Our Top Tips for Relieving Dry, Itchy Skin (and Products That Can Help)

Itchy, Itchy, Scratch-Scratch!

Sometimes we have itchy skin. Itchy skin is uncomfortable. You rub and scratch the area to get relief. Sometimes, this just makes the skin even itchier. The more you itch, the more you scratch. Itch. Scratch. Itch. Scratch…you need to find relief.

A woman constantly scratching.
Why does scratching make itching worse?

Why you need relief? Because not only does scratching repeatedly cause areas to bleed and become infected; having this problem can affect your quality of life, keep you from sleeping, make it difficult to concentrate. It can even affect your self-esteem.

Causes. There can be various causes for your itchy skin: dry skin, eczema, psoriasis, or other itchy skin condition, allergic reaction,  nerve problem, skin cancer, pregnancy, etc. With more serious conditions, a treatment can be found once the condition is identified. Although, many people can manage and bring themselves relief with self-care measures.

Dry Skin. Dry skin is a common issue that can affect anyone. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, dry skin can be caused by: https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/dry-sweaty-skin/dry-skin#causes

  • Age. The older we get, the thinner and drier our skin gets.
  • Climate: Living in a dry climate.
  • Skin disease: such as atopic dermatitis (also called eczema) and psoriasis
  • Job: Nurses, hair stylists, and people in occupations that immerse their skin in water throughout the day.
  • Swimming: pools that have high levels of chlorine in them, which can dry the skin

Dry skin can flake, itch, crack and even bleed. To help heal, relieve, and prevent this skin foe, my staff and I have compiled some of our favorite tips that have worked for us when our skin gets dry:

Tip #1: Make a Change. As seasons change, so should our skincare routine (as we learned in Green Gold’s March post: https://www.greengoldhairandbody.com/2019/03/16/how-to-easily-transition-your-hair-and-skin-routine-from-winter-to-spring/) Dry air can make fine lines and wrinkles more noticeable and can be the cause of dry skin.

Tip #2: The Bath.

Shower head.
Go Warm.
  • Use warm, not extremely hot water.
  • Take shorter showers: 10-15 minutes
  • Close the bathroom door. This keeps the moisture in there with you.
  • Gently pat your skin to dry, afterwards.

Tip #3: Soap and Cleansers.

Aloe Calendula Soap
Aloe Calendula soap: https://www.greengoldhairandbody.com/product/the-aloe-bar-aloe-calendula/
  • Use mild, fragrance-free cleansers or a soap substitute.
  • Don’t use too much soap, cleansers.

Tip #4: Moisturizers.

Mango Oil:https://www.greengoldhairandbody.com/product/coco-mango-oil-8oz/
  • Use products that have natural oils like olive and jojoba.
  • Shea butter works well.
  • Use lots of moisturizer immediately after drying your skin. This traps in the moisture.
  • Use moisturizer after every hand wash and throughout the day.
  • Stop using products with alcohol, like hand sanitizers.
  • Use gentle, unscented skin care products.

Tip #5: Air. Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air.

Hybrid Ultrasonic Humidifier and Diffuser

Our skin always feels better after following these steps, but if you do not see changes or relief with self-care; you may have a skin condition that may require a prescription ointment. A physician, specifically a dermatologist, can examine your skin and let you know if you have a condition and give you some treatment options.

Which tip do you like? Do you have a tip to add? Please leave your comment below.

Next blog topic…

For more tips, hacks, and advice about hair and body, check back in October, where Nneka will be talking about how she is… Vegan…ish?!

Nneka Otim, Owner
Nneka Otim, Owner

Hair Coloring Tips to Keep You Looking Hot This Summer…and Beyond

Hair coloring tips to make you look hot this summer
Hair coloring tips to make you look hot this summer

What you need to know about the hair coloring process before you think about doing it yourself.

Please raise your hand if you’ve ever colored or dyed your own hair.

Please raise your hand if you’ve ever had your hair colored or dyed by a professional.

Please raise your hand if you’re interested in hair coloring tips to keep you “looking hot” this summer.

Raised hands
Raise your hands if…

Why do we want color? 

  • Change. There is a change in season or a major change in our life, so we want a change.
  • We don’t feel that our natural hair color fits our personality, so we change it.
  • We use hair color to express ourselves, like clothing or accessories.
  • Some of us just feel that it “looks cool.” It’s just something we feel like doing.
Leaves changing color
Leaves changing color…
The Hair Color Purple
The Hair Color Purple

The Power of the “Right” Color…

The right color can, “transform and enhance a woman’s beauty by complementing her complexion and adding depth and shine to her hair,” states professional stylist, Nneka Otim.

