Sometimes, when the temperature outside is rising and falling faster than the stock market and you're running constantly from heated buildings into the cold outdoors you start to get that itch. It seems manageable at first; your scalp feels a little tingly and you run your fingers through your hair in an "oh-I'm-only-adjusting-my-bun" way. Then, in all of 10 minutes, you're reduced to ducking under your desk using your pen to scratch your irritated scalp and hoping no one sees.
There are few things as annoying and embarrassing as a dry, flaky scalp. It is a common problem in the waning winter months of February and March. Lately, countless friends have asked me for an idea to relieve their scalp suffering, and I always recommend the same thing— vinegar.
In last week's post I mentioned that green veggies and ripe fruits rebalance the pH levels inside your body. Well, vinegar does the same for irritated skin. When our scalps are in distress, it is often because their pH is off. As a result, the skin dries out and flakes form.
Doing a vinegar rinse in the shower is an easy, instant and chemical-free way to relieve an itchy scalp. Simply follow these steps:
1. Mix 1 cup cool water and 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (I recommend natural, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar) in a small nonreactive (not aluminum) container.
2. After you bathe, gently squeeze the excess water from your hair, tip your head back and pour the vinegar mixture over your scalp. I like to use a wide-tooth comb to part different sections of my hair so I can reach all areas of my scalp that are irritated.
3. Style your hair as you normally would.
I always leave the vinegar rinse in my hair but, if you prefer, you can let it sit on your scalp for about five minutes and then rinse it out with cool water. Cool, not warm or hot, water is essential for the rinse. It will close your hair cuticles and soothe the dry skin. Don't worry about the vinegar smell; your strands will lose that scent once you blow them dry.
In addition to healing your scalp, a vinegar rinse will give your hair a huge boost in shine. I often use it just for this purpose if my hair is looking dull.
In between vinegar treatments, try taking warm, not hot showers. Hot water dries your skin. A scalp massage with soothing essential oils such as lavender or tea tree will provide relief from itch as well.
You can use the rinse as often as you need, but if your scalp irritation persists after a couple vinegar treatments, a larger issue may be at work and you should consult a dermatologist.
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Bethany Porter is a blogger and beauty junkie. She believes in healthy living and that women have powerful potential for beauty both inside and out.
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