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From clarifying shampoos to head massages, beauty experts find out how – and why – we should be dedicating a bit more time to our scalp.
Many of us have been using the past year to fine-tune our skincare routines, but there’s a chance you’re missing out a major area: your scalp.
This probably won’t last long. ‘Scalp’ searches increased by 196% on Cult Beauty last year, and our obsession is growing – but where did it come from?
“Being in lockdown has helped highlight what we want to ‘fix’ with our skin and hair, and as the scalp is an extension of our skin, it’s increasingly becoming part of people’s haircare regimens,” explain beauty experts.
If you’re looking to show your scalp as much love as it deserves, here’s everything you need to know…
Why should we take care of our scalp?
Healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp, so scalp health is an essential component to having great hair.” The odd hair mask won’t quite cut it – you have to go to the roots, literally.
The hair follicle is where the nutrients are passed through to the hair, so not having enough nutrients will change your hair texture. It may lead to thinning or even fall out if there’s a deficiency in key nutrients. Your scalp’s hydration and condition are essential for healthy looking hair” according to the Independent.
Your hair is the plant, your scalp is the soil. You can’t forget about the soil – you have to nurture and take care of it, because that’s going to lead to healthier hair growth.”
What should we be doing to boost scalp health?
Like the skin on your face, pores can get clogged with excess sebum or dirt. Our heads need even more care as “the hair follicles are thicker, which means it produces more sebum. Dead skin cells can get trapped between the hairs on the scalp as well as dirt, dust, pollution and so on.
This means proper hair washing is key. Experts suggests scalp scrubs and exfoliators can be “abrasive”, so recommends using a detoxifying shampoo once a week instead “to remove product build up, hard water on hair and scalp, and pollution.”
When you’re massaging your scalp, you’re increasing the blood circulation and therefore, you’re allowing more oxygen to reach your scalp, which is in turn, going to increase the hair production.
How can our lifestyle have an impact?
“Scalp issues can be connected to lots of different things – from your hormones to stress and your diet – so it’s best to consult a dermatologist if you have seen a change in your scalp,” Corby says.
If you want a generally healthier scalp, experts recommend adding “plenty of protein, vitamin B and zinc in your diet”.
What mistakes might we be making?
Yes, it’s important to have clean hair – but that doesn’t mean we should be reaching for the shampoo every day. Over-washing can “strip the hydration from your scalp, which can lead to dryness and irritation”.
Watch out for using the wrong shampoo and conditioner for your hair type, as it “can impact the health of the scalp”.
Watch out for using the wrong shampoo and conditioner for your hair type, as it “can impact the health of the scalp”. For example, if you have dry and fine hair, don’t use anything designed for oily locks as you may find it’s too heavy on your hair, and it could also affect the scalp.
Experts also recommend ditching shampoos with sulphates, particularly if your scalp feels dry, itchy or is prone to spots. “Sulphates can often cause irritation, so it’s best to avoid if possible.
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