Many naturals prefer not to shampoo their hair due to concerns about dryness, sulfates and other alcohol components normally found in shampoo. However, many don't know there are alternatives to using "regular" shampoo. Most companies now make sulfate and alcohol-free shampoos, shampoo bars which are made from an oil base, such as glycerin ( a humectant-used in products to moisturize dry or damaged hair), olive oil or coconut oil.
Others prefer to co-wash, which means "washing or cleansing the hair with conditioner" and they refuse to use any shampoo in their hair at all, but Nicole Harmon of Hair Liberty states "your shampoo may be the most important product in your arsenal. I say that because a good shampoo keeps your scalp healthy (which means better hair growth) and makes your hair easier to comb. A bad shampoo will lead to drier hair, scalp irritation and unstoppable frizz. You NEED a good shampoo in your life!" I agree with her!
Since taking care of your scalp is super important to the health and growth of your hair, let's discuss some facts about your scalp.
The sebaceous (oil) glands that are a part of your hair follicle produce sebum, which is the hair and skin's natural oil. Audrey Davis-Sivasothy, author of the book "The Science of Black Hair" states "The healthy scalp produces about an ounce of sebum every one hundred days. Sebum's main job is to condition the skin and act as a barrier to prevent internal moisture loss. Scalp dryness is a common complaint in the black community; however, it may be self-induced. When products are placed directly on the scalp and are allowed to build up, scalp conditions become unfavorable. The scalp, like any other skin, needs to be able to "breath." Heavy oil concoctions inhibit optimal functioning of the scalp by clogging the pores and creating an unhealthy environment for hair growth. When hair products create firm obstructions around the entrance of the hair follicle, the hair is simply forced to push through the blockage. In some cases, this blockage can lead to scalp dryness and itchiness, inflammation and miniaturization (shrinking) of the hair follicles, and a decrease in the quality of hair that emerges from the clogged follicles.
The proper way to hydrate the scalp and stimulate natural sebum production is simply frequent cleansing and conditioning of the scalp. Frequent cleansing keeps the scalp skin clear of any obstructing clutter, and hydration (conditioning) keeps it moisturized and supple.
For those who like to add oil to their scalp, a moderate application of a sebum-mimicking oil, such as Jojoba Oil or a light-plant based oil such as Coconut Oil will work perfectly. However, the most important thing to do is to Shampoo and cleanse your hair to remove build-up
Catch you later,
Yolanda, Crown-n-Glory CEO