scalp care

Beauty Review: OGX Coconut Milk Shampoo

Beauty Review: OGX Coconut Milk Shampoo | Writing Between Pauses

If you've been reading my blog for the last year or so, you know that I've been trying just about every shampoo under the sun to help my scalp.

Around November, I started developing some scalp dryness that left me feeling very itchy. Visits to the dermatologist confirmed that it wasn't dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis, or anything medical; I just had dry skin on my scalp. Which is so odd because I have very oily skin otherwise. How can one half of my head be oily and the other half barely produce any oil? 

I've tried every tea tree oil shampoo under the sun, alongside everything from Head & Shoulders to T-Sal. 

I went sulfate-free

I've reviewed a ton of shampoos

I realized the other day that this same thing happened the last time I had very long hair. I asked a few friends and some of them expressed the same thing. When my hair is short, my scalp doesn't get dry; when my hair is very long, it's as if my hair steals all the oil from my scalp, leaving it dry. That probably isn't scientifically accurate, but some long hair forums I've been reading suggest the same thing. 

I keep holding out for a Holy Grail product to come along. The closest thing I've found so far is the OGX Coconut Milk Shampoo. After my brief success with the Kristen Ess sulfate-free shampoo, I bought this on impulse at Target. It was sulfate-free, check; and it promised to moisturize, check. Here's what it promises: 

This deliciously creamy and nourishing blend, infused with coconut milk, whipped egg proteins and coconut oils, helps to strengthen and hydrate your hair, leaving it softly scented, super soft and glowing.

Upon first wash, it did help my scalp last 2 days before it got very dry and itchy. I'm going to have to give up my lofty dreams of only washing every 3 or 4 days, because I think that's the limit for my poor scalp! Here's the schedule I started following: 

  • In the evening, I apply a mix of coconut oil & jojoba oil to my scalp, then braid my hair. 
  • In the morning, wash my hair and let air dry. 
  • Repeat every 2 days. 

This seems to give me the most moisture for my buck. I added the OGX Coconut Milk Conditioner as well, and that has helped my hair's health a lot. Due to my scalp getting so dry, I found myself with a lot of split ends and hair damage; my hair just wasn't getting enough moisture. 

OGX does have a Coconut Weightless Hydrating Oil Mist, which I'm very interested to try. A friend suggested applying jojoba oil to my roots every day, which I do think would help--but it makes me hair super greasy as a result. Not a great look for going to work or running errands, honestly. I do think on my next trip to Target, I need to grab this just to see if it helps! 

So, what's my final verdict on the OGX Coconut Milk Shampoo? It's not really the Holy Grail that I'm looking for (I'm still searching), but it's definitely improved my scalp enough that I don't feel quite so down about it! There is nothing worse than having a problem you just can't find a solution for (besides cutting off all my hair). If you're struggling with dry skin on your scalp, definitely give this shampoo a try. 

4 Tips for Winter Hair Care*

4 Tips for Winter Hair Care | Writing Between Pauses

While my skin has always been a struggle for me (as my post about my acne demonstrates), I've always been incredibly blessed to have good hair. My hair is naturally very dark (almost black); it grows incredibly fast; and it's a good texture (very fine, but I have a lot of hair... like double the amount most people have). In many ways, having good hair has made up for my bad skin; if nothing else, my hair always looks great. 

Aside from graying pretty early in life (my first patch of gray hair was discovered at age 11), my other hair is has always been having a dry scalp. How is it that I struggle with way too oily of a face, but a bone dry scalp? What is going on there!? 

Every winter, undoubtedly, my scalp starts to really struggle. It gets itchy and flaky, even when my hair is greasy. I either wash too much or too little--and I can't tell which is worse! I spend a fortune on fancy shampoos, trying to find something cruelty free to use... only to crawl back to Head & Shoulders because while it is chemically blue and tested on animals, damn, at least it works, right? 

This year, I started my research early. I wanted to avoid the Head & Shoulders crawl and find natural, cruelty free products that worked. I was lucky enough to receive a sample of Tea Tree Oil shampoo from Maple Holistics.

I decided to write up my 4 tips for hair care during the winter. These tips will keep your scalp clean, non-itchy, and moisturized, while ensuring your hair looks gorgeous. 

1. Find a Good Shampoo

Like I said, I feel like I spend a small fortune every winter trying to find a shampoo that will help my scalp--and yet, I always end up back at Head & Shoulders. I'm so glad I was able to find a shampoo that actually works. 

The Tea Tree Oil Shampoo from Maple Holistics* really is one of the best shampoos I've used for my scalp. It has a lovely, tea tree and rosemary oil scent and helps keep my scalp from flaking and getting too dry. Maple Holistics also has an amazing free sample program, so if you want to try some of their products, you can sign up for that here.

While it might not be the perfect shampoo, it's definitely worth a shot--and at $8.95 for a bottle, it's very affordable; as well, it's cruelty free and made with all natural ingredients. And for me, that's worth a lot! 

2. Shampoo When Your Hair Needs It

For a few years, there has been a back and forth about how often to wash our hair. Growing up, I was taught to wash my hair nearly every single day. Skipping a day, to my mom, was really gross. However, as I got older, I realized that washing my hair every day made my scalp really dry and my hair really frizzy. In college, I would go 2-3 days between washes, but I still kept a very strict schedule. Recently, my friend said that her dermatologist's advice was: "wash your hair when it needs it." 

God, that seems so simple, right? If your hair is greasy, wash it. If your scalp is dry and itchy, wash it. If your hair feels like it needs washed, wash it! Even if it was just yesterday the last time you washed it. You don't have to follow anyone else's schedule for their hair. 

3. Use Jojoba Oil 

I've seen lots of posts about using coconut oil for your scalp. I've used baby oil and olive oil in the past as well, but as I've written before, jojoba oil is the closest oil to what we produce naturally. Therefore, I just trust it more when it comes to moisturizing! Coconut oil made my scalp break out severely once (it is comedogenic, so never ever use it on your face... seriously), so I don't recommend it. However, a few drops of jojoba on my scalp at night before bed, especially when the weather is cold and dry helps my scalp to not be so itchy. 

4. Avoid Wearing Hats & Ponytails With Wet Hair

What's the number one cause of dry itchy scalp? Popping a hat on your hair when it is still wet or putting it into a ponytail or bun when it is still wet. This traps moisture on your scalp, which makes it a breeding ground for bacteria--causing dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, and more. If you need to wear a hat, make sure you blow dry your hair thoroughly or let it air dry before putting it on; same with a ponytail. 

*Disclaimer: As always, use of a single asterisk in the post title denotes that I received free product or payment in exchange for this post. However, all recommendations and opinions remain my own! You can read more about my disclosure policy here