Just as much as a healthy body houses a healthy mind, a healthy scalp fosters healthy hair. An unhealthy scalp may feel dry and itchy leading to dandruff, or be overly oily and block essential nutrients reaching your hair shaft. This could cause breakage, hair loss and slow down hair growth.
With natural hair, we need to take extra care in handling our kinky coils and the scalp is no different. Its a balancing act but one that is easy to achieve. We all know how political our natural hair has become of late, so we need to keep slaying at every turn (Ska ba hemisa right?!). If you want healthy, thick and long hair, then let’s start with getting a healthy scalp.
Hot Oil Treatments
I believe prevention is better than cure, so avoiding your scalp getting too dry is a great place to start. Our hair is more prone to dryness because of how tightly curled it is and being made up of more cuticle layers, making it harder for moisture to reach the roots. A hot oil treatment helps prevent brittle and breaking ends, dry hair and an itchy dandruff prone scalp. Different oils have different benefits, so it is essential to do your research and use what’s best according to hair concerns.
A great concoction to start with can include Coconut oil– one of the few oils that penetrates the hair instead of just coating the hair strand;and Tea Tree Oil– which is antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and is packed with antioxidants. Castor Oil promotes hair growth (especially for those of us with hairline issues) and keeps hair frizz-free and moisturised so its great to add in. These are my staples, however adding jojoba, olive and other oils kicks it up a notch. Tip: Mix the oils into a glass or heat safe bottle, then leave it for 2min in a cup or bowl with boiled water. Make sure to test the oil on your wrist before applying it to your scalp. Leave it in for 20 min with a shower or heating cap on then wash out and condition.
Apple Cider Vinegar rinse
It’s not only antimicrobial, which means it kills bacteria and fungus, but it helps to maintain the natural pH of your scalp, cleans and clarifies the scalp and as a bonus, makes your curls pop! It also reduces frizz, stimulates blood flow for better blood circulation to the hair follicles and assists in detangling as it smooths down the cuticle.
How to do an apple cider vinegar rinse for a healthy scalp:
- Blend one cup of lukewarm to cold water with four tablespoons of vinegar.
- It is the final step after you’ve rinsed out your shampoo. Pour the mixture over your scalp, and give it a light massage with your finger tips in circular motions.
- After one to two minutes, rinse out the vinegar and style as desired.
I know it’s strange, but it works so hear me out. I had particularly stubborn dandruff after blow drying my hair (don’t shoot me), so I added in some coarse sea salt for the perfect scrub. It was a tablespoon of baking soda, 2 tablespoons of salt, and I went wild on the coconut oil but 1/4 of a cup should suffice.
A few drops of essential oils such as peppermint or lavender and you’re good to go by just rubbing it in the scalp and washing it out with shampoo. I followed that up with an apple cider vinegar rinse, leaving my hair and scalp feeling squeaky clean. I wish I had done it sooner but my hair is thanking me for it now? However I wouldn’t recommend doing this often as it could cause dry scalp, so once every 3 months should be adequate to maintain a healthy scalp.
These 3 methods not only ensure I keep a healthy scalp that stays fresh and clean, but my hair grows longer and thicker as a result. Have you tried any of these? Let me know in the comments below.
Here’s to healthy hair darling!