SCALP HEALTH: DITCH THE ITCH!
Hey girls…and a few guys! Even though winter is on its way out the door, you may have noticed that moisture retention is très important, season to season–especially with the weather’s bipolar nature! A lot of times, we (MYSELF INCLUDED) spend ample time taking care of our hair, neglecting its origins–the scalp! In other words, moisturizing the hair is just as important as moisturizing the scalp–the two are synonymous as they work together to help sustain healthy hair growth/maintenance. Since this is an intricate and highly-questioned topic, it might be easier to divvy out our discussion to give it some structure.
First up–What is moisture?Though simple, my definition of moisture retention is the ability of our hair to hold onto any method of moisture we use to hydrate it. NOTE: The span of time that your hair is able to absorb moisture until it becomes dry varies person to person and can also be circumstantial (i.e. one’s genetic disposition, the order/combination of products you apply, etc. )
How does one moisturize their hair? Some modes of hydration might include the following:
Direct application of water
Direct application of a water mixture (via a DIY spray bottle concoction: i.e. water, conditioner, aloe vera juice, oil) OR
Direct application of a water-based product (any product with water as its first ingredient).
Keep in mind, ; while it is needed to lock in moisture (by applying it after you use water or a water-based product), you are not moisturizing your hair by merely using oil alone. The oil will simply sit on top of your hair, failing to penetrate your hair’s shaft and causing your hair to feel dry all over again.
“I do all of this…so, what’s the problem?”
I asked myself this question too, recently. I had been faithful to my moisture regimen but was experiencing dry, itchy scalp–not to mention my hair was shedding more than its usual amount (…and it didn’t need a trim). I couldn’t figure it out so I decided to go back to the essentials–essential oils, that is! I revisited an essential oil mixture I used to do back in the day to help relieve some of my scalp’s itchiness/soreness.
The recipe for my mixture can be found below. ***I use the NOW brand for my essential oils which can be found at your local GNC, Vitamin World, Vitamin Shoppe or Amazon. Typically, they run between $6-$10/1 fl oz (30ml) bottle depending on the oil and store location from which you purchase the oil.***
One empty glass oil dropper bottle (to place the mixture in)
Tea tree oil
Avocado Oil (any brand will do)
Typically, I don’t measure my oil mixtures as I don’t see it necessary because it’s really about preference. Generally, essential oils are packaged with a restrictor on the inside of the bottle to regulate how much oil comes out of the bottle. This is because essential oils are very potent and should really only be used in small quantities so you’ll notice that the oil will only come out in droplets. To be safe, you should use at least 6 drops of each essential oil for this particular mixture. You’ll also need a carrier oil which is a main oil to help dilute the essential oils so it is not as potent on your scalp. Otherwise, you risk experiencing a slight burning sensation if you use the essential oils on its own. That’s the role of the avocado oil in this mixture–to be a carrier oil.
TIP: The overall smell of these oils together can get pretty strong so if you’re not a person that likes holistic scents, feel free to add other essential oils like a lavender, vanilla or lemon essential oil to accommodate the scent of the mixture to your liking. -)
Do your research! While it would be easier for me to paraphrase the function/benefits of each of the oils I chose for my oil mixture, it quite honestly wouldn’t be helpful to you all. Being curious about your natural hair is something you should always be because it allows us to educate ourselves! So, do your research! I didn’t just wake up and discover this mixture. I did my research on some of the oils and their properties to help target my scalp issues and went from there. Maybe some of the oils I used won’t work for you or you’ll want to customize it with oils that you think might work better for you–my point is, you won’t know until you do your homework! I will, however, point out that all of the oils I chose work together to help reduce the itchiness and dryness I was experiencing. I also chose oils like peppermint and eucalyptus so that I can get a light tingling sensation in my scalp to help stimulate blood circulation and ultimately promote healthy hair growth. I generally like to apply/massage the oil on my scalp right after I wash it and maybe once every couple of days (or as I need it)–this will vary for everyone. Keep in mind that oil does cause scalp buildup so use the mixture, sparingly but efficiently!
Does it work? It certainly has helped alleviate my dry/itchy scalp and has helped in reducing my shed hair. Could I have just went out and used Head & Shoulders? Perhaps! lol I wanted to try a more natural route so feel free to do you! lol Everyone is different and we all have different preferences!
Hopefully this was helpful! Do you use any oil mixtures for your hair or scalp? Feel free to share/discuss them with me! Til next time!