Essential Oils for the Scalp

Friday, September 2, 2011

Our lifestyles have a direct impact on the condition of our skin, our nails and of course our hair. Illness, stress levels, the environment and what we consume are reflected directly via our exterior condition. While some forces are beyond our control, there are some steps we can take to guarantee we look and feel our best. For that, we need to take care of ourselves inside and out.

Today, we let's focus on our scalp and the steps we can take to a happy, healthy, itch free scalp. Oh, and just so you know, the road to beautiful healthy hair begins with caring for your scalp. Take notes.

A healthy diet is paramount. Consume foods rich in essential acids, proteins, zinc, iron, carotenes, and vitamins B, C and most importantly vitamin E. Vitamin E is amazing for healthy hair and skin - this is through both ingestion and direct application.

So by now you have heard the Kurly Kichana girls rave and rant about our unified hate for shampoos that contain Sodium laureth sulfate, or sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES). We still do,and we are still at it. However, we also champion the call for a clean and healthy scalp. This obviously calls for regular cleaning and nourishment, let's do a run down on how one can achieve this.

Natural oils and your Scalp
Shampoos come with a guarantee to cleanse your hair of all the nasty "oils" and build up gathered over a period of time. Their floral scents stimulate your senses and the happy advertisements whisper a promise pure unadulterated joy. They fail to mention that shampoos were not actually formulated with natural African hair in mind (with reference to a of majority internationally attainable brands). Caucasian hair/ Asian hair is less coily and is predominantly straighter in comparison to our natural hair structure. As such their naturally produced oils (sebum) manages to coat the entire hair shaft (from root to tip) and provide the hair with the basic nourishment it requires. This can sometime result in greasy, grimy and dirty looking hair over a short period of time. Shampoo therefore intends to rid hair of the excess oils and grime.

African hair is curly. Far more curlier than Caucasian hair. Due to its nature, sebum does not build up as much as it would for other hair varieties and thus our hair is mostly drier by comparison. As such we need to INFUSE as much moisture and nourishment as possible to supplement our naturally produced oils. Regular shampoos literally strip our hair of what little nourishment our scalp produces; it also manages to change our natural pH levels, leaving our hair dry and brittle and vulnerable to chronic breakage.

If you can get your hands on a suphate free shampoo or carry out an ACV rinse or a Bicarbonate of Soda rinse as you have heard us mention time and time again. Nyachomba will demonstrate this for us on the next post :)
There you have it - your scalp needs its natural oils. However, as we may not be able to produce enough of these oils, be comforted to know that there are various natural remedies that you can employ to boost your scalps needs. These remedies have the power to boost hair growth, aid afflictions such as flaking and itching, sooth allergies, dandruff and stimulate your sebaceous glands. Miracle workers really!

Essential Oils
Essential oils
are the magical elixirs that we swear by with regards to scalp treatment and conditioning. They are very potent and must be used with caution. We emphasize on the use of a carrier oil such as extra virgin olive oil or jojoba oil (on its own, jojoba is an excellent scalp moisturizer and can help re-balance sebum). If applied to the skin undiluted, essential oils can cause severe irritation or reactions in some individuals. Carrier oils are used to dilute essential and other oils prior to application. They carry the essential oil onto the skin.

Below is a list of some of our favorite essential oils and their uses:
Tea Tree: Treatment for dry scalp, dandruff, and underactive sebaceous glands, enlivens the scalp.
Basil: Promotes hair growth
Clary sage: Dandruff, itchy scalp treatment
Lavender: Dandruf, itchy scalp treatment, as well as scalp treatments
Peppermint: Great for dry hair, promotes hair growth, stimulates hair growth
Myrrh: Treatment for dry hair, dandruff, and underactive sebaceous glands
Rosemary: Treatment for a flaky and itchy scalp
Ylang Ylang: Great for dandruff treatment
Lemon: Treatment for dry scalp, dandruff, and underactive sebaceous glands, enlivens the scalp.

Note: You can get most of these oils at Healthy U store ranging from Kshs 500 - Kshs 1600

There are loads of other essential oils to choose from. Let us know which ones you subscribe to and your experience with them.
GARDEN REMEDY: Go to your garden and get 3 sprigs of Rosemary, and chop up and add to 3 tea bags of Chamomile tea. Boil gently, let cool, strain and rinse your hair with this liquid for a calming antiflammatory effects. :)

Anti - bacterial hair growth serum
3 drops Tea tree oil
3 drops Peppermint oil
3 drops Rosemary oil
Olive oil
Aloe Vera Gel

Mix all the above in a 50ml bottle and shake before using. Aloe Vera is great for the scalp and encourages hair growth and kills bacteria

Add 2-3 drops of tea tree and peppermint essential oils per dollop of shampoo or conditioner - Shampoo hair with shampoo + essential oil, or add a few drops to your conditioner for an added treat. This helps flaky and itchy scalps. The tingling feeling induced by peppermint oil is an added plus

Nourishing scalp and hair growth mix

Add 3 drops each of the following essential oils to 1/4 cup of Olive Oil: Tea Tree, Rosemary, Lavender. Mix well then add 3 drops of Vitamin E oil. Add to a dark coloured bottle, and store in a cool location. This is a great hair growth and scalp nourishing mix, plus the smell of Lavender is calming. Giving your scalp a massage with this oil before bed will ensure a great nights sleep :-)

Do not use Rosemary oil if you are pregnant or suffer from high blood pressure

Anonymous said...

This post was meant for me!!! My scalp o late has been dry n itchy..... I recently BCed n have been braiding for 2 months now n my scalp is super itchy just 3 days after I wash it. Hope the essential oils do the trick!!!!
Also where can I get vitamin E?
P.s I loooooovvvveee this blog


Kurly said...

Hi Wambui! Gurl there is nothing worse than a scalp that has you feeling like an army of Safari ants are attacking you. I'm sure the EO's will help. You can find pure Vit E oil and capsules at most chemists all over Nairobi. Congratulations with you BC :)

Oyierla said...

So i have itchy flaking scalp and i need a remedy for its been going on for a long time and i hav been almost everything in the market with any results so what would u recommend and where can i get the healthy u stores in nairobi....???/

Anonymous said...

I Love Ylang Ylang and rosemary... works wonders!

Nyachomba said...

Try and get tea tree oil and dilute it with coconut oil..both have anti-bacterial properties which would help your scalp. Healthy U has stores in Yaya Centre, Sarit Centre,Junction etc.

Anonymous said...

Do you think these essential oils and mixtures will help Caucasian dead locks as well? I've been struggling to find resources and my scalp has been really irritated since I've had my dreads (5 months)!!! Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated!

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