Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Winter Survival Part 2 - 10 Tips for Combating a Dry and/or Itchy Scalp.

Picture Borrowed from Internet.

For the last few months I have suffered from a severe case of itchy and dry scalp. I tried all different things to get rid of the horrid feeling but nothing seemed to work. It wasn't until I really sat down and thought about it that I realised that I suffered from the same thing at the same time the year before. I had thought it was because I had my hair in a protective style (crochet twists) for an unexpectedly long time and didn't have a chance to wash my scalp. Although they both may have added to the itch, I have come to believe that it was the cold weather that caused it and the conditions just exacerbated it.

I had a quick research to see if cold weather had affected anyone else's scalp and found so many poor fellow sufferers that I took it for confirmation as they say.

This post I hope to offer some tips and share what I did to combat my dry and itchy scalp in case you or someone you know is also suffering.

Tip 1- Try To Identify The Cause Of The Problem

There are many reasons why our scalp becomes dry and/or itchy. Could it be an allergic reaction? perhaps to a hair product? Is there a medical condition - dandruff, dermatitis or eczema for instance? Could it be possible that there is a parasite problem (sorry!) If you think it is any of the above, the best thing to do would be to see your doctor or get medical advice first and tackle the issue. You may find that the treatment and/or advice is enough to eradicate the itchy scalp.

Tip 2 - Find Out If The Itching Is Causing The Dryness Or The Dryness Is Causing The Itching.

Lol.... sounds like the chicken or the egg question.

It may sound odd but if your hair is dry you may start to itch it. If your scalp is itchy, your scratching can cause it to become dry. If you stop one you can often stop the other.

If your scalp is dry, moisturise it. If your scalp is itchy try and alleviate the itching.

Picture Borrowed from Internet.

Tip 3 - Try Not To Itch/Scratch.

Yes I know..... Very annoying tip.... if you could stop itching you wouldn't.... But., The itching/scratching may feel good for that brief moment but it could actually be causing more problems. When you itch you risk causing damage to the scalp and follicles. You may cause abrasions on the scalp which is bad in itself but they may become inflamed and at worst infected.
The abrasions may not be able to heal properly as you will likely itch the scabs off and reopen the wounds.

Tip 4 - Natural  Products That Help With Itching.

As you may know, I love natural remedies and rustling up handmade products to use on my face, skin and hair as well as around the house so I reached for the following items to help keep the itching at bay;
Aloe Vera Gel - I put this directly on my scalp. It was cooling and also soothing.
Coconut Oil - I applied this to my scalp at night time to help stop the itchies.
Baking Soda - Used as a masque before I washed my hair.
Apple Cider Vinegar - Used as a rinse before washing, added to baking soda to form a paste and/or as a rinse after conditioning.
Rose Water - Spritzed directly on the scalp before washing or used to make a paste with other items.

Tip 5 - Natural Products That Help With Dryness.

There are many remedies and treatments out there but this is what I found helpful.
Coconut Oil - Used as a hot oil treatment
Avocado Oil - Applied to my scalp daily.
Honey and Coconut Milk - Put coconut milk (I like to use it in powder form) and made a masque with Manuka honey allow it to sit on the scalp for a while and then wash hair as usual or you can use it after washing hair as a conditioning treatment.
Amla Powder and Rose water - A lovely soothing and rich masque.

Picture Borrowed from Internet.

Tip 6 - Keep Your Scalp Clean and Avoid Product Buildup.

Another seemingly obvious one. If your scalp is dirty or you have a lot of product buildup, you will be fighting a losing battle. Your scalp needs to be clean and it also needs to breath. Your follicles will also get blocked by dirt and/or products and that will in turn give your scalp a hard time. Get a clarifying shampoo and use it once a month. You can also use natural remedies to clarify your scalp.

Tip 7- Purchase Hair Products Specifically Targeted At Dry And/or Itchy Conditions.

This one may seem obvious but it's often the obvious that goes by without a thought.
There are many products that target dry scalp conditions. Pop along to the hair/beauty shop or browse your fave online store and purchase some items that will help banish your scalp problem. If you're not sure what to get or become overwhelmed, have a look at reviews or go to the section of your favourite brand(s) and see if they have any targeted items.
I followed my gut instinct (and prayer) for most of my purchases. I wanted to use items that were as natural as possible so went for brands with more natural ingredients. I knew that African Black Soap is great for so many issues and I had seen that Shea Moisture had a ABS line so went with items from there. I picked up items from a couple other brands that I love for their natural and/or organic properties. (I will do a post/ review soon)

Tip 8 - Keep Hair Products And Regime(n) Simple.

I found that while my scalp was playing up it was best to keep things simple.
I wasn't sure if the products I was using could be causing the problem or making it worse and as I was using a number of different items for different styles, I purchased some hair products that I thought would help and streamlined my Regime(n) to use them and them alone. I cut back on the amount of manipulation and styling as that could further aggravate my scalp.
I kept wash days very basic, cleanse, deep condition and that was it. A couple times I added a soothing tea rinse.
I kept my hair in two camerow/cane/cornrows  and replaited them every night.
I treated my scalp every night and used specific products every time the itching got bad in the day.
When your scalp is back to normal you can slowly re-introduce products.

