understanding the purpose of each ingredient, you can adjust the recipe every time you make it depending on your hair’s needs.

Honey – An excellent humectant good for moisture

Olive Oil – For lubrication and helps with moisture retention

Bananas – Good for moisture and some protein benefits as well

Molasses (Treacle) – Another excellent humectant with some protein benefits

Water – This is the best natural moisturizer and is used to thin the mixture

Apple Cider Vinegar – For the shine it imparts to the hair

Cornstarch – For thickening purposes

Wheat germ oil – For added strength and lubrication

Here outlined is a simple recipe based on the ingredients above:

Honey – 6 tablespoons

Olive Oil – 6 tablespoons

Bananas – 2-3 overripe and very soft

Molasses (Treacle) – 3 tablespoons

Water – 4-6 tablespoons

Apple Cider Vinegar – 1 tablespoon

Cornstarch – 1-2 tablespoons depending on how thick you want the mixture to be

Wheat germ oil – 1 teaspoon – This can be substituted for any other natural oil of your choice

o Place all the ingredients except for the water into a blender and process until smooth. You may need to add the water bit by bit if it looks too dry.

o To ensure that there are no bits of banana in the mixture, sieve it through a fine sieve.

o Pour the mixture into a saucepan and put it on a medium heat while stirring constantly. You don’t want to ‘cook’ the mixture but you want the cornstarch to cause it to thicken and this will take just moments. You may need to add more water to thin it down if it gets too thick or add a bit more cornstarch if it is still too runny. You want to end up with a caramel coloured mixture that is the consistency of a thick batter. If the mixture is too thin it will start dripping from your hair as soon as you apply it.

o Decant the mixture into a container, depending on the length of your hair it will likely be enough for two applications.

To apply, divide the hair into 3-4 sections and clip. Starting with 1 section, part the hair and apply on the roots generously rubbing in with your fingers. Once applied on the roots of the section, apply the mixture all the way to the ends. Complete all sections in this manner and once done, cover the hair with a plastic cap. Let the mixture sit in your hair for 1-2 hours or overnight for really dry hair.

Wash hair with a sulfate free shampoo, deep condition and style as usual. You can freeze the remainder until you are ready to use it. The treatment is suitable for both natural and relaxed hair.

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