A dry and flaking scalp can be extremely annoying, at times embarrassing, and even painful. The cause of itching can be internally related and can also be linked with diet. Beyoncé instructed us to pat our weaves ladies when we experience that dreaded itch of the scalp, but there are a few other things we can do as part of our haircare routine to minimise scalp issues. If you are experiencing scalp issues I have shared some tips to improve the health of your scalp and reduce the itch.
1. My number one tip is to clarify the scalp and hair to prevent product build up. I use a clarifying shampoo or perform an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse in my wash day routine every six to eight weeks. You can think of clarifying as stripping the hair and scalp and starting a fresh to get rid of layers of products that have built up over the weeks. Regular shampoos are not designed to completely strip the hair so they cannot clean your hair thoroughly. My favourite way to clarify my hair is to use an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse. I add 1 part Apple Cider Vinegar and 3 parts water to a large glass and pour this over my head making sure I concentrate the formula on the scalp. I leave the rinse on my hair for 10 minutes and then I wash it out and continue with the rest of my wash day routine as normal. Whenever I perform this rinse my hair is left feeling extremely clean, it is easy to detangle and so soft! Most importantly adding a clarifying process to your hair care routine will remove dead skin cells and oils that lead to a dry and itchy scalp.
2. Try to wash your hair more frequently to prevent excessive build-up of products. If you suffer from scalp issues avoid co-washing and stick to regular shampooing to keep your scalp as clean as possible. Use a shampoo that is sulphate free to prevent scalp irritation and dryness. Add the shampoo directly to your scalp and really target the area with a good massage. I tend to use my knuckles for a head massage to avoid irritating the scalp and snagging on my hair with my nails.
3. Deep condition regularly and add an essential oil to help with the condition of the scalp. Use 4 drops of Tea Tree oil added to Extra Virgin Olive Oil (always use a carrier oil with an essential oil) and honey. This mixture is so lush; it will leave your hair feeling amazing and stop the itching and flaking. This is because Tea Tree oil has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, acting on the fungus that causes dandruff. You can also try adding Tea Tree oil to your spray leave in conditioner to reduce itching when your hair is braided.
4. A dry scalp can lead to itching, especially when the hair is in a protective style. Regular use of a leave-in conditioner with the main ingredient being water; will moisturise the scalp and hair. This must be sealed in with an oil to lock in the moisture. In the winter months I perform this daily when my hair is in a protective style as my scalp is extra dry during this period. On application of the oil do not be heavy handed, as too much oil can block up the hair follicles and just increase the itching. Those days of greasing every inch of the scalp are long gone, just apply the oil lightly to a few sections.
5. I find that using products that contain natural ingredients has greatly reduced flaking on my scalp. In my relaxed days I used to suffer from dandruff and flaking, but once I started my natural hair journey and I switched to hair care products containing more natural ingredients the dandruff completely stopped. I still experience itching at times but being aware of the product ingredients has greatly reduced this. Avoid products that contain lanolin, mineral oil and petrolatum as these ingredients can clog up your pores.
Let me know if you have any tips to reduce an itching scalp.
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I'm Caron and I have created this blog to share my love of natural hair, beauty and a few things in-between.
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