Of Lice and Men: A Treatise on My Hair

P.S. I don’t have lice, but I do love the ring the title had to it! You know, there are many things one can worry about in this life. When you add a scalp that is fighting with you, things are just not easy! I don’t know why, but my scalp just seems to hate me. I don’t know how this started or how it got to this. What I do know, is that I need this to stop.

You see, I suffer from serious dandruff. I don’t even know what manner of dandruff this is. It’s the kind that I wash my hair (in a salon, even after telling the person washing to use violence) and then barely 2 days later, the dandruff is back. It’s making me miserable. As I write this, I fixed a weave 2 weeks ago, and after week 1, I felt like tearing off the hair. It’s torture! I hate that I can’t get to those itchy spots, and trust me, my scalp knows how to itch.

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I can’t even do certain hairstyles out of fear that my scalp will misbehave way too quickly, spoiling the hair. I just have such a terrible relationship with my scalp! I’m tired.

My hair journey is like many black girls, embracing relaxer from a young age at the hands of my mother. I don’t really know how to maintain my hair. All I’ve grown up with was relaxer and braid, relaxer and braid, in that exact routine. Only recently did I start fixing weaves, but still, the state of my hair life is pathetic.

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I have long hair though! It’s not like long long, but it goes past my ears. The only issue is that it’s thin, and I fear that traction alopecia will soon come knocking on my door like “what’s good b? lemme in”. God forbid. 

Naomi Campbell alopecia

Thing is, I don’t really have anyone in my family to turn to. Everyone basically relaxes their hair. I don’t know where to go for advice sometimes. I feel lost.

Some Thoughts I have about my Hair

Recently, I’ve gotten really frustrated at the state of my hair, and here are some thoughts which have come to mind:

Becoming a bootleg Lupita Nyong’o/Short Hair

I want to cut it. I just want to scrape off all the hair and start all over again. I sometimes daydream of entering the shower and rubbing soap all over my head while washing my body. Anytime there’s an itch, all I would do is invade my hair with my hands. That would be amazing.

Man, those thoughts are amazing. However, I fear that the long face I have will make me look like a bald, malnourished horse. Yeah.. maybe I’ll just put that suggestion back in the box. 

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People… Dimma Umeh’s haircut was goals.

It’s still a very appealing idea though! I mean, I am 19. I have like 90 more years to go (long life and prosperity people, life is long). How will 1 year of being hairless compare to like 80+ years of having hair. I am really considering it. Plus, If I do cut it, I want to try hairstyles like jheri curls and waves. I dream of those styles! I also want to dye my hair burgundy and dark purple.

 

Becoming a discount Chimamanda Adichie/Naturalista

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By this, I mean that I want to go natural. Big chop and all. I honestly don’t know. I’ve caught the natural bug. Once. I had this phase where I suddenly felt the urge to have healthier hair. I refused to relax my hair as frequently as I used to in the name of “transition” oh God, lol! I watched so many videos, read so many articles, downloaded so many infographics on spray bottles and essential oils.

It. was. hectic.

I even ended up buying Jamaican black castor oil, castor oil, sulphur free shampoos, apple cider vinegar. Safe to say, iHerb really made money off me! I also remember paying $60 for black soap and shea butter off Coastal Scents. God forbid. I was so lost! I even recall once when I tried doing some kind of wash day. I stayed up late into the night, after dousing my hair with ACV, and I remember the way my eyes stung when stray droplets slid into them. I have suffered, lol! 

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Then again, most of these mistakes were due to a less than comprehensive understanding of natural hair, and the various techniques surrounding it. I wasn’t even a natural! I lusted after products like moroccan hair oils and whatnot. 

When I think of the world of deep conditions, wash days, carrier oils, pre-poos, L-O-C methods and whatnot. I shiver in pure fear. I know that natural hair is not for lazy people, and the thought of straining my hands to attempt bantu knots (Haha! I tried once with my relaxed hair, man.. I don’t even want to talk about it), is not something very sexy. 

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On that note, I give a shoutout to my natural sisters. You guys who have stuff figured out are really doing well! I hope maybe one day I’ll go natural as an experiment (which could end up spanning across a life time), but for now, It’s just not for me. Yeah, someone reading this might be scoffing that ‘oh, how can you hate the natural hair that grows out of your scalp?” Yeah yeah, I don’t hate it. I just know what I’m capable of, and know that right now, I need more understanding of natural hair before taking such a plunge. For something I’ve never met in 19 years, how do I expect to just begin a relationship? Nuh-uh, these things take time.

The Resolution

At the end of the day, the root of my problems and frustrations is dandruff. If I could get rid of(or drastically reduce) the dandruff, I would honestly be so happy. I am looking for the right product, and If you have recommendations, do share!

For now, I’m thinking of staying away from box braids and weaves for a bit. I would instead get some wigs in my weapon box, allowing me to switch hairstyles effortlessly without wasting time. I would also braid my hair using my own hair into cornrows, washing every week or two weeks. I just live for the feeling of being able to whip off the wig whenever there’s an itch. I just want my scalp to love me again. 

I hope to find my dandruff solution, while also growing my hair by doing this wig life. I’ve done all sorts in the search of dandruff protection, my stylist even used methylated spirit mixed with lime on my hair. Man! My hair was on fire! I’m sure someone is laughing out there. Trust me, I’d never heard of that kind of dandruff fix, but hey! Anything that had a chance of keeping my dandruff at bay for a while was worth trying to me.

My only fear now, is that a strong wind will come and blow off the wig. Pray for me. I’ll soon start the switch.

