Hey Jos: Help! I have Itchy Scalp!!

Hola!

 

You ever get that annoying itch on your scalp?  It itches all day long and you have to walk around either patting your head all day (can’t mess up the cute updo) or, my favorite, walk around with a bobby pin on hand to keep scratching that scalp.  Then once you scratch you notice a bunch of white “lint” all over your clothes.  You feel dirty and gross.  No worries, I’ve suffered from dry scalp and I’ve been delivered.  I’ve got 5 tips and I’m here to help lol.

 

Now note:  These remedies are not for DANDRUFF or ECZEMA.  DANDRUFF are LARGE flakes on your scalp, almost like you scalp is peeling.  These remedies are also not for eczema.  Both of those issues should be looked at by a dermatologist.  

 

Ok.  Before you buy ANYTHING for that hair, I want you to:

 

1.        Increase your water intake.  Ok, look:  Most of us are not drinking enough water every day.  There are some studies that say that we should be drinking half our body weight in ounces every day (If you weigh 100 pounds then you need to drink 50 ounces daily).  Too much?  Then try to at LEAST drink 60 ounces of water every day and work your way up from there.  Whenever I feel an itchy scalp coming on I immediately increase my water intake and it gets better.  I have a desk job so I keep a reusable water bottle on me that I re-fill a few times a day.  I make it a goal to have to fill it up 3 times before I leave work.  We already know all of the other amazing benefits of drinking water and being properly hydrated, clearing an itchy scalp is just another added benefit!

 

2.       Use a sulfate-free shampoo. Many times the shampoo that we’re using is the culprit in an itchy scalp. Sulfates make your shampoos bubbly and fun but they’re also known to dry out scalp and hair.  Check your shampoo:  Does it say that it’s sulfate free?  Usually a sulfate-free moisturizing shampoo will do the trick.  Once you buy the shampoo you must…

 

3.       Shampoo at least once weekly until the problem is resolved.  Listen: I know you have a busy schedule but when you have an itchy scalp you have to “nurse” it back to health and it doesn’t usually happen overnight.  It may take 3-4 weeks for the itch to be completely gone but you’ll usually notice an improvement within the week that you increase your water intake and switch up shampoos.  Just like your body, your hair and scalp needs water so give it what it needs! Don’t forget to follow up each shampoo with a deep conditioner!!

 

4.       Steam your scalp.  If you have a steamer then sit under your steamer once a week with the conditioner on your hair.  If you don’t have a steamer no worries!  Simply apply conditioner and put your hair in a plastic cap (or you can even use saran wrap) and then sit under a hooded dryer once a week for 20-30 minutes.  The plastic is what creates the steam, if you don’t use plastic the conditioner will just dry up on your hair. The heat from the steam can kill bacteria on your scalp and allow conditioner to penetrate your hair follicles better.  For a special treat add a LITTLE of your favorite oil to the itchiest parts on your scalp before you steam.  Make sure you rinse well!

 

5.       Cotton or wool hats, scarves, and headbands will dry out your hair and scalp.  I had THEE CUTEST hat a few years back that I LOVED and wore for a few months until I noticed that my scalp was itching like crazy AND my hair was breaking off.  If you must wear a wool or cotton hat, first cover your hair with a silk or satin scarf or bonnet.  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don’t go to bed with a cotton bandana on, that is so 90’s and so bad for your hair lol.  Grab a satin scarf or bonnet.  If you don’t like stuff on your head while you sleep, grab a satin pillow case to sleep on.  Also check the headbands that you wear regularly:  Are they cotton?  Does your hair itch or break where you wear the headband?  That could be another culprit.

 

 

So those are my tips to help cure a dry scalp!  What are you tricks to cure a dry scalp?  Comment below! 

 

Thanks for reading, I appreciate you!!

 

 

 

This winter is KILLING my hair!!

This post was originally published 01/18/2015 on my Old Blog

 

Hello Everyone!!

