Choosing your shampoo based on your hair type is not enough. Your scalp has needs, and addressing them is part of a healthy hair care routine.
Do you think about your scalp when choosing a hair product? If the answer is no, remember that a healthy scalp is, in fact, the key to healthy, gorgeous hair. Most of us take our scalp wellbeing for granted when we pick our hair products. Whether it's shampoo or a conditioner, we always prefer to get products that will benefit our locks, and in doing so, we neglect our scalp's basic requirements. This episode of the Hair Routine mini-series will help you identify your scalp type and what to look for in your hair care products to grow gorgeous hair.
As a dermatologist, I need to remind you that the skin is equally important regardless of whether it is covered by hair or not. A healthy scalp should be free from itching, flakiness, redness, dry patches, pain, or sun damage.
Bumps, red marks, and itchiness on the scalp may indicate a dermatological condition, which, left unchecked, can lead to hair loss. Rough scalp causes dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, eczema, hair breakage, and dullness. So, it is fair to say that your scalp directly affects how your hair looks, feels, and grows.
Regardless of your scalp type, caring for both your skin and hair will lead to healthier locks. Your scalp has approximately 100,000 follicles, and from the bottom of the follicle, the hair begins growing. Blood from the blood vessels in your scalp feeds the root of the hair. The hair pushes through the skin as it grows, passing an oil gland along the way. The oil gland adds oil to the hair, making it shiny and soft but can also make it greasy. Therefore, it is essential to choose a shampoo that will cleanse your locks and scalp.
People with normal, healthy scalp have shiny, silky, and smooth hair. A regular scalp has an equal distribution of sebaceous glands and is less vulnerable to dandruff or excessive oil production. Use fragrance-free shampoo and condition your hair for a silky-smooth effect. Make sure that you don't wash your hair too often. You can also treat your scalp with a moisturising or hydrating hair mask.
Overactive sebaceous glands develop excessive sebum, which can make hair look dull and greasy. Hormonal changes are the most frequent cause, and many people have this type of scalp issue.
An underestimated solution is to use a scalp scrub to remove the excess oil and dirt from your hair. It will also promote circulation that stimulates hair growth and less fallout. Wash your hair 2-3 times per week with a light, clay-based shampoo formula. Try to be gentle and massage your scalp to get rid of excess oil.
Excess sebum from overactive sebaceous glands causes dryness, itchiness, dandruff, and thick, yellow scales in severe cases. One serious condition that may develop on a seborrheic scalp is pityriasis amiantacea, an affliction in which there is excessive scaling of the scalp, which causes many distress and low self-esteem. Medication and antifungal shampoos are needed alongside seeing a dermatologist.
Dry scalp is when your skin doesn't have enough moisture, gets irritated and flaky. Cold, dry air or products you are using directly to your skin, such as shampoo, gel, or hairspray, can have a drying effect resulting in smaller, dry flakes. You can notice dryness on other parts of your body at the same time. Use a gentle shampoo and apply a moisturising mask specially formulated for your scalp.
If you have a sensitive scalp, avoid high water temperatures that will irritate your delicate skin; wash your hair with lukewarm water so that redness won't be your problem. Use a shampoo with few ingredients and no fragrance or essential oils to get rid of the itchiness and heal your dry skin. Coconut oil and aloe vera are good, natural ingredients to look for when choosing your hair care products.
The bottom line is that small changes to your hair care routine will make a massive difference in your scalp's condition. Avoid as much as possible hair products that contain sulfates, alcohols, and fragrances. Follow these little tips to improve your scalp's health and enhance your hair growth.
In the next episode of the Hair Routine mini-series, we will learn some important lessons in nourishing and moisturising the hair and which products are best suited for your hair goals. Use the #DHHairRoutine on social media for more tips and products that will improve your hair care routine.
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