Picture Borrowed from Internet.
Tip 9 - Keep Your Relieving Product To Hand At All Times.
Yup another obvious one but also one that slips through. If you have a spray, oil, elixr or other item that you use to relieve the itching/combat the dryness or both, make sure you have it hand at all times. If you are leaving the house bring it with you. You could put it on your desk or in desk draw if at work.... or in your locker if at school/college/uni/work. Put it in your bag if you carry one or even if you don't like bags it's worth carrying one just until your scalp problems subside.
I found that when I didn't have my "reliever" with me I would itch and scratch and itch some more and I would get abrasions which would itch even more and I ended up reopening them(see tip 3 wasn't so annoying after all). By the time I got home I was in a bad way.
When I had my "reliever" at hand I could give my scalp a spritz whenever the dreaded itch striked.

Tip 10 - Take Notes.

I found it helpful to take note of what helped my scalp (and what didn't). It was easy to miss something or take something for granted otherwise. I was able to determine when to use something or even when to stop. You can make a mental note but it will help for any future flare ups if there is a physical note or documentation to look back on.

Bonus Tip!!

You may find that you will have to stop using something that was very helpful as your scalp gets better. The products you are using may be too harsh for a "normal" scalp. I found that the oil I was using was great when the problem was dire but as it calmed down, I would notice a mini flare in itching when I used it. I stopped using it and all was well. You should notice your scalp calming down and then finally stop.

wow!! That was a LOOOOONNNGGG post lol. I hope you found a tip or 2 (or 8 lol) that helps. If you too have suffered from a dry or itchy scalp I'd love to hear what worked for you.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

New Valentine Baby Lips Goodies

Maybelline Baby Lips - Valentine Kiss(15 Pomme D'Amour) and Balm and Blush(02 Flirty Pink)

Hiya!! I thought I'd post to share my happy dance at seeing the new Baby Lips goodies in Superdrug's.

I actually went in for some facial wipes as I had a 50p off coupon (whooop back to couponing!!) and my eyes came across the Maybelline stand alone section....... you know the one with the new or special offer items on.... the one that grabs you and then allows it's items to jump into your basket? yes that one lol.

There were a few different products on the stand but what grabbed my attention were the Baby Lips items. The normal balm has been given a shimmery addition and are called Valentine Kiss Balms.
The colours/shades I saw were  Candy Kiss, Pomme D'amour (the one I chose) and I think another one but I cannot remember it now!! I'll edit if I find out.

The item that really got me smiling was the new Balm and Blush!! The packaging is soooo cute. I love the shape of the handle. The colours/shades I saw were:
Flirty Pink(the one I chose), Innocent Peach, Booming Ruby and Bronze Shimmer.

I was trying to be good and the offer was BOGOHP so I took the two.
I do think I'll get a couple of the Balm and Blushes over the next couple of weeks as the red one looked nice and I deffo want to try the bronze shimmer, I tend to wear golds and bronzes a lot.

I have tried the Balm and Blush (in Flirty Pink) and I love it.
* texture: very nice, it's creamy and smooth with a slight  glossy feeling but not greasy in any way. The ball shape makes it glide over the lips.
* fragrance: light and fruity.
*appearance: sheer with a light wash of colour. Very natural.

swatched on back of hand.....very pale today, have flu please excuse the veins
*packaging: I love the packaging!! It looks absolutely lovely, in fact it was the packaging that caught my eye. The handle looks and feels lovely, the shape makes it easy to open. I like that the lid is transparent so you can see the balm, great for before you buy and nice to look at too. The writting comes in different colours for each shade. I feel the packaging is quite unique, there are a few "ball" shaped balms on the market that seem to follow the style of the EOS balms. I haven't seen any that look like the B&B one.

Maybelline Blush and Balm Flirty Pink - Open
*value for money: I feel the price could definitely be better. It costs £4.99 at Superdrug. I feel that's a little pricey but the product will last long and you don't have to apply it too often throughout the day.
*wearability: (is that a word?) The balm is long wearing which I love, some balms need re-applying so often. The B&B is moisturising and leaves a pleasant film. It's not at all sticky. I tried drinking with it to see how it goes up against that and it's still on my lips with out the need to re-apply any.
As of now, I haven't tried it on my cheeks as I haven't worn make up this week but from the swatch on the back of my hand, I can tell it's going to last well. My hand has a lovely glow and I needed to wipe it well with my finger to try and get the swatch off, my hand feels so soft!! After removing the swatch my hand remained very soft and the fragrance is still there.

Please tell me I'm not the only one with a "thing" for the baby lips?! I also picked up a few of the Christmas editions in December lol.