Mon | Apr 6, 2020

Grow with Jo | Scalp salvation

Published:Monday | October 10, 2016 | 12:00 AMJody-Anne Lawrence
Pure, natural coconut oil – very helpful in relieving itchy, dry skin.

DIY Jo is here to take care of you from root to sole. Not a dermatologist or doctor, but having eczema and acne, plus a love for my hair, through trial and error, I have found some tried and proven methods and all-natural concoctions that work wonders for me. And what is a sisterhood if not sharing right?

This week I tackle the scalp. As I said, I have eczema, so my scalp flaking has always been a problem. As a child, my poor mother tried everything. The only thing that offered some temporary relief was aloe vera, which she would rub all over my scalp.

The stress during university created havoc on my hair and it started to break, and I shed like a snake (large clumps that you could just peel off my scalp). Something had to be done.

I started doing research and realised that anything with mineral oil was an absolute no-no for my natural tresses. Washing my hair with hot water was also causing more harm than good because it further dried out my scalp. Hair oils with petroleum jelly did not work for me either, and eliminating it from my regime was a life changer.

So what did I use? I started seeing coconut oil, this and Jamaican black castor oil. I must admit that at first I was not enthused to try either. I like my hair smelling like flowers, not fried dumplings, and we all know what castor oil smells like. Even so, the two did not fully work on their own. Then I discovered tea tree oil, and again I must say not the best of aromas as it smelt like something to clear the sinuses, but thankfully, the smell does not linger for very long.

When I mixed the three and used it on my scalp every other day, I saw a remarkable difference. I also tried the mixture as a hot oil treatment, which also works very well. And if you are like me and not very disciplined when it comes to a hair regimen, when you do the hot oil treatment, you can just oil the scalp twice a week with the mixture and you are good to go.

When mixing, you can use equal amounts of castor and coconut oils. Only a few drops of tea tree oil is needed; it will give you a slight tingle.

If using as a hot oil treatment, apply the mixture to your scalp only, or replace the tea tree oil with argan oil and apply to your strands as well. Tea tree oil does not work well with everyone's strands, mine included, so I recommend applying it only to your scalp.

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