Tag Archives: Scalp Soother

Soothe your Itchy Scalp with Baking Soda!

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This blog post contains affiliate links (e.g., to Amazon, eBay, etc.), which means that if you click on one of the product links and place an order, I’ll receive a small commission. This helps support my blog and allows me to continue to create content like this.

Thank you for your support!

 

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Trash Can Image Shared by RyGuy
Chalice Image Shared by Locutus Borg (José-Manuel Benito Álvarez), Photo Adapted

 

While doing research for a natural hair treatment to calm a pretty bad seborrheic dermatitis flare up I’ve been experiencing recently,  I stumbled upon a DIY scalp mask made with baking soda. I almost didn’t try it because the testimonials seemed evenly split down the middle between raving reviews and angry backlash! Some naturals said it broke off their hair and swore never to use it again on their tresses while others claimed to have finally found their holy grail hair product. I spent hours trying to figure out which camp to believe more. Out of desperation for wanting to relieve my itchy, inflamed scalp, I ultimately decided I had NOTHING to lose (given all the ups and downs and downs and downs my hair has gone through in the last two years). And, I have to tell you, I’m so glad I did!

For months years, I have been struggling to maintain the moisture:protein balance of my hair … and failed miserably! I would spend most of my free time attempting to moisturize my dry, parched mane … to no avail most days. I grew weary of trying various hair moisture products, techniques, and trends—all of which didn’t seem to do much, at least not long-term. After a few mildly successful short-term fixes, I inevitably ended right back where I started, with dry hair and an inflamed scalp!

I initially started out with a 50:50 ratio of baking soda to conditioner (½ cup each), but the mixture was a little watery. So, I ended up adding another 2 ounces (¼ cup) of baking soda to the mixture. However, it still wasn’t quite thick enough for my liking, so I ended up sprinkling more baking soda into the mix until the thickness I wanted was attained. So, I probably ended up using about 1 cup of baking soda to ½ cup conditioner. The application process was pretty simple. I started by pre-pooing with my Honey Blowout treatment, then I layered on my Pantene Moisture Boost Shampoo. After rinsing out my hair, I used my microfiber turban to soak up the excess water. Next, I mixed the baking soda and conditioner together in an applicator bowl. I tried to localize the application of the mask to my scalp, but that proved impossible, so I ended up applying the mask from root to tip to ALL of my hair.

I created workable segments by dividing my hair into quadrants. I used an applicator brush, and applied the mask to my scalp and hair in small sections (like you would a relaxer). After each section was completely coated, I smoothed it from root to tip to make sure all of my hair was coated. I repeated this process for the remaining three quadrants of my head. When I was done, I popped on a processing cap and waiting an hour.

I instantly noticed that this scalp treatment seemed to have a similar effect as henna on my hair in that my curls became very defined and super elongated (as long as the mix remained in my hair). Unfortunately, although the application process was easy, it was SUPER messy! Messier than henna treatments! The baking soda/conditioner mix got everywhere … on the bathroom counter … the floor … the wall … everywhere! It was sort of a nightmare. I also felt like I almost needed to take a shower again. I had so much baking soda on my face and my neck that I had to use several facial cleansing cloths to remove it!

I later found out that I should have let my hair dry to about 80% before applying the mask, but who has time for all that (LOL)? After an hour, I rinsed the mask out of my hair without much incident. Next, I deep conditioned my hair for 30 minutes with ion’s Summer Solutions Deep Conditioning Treatment, and rinsed it out. I would say that I detangled my hair next but, honestly, after the baking soda mask and deep conditioning treatment, my hair basically detangled itself. I ran my fingers through my hair from root to tip, and it was virtually tangle free.

