Hair care is an essential aspect of our daily grooming routine, but it’s easy to focus solely on the strands that we can see and touch. It’s important to remember that our scalp is just as much a part of our hair care routine as the lengths of our hair. In fact, taking care of your scalp is essential for maintaining healthy, strong, and beautiful hair.
Just like the skin on our face and body, the scalp needs proper nourishment and care in order to function optimally. A healthy scalp means healthy hair growth, and conversely, a neglected scalp can lead to dryness, flakiness, and even hair loss.
In this article, we will explore the importance of scalp care and offer tips and techniques for keeping your scalp healthy and happy. From cleansing and exfoliating to nourishing and protecting, we’ll cover all the bases to help you achieve and maintain a healthy scalp and beautiful hair.
Do you have flaky, dry skin?
This is by far the most common symptom of an unhealthy scalp. Dry skin can appear anywhere on the body, including on the scalp. For many people, this can be treated with an anti-dandruff shampoo which may be medicated. Many natural treatments and ingredients, such as coconut oil-based and ginger shampoos, can treat mild dandruff and a dry scalp without the need for medicated shampoos.
More severe cases of a dry scalp may be a sign of psoriasis. This skin condition can affect any area of the body, and many people suffer from scalp psoriasis without experiencing it anywhere else. There are many different ways to treat psoriasis, including diet changes and prescribed medication. If left untreated it can lead to hair loss and can expand to cover a larger area of the scalp.
Is your scalp itchy and red?
The skin of the scalp can be difficult to keep clean. The roots of our hair and be grouped closely together, and people with thicker heads of hair often suffer from an itchy scalp that can also develop red patches. This can be caused by a buildup of hair products, blocking pores and follicles, and preventing the scalp from breathing freely.
If you are suffering from an itchy scalp, but without dry flakes, try gradually reducing the number of hair products you use. Take extra care when rinsing your hair after washes, getting fresh water deep into the roots of the hair. Switching to dry shampoos and conditioners can also help reduce the level of products on the scalp, keeping the skin clear.
Do you have an oily scalp?
The skin on our scalps is a lot like the skin on our faces. It can get oily or spotty for some of the same reasons, including diet and environmental factors. During outbreaks of spots or greasy skin on the face, most people know how to treat it with exfoliation and cleansing. The scalp requires the same treatment, though you have to work a little harder to get deep into the roots of the hair and follicles of the skin.
Hair scrubs and masks are a great exfoliation treatment. These products are similar to deep-cleansing facial scrubs that contain small, grit-like particles that gently exfoliate the skin. By working these products deep into the scalp and paying close attention to affected areas, you cleanse and exfoliate the glands in the scalp that produce its natural oils. Following this up with a moisturizing conditioner will cleanse, tone, and moisturize the scalp and prevent the gland from producing excess oil.
What is your hair care regimen?
For long-term hair care and scalp management, you need a hair care regimen just like you have a facial skin care regimen. You should have a basic treatment that you can add to or alter depending on what your scalp demands. It is a good idea to have a daily regimen and a weekly or bi-weekly routine, such as a hair scrub or switching to dry shampoo.
Do not over-exfoliate or over-treat the scalp, have a sensible daily regimen that balances scalp condition and hair cleansing and add extra scalp care at an interval that suits you. Dry scalps may require weekly treatments, whereas oily scalps may only need monthly or twice monthly exfoliation depending on how oily the scalp and hair are.
When should you see a doctor?
If your scalp is causing you pain or dry flakes of skin are large and tough to deal with, you may need to see a doctor and discuss what medical treatments are available to you. Particularly painful or large areas of Psoriasis, for example, may need to be treated by a doctor with a prescribed shampoo to ease the symptoms. You can still help treat the problem through diet and reducing your use of hair products.
When treating your scalp with medication, whether a shampoo or tablet prescription, it is important to carefully follow the instructions and complete the prescribed course of treatment. You may not see any results until you have been using it for a couple of weeks or even longer. With the help of medication and some sensible hair care regimen changes, even the symptoms of severe Psoriasis can be eased.
By following some of the advice in this guide you should be able to take care of your scalp no matter what its condition and bring it back to peak health. If you look after your scalp, it will look after you, giving you healthy-looking, fresh, and shiny hair with clear and clean skin underneath.