Girls, it has been a long winter! Come to think of it, it wasn’t that bad for our hair, since lockdowns ensured most of us left our hair alone. If like me, you also gave up on the color and heat styling, these past few months and favored the tied-up look, now is the time to think of the great summer months ahead. With most of Europe almost meeting its vaccination goals, it seems like we are going to have a ball this summer!
Summer activities for most of us include swimming, the outdoors, and the summer break! We all want longer, stronger, and healthier hair this summer. Parties, the beach, and plenty of sunlight can all affect the condition of our hair, but did you know scalp issues can have an even greater effect on its condition?
Read on to find out more:
WHAT IS AN UNHEALTHY SCALP?
Perhaps you have experienced a dry, flaking scalp at some point, so, you understand how annoying the itchiness and irritation are. Some people think that a dry scalp is dandruff, but these two conditions have different causes. Therefore, an unhealthy scalp is any of these two conditions that can affect your hair quality.
Dandruff and a dry scalp often do present similar symptoms. The difference is that dry scalp is caused by dryness of the scalp, whereas dandruff is caused by a build-up of excess oils that are shed in the form of oily, yellow flakes. With a dry scalp, the flakes are white and smaller.
The best treatment is knowing which of these conditions you have. With a healthy scalp, you will have healthy hair follicles and healthy hair. An unhealthy scalp often leads to hair loss, dry and thinning hair.
Transform your hair by promoting a healthy scalp by using quality products and looking after yourself.
HOW TO KEEP YOUR SCALP HEALTHY?
If you want thick, healthy, and glossy hair, then start with your scalp. These are the most vital points to remember if you want to keep your scalp healthy:
Importance of Moisture and Nutrients
Our scalps produce sebum from glands in the skin. Sebum is a natural oil that helps moisturize our hair as it grows. Unfortunately, if the sebum is stripped from the scalp, this immediately shows on our hair, causing dryness.
You can help prevent this by not washing your hair more often than needed. Of course, the frequency with which you wash your hair will depend on your hair type. Oily hair should only be washed every second day, normal hair should not be washed more than twice a week, and very dry hair needs only be washed once a week. Some people advocate that some very dry types of hair should only be washed once every two weeks.
How to Meet Your Hair’s Moisture Needs: Shampoo is the major culprit that strips sebum from your scalp, so look for good quality, sulfate-free shampoo. As a matter of fact, the more natural ingredients your shampoo has, the better for your scalp. Additionally, conditioning and masks are vital for replenishing moisture. If you have very dry hair, condition your scalp with your favorite oil between washes. Castor oil is a favorite. It replenishes moisture and promotes hair growth.
Maintaining a pH Balance
Our scalps require a pH level of between 4 and 5. This acidity flattens the hair cuticle, aiding moisture retention. A very alkaline scalp causes the cuticles to open, resulting in dry hair.
The more balanced the pH, the easier it is for our scalps to fight bacterial and fungus growth, preventing the occurrence of dandruff.
How to Meet Your Hair’s pH Needs: Apple cider vinegar rinses are the best treatment for pH imbalances. You should also try changing your hair products, in case the ones you are currently using are the cause of the imbalance.
Clean is Good!
Like the rest of our body, the skin on our scalp is prone to clogged pores and follicles from buildup. This is caused by oil, dead skin cells, hair products, and dirt, resulting in the perfect environment for fungus and bacteria to grow that lead to irritations.
How to Maintain a Clean Scalp: Use a clarifying shampoo occasionally. This helps to cleanse your scalp. Clarifying shampoos are great because they won't strip natural moisture away. Another great remedy is to add tea tree oil to your shampoo. This is one of the most effective natural oils for keeping bacteria and funguses at bay, and it soothes the scalp.
Diet and Your Scalp Health
A healthy diet is vital for healthy hair. Here are some of the best foods that promote a healthy scalp and beautiful, fast-growing hair:
Salmon: Our body cannot produce its own healthy fats, so we need to ingest them. Salmon is packed with healthy omega-3 fatty acids that promote shiny, full hair. Take supplements if you are lacking these fatty acids.
Spinach: Spinach is packed with essential nutrients. These include vitamin A, iron, and vitamin C, which are the vitamins that prevent your hair from breaking and promote moisture for a healthy scalp and locks.
Eggs: Nature has provided us with one of the greatest sources of protein, biotin, and iron – eggs! Biotin is one of the B vitamins that promote hair growth, and a shortage of this vitamin leads to hair loss.
Cinnamon: Cinnamon is known to increase blood flow. The increased circulation carries oxygen and nutrients to our hair follicles. This is an easy ingredient to add to your diet because it also gives your food a great flavor boost.
Guava: Guava is a delicious fruit packed with nutrients. It is not always easy to find, but you need to know it has Vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid, and potassium. The list doesn’t stop there, guava also has copper, manganese, fiber, flavonoids, and other phytochemicals. These nutrients are extremely beneficial for hair, especially its growth and good condition. Guavas have a very high vitamin C content which helps fight hair loss. If you don’t like the taste of guava, you can try eating more papaya, kiwi fruit, or bell peppers.
Protection for Your Scalp
A damaged scalp cannot protect our hair, so we need to give it the gentlest care.
How to Protect Your Scalp: Several things can cause damage to your scalp, including UV radiation, bleach, and other intense hair treatments. Always protect your hair and scalp with a hat when going outdoors for extended periods, especially when you are on the beach. Also, avoid unnecessary harsh chemical treatments and washing your hair with hot water. Ditch all products with irritating ingredients like sulfates, parabens, alcohol, and mineral oils.
CAN YOU GET RID OF DANDRUFF?
As explained earlier, there is a difference between dandruff and a dry scalp.
Use a shampoo with ingredients that fight dandruff. There are many dandruff shampoos on the market, but the best shampoos include powerful natural ingredients like snail slime, tea tree oil, and rose water. If you have dandruff, shampoo your hair with the right shampoo regularly.
CAN YOU GET RID OF A DRY SCALP?
A dry scalp is caused by a lack of moisture to the skin. It is sometimes caused by contact dermatitis, a reaction to an ingredient in one of your products that you are using. The condition usually clears when you stop using the products.
Whatever the cause of a dry scalp, the best way to treat it is to keep it moisturized with regular moisturizing treatments. Look for hair products containing avocado, jojoba, Nigella, Shea butter, and organic mud.
You can also use an exfoliating scrub for the scalp before shampooing your hair to reduce buildup. Exfoliating scrubs are best done before shampooing the hair. Use a scrub with fine granules because they are more effective and gentler.
- Always apply the exfoliator to a wet scalp.
- Use gentle, small, and circular motions when applying.
- Leave on for a few minutes before rinsing.
- Wash and condition hair as usual.
- See your doctor if the condition persists.
Before We Go…
Whatever your idea of summer fun entails, go for it, just don’t forget, caring for your scalp will ensure you have a healthy and happy head of hair, through the coming summer months, and well into winter.