You may spend a fair amount of time caring for your hair, but how often do you consider your scalp? Often forgotten, but just as important as the rest of your skin, knowing how to care for your scalp can improve your hair’s health and even promote hair growth.
Think of your scalp like the soil in a flower bed. Healthy, nutrient-dense and balanced soil will grow the most beautiful of flora, but a bed devoid of these things will lead to weakened blooms, or even worse, a barren bed altogether. It’s more important than you may realize to care specifically for your scalp, but first, it’s helpful to know what scalp issues to look out for and what may be causing them.
Typical scalp issues can include itchiness, flakiness, tenderness or redness, bumps or even hair loss. Anything from shampooing too much or too little, a disrupted microbiome, over or underproduction of sebum, product build-up, hormonal changes, poor diet, pollution or even stress can all lead to issues. As with anything health-related, if you feel cause for concern or symptoms persist, speak to a medical professional for help.
The good news is it’s not difficult or expensive to care for your scalp and with just a few simple steps, you’ll be well on your way to a happier, healthier scalp which could mean stronger, longer locks as well.
Use gentle, non-toxic products
Avoid hair products with sulfates, alcohol, silicone, and fragrance. Sulfates strip your natural oils which can sap your scalp of moisture and lead to irritation and brittle, frizzy hair. Silicones can clog your hair follicles and alcohols and fragrances can be drying and a source of irritation. Wash your hair every other day Finding a happy medium between washing too often and too little is the key. Washing too often, and/or with the wrong products, can lead to dry, flaky and irritated skin. Washing too infrequently can lead to product and pollution build-up, an accumulation of dead skin cells and excess sebum which can clog follicles and impede or even stop hair growth.
Just as gentle exfoliation of the face rids of dead skin cells and improves tone and texture, so too does exfoliation of the scalp. This can be done by way of manual or chemical exfoliation and once or twice a week is plenty. But, easy does it! Just like scrubbing your face with harsh exfoliants does way more harm than good, aggressive products or scrubbing/scratching too hard can cause unnecessary damage to your scalp.
Massage is beneficial for scalp health because it helps loosen and rid of excess product build-up, increases circulation which can help stimulate follicles and encourage hair growth, and just plain feels nice. A quick, yet thorough massage every time you shampoo is all you need. But don’t be afraid to treat yourself! Our Detox Scalp Massager feels so luxurious and is gentle, yet effective. Add a few drops of our Nourish+Repair Serum to your favorite leave-in conditioner and call it a night.
Eat a healthy diet
You’ve heard it all before, but it’s true; pick any ailment and an unhealthy diet is almost always partially to blame. The same rings true for scalp health. A diet heavy in sugar, salt, trans fat and dairy can cause or exacerbate dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis and eczema (just for starters). Aim for a mostly plant-based diet, high in antioxidants, lean proteins and healthy fats.
Even if your diet is in check, you may want to consider adding supplements and a probiotic to your regimen. A supplement specifically targeted for hair health such as our Keratin+Collagen Complex will help tackle breakage and promote growth from the inside out. Taking a fish oil supplement rich in omega-3s and 6s, has been shown to help promote hair growth by increasing circulation of the scalp and preventing hair loss by calming inflammation. Probiotics provide good bacteria to the gut and a healthy gut means a healthy microbiome and a healthy microbiome means happy, balanced skin. It may take some trial and error to get to the root of what your specific scalp needs are (no pun intended), but by making small changes, you’ll surely see improvements in your scalp and hair health in no time!