Getting to the root of potential issues such as the dry scalp or oily hair is essential in determining your individual beauty routine’s best strategies, often literally in terms of hair maintenance, starting with scalp care.
Scalp care is one of the fundamental basics of appropriate hair care. Ultimately, happy, healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp.
Your scalp plays a critical role in hair growth, maintenance, and overall appearance. Taking proper precautions surrounding scalp care should be a pinnacle element of your hair care routine if you desire to have luscious locks.
Not only it plays a vital role in hair health, but your scalp provides essential bodily services. It maintains hair follicles and operates the sebaceous glands, which produce the necessary natural oils (sebum) to keep the skin on your scalp appropriately lubricated.
Practicing proper scalp care can involve many different techniques, including regular cleansing, exfoliation, and even altering your diet to help regulate blood flow and remove any excess bacteria, sweat and oil from the skin.
Overaccumulation of sweat and oils can lead to the issues surrounding greasy hair. In contrast, irregular cleansing and scalp care maintenance may lead to dry scalp or dandruff, a common but treatable affliction for many people.
Today, we are breaking down the basics of scalp care to help you determine viable treatment options, key ingredients to look out for, and how to alleviate common conditions such as dryness or buildup to ensure a healthy scalp and even healthier hair.
So, let’s get started!
What is Scalp Care?
Scalp care is the practice of maintaining appropriate scalp health to promote healthy skin and hair.
The scalp is the skin at the top of your head composed of layers of soft skin tissue. It is an area that is abundant with blood vessels and contains more hair follicles and sebaceous glands than any other area of the body.
The hair follicles on the scalp are comprised of connective tissue in the dermal layer of the skin. Their purpose is to nourish the hair to help it grow.
In this way, each hair grows from an individual follicle through the sebaceous gland. So, ensuring that the scalp, where the hair grows out, is clean and well-maintained is crucial in providing the best possible environment for more hair to grow.
Multiple things can cause hair growth issues, including overproduction of sebum in the follicle or dead skin and dandruff, blocking the ability and quality of hair growth.
To put things into perspective, entirely blocked follicles will cease to produce hair at all, so it is essential to practice appropriate scalp care if you want your hair to grow.
According to a study conducted by The Journal of Trichology, scalp care, and health can directly impact the natural growth and retention of hair.
Of course, like with hair density, texture and colour, genetics, hereditary traits, and biological elements such as gender also play a significant role in hair makeup, including hair thinning or balding issues.
However, there are practices and products that you can implement into your hair care routine to help maintain or improve your approach to scalp care to help foster a healthier scalp.
Why is Scalp Care Important?
A clean scalp promotes a proper turnover of skin cells and a hospitable environment for optimal hair growth.
Just as you fixate on treatments and products for your skincare and hair routines, you should invest just as much effort into scalp care. Your focus should not just end with rinse, lather and repeat.
Instead, devote attention to caring for your scalp. After all, it’s what determines your overall hair health at the end of the day.
We spend ages primping and prodding our hair with various products, heat tools, and accessories such as hair ties, scrunchies, clips and bobby pins. Such practices can take a toll. Not only that, but styling products such as texturizing sea salt sprays and hair spray can contribute to the dry scalp or causing it to feel itchy.
We often do more damage to our scalps than we realize. Even external factors, such as consistent exposure to the sun and UV rays and pollution levels in terms of where you live, can directly impact your overall scalp health.
If you’re striving for the gorgeous sheen and luscious long locks of your dreams, investing in scalp care is a must-do, essential first step.
Tips for Better Scalp Care
It may seem overwhelming to add even more steps to an already-established hair care routine or create a new strategy altogether.
Don’t sweat it! We’ve got you covered.
Below are five easy tips for promoting better scalp care so that you can rock your locks with pride.
Establish a Suitable Cleansing Technique
How frequently you should wash your hair will entirely depend on individual lifestyle, hair texture and thickness. However, you can still wash smart.
Avoid overwashing if you can. Instead of washing every day, opt to rock the messy bun look or purchase some dry shampoo for in-between washes to give your hair and scalp a break from overprocessing and drying products.
Dry skin is one of the leading causes of bad scalp health, so do your best to avoid washing your hair too much to the point where you’re stripping your scalp and hair of its necessary natural oils.
Dandruff is one of the most common hair afflictions to suffer from. Several studies researching the prevalence of dandruff worldwide have shown a prevalence of up to 50% in the general population.
We recommend purchasing a dedicated anti-dandruff shampoo to treat and soothe the scalp directly to help eliminate flakes. In particular, try and seek out an anti-dandruff shampoo containing salicylic acid.
That’s right! Not only salicylic acid is a common treatment for pesky zits and acne breakouts, but it can also be effective in treating dandruff.
If the issue persists, book a consultation with a dermatologist to see if a medicated anti-dandruff shampoo or other treatment options would be more effective for you.
Exfoliating is an excellent method of boosting the turnover of skin cells to enable better hair follicle health.
Just as exfoliating the skin on your face helps circulate blood flow and removes excess oil and sebum, exfoliating your scalp aids in removing dead skin cells, dirt, dandruff and excess oil resulting from product buildup over time.
This process will serve to clear the pores and follicles on your scalp, providing a more hospitable environment for healthy and strong hair to grow.
Invest in an Effective Shampoo and Conditioner
Since scalp health and scalp care directly impact hair growth, making smart choices surrounding the products you choose is essential.
So, how do you know which products to use?
Of course, it may take some experimentation and trial and error to determine which specific items work best for you and your hair type.
However, we recommend implementing a purifying/clarifying shampoo into your cleansing routine to use at least once a week to remove excess buildup and oil.
If you have blonde hair, specifically, a purple shampoo may provide the best of both worlds in helping cleanse the hair while also eliminating any brassy or orangey tones.
If you are looking to indulge in some self-care through applying a hair mask, a beneficial ingredient to look out for is aloe vera.
Like how salicylic acid can be multipurpose, aloe vera not only helps moisturize the skin and relieve inflammation, but it also serves as a gentle hair cleanser that helps remove excess oils while also hydrating and conditioning.
Adjust Your Diet
Diet can directly impact various aspects of health, including having an influence on scalp care.
Ensuring that you are eating a healthy, balanced diet rich in vitamins and fruits and vegetables will help provide the skin on your scalp with the components necessary to facilitate cell turnover and produce new, healthy cells.
It is also important to get enough protein for better scalp care to stimulate hair growth and health.
If having a dry scalp is something you are commonly faced with, try finding foods or supplements rich in Omega-3. Omega-3s can help regulate oil production on the skin.
Scalp Care – Back to Basics
Scalp care is an essential element of maintaining happy and healthy hair.
As such, it is critical to treat it appropriately if you’re looking for long and luscious locks that would make even Rapunzel jealous.
Developing proper scalp care techniques doesn’t necessarily have to be an intensive and tedious thing. Simply altering some of your lifestyle habits, such as diet, and investing in appropriate products can do wonders for promoting scalp health and facilitating the growth of strong and healthy hair.
It may take some time to find out what specific strategies and products work best for you, but in the long run, your hair and scalp will thank you.
If you are still at a loss, try consulting a professional dermatologist to explore other options and gain insights into potential treatment methods or ingredients to look out for.
At the end of the day, specific scalp needs will come down to the individual and their particular hair type, density and texture. However, dedicating some time to give your scalp some extra love and attention will have a significant payoff that you can see for yourself.
We think you’ll love the results.