It's officially protective style season. During the colder months of the year, I enjoy tucking away my curls in braids or twists for a number of reasons. They get a break from my constant manipulation, which involves cocktailing multiple products. In turn, all of the many products piled on my scalp usually induces a more frequent need for co-washes, which may result in limper or over-hydrated curls. 

These three easy, at-home recipes help me keep my scalp free of any build-up and dirt

While my ends can take advantage of the many benefits of a protective style, my scalp is left exposed for the most part (unless I wear a headwrap or hat that day). These three easy at-home recipes will help me keep my scalp free of any build-up and dirt caused from environmental factors. Even if you don't have protective style twists in, these DIYs are great for alleviating excessively dry, itchy scalps that usually happen during the winter time, too. 

Baking Soda Clarifier

  • What you need: 8 oz. hot water and 1 tablespoon of baking soda

Directions

  1. Mix baking soda with hot water and stir or shake until well dissolved.
  2. You can use a funnel and put this in a container like a squirt bottle.
  3. Wet hair well, rub in some of the baking soda and mix into your scalp well.
  4. Rinse thoroughly with tepid water.
  5. Optional: Add some warmed up avocado oil to replenish the lost moisture this recipe might have given you.

Why it works

While you will have to  normalize your pH
 after using baking soda as a clarifier, it is an extremely affordable and accessible option for rinsing your scalp.

Apple Cider Vinegar & Aloe Rinse

  • What you need: 4 oz. aloe vera juice, 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (ACV), 8 oz. distilled water

Directions

  1. Heat the juice, ACV, and water over medium heat until it forms a gooey, thick consistency.
  2. Remove and let it cool for about an hour (store in the fridge in an airtight bottle to speed up the process).
  3. Apply the rinse from roots to ends.
  4. Gently rub the mixture into your scalp till the water is clear and the residue is gone.
  5. Rinse each section in cool to tepid water.

Why I like it 

Another affordable and healthier route, aloe is also extremely soothing to an over-manipulated scalp and rids any inflammation that a tight protective style can sometimes cause me. ACV is also rich in the enzymes that prevent bad bacteria and fungus from forming or thriving in between washes.

Chia Seeds & Rosemary Exfoliator Mask

  • What you need: 2 tablespoons chia seeds, 2 cups distilled water, 5 drops of rosemary essential oil, clean empty glass bottle with a cork

Directions

  1. Mix all ingredients well.
  2. Apply to the scalp.
  3. Gently massage with the pads of your fingers in circular motions for about 2 minutes straight.
  4. Rinse thoroughly with tepid water.
  5.  Optional: Add a teaspoon of warmed avocado oil to restore your scalp if it is dry at this time.

Why it works

Two active benefits in chia seeds, zinc and copper, are known to promote hair growth deep within the follicle. I also like the gentler scrubbing feeling it gives my scalp--as opposed to exfoliating with a harsh sugar that might make my scalp feel even more inflamed.

What do you use to clarify your scalp while your hair is in protective style twists or braids?

Pictured: yours truly (Devri) by Monique Rodriguez