Why Scalp Care Is Just As Important As Hair Care
This question is a common question that’s similar to asking if having a healthy cuticle is as important for healthy nails? The answer is Yes, absolutely.
Having great hair starts with having a healthy scalp. Some of us forget that our hair grows from roots that come from the skin on our heads and so we end up purchasing hair care products that focus on the strands themselves but that can cause issues for our scalps.
We don’t pay attention to that label of ingredients in the back telling us what's inside that particular shampoo or beauty product. The scalp is the one part of our personal care that’s often misunderstood, mistreated and forgotten (like washing behind our ears).
Whilst some of us grew up believing the more you scratch and scrub your scalp during washing, the clearer it becomes. At some point, we all believed and probably still do, that the thicker the lather/ soap suds the better the quality of the shampoo is and so we pick the bubbliest one.
We’re here to help you understand the correct way to treat your scalp, how to pick shampoos and why the skin on your head is as important as your hair if you want healthy, shiny, silky strands from root to tip.
Starting at the roots:
There are a lot of myths to put to rest, so let's start by understanding what goes on in that scalp of ours. Each hair on our scalp contains hair follicles and oil glands that secrete sebum. An over-secretion of sebum results in the formation of fungi and for people with long hair their secretion is higher than those with short hair.
Why is this important to know? It makes a difference in how often you should be washing your hair, usually for men and women with short hair they need to wash at least twice a week, but if you have luscious long strands you’ll need to clean that scalp more often, at least 3 times a week, as outside pollutants also settle onto the scalp and combined with the oils, dandruff is then created.
Think about it like the skin on your face and how pimples form, after all we may not see them but our human body is covered in hair of all types. Think about it like this, if the foundation for a house or a high rise building is weak, that structure doesn't stand a chance at longevity. The same principle relates to your scalp for your healthy hair.
Let’s talk shampoos:
The PH balance is far more important than the amount of lather we see- the soap suds do nothing to clean the skin or hair, it’s just a chemical added to cosmetic products and hair care products by manufacturers to trick you into believing that that product works better than others.
For oily scalps, a shampoo containing either Sulphates, Ketoconazole or Zinc Pyrithione would work well.
Oiling your hair:
Some of us grew up with our grandmothers planting us in between their legs and rubbing warm oil into our scalps, so is this helpful or not? Remember your scalp is made up of skin, so just like on your face, that's an absolute no-no, but the correct thing to do is rub oil into your hair, not the scalp. Adding more oil to an existing oily problem only increases bacteria’s playground to grow and infect, causing more dandruff, itchiness and red spots all over. Seeing as hair grows from the roots on our scalps, it is only sensible to make sure those roots are clean, strong and healthy so that our hair growth can reflect that high quality shine we all aim for.
If you have oily hair and have been advised to wash it every day, that needs to stop. Washing your hair and scalp every 2/3rd day will benefit you in the long run and will immediately show you results. Your head will become less itchy and irritable. On the flip side, not washing your head enough can cause bacteria and dirt build-up, so listen to your body and find a balance that works for you. The washing process itself needs to also be corrected. Earlier I mentioned scratching and scrubbing to let your mind know you’re doing a great job at cleaning, actually you’re not. You’re actually harming the skin on your head, so instead massage the conditioner and shampoo into your scalp (after all there is a reason why all salons make you feel so relaxed during your visits, it’s not to impress you, but to help you).
If you do feel the need to exfoliate your scalp, then use a scalp scrub either from a store or make one at home.
Even picking out your shampoos can be rethought. Choose less harsh chemicals like dyes and bleaches. Think about what the salons do and how they treat your hair, as if it’s so gentle and precious, that’s because it is. So the best tip is to follow what they do and you’ll see better results from your beauty products, even if you have your own personal care routine.
In the end, a clean scalp is a healthy scalp which means a healthy head of hair and that’s the secret to that perfect shine, less hair loss as you get older and eliminating split ends as well.
Happy scalp, healthy hair.