January is here and for most this is the coldest month of the year. Many are dealing with freezing winds and subzero temps. This means wool sweaters, wool coats, heavy scarves and hats. It also means that your hair is subject to be drier around this time because let’s face it: most aren’t going to sacrifice wearing a hat in the freezing temps just so their hair won’t be dry! So, with the help of a few friends, I’ve compiled a few pointers that will help you keep your hair moisturized and lower the risk of hair breakage….all while keeping warm! Here goes:

1.       Wear a bonnet! Wait…I know what you’re thinking….bonnets outside the bedroom are a terrible offense to women everywhere! I’m suggesting that you wear your bonnet UNDERNEATH your hat.  I saw my saw my co-worker Shirley doing this while getting ready to go home. She even told me that she sometimes sews the bonnet (or a piece of satin) inside of her hats…how brilliant is she?! So now she can wear any wool hat she wants and be warm while protecting her hair at the same time…. I’m wearing a bonnet under my hat in the pic below:

 

2.      Wear a silk or satin scarf over your wool scarf!! So all through my high school years my hair stylist, Deidre, always warned me and anyone who would listen to protect the nape (your kitchen) of your hair from your coats and scarves with a silk or satin scarf. So of course I didn’t listen and wondered why my hair was breaking off back there! This is especially important for my ladies and gents who keep a taper in their hair. You may notice a thinning in the nape and it may be due to your nape constantly rubbing against the rough fabrics that you’re wearing. So everyone PLEASE listen to Deidre and grab your nearest silk or satin scarf!! 

3.      Try pre-conditioning your hair. Sometimes if my hair is REALLY suffering then I will pre-condition my hair with a moisturizing conditioner cocktail. This is fun for me because coming up with the different mixes makes me feel like I’m a chemist or something lol. I have a LOT of conditioners and all of them I’m not in love with. So I mix several cheap conditioners together and maybe add some of my favorite oils to it. Heat it up in the microwave for no longer than 40 seconds and saturate your DRY hair and place a plastic cap over it for 15-30 minutes. Then rinse it out and shampoo and condition your hair again. Your hair will be super soft. You don’t need several conditioners, you can do this with your favorite conditioner. I use several so that the money and product isn’t wasted

    *Bonus non-hair related tip* If you have a conditioner that you hate keep it in the shower and use it as a shaving cream for your body. You’ll achieve a super smooth shave and crazy silky soft legs.

4.  Steam your Hair!

 I have a steamer and I LOVE IT! Here are just a few benefits of steaming your hair:

* It helps to keep your scalp moisturized and helps to cut down on dry flakes
* It helps to soften the hair
* It opens the cuticle of your hair shaft and allows your conditioner to more deeply penetrate your hair
* If you’re natural it will help your curls to “pop” more
* It helps to promote the stretching/elasticity of your hair

I bought my steamer several years ago. There are many types of steamers that you can buy but I preferred the stand alone

 

This way I can steam my hair without having to worry about finding books or something to prop the steamer on so that I can sit under it. The stand allows it to adjust to anyone sitting anywhere. It has a water reservoir and a timer to steam for up to 30 minutes. After shampooing I apply conditioner to my wet hair, clip my hair up and sit under the steamer. No plastic caps. Deep conditioning at its finest! 


No steamer? No worries! Here are a couple of tricks I’ve used that give me similar results: With conditioner on your hair, sit under your hair dryer with a plastic cap for thirty minutes. You will notice the steam under the plastic cap while you sit. Another option is taking a small towel and running it under cold water. Wring the towel out and place it in the microwave for 3-5 minutes. WATCH THE TOWEL WHILE ITS IN THE MICROWAVE TO MAKE SURE IT DOESN’T BURN!! You can then carefully place the towel around your wet hair (that has conditioner on it) and clip it securely. Then place a plastic cap over the towel. Let it sit until the towel cools and you can re-wet and re-heat the towel several times until you feel that your hair is properly conditioned.

