Monday, 30 May 2011


The mad kitchen chemist in me loves concocting so in a need of a henna treatment before my next braids, I decided to mix the following - please read through

* 279g asparagus juice (left over water after boiling asparagus) - for silica content to strengthen the hair
* 148g rosemary leave-in conditioner or thick yoghurt - for extra conditioning
* 121g water

* 86g henna - to strengthen the hair

* 56g garlic - for sulphur content to help stimulate hair growth

* 30g shea oil - for gloss

* 20g dried nettle leaf - for silica content to strengthen the hair

* Cling film (saran wrap)

* Shower cap


I never use henna for its colouring effect but rather for its strengthening benefits.

To start this process, I added the nettle leaf to the asparagus juice + water and simmered (not boiled) for 20 minutes. I strained and left it to cool.
I blended the whole cloves of garlic with the shea oil, added the nettle/asparagus juice, blended together before straining into the henna.
I then added a jar of our rosemary leave-in conditioner which had to be used up and left the mix to sit for 12 hours as I was too tired to proceed with the treatment at this point.

I had just taken my braids out so it was ideal to wash it before the henna treatment. I used a small amount of our afro shampoo bar.
Ah - shrunken afro - can't get away from this due to the nature of my hair.
12 hours later, I just love the consistency, not dripping.

First layer of henna applied - just look at how my shrunken afro has bounced back to life.

Second layer of henna. I never thought I would be using this much henna but I managed to slap everything onto my head.

3 layers of saran wrap + shower cap + 2 hours later: Time to wash out the treatment. Make sure you rinse it out with lukewarm water before washing with shampoo. What I did to finish off this treatment was to add a dollop of leave-in conditioner to a small amount of argan liquid shampoo and rinse out the treatment. This treatment was much easier to rinse out that my first attempt at henna some months ago.

Towel-dried the hair and braided it.

I am very happy with this treatment although the garlic scent was quite strong, I could feel it working on the scalp together with the rosemary.

More pictures from the process can be found on our facebook fanpage

Wednesday, 25 May 2011


I am not getting any younger am I? Well, I guess I am the only one who can answer that!!! Yes I know.

I sometimes get asked about my beauty secret?!?!? Well, I use pure unrefined grade A shea butter from Ghana to keep my skin supple. I always keep a pot in my bag to moisturise my hands (soaps in washrooms dry my hands out) and to moisturise my lips.
I wanted to "shoot a video" today to answer few questions on unrefined shea but after a 48-hour diet of soup and fruits, I was not yet ready. Not been feeling too well lately and yes, I have also been massaging my chest with some shea.

Get a pot of pure unrefined shea and feel the difference

Sheabutter Cottage

Thursday, 19 May 2011


As a soapmaker, I love the magic that happens when I stir a pot of oils with water and sodium/potassium hydroxide. However, I have more fun when I am making soap in a group.
African black soap is not an easy soap to make. It involves smoke, smoke and more smoke and has to be cooked outside in the open space. I had so much fun making a batch back in Ghana in April 2011. Unlike most bars of African black soap on the market, this is unique as it contains unrefined cocoa butter, neem + moringa and it is supplied in pack sizes of 50 for your own packaging/labeling/branding.
I hope you will have fun designing your own label. You can order your pack of soap here

Saturday, 14 May 2011


As I sit back and reflect on the journey I have taken as a baby in Kumasi, through the boarding school of Achimota, learning the meaning of ILS and PAPI on a construction project in Accra and being a near middle-aged woman in Berkshire [UK], I smile through all the memories I have.
I have been lucky to always have easy access to toilet facilities from the bog standard to the unimaginable. However, every time I sit down to reflect on my visits to Gumu - Ghana, frustration sets in. Why? Well, because this village still lacks the use of a public place of convenience.
I visited the community in April 2011 and this is the progress so far
The money raised has been used towards the purchase/moulding of blocks for construction. We are still a long way in completing this project and I can not wait to see this community benefit from the use of the KVIP.
So, if you are feeling charitable today then please feel free to donate via this page - GUMU APPEAL Thank you for your kindness
Akua Wood
Sheabutter Cottage

Monday, 9 May 2011


It is a new day and the beginning of a new week and I am rather chuffed to see this headline "Florida teenagers told to 'pull up their pants' by new law " via The Telegraph. Read the article here