Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Three techniques I used to cleanse and detox my scalp

Since my last post, I've completed a total of three wash cycles where I placed a heavy focus on cleansing/purifying/detoxing my scalp. With each wash, I used a different process to treat the scalp. Zen detox, Nioxin scalp therapy and baking soda were my weapons of choice as I declared war on my unhealthy scalp. Part of the reason why I used overwhelming force to treat my scalp is because, some time ago, I was diagnosed as having seborrheic dermatitis. I just knew that without direct intervention, my poor strands were suffocating under a layer of build-up and dandruff.

Nioxin scalp therapy has been a staple of mine for years. As I mentioned in the last post, this was the first product I purchased the moment I read about and understood the need to maintain a healthy scalp. What I appreciate about the Nioxin brand is the amount of attention and focus they place on a functional scalp. Their line boasts of several products dedicated to the health of your scalp. Next on my list of products to try from them is their follicle booster. Back to the Scalp Therapy. I've used both the normal formula and the one created for chemically treated hair. Not sure why, but I think I like the normal formula better. I think it's because normal formula gave my scalp a bit more tingle when I used it. Both formula's do wonders with regards to my dandruff situation.

Another amazing, unexpected benefit of the Scalp Therapy is it's ability to tame my new growth into full and complete submission. I'm not sure what it is in Scalp Therapy that causes this wonderful side effect, but whenever I use it, my new growth just seems to bow down and listen. It just has a way of slightly loosening the texture, turning tight curls into softer waves. Detangling becomes a breeze and styling the hair becomes much more possible. In the past, I've used Scalp Therapy as a last resort when combating dandruff. Now that I have this new level of awareness, I'll be re-incorporating into my regimen on an ongoing basis. When I used this amazing product the other day, I parted my hair into multiple small sections and applied to the scalp much like a relaxer. Then I massaged and left the product in for a good 30 minutes while I allowed it to work it's magic. Scalp therapy acts like a conditioner, so when it's rinsed out, the hair feels soft and more manageable.

The following wash I, broke out my Zen Detox so I could complete a scalp purifying mask. In my zealous attempt to really draw out impurities, I also combined some of my Aztec clay to the Zen Detox. These purifying clays are supposed to act on the scalp as they would on the skin (after all, the scalp is still skin right?). They remove impurities from the surface level while claiming to have the ability to also draw out toxins from beneath the surface. Once again I applied this liquid clay in the same manner as a relaxer, parting and applying. Applying and parting. I also used some of the mixture on the length of my hair as well. I should also mention that Zen Detox also has a way of softening up the new growth. While I applied product and massaged, I could feel my curls lengthening as the clay penetrated. Honestly, I felt like after I washed and styled, my hair seemed to have some build up. My scalp felt great but my hair had somewhat of a film to it. I think it has something to do with my mix of both Zen and Aztec. Last time I only used Zen, I didn't mix the product and I had no felling of residue. I should also mention that I included an egg in my conditioning mix and absentmindedly used warm water during part of my rinse. I had dry egg bits in my hair which could also have been culprit of my build up. Either way, I'll use Zen Detox again, but next time I won't try to get all fancy with how I use it. Just Zen and nothing else.

During my third wash, I tried a totally new experience by using baking soda. Much like the detox clay, baking soda is said to have the ability to loosen old skin cells and remove impurities from the scalp. Baking soda is alkaline in nature so it also worked to slightly straighten the new growth. Because of it's grainy, gritty texture, I decided to mix the baking soda with a conditioner so that I didn't cause too much abrasion to the scalp as I massaged it in. As with the other scalp treatments, I parted and applied as one would a relaxer. Following the application I proceeded to gently massage. The entire experience felt really good. I kept the baking soda mixture on/near the scalp and applied my regular conditioners along the length of the hair. I left everything in for about 40 minutes or so and, I'm sitting here two days later with fabulous hair. My hair is soft and, most of all, my scalp is thriving.

The final step to my ultra-healthy scalp routine was a relaxing massage using drops of eucalyptus oil directly on the scalp. This was such a soothing experience that I've decided to make it a weekly activity. People rave about the benefits of eucalyptus oil on the scalp. I just really enjoy the mild scalp tingle. It makes me feel like I'm really doing something beneficial.

Since incorporating these three scalp treatments into my routine, my dandruff has reduced dramatically. My hair also looks amazing which is an added benefit that I was not expecting. Now that I think about it, those wonderful scalp treatments were probably also working to clarify the hair which is why it responded so well to the conditioner.

I think that process I've undergone the past few washes was an experiment in what method worked best. While I don't expect to conduct full scalp "facials" every wash, I do intend to incorporate at least one healthy scalp aid into my routine at least once a week. I just want to make sure I never get to a place where the health of my scalp isn't always top of mind. I also want to thank you ladies for leaving comments on what you do to keep your scalp healthy. You gave me some great ideas. Thanks again and keep 'em coming!
  1. I was diagnosed with SD years ago and after years of prescriptions and topical treatments, I just wash with non sulfate shampoos and use a little sulfur 8 right after a wash.

  2. That eucalyptus scalp treatment sounds tres good.

    Could you share what the benefits of that oil are for scalp health?

    Thanks for sharing your steps on this post. I have a friend with SD that I am trying to encourage to go hairhealthy that could benefit from this.

  3. I also have SD. Please continue to update us on your progress.