I’m A Hair Raiser: Gaining Control

Let’s recap my hair issues I complained about on Tuesday:

  • fine/thin hair that doesn’t hold any style regardless of hair product
  • easy to tangle
  • major oil production
  • dry, itchy scalp
  • fly away hairs

Suffice to say, my hair has problems. Some problems are related while some problems were caused by trying to treat other problems or by age. I can’t catch a break here.

Let’s start at the top with how I’ve learned to deal with my fine/thin hair. Pretty much, I gave up on ever styling my hair. I either keep it cut very short or let it grow out and just put it in a pony tail. Currently, I am at a long hair/pony tail every day point. And that is partially to blame for my new issue of fly away hairs.

Back in the day, I dealt with my tangle issues by using a ton of conditioner. I used it in the shower and Mom sprayed a leave-in conditioner in my hair when I got out. All just so we could get a pick or wide-tooth comb through my hair. And it worked alright when my hair was wet. If my hair was dry, nothing untangled it except a wide-tooth comb, an hour of effort from Mom, and lots of tears from me.

Progressing into the puberty ages, my heavy use of conditioner and the extra oil production my scalp decided to do led to me having horribly oily, dirty-looking hair. For years. There was nothing I could do about it. Once we started adding highlights to my hair to attempt to get the oil under control, the tangling became 100 times worse. I don’t know how I wasn’t bald during this time from the amount of hair we broke off or ripped out trying to detangle my hair.

When I left home, not much changed about my hair other than I stopped bleaching it every 8 weeks. It was still fine, thin, tangled, and oily. Some time in my late 20s, I heard about how over-conditioning your hair can cause oil issues. So I stopped conditioning it at all. My hair was fairly short at the time so tangles were not as much of an issue. But it didn’t do anything for the oil or for getting my hair to hold a style. What it did do was dry out my scalp! So flakes and itching became a part of life and I was desperate for something to help. I’d rather be in pain than to itch so this was a problem.

In the last 8 months, I have finally figured out a way to manage most of my problems.

I gave up hot, daily showers and started training my hair to work with warm every-other-night showers and then lukewarm every-3rd-day showers. It took months of patience and about 30 cans of dry shampoo, but I finally have conquered my oil issue.

If I use dry shampoo, I have the added bonus of having voluminous hair that actually holds somewhat of a style for 3 or 4 hours at a time. So my fine/thin hair issue is starting to be under control, at least when I need it to be.

Now that I am not boiling my scalp every day, the dry scalp issue has slacked up. It is still an issue, especially the day after I wash my hair, but it is getting better. Less flakes means less itching and I am very okay with that!

I went back to using conditioner in the shower on the ends of my hair. That has helped the ends not look frizzy and controls some of the tangling. However, if I try to put it anywhere close to my roots, my oil issue rears it’s ugly head. So I can’t condition the hair shaft from the root to the middle of it’s length and I still have a lot of tangling from my root to the middle of my hair. Which is causing a serious issue with fly away hairs on the crown and front of my scalp from the hair not getting moisturized and me breaking it off. Freaking unicorn hair.

I have found a dry scalp shampoo that works really well. The trouble is that it is $27.00 for a 16 ounce bottle. If I’m only washing my hair twice a week and if I can keep it out of the hands of the kids, that 16 ounce bottle lasts a long time though so the cost isn’t horrible. I just don’t like it.

I have worked out a scalp exfoliant recipe that has helped deal with the dry scalp issue, works on the oil production issue, and has caused my hair growth to increase a measurable amount. I’m not trade-marking it because I’m sure I saw it online at some point but it works.

In the next Hair Raiser post, I’ll talk about the products I have found to help my issues.

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