By Leah Fletcher
After the dry winter season transitions into spring, restoring your hair’s natural luster and moisture is key. Professional stylist will tell you preparing your hair properly for a new season starts with a healthy scalp.
While African American women sport a range of hair textures, from straight and wavy to curly, coiled and kinky, many struggle to maintain a healthy moisture level at the scalp. Curlier textures are prone to dryness, and women who straighten and or/color their hair expose it to harsh chemicals that can further dehydrate the scalp, according to Michelle O’Connor, a Florida-based celebrity stylist. The scalp suffers when impacted by cold weather, indoor heating and cooling and wearing winter hats, she added.
The ethnic hair specialist noted that a healthy scalp is important no matter what type of hair you have. Your scalp is made up of several pores that control hair growth and need to be taken care of for healthy hair growth. An unhealthy scalp may lead to infection and even hair loss, she held, advising that you take note of your scalp the next time you engage in your hair regimen.
Following are some healthy hair care guidelines to ensure your hair is healthy for spring.
Shampooing removes excess build up
Wash your hair once every seven to 10 days to prevent your hair and scalp from drying out. The primary reason African American women wash their hair bi-weekly instead of daily is because it takes longer for muted oils to appear than they do in women of other ethnicities. Because African American hair is oftentimes dry, course and/or thick, oiling the scalp prevents dandruff, an itchy scalp and dry skin. Hair oil also increases hair growth.
Apply shampoo with your fingertips and never rub it into your scalp with your finger nails. Rub the shampoo into the roots of your hair and scalp by messaging it with your fingers. Start at the perimeter of your hair and work your way toward the center of your head. Rinse your hair completely. Use a clarifying shampoo about twice a month to remove excess build up.
Conditioning: Locks in Moisture
Apply a conditioner to your hair after every shampoo. It will lock the moisture into your hair follicles as well as your scalp. Section off your hair and apply the conditioner to each section. Comb out each section with a wide-tooth comb, from root to tip. Rinse out the conditioner completely. Also consider a leave-in conditioner once a week.
Hair Oils: A scalp’s best friend
There are an assortment of natural and essential oils designed to moisturize your hair and enhance its growth. Some of the more popular are tea tree oil, olive oil, vitamin E oil, coconut oil, and jojoba oil. There also are commercially prepared oils. Add a small amount of oil to your hands and rub it into your scalp. Message the oil into your scalp with your finger tips for three to five minutes. After your scalp has been completely oiled, brush your hair to blend the oil into the scalp, through the hair, and to the edges.
Avoid being too generous with hair oil. Too much will make it difficult to comb your hair. If using hair grease, dip your index finger into the oil using only enough to fully oil the scalp. Thick hair grease may be used to evenly oil the scalp. Hair lotion might be better for damaged ends, but it is difficult to oil the scalp on your own because the hair lotion tends to drip over the fingers, into the hair but not into the scalp.