Nneka with blonde tips
Nneka with blonde tips

It can enliven your skin tone, cover grays, add sparkle to your eyes.

In fall, people tend to go for dark, rich tones. During the warm months, people tend to favor the blonde family of colors. Most recently, “unnatural” colors like pink, purple, and green are all the rave. However, all color are not created equally.

Two-toned hair color
Two-toned hair color

Color: At-Home or Professional?

Reasons to color your hair at home:

  • It’s cheaper.
  • The technology has come a long way, so why not?
At-home hair color on drugstore shelf.
At-home hair color on drugstore shelf.

Reasons to get your hair colored by a professional:

  • They are licensed to do this. They passed a state exam to do this.
  • They know the meaning of words like, porosity, density, and elasticity. The meaning of these words play a role in the end result of your hair color.
  • They can get you the color you want or advise on the best colors to complement your underlying skin tone pigment.
  • They factor in things like, medication, hair condition, amount of gray, previous hair color, hormones.
  • You cannot see the back of your head. They can, so they can apply the color optimally.
  • They can save you money and time by giving you your desired look and you not having to pay extra or spend extra time for corrective color service and they can keep you from damaging your hair by trying to correct the color, yourself.
  • If you want to change your present hair color to some other color, there is a process. “Lifting” may need to be involved in order to get a desired result. They are trained to do this properly.
  • They use professional grade hair color that are top of the line, natural, and gentle to your hair.
All-over blonde color

Results and Personal Experience

These topics were thoroughly researched. As you can see, there were more overwhelming reasons to use a professional than to DIY. 

And, I can also speak from personal experience. I have always liked color. At one point, I thought it was too expensive and followed a friend’s lead and started using a box color. I over processed my hair and am still paying the price for it, today. It just is not worth it. Save for the professional service, if you must.

Now, I get color twice a year by a professional.  And guess what? The model on the box in the store or online most likely had her color “done” by a professional.

If you are still on the fence, don’t just take it from me and my research…

…seeing a professional will make this process much easier. They will look at your hair and make suggestions on what would be best for you, taking into consideration your hair type, texture, and condition. If you want to obtain shiny, vibrant hair color with a high gloss finish, you must start with a healthy cuticle layer. A healthy, conditioned head of hair is the key to maintaining long lasting color. ~Nneka Otim, Professional Cosmetologist

Nneka Otim
Nneka Otim, Founder of Green Gold Hair and Body Boutique

Done right, your hair color, can be your hottest accessory this summer.

Hot accessories for summer: hair color and shades
Hot accessories for summer: hair color and shades

Nneka makes her own products that aid in damaged cuticle repair to prepare your scalp and hair for color. Check out her boutique: https://www.greengoldhairandbody.com/

How to Easily Transition Your Hair and Skin Routine from Winter to Spring…

Spring! You’ve Been Waiting For It!

Spring is a season of new beginnings. Fresh buds blooming from flowers. Animals awaken from hibernation or return from warmer regions. Some animals shed their winter coats or change coloration to blend in with their new surroundings.

Duck flying
Getting in gear for Spring…

Spring is a time for transition for humans too! Most of us, not only spring our clocks forward, we use this time for spring cleaning:  out with the old, in with the new. We change our wardrobe: we tend to wear brighter colors, wear different types of fabrics, and shoes. We also change our skincare and hair care regiments. If you use the same routine all year, we will show you how to easily transition your hair care and skin care routines from the Winter to the Spring.

“Hello Spring!”

Part I: Spring Skin Care

During the winter, skin may be drier because of low moisture in the air. Most skincare professionals recommend using heavier creams and intensely moisturizing as part of our winter skincare routine. In Spring, it is more humid, which means more moisture is in the air, which means spring skin care is a lighter fare. Here’s how we transition from winter to spring.

1. Exfoliate

Woman getting skin exfoliated
Exfoliating dead skin cells…

We naturally shed dead skin cells about every 30 days, but sometimes the dead cells do not completely shed and need some assistance. Enter exfoliation. Exfoliation removes dead skin cells by using a chemical, substance, or tool.

Benefits of skin exfoliation:

  • Improve the appearance of your skin by removing the lingering layer of winter
  • Prevent clogged pores, which in turn results in fewer breakouts
  • Enhance absorption of topical skincare products
  • Leaves your skin looking brighter

Methods:

Physical exfoliation: any method that requires manual scrubbing or rubbing. You can do-it-yourself by using cleansing scrubs, exfoliating mitts, brushes, loofahs, pumice stones, etc. You can buy products or make products yourself.

