wash n go for length

Scalp Psoriasis and Natural Hair

www.curlyincolorado.com scalp psoriasis natural hairThe fall and winter tends to be the time of year when we hear more about protective styling.  With the colder temperatures and drop in humidity, a lot of naturals will do this in order to protect their tresses.  I admire all of the different styles from braids to twists and pretty up dos.  However, this is usually the time when I really just want to hide my hair from view.  That is because I suffer from scalp psoriasis which tends to last over a long period, beginning in the fall and lasting into the winter.

There is plenty of information online regarding psoriasis.  In my case it shows up on my scalp and skin in small spots that spread out over time.  Years ago, I sought treatment and advice from medical professionals who unfortunately did not help me to understand the condition.  They prescribed steroid creams which led to my worst spell with psoriasis ever.  Later, I found out that psoriasis is an auto immune disease which means the immune system is out of whack somehow.  Since the digestive tract makes up about 70 percent of the immune system, I tend to focus my efforts there.  I do this by eating a diet rich in clean foods and focus on staying hydrated.  I’ll explain more on my diet and supplements in another post.

The tricky thing about having scalp psoriasis while having thick, curly, natural hair is that the flaking that develops can be hard to get rid of.  Using oils can reduce the appearance of flakes but can also increase the production of them.  This means I end up cleansing my hair and scalp more often.

I try to stay away from harsh shampoos during this time because the frequent washing is already a lot of manipulation on my hair.  Sulfate based shampoo leaves my hair feeling stripped and can lead to tangling.  When I cleanse my scalp with a sulfate shampoo I try to follow it up with a pH balanced shampoo or an apple cider vinegar rinse.  I’ll do this once a week and then use a sulfate free shampoo on other days.  I end up cleansing my hair and scalp up to three times per week in total.

As far as protective styling goes I’ve found that wearing hats and wigs are the most comfortable for me right now.  I don’t have to worry about flakes being visible when I’m out which is a boost for my confidence.  Other times, a wash and go style is my go-to because it is quick and easy.  I also don’t worry as much about the frequent washing because I usually refresh the style every two or three days.

Read Here for  How I Clear Up My Psoriasis with Diet and Supplements

wash n go for length

Fighting Hair Breakage with Olive Oil and Coconut Oil

www.curlyincolorado.com fight hair breakage olive oil coconut oilIf you follow my Instagram page@mitchellzee, then you already know that I have been experiencing some breakage lately.  I have already taken steps to help strengthen my hair with protein.  For this I went back to my trusty Aphogee 2 Minute Reconstructor but I also picked up some Cantu Shea Butter Leave-in.  Both products claim to help strengthen damaged hair so I figured they may be what my hair needs right now.

When I started examining my hair regimen over the past couple of months though I noticed that I had been shampooing more often.  Now, I’m not afraid to cleanse my hair with shampoo because I’ll sometimes use an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse afterwards to help restore my hair’s pH level.  Recently though I was skipping this step altogether.   I also started using a cheapie Suave shampoo with sulfates and silicones instead of my staple, Elasta QP’s Creme Conditioning shampoo.  I like using shampoo once per week because my scalp does not feel as clean with other products.  That’s why I decided I should start using oils to give my hair extra moisture and protection from the drying effects of the shampoo.

First, I used the Aphogee 2 Minute Reconstructor in the shower for a few minutes after cleansing my hair with Suave’s Almond Shea Butter shampoo.   The Aphogee products are protein based so I used this to help with breakage and split end prevention.  I hadn’t used it in a while but I remembered having the best results on clean hair.  After that I did a moisturizing deep conditioning treatment using coconut oil and Tresemme Naturals conditioner.  I sat under the dryer with a plastic cap for about thirty minutes.  Aftwerwards, my hair felt like buttah!  It was so much easier to detangle than before so this was definitely a winner.  

www.curlyincolorado.com fight hair breakage olive oil coconut oil
I’m using Olive and Coconut
Oils for moisture and conditioning

The following week I tried a pre-shampoo (pre-poo) treatment with olive oil.  This was just to ensure that my shampoo wouldn’t strip my hair during the washing process.  I also applied the oil to my scalp and massaged it in thouroughly to treat any dryness or flaking.  After using shampoo and conditioner I used the olive oil again with the Cantu Shea Butter leave-in and put my hair into plaits.  The resulting braid out was fab-u-lous!

My hair this week is feeling much more pliable and moisturized than before.  Right now I’m looking for a new shampoo that is not as drying.  Otherwise, I will continue to use the coconut and olive oils consistently over the next few months.   I really want to start retaining more of my length this year.  I can see that the oils will play a big part in helping me achieve my goals.

wash n go for length

My Staple Hair Products

As a follow-up to my No Heat Challenge video, I decided to let everyone know what hair products I’ll be using over the next few months.  It turns out that I feel the most comfortable sticking with what I know.  That brings us to what I would consider my “Staple” products.  These are the things that I keep coming back to after trying other products.  Sure, sometimes I like to change things up a bit, but right now I have this desire to just keep it simple.

