I started to notice that the condition of my scalp impacted my hair routine not long after I had my first chemical relaxer. I was 12 when my hair was first relaxed, so the change in my scalp were probably compounded by factors related to puberty. Still, even after I reached adulthood I noticed changes in the condition of my scalp every few years that changed how I cared for my hair.
1. Greasy Scalp
When my hair was initially relaxed I noticed that it became oily rather quickly, something I did not experience before. An oily scalp was in part due to the products that I used as well as the impact the relaxer, a powerful chemical, had on my scalp. Because my hair was straightened, my oily scalp often led to limp, lifeless hair. I actually remember deliberately avoiding moisturizing products because I wanted my hair to remain light and “flowy”. All in the name of vanity my hair suffered. For those who are natural with fine texture, this may be something you’ve also experienced. Be sure that you aren’t sacrificing style in the name hair health.
2. Dry Scalp
Do you have memories of sitting down on the floor while an older female relative thoroughly coated you scalp with grease? I sure do. In retrospect, it’s a fond memory of my childhood because it was time that I spent with my mother. From the perspective of hair health…well, let’s just say I’ve learned that “greasing” the scalp isn’t as vital as I once thought. If you suffer from dry scalp which I began to experience later in my teens, the best way to treat it may not be by using a jar of blue (or green, or yellow) thick, heavy hair grease. Natural oils such as jojoba oil better mimic our natural oils, which don’t clog the pores of our scalp the way thick hair greases do. Moreover, these oils don’t weight our hair down in the way that heavier oils do, which should of special concern for those with fine hair.
3. Never-Ending Buildup
There are a number of reasons you may experience buildup even two or three days after washing your hair. First, be sure that you are thoroughly cleansing your hair when washing so that all of the conditioner and shampoo you used are removed. I find that very thick shampoos can pose a problem and I refrain from applying conditioner to my scalp after I’ve detangle my hair during my pre-poo routine. The irritation caused by excessive product on the scalp may cause itching, which makes you scratch your scalp, irritating it further. If you find this to be a continual problem, dilute your cleansing agents. When the pores on your scalp remain clogged it can interfere with hair growth/retention.
The solutions to scalp problems not stemming from the misuse of products are varied, and it may take trial and error to find them. Natural solutions like tea tree oil, peppermint oil, grapeseed oil and jojoba oil. Diet also plays a significant role in the health of your scalp. For some women fish oil and flaxseed oil not only have health benefits but also positively impact scalp health. Be sure that whatever you do, you do it in moderation and, when necessary, under the guidance of a health care professional.
What solutions to scalp problems have worked for you?