Start at the Source- Scalp Care 101
Healthy hair starts at the scalp, but it is often an area that is overlooked and neglected. Your scalp is an extension of your face, and when you compare how you treat your face versus your scalp, it makes you realize that your foundation needs a little TLC! In this blog post, we’re going to fill you in on everything you need to know about scalp health, common scalp issues, and how to taking care of your scalp will lead to healthier, stronger hair.
The skin on your scalp is very similar to the skin on the rest of your body, with two major differences: density and oil production. The skin on your scalp is comprised of 5 layers of tissue whereas the skin on the rest of your body only has 3. The reason for the extra density is because it must house thousands and thousands and THOUSANDS of hair follicles, but also because the scalp serves as a protective barrier against physical trauma and infection for the skull.
Healthy scalp skin looks how you’d expect healthy skin on the rest of your body to look. If there are signs of irritation like inflammation or redness, or scaly, flaking dry skin, there is likely an issue with the health of your scalp. Most of these issues can be easily solved with proper cleansing or at home care products but like with any other skin issue, if the problem persists, it’s important to see a dermatologist.
Similarly to the skin on the rest of your body, your scalp requires regular maintenance. It is important to regularly clean and remove debris, oil, and product build up, as well as to moisturize it and keep it well hydrated. Every scalp concern is going to require a different plan of action, and we’re going to give you some tips for how to take care of some common scalp concerns.
COMMON SCALP CONCERNS DRY SCALP Scalps typically become dry because there is not enough natural oil to keep it moisturized. This can happen for many reasons; cold, dry weather, over washing and stripping natural oils, being dehydrated or genetic predisposition. Whatever the cause is, there are a few ways to combat dryness that leads to itchiness and flakiness:
Reduce frequency of hair washing to restore natural oils
Use a gentle, moisturizing shampoo and conditioner every wash
Wash hair with warm water instead of hot water
Run a humidifier in your home. Bonus if you put it by your bed as you sleep!
Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
Invest in a hydrating scalp moisturizer. We love Amika’s Reset Pink Charcoal Scalp Cleansing Oil and Living Proof’s Scalp Care Dry Scalp Treatment as a tall glass of water for your thirsty scalp!
OILY SCALP Everyone’s hair follicles produce varied amount of oil and some hair types struggle with the appearance of greasy hair after only a short period of time. We’ve got a few recommendations on how to work with an oily scalp:
Shampoo more frequently and avoid using clarifying shampoos too often. Mix in a gentle shampoo every second wash as overusing clarifying shampoo may cause your hair follicles to overproduce sebum to overcompensate. We love switching between Amika’s Reset Clarifying Gel Shampoo and Living Proof PHD Shampoo for cleansing an oily scalp!
Try using shampoos with ingredients like tea tree oil or salicylic acid
Use a scalp scrub to remove buildup that can accumulate on an oily scalp. We love Amika’s Reset Exfoliating Jelly Shampoo.
Rinse hair with cold water to close the hair follicles after washing and conditioning
DANDRUFF Contrary to popular belief, dandruff and dry scalp are not the same. Dandruff happens when the skin cells on the scalp shed at an abnormally high rate while follicles over produce oil which then leads to a buildup of a yeast like fungus. As dandruff is an actual scalp condition, we always recommend seeing a doctor or dermatologist to determine a plan of action moving forward. However, mild cases of dandruff can be relieved and treated using high quality products at home. Here’s a few simple tips to follow to help with dandruff:
Find shampoos that contain selenium sulfide, zinc, or ketoconazole as they have anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties which will help reduce the flake causing bacteria growth on your scalp
Massage products into the scalp and allow them to sit for some time to act instead of rinsing immediately
Avoid styling products that cause buildup while using dandruff treatment products
Ask one of the hair care specialists at Rondezvous about which products are best for treating mild dandruff at home at your next salon visit!
HAIR THINNING/LOSS There are fewer things more stressful than unexpectedly losing hair or becoming thinner in certain areas. Although there are literally countless reasons for hair thinning, there are a few things you can do to actively prevent or lessen hair loss.
Don’t wear your hair in tight, tied back styles all the time. When you do this often, the pulling on the scalp causes tension which leads to inflammation and hair loss
Stimulate blood flow and circulation by massaging products into the scalp for an extended amount of time or by using a scalp brush
Deeply cleanse and moisturize your scalp regularly. When oil, product, and debris build up on the scalps surface, it can be difficult for hair strands to penetrate through. Treat your scalp with the same love and attention as you do your face, you’ll notice a huge difference in how it feels and how your hair looks.
Brush your hair gently and always brush before washing. You lose a ton of hair from manual breakage and being aware while brushing and styling will help prevent unnecessary hair loss.
It’s easy to overlook the scalp when in comes to choosing your hair care regiment, but we hope this blog has given you some insight as to why it’s time to start caring about your scalp! Healthy scalps are the foundation of healthy, shiny, stronger, beautiful hair and we challenge you to introduce some scalp care into your hair love routine! The hair care experts at Beauty on Bank, the best salon in South Ottawa, are here to answer all of your burning questions about scalp care and creating a happy, healthy base for your hair!
We'll see you at your next hair salon visit and until then, you can catch us on social media @beautyonbank
The Hair Specialists at Beauty on Bank Hair Salon in South Ottawa