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Natural Hair Care: DIY Scalp Treatment
Why Scalp Treatments?
Scalp treatments are, for some reason, completely underrepresented in the beauty world. Think about it, though: just like your nails will be stronger and smoother when your cuticles are taken care of, so your hair will grow stronger and longer with a healthy, cared for scalp. Plus, scalp issues lead to dandruff and itchiness, and that ain't sexy.
More benefits of scalp treatment:
- It removes any buildup of products or grime
- It scrubs away dead, flaky skin that causes dandruff or itching
- It moisturizes the scalp, just plain making it feel better (especially in dry winter months)
- By stimulating circulation to the scalp, it speeds hair growth
- By removing all this buildup of product, grime, and dead skin that may be clogging hair follicles this can also treat problems with hair loss
I hadn't even heard of the notion until my hairdresser told me about it. Once she explained the benefits, I tried it at home and looooved the results. Of course, it's way more fun and relaxing to have someone else do it for you (who doesn't love getting a scalp massage?) but you can do it on your own no problem and it's still pretty great.
Luckily this is a super easy DIY and chances are you've got everything you need already waiting for you! The only thing you might need is a brush - I did. (With my super curly hair I've never bothered owning one, there's really no point.)
- A brush.
In a perfect world this would be an all-natural scalp treatment bristle brush. If you're keeping it vegan, of course you won't want the animal-hair brush. A nylon brush works just fine. What you're looking for here is something with slightly rounded bristles to make it easier to massage into your scalp.
- An application brush or cotton balls.
An application brush is that fancy brush hairdressers use to put hair dye and highlights in. It's great if you happen to have one, since these make it easy to get right into the scalp (that's why hairdressers use them), but cotton balls work juuuust fine. I even just use my fingers sometimes.
- A small bowl to mix everything up in.
The basic idea of a scalp treatment is to use something moisturizing (and since we're going all-natural here, that would be an oil) and something astringent/clarifying. To that end, you can mix coconut oil and some lemon and be done with it! But there are other options. Here's the recipe I got from my hairdresser that I generally work with:
- Coconut oil
This is the primary ingredient of the mixture. It comes inexpensively from any grocery store and has loads of benefits (slightly antiseptic, penetrates deep into hair follicle, and is rich in lauric acid, which has a high affinity for hair proteins, making it a great conditioner). You can also use olive oil, jojoba oil, or your other favourite beauty oil.
- Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil has antiseptic and anti fungal properties, making it great for killing dandruff and anything else that might make your scalp itch.
- Rosemary oil
This stimulates hair follicles (helping your hair grow stronger and lingers) and some people say that it helps prevent greys (although I wouldn't get too hung up on that, it's fun to think about.)
- Lemon juice
Lemon juice is known for being exfoliating and breaking down build-up. You can actually just massage it into your scalp on its own, but that isn't nearly as dreamy as this whole process. Using it on its own can actually be quite irritating.
- Grapefruit juice
This one I consider the most "optional" out of all of them. Grapefruit juice is also known to boost circulation, remove dandruff, and treat dandruff. I also never have it just lying around and feel like the other ingredients do that too. I do have some grapefruit extract essential oils, and sometimes I add a couple of drops of that to the mix. It also smells soooo good.
The recipe is easy, quick, natural, and vegan!
4 tbsp coconut oil (or other oil of choice)
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp grapefruit juice (or just use another tbsp of lemon juice)
2-4 drops tea tree oil
3-4 drops rosemary oil
Here's how you go about making your DIY scalp treatment happen:
- Start with dry hair (doesn't matter if it's clean or not). Take your brush and starting at the top of the head, press down into the scalp and rotate it across while pushing down, pulling off at the end. Think massage, here, not too much force! We are loosening that dry skin and getting circulation going. It should feel good. (If you have curly hair like mine, you'll need to straight up brush through your hair first to make this possible.) Repeat this all across the scalp, parting your hair if you need to.
- Part hair down the centre and apply the mixture using your application brush or cotton ball. Move over one inch to the side, part all the way down and apply again, going all across the head until you have covered the entire scalp.
- Massage time! Rub that stuff in, massaging all over your scalp. Breathe and relax while you do it!
- Now let it sit for about 20 minutes.
- Next just wash and condition it out as usual, and enjoy how soft your hair is and how lovely your scalp feels.
After you finish your scalp treatment, your scalp should feel soft and moisturized, and your hair nice and shiny soft. It's a glorious feeling! There are tons of other recipes out there - some use mashed up bananas, mayonnaise, or egg. I've tried doing banana and mayo hair treatments in the past, and personally did not find the benefit outweighed the smell (mayo) or hassle. I found them hard to work with. That's why I love this treatment - the coconut oil is super easy to work with, the whole thing smells divine, and it's just plain easy and relaxing. After all, your home beauty routine shouldn't gross you out, should it?
You can do your scalp treatment as often as once a week, and at least once a month is recommended for ideal results!