Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Hair and skin update

One of my co-workers has a sister who braids and twists natural hair, so now I have two options!

I tried the methods I discussed in my last post: the avocado/mayo deep conditioning, and the witch hazel/jojoba oil scalp cleaning and conditioning. While my hair felt very silky right after the deep conditioning, it seemed frizzier than normal after it dried. I'm uncertain whether to blame this on the witch hazel, but after using it, an almost forgotten old friend returned: dandruff!

I washed my hair with baking soda a few days later followed by an apple cider vinegar rinse, and the dandruff went away. I've decided that I'll deep condition with hot oil instead (by warming up olive oil in the microwave, applying it to my hair, and covering with a shower cap for a half hour, then rinsing out), and I'll return to my old scalp treatment: cleaning itchy spots with white vinegar on a cotton ball, followed by applying pure aloe vera gel to moisturize.

Jojoba oil ($6.99 at Trader Joe's for 8 oz; also available but more expensive at natural and health food stores) does have other great uses, however. It's perfect for removing eye makeup (apply to a cotton ball), and for moisturizing and reducing the appearance of fine lines around the eyes (apply with your pinky or ring finger, since those are your gentlest fingers). I use it at night, because it looks shiny on the skin.

Note on the use of vinegar on the hair: it has a strong smell when you first use it, but it goes away after you rinse it out. Even when you're not rinsing (as when I clean my scalp with vinegar on a cotton ball), the smell dissipates after a few minutes. Vinegar, I've found, is a great deodorizer: use it on something that smells bad (say, your garbage can). After you rinse, the scent that remains is very fresh and clean.

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