This baking soda treatment instantaneously assuaged my itchy, flaky scalp, and calmed all inflammation. After two weeks of a brutal seborrheic dermatitis flare up, that’s no small victory! I also noticed a difference IMMEDIATELY in the look and feel of my hair. Before even using the LCO method to moisturize my hair, my fine, low porosity strands were noticeably smoother, less frizzy, and slightly elongated. Days later, my hair was still moisturized and only started to feel slightly dry (on the ends of my hair) on day 3! Can you say, “game changer”?

I used VO5’s Tea Therapy Blackberry Sage Tea Revitalizing Conditioner. I initially thought that next time I should use a slightly thicker conditioner, so the process won’t be quite so messy. However, upon reflection, my final mixture was fairly thick. So, I’m thinking the fact that I didn’t let my hair dry sufficiently before applying this baking soda mask is what caused all of the mess. Next time, I’ll try not to be in such a rush and will wait at least an hour before applying the mix to my strands. Other than that, my scalp loves the results!

I think the reason this worked so well is that I have (1) extremely low porosity hair and (2) product buildup. Even though I wash my hair weekly and have a shower filter, I live in a very hard water area. Over time, I think my hair just became coated with mineralized water and too much product. I think that may be the reason why I have been struggling to moisturize my hair in the last two years! Honestly, I didn’t think I had any product buildup, but because my hair is low porosity, it is more prone to it. One of the things I haven’t really been doing consistently the last couple of years is clarifying my hair. I’m realizing now more than ever that clarifying is a must for my fine, low porosity strands. So, I will probably start doing it on a monthly basis (in combination with a healthy rotation of deep conditioning and protein treatments) from now on to better maintain the moisture:protein balance of my hair.

Need a hair reboot or scalp refresh? Here are the basic steps:

  1. Wash your hair with a sulfate-free shampoo or gentle cleanser.
  2. Let hair dry to 75-80%. Avoid using this mask on dripping wet hair. (You’ll thank me later!)
  3. Mix baking soda and conditioner. Baking soda is a “weak alkaline” with a pH of 9. However, how much you use will depend on your hair’s porosity, how fine or thick your hair is, and how adventurous you feel. So, you will likely need to play around with ratios. Some only use 1 TBSP of baking soda to a ½ cup of conditioner. Others, like me, go full strength and use ¾ cup to 1 cup of baking soda to ½ cup of conditioner. If you have high porosity, relaxed, or colored hair, I would use a smaller amount. If you have low porosity hair, you can probably get away with using more. When in doubt, be cautious and start out small. You can always build up to a stronger mix later if you feel your hair needs it.
  4. Divide hair into quadrants, apply the baking soda mixture from root to tip. Working in sections makes the application process go much more smoothly.
  5. Don a processing cap. Wait 30-60 minutes.
  6. Rinse hair with warm water.
  7. Deep condition hair with a moisturizing hair mask for 20-30 minutes, and then rinse out with warm water. Because I have low porosity hair, I always deep condition under a hooded bonnet dryer.
  8. Use an apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinse (or other hair neutralizer) to rebalance your hair’s pH level. I used a 50:50 ratio of ACV and distilled water.
  9. Detangle.
  10. Moisturize and style hair.

 

WARNING:

If you have high porosity or chemically-altered hair (e.g., hair that has been relaxed, permed, color-treated, etc.), I highly recommend (1) a patch test or strand test first and then (2) using small quantities of baking soda (i.e., 1 tsp to 1 TBSP max) with a conditioner. Water mixtures, alone, are not enough to off-set the alkalinity of baking soda. While doing my research, I found that most of the people who experienced “breakage” or excessively dry hair either only dissolved the baking soda in water (instead of conditioner) or had highly porous hair. So, if your hair starts to feel dry or brittle after using the mask, refrain from using the baking soda hair mask until you feel your hair needs it (i.e., has product buildup, becomes resistant to most products in general, etc).

