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For the longest time by scalp itched like crazy. I would scratch it and find buildup under my nails. I would scratch it and wonder if people were looking at me funny. Working as a nurse, I would be in a patient room and have to spend extra time washing my hands because I scratched so much. It was inconvenient, embarrassing and plain annoying.
The worst thing about it is that my hair stylist couldn't give me a solution that worked. "wash your scalp more often, its dry" was the common answer. Or "put some coconut oil or olive oil on your scalp to soothe it" was another common answer. I tried it all, argan oil, olive oil, grapeseed oil, shea butter, coconut oil, you name it I probably tried it. A lot of the common cooking oils I tried did relieve a little of the itch BUT they also left my curls really greasy, heavy, and in turn caused more buildup. All things that I wanted to AVOID.
I decided to leave those oils alone and find out WHAT the real reason for my itchy scalp was.
Buildup (def) the accumulation of dead skin cells, dirt, oils and hair product on the scalp.
There were three factors that contributed to my dry itchy scalp. I figured it out on accident by being more intentional with the types of products and chemicals I was putting on my hair and skin. In 2018 I decided to start cleaning up my whole beauty routine. I wanted to use healthier products, with less chemicals, and to use LESS volume of products in general. The first thing I noticed after making the switch to natural products with less ingredients is that #buildup on my scalp disappeared after a few washes! How did I know it went away? When I scratched my head I no longer had greasy or flaky gunk under my nails (AMEN).
A lot of the ingredients listed above are irritants, proven to cause skin irritation, itching and, in some cases, side effects in our hormones and immune systems. I didn't know that these were a cause of my itching until I stopped using them and my hair care stylist used some of their products to style my hair. I remember coming home after NOT having my head itch for months and wonder what they could have used that affected my scalp so much. I looked up their product labels and found many harmful ingredients in them.
Dry scalp and skin can be genetic, due to a lack of oil production, it can also be caused by cold, dry air, allergies to products, and old age. To relieve your scalp of that dry, tight, itchy feeling you will need to provide it with the moisture it needs.
Three Steps To Treat Your Dry Scalp
1. Cleanse your scalp properly
This might seem like a no-brainer but I didn't realize I was washing my scalp wrong until I was an adult. What I actually learned was that I was washing my hair and not actually washing/cleansing my scalp. Shampoo was designed to clean your scalp, not your hair! So before you even open your shampoo bottle thoroughly soak your scalp and hair with water. Give your scalp a quick 30 second massage with the pads of your fingers. This initial massage will loosen up buildup and dirt sitting on your scalp. Next pour a nickel to dime size amount of shampoo in your hands. Rub the shampoo between your hands, place on your scalp, and massage your scalp again for 30 seconds to a minute. Rinse the shampoo out with warm to luke warm water, allowing the water to run down the length of your hair (this will dissolve and remove old hair products). Shampoo and massage your scalp a second time and you're done! Trust me, you don't need to rub shampoo through your hair. Massaging shampoo through your scalp will remove buildup and the act of rinsing it out of your scalp will cleanse your hair.
If you need help massaging your scalp, this silicone massager is awesome for in the shower
2. Choose the right shampoo
To treat your dry scalp, use a gentle and moisturizing shampoo like this hydration line. The goal should be to use a shampoo to cleanse your scalp that is gentle enough to not remove too much of your scalp's natural oils, yet cleansing enough to remove irritants, products and dirt that might be contributing to your itching. Its a HUGE PLUS if you find a shampoo that also adds a little moisture back into your scalp. The Hydration Line does all 3 of those things which is why it has helped me so much!
3. Maintain the right moisture
To help your scalp maintain its moisture in between washing you should use an oil that is light enough for your scalp to absorb while also balancing out your natural oil production. Establishing this balance will ensure your scalp does not become too greasy. Using an oil that is easily absorbed by your scalp and hair will ensure that you get to use all the beneficial vitamins and nutrients it contains without risking an oily look or feel to your hair. I love to use this oil to seal in moisture once my curls are fully dry. The company offers both a full and light version of the oil. If you have very fine hair then I would recommend using the "Light" version.
I hope this post is helpful! If you have any questions or suggestions please share in the comments.