Not many associate the health of our scalp to the health of our hair, but your hair is literally rooted in your scalp. Often compared to the soil of a garden, your scalp provides your hair the nutrients it needs to be healthy and strong. An unhealthy scalp can cause hair issues and possible hair loss.
Signs of an unhealthy scalp may include dryness, itchiness, redness, flakiness, irritation and more. Even if you take the utmost caution to keep your heat and product styling to a minimum there are other factors that can unknowingly have negative effects on your scalp. Dry shampoo, hairstyling product residue, stress, and pollution are just a few elements that can lead to an unhealthy scalp.
However, there are steps you can take to get your scalp in order to help foster new hair growth, stronger hair and avoid hair loss and or breakage.
How to get a healthy scalp
Many people take the time to create and implement a skincare routine, but the scalp is often left out. Scalp care is about nourishing and caring for the skin on your head. The first step to getting a healthy scalp is getting to know yours. What problems are you currently contending with? Dandruff? Dry, itchy, or oily scalp? Whatever the issue there is a solution.
Take a look at the products you are currently using and see if it is actually helping or hindering your scalp health.
Scalp Health products
When looking for scalp health products consider the type of scalp you have and what nutrients it needs to be healthy.
Similar to the skin on your face, the skin on your scalp can be sensitive. Be proactive by selecting and using hair products that will add nutrients to your scalp and not leave behind residue or possible harmful chemicals. Utilize hair products that contain natural ingredients and antioxidants to help create a nutrient-rich environment for your scalp and hair. Avoid hair products that contain sulfates, alcohols, strong fragrances, or harsh chemicals as it can damage the scalp skin and hair shaft.
Use silicone and sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner, then slowly add more scalp health products as needed. Try implementing a scalp stimulating hair mask or serum to help replenish some of the nutrients that are lacking from your scalp care routine.
The scalp is made up of hair follicles and oil glands that produce sebum, an oily substance that protects your scalp and moisturizes your hair. But as your hair interacts with different elements such as hair products it collects unwanted particle build-up. Consider using a micellar water hair product. It can help break down and remove elements from your hair and scalp.
Healthy scalp tips
While every scalp is unique and has different needs there are some easy-care practices you can start today to improve the health of your scalp.
To the surprise of many, washing your hair less is more effective than washing every day to achieve a healthy scalp. It is often assumed the more you wash your hair the cleaner and healthier it will be. But shampooing your hair too often can strip the natural oils of your hair. Which can cause your hair to produce more oil or sebum in an effort to keep your hair hydrated causing oily hair and scalp. Depending upon your scalp, hair type and lifestyle try washing your hair every other day to avoid stripping those natural oils.
But when you do wash your hair use a gentle approach. Take the time to massage your scalp as you wash your hair to increase blood circulation. This will bring oxygen and nutrients to your scalp and hair follicles. It will also help exfoliate your scalp by removing unwanted irritant buildup.
Another step to help achieve a healthy scalp is the use of a scalp scrub. A scalp scrub exfoliates the skin on your head and helps rid your scalp of irritants such as excess skin cells or oils and promotes circulation for healthy hair growth. The use of a scalp scrub may also help you relax which can lower your stress level that could be impacting your scalp health.
Much like the skin on your face, the skin on your scalp also needs to be moisturized. Utilize soothing serums or lotion scalp products to moisturize and nourish your dry scalp. Also, try to minimize the use of blow dryers and wash your hair in lukewarm water as warmer temps can dry out your scalp.
The food you eat can also take a toll on your scalp. Try adding more antioxidant-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables to your diet. Antioxidants can help combat the amount of oxidative stress that degrades or degenerate hair follicle cells on your scalp.
Lastly, be aware of factors that can damage your scalp from the sun to harsh chemicals. UV radiation can be detrimental to your scalp so make sure to wear a hat or scarf when you are in the sun for long periods of time.
In the end a healthy scalp will lead to less breakage and hair loss and boost new growth and stronger hair.