Ditch the Itch! 7 Tips to Soothe An Itchy Scalp

Jennifer asks: What can I do about my itchy scalp?

An itchy scalp can be an annoyance but it can also be a sign of a greater medical issue.  Have a friend or loved one examine the area in question making sure there aren’t any sores, bumps, rashes, etc.  If any of these things are present seek medical advice.

7 Tips to Ditch the Itch and Soothe an Itchy Scalp

  1. DO NOT SCRATCH.  While scratching may provide a temporary relief it can lead to more problems such as inflammation, infection and/or further irritation so resist the urge. Instead opt for the infamous “weave pat”.
  2. GET IT CLEAN.  Use a clarifying shampoo to thoroughly clean and remove any residue from the scalp.  Have a friend or loved one examine the area after washing to make sure you have thoroughly removed any buildup. Tips on proper shampooing.
  3. COLD WATER RINSE. Simply rinsing the scalp with cold water (or applying a cold pack) can often help temporarily soothe and constrict the blood vessels which helps reduce the swelling often associated with itching.
  4. OATMEAL RINSE.  Yes oatmeal has magical effects of soothing irritated skin but instead of reaching for the breakfast oatmeal in your cupboard.  You want to grab some colloidal oatmeal from your local pharmacy.  Colloidal Oatmeal Rinse.
  5. WITCH HAZEL. Another wonder of nature witch hazel can also soothe irritated skin. I recommend a natural distillate in aloe or water as oppose to one in alcohol commonly found in your pharmacy. All About Witch Hazel.
  6. ALOE VERA. Is there anything that aloe vera is not good for? Itchy scalp can be a result of inadequate moisture.  Use an aloe based spray to moisturize your hair and scalp and it can also soothe irritation. Tips on Moisture.
  7. SCALP OILS.  Another cause of itchiness can come from dry scalp.  You can use natural oils like jojoba oil which is close to your natural sebum.  Or you can give it extra oomph by adding essential oils and herbs to soothe  like Rosemary and Sage. DIY Rosemary & Sage Scalp Oil.

These are just a few tips to help you overcome that annoying itch.  Also want to take note of any new products you have used and maybe remove it from your regimen for a while as perhaps there is an ingredient listed that is causing an allergy or irritation.

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Blended Beauty Independence Day Sale

Blended Beauty is having an Independence Day Sale from now until July 5th 2011.

Take an additional 20% off any TWO items with coupon code: CheersThe4th at checkout on http://www.blendedbeauty.com

I have not tried these products, but the company has been around for sometime.  You can find plenty threads about the products use on hair forums, message boards or on youtube. Here is a review from YTer PrettyDimples01 http://youtu.be/a0RDWOnHAEo

The company also has a guide to help you select the best products for your hair needs.  Blended Beauty products are 98-99% natural and do not contain petroleum, mineral oil, silicone or acrylics.

Summer Hair Care Tips

these are my adorable nieces on the California coast

Summer is here and for most of you that means a change in regimen.  We will discuss a few tips, products and styles to help deal with the summer heat, humidity and fun.

Mastering the Wash-n-Go

The WnG is a go-to style for many naturals in the summer time.  It is meant to be a quick easy style with low manipulation that gets you on your way.  Start by cleansing, co-washing or wetting your hair in the shower.  Add your favorite leave-in or moisturizer for additional softness.  Layer on a gel or custard to help provide additional curl definition.  Finish up with an oil or butter to help seal it all in, decrease any crunch from the gel and add shine.

  • Moisturizer/Leave-In: Oyin Hair Dew, Komaza Care Shea Butter Hair Lotion, Karen’s Body Beautiful Sweet Ambrosia, Shea Moisture Hair Milk and Alaffia Shea & Coconut Hair Lotion.
  • Gel/Custard: Koils by Nature Herbal Gel, Eco Styler Gel, Kinky Curly Curling Custard, Darcy’s Botanicals Curling Jelly, Aloe Vera Gel and Komaza Care Califa Styling Pudding, Kiss My Face Upper Management Gel.
  • Sealant: Castor oil, shea butter, coconut oil, Oyin Burnt Sugar Pomade, Koils by Nature Nourishing Hair & Body Butter, Pura Body Naturals Cupuacu Butter and Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Hold & Shine Moisture Mist.

Protective Styles

When its hot outside sometimes the last thing you want is to be bothered with your hair.  There are a lot of great protective styles that are perfect for summer.

