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Olive oil: Combine hair products to fight frizz, dry scalp

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Spring has peaked its head in Chicago for the past week, but the damage from dry hair isn't over yet. And with spring comes the trip from dry hair with snow to frizzy hair with rain. Autumn seems to be the only hair friendly season, but there are ways to combat hair issues during the other three seasons. Try using your favorite hair ingredient, but use additional products to combat various hair dryness issues.

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Olive oil, coconut oil, cocoa butter and shea butter don't just smell nice. They all have their hair moisturizer perks. And this winter has been incredibly brutal, cold and with an astounding amount of snow so any kind of effective moisturizer was welcome.

For the purpose of this post, the focus will be on olive oil products.

As mentioned in "Reuters offends: Black women avoid daily hair washing but not due to exercise," the amount of times a person washes her hair depends on texture, chemicals and the condition of the hair. It's not unusual to find yourself washing your hair more often when it's extremely hot or equally cold. But Mayo Clinic reports that washing your hair too often or using too many styling products may irritate the scalp and cause dandruff.

And while everyone has a shampoo, conditioner, conditioner shampoo or dry shampoo they swear by, consider a few other tips in between those washes.

Skip the hairspray for sheen. It seems natural to use hairspray on a new 'do. How else will it hold? The truth is sometimes that hairstyle will be just fine without the maximum hold spray and hair hard enough to crack. The more hairspray that's put into hair, especially on a daily basis, the drier it'll get in a much faster amount of time. Consider sheen sprays that feed dry hair. A suggested example would be ORS' Olive Oil Nourishing Sheen Spray, which blends vitamin E with the oil. But take the directions seriously. Spray lightly and at least 10 to 12 inches away from hair. The heavier and closer that sheen is sprayed on, the more it'll weigh hair down. It's too easy to blame a ruined hairstyle on the sheen as opposed to drowning yourself in the product. Don't use sheen spray and immediately afterward use holding spray. It's like drinking water and then following it up with salt. If you insist on using hairspray, try taking turns between the two products.

Leave-in conditioner trumps regular conditioner. Sometimes it's tedious to hang around with conditioner on for 10 to 45 minutes. People have stuff to do and don't feel like walking around with a shower cap on or sitting under a hair dryer. Maybe a quick conditioner does the trick. But pay attention to how quickly your hair gets dry after using a leave-in conditioner versus a three or four-minute conditioner. If your hair is unusually dry all over again before the week is out, and you're washing and conditioning it again, it's time to make time for that leave-in conditioner to sit on your head. For the swimmers looking forward to open pools and lakefront dips, US News recommends using a leave-in conditioner before getting into the pool. This will help avoid the damage from salt water and chlorine.

Don't ignore the scalp with hair oil and hair lotion. Products like Vitale Olive Oil Virgin Hair Oil relieve scalp dryness, repair damaged hair, help with split ends and help dodge frizzy hair. The problem with using an oil is it can provide memories of the '80s when Jheri Curls were the "it" hairdo. Know your limit. For thicker hair types, the directions may not resolve the issue. The bottle says to use an ample amount between palms and massage it into the scalp. And while getting olive oil on the hair shafts are great for eliminating split ends, for thicker hair types, that's not going to oil directly on the skin underneath the hair. If your hair is really dry, it's going to suck up all the oil before it reaches your scalp. Hair lotion tends to do the same thing if not put directly onto the scalp. Take advantage of Vitale's tube top, turn the bottle upside down and make direct contact with the scalp. For hair lotion, part hair. Put the lotion directly on the scalp until the scalp is totally moisturized. Then comb straight through. Combing (or brushing) the oil or hair lotion will do the job of getting the oil on the hair tips. Treat both.

Of course heating products and constant chemicals on the hair don't do any moisturizing favors, but keeping a sheen, leave-in conditioner and hair oil (or hair lotion) around can help treat dry hair. If washing hair becomes so excessive that the hair is itching even a day later, it's time to talk to a hair professional as well as a dermatologist. There may be a bigger issue going on than just the winter blues.

Follow Shamontiel on Pinterest for all of her latest black hair & hair health entries, or subscribe to her Chicago Black Hair & Health channel at the top of this page. Also, follow her @BlackHealthNews.

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