So, if you haven’t read the story, I suggest you do that first. The post will explain a little bit about my condition and the struggle I’m in.
When I was in Japan not too long ago (see the skincare I brought with me), I made it a mission to find different hair products that might help me. I bought several items from one of my favorite Japanese brands, THREE. I went to the flagship store in Tokyo where I knew I’d get the full experience. The sales lady who served me was extremely kind. She tried to help me as much as she can despite the language barrier. She knew I was a foreigner and she offered me an iPad with THREE catalog in English for me to look at. That definitely saved time rather than me trying to search via my small-screened iPhone.
So I took her kind gesture by asking her several questions, using my best ability to convey. I scratched my head endlessly; an effort to show her that my scalp is itchy. She noted it and from there forward she can give her opinion whether the particular product I pointed out might suit me or not. Keyword: gesture. Those years in drama classes finally paid off.
I’ve been using these products ever since I got back to Jakarta (around 6 weeks now) and I’m ready to share my thoughts.
Let’s start with the first one.
Cleansing oil for the scalp? You read that right. When I think of it, it makes sense. Scalp is considered skin with pores. A cleansing oil will help to remove the excess sebum that blocked the pores, prepping the skin for the next cleansing step, in this case, a shampoo. So essentially, I’m doing a double cleansing for the scalp. YES, PLEASE.
There are two types of cleansing oil that THREE offers. One from the AC line, the other is Balancing line. I picked the AC one after reading the catalog that this particular line is targeted more for the health of the scalp, while Balancing is more for damaged hair. Since my main focus is the scalp, AC it is.
The cleansing oil has a blend of essential oils, including Eucalyptus radiata and Tea Tree. They’re both usually handy to purify the skin and improving circulation. Can I just get on about how much I adore the scent! It’s an instant love at first whiff. Herbal and very spa-like. Texture wise, it looks like a regular cleansing oil. The consistency is not too viscous.
Just like with any cleansing oil, I use it on dry hair, dividing it into sections (just as directed in the little booklet inside the box and catalog). Massage it gently, making sure I get the whole scalp covered. I concentrated on the hot spots. I left it for 30 minutes – 1 hour, enjoying the scent before going into the shower and get the hair rinsed with the shampoo. When touched with water, it doesn’t turn milky or anything like that. It washes off just as easy though.
For starters, the sales lady advised to use it everyday for one week then once-a-week afterwards. I wash my hair every other day, so I did this for 2 weeks and decided to lessen the frequency. Reason why is it really does its job very well and my scalp feels so much better already. Less blemishes. I don’t want to over-cleanse it, so to speak. Nowadays, I use it at maximum twice a week. This way I won’t run out of the cleansing oil too fast as well.
Initially, I was going to get the shampoo from the AC line as well. But it was out stock and the sales lady said (to my understanding) that the product is being discontinued and replaced by the new series (Refining and Reinforcing line) – I can’t know for sure. Anyway, I settled for the Reinforcing Shampoo as the product description seems to be more fitting. Something along the line of preventing hair loss, flat hair and creating a healthy scalp environment.
Now the catch is, I don’t know whether this shampoo is sulfate-free or not. I tried to translate these particular ingredients into Japanese and I couldn’t find them printed on the box. I emailed the brand for confirmation but haven’t got any response yet. However, THREE is one of the “cleaner” brands in Japan, proud themselves in using natural and certified organic ingredients in their products.
That being said, this shampoo definitely doesn’t strip my scalp like other shampoos I used previously. Of course some of the natural oils still get washed off; we can’t just choose to remove the dirt without having some moisture sacrificed. But the level of “stripped” here is far, far less. I don’t end up scratching my head the very same day after I wash my hair.
I use a little bit less than a pump and it’s surprisingly more than enough to cover the entire head. It foams up nicely but not overwhelming like others. I usually just do one wash and that’s it. There’s also a slight cooling sensation on the scalp, which I’m guessing comes from Eucalyptus radiata oil. And that distinguishable herbal, spa-like scent charges up the mood during my shower time. It feels so good.
I don’t know whether it was the-spur-of-a-moment thing, I decided to get the Tonic Water as well. I never use a one before. Finding the right shampoo is hard enough and I didn’t think it’s wise to get into other products while one issue hasn’t been solved yet. But the idea of nourishing the scalp sounds like it’s the perfect way to complete the treatment, or shall I say, the regime.
Plus, hello, I was in Japan and this is not available yet in Jakarta.
I didn’t start using the Tonic Water after 2 weeks going in with the “double cleansing” routine as I want to see the results of those two products first. Once I saw it’s doing okay, it’s a go sign for me. I use this after shampoo, towel dried hair. Shake the bottle first. I sectioned the hair and spritz it directly to the scalp. Again, I concentrated on the hot spots. Then massage the scalp gently and really work it in. There’s that familiar cooling yet warming sensation when I do this. I believe the massage improves the blood circulation, helping the product to penetrate better. Let it absorb then I can either let the hair air-dry or use a help of a hair dryer if I’m going to style my hair. The spa-like scent continues throughout this treatment. I just lo-lo-love.
I personally feel adding the Tonic Water does exactly what I pictured in my mind. It adds vitamins and nutrition back into the scalp after cleansing. The skincare logic applies just as well to the scalp.
After doing this set of treatment for one month, I notice a huge improvement in my scalp. First off, I don’t scratch my head as much, which could only mean that the treatment has lessened the itch and inflammations. As for the blemishes, they didn’t disappear in one night. The process is gradual with some still showed up. But, the newer blemishes cleared and dried up a lot faster.
What I have learned so far is to create beautiful hair, it starts with a healthy scalp. I have less fall outs and less breakage. I’m very happy with how things are now. It’s a far cry from what I had to endured previously for months. It feels beyond great that I don’t need to deal with flake offs and blood on my fingers every time I decided to relieve an itch.
I have a theory that my scalp might’ve been dehydrated and therefore it got oily fast. Usually, my hair became limp a day after shampoo. And there’s that greasy feeling that made me uneasy and just want to wash it off. With this routine, I can see my hair didn’t do that. By any means, the hair doesn’t look as good as day one, but it doesn’t look flat either. I can still style it and make it through the second day.
Unfortunately, THREE Scalp & Hair products aren’t available yet in Jakarta. *zonk* But I’m not too concerned as there’s always a way to get them again when I need to.