Grease Be Gone!

aloeA dear relative with curly hair reminded me of a problem I’d been having until recently. With the changing climate from season to season our skin must find ways to adapt; scalp oil production varies, causing all kinds of fun things: dandruff, oily scalp, hair breakage, flatness, frizz. You know the deal, why am I telling you?

My number-one method when this happens is to switch up the products I’m using. Most often the culprit is your styling aide; gel, mousse, cream, what have you, and all you have to do is find something that is similar in make-up but not exactly the same. For example, if a light gel like DevaCurl’s Angel works for you on the norm, try switching to Ouidad’s Climate Control gel or Curl Junkies’ Curls in a Bottle. If you’re more of a Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding sort of gal, try Living Proof No Frizz Styling Cream or Ouidad’s Hydrafusion Curl Cream. On the cheaper side, anyone with curls or waves will gain major benefits from the use of edible aloe vera gel. You can buy this at most health food stores or online, and must keep it refrigerated after opening. It doesn’t supply as much hold as the alternatives so you have to be comfortable with a less defined look, but it’s au naturel and makes hair super shiny and frizz-free. It can also serve as a great leave-in conditioner! If your scalp is a bit dry or flakey, rub some into it during your shower and rinse it out at the end.

Remember: If your scalp is getting oily or itchy after its been a dedicated shampoo-free zone for more than a few months, there’s usually some small tweak you can make to fix it. Don’t despair. If the problem seems to be scalp-related, try switching up your conditioners and any other products. As long as you’re water/finger washing your hair with conditioner every week and using a safe ‘poo-alternative every other week or so, you shouldn’t need anything more than a minor regimen shift. Bonus: You can always return to your original products when the newer ones stop doing their job.

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That’s a Wrap!

Click image to enlarge. That guy sticking up in the middle is the Freedom Tower, lit up with some patriotic red white and blue!

Last night I had the pleasure of attending a swanky hair blogger party hosted by Ojon in the penthouse of The Standard in New York City’s East Village. In addition to some excellent cocktails and a stellar view (at right), I learned so much more about curl textures very different than my own — my new-found knowledge will soon be cultivated into some interesting posts — and I immediately had to share an awesome product that I will be trying as soon as it arrives in the mail.

While speaking to a lovely woman from Essence.com about the perils of properly deep-conditioning at home, I mentioned how sad I am that I can’t fit my portable hood dryer into my Brooklyn apartment. She told me about the Hair Therapy Wrap, which essentially does the same thing as hooded dryers:

Courtesy amazon.com

You apply the deep conditioner or oil treatment, her favorite was Curl Junkie’s Curl Rehab, and microwave this thick towel-like cap until it’s nice and steamy. Then you put it on over your greased-up hair and leave it as long as you want. The thickness and something about the material retains heat really well, which is why it’s better than a regular old towel. Also, it won’t slip off as easily.

I’ll write another update once I’ve tried it myself, but I have high hopes! What a great solution to an often-messy problem.