Thursday, August 26, 2010

All About Hair: Start At The Scalp For Healthy Hair Growth

Did you know that maintaining a healthy scalp is essential for the overall growth and health of your hair? Your scalp is responsible for sending sebum [natural oils] and nutrients along the hair shaft resulting in hair that is properly hydrated and nourished. 
How many of you exfoliate your scalp? Did you know that exfoliation helps to remove dead skin cells, product buildup, as well as excess sebum? Dead skin cells, buildup and the likes can all cause inflammation [aka; an itchy, flaky scalp], which can later lead to thinning hair, and even hair loss [in fact, inflammation is one of the number one causes of hair loss in women today]. 

Another culprit for hair loss is products loaded with PETROLEUM. Petroleum "seals" off the scalp, thus trapping dead skin, bacteria, and perspiration under the layer of petroleum, which can also result in inflammation of the scalp; and later hair loss. 
What Can You Do?
Pre-Shampoo - A pre-shampoo treatment is necessary as shampoo is water-soluble, therefore it will not remove sebum [sebum is oil-soluble], toxins, and pollutants that are lodged in your hair follicle. Oil dissolves oil, in our case; the oil from your pre-shampoo treatment will dissolve excess sebum, and other oil soluble residue on your scalp. [pre-shampoo 1x weekly]
Tip: Formulate your Pre-Shampoo treatment with herbal infused oils to deliver nutrients deep inside the hair shaft, as this will strengthen the hair and nourish the follicle. 

Here's A Great Pre-Shampoo Recipe:
Add 1/2 cup Coconut Oil to a Crock Pot set on low; drop in 1 teaspoon each of the following herbs: Horsetail, Rosemary, Sage, and Burdock Root. Allow herbs to steep in the oil for about 20-30 minutes. Remove the herbs from the oil and let cool. Apply herbal infused coconut oil to unwashed, dry hair and follow your normal pre-shampoo routine.

About This Formulation:
  • Horsetail: Purported to speed hair growth, clear skin inflammations, and strengthen hair follicles
  • Rosemary: Rosemary is purported to stop hair loss, add sheen, and impart shine and nutrients
  • Sage: Sage is great for clearing up skin inflammations Burdock: Imparts shine, strengthens hair at the follicle, and nourishes hair with essential fatty acids
Exfoliate Your Scalp Once Weekly - You can also gently exfoliate your scalp in lieu of pre conditioning treatments.

Here's A Great Scalp Exfoliant Recipe:
Mix 2 Tablespoons of Brown Sugar + 5 tablespoons of Jojoba Oil and 2 drops of Tea Tree Oil in a small bowl. Massage the exfoliant mixture gently onto scalp with the balls of your fingertips [do not scratch] for about 1-2 minutes. Rinse well with cold water, then follow up with an ACV rinse to remove any additional product residue.[exfoliate 1x weekly]

Nourish & Stimulate Growth                                                                                                                     
Scalp Massages - Massage your scalp at least three times weekly with the balls of your fingertips for about 10 minutes, as it stimulates blood flow to the follicles and promotes hair growth. Using a natural bristle brush, brush your hair to distribute natural oils along the hair shaft. Brushing your hair stimulates the scalp as well.
Enrich Your Scalp Massage Oil With Nourishing Essential Oil                                                              
Add 3 drops each of the following essential oils to 1/4 cup of Jojoba Oil: Tea Tree, Rosemary, Lavender. Mix well then add 3 drops of Vitamin E oil. Add to a dark amber bottle, and store in a cool location. 

Tip: Store all products formulated with a large amount of essential oils in dark, amber colored bottles [like these]. As light has a tendency to damage essential oils. Storing your formulation is bottles is also recommended, as essential oils can degrade plastic containers.

About This Formulation: 
  • Jojoba Oil: Jojoba Oil is non-greasy and most closely resembles the skin's sebum. It's antibacterial properties help to clear and prevent skin inflammation on the scalp. Purported to help aid in speeding up hair growth. Removes the buildup of sebum and other oil-soluble buildup. 
  • Tea Tree Oil: This natural anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal essential oil is highly effective when it comes to preventing skin inflammation, and keeping bacteria at bay.   
  • Lavender Oil: Stimulates circulation which aids in hair growth, and also helps eliminate drandruff 
  • Rosemary Oil: This essential oil nourishes the scalp, slows down premature hair loss, imparts mega-shine, and also helps eliminate and prevent skin inflammations. 
  • Vitamin E oil heals the scalp, and also helps protect the hair shaft from harsh environmental elements

Want An Easier Alternative? Try Some Of These Over-The-Counter Products:

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  1. great tips, I need to massage my scalp much more often :)

  2. Wow, I am so impressed with your product knowledge. Your reviews are invaluable and I hope that people are taking notice.

