Simple Ways to Keep a Healthy Scalp
Our hair is our crowning glory so most people focus on products and treatments that would benefit the look and feel of our hair. But, if you truly want to have healthy, shiny hair, you also need to take good care of your scalp. The roots of our hair rest in our scalp. The scalp may not seem important because it’s hidden underneath all the hair but it actually plays a crucial part in keeping our hair at its best.
When you have scalp issues like dandruff, itchiness, and bumps, it eventually affects the strength and the look of your hair. Also, it may not seem obvious at first, but problems with the scalp can actually affect your confidence and your peace of mind. Imagine feeling the need to scratch all the time or having dandruff flakes falling everywhere on your clothes and other places. It’s embarrassing and annoying!
Is your scalp healthy?
A healthy scalp should be free from excessive hair loss, bumps, flakiness, redness, acne, irritation, and itchiness. Scalp issues like bumps, redness, and irritation could mean there is inflammation.
Scalp issues can lead to hair loss and weakening of the hair. It can also be a cause of stress which may worsen your scalp problems. Bottom line, how healthy your scalp is determines the health of your hair and contributes to your overall wellbeing.
Your scalp is part of your skin as well. Imagine having these issues in other parts of your body. You will surely be alarmed and you will find ways to treat the area. If this is happening to your scalp, then you need to do something about it too.
The scalp is made up of around 100,000 hair follicles. These follicles produce oil that keeps our scalp moisturized and creates a skin barrier to protect our skin and hair from infection. Everywhere in our body, there are different skin microbiomes depending on which part of the body it is located on. Just the same, our scalp has its own skin flora that requires balance. Once this balance is disrupted, it can lead to dandruff, eczema, and scalp acne.
When the scalp experiences these issues, it leads to weak, thin, rough, and dull hair.
Tips to get a healthy scalp
The great thing about our body is that it responds well if we take good care of it. Oftentimes, simple steps and changes to your hair care routine can spell the difference to get you a healthier scalp.
(1) Cleanse gently
Choose cleansing products that are gentle to your scalp. Sulfates, alcohols, and fragrances can be too harsh on your scalp. Sulfates may not be your scalp’s best friend because they strip away the natural oils in your hair. They can also be too harsh on the skin’s surface exposing it to irritation and dryness.
Alcohols and fragrances can also dry out your scalp and remove the natural moisture of your hair. Your hair may feel squeaky clean but you are left with frizzy, dry, and damaged hair resulting in inflammation, itchiness, and irritation.
Look at your product labels and avoid ingredients like dyes and bleach as well. They can damage your hair shaft and the skin on your scalp.
When shampooing, massage your scalp gently and avoid scrubbing abrasively on your scalp. This promotes healthier circulation and prevents scalp irritations. Spend around 5 to 10 minutes massaging your scalp in circular motions once a week.
One more thing, it’s important to clean our hair regularly but not everyone needs to shampoo their hair every day. Even when you think you need to wash more often because you have oily hair, this is not always the case. Shampooing can clear out your hair even with its natural oils. In order to stay hydrated, your scalp reacts by producing more oil. Most people need to wash only 3 to 4 times a day. This depends on your lifestyle and your hair type. Especially if you have dry hair, you may benefit from skipping a day or two to wash your hair.
You need to stop it with the burning hot showers as well. This will dehydrate your scalp and weaken your skin. It is best to use lukewarm water for rinsing. We need moisture! Yes, we do. We want silky smooth, not dry and dull.
(2) Limit chemical treatments and styling with heat
Hair straightening chemicals, perms, hot irons, and blowouts can make your hair look beautiful but they will damage your hair. Styling your hair can be a therapeutic and a good confident boosting activity but you have to think about the consequences that come with it.
Always have treatments that involve chemicals done by professionals and be on the lookout for any sensitivity or allergic reactions you may get from them. If you feel your scalp tingling, burning, or itching, inform your stylist right away and stay away from that product moving forward.
(3) Protect your scalp from the sun
Again, how you treat your skin should be similar to how you treat your scalp. Wear a hat and try out hair products with broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect your scalp from the harmful rays of the sun.
(4) Eat healthily
You can find the best antioxidants in nature. Get antioxidants from fresh fruits and vegetables because it helps your whole body especially your skin recover from oxidative stress.
You also need the best nutrients for your body so that your skin and hair can repair from damage and produce healthier cells. You need vitamins, minerals, and a good amount of protein to get a healthy scalp and bouncy hair.
Nothing looks more beautiful than healthy skin and hair. Focus on getting your health up. Trust me, you will see the difference once you’ve gotten the best and healthiest routine for your scalp and hair.