For the last few months my scalp has waged war against me. For the last 2.5 years I turned to mix of coconut oil, vitamin E oil, tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil, and lavender oil to help me relieve the itchiness and flakes my scalp seems to like enjoy throwing my way. Unfortunately that trusty mix hasn’t been so trusty lastly. Three weeks ago two things made me change the way I treat my itchy, flaky scalp.
First, I was looking through old healthy hair notes I saved in Evernote for anything on scalp care. I found a number of notes but this one stood out to me the most:
The scalp produces its own perfect oil, sebum, and does not need help from us via topical products. Some notice that their scalp is chronically dry and flakes, but this condition is only aggravated by the addition of products onto the scalp skin. It creates a vicious cycle of dryness. The scalp will produce less sebum to compensate for the products you are putting on it. And without this constant even production of sebum, the function of the scalp is thrown off balance. Dandruff and dryness return from the lack of sebum production, and then we tend to want to put more oils on the scalp thinking this will help. Then again, the scalp cuts back on sebum and dryness returns. The scalp, like any other skin needs to be able to respire (perspire) etc. With heavy concoctions on the scalp clogging the pores, an unhealthy environment for growth is created and the function of the scalp is hindered form operating at its optimal levels. For moisturizing and styling, apply your products from the new growth all the way to the ends avoiding the scalp as much as possible. Some product will inadvertently touch the scalp during the normal course of moisturizing, but avoid actively going through and coating the scalp with heavy oils. SOURCE
And second, I was chatting with my hair and she mentioned that instead of using shampoo (she’s natural) she rinses her hair with an apple cider vinegar (ACV) mix (2:1 ratio) to remove any product build up. After reading the information above and the conversation with my friend about ACV, I decided to incorporate ACV rinses into my wash days (and co-wash days).
I’ve also stopped applying oil to my scalp during the week. Since making these seemingly two small changes, my scalp has been itch and flake free for the last three weeks. And I’ve been in heaven. Doing less has turned out to be just what the scalp doctor ordered for me.