  3. I suffer from scalp issues and could really use these tips, thanks!!

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  5. great post, as i almost never think of my scalp like i should (i kno, shame shame shame)

    question though: you say that brushing promotes hair growth, but I've always subscribed to the idea that minimal manipulation on dry hair is the best remedy. How do you reconcile the two?

  6. my natural hair journey has not been easy... im only about 9 months i def. need all the help i can get

  7. Fab post, lots of great advice, and I love the photo inspiration of E.Badu...Love her!


  8. Thank you for the information. I think that all of the time and attention paid to the hair strands may lead one to neglect the scalp. The pre-shampoo scalp treatment that I have come to like is HPO Happy Scalp Oil.

  9. Thanks again Nik for all the valuable tips and info. I really do need to pay more attention to my scalp, and give myself more hot oil massages.

  10. I second BreukelensFinest. Won't brushing cause major frizz?

  11. Your knowledge is invaluable. You have definitely been my how-to guide through this transitioning process. My ultimate goal is healthy natural hair and you are helping me achieve this one post at a time :) Thanks Nikole!

  12. @vonnie; Yes! Massage at least three times weekly to stimulate hair growth!

    @Fashion Intel; Thank you so much for the wonderful compliment!!!

    @Chai; You are welcome! I hope they help out some!

    @BreukelensFinest; You can opt to employ the method of brushing on wash days and massage your scalp the days you aren't brushing. Or you can opt to brush when your hair is pressed. I normally brush on wash days [because it has to be detangled anyway] and massage the other days.

    @CoCoa Assassins; Well congrats on taking the plunge! I plan to have a lot more posts related to transitioning, so I hope it helps you some!

    @Morgan-Ashley; Thank you! I love her too!

    @teachermrw; I agree as well! I am going to have to check out that Happy Scalp Oil!

    @StellaB; You are very welcome! Thank you for the support!

    @Anonymous; If you decide to brush on wash days [as you are styling] it shouldn't be an issue. You can opt to do scalp massages with your fingers the other two days.

    @SweetHunni Thank you very much! I appreciate the compliment, as well as your continued support!

  13. Thank you for posting info that appeals to my kitchen chemist and product junky nature. Awesome blog. Live, Love, Peace. ~Sweetsop

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  15. I am very grateful for this post!

    I sincerely appreciate the time, effort and detail you put into this blog!

  16. This post has been extremely helpful! Does anyone know where to purchase the amber glass bottles on the ground? I'm not a big fan of ordering online. TIA

  17. Hey Lady!

    I loved this post lots.

    I've been taking my sweet time posting my hair regimen and now I know why. Obviously I needed to read this. My best spa experience was an ayurvedic(?) treatment. So I loved when you mentioned that in another post and the benefits of certain oils and herbs to a hair and body. I already do scalp massages every other day, but I only use rosemary and olive oil and/or Castor oil. I've enjoyed the benefits, but I wanna be in love. So I will be hitting these ingredients up. Thanks again!

  18. These hairs are looking very amazing. I think they should go for the best hair consultant for better hair style.

  19. Your blog is "heaven scent"! I hope I continue to have patience with my hair and put this information to use.

  20. Your post just gave me an idea, so thanks!

    I wonder if using a natural bristle toothbrush dedicated to scalp exfoliation would be a good idea. I could use it with the oil and not have to implement the sugar. Hm...I'll have to try this on my next wash day.

  21. Thank you for these invaluable tips! I need a crockpot in my life :)

  22. hi i need a more simple way of doing this ive since brought the bars can u keep it simple for me

  23. When I take these kinky twists out, I will be all over this!!!
    Thanks much!

  24. whoo this is a live saver. My pooor scalp is suffering this week, as it is very cold in NY. i am on my way to the health store now, excited to see the results !!! thanks

  25. Hey Nikole, I wanted to know if you use/used hair grease (I hear a myth that the petroleum clogs follicles and mask hair strands) during your point of growth and/or now. And if you do/did not, what alternative do you employ or suggest for a female who BC'ed last year and rock braids? It's winter and I usually take them out and rock my coils/curls. My hair is healthy, but my scalp gets dry. I'm indecisive on whether to use 'grease' despite myths, or another alternative, such as oils.

  26. thank you for sharing this information. I will try some of those recipes...
    take care


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