If you're familiar with the tenderness and general discomfort of a dry, itchy, flaky scalp that seems to get exponentially more painful and obvious in the winter, you'll completely understand the plight of Rosalie Rodriguez, the star of the most recent episode of Refinery29's YouTube series Macro Beauty.
With frustrating itch and dandruff causing more bad hair days than good ones, Rodriguez schedules a visit to New York's Pierre Michel Salon for a "scalp facial," a multi-step exfoliating and hydrating hair treatment designed to soothe itch, slough away dead skin, and facilitate healthy hair growth.
"The scalp facial is a rejuvenating treatment the purifies the scalp," explains Amina Bouchirab, a salon specialist with over twenty years of experience treating clients like Rodriguez who come in with scalp-related concerns such as dryness, hair loss, dandruff, or chronic itch. "It stimulates the blood circulation and takes off the dead skin, and in the end you have a healthy, clean scalp."
After diagnosing Rodriguez with a mild form of psoriasis of the scalp, Bouchirab performs a routine scalp facial, starting with a ten-minute pre-shampoo mask to exfoliate and purify the scalp. Following the exfoliation, Bouchirab coats the scalp and hair shaft with a moisturizing conditioner and places Rodriguez under a hair steamer for twenty minutes. "The steam opens the hair follicles and helps the product penetrate into the hair and scalp," explains Bouchirab. "Plus, it's relaxing."
After the hot steam, Bouchirab gives Rodriguez a scalp massage to promote blood circulation before bringing her to the shampoo bowl to rinse out the moisturizing treatment. She then shampoos and conditions the hair with a scalp-friendly tea-tree formula, and then dries it gently using a blow dryer with a diffuser attachment.
As she runs her fingers through her hair, Rodriguez says she feels refreshed and rid of any itch or tenderness. "The treatment was so relaxing and my hair just feels lighter," she raves. "With the steam and heat, the itchiness just immediately went away. Then when she took the steam off and the cold air hit my scalp, it felt so good. Now, I'm so excited to wear my black turtleneck — and not have little flakes falling out everywhere."
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