MY YOUTUBE VIDEO ABOUT THE HAIR PRODUCTS 
I’LL BE USING FOR THE 
4 MONTH NO HEAT CHALLENGE

One thing I want to mention, that is not shown in the video, are my moisturizers.  I’m still in love with the Hollywood Beauty Olive Creme but I’m also using the Elasta QP Mango and Olive moisturizer.  Otherwise, everything else is in the video.  You can also take a look at what’s listed in the tab above named “Hair Regimen” to see some of the things I do on a weekly basis.

wash n go for length

My Sort-a Kind-a Curly Girl Method

Earlier this summer I mentioned in one of my YouTube videos that I was not a fan of the Curly Girl method (CG) because it seemed to do a number on my scalp.  I have issues with dry scalp off and on throughout the year.  This year it seemed to really flare up when I started this method because of the constant conditioner only washing.  Well, I’m still dealing with it now but have gone back to wearing my hair curly everyday.

Curls Up-close

I’m not following the CG method exactly but I just don’t see the point in wearing stretched styles when I know my scalp needs to be cleansed more often.  However, I did learn a few things from Lorraine Massey’s book, Curly Girl, the Handbook

There is one step that I learned from the book which helps immensely with my new daily washing/co-washing routine.  It’s called a, “pre-cleanse”.  With this step you just apply conditioner or sulfate free shampoo prior to getting in the shower to wash your hair (book version).  I altered this method a little because I prefer to apply loads of cheapie conditioner like Suave’s Naturals Coconut (my staple) instead of the amount suggested.  I do this in sections and it really helps me to pull out shed hairs and tangles.  It also elongates my hair which is usually shrunken up into a tight curly fro from the day before.

I’m still using sulfate shampoo and my favorite leave-in conditioner (Paul Mitchell’s The Conditioner) which has silicones in the ingredients list.  For this reason I can’t say that I’m abiding by the “rules” outlined in the book.  Sulfates and Silicones are big no-no’s with this method but I make sure to use Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) rinses to help resolve any issues there.  Not only does the ACV help remove build-up but it also helps my hair to return back to a normal pH after using the shampoo.  This is important because this leaves my hair more manageable by closing the cuticle layer back down.  It also helps with moisture retention.  I love ACV rinses!

My hair is definitely benefitting from all of the moisture it has been getting.  I have been rockin’ wash n’ gos for six weeks straight and can’t really see myself quitting anytime soon.  I usually do my hair at night so I’m not too worried about having wet hair in the mornings when I head out.  Hopefully I will begin to see tons of growth and length retention in the upcoming months.

wash n go for length

Review: Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy-Ultra Shea Shampoo

At the beginning of the summer I was sent some products for review.  When I agreed to give my feedback,  I was not aware of which products I would be receiving in the mail.  I was very happy to see that they were from the new Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy line.  I saw this line in stores and was wondering if the products would work for my scalp.

I have scalp psoriasis which tends to show up during the drier months (usually wintertime).  For some reason though, I started seeing a lot of flaking and irritation in the spring when I was on the tail end of my Curly Girl Method trial.  When the products arrived in the mail I was primed and ready for something to relieve me of my scalp woes.  I’ll do the review in two parts for the shampoo and conditioner.  The other products were not used for long enough to make a difference in my scalps’ condition therefore I do not have an opinion on them.

Ultra Shea Cleanse & Nourish Shampoo

Ingredients

Water (Aqua), Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Dimethiconol, Glycol Distearate, Sodium Chloride, Fragrance, Carbomer, Dimethicone, Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate, Zinc Pyrithione, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, DMDM Hydantoin, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Stearic Acid, Citric Acid, Tallow Acid or Palmitic Acid, Zinc Sulfate, TEA Dodecylbenzenesulfonate, Sodium Isethionate, Poloxamer 407, Laureth 23, Laureth 4, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, PEG 9M, Hydrogenated Coconut Oil, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Elaeis Guineenis (Palm) Oil, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Xanthan Gum, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Methylisothiazolinone, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Mica (CI 77019), Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491)  

Claims

  • Proven to lock in moisture and provide long lasting nourishment for extra dry scalps
  • Gently cleanses to remove product build-up and allow scalp to breathe
  • Formulated with Nutrium 10™ Moisture Lock system, a rich blend of shea butter and natural oils, including vitamin E, sunflower, coconut, almond, soybean, argan, and palm


Upon first use I felt that the shampoo was heavenly.  The sulfate gave it a very rich, velvety lather.  My hair did not feel stripped like with other sulfate shampoos.  The sweet almond and vanilla scent reminded me of the Suave Professionals Almond and Shea products.  It did not linger on the hair although it was very fragrant while shampooing.  My initial reaction was that I would definitely think to use this product again whenever I needed to cleanse my hair and scalp.  After several washes, all weeks apart, I realized that the product was not doing anything to help with my itchy, flaky scalp.  My husband also has dry scalp but not to the same degree as my psoriasis.  He stated that he did notice some improvement while using the shampoo.  This led me to believe that the product may work for those who have mild scalp irritations.  Something like scalp psoriasis may require something stronger and more effective in treating scalp conditions.  

Overall, I do consider this a shampoo that works well with thicker textured hair like mine.  However, I did not notice any improvement with my dry scalp.   I am currently using milder shampoos that also provide cleansing without stripping.  I do not feel as if I will be purchasing this product in the future only because of the sulfate and silicones present in the ingredients list.