Tuesday, December 22, 2009

HAIR + EXERCISE = SWEAT


Hi Gorgeous!

I hope that you all are having a wonderful week. Mine has been great. I've interviewed some awesome ladies for the "Heroine Entrepreneur" series, spent time with family & friends, and have been pretty consistent with working out.

Speaking of which, am I the only person who sweats from head-to-toe?! In particular, my scalp is soaking wet during and after a workout. Its part of the reason (outside of winter weather) that I've chosen to wear my hair in protective styles. These styles still don't keep my scalp from sweating but it does help to protect my hair a bit more from the salt in the sweat. Remember, the salt in sweat will dry your hair if you don't treat it.

Now, seeing as I'm not trying to manipulate my hair a lot, this does pose a slight dilemma. If I'm working out often, that means I'm sweating often. Sweat equates to salt on the scalp. Which also means that I need to cleanse my scalp from the threat of drying out. Cleans how? By washing/cleaning, however I don't want to wash my hair all the time cause that will negate the main reason for me wearing my hair in protective styles. Capiche?...

Well, here's what I've come up with. I swear I've read this somewhere. Witch hazel.

What is witch hazel?...

Witch hazel is a low growing shrub native to North America. It has a long history of use medicinally, and cultivation of the bush has spread to Europe for this purpose. Preparations of witch hazel ranging from tinctures to soothing creams are available in most drug stores, as well as specialty stores for skin care. The plant acts as an astringent, firming and tightening tissue and acting to reduce itching and irritation. Other properties have also been ascribed to witch hazel making it an excellent all-purpose addition to the medicine cabinet.


What I'm trying?.....

I used a cotton cloth and gently rub the witch hazel mixed w/distilled water throughout your scalp. I suppose you could also use a cotton ball or cotton swab. Then I moisturized my scalp. It is also suggested to cleanse your scalp once a week using witch hazel in spray bottle. Not sure if I wanna try that yet simply because it is an astringent. I certainly don't want to turn around a really dry my hair out. We'll see how my method works before graduating to the spray bottle method. If you exercise often, this cleansing method is especially suggested to do once a week.

Witch hazel can also be used on the scalp to treat dandruff, Psoriasis, oily and itchy scalp.
Here are some recipes to treat a couple of these issues:

Dandruff
Mix 2 oz. of witch hazel with 1 cup of distilled water and 3 tbsp. of lemon juice. Combine these ingredients thoroughly.

Apply the witch hazel mixture your scalp when your hair is damp and clean. Leave the mixture in rather than rinsing it out. Allow your hair to dry naturally and style it as usual.

Repeat the application of the witch hazel mixture two to three times a week. It helps to keep your dandruff under control and gives your hair a nice shine.

Add cider vinegar to witch hazel to treat dandruff. Mix witch hazel and lemon in the same proportions as described in Step 1, but instead of 1 cup distilled water, use cider vinegar. Again, ensure that you mix these ingredients thoroughly before use.

Put this second mixture on your scalp when the hair is dry. Leave it on for 30 minutes, then wash it off with a mild shampoo. You can repeat this procedure as often as needed and you can dry and style your hair as you would normally.

Oily Hair
You can help slow down oil secretion by applying a homemade astringent directly to your scalp. Apply a mixture of equal parts witch hazel and mouthwash, with cotton pads, to the scalp only. The witch hazel acts as an astringent and the mouthwash has antiseptic properties. If your scalp is very oily you can do this each time you shampoo.
Mouthwash?!.. Let me know if anyone has tried this one, eh.

And just for the road, here are plenty of other uses for witch hazel that I found on Wisebread.com.

15 USES FOR WITCH HAZEL

1. Spot and Blemish Control.
Witch hazel can reduce the inflammation on a pimple. Some people claim daily use helps with acne, and witch hazel can be found in many Over The Counter treatments. Application with a Witch Stick is the most convenient, but you can dab it on with a cotton ball. Ask your pharmacist before you do this though.

2. Soothe and Heal Diaper Rash
If your baby's rash isn't healing quick enough, apply witch hazel solution (Dickinson’s Is good) with a cotton ball and you should see immediate improvement to your baby's bottom.

3. Shrink Bags Under The Eyes
Some people say that the application of Hemorrhoid cream to those little baggies under your eyes can take them away. It’s not an old wives tale. One of the magic ingredients in a product like Preparation H is witch hazel, which helps tighten up the skin and reduce the bagginess. And that leads nicely to…

4. Soothe and Reduce External Hemorrhoids
Not only does witch hazel tighten skin, it’s also a good anti-itch remedy. By combining witch hazel with aloe, glycerin or petroleum jelly and rub it on external hemorrhoids, you will reduce itching significantly and dry up most bleeding.