Braids: Whether you chose to braid up your own hair into small pixies braids (as seen in this picture)  or go for extensions this is a style that last for a while and is easy to maintain.  Be sure to cleanse your scalp regularly and keep it moisturized.

Twists: Kinky twists are a very popular choice for summer.  They are quicker to install then braids and are fairly light.  Mini-twists done with your own natural hair are another great way to go. It may take a while to get them in but the style can last for weeks.

Cornrow/Flat-twist: These styles are great options for those who would just like to have hair tucked away and not have to worry about a thing!  With or without extensions this style can be very feminine and creative by fancy parting and by adding accessories.

Turban/Headwrap: A turban is an awesome way to protect your hair while being lazy.  In the picture here you would never know that I had a lumpy fro that I hadn’t combed in over a week!  All you need is a scarf and some imagination.  If you want more info on tying headwraps check out this post.

Swimming

What is summertime without enjoying the cool water of the ocean or your neighborhood pool?  While natural hair loves water you do want to be wary of chlorine in pools and water parks and the salinity of the ocean.

  • Protect: The suns rays are not only harmful for your skin but they can also be harmful for your hair.  So if you are going to spend a large amount of time outside cover your head with a hat or scarf or use a product that includes sun protection like Ouidad Sun Shield Leave-In Conditioner or by simply diluting your favorite sunblock with water and spritzing it on your hair.
  • Coat: Before you dive into the water grab your favorite condish and slather it on.  The conditioner will work to create a barrier between your hair and the chlorine/salt.  You can use a cheapy condish like Suave or V05 or you can pick up conditioners specifically formulated to protect against chlorine like Ion Swimmer’s Leave-In or Circle of Friends Kylie’s Pre-Swim Conditioner.
  • Cover: Swimmer’s caps may not be very popular or cool-looking but there is no better way to protect your hair then to avoid the harshness of chlorine by keeping it from coming into contact with your hair.
  • Cleanse: Once you are out of the water head toward the showers and rinse your hair ASAP.  Then follow-up with a swimmer’s shampoo formulated to remove chlorine/salt from the hair.  Ion Swimmer’s Shampoo, L’oreal Kids Swim & Sport Shampoo, Aubrey Orgnaics Normalizing Shampoo, California Baby Swimmer’s Shampoo, Joico K-pak Chelating Shampoo, Paul Mitchell Shampoo 3 and Kinky Curly Come Clean.
  • Condition: Most swimmers shampoos are really strong clarifiers and have a tendency to leave your hair feeling dry so be sure you follow-up with a good deep conditioner to restore moisture and balance to your hair like Anita Grant Rhassoul Clay, Aussie Moist 3-Minute Miracle, Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque, Jessicurl Weekly Deep Conditioning Treatment.

This is my sis C Rose reppin’ for the swimsuit shot cuz i’m not gonna be able to do it :)

Moisture, Moisture, Moisture

Moisture, moisture moisture – in my Jan Brady voice

Moisture is probably the top issue of naturally curly girls everywhere.  Dry, rough, brittle hair is not the business.  So what’s the deal with moisture? Well it’s all science really.  Curly hair twists and turns as it springs from the root making it very difficult for sebum, natural hair oil to travel down the length of the hair.  The sebum is present to coat the hair helping to seal in moisture and to add shine (this is also why curly hair is not naturally shiny).  So what’s a curly girl to do?

Thankfully moisture is very easy to add to hair; simply turn on your water facet and get it wet.  Water is the best moisturizer for your hair, there is no product that can do a better job.  However no one wants to walk around with a spray bottle lightly misting their hair every hour.  -_-

So that is why we have products.  If you are looking for moisture you want to select a water-based moisturizer or leave-in conditioner as they are the same thing.  The aim of these products is to provide moisture, soften and lubricate the strands.  There are tons of products out there that can meet your daily needs including spritz, lotion, cream, jelly or pudding.  Below are a few popular products for moisturizing your hair.

