1. I am almost 18 weeks post relaxer.
2. This is the first time my scalp has ever felt tender when it wasn't in a weave or braids or cornrows
3. I have been using castor oil to massage my scalp about twice a week. It only makes my scalp feel itchy right after a relaxer
4. I have been taking a different Hair, Skin and Nails supplement (Perfectil) this month. Last month I was taking the Centrum daily multivitamin
5. I have been experiencing massive amounts of shedding in the past week
6. I have been drinking about 1.5l of water daily
7. I have been working out, running a minimum of 5km every other day
8. I did a clarifying shampoo this weekend, and a protein and moisturizing DC. I flat ironed to straighten my roots.
9. Temperatures have been very high in Dar es Salaam, hitting over 30`C during the day and 25`C at night
10. That time of the month is due in a week
Ok, lets narrow this down.
Number 10 is invalid to me. It has never really impacted my scalp before, and I definitely don't think hormones have anything to do with the sore scalp
Number 4 was raising question marks, until I remembered I have used this brand of supplements before, without any ill effects except a bit of nausea in the mornings. Definitely not that.
Number 1 is also another one I'm throwing out. I stretched for 18 weeks earlier this year and my scalp wasn't tender then. Definitely not a major consideration in this case.
Number 3 is also out. I massaged castor oil regularly into my scalp in September, and my scalp didn't feel tender then. And as I said earlier, I am 18 weeks post, and castor oil only makes my scalp itch when I use it up to a month after a relaxer.
Number 6 can't be the cause. Massive amounts of water (1.5l is massive to me) are good for the body. Nope, not a cause.
So the main culprits I need to investigate are numbers 5 and 7.
Number 7: I have been running a lot in a bid to try stay fit after I huffed and puffed my way up to Gilman's Point on Mt Kilimanjaro this October. I have been running about 5km every other day. On Monday (the day before the tenderness started) I managed to jog about 6km. According to the research I have done, "Sweat contains salt and waste that our body produces to detoxify itself. When sweat dries, it dehydrates the scalp, causing it to become itchy and irritated..." (source: www.healthytextures.com).
Totally makes sense when put like that. So maybe all the perspiration I did on Monday evening is the root cause of the scalp tenderness.
Number 5: I have been shedding like my cat over the last week. This was the only week I haven't done a tea rinse, and I shed triple my daily amount. Even with the massive shedding, I haven't noticed any thinning in my hair (thank the Creator). Well, this means most of my hair was in the telogen phase, and most of my hair is now entering the anagen phase. According to Wikipedia (not the most reliable source, I know) ''The preceding hair strand is pushed up and out by the new, growing strand. The process causes the normal hair loss known as shedding."
Which brings me to my next question, does hair growth cause a sore scalp?
Well I am definitely going to do my research on this, as soon as my scalp takes a chill pill.