I feel as if I’ve mentioned more than a few times issues surrounding the ‘scalp situation,’ so much so that I often receive a few e-mails from you guys asking for help on how to treat your ‘situation.’ I’ve been dealing with dryness of the scalp associated with a mild form of dermatitis for a few years now, and the one thing that remains constant is that you must stay on your game! And if you’re wondering where to start, the easy answer is to begin with water.
It’s easy to forget that during the winter months, our skin needs just as much hydration as it does during the warmer months…perhaps even more so due to the lack of moisture in the air, so monitoring water intake is pretty important if you’re prone to scalp issues. Since the old pubescent years, I’ve made water intake sort of a daily ritual…making sure I incorporate at least a liter a day into my routine. On busy days when time does escape me, I make sure to quickly down at least an 8 ounce glass before heading to bed. Ironically, in the mornings…my mind feels clear and I have less of a hungover feeling. Don’t ask why…
But to stay on top of the scalp game, preventative care really is the best deal, and having a team of products in your rotation to help combat the itchies & flakes will do you good! Because the scalp tends to adjust to a few of the remedies I apply on the regular, I rotate and gauge what to apply based on scalp’s needs.
The aim really is to keep the scalp clutter free – free of buildup, flakes and anything else blocking hair health. During each wash session I apply either an easy hot oil treatment mixed with a few fav herbs that have anti-bacterial/antiseptic properties (typically lavender, hibiscus) mixed with essential oils (tea tree, peppermint, lavender, jojoba, avocado). Often when I’m not quick enough to replenish the stash, I turn to old favorites from the Jane Carter line. The Scalp Renew does well as a pre-cleanse treatment by exfoliating and stimulating the scalp. Because of the peppermint & tea tree oils…the slight tingly feeling tells you it’s working! What’s great about the Renew treatment is how little is needed to feel the affects…one bottle can easily last you anywhere from 5-6 applications when targeting specific areas of irritation.
To keep the scalp happy in between washes try not to over apply using various oils. If the scalp is already dry, adding your favorite oil will most likely not help. If the goal is to maintain the moisture level on the scalp, applying a light oil similar to the Scalp Nourishing Serum works to prevent dryness. Keys to applying oils, are to target areas on the scalp that are more prone to irritation as opposed to canvasing the entire head.
If your scalp has no favorites in the oil department, sticking to an easy remedy like Witch Hazel works amazingly well. I’ve been using Lavender witch hazel with a touch of aloe (alcohol free) for a few months and love the soothing effects. Apply with a clean wash cloth or cotton ball to areas that are often itchy or flaky and the scalp feels instantly refreshed. Witch Hazel is amazing for those who have sensitive skin because it doesn’t irritate the surface of the skin, cleanses effectively and moisturizes without the mess.
Feeling experimental? Dry Shampoos have always fascinated me, and while in Sephora a few months ago I lingered around Ojon’s Full Detox Dry Cleansing Spray, a ‘Rub-Out- cleanser that refreshes the scalp using Soap Bark Tree. Awesome because it goes on clear, leaves no residue and has the best cooling sensation once applied…this is a keeper if you’re traveling on the road, a frequent gym-goer or simply have no time to do the Fro.
A few other factors do matter as well, including using a non-sulfate shampoo to cleanse the scalp. Monitoring your diet, noticing any allergens that might’ve crept into your life (lactose, dairy , wheat, gluten…etc.), stress. If you’re currently heading down the road to scalp recovery…do give it some time. For the most part, it’s an internal dilemma that expresses itself on the scalp, so allow yourself enough room (1-2 months) to notice any significant changes, and in the end, if seeking the help of a reputable dermatologist suits your needs, do it!