4C Hot Oil Treatment Vs. Pre-Shampoo Treatment

Pre-shampoo treatments and hot oil treatments are pretty much the same. Hot oil treatments came out first, many decades ago, and involve heating the oil in a double burner before applying it to dry hair.

You can heat a pre- poo oil treatment, but the modern way is to drench your hair in oil then use steam to help it penetrate.

This is a more relaxing treatment with a bonus: you’re less likely to burn yourself with that hot oil.

Many thanks to Sophie O’Kelley at Vegamour for including my insight about hot oil treatments in her article on the same. Pre-shampoo treatments are optional additions for type 2 hair routines. But ohhhh they are indispensable for type 4 hair.

Why is that? Check out my natural 4C hair care guide to find out.

Grow your hair from thinning to thick

A big thank you to Brigitt Earley at Oprah Daily for including me in her piece 17 Best Shampoos for Thinning Hair as part of my work for The Right Hairstyles.

Not my prime pick, but I’m grateful to be included, nevertheless.

Shampoos can help, but if you really want to make the switch from thin hair to thick, you need hair growth shampoo and a good scalp serum, plus a few other tips and tricks. Changing a few habits to stop mechanical damage won’t hurt, either. It’s all about how serious you are.

I bet your hair was thicker as a teenager than it is now. But what happens later to thin it out? High heat and chemicals for years and years leave the hair follicles suffering. They stop producing great quality hair regularly. Then the hair starts to thin.

Amazing. To maintain her beautiful hair, she’ll need to stop those blowouts after a while.

Get thicker hair growth from the scalp

If you’re determined to have thicker hair, ditch the chemicals and heat for a while. You need a higher percentage of active hair follicles on your head. That means having good scalp care and not punishing your scalp with… chemicals and high heat.

Most people think that once hair thinning starts, it’s bound to continue. Well, that’s true, if you don’t do anything about it. Here’s a routine that can stop hair thinning and promote growth:

  1. Exfoliate your scalp weekly.
  2. Use a scalp brush daily to encourage blood circulation.
  3. Use a hair growth oil or serum.
  4. Take a biotin supplement or make sure biotin is in your multivitamins.
  5. Use a biotin shampoo, so that your scalp is getting this important hair growth vitamin from your bodily nutrition and directly into your hair follicles, as well.

All of this means more blood circulation to the hair follicles. Increased circulation is the principle behind drugs like minoxidil. More circulation can help some of the dormant hair follicles will wake up and can help the active ones keep up their business for longer. That way, you can have longer, thicker hair. Here are a few examples of products that can help you in the search for thicker hair:

1. Sunday Riley Clean Rinse Clarifying Scalp Treatment Serum

If your skin and scalp are sensitive, you probably need an exfoliant that works without the scratching of ingredients that have jagged edges. I prefer chemical exfoliants. Sunday Riley is the queen of scalp exfoliants in this category. Using a scalp exfoliant weekly can help make sure there’s no product buildup or skin cells blocking the hair follicles and impeding growth. Chemical exfoliants create new scalp cells, too, which is a real plus. It’s great for dandruff and helps regulate sebum production, in case your hair is too oily or too dry.

2. Tangle Teezer Scalp Exfoliator and Massager

It would seem like you could just do this with any plastic-pronged brush. But it won’t feel as good, and it won’t stimulate your scalp as much. You actually need a scalp massage tool, and this is a pretty good one. And, by the way, scalp massage tools work lovely to eliminate the precursor pain or stress headaches. Just give a little scratch in the area that’s affecting you.

3. Camille Rose Coconut Nibs & Honey Ultimate Growth Serum

Bonus! This scalp serum contains biotin. Otherwise, it’s pretty much an Ayurvedic formula, so I know they won’t mind my adding a few drops of clove oil, an Ayurvedic hair growth oil that’s supposed to give you crazy long hair. This is a winter practice only, because clove oil on the scalp can make you pretty hot, and who needs that in the summer? When summer gets here, I’ll exchange the clove for peppermint.

4. SugarBearHair Women’s Multivitamins

Instead of buying biotin supplements, sometimes it’s better to just get a multi that contains biotin. After all, a balanced diet grows better quality hair strands, not just biotin. So a well-rounded daily vitamin can help. Yes, it grows facial hair, too, brows and lashes–not mustaches.

5. Hairtamin Biotin Botanical Blend Shampoo

This is a mild shampoo. It contains biotin to increase blood flow to the scalp. The myriad other scalp stimulants in the formula, like lavender oil and rosemary oil, work together with the biotin to grow your hair thicker.

So if you’re really serious about having thicker hair, it’s definitely a process. One or two things from this list will help, but all five will get your hair growing and leave you surprised at the results.

Here’s How to Grow Back Your Hair Naturally After Pandemic-Related Hair Loss

Make products? Here’s a writing sample that conveys important information without sounding like an encyclopedia.*
Male androgenic alopecia… but honestly it all goes pretty much the same in the follicle death process. Keep reading. Photo via Univ. of Melbourne Dept. of Medicine

People start losing hair for many reasons, but these days there’s a lot of talk these days about people having hair loss from stress. Yes, Pure D. Stress. Sometimes there’s a background cause like medication, an autoimmune disorder, covid-19, hormonal changes, or Stress’s ugly cousin named Trauma. All of these things can cause premature aging, but who wants to lose hair on top of that?