5.   For textured hair whether relaxed or natural: Moisturize and Seal at night. Before you go to bed, take a small amount of a water based moisturizer and run it through your hair, focusing primarily on the ends of your hair. Then take a small, dime sized amount of oil (I use coconut oil….the kind you cook with), rub it in your hands and over your hair. I like to compare this method with you taking a bath or shower. Baths and showers are needed to cleanse and moisturize the skin….but what happens if you take a bath and never put any lotion or oil on your skin? You’re going to have dry and ashy skin. Eventually your skin will begin to itch and over time your skin will flake. With hair it’s very similar. Shampooing is very important but should never be used alone. Conditioner, moisturizer and natural oils work as the “lotion” for your hair. When you wash your hair it receives moisture from the water and products. Throughout the week you need to moisturize your hair because the elements can cause dryness. Without moisture your hair will become dry, dull, and eventually break off. How do you know if a moisturizer is water based? Usually because the first ingredient is water. The first ingredient on the label typically tells you what it contains the most. So read your labels and do some test runs to see what YOUR hair likes! When choosing an oil most people choose extra virgin olive oil (evoo) or coconut oil. I purchase my hair oils from the grocery store FOOD isle not the hair isle.

So those are my five tips! If you have any questions or tips of your own to add, comment below, I love to read the comments!

 

 

Hey Jos, What do you do to your Hair?

This post was originally published 01/02/2015

Hey Everyone!

So this post will probably be THEE longest post that I will write on this blog. I’m hoping that if I write it out once that I can just add on to it little by little as I give more tips. So the question that I get most often is: “What do you do to your hair?

I’m going to answer but first we have to establish a few things:

1. ALL HAIR GROWS. Unless you have an underlying medical issue then your hair is most likely growing. So let’s not look at the issue as our hair isn’t growing, but the issue for most is that we aren’t retaining length. The reason that you might not see length retention is because of what happens to your hair after it’s out of your scalp. I don’t believe that you need a certain hair type for your hair to retain length……which takes me to……….

2. If you don’t believe that you can grow long hair then you most likely won’t. Why? I’ve learned that it’s been ingrained in a lot of women’s mind that hair length is determined by genetics. While hair thickness and hair type is certainly genetic, our length depends on how well you maintain your hair. I’ve noticed that a lot of women have just resolved that they will never be able to grow their hair beyond a certain length due to genetics. Every method will not work for every hair type BUT I believe (and have seen) that there are ways for every hair type to retain length.

3. In the words of Dave Ramsey: “I’m selling crock pots, not microwaves.” I don’t have any miracle products/magical pills/special ointments/Holy water/ancient rituals/ that will allow you to see instantaneous growth. Just good old fashioned tried and true methods with a lot of patience

Ok so now on to the regimen:

1. Your body needs water. So does your hair. Getting your hair wet is a GOOD thing lol. I shampoo my hair once a week (usually a Saturday)with a moisturizing shampoo. I currently don’t have any loyalty to a certain shampoo, I’ve used shampoos from the drug store and from the salon. I strongly recommend that you choose a MOISTURIZING shampoo within your budget, preferably sulfate free. Anyway while in the shower I saturate my hair under the running water first. Once my hair is fully saturated I apply shampoo to my hands and shampoo my hair twice. Each time that you shampoo your hair make sure you rinse all of the shampoo out thoroughly before shampooing again.

2. I deep condition my hair after EVERY shampoo. Here’s where it gets tricky: There are a million conditioners on the market but all of them are not deep conditioners, some are “instant” conditioners. A deep conditioner is one that is meant to penetrate your strands while an instant conditioner typically coats your strands. While in the process of growing your hair a deep conditioner is IMPERATIVE. I’m currently using Biolage Ultra Hydrating Conditioner by Matrix.

 

 I apply this conditioner generously on my hair. I start by applying a generous amount to my ends first. Your ends are the oldest and most fragile part of your hair so you want to ensure that they stay moisturized. I then generously apply it throughout my hair, almost ensuring that every single strand is coated. Once the conditioner is applied I usually sit under my hair dryer for at least 30 minutes. If you don’t have a hair dryer then grab a plastic cap and allow your conditioner to sit for at least 30 minutes.