Chemical exfoliation: uses chemicals to include hydroxy acids, retinol, and enzymes. This method offers more dramatic results, but can irritate skin if done incorrectly, so make sure to see a skincare professional.

2. Hydrate

Water pouring into a glass
Clean, refreshing water…

Water! Water! Water! Drinking water has so many benefits for the body. It is also important to keep your skin hydrated.

Our skin is our largest organ. The more water we drink, the easier it will be to keep our skin from getting dry and flaky.  Doctors recommend we drink at least 64 ounces of water a day.

Benefits of hydration:

  • Can slow down the aging process and improve the appearance of your skin by maintaining your skin’s elasticity and combating the appearance of wrinkles.
  • Rid the skin of toxins
  • Fight oil and acne

3. Use Sunscreen

SPF 15+ Sunscreen
Sunscreen should be at least SPF 15+

SPF is even more important in the spring because there’s more sunshine beaming down on us. Sunscreen shields you from harmful UV rays, prevents premature aging, lowers skin cancer risks, enhances health of skin. To make things more convenient, there are sunscreens that can double as a cream. There are moisturizers that have UVA/UVB protection. There are foundations and tinted moisturizers with SPF. Doctors recommend these products have at least 15 SPF. Reapply sunscreen as needed.

Lips tip: Don’t forget to protect your lips with lipstick or lip balm with SPF.

Eyes tip: If you find that sunscreen irritates the delicate area around your eyes, use an SPF infused eye cream.

4. Moisturize, but Lightly

Woman applying face moisturizer
Apply light moisturizer…

Go lighter with your moisturizer. Our skin tends to hold more water in the spring, so not as much protection is needed. We need products that will not weigh us down. Ideally one that’s oil-free and has at least SPF 15, goes on light and smooth, but rich enough to quench skin without kicking up oil production.

Part II: Spring Hair Care

During the winter, the dry air means your hair will need more moisture. Just like the skin, because of the humidity, your hair will need less moisture, which means that your spring regiment may need some tweaking. Here’s how we transition our hair care from winter to spring.

1. Get a Trim

Shears for hair trimming
Shears for trimming hair…

It can be as simple as the angle she holds her trimming tool…

Bring in the season by getting a trim. Doing this will remove “dead” ends in order to receive full growth benefits. With ‘locs, there is a certain stage when you can get your hair trimmed (when your locs have matured) and different ways to do it.

If you are thinking about trimming your locs, talk to Nneka about this before your next appointment. Tell her the look you are going for and she will be able to tell you how this look can be achieved by the trimming method used. It can be as simple as the angle she holds her trimming tool.

2. Styling

'Locs with side ponytail, no heat, twist, rolling required.
‘Locs with side ponytail…

Most of us want to spend less time styling our hair in the spring because of the return on investment. The styles tend not to last as long because of the weather and activities, we are going for less product, and we don’t want to spend a whole lot of time on styles. We want to be outside enjoying the sunshine.  

Wearing the hair pulled up in a bun or donning more free styles will make it more flexible to care for your hair when you exercise, go swimming, etc.

3. Use Lighter Weight Products

Avocado is makes a great hair oil.
Avocado is lighter and makes a great hair oil.

It is not recommended that we skip steps in our hair care routine, just tweak the routine a bit.  Instead of using heavy butters or oils, like we did in the winter. It is recommended that we seal in moisture with lighter oils such as avocado, jojoba, grapeseed, almond.

4. Tweak Your Regiment

Why tweak your Spring hair care routine.
Reasons to tweak your routine a bit…

You may find that you need to perform some steps less frequently and perform some steps more frequently. For instance, you may find that you do not need to deep condition your hair as much in the spring. If you deep conditioned every week in the winter, you can try deep conditioning bi-weekly, instead because your hair does not require as much moisture. You would still deep condition for the same amount of time, but less frequently.

The same goes for shampooing your hair, except in the opposite direction. You may want to shampoo your hair more frequently in the warmer months because of sweat build-up on the scalp, water activities, etc.

5. Hydrate!

Drink more water!
Water does the hair, good…

Water. It also does the hair good. Just like the skin, your hair needs water on it and coming from the inside of your body to flourish. The daily recommended amount is at least 64 ounces of water per day.

In the end,

These are the essentials elements that we came up with when we thought about easily transitioning from the winter season to the spring season when it comes to hair and skin.  Do you have any others to add? Let us know in the comments.

Renew
Spring is for renewal…

Next month’s topic…

Check out our next month’s blog. We will tell you some things that you may not know about hair color…