Spritz

Oyin Handmade Juices and Berries

Kinky Curly Spiral Spritz

Donna Marie Moisture Mist

Jane Carter Solution Revitalizing Leave-In Conditioner

Lotion

Jessicurl Rockin Ringlets Stylin Potion

Oyin Handmade Hair Dew

Alaffia Shea & Virgin Coconut Enriching Hair Lotion

Komaza Care Shea Butter Hair Lotion

Hair Milk

Komaza Care Coconut Hair Milk

Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk

My Honeychild Coconut Hair Milk

Bee Mine Deja’s Hair Milk

Leave-In Conditioner

Koils By Nature Shealoe Leave-In Conditioner

Mixed Chicks Leave-In Conditioner

Giovanni Direct Leave-In Conditioner

Cream

Donna Marie Super Buttercreme

Miss Jessie’s Baby ButterCreme

Jane Carter Solution Hair Nourish Cream

And for those looking for a more natural option aloe vera gel is like water 2.0!  You can also create your own natural hair spritz filled with yummy stuff using very basic ingredients.  It is important to note that moisturizers need to be sealed in using an oil or butter (this will do the job of the sebum).  If your moisturizer already includes oils or butters then you do not have to seal it in.  Some popular sealants include coconut oil, olive oil and shea butter.  To keep your hair moisturized first start with water, follow with a moisturizer and then seal it in. 

What are your favorite moisturizers for your hair?

Jessicurl Product Review

Jessicurl

http://www.jessicurl.com

available for purchase online @ website or on naturallycurly.com

Me & Jessica McGuinty owner/ceo of Jessicurl

I have been wanting to meet Jessica for quite sometime now.  NaturallyCurly.com is one of my fav natural hair forums and she is somewhat of a star/legend on the boards.  Jessica was just a curly girl looking for products that would work on her hair.  When she couldn’t find them she decided to make them herself and Jessicurl was born!  I love Jessica for her entrepreneurial spirit, fabulous red curls and because she’s a Cali girl :)  When I finally met her at the World Natural Hair Show in Atlanta, GA back in April she could not have been any sweeter and more receptive to a curly fan (stalker).

Ok so on with the show. 

Jessicurl is a complete product line designed for curly girls that contains shampoo, conditioner, deep treatments, mositurizers, spritz and gels.  I picked up free samples of the Hair Cleansing Cream, Too Shea Extra Moisturizing Conditioner and Confident Coils Styling Solution.

Hair Cleansing Cream

Ing: Water, Decyl Polyglucose, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Vegetable Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Avocado Oil, C 12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Hydrolyzed Oat Flour, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Fragrance.

I am a no-poo girl meaning i do not use regular sulfate shampoos or silicone laced products to cleanse my hair.  Instead I opt to co-wash, wash my hair using conditioner, or use a cleansing cream that is sulfate and -cone free.  As cleansing creams go there are the good the bad and the awesome and this is definitely one of the awesome!  This product has a light mucilage (snotty) or gel like texture that applies easily and gently cleanses.  The product is not creamy like a condish but more like the consistency of aloe gel, however i found it to be very moisturizing.  I would feel comfortable actually detangling my hair while using this product as it had good slip to it.  I would recommend this product for daily use as it was gentle and non-drying.  I would also recommend to those with locs as it rinses clean with no reside.  Great product for ALL hair types.  This will be added to my Holy Grail.

**BONUS: Hair Cleansing Cream is 15% off for the rest of May 2011 of your purchase from the website.  That’s on all sizes and the discount is already built into the shopping cart. **

Too Shea Extra Moisturizing Conditioner

Ing: Water infused with Lemongrass, Nettle, Burdock, Kelp, Marshmallow Root,Horsetail, Basil, Bay Leaf, Oregano, Rosemary, Peppermint, Sage, and Thyme; Aloe Vera Juice, Behentrimonium Methosulfate and Cetearyl Alcohol, Shea Butter, Jojoba Oil, Avocado Oil, Lecithin, Hydrolyzed Oat Flour, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Fragrance

I am an admitted shea-hater.  It is nothing personal my hair just does not like heavy doses of shea so i was prepared NOT to like this product.  However, I was wrong.  This condish had great slip due to the water infused with mucilage herbs (my hair loves nettle, marshmallow root and horsetail) and I detangled very quickly using the minimal 1 oz sample packet.  My hair felt soft and bouncy afterward not weighed down or coated as it normally feels after using most shea products.  Great for everyday conditioning and light enough to use as a leave-in IMO.  I would have left it in but I had another product to try.

Confident Coils Styling Solution

Ing: Water, VP/VA Copolymer, Polyimide-1, C 12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Cetearyl Alcohol (and) Polysorbate 60; Jojoba Oil, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride (and) Dehydroxanthan Gum, Aloe Vera Powder, Magnesium Sulfate, Diazolidinyl Urea (and) Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Fragrance.