3. I rinse the conditioner thoroughly under warm water. Make sure all of the conditioner is out of your hair. Here’s where the second biggest place that hair breakage takes place: wet detangling. Now that you have rinsed the conditioner from your head your hair is in a very fragile state. You MUST NOT use rat tail combs or combs that have teeth close together like this to detangle:

 

I STRONGLY urge you to use a wide tooth plastic comb to detangle your hair.

 

So you’re probably thinking “Chile my hair is nappy! I can’t use those doll combs to detangle this here!” Trust me: just because your hair is coarse doesn’t mean that you treat it coarsely. Course hair still breaks! You must take your time and slowly detangle your hair in small sections starting from the bottom and working your way up. Use your fingers to remove large tangles and use the comb to remove the other tangles. Once each section is detangled then clip that section to the side while you work on other sections.

4. So now your hair is deep conditioned, detangled, and ready to be fried, dyed, and laid to the side…….right?! WRONG. Here is the MAIN place where hair retention is lost: Direct Heat. What’s direct heat? Blow dryers, flat irons, pressing combs, curling irons….all the fun stuff. Now you’re probably looking at my pictures like: “…but you’ve clearly used direct heat in these pics, Jos!” This is true BUT I use direct heat sparingly, no more than twice a month. Direct heat is very drying to the hair, even when using heat protectant and the best tools. The dryness leads to split ends…..split ends to breakage……breakage to a 2-3 inch trim. Sound familiar? The average head of hair typically grows half an inch per month. If you trim two inches off your head due to breakage then you’ve lost FOUR MONTHS of hair growth. This is one of the main reasons why people don’t grow their hair past a certain length: they’re stuck in this repeat cycle. So then if no direct heat what can I do?

At this point I have a few styling options: A roller set, a slick bun, a braid out….there are a ton more but those are my go-to options currently. I always apply a moisturizing leave in conditioner and some coconut oil while air drying my hair. I’m excited to give more details I’m future posts on how I achieve these looks but I’m the meantime this is the foundation of my regimen. Got questions or need clarity? Leave those comments below!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog, I appreciate you!!

 

Hey Jos! You’re Training and Transitioning?!

Hey Everyone! After a long hiatus I’m back!!

 

So here’s what’s new:

 

1.        I’m transitioning from relaxed hair to natural hair

2.        I’m training for my first half marathon                               

I am currently about 11 months into my transition from relaxed to natural.  I decided to do it because I simply want to be able to wear my hair in its natural, curly state AND I have challenged myself to grow my hair to my waist when it’s straightened.

I have decided to do a long term transition with a “medium chop” along the way.  Typically you hear of women doing a “big chop” and cutting their hair into these really cute afros.  The reason why I’m choosing to do a “medium chop” is not to devastate myself too much in an extreme cut lol. I have scheduled my “medium chop” to take place in November, a little more than a year after my transition I’ll keep you guys posted when it happens.  :-)

 

So about this half-marathon training:  This will be my first half-marathon and the training is pretty intense!  I have to run four times a week and cross-train once a week.  With 5 workouts each week, my hairstyles have to be pretty simple.  When I work out I sweat from my scalp so I have no techniques to save hairstyles during workouts.  All I do is put a little moisturizing crème on my hair and pull it up into a ponytail and get to work:

Me in a ponytail after a run!

Me in a ponytail after a run!

 

When my hair was fully relaxed, it was easy to switch up styles because my hair was bone straight.  But now I that I have several inches of curly hair I have to be more diligent about my laying my edges down:

 

My natural curl pattern while wet with conditioner

My natural curl pattern while wet with conditioner

 

 

Once a week I shampoo my hair using a clarifying shampoo, deep-condition under a dryer for 20 minutes, and blow-dry my hair straight.  I keep my edges damp and add moisturizer and gel and these are the results:

 

Bun with a front twist

Bun with a front twist

 

This allows me to keep my hair out of my face during exercises and still look presentable and neat while I’m out and about. 

 

So that’s what things are looking like lately!  Have you transitioned to natural?  What were your go-to hairstyles and techniques?

 

-One of my favorite twist outs!  

-One of my favorite twist outs!

 

 

Comment below!