A healthy scalp is just healthy skin on our head. Mostly we select products for our hair – dry hair, damaged hair, oily hair, etc – when in fact thinking about the skin on our scalp in the same way we think about skin on our face and body could be the shortcut to a healthy scalp. And a healthy scalp equals healthy hair.
Our skin type on our face and body is usually a good guide to what our skin is like on our scalp. So why do we treat our scalps differently to the rest of our skin?
KNOWN SCALP IRRITANTS
These products and ingredients are likely to be the same as those which irritate skin on face and body, with SLS being the main culprit. More on why and what to look out for here.
Shampoos are designed to keep the scalp clean, so that the area around the roots are free from any product build up (watch out for dry shampoo residue), which keeps hair roots healthy. The problem comes when some of the shampoos are harsher than others, and packed full of SLS. Lots are now available free of SLS, which is a great starting point if scalp is feeling irritated.
Peroxide in hair dyes is another ingredient to watch out for, although there are very limited natural hair dyes on the market which actually colour hair effectively. There are some with lower levels of peroxide which could be worth trying. Sadly, this will be a trial and error thing.
GIVE YOURSELF A SCALP MASSAGE
A scalp massage at the hairdresser is lovely, isn’t it. Not only does it feel nice, lucky for us there is a functional reason for it too. Nutrients from conditioners are worked into the skin, and the massaging action boosts circulation, bringing blood and oxygen to the surface, which in turn brings nutrients to feed the roots of our hair, and also the scalp itself. Spending a few minutes every day massaging our scalp will help, before a shower or when massaging conditioner into hair.
NOURISH THE SCALP WITH OILS AND SERUMS
A healthy diet will nourish scalp, but you could take your scalp massage a step further and use some oil (jojoba or argan oil is lovely for hair), massaging this into scalp, and leaving it in for 10-30 minutes before shampooing it out. Innovations in scalp treatments have led to serums and oils being developed to feed and nourish the scalp overnight, whilst also working on the hair itself, which can be shampooed out in the morning. Of course, a towel to protect pillows will also be needed.
And if you are worried about using oil on an oily scalp, then have a look at our post on using oil on oily skins, as the same rules will apply for your scalp.
Do you suffer from a dry or oily scalp? Comment below please.