I tried this product years ago (picked up free from a swap with another curly) and actually did not care for it.  I was eager to give it another chance, especially after the great results I had with the cleanser and condish.  So I smoothed the product over six sections of my hair and I waited.  Yeah still not loving it; the product really didn’t do anything for me.  Didn’t make my hair feel any softer or make my curls pop.  I would describe the product as a sort of moisturizing, light-weight gel.  I think it might be a good base to wear under gel or even as a next day refresher, maybe.  I just pulled my hair into a pony so I can’t really say.  In the end the product wasn’t for me.

There was also a sample pack of Jessicurl Weekly Deep Treatment that I have not used.  So here is a review of that product courtesy of JCokes7.


Product Review: Tresemme Naturals Vibrantly Smooth Conditioner

Tresemme Naturals Vibrantly Smooth Conditioner w/ Coconut oil and Jojoba extract

Available in most drugstores

25 oz $4.00 – 6.00

I originally picked up this product for my daughter SK, who mercilessly slays bottles of conditioner and Kroger had a 2/$7 so I decided to try it.  Tresemme Naturals conditioners are silicone free, dye free, safe for color-treated hair and contain natural ingredients. I used the product twice, once as a conditioner after washing with Yes to Carrots shampoo and another time as a co-wash and it worked well both times.

5 Things I Liked About This Product:

1.  It’s silicone free.  You have to be careful with some drugstore products as they normally contain cones and I prefer not to use them.

2.  It’s priced just right and comes in a large size.

3.  It has a nice refreshing clean scent.

4.  It is light but has good slip for detangling.

5.  It contains coconut and jojoba oil which are both ingredients my hair loves!

While this was a good conditioner there are a few things I didn’t like.  The fragrance is listed very high on the list, though it is not strong or overpowering.  It contains alcohol and isopropyl alcohol which are both drying alcohols though it was NOT drying on my hair.  I would recommend this product to other naturals and suggest you give it a try.

Product Review: Oyin Handmade Greg Juice

Oyin Greg Juice

Available at oyinhandmade.com

$11 for 8 oz

An oil-free spritz containing herb-infused water, vegetable moisturizers and natural humectants that moisturize the hair and scalp, refresh dry hair, and aid in detangling. It also makes a great hair perfume.  This spritz comes in two additional scents: Juices & Berries (fruity cocktail) or Frank Juice (a musky masculine scent).

I have used this spritz to moisten and refreshen my scalp while in twists and braids and also to revive my dry ends.

This is the second Juice I have purchased from Oyin Handmade. I first purchased the Juices & Berries back in November and have just now reached the last ounce of the bottle.  While Juices and Berries if very sweet smelling, this spray has a light herbal-citrus smell that is delightful and perfect for both men and women.

This product is ideal for any hair type as it is oil free so you can follow up with the oil or butter of your choice if desired to seal in moisture. While I can easily make my own spritz (and I do) I still love Oyin’s juices is they are lighter then my homemade spritz but do the job just right and they smell DIVINE.

Check out my review for Oyin Juices & Berries >>> https://derbycitynaturals.wordpress.com/2011/04/01/product-review-oyin-juices-berries-2/

Another plus is that Oyin ships your products out immediately (I normally get them within 3-4 days) and they include little candies in each shipment.  They also use biodegradable packing peanuts which is good for the environment!

Product Review: Oyin Juices & Berries

Oyin Juices & Berries

Available at oyinhandmade.com

$11.00 for 8 oz

 

Juices & Berries is an oil-free leave in conditioning spritz made with vegetable moisturizers and herbal extracts.  It is great for reviving an old hairstyle, as a detangler, or for moisturizing hair or locs.  It also makes a great hair perfume.  This spritz also come in two additional scents: Greg Juice and Frank Juice.

I use this product primarily to spritz my scalp daily when wearing my hair in protective styles like two strand twists or box braids.  I also use it for refreshing twist/braid-outs in the morning.  Now because the product is oil-free I sometimes  follow-up with an oil to seal.

What I LOVE about this product:

  • It is light, fruity and smells divine.
  • It is a great way to refresh the hair but does not cause my hair to frizz.
  • It leave my hair soft and moisturized.
  • It’s all natural

This product is so simple yet it works and because it is oil free it can be used on any hair type.  The only downside is that it is a little too pricey to only be a conditioning spray.  I am willing to pay more for stylers but I am confident I  could get similar results using a DIY conditioning spritz (though it would not smell as good).  I purchased this spritz during Black Friday Sales so it was cheaper.  If you are looking for a good conditioning spritz I would say to give it a try.