Scalp Health

When your scalp is itching like it’s been attacked by 50 mosquitoes, and your head is full of an avalanche of flakes, what do you do? Well to address the issue, you need to learn a thing or two.  Like why/how did your scalp get into that condition in the first place!

This is when educating yourself becomes a major key in making the proper changes needed to improve the health of your scalp.

So, first things first.  Since the scalp is skin, just like any other part of the body, our dead skin cells naturally shed daily. Shedding must happen so the new skin cells have a chance at life.  Basically, the new skin is the baby fresh skin that we all want!  Without shedding we would all be walking around looking a hot mess!   Unfortunately, when new skin cells are blocked, it is due to clogged follicles.  From there, it creates a snowball effect of scalp issues.

Hair follicles are the sacs in the skin the hair grows from.  It surrounds the hair like a casing on a piece of sausage.  The follicles are attached to the sebaceous gland, which is a gland that produces sebum (our natural oil) to lubricate the hair shaft.  Hair follicles are also attached to muscle fibers- that help the hair grow away from the skin.

Various factors contribute to hair follicles getting clogged:

  1. Sweating which causes salt to build on scalp if not washed out
  2. Dry Climate
  3. Heredity
  4. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
  5. Various medical conditions
  6. Some prescription medications
  7. Stress
  8. Fluctuating hormones
  9. Diet
  10. Using the wrong hair/skin products.

People of African descent genetically produce less sebum then others so we have to combat that best we can by using a natural oil. Research shows a great oil to try is jojoba oil, which is structurally close to our natural sebum, and can be easily be absorbed into the scalp.  Also try humectants in your hair regimen like honey, castor oil, propylene glycol, aloe vera gel, and glycerin. Humectants promote moisture retention which is exactly what’s needed to prevent dry scalp.

Please stay away from mineral oil and grease/petroleum jelly because all that does is the clog the pores.

Avoid using products that contain alcohol, sulfur, and formaldehyde. They all strip moisture from the hair and will quickly dry out your scalp.

Helpful items to have handy at home or abroad, is a clarifying shampoo, ACV Rinse, or a Bentonite Clay Mask treatment.  These items will wash away styling products that collect on the scalp and clog follicles between wash days.

We have to keep in mind that our scalp is skin.  The best way to nourish our skin is by working from the inside out.  That is why our water consumption is highly important.  If we don’t get it right on the inside of our bodies, how do we expect the outside to behave?

Also giving your scalp a massage with a  scalp massage/shampoo brush  is a great way exfoliate while sending new blood to your scalp .  This is not only relaxing, but it is also a great to  promote the growth of new cells on your scalp.  This will encourage a healthier scalp and promote new hair growth.  I currently use a shampoo brush by Motions , I received in my February 2017 Curlbox and I LOVE it!  

So I hoped you learned a little something.  We have to be nice to our scalp if we want it to be nice to us. Let me know if you agree witht his post by liking, sharing, commenting , and subscribing.  I am interested in knowing how you take care of your scalp.  Sharing is caring!  Until next time, take care everyone!

5 Wash and Go Tips & Truths

So, you want to wear a Wash and Go, but you had no idea wearing one wasn’t as simple as just washing and going. Real thought must go into showing off the curls you were born with! Is it worth it?  Will you be able to embrace the curls you were born with? Are your curls not acting right, according to you? Below are some tips and truths to help you out.

  • Seal to prevent single strand knots

Sigh…. The thought of Single Strand Knots a.k.a SSK’s a.k.a Lil Nightmares – is just enough to give me a headache. They will ruin the look or feel of any hairstyle.  So, what is the best way to combat these little horrors?  Seal. In. Moisture.  Is it as simple as that?  No not really. Everyone’s hair is different and your hair porosity has a lot to do with it. It takes time to master the art of moisturizing your hair properly. I personally deep condition weekly in hopes of locking in as much moisture into my hair cuticles as possible.  Also, make sure you are sealing in your leave in conditioner of choice by doing the LOC Method: Leave-in/Liquid, Oil, and Cream; or the LCO Method –  Leave-in/Liquid, Cream, and Oil.  If your hair is dry and brittle, then YOU are going to have to revamp YOUR sealing technique!  Right?  Right.

  • Shrinkage means healthy hair

Don’t be alarmed, but if your hair is healthy, it will shrink like it has never done before when wearing a Wash and Go! The first reason it obvious, your hair is no longer straight, it’s curly.  But the other reason is healthy hair has more elasticity then it’s unhealthy, damaged cousin.  So, either embrace the shrinkage or opt for a heat -free way of stretching your hair as shown below.

 

 

  • Find damaged ends. Then search and destroy

Wearing a Wash and Go is a great way to find damaged ends. Why?  Because any damaged strands of hair will stand out like a dandelion in a of dozen roses. Those damaged ends are going to be the ones that are hanging there limp, straight, and just downright ugly!  Now it’s time to search and destroy.  Yes! Find those damaged ends, cut those bad boys off!  While you are cutting away make sure you put a smile on your face because you are improving the health of your hair!

 

  • Wash and Go’s change throughout your natural hair journey

Yes indeed, I know this for a fact!  Whether you just did a big chop, transitioning, or recuperating from heat/color damage.  Wash and Go’s are never a best in the beginning.  Your hair must go through training just like an Olympic medalist.  Your hair must actually learn what to do without those dead ends holding it down like weights. Have patience, it may take a few months, but you WILL see your full curl potential at some point.

  • Every Wash and Go is different

Every Wash and Go is different.  Your hair is unique.  Hair will grow out of your own scalp the way God intended it to.  Pay attention: Your hair type, porosity, and density is not the same as anyone on earth!   Even sisters with the same parents have different curls. Stop comparing your curls to the girl on YouTube, Instagram, or homegirl down the street!   She is not you and you are not her!  Learn to embrace what is yours and no one else’s.  Once you do, you will automatically hold your God given crown a little higher!

