Updated: Apr 25, 2020
My scarring alopecia is in a league of her own. Yes, I said “her”. As you get to know me
that's how I refer to my scarring alopecia. She is so sensitive and temperamental
and cops an attitude when the mood suits her. Her and I are in a constant state of tug and
war because as my body changes, she changes leaving me trying to figure out what she needs on any given day. It’s been challenging, especially when it comes to retaining moisture and keeping the flaking, itching and small pimple type creatures at bay. Oh, if you’re wondering what these creatures are, they are literally small pimples or tiny unruly bumps that either bleed or puss when they rupture…gross I know. They typically appear when there is too much product build up, when I eat too much sugar, ingest gluten/dairy in naughty amounts and or when I’m stressed. In any event, since her and I are in this long standing relationship we’ve had to come up with a mutual understanding. Thus below, I’ve listed 8 terms of our agreement that keep me sane and her at arms-length. Now before you continue reading, I just want to be clear that this what I do, and may not necessarily be the right fit for you. This information is not to replace any medical advice or to offer any medical advice. I have tried various products and techniques over the years and a lot of it has been trial and error. Just thought I'd share my methods with you.
1. Shower Filter
My scalp loves water, but I found that when I was taking showers my scalp would
itch significantly and seem more drier than normal. A friend suggested that my
water may be too hard. The gist of hard water vs. soft water is, hard water has
large amounts of dissolved minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Hard water
for example can make your clothes look dingy, your dishes may look to have
more spots and residue and leave your hair sticky and dull. Soft water is treated
water that has sodium and sometimes not suitable for drinking. Rainwater is
naturally soft water. Soft water helps your soap lather better, your dishes sparkle,
and helps aid in healthy hair.
I purchased a water filter from my local Home Depot. The brand I bought is
called Brondell Vivaspring Filtered Showerhead. The reviews on this product were positive and its claims included, softer skin, stronger hair, and a better shower. It also inhibits various bacteria and reduces lead, mercury and copper. The price point was reasonable, installation was easy, and its stylish. Now I’ve been using this shower filter for over a year now and I will say my skin does feels softer, the water doesn’t have a metal type scent anymore and my scalp is less irritated. No harm in making a switch to a filtered showerhead. This is the brand I went with but there are so many on the market that I am sure you will find one that suits your budget, style and overall needs.
I added a portable humidifier to my room as the air in my space is very dry especially in the winter. Dry air can allow moister to deplete but adding a humidifier can offset this issue. The benefits of having one in your home include relief from allergies, dry skin, cracked lips, dryness in the throat/airways and irritation in the eyes. I have a cool mist one, I can’t recall the brand as I’ve had it for so long but no filter change is required, its portable, quiet and when the water is low a red indicator light appears. I use it daily and it sits on my night table.
3. Drink water
Keeping hydrated is sooooo important. When I don’t drink enough water my skin and scalp let me know. My scalp gets very tight and sore to the touch, my skin looks like concrete and my body flakes. Sexy right! I’m sure you’re aware your body is made up of at least 60% water and the benefits of consuming it are amazing. It’s a natural detox, helps flush out
toxins, improves your complexion, has no calories and helps your body absorb nutrients. When you’re dehydrated your hair can get thirsty which can cause it to become brittle, thin and break. You want to always work from within and water will help rid your
body of toxins and high acidic levels that may be causing irritants. I drink a minimum of 2L of water per day to stay hydrated. If water is not your thing start small and work your way up. Also adding fresh fruit to spruce it up will make it less boring. Some of my favorite flavour water combinations are:
mint + cucumber + lemon
lemon + orange + mint
sliced apples + lemon
4. Scalp Mist
In a small spray bottle, I have a mix of aloe vera juice, rosemary essential oil,
grapeseed oil and distilled water that I carry in my purse and I spray my scalp as needed. Aloe vera juice has proteolytic enzymes which aids in repairing dead skin cells on the
scalp, it’s a good conditioner, promotes hair growth and prevents itching on the
scalp YAY! Rosemary essential oil soothes inflammation, contains anti-
inflammatory properties and improves circulation. Lastly grapeseed oil is a light,
odorless, fast absorbing that will not weight down your hair or scalp. This
concoction helps to cool my scalp when its itchy and or burning. Don’t be afraid to
whip this baby out at work either. Just march to the washroom, spray & massage
into your scalp and go about your day like no one’s business.
Grapeseed Scalp Mist
3oz aloe vera juice
1 oz grapeseed oil
1 oz distilled water
10 drops rosemary essential oil