In a few posts by now, I have made it quite clear that I do not cope very well with oil on my scalp. In my gentle transition, I have typically stuck with my usual routine of a deep condition once a week and then a light moisturizer in my hair that if it gets to my scalp then that’s all well and good. I remember last Christmas in Nigeria, trying to explain this to the hair dresser and the ensuing snickers and condemning looks.
When I went to get my hair trimmed, almost a month a go now, that hairdresser said that to help my hair transition to longer periods between chemical treatments (read: relaxer ….and yes I have cut down from monthly to 2-3 times a year), I needed to be sure I kept my scalp oiled and moisturized. So obedient me has been trying to figure out a way to do that. After the experience with the pre-poo, I decided to see if coconut oil will be an acceptable oil-base moisturizer for my hair. Two days in and my scalp just got amazingly itchy and irritated, which it does whenever my scalp is greased, and thus why I do not grease my scalp. To say that I was uncomfortable was putting it lightly. The level of irritation did not allow me to sleep with a cap or scarf on, I also could not handle my hair tied up in a ponytail or anything, all the while trying very hard to not scratch my head and self-injure. So setting my hair “free” on a satin pillowcase, I resolved to immediately wash my hair the next morning and stick to business as usual. I have a process that works well for me and while it could probably use some change in the future, it does just fine in the present.
Lesson learned: while in many ways I have a lot to learn from others and a lot to teach others, my hair and scalp and experiences are all different and it is important to pay particular attention to my experiences and my issues to find what works best for me. I imagine the same is true for everybody else too…