UPDATE:

I have obtained my first wig! I got my hair corn-rowed, something I haven’t done for ages! I know you braid your hair under weaves but this is different. I’m loving the wig life so far, especially throwing it off at the end of the day and scratching my scalp. I just need to figure out some kind of routine, while also plotting on how to get more wigs in my weaponry collection. Suggest a routine if you have any!


Any recommendations for dandruff? Are you natural or relaxed?

mind of amaka, blog signature

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21 thoughts on “Of Lice and Men: A Treatise on My Hair

  1. journalthreesixty says:

    I hear ACV works for dandruff but I never tried it. I understand your frustration honestly. My natural hair wouldn’t grow past a point on my chest and I want looong hair so I chopped it all off! Plus I was just tired of having to change my hair every 3 weeks.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Ihuoma says:

    Hmm…I have a few suggestions. The comment is going to be a bit long. Lol.

    *Try amping up the number of times you wash your hair. More often than not, this is usually the solution for black women, seeing as we don’t wash our hair often enough. Dandruff can be caused by an accumulation of dead skin cells so, having a clean scalp is one way to treat it.

    Try using black soap. I usually cut a piece off a bar and dissolve with hot water.

    Invest in essential oils – lavender, tea tree, peppermint and rosemary are great for scalp issues. If you can’t get your hands on all, at least make sure to have rosemary and peppermint. Bomb combo. NOTE: Make. Sure. It. Doesn’t. Get. Into. Your. Eyes. You have been warned. Lol.

    Try hot oil treatments using olive oil and a few drops of the earlier mentioned essential oils.

    If you apply anything other than shampoo to your scalp, stop. If at all I’m applying a product that isn’t shampoo, it would be a little amount of oil and I do this immediately after washing. No creams, no conditioners, no lotions. If you do use them on your scalp, make sure to get it off completely.

    Try scalp massages using a tiiiiiiny amount of oil (castor/olive/avocado oil) with or without essential oils. Do this every other day, not everyday.

    Consider going natural. This may not necessarily stop it but the chemicals in relaxers may actually be aggravating your issue.

    ACV may help. Just make sure it’s sufficiently diluted.

    Doing these may not stop the problem but they should significantly reduce it and maybe eventually end it. Hope at least one of the suggestions works for you and if it doesn’t, try a dermatologist. They may be able to prescribe something if yours is more severe.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Amaka says:

      Long comments are beautiful and long comments even better! I’ll look into getting my hands on the mentioned oils, but for now I have castor oil and some ACV in my collection. I’ve heard so much about essential oils but they’re expensive oh! Thank you so much for taking your time to give detailed tips, hopefully in the near future I’ll be able to give a positive update

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ihuoma says:

      I know they’re expensive. It’s very annoying. Especially the ones sold here in Naija. If you have friends in the UK they may be able to get it cheaper for you.

      It’s good you have castor oil. My favorite oil, if you ask me. You can dilute it with some olive oil and do a hot oil treatment.

      You’re very welcome. Happy to help.

      Xx.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Nwabunie says:

    Amaka! You don’t have lice but i was looking forward to the men in your life. I’m relaxed but exactly 1 year and 7 months ago. I went for the big chop. Took off all my hair, did most Myself and finished it off in the saloon. My hair for frustrating, it wasn’t growing and it was really boring. Then the icing on the cake was that like you, i had terrible dandruff. They would show when i did braids and itch when i fixed, i hated fixing, i preferred the braids that at least i could reach the itch. I relaxed my hair for the first time since cutting it about 4 months ago but in the span of cut till now, my dandruff has behaved itself and i think this is coming from all of the natural routines i had going. Washing frequently and moisture constantly….. Being relaxed, i try to keep up with that and i don’t have a return of dandruff, yet (I’ll tell you if i do) i believe you should try it yourself. (Maybe not the chop bit frequent washing and moisture)
    I’m no expert but this is what i know.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Amaka says:

      Haha the men in my life, maybe one day. I’ll definitely look into incorporating a more frequent routine for washing and moisturising my hair. Thank you for sharing your experience and tips!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Joan Akob says:

    Hey Amaka! My humble suggestion for thickening thinning hair is castor oil. I used it when I was transitioning, and on my hairline which was receding beyond belief! I used raw castor oil. I just heated it up till it was hot enough for my scalp to handle and covered my hair/scalp with it then washed as normal with shampoo. (Basically a hot all treatment). My hair is naturally thick but it thickened even more to.the point where I had to stop using castor oil 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    • Amaka says:

      Funny enough, I have a big bottle of castor oil as well as the red pimento hair growth oil which is infused with JBCO. How hot are we talking when it comes to heat? How long did you keep it on your scalp before washing? Maybe I could do it every 2 weeks or so because someone snatched my edges and I need them back

      Liked by 1 person

    • Joan Akob says:

      I put my finger in the oil and count to 5. At 5, it should be hot enough for my finger to not withstand the heat. I put it at night and cover my hair with a shower cap or plastic bag and put a hair band over it so that the hair does not drop out. Then sleep and wash it in the morning 😊. Yes I also used to do mine every 2 weeks, when my hair is out of a hairstyle 🌹😊

      Liked by 2 people

  5. cliquetalk says:

    Trust me, I can relate with the itchy hair thing. in high school, I was nicknamed lady gaga b/cos my hair was always messy..i would itch and itch till my brains started to drop. Anyway, I conquered it by using shea butter and carrot oil.. Shea butter is my hair treatment now… Prevents hair breakage etc….. Good job Amaka!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ifé says:

    My scalp itches like crazy too so I resolved to making my hair by myself, crotchet, Bob Marley braids and all. Thank God I finally got a hang on natural hair so afro it is

    Liked by 1 person

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