#1: My Hairy Episode
Yup. That is how I feel right about now. This is going to be a long three fold post. I am sure it will be ridiculously boring to most people but since this a forum all about the woes and wees of curly hair, I figure it might be entertaining to someone. Or maybe some of you guys can relate and offer some tips.
Okay. It is 8 on a Sunday morning and the reason I'm awake is I was unable to sleep through the night thanks to my dry burning super irritated itchy scalp. I had my very first episode ever of dry scalp three weeks into CG. My whole life I've never had dry or itchy scalp so long as I washed every three days or so. I've never had an oily scalp either. It was just normal and I thought healthy. But then after I started co-washing the itchy scalp hit! I did not panic. I just figured my scalp was "healing" like it mentioned in the CG handbook. So I did a brown sugar scrub and massaged coconut oil into the scalp and ahhhhh, instant relief. (Short-lived though.) Since then I have been doing that scrub and oil routine maybe once a week to keep the itchies away and it was working for the most part. I get the itchies on the every other day I don't co-wash of course but if it was too bad I'd just co-wash at night and rinse and style the following morning so it evened out.
So then yesterday morning happened. I should preface this by saying I live in LA so arid climate. It was also an unusually cold day. And thirdly I have also been testing out ecostyler with argan oil which I know is glycerin and protein heavy but my hair hasn't seemed to be sensitive to any styling product's ingredients so far so I wasn't worried. I'm pretty sure my properties are normal. (Medium texture, normal porosity and elasticity.) Plus the ecostyler works well. I woke up with half decent hair already, wet it and restyled it with a tad more ecostyler. I then set out for my big day reuniting with a straight haired friend I hadn't seen in a while. Later that evening she paid me the kindest compliment I've received since I started wearing my hair curly again. She said my hair was beautiful and that she was jealous because hers was so boring. Um, yes? As a girl who coveted straight hair once upon a time I cannot tell you how wonderful that was to hear. And of course her hair is not boring; it is gorgeous and I told her so! But still it was nice to hear the grass was greener on my side for once.
Cut to even later in the evening when I made the mistake to scratch the itch that I'd been doing my best to ignore all day. After my long day out I just wanted to sleep. But I couldn't! It was driving me crazy. I got up and massaged my scalp with coconut oil. Went back to bed. Still no sleep or relief. Around 5 am I gave up, got some brown sugar and got in the shower. That is when the trouble started. My hair was dry. DRY DRY DRY! Since I've turned CG my hair has been so soft and luscious and seaweed like it turns to silk the instant I wet it. Now it was rough, tangled, and super starchy. It was terrible! I scrubbed my scalp with sugar and conditioner and then tried to run a finger through my hair after rinsing and I couldn't! A real first. I put a ton, I mean a TON of As I Am co-wash on the rest of my hair and let it sit for ten minutes and still I could barely get my comb through my hair. Took almost another ten to detangle.
So what was going on? Am I protein sensitive? That doesn't seem likely. Unless I'm wrong about my properties. Or was it just that the glycerin and the climate dried out my hair? Or could it be a combination of both?
And regarding the dry scalp: even after all that it still feels somewhat irritated. I came on here and went on a a research bender and learned some new things as I always do. Quite a few actually.
One: My As I Am Coconut Co-wash contains a preservative called methylisothiazolinone that is anti fungal and anti bacterial and is known to cause dry scalp. That... sucks. This is the only cowash I use and I love the way it makes my curls look. I was planning of trying out a more natural product anyways but given the results I was still going to repurchase this stuff. But I guess I can't use it to "clean" my scalp anymore. I only have a little left as I've been using it prety consistently so maybe I'll use the rest for my ends while I nurse my hair back to health.
Two: Co-washing so frequently can be counterproductive. It sends a signal to your scalp that it doesn't have to produce sebum because you're plugging in the moisture manually and artificially. Maybe I should co-wash less or add a low-poo. I don't know. But co-washing is so good to my curls though!
Three: A lot of the ingredients in my kinky curly products are good to my scalp. I think I'll switch back to these as stylers since they are glycerin and protein free to see if I can get my hair back to the way it was by the end of the week because right now it is like straw. Just like before CG.
Okay I'm done. Except for this... Does anybody know of a good low-poo or co-wash I can use that is glycerin and protein free? I may go get the giovanni or trader joes tea tree ones to treat my scalp but since my hair is so dry at the moment I was contemplating the Shea Moisture line too. Also Shea Moisture has great ingredients and no nasty preservatives.
Oh, and this! If anybody knows off the top of their head of any other ingredients that are super bad for my scalp I'm all ears. I would like to research some more now but I'm tired and my poor scalp is sore so I'm gonna sleep for half a day so I'll recover before the work week.