I like to think I treat my skin well. I exfoliate, moisturise, buff and polish myself. I do this from head to foot making sure every last inch has been pampered to within an inch of its life. Well, nearly every last inch. I've never really bothered with my scalp.
My poor, abused, malnourished and attention starved scalp. How could I have left you out for so many years as you screamed for attention. All the signs were there as you reached out for me in desperation, dryness, itchiness, oiliness and I just ignored you.
I had also noticed that my hair was getting greasier much faster than normal. I spoke to my hairdresser about it and it turned out that the cleansing shampoo's were removing so much oil from my hair that my scalp was overcompensating to put it back. It was putting the overtime hours in, but as fast as it churned it out I would wash it again, so it would roll its sleeves up and have another go.
If that isn't a vicious circle of scalp hatred I'm not sure what is.
I needed a remedy and quickly. Once again the internet provided the answer for my home made beauty treatment - a heavily moisturising hair and scalp mask. There are a lot of variations of this out there and I choose one that would be relatively simple to make and use from The Mother Huddle (mine isn't nearly as thick as hers so don't worry if yours is a bit drippy on the cotton wool).
Next I melted about half a tub (4 tablespoons) of the coconut oil in the microwave for a few seconds in a heat proof bowl and then added 3-4 drops of rosemary oil (increases circulation to the scalp and stimulates new growth) and 1-2 drops of tea tree oil (its anti-septic properties will help keep your hair follicles healthy and kill any nasties lurking on your head). The coconut oil, apart from being deeply moisturising and smelling divine also helps remove product build up, negating the need for those cleansing shampoo's which were stripping my hair so badly of its natural protection.
Quick note - make sure you are not allergic to any of these, never use essential oils without diluting them in a carrier oil and don't use them if you are pregnant apparently!
I used cotton balls and dunked them into the mixture, then applied it across my scalp by parting my hair in various places. You need to make sure your entire scalp is covered obviously! Once I had finished I gave myself a head massage with my fingers to ensure the oil was rubbed in, then applied the remainder to the rest of my hair as a mask and pinned the whole lot up. My hair is very thick and down to my shoulder blades and this quantity was about right for me.
I left it on for just over an hour (20 minutes should be fine) then washed it out with a nourishing coconut milk shampoo and conditioner. It washes out easily and doesn't leave your hair greasy or claggy at all - if anything it was lighter and more bouncy than normal! I chose this particular shampoo as it has egg white proteins in it and a huge number of hair treatments include egg whites as the proteins are very beneficial for your hair.
I would recommend doing this on a monthly basis. Other benefits should include faster hair growth and hair that is generally in better condition!
The cost was very good value. The pot of coconut oil was £2.95 and will last for 2 treatments. You can buy much bigger tubs at places like Holland and Barrett. I had the tea tree oil already (The Body Shop) and the rosemary oil was about £8 but will last forever. The shampoo and conditioner were about £5 in total.
I'm really pleased with the results of this treatment and it's one I will definitely be adding to my monthly routine!