Stress Hair Loss From the Follicles

Whatever type of hair loss you’re enduring, your scalp went through pretty much the same process to get there. It concerns the little pore-like structures on your head that hold your hair in place – the hair follicles. You might be dealing with traction alopecia or are getting little bald spots from playing with one or two spots in your hair. So here, your hair follicles met Pure D. Stress because of your yanking on them, loudly proclaimed they weren’t going to take it anymore and went to sleep.

The only problem is that while your follicles are in this sleep state, your hair falls out. It’s actually normal that about a hundred hair follicles go into the inactive sleep, or telogen, phase and eventually shed hair. What’s not normal is for two or three hundred to go into telogen at the same time and cause more hair loss than usual. That’s not mechanical stress like when you’re pulling on your hair follicles. Hair loss all over is usually emotional stress – what a lot of us have been dealing with this past year sitting at home alone, or with kids that use you as their entertainment, or with a loved one you can’t stand.

This kind of diffuse hair loss can also be related to trauma from losing family members – not because your follicles dropped strands from pulling your edges back too tight. 

Hair Loss Cycles

Whatever the reason, we need to get your hair follicles kicking again. Get ’em out of bed and doing jumping jacks, or whatever it takes, to produce hair again.

Hair follicles work in cycles. So a follicle will grow new hair, hold on to it for a time, go to sleep and shed it. If you are losing hair, they are holding on to it for a shorter time and going to bed early.

Unfortunately, if they sleep for too long, they can die and can never grow hair again.

Harsh Styling Means Hair Loss, and Sometimes Follicle Death

There are clinical names for hair follicles going from sleeping to dead, like androgenetic alopecia, frontal fibrosing alopecia and central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia. Those last three are forms of hair loss that disproportionately affect women due to strenuous styling practices like:

  1. Repeated tight pulling of the hairline or crown with extensions or weave, and
  2. Years of hair relaxers, perms or hair dyes depositing corrosive chemicals into the hair follicles, and
  3. Extreme heat on the scalp from flat irons and blow dryers.

Some of us engage in all three practices at once… right?

As a warning sign the scalp sheds hair to let you know that what you’re doing is just too much. If you don’t put a stop to it, the hair follicles of the scalp can become inflamed. You won’t see the inflammation, but it keeps the hair from growing at a normal pace, sheds what is there and eventually scars – after which no hair will grow. Yes. Disaster!

Hair Loss Is (Usually Pretty) Gradual

The good news is that, like most other forms of alopecia, the process is pretty gradual – unless your hair is literally coming out in clumps because of chemo or a traumatic episode. Because most types of alopecia boil down to the same problem, inactive hair follicles, the solution is also pretty much the same, too: putting and keeping as many hair follicles as possible in the growth phase. So let’s get to the good news.

How Hair Growth Products Work

I don’t want you going out shopping for minoxidil, but it works. Luckily, there are natural oils that do pretty much what minoxidil does: increase the blood flow to the scalp to keep the hair follicles from going to sleep. There are other oils that work like the hair growth drug finasteride and wake up dormant hair follicles.

I linked some scientific studies below so you know natural stuff is legit, too, and can do pretty much the same things as minoxidil and finasteride. They also don’t have any side effects, are multipurpose and are cost effective. If you’re into natural hair care already, you probably have some of these in your home already. In case you don’t, I restricted the list of oils to what’s readily available.

Growing Your Hair Again

“Wake up!” It’s time for hair follicle jumping jacks.

  • Castor oil or Jamaican black castor oil – mimics the body’s natural hair growth stimulator PGE2.
  • Pumpkin seed oil – even when taken orally, it can increase hair density up to 40% for men suffering from genetic alopecia.
  • Rosemary essential oil – compares well to Minoxidil regarding the rate of growth after six months
  • Peppermint essential oil – works quickly to put more hair follicles into the growth phase.

Natural Substances That Help More Hair to Grow

Your hair follicles need certain building blocks to build hair and help it grow faster. Keratin, which makes up 96% of the hair shaft, can help – that’s if your follicles have more if it available.

Natural Hair Growth Extenders

Sounds kind of like we’re adding extensions here. We’re not! I’m talking about keeping your existing hair in for longer. Our hair follicles hold on to hair for two to six years, normally. The longer it stays, the longer your hair grows. If you’re losing hair, it’s not even lasting for the two year minimum, but falling out before that time. So we need to try to extend the time the hair remains in it’s follicles, and keep the hair follicles from falling asleep prematurely.

US Hair Growth Products

Pumpkin Hair Serum– contains pumpkin seed oil and peppermint @NatHairQueen 

Groganics Head Full of Hair Creme Hair Dress – contains castor oil and peppermint, but the star of Groganics products is pea sprout extract. Pea sprout increases the number of hairs on your head that are in the growth phase. @My_Groganics

UK Hair Growth Products

Creamy Cafe Latte Leave-In Detangle Conditioner – a rich cream that contains castor oil and coffee for to keep your follicles wide awake and functioning like they should @anitagrantllc

TLC Naturals Grow It Caffeine Stimulating Shamoo – it contains caffeine, DHT blockers adn salicylic acid, to combat inflammation.  @tlcnaturals

By Aaron Wallace product line with black seed oil @byaaronwallace

There are so many more. If you make products from some of the ingredients listed here and I missed you, just drop me a line: hairandbeautywriter@gmail.com

And whether you whip up your own or choose something that’s pre-made, I wish you a full head of hair… and less stress in your life!

*Now for my pitch: The above is a sample of my hair care research and writing. It’s written in my own personal voice, but hey, I can mimic yours if I see a sample of your writing. Let someone write for you, because you really don’t have to do Ever-Thing yourself. Need someone to take care of your blog? Drop me a line here: hairandbeautywriter@gmail.com