Do you take care of your scalp as much as you take care of your hair?
Taking care of your hair and ignoring scalp issues is akin to faithfully following a makeup routine but ignoring the skin underneath. You need healthy scalp practices if you are going to have healthy hair. After all, doesn’t the hair grow from the scalp?
I’ve struggled with a dry and itchy scalp for as long as I can remember. Others struggle with dandruff, flaking, scabbing and other scalp issues. For all these challenges, we can all start with five important basic healthy scalp practices:
1. Scalp Cleaning
One of the reasons why people suffer from scalp issues is dirt. We often continually bombard our hair with different products. These, in addition to the sebum the scalp produces, lead to scalp build up. this build up eventually clogs your pores and leads to flaking.
To remedy this, you need to shampoo your scalp regularly. Try to use a shampoo that is gentle and that doesn’t strip away all the oils from your hair. You could shampoo once a week, every fortnight or even once a month depending on how fast you get scalp build up. Scalp buildup removal will allow your pores to breathe. This is vital for a healthy scalp and promotes hair growth.
2. Scalp pH Balance
Hair cleaning products interfere with the pH balance of your scalp. You should find a way to restore this balance. Most people in the natural hair community swear by the Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) rinse. Although it doesn’t have the greatest smell, it helps to restore your scalp pH balance. This balance helps to:
- seal your hair cuticles and retain moisture
- prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi
If you are faithful with that skin toner after you cleanse your face, you should also be as faithful with that ACV rinse on wash day.
3. Scalp Massage and Blood Circulation
If you want your hair to grow or skin to glow, the trick is a good massage. A scalp massage will boost blood circulation which in turn promotes hair growth. The good thing is that you can do this on your own at home. A five-minute scalp massage twice a week will go a long way.
While scalp blood circulation is important, you should not overdo the massage. Massage gently and in moderation because a lot of friction will encourage hair breakage and skin irritation.
4. Itchy Scalp Prevention and Remedy
There are a number of things that cause an itchy scalp: dirt, inflammation, irritation, allergic reactions or even dryness. The first thing to avoid an itchy scalp is to ensure that the scalp is well moisturized and cleaned. You can incorporate an itchy scalp shampoo or one that combats dandruff. I always recommend Head and Shoulders because it worked so well for me.
For an itchy scalp, tea tree oil is also a great remedy. You can include a few drops of the oil in your carrier oil such as olive or coconut oil. Massage a small amount gently on your scalp. This works as an effective itchy scalp remedy because of tea tree oil’s anti-fungal effects. A tea tree oil scalp treatment will also help to unclog blocked pores helping your scalp to ‘breathe’ better. I personally noticed a remarkable difference in my itchy scalp when I started incorporating tea tree oil in my oil blend.
5. Scalp Doctor – Dermatologist
Let’s face it. Some scalp issues cannot be solved by some tips and tricks. They can lead to more serious problems such as hair loss and therefore require medical attention.
While I try to share some things that have worked for me, I always insist that I’m not a medical professional. I would encourage you to see a dermatologist for conditions such as eczema, acne, scabbing, ringworms and the likes. To remedy these, you will need a professional diagnosis and medication. Always ensure that you are consulting a medical professional and not just a trichologist. While the latter can still help, they don’t have a medical backing to recommend medication.
With the five tips above, you are well on your way to a healthy scalp and hair. You can also read some more tips here.
I would, however, like to add a bonus tip: exfoliation. There are different home remedies for exfoliating your scalp. All you need to do is add a slightly abrasive substance such as corn flour or oatmeal to your shampoo. Gently massage your scalp while shampooing to get rid of any dead skin. Like regular skin exfoliation, scalp exfoliation removes dead skin buildup and helps to unclog your pores.
DO YOU HAVE ANY SCALP ISSUES? HOW HAVE YOU DEALT WITH OR AVOIDED SCALP PROBLEMS? LET’S CONNECT IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW. 🙂