Monday, April 26, 2010

Quest for Two-Week Scalp

August 2009

I have been natural for a long time...since 2003. Maybe one day I will write my natural hair story...maybe. Even before I was natural I washed my hair a lot. Now I wash my hair every week. Many natural ladies are on a quest for 2-week hair. Basically they are trying to get one hairstyle to last 2 weeks. Well that is not my issue. My styles last. My issue is my scalp. After one week of life and the gym and whatever else, my scalp is begging to be cleaned. It gets itchy and I just can't take it anymore. I want 2-week scalp. I have been asking myself if I really should be trying to achieve this goal. I do go to the gym and I am trying to go more. So after sweating and everything maybe I do need to be washing my hair every week. But sometimes I am lazy. And I just don't wanna (I am saying this in my baby whining voice). But I am going to still try to see if this goal is achievable (for my hair).

What I had been doing for a long while now is:

Then I would use my shea butter mix to twist my hair. I would leave in this style for the week and then have a twist out on weekends.

  • mix 2 tablespoons of lemon juice with conditioner to cleanse hair and scalp
  • then follow as above

Trial 1 (for the past 2 weeks)
I really did not want to start using shampoo on my hair. I have not used shampoo on my hair for a couple of years. The only time I do is on the rare occasion I go to a professional hairdresser or when I am about to get my hair braided. But I thought maybe the conditioner was causing build-up that was making my scalp itch, so I gave it a try.

Week 1
Then I followed the same routine for styling my hair. I normally do not apply oils directly to my scalp and I did not this time.

Results: My hair felt very clean and I thought this was going to be good. However, after I went to the gym I had itchy scalp again. The only difference is this time my scalp was dry and flaky...still itchy though. Adjustments needed.

Week 2
I did the same as week 1 except when styling my hair I added Dabur Vatika Enriched Coconut Hair Oil to my scalp. It contains lemon, an astringent which controls sebum flow helping to prevent dandruff; henna and other herbs which coat the hair, protects from oxidation, and maintains natural hair color; and amla which strengthens hair roots.

I also added this to my hair after going to the gym to try to control itching.

Results: The itchy scalp still came. It did not come as early in the week as usual, but going to the gym twice (or maybe 3 times) this week and by wash day I was ready to wash my hair. My scalp was not dry, but ready to be washed.

I was going to continue using the shampoo for a month thinking that maybe it is taking my hair and scalp some time to adjust, but I am moving on to another method. I really do not want to use shampoo on my hair anyway so I am not too upset that this did not work.

So for the next month I am going to use an herbal mixture to cleanse my hair and scalp.
This will be my routine
  • Cleanse hair with Amla/Shikakai Herbal Cleanser. Recipe below.
  • Condition hair
  • Detangle
  • Final Rinse. Recipe below..
I purchased Ayurvedic products from Amazon to use in this mixture.

  • boil a cup of water
  • transfer water to a bowl
  • add 1 heaping spoonful of shikakai powder
  • add 2 heaping spoonfuls of amla powder
  • allow to steep for 15-13 minutes
  • strain the mixture to remove herbs and keep the liquid
This will be my cleansing rinse.
What are Shikakai and Amla?

Shikakai acts as a natural astringent. It clears dandruff and cleans dirt accumulated on the scalp. It can however be drying on the hair.
Amla is a conditioner. It controls hair loss, stimulates growth, and it controls premature graying of hair (bonus!).

Final Rinse Recipe
  • 1c boiling water
  • pinch of horsetail
  • pinch of nettle
  • pinch of marshmallow root
  • pinch of rosemary
  • allow to steep for 15-30 minutes
  • strain and keep liquid
  • add approx. 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar at the end.
  • few drops of liquid vitamin E
  • drops of essential oil for fragrance (optional)
What do those things do?
Horsetail helps eliminate dandruff and stimulates growth.
Marshmallow Root is soothing and an emollient. It contains mucilage, which is a protein. (I try to avoid proteins because my hair does not like them, but I think just a little will be ok...hopefully.)
Nettle improves circulation. In hair rinses, it stimulates growth and improves scalp condition. It can be mixed with rosemary and rubbed on the scalp for shiny, glossy hair.
Rosemary is good for treating hair fall or shedding and dandruff. It stimulates the hair bulbs to renew activity and prevent premature balding.

For more on Ayurvedic products for the hair look here.
For a breakdown of what various herbs do look here.
I got these recipes from Trenellm on YouTube.

Updates to follow. I will also take more pics because my hair is A LOT longer now.

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