Tag Archives: Scalp

Soothe your Itchy Scalp with Baking Soda!

FTC Disclaimer

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!

 

Creative Commons License by WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
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).

 

 

Wal-Mart.com USA, LLC

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Hair Styles & Tips

Quick Tip#14: Ditch the Arctic Rinse

FTC Disclaimer

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!
Quick Tip #14

arctic-rinse

You’re probably used to doing a cold-water rinse in the summer at the end of each hair shampoo and condition session. If you’re a really good hair aficionado, you also do it in the wintertime, too. But, stop! Those arctic cold hair rinses you’ve been suffering through are unnecessary. I know, I know. You’ve been told that cold water rinses help to close the hair’s cuticle, thereby creating more moisturized, shiny hair. However, according to Dr. Eric Pressly of the University of California at Santa Barbara, this is a complete myth.

The process of opening and closing the hair’s cuticle is a very fast one that requires deft balancing of pH levels. Chances are you’re not taking a pH probe or litmus paper into the shower stall with you. Because there are minimal differences between hot and cold water, even if you were, it would likely be a waste of time given that hair is dead and lacks blood vessels and nerves. In fact, according to Anabel Kingsley of the Philip Kingsley Trichological Clinic, cold water could have the adverse effect of constricting the scalp’s capillaries, preventing vital nutrients from reaching it.

I personally never noticed much of a difference after doing cold water rinses, and I’ve been doing them loyally for over six years! In fact, recently (in the past month or so), I stopped doing them and swapped them out for a warm water rinse instead. My curls have been loving it. #happyscalp

To be honest, I’m kind of ashamed that I stuck with something for so long that produced ZERO results. The upside? No more cold water rinses means less time in the shower, which means a simplified hair regimen, which means a happier coily curly me. And, now, you can have that, too, as my little, early Christmas present to you. You’re welcome (and Merry Christmas)!

Still want to get your arctic rinse on? Go for it! Just know that the shinier hair you notice right after is all in your head. 😉

2 Comments

Filed under Hair Styles & Tips

Wild Growth Hair Oil

FTC Disclaimer

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!

When: April 1, 2014 – April 30, 2014
Coverage: Scalp & Hair
Frequency: 3x each week
Starting Length (FRONT): 10.50″
Starting Length (CROWN): 12.75″
Starting Length (RIGHT): 10.50″
Starting Length (LEFT): 10.25″
Starting Length (BACK): 9.75″
Ending Length: My hair grew 1.5″ in my crown & front of hair; 0.50″ on the sides of my hair; 0.25″ in the back of my hair.

I’ve heard a lot about Wild Growth® Hair Oil. Mostly complaints concerning the awful smell and the one thousand and one ways to cover it up! But, I also read a great deal of buzz about how effective this product is as a hair growth aid. So, after about a year and a half of going back and forth over whether to buy, I finally decided to press the “purchase” button! Wild Growth® Hair Oil is an all-natural, non-hypoallergenic product that is great for all ethnicities and hair types. It promises to condition the scalp, reduce hair breakage and split ends from root to tip, and turn dry, tangled, and hard-to-manage strands into softer, fuller, and healthier hair … that grows.

According to the instructions on the bottle, the hair oil should be used three times per week plus after washing hair (up to 4 times per week) for a hair growth boost. Persons with type 3 (curly) and 4 (coily/kinky) hair should apply the product sparingly to their scalp with the applicator tip. Then, hair should be divided into quadrants and a quarter-sized amount applied to each quadrant. Those with short hair should use less product.

Persons with type 1 and 2 hair should only apply 5-15 drops of the hair growth oil directly to their scalp. The product should be used on damp hair (after every hair wash) and then allowed to air dry. Many straight- and wavy-haired consumers recommend leaving the oil on for a few hours (or overnight) and then washing or rinsing hair later that day or the following morning.

The hair oil comes in a 4 oz. bottle with an applicator tip. I applied the product three to four times each week (usually only three times), massaged my scalp for 2 minutes, and then prepped my hair for bed/the next day. After 2 weeks, I did an unofficial mini-length check to see how the product was working, and it didn’t appear that my hair had grown at all! But, to be fair, I decided to continue to use the product until the end of the month so I could see how well the oil worked within a month’s time (a full 30 days). I never missed any of my applications.

The oil is a deep amber color with a light, citrus scent that I adore. Not sure what all the hullabaloo was about with the many posts I read about the horrible fragrance, but I think the negative feedback concerning the smell of the product is grossly exaggerated. It smells amazing to me, and it isn’t overpowering in the least. In addition, the oil has a good consistency, not thin or thick … a happy medium in between the two that makes application quick and easy.

The first few times I used the oil, I noticed how the product soothed my scalp. I did, however, have a hard time gauging whether anything was coming out of the applicator tip. Several times, I stopped to check to make sure that it was. In the future, when I use this oil, I think I will just pour it into my Roots Only bottle to ensure more even scalp coverage. I never have any problems knowing whether any product is coming out whenever I use my Roots Only bottle!

