Taliah Waajid Brands Blog

The Past and Present of Addressing Itchy Scalp

Posted by NI4TW on Feb 5, 2018 7:32:31 PM

When I take a minute to look at the proliferation of the natural hair movement and the rise of the availability in products specifically suited to care for and manage naturally curly, coily, kinky and wavy hair, I am amazed. Historically, African-American hair care has come a long way and I am proud to have played a role in spearheading the efforts to respond to our beauty and care management needs. It’s also great to know that we are no longer separated from the knowledge or tools we need to care for our hair. Just thinking back to what the options for our hair care used to be always makes me appreciate where we are today.


Bacon Grease, Butter and Petroleum Jelly

When Africans were first kidnapped and brought to these shores to labor as slaves, the first thing their captors did was shave their heads. There were a couple of key reasons for this. First, because Africans were so incredibly expressive in the styles they applied to their hair, slave traders sought to silence that expression and cultural connection. The other reason was to combat lice and insect infestation as a result of the horrendously unclean conditions aboard the slave ships.

For those enslaved individuals who worked the fields and lived outside of the big house, biting insects continued to be a big issue. Field slaves often slept in quarters that were comparable to a barn, on top of beds made of hay that were regularly infested with fleas and ticks. The main reason for their itchy scalps was bugs. So to keep lice, fleas and ticks insects at bay, they used bacon grease, butter and later petroleum jelly to prevent these bugs from feasting on their scalps.


Healthy, Soothing and Herbal-Rich

Today, itchy scalp can be attributed to several incredibly different factors. You may have a buildup of products on your scalp and simply need to shampoo. If your scalp constantly itches, you may have an allergy or sensitivity to the chemicals used in your hair products or an allergy to a certain type of food. You may have a bacterial infection of the scalp or a hair follicle infection. You may have acne, suffer from stress and anxiety, have scalp psoriasis, have dandruff or simply lack moisture on the hair and scalp. In any of these cases, you definitely would not apply anything like a petroleum jelly or bacon grease to your scalp.

Because we know a lot more about the science of naturally curly, coily, kinky and wavy hair, we understand that our curly hair thrives when we use products with ingredients that support the body’s ability to maintain health and wellness. All-natural, herbal-rich, food-based oils and extracts are exactly what our African ancestors used to grow their beautiful hair and maintain their elaborate styles. And these same types of ingredients and extracts are what I have used to create my Protect Styles Ditch the Itch Bamboo, Basil and Peppermint Anti-Itch Serum.

My Ditch the Itch Anti-Itch Serum contains soybean oil, sunflower seed oil, sesame seed oil, avocado oil, peppermint oil, and SciNatranol which contains bamboo, biotin and basil. The lightweight, easily absorbable nature of the avocado and sunflower seed oil prevents this special serum from building up on the scalp and helps the nourishing, hydrating and strengthening properties of the bamboo and biotin penetrate the hair and scalp to deliver the goods. Meanwhile the basil, peppermint oil and sesame seed oil improve circulation in and soothe the scalp while helping to combat acne, dandruff and other skin ailments that are likely to cause itchiness on the scalp.

No matter how you wear your hair—whether you protectively style with braids, a weave, a wig or sport your natural curls or chemically treat your hair—if you experience itchy scalp, please make sure you’re taking full advantage of the wonderful strides we’ve made in providing healthy and healthful products for our hair care needs. Your hair and scalp will surely thank you for it.

If you have any questions regarding itchiness on the scalp or hair care needs in general, please don’t hesitate to contact me at asktaliah@naturalhair.org.

Topics: Natural Hair Care, Natural Hair, Protective Styles, Transitioning, natural hair styling, natural hair moisturizer, Taliah Waajid, protective styling, prevent breakage, curly hair, coily hair, black history, black history month, black hair history

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