So, there you have it.  Let me know what you think.  Was this blog post helpful?  Do you feel better now?  If so please like, comment, share, and of course subscribe.  I have a lot more to talk about and I don’t want you to miss out!

Until next week,

Olena

 

 

The Power of Peppermint

Ahhh the thought of peppermint brings so many things to mind:
  • Soothing
  • Healing
  • Refreshing
  • Herbal
  • Aromatherapy
According to Wikipedia:
Peppermint is a hybrid mint: a cross between watermint and spearmint. Indigenous to Europe and the Middle East, the plant is now widespread in cultivation in many regions of the world. Indigenous to Europe and the Middle East, the plant is now widespread in cultivation in many regions of the world. 
Peppermint oil is an oil derived from the peppermint plant.  Because of its many positive qualities, it is used as an essential oil for aromatherapy.  Many of our everyday products: lip balm, body washes, shampoo, deep conditioners, and lotions include this oil in it.  It is also used in many foot scrubs due to its anti-fungal properties!  Now how’s that for self-care!  I’m ready for a pedicure now!
Various types of mints have provided fragrance for soaps, shampoos, candles, and even lotions. It’s also used to flavor foods and beverages!  Without mint, I wouldn’t have my beloved peppermint & mint medley teas!
Peppermint oil is also used as a supplement to ease the symptoms of indigestion, heartburn, morning sickness, colds, and sinus & respiratory infections. It can also help alleviate muscle pain, headache, sooth rashes, and repel those pesky mosquitoes! It’s also a major ingredient in oral hygiene products because it is highly effective in killing the bacteria that causes gum disease.
Honestly when I think of mint in general, I can’t think of a single negative quality. I believe the natural hair & skin care industry agrees with me as well.
Peppermint oil is a natural antiseptic.  It’s been known to ‘wake up’ lifeless skin and control oil production.  It also promotes hair growth by increasing blood flow to the scalp when used as a scalp massage.
So have I convinced you there is power in peppermint?  I hope so!  If you agree with this post let me know by liking and sharing this post. Leave a comment for me and don’t forget to subscribe.
Until next time Curlfriends! 🙂

Product Review | Shea Moisture African Black Soap Collection

When I first went back to being natural I knew from my Instagram feed and various YouTube Channels, Shea Moisture was/is a leader in the natural hair care industry.  Their products are made without these harmful ingredients:

·         Parabens

·         Phthalates

·         Paraffin

·         Mineral Oil

·         Petroleum

·         Formaldehyde

·         Propylene

So naturally the first product I tried, out side of coconut oil & water was one of their products. The Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie. 

Shea Moisture didn’t stop at the Coconut & Hibiscus collections.  Oh, there are so many more!  Imagine my amazement when I noticed that just within their Bath & Body Products there are currently 19 different collections!  Let me say that again. A whopping 19 collections within their Bath & Body Products!  Come on now, that’s major!   Every time I turn around they are coming out with a new collection! Seriously.  This company takes their business and customer’s seriously!

So, on my latest Ulta Beauty haul it was only natural that I try something from one of their other collections.  I chose to go with products from the African Black Soap Collection.  Why?  This line had exactly what I was looking for at the time, African Black Soap. This soap is known for working miracles on skin all over social media!

When my sister (real), Darrina came to visit me and advised African Black Soap was the only cleanser she used on her face, it was a done deal!  The evidence was right in front of my face!

So, I purchased Shea Moisture’s African Black Soap and their Dandruff Control Hair Masque in that same collection.

I’ve been having issues with adult acne and scaring lately, and I never had acne during my younger years so I was desperate for positive skin results!  When I think about it, I haven’t washed my face with bar soap since I was a child.  To be honest, I was nervous because I never liked the way bar soap made my skin feel, but I took the plunge and tried it.  In my opinion the African Black Soap brightened my face almost instantly! It literally left my face squeaky clean! The scent is pleasant, a little goes a long way, and it is affordable!  After washing my face I used my daily moisturizer and left my bathroom a happy camper! My face looked and felt great!  It didn’t tight or ashy looking.  I cannot explain how much healthier my skin looks after only using this product a week!  Simply put, mission accomplished!

Recently the dandruff and itchy/flaky scalp I have fought with on and off throughout my life came back!  Rearing its ugly head!  We all know that the 2 W’s: water & winter play a major part in hair and scalp health during this time of the year.  So, since I needed extra help in this area I wanted a hair masque that would assist me with this issue. The Shea Moisture African Black Soap Dandruff Control Hair Masque sounded like relief in a jar!  You want to know something?  It was!

First off with ingredients like water, tea tree oil, shea butter, aloe vera you can’t go wrong! Including added benefits of willow bark extract – a natural exfoliate. 

So, I put it to the text last washday, and a week later it has  passed with flying colors!  The masque has a pleasant scent that is not overwhelming. The consistency is creamy and thick. It melts on to the hair and scalp with ease. My hair & scalp was left with a cool & clean sensation without feeling stripped. Also, a little goes a long way.   My hair and scalp absolutely loved it!  I went through an entire week with minimal itching and No Flakes!!  It is my opinion that my hair and scalp will improve as time goes on.  So the Shea Moisture African Black Soap Dandruff Control Hair Masque is now a welcome part of my natural hair care regimen!

So, there you have it!  My honest opinion on 2 Shea Moisture products. I hope you found this unpaid review helpful. Let me know in the comments if you have tried these products before or not.  Also, if there are any other product you use to combat adult acne & dandruff.  Feel free to like, comment, and share this post.  Knowledge is power.  Also don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss out on weekly posts.