 

 

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Head & Shoulders Moisture Care for Textured Hair

FTC Disclaimer

I am a BzzAgent, and I received Head & Shoulders’ new moisture hair care line for Textured Hair from BzzAgent.com for free in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

This blog post contains affiliate links (e.g., to Amazon, eBay, etc.), which means that if you click on one of the product links and place an order, I’ll receive a small commission. This helps support my blog and allows me to continue to create content like this.

Thank you for your support!

 

I am always on the hunt for a great shampoo and conditioner that will treat my sensitive scalp. While I usually only have a few seborrheic dermatitis flare ups a year, a good scalp care line is key to calm the inflammation and irritation I usually experience. For the last two years, my scalp cure go-to has been Aveeno’s Nourish + Dandruff Control line. While I still like this particular product, I recently swapped it out for Head & Shoulders’ new moisture hair care line. My sister told me about the line first and had been raving about it non-stop for weeks, so when I had an opportunity to try it as well, I jumped at the chance!

Their new moisture care line consists of the following products:

  1. Shampoo
  2. 2-in-1 Shampoo Conditioner
  3. Co-wash
  4. Scalp Soother

Formulated specifically for “textured hair,” I excitedly tried Head & Shoulders’ 2-in-1, their co-wash, and the scalp soother. Admittedly, I’m always a little reticent to use 2-in-1s. They usually tend to cleanse my scalp really well and leave my strands über dry or are overly moisturizing at the expense of leaving my scalp still sullied with a week’s worth of product and debris. Ick! Who wants that? Not me! So, I have to tell you, I didn’t expect too much from this particular product. In fact, I knowingly had a moisturizing conditioner at the ready prior to taking a shower so that I could ensure that my strands received the moisture they needed. To my surprise, I never needed it! The 2-in-1 thoroughly cleansed my scalp, yet my hair felt extremely soft. I’m not sure how they did it exactly, but my hair was cleansed, moisturized, and conditioned all in ONE step. Talk about a hair care time-saver! In fact, my tresses felt so amazing, I even skipped my usual deep conditioning session! I’ve never had a product that allowed me to do that … Ever!

The only other thing I did was use the scalp soother. Unfortunately, the first time I used the product, I doused my scalp with the product (since I had been experiencing a really bad seborrheic dermatitis flare up for the last two weeks). After applying the scalp soother, my scalp felt like I had started a bonfire on my head! Once the excruciating, burning sensation ended, I still felt uncomfortable … like I had emptied a case of peppermint patties on my crown. I immediately texted my sister to ask if she had experienced the same thing. When she texted back and said that she hadn’t, I panicked!

I reached for the scalp soother bottle so that I could read the instructions. (Yes, I know I should have done this prior to using the product so liberally.) According to the instructions, I was only supposed to use 15 pumps. However, I had expelled closer to 25! I was in such a panic, I almost started to rewash my hair. Fortunately, I was able to tough it out, and my scalp returned to “normal.” The next time I used the scalp soother, I actually followed the instructions and COUNTED the “pumps.” This time, the product had a cooling, calming effect on my scalp that I enjoyed (instead of feared)! So, definitely don’t go overboard like I did the first time. Believe me, 15 pumps is MORE than enough, even if you have a scalp condition like I do.

The following week, temps where I live soared to the high 90s, and the heat index was almost 120! Due to the immense humidity, I had used much more product than I ordinarily do just to get my hair to behave. As a result, I decided to try Head & Shoulders’ co-wash mid-week to “refresh” my hair prior to my normal weekly wash. I really liked it. My hair felt amazingly hydrated after using it. The co-wash is my sister’s personal favorite! She enjoys using this throughout the week in-between washings as well.

I like how all of the products contain vitamin E, almond oil, and coconut essence. I love that they are also pH-balanced and gentle on chemically treated hair. Relaxed and colored divas rejoice!

As a result, I definitely plan to buy more of the 2-in-1co-wash, and scalp soother prior to running out. And, as soon as I polish off the last of my Aveeno Nourish + Dandruff Control, I intend to replace it with the products I tried from this line permanently. They work that well!

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