5. Varicose Vein Relief
Soak wash cloths in witch hazel and lay on legs, which are propped straight out, to reduce pain and swelling from varicose veins. The witch hazel helps to tighten the veins, relieving the discomfort temporarily

6. Soothe Poison Ivy and Poison Oak
Just like acne and blemishes, the witch hazel reduces itching and relieves swelling. Something definitely worth packing on your next camping trip.

7. Treat Chicken Pox Blisters
A combination of aloe, honey, lavender and other essential oils create a spray that will vastly reduce the discomfort of Chicken Pox blisters. And it’s all-natural. Here’s what to do:
Mix together 1 tablespoon honey, 40 drops lavender essential oil, 15 drops lemon essential oil, 15 drops bergamot essential oil, 5 drops peppermint essential oil, 1 teaspoon carrot seed oil and 1/2 cup aloe vera gel.
Once completely mixed, and 1/2 cup distilled witch hazel and mix again. Pour mixture into spray bottle and use on affected areas (avoiding eyes). A more potent and less unsightly way to treat the Chicken Pox than traditional Calamine lotion.

8. Heal Your Bruises Faster
Been in a fight recently? Well, maybe not. But if you bang your leg or arm and are left with a nasty bruise, a thrice-daily dab of witch hazel can help speed up the healing time of the bruise.

9. Soothe Razor Burn (and in some instances, prevent it)
The anti-inflammatory properties of witch hazel stop itchy bumps from forming up around your irritated hair follicles. Apply before or after shaving, it should certainly have an impact on your itchy red skin (and that includes ladies, too).

10. Treat and Soothe A Nasty Sunburn
Healing damaged skin is one of witch hazel’s specialties. But as sunburn is also a type of skin inflammation, witch hazel is ideal for treating this too (despite swelling not being obvious). Treating sunburn with witch hazel will lessen healing time and prevent the infamous skin peeling and flaking.

11. Treat Dry Skin
Especially useful after showering, witch hazel can lock in the moisture in your skin. By applying witch hazel immediately after showering, you are locking in the moisture that has just soaked into your skin.

12. Use to Heal and Soothe Various Cuts and Bruises
Many chemists and pharmacists refer to witch hazel as nature’s answer to Neosporin. Applying a dab of it will cleanse the cut, protects against infection, and encourage quicker healing of minor skin breaks.

13. Take The Bite Out Of Bug Bites
With it’s anti-itch and anti-inflammatory properties, witch hazel is ideal for treating bug bites. Just dab a little on the affected area.

14. Refresh Tired Eyes
NOT by squirting witch hazel in them, but by soaking a clean rag in witch hazel and cold water and placing the cold compress over your closed eyes. After 10 minutes, your eyes should be refreshed, and any redness should be gone. If you’ve been doing a lot of crying, this can get you back to normal quickly.

15. Make Your Own Deodorant
Witch hazel is often used in deodorants due to it’s natural skin-healing and skin-care properties.


If you have similiar issues, what do you use to clean your scalp in-between washings?.. Or if you've used this or similiar methods, please share your experience with it.

4 comments:

  1. Yes ma'am. This technique is great. It is seemingly a bit more time consuming, but I argue no more time consuming that washing, drying, moisturizing and re-styling hair! I know people who have use a combination of lime juice and water and used the cotton ball method to cleanse their scalp. I think you've come up with an excellent solution to keeping your body and "do" fly! After all workouts are necessary for fierceness and we still want cute hair without the stress. I will be trying this out myself, especially when i wear braids :)

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  2. Hey Sweetie! Thanks for coming through. Lime juice and water- interesting. Thanks for the input!

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  3. Thanks for a great and informative post. I have just learned so much more about Witch Hazel.
    xo,
    CC

    Happy Holidays

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  4. I'm trying this as I type! I have a very oily scalp, but very dry ends (which is NOT a happy combo!)
    First, I'm using slightly different proportions than you suggest: I mixed equal parts mouthwash and witch hazel (maybe 3 oz of each, it was just enough to barely saturate my hair) and massaged it into my scalp. Then I applied a few handfuls of (organic, extra-virgin) coconut oil to the length of the strands, trying to keep it about 1 inch from my scalp (I doubt I was successful, though!)
    Then I piled it all up and put a shower cap on. In about 10 - 15 more minutes (30 total), I'll rinse with lukewarm water and wash it with my 'Diva No-Poo', then let it air-dry.

    Will report back in 4 hrs or so. Wish me luck!

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