Amidst fortifying hair masks and a seemingly never-ending supply of hair strengthening shampoo, it can be easy to think that the culprit of our lackluster locks comes down to the overall condition of our hair strands, right? Well, as it turns out, not exactly.
Though it’s important to make sure that we take care of our hair by protecting it from heat damage, enriching it with natural oils, and nourishing it with protein-rich hair care products, there’s another huge factor that comes into play when it comes to strong and silky hair, and that’s the scalp.
Just think about it – with constant exposure to raising pollution levels (city dwellers, we’re talking to you) and everyday, busy life causing more and more of us to see stress as something that’s as normal as a morning cup of OJ – our scalps take the brunt of it, and this can then lead to limp, lifeless hair.
If that wasn’t enough, external stressors aren’t the only thing that can cause our scalp to become imbalanced. Internal factors such as hormonal imbalances and health conditions can also cause scalps to become congested, so it should come as no surprise to hear that more and more people are becoming concerned about their scalp health.
How does a healthy scalp keep our hair healthy?
A healthy scalp is a key to optimizing hair growth and ensuring the healthy quality of each strand. Getting to the root of it, when hair grows, it passes through an individual follicle on your scalp. Alongside the strand of hair, sebum is also created by the follicle by something that is known as the sebaceous gland, though it’s worth noting that the amount of oil produced by one person may be different from the amount produced by another. Though sebum is essential to the health of the scalp, an overproduction of sebum can cause a build-up that can make the hair appear greasy, while also damaging the scalp.
With that being said, it’s absolutely essential that the point of exit of the follicle (which is across the surface of the scalp) is clean and healthy, otherwise, the quality of the hair growth may be affected. At the least, follicles that are blocked may grow hair that is brittle, dry, and prone to breakage, while more serious cases of congestion may cause hair follicles to stop growing hair altogether. In order to ensure that hair is kept healthy and luscious, it’s vital that the cells present within the scalp are being regularly shed, and this is done through washing and exfoliating. It is this healthy cell turnover that will ensure that fungal infections, dandruff, and other scalp issues have a far less chance of developing and causing havoc.
How do you get and maintain a healthy scalp?
If you suspect that your scalp may be in need of a little rebalancing TLC, then rest assured that there are a variety of steps that you can take to both achieve and maintain its health. Below, we’re going to be talking you through some of our top tips for getting your scalp back on track and turning your locks from drab to fab! Let’s check them out:
1. Cleanse, cleanse, cleanse:
To make sure that your scalp is as healthy as can be, you’re going to need to make sure that you have established a weekly cleansing routine. Every two to three days, you should make sure that you give your hair a wash using a natural shampoo and conditioner that won’t strip your scalp of any of the natural oils that help to fortify and keep it balanced.
You could even opt to use an anti-pollution shampoo or conditioner if you live in the city, as this will help to alleviate any congestion. As a side note, make sure that you aren’t washing your hair too frequently, as this could cause your scalp to dry out, which could then lead to things such as dandruff.
2. Incorporate Keratin into your hair care routine:
Another way to help care for your scalp is to incorporate a keratin treatment alongside your regular shampoo and conditioner. Keratin is actually a protein that our bodies create naturally, and is able to strengthen our hair, skin, and nails by forming fibers to add strength.
Naturally, keratin proteins make up around 60-90% of your hair and scalp, and form both the exterior layers of hair strands, as well as fortifying the interior cortex. A variety of factors can cause natural levels of keratin in our hair to deplete, and these include heat damage, lack of water, stress, and other environmental factors. In turn, a keratin treatment can be used to help restore moisture to the scalp and shine to the hair cuticles, which will help to rejuvenate your hair’s appearance and make it more healthy and bouncy.
3. Exfoliate your scalp regularly:
Last but not least, another surefire way that you can maintain the healthy functioning of your scalp is by making sure that you are regularly exfoliating it. By brushing your hair daily, you will help to evenly distribute natural oils across your scalp, clear off any dead skin cells and debris that might cause congestion, all while helping to improve blood circulation. If possible, we recommend using a natural bristle brush for the best results, as this will be the most gentle and effective on your scalp.
Besides making sure that you are brushing your hair at least once a day to help keep your scalp balanced, we also recommend incorporating a scalp mask into your hair care routine. Once or twice a month, you could even choose to treat your scalp to a reinvigorating exfoliating mask, which will be able to penetrate the scalp deep down to remove any congestion and debris caused by a buildup of hair care products, sebum, dead skin cells, and more.