Monday, August 18, 2014

My New Hair Routine!!


Since moving to the southwest I have had the worst time with my scalp. It is always dry, itchy, and uncomfortable. I have always had a little problem with my scalp being a fair skinned red head with rather sensitive skin but nothing like I have experienced for the last year. I recently set out on a quest to try and fix this very frustrating and bothersome problem.

Lets start by looking at why I has having problems with my scalp in the first place. It all has to do with the pH of your scalp. The scalp should have a pH of about 4.5 to 5.5. Signs that your scalp has pH imbalance are:
dry scalp
scalp eczema
hair loss

I had all of these! It drove me crazy. I had tried other commercial shampoos that are designed to help alleviate these symptoms but they didn't work. Part of the reason is the pH level of shampoo. Its usually above an 8, much higher than the pH of you scalp should be. With a little bit of research and quite a few trial and errors I have come up with a combination of homemade products that are doing the job to help reduce all of my scalp problems.

First Trial: Coconut Shampoo with an apple cider vinegar and green tea rinse. I was so excited to try the coconut shampoo that I had seen all over Pinterest. I had pinned a recipe awhile back but never really got around to making it. I finally picked up all of the ingredients that I needed and had some pretty good results the first week. The main ingredients for this shampoo are Coconut Milk, Castile Soap, and Essential Oils. The coconut milk helps to bring the pH down to a level that is closer to you scalp because the Castile Soap is still at that high pH level.

I was excited to have this be the trick because it was all natural. It worked well to eliminate my scalp problems but it did a number on my hair. The first week I used the shampoo with the rinse my hair felt like straw. I figured the apple cider vinegar/green tea rise was too harsh so I switched to a green tea and aloe vera gel rinse. This worked well for the first wash but the second was horrible. My hair was coated in an oily film.

The culprit, Castile Soap. I used Dr. Bonner's which is great however the surfactants are all derived from oils. After about the second week of use it had built up enough oil that it left my hair a giant oil coated mess. So much to the point that my brush as covered in oily residue. My scalp felt great but I couldn't handle how my hair felt.

Second Trial:
After more research I decided to make a semi-natural shampoo and keeping my green tea and aloe vera gel  hair rinse. I kept the coconut milk but opted for a store bought baby shampoo. Here is the recipes I am currently using with pretty good success:

Coconut Shampoo
1/2 cup of Coconut  Milk
2/3 cup of Baby Shampoo
10-20 drops of essential oil (only if the shampoo does not already have any)
Use as you would normal shampoo.

Note this shampoo is not as thick as commercial shampoo so pouring it directly on to the head may be easier than putting it in your hand.

Hair Rinse
1 cup of green tea
1/4 cup of aloe vera gel
Mix and store in a spray bottle. Spray on to your hair concentrating on the the scalp. Let it sit for 2-3 minutes and then rinse.

Follow up with a little coconut oil after you towel dry your hair and style as you like!

My only note for the hair rinse is you may want to test the green tea on a section of hair before you commit to your entire head. I have noticed that my hair doesn't look as dull and has a bit more vibrancy to it. I am not sure if this is due to the tea or just a result of not having a bunch of chemicals on my hair. I am a red head so the green tea is the perfect color for my hair. This would work for a brunette as well. You blondes may want to go with a tea that is not as dark.

I have noticed that my scalp is a little itchy but nothing as close to what it was before. To help combat this I am going to be using a Coconut Oil mask once a week to make sure my scalp is staying nice and hydrated. I would also like to note that I do not wash my hair everyday, in fact I usually wash about every third day. My hair is thick enough that I can get away with it.

I am so excited for this new hair routine and hope that you can find a combination of DIY Natural/Semi-natural Hair products that will help or enhance your current routine.

Happy Shampoo Day!

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