Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Itchy Scalp Relief

Itchy Scalp Relief 
Article Source : 
Of the many problems that plague women and hair care, a HUGE concern is how to alleviate or get rid of itchy scalp. Sometimes scalp irritations are minor annoyances due to product build-up or changes in the weather. While no one is excited to see loose flakes of dandruff dotting their clothing, most times this will clear up with a specially formulated shampoo for dandruff. But in other cases, itchy scalp goes from a mild inconvenience to a full-blown, scalp-on-fire, can’t-keep-your-hands-out-of your-head type disaster of epic proportions. Anyone who has experienced these symptoms knows the pain of scratching or even massaging your scalp to the point that your whole head begins to feel inflamed and tender to the touch. Chronic bouts of itchiness will leave you wondering which came first – are you frantically digging your nails in your scalp as a result of the inflammation, or is the inflammation a result of all the scratching? It is a chicken-or-the-egg conundrum of the worst kind, and at the end of the day, who really cares which came first? All we want is relief.
Luckily, there are a few natural remedies you can try to see if you can finally win the war against the “itchies and the scratchies.”
Apple Cider Vinegar
A staple in the world of hair care, when diluted with water apple cider vinegar is used for its clarifying properties as well as its ability to help reduce hair porosity as a rinse due to its low pH balance. It also has anti-bacterial qualities that make it particularly helpful in treating an itchy scalp that is caused by bacteria build-up, and against any fungal condition (yeast on the scalp). Yeast don’t like an acidic environment so swabbing the scalp with an ACV solution can be helpful. Just be careful to make sure that you dilute it enough to a level where it is comfortable enough to put on your scalp, or else it will sting like crazy, especially if you have any abraded skin. The raw, unfiltered organic ACV is the best kind.
Aloe VeraIn case you decide to try the ACV, consider having some aloe vera gel on hand to soothe any stinging sensations that you may get. Aloe Vera can be used straight from the plant, or the organic gel can be bought commercially. Naturally emollient and calming, it is a great balm for the scalp that will also soften the hair and feed your roots.
Tea Tree OilMelaleuca  Alternifolia, or simply “Tea Tree Oil” is ubiquitous in shampoos and conditioners for this very condition in large part due to its highly antiseptic qualities. It’s a triple threat to scalp irritations because of its anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Again, Tea Tree Oil should not be used full strength and is best when used with a carrier oil. Which brings us to the next tried and true product…
Coconut OilEver seen a moldy coconut? That’s because the capyrilic acid in coconuts inhibit the growth of fungus. Incidentally, caprylic acid is also an active ingredient in a lot of vitamin supplements for women who are trying to suppress an overgrowth of candida (yeast) throughout the body. As always, look for the unfiltered, unrefined, organic extra-virgin coconut oil, cold-pressed if possible. It’s especially effective when infused with a few drops of tea tree oil.
Stay Away From This
If you co-wash instead of using an actual shampoo, this might be a good time to take a break and use a product that won’t just leave more build-up on your already beleaguered scalp. Do try to avoid shampoos with harsh detergents that will strip your scalp (and hair) of its natural oils, further adding to that dreaded tight and dry feeling. If your shampoo has sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate as an ingredient, it probably won’t be doing you any favors. Look for shampoos without sulfates and parabens and with nourishing oils that will soothe your skin.
Word to the WiseOne final word of caution: itchy scalp can be caused for a variety of reasons that are not always easy to self-diagnose. If you are experiencing symptoms that don’t seem to be responding to any treatments, or have broken skin or open sores on the scalp, please see your dermatologist or a licensed trichologist for an accurate diagnosis of your condition. In some cases, professional care may be required, for a complete analysis and evaluation of your diet, as well as any medications

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

4 Benefits of Grapeseed Oil + How to use it on Nat...

By Chinwe of Hair and Health
Many women use olive oil, coconut oil, castor oil, and even jojoba oil on their hair in some fashion. However, few use or know about grapeseed oil.
1.  It is inexpensive.  Compared to your more popular hair oils, this one is fairly inexpensive.  Depending on where you purchase your grapeseed oil, it can cost almost 30-40% less than extra virgin olive oil or extra virgin coconut oil.  It also much cheaper and more accessible than jojoba oil.
2.  It protects against moisture loss.  Grapeseed oil contains a high amount of linoleic acid, a type of omega-6 fatty acid. Research has demonstrated that when applied to the skin, this fatty acid can help combat dryness by providing protection against moisture loss (Source).  This may be good news for a dry scalp.
3.  It is fairly light.  The consistency of grapeseed oil is somewhere between that of jojoba oil and olive oil (though much closer to jojoba oil).  Thus, if you find olive oil to be too heavy or want an alternative to jojoba oil, grapeseed oil may be worth a try.
4.  It is odorless.  Grapeseed oil is odorless which makes it easier to use alone or in recipes without needing to add a fragrance (e.g., an essential oil).
1. As a sealant.  Depending on your hair, grapeseed oil may work just fine as a sealant after a good wash and conditioning session.  Just apply the oil to damp hair to lock in the moisture.
2. To enhance a moisturizer.  This oil can be used to enhance your current moisturizer.  Mix a little bit with your moisturizer to increase moisture retention.
3. To alleviate a dry scalp.  As discussed earlier, linoleic acid has been demonstrated to provide a protection against moisture loss when applied to the skin.  Since grapeseed oil consists of a very high amount (~70%) of this fatty acid, it can aid in alleviating a dry scalp.
4. Mix into a whipped butter.  Grapeseed oil can mix well into whipped butters and increase the moisturizing/sealant properties of your mixture.
5. As a hot oil treatment.  Use the oil alone or mixed with other oils as a hot oil treatment prior to your wash.
Though the oil has a high smoke point (some sources quote 400 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit), this characteristic does not translate into it being adequate as a heat protectant.  A high smoke point indicates that the oil requires a higher temperature to break down and start smoking.  In other words, grapeseed oil may not degrade before reaching 400 degrees Fahrenheit but your hair might.  In contrast, a heat protectant contains a formulation of ingredients that actually helps to reduce the transfer of heat to the cortex of the hair (Source).  That being said, it is much safer to use a commercial heat protectant than to experiment with grapeseed oil as a possibility.
Ladies, have you tried grapeseed oil?  How do you use it?