I spent $8 for this oil, but depending on where you live (and where you go to buy this product), it sells for between $8 and $14. For 4 ounces of oil, that seems a little pricey unless it delivers. But, after a month’s time, I still have half the bottle left. So, this isn’t a bad hair growth investment. After all, that’s two months’ worth of use for only eight bucks … That’s not bad at all!

After using this oil for 4 weeks, my hair grew 1.5″ in my crown and in the front of my head (where my 3C curls are), 0.50″ on the left and right side of my hair, and 0.25″ in the back. As my hair gets longer, I have definitely started to notice a trend among the three different hair types on my head: My 3C curls grow at an above-average rate (0.6″ – 0.75″/month without the use of a growth aid). My 4A coils grow at an average rate (about 0.50″/month without the use of a growth aid). My 4B kinks grow below average (about 0.25″-0.30″/month without the use of a growth aid). Nevertheless, considering how much the hair in the front and crown of my head grew, I am happy with my results. I am also interested to see how well this oil would work long-term or when used with my Roots Only bottle.

Watch the vid below for the length check I made prior to using the Wild Growth® Hair Oil as well as to see my final results.

UPDATE: Unfortunately, during my second month of usage, I had to discontinue my use of this oil as I started to develop an allergic reaction to it. I had gifted a bottle each to my mom and sister, so I checked with them to see how they were faring. My mom didn’t experience any side effects. But, my sister, before I could barely get out the words “Wild Growth® Hair Oil” said that the oil made her scalp itch like crazy. She said she had to rinse it out of her hair after only a couple of hours. When she tried to use the oil again, she experienced the same extreme unbearable itching. So, if you have sensitive skin like we do, you may want to do a skin patch test first. It’s such a shame because I really liked this oil a lot (in terms of smell, consistency, and results). Sigh.

6 Comments

Filed under Length Checks, Product Reviews

AVEENO® NOURISH+ DANDRUFF CONTROL

FTC Disclaimer

I received  NOURISH+ DANDRUFF CONTROL Shampoo and Conditioner for free from Smiley360 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!

Aveeno’s new hair care collection, NOURISH+, features a product line that focuses on five target areas: (1) NOURISH+ MOISTURE, (2) NOURISH+ SHINE, (3) NOURISH+ STRENGTHEN, (4) NOURISH+ VOLUMIZE, and (5) NOURISH+ DANDRUFF CONTROL.

Although I don’t have problems with dandruff, I have had severe seborrheic dermatitis. Both conditions are treated in much the same way. However, I suffered for almost three years to no avail until I discovered the wonders of castor oil, which unilaterally reversed most of my scalp condition. Nevertheless, I get an occasional case of the “itches” or fall off the wagon and revert back into extreme product junkyism, which tends to exacerbate the problem. Ahem …  don’t judge! So, I was excited to see what the AVEENO® NOURISH+ DANDRUFF CONTROL line could do. 

Available in a shampoo, conditioner, or 2-in-1, Aveeno’s dandruff control products have a lot to offer. Ever the skeptic, I’ve never really bought into the concept of most 2-in-1 products. It always seemed like a company trying to make the Grand Canyon disappear without the smoke and mirrors. And, I always worry that expecting one product to both cleanse and condition my hair would be asking for a bit too much. So, I opted to try the shampoo and conditioner. However, all three products combine an anti-dandruff ingredient (pyrithione zinc) with ACTIVE NATURALS® Oat Complex for flake-free hair that is both healthy and beautiful.

The scent of the shampoo and conditioner is lovely. It is mildly but pleasantly scented, like a couture eau de parfum without having to shell out the big bucks. Not at all like the obnoxious fruity fumes of some other brands. I won’t name names, but you know what I mean. Seriously, why would I want my hair to smell like peaches and cream or chocolate-covered bananas? What am I, twelve?

The consistency of the product, for me, is perfect … not too runny or too thick. The unique combination of oat peptide and oat extract instantly soothed my itchy scalp. I couldn’t believe how quickly it worked. Although the shampoo DOES contain sulfates, which I am not a huge fan of, it did not overly lather my tresses. In fact, it almost acted like my expensive sulfate-free shampoo. Score! I was pleasantly surprised that the shampoo left my hair so baby soft and manageable, and all before I used the conditioner! My scalp, too, felt clean and soothed without being stripped of its much-needed moisture.

The first time I used the products, I pre-pooed my hair overnight with castor oil and a few drops of  rosemary essential oil. The second time, I used the products without any other accoutrements and decided not to pre-poo at all. Either way, the shampoo and conditioner truly nourished my hair. It was strong enough to rid me of a seborrheic dermatitis flare-up, yet gentle enough to soothe my scalp, and all while infusing moisture into my dry strands at the same time. I also noticed less shedding (a HUGE plus)! As a result, I would definitely recommend this product, especially for those with sensitive, dry, or itchy scalps.

So, forget about standing in the hair care aisle, hunched over multiple products, trying to choose between a shampoo and conditioner that can combat dandruff or produce healthy-looking hair. The AVEENO® NOURISH+ DANDRUFF CONTROL hair care collection does both! And, on top of all that, it’s gentle on color-treated hair. What could be better? How about a $3.00 coupon?

GO HERE for a COUPON: AVEENO® NOURISH+ DANDRUFF CONTROL.

3 Comments

Filed under Product Reviews