Although we tend to pay more attention to our hair, the health of our scalp is even more important, as it’s an extension of our skin that has sweat and oil glands, and sheds dead skin cells, just like any other part of our body. Only by treating our scalp right with the most appropriate products can we expect to have strong, beautiful and healthy hair. So, here are some warning signs of an unhealthy scalp, as well as the best products for restoring it to full health:
Indications of an unhealthy scalp
While the hair is considered to be dead once it grows out, the bulb that is in the follicle is not and can be negatively affected by anything from environmental factors, such as pollution and sun exposure, to the products we use on our hair, whether it’s shampoos and conditioners, hair dyes or styling tools. Generally, the signs that indicate your scalp is in poor health include dryness, flakiness (or excess dandruff), itchiness, excess production of sebum (oiliness), as well as slower hair growth. Before you decide on any hair care products to restore the health of your scalp, you need to identify your specific scalp concerns first.
Shampoos for dry scalp types
If you have a dry and itchy scalp that tends to produce quite a bit of dandruff, it’s important to avoid harsh ingredients, such as soaps and parabens, as they can only dry your scalp out even further, and cause irritation. Keeping the moisture levels balanced is essential for maintaining the health of your scalp. That is why a better option for anyone suffering from dry scalp would be milder and gentler formulas, such as clarifying shampoos, which help to eliminate the buildup of dirt and dead skin cells, while restoring the lost hydration and nourishing the scalp in the process. Opt for products that contain beneficial ingredients, such as coconut and olive oil, glycerin and salicylic acid, as they help with moisture retention, reduce dandruff, and help maintain a healthy scalp.
Shampoos for oily scalp types
On the other hand, if your hair is prone to oiliness or greasiness, no matter how often you wash it, then your scalp is probably producing an excessive amount of sebum (a natural substance secreted by the skin) in order to overcompensate for the lack of balance. In that case, try to avoid overly moisturizing shampoos or those specifically formulated for curly hair, as they tend to be too hydrating for your scalp, ultimately causing even more sebum production. Instead, find the best shampoo for oily hair that is made with gentler and more natural ingredients, such as eucalyptus, aloe vera, avocado oil, and citric acid. Apart from cleansing your hair from excess dirt and sebum, these shampoos will also nourish and balance out your scalp, leading to healthier scalp and hair.
Scalp exfoliation products
Although we only think of exfoliation as something that’s beneficial for the face, a scrub specifically formulated for the scalp can help remove heavy buildup, cleanse the skin and balance out the scalp, while promoting the growth of healthy hair. What’s more, they’re incredibly simple to use, as all you need to do is gently massage them into the scalp until they melt away, much like a shampoo. But although scalp exfoliation products are ideal for restoring your scalp and allowing it to retain moisture, it’s still not advisable to use them more than once or twice a week, in order to avoid over-exfoliation. If you’re not sure which scalp exfoliator to incorporate into your routine, choose a product made with apple cider vinegar, as its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties can be beneficial for all scalp types.
Although we often tend to overlook this fact, our nutrition can have an incredible impact on the health and the beauty of our scalp and hair. If none of these hair care products help you restore the health of your scalp, then it’s possible your scalp issues might need to be treated from within. In that case, it might be best to consult your doctor about likely vitamin deficiencies that are affecting the health of your scalp, as well as supplements that may help restore the balance. There are many products on the market that contain everything from zinc and vitamin B12 to biotin and folic acid, all of which can help strengthen your hair and maintain the health of your hair follicles and scalp.
If you want healthy, silky and smooth hair, start by taking care of your scalp first. As long as you tackle your specific skin concerns and maintain the health of your scalp, you will see a remarkable improvement in the look and the integrity of your hair.