12 Essential Tips for Improving Scalp Health for Healthier Hair
For those of us seeking beautiful, healthy hair, you may be mistakenly focusing on styling products to help boost volume or create shine, when in fact, you should be honing in on the root of the problem - your scalp.
Healthy hair relies on a number of factors, but prime among them is a healthy scalp. Your hair follicles need natural oils from the glands surrounding them to function at their peak performance. A dry, irritated, or unhealthy scalp can lead to hair that is dry, brittle, and difficult to manage. A healthy scalp however can help produce healthy, shiny hair.
While, yes, there are products that can help you achieve a healthy scalp, there are some easy habits you can use to improve your scalp health as well. Let’s dive in to some of them...
A balanced diet can go a long way to nourishing the inside of your body which can lead to a healthy scalp. Focus on leafy greens, beans, nuts, eggs, fish and chicken as they are all good sources of protein that your hair needs for healthy hair growth. Additionally, you can try foods that are rich in antioxidants to boost your metabolism and improve blood circulation which is great for your scalp as well!
Speaking of blood circulation, a gentle scalp massage can not only feel amazing but can also help in this effort as well.
Wash your hair, but not too often. Everyone is different, but for many, you really only need to wash your hair every 2 or 3 days. By excessively washing your hair, you’re actually stripping away your scalp’s natural oils which serve to condition your hair.
You should condition your hair regularly which will help to manage frizz and prevent breakage. Be sure to read the directions on the label carefully to ensure that you apply the appropriate about of product to your hair; overuse of conditioner can lead to clogged pores, not to mention break the bank unnecessarily. Look for a lightweight, nourishing conditioner with ingredients that support a healthy scalp like natural caffeine or sugar cane extracts.
This one is tricky, but try to avoid hair color. Though the latest hair color trends like balayage and ombre can be tempting, because hair colors are ammonia based, they can be damaging to your scalp by stripping away necessary moisture and drying out your scalp. If hair color is a must, then try a natural hair color that won’t be so harsh on your scalp and use these tips and tricks for using hair color to make your hair appear fuller.
Supplements can help to provide necessary vitamins and antioxidants that may be lacking in your diet. Go above and beyond the typical biotin or collagen supplement, and look for a hair supplement that includes specialty antioxidants like beta-carotene, vitamins A, C, and E that can help promote overall cellular wellness, not to mention a healthier scalp for hair growth.
Look for natural hair products that are void of harsh chemicals and foreign agents that can have adverse effects on your overall health.
Go out of your way to protect your hair when possible, or at least when you know you’ll be in a particularly harsh environment. Hats, scarves, and headbands can be a girl’s best friend when going out on a windy or dusty day.
Add a tea tree oil to your hair routine. These can be a miracle worker for dry scalp issues in particular as it acts as a antimicrobial which is great for attacking dandruff and promotes an overall healthier scalp.
Just as you exfoliate your skin on your face and body, you should be doing the same for your scalp. Exfoliating serves to clear away dead skin cells and bacteria to keep the hair follicles clean and clear from any excess debris or build up. You can talk to your dermatologist or hair stylist about what’s right for you, but a simple Benzoyl Peroxide or Salicylic Acid can do the trick. You can also try a scalp serum designed to stimulate the scalp while exfoliating dead scalp skin cells for improved scalp health.
Gently brush your hair before you hop in the shower. This will help to remove dead skin cells that can clog pores and prevent a healthy scalp. We urge you to not brush wet hair which can result in hair fall out as the hair roots are soft and can easily lose grip in this state.
It may not be so obvious, but just like you wear sunscreen on your face and body, your scalp could use some protection from the harsh rays of the sun as well. Look for a spray sunscreen for your scalp that can protect against heat and UV rays, and bonus, it can help prevent color from fading.