Your scalp is the foundation of your hair. If it’s not healthy, your hair won’t be healthy either. This article will discuss 15 healthy scalp tips to help you achieve strong and beautiful hair. We’ll cover everything from adequately washing your hair to how to treat common scalp problems. So, whether you’re dealing with dryness, oiliness, or dandruff, these tips will help you get your scalp back on track!
The top 16 tips for a healthy scalp include:
- Shampoo your hair regularly, but don’t overdo it
- Wash Your Hair the Right Way
- Use a Clarifying Shampoo
- Condition and Deep Condition Your Hair
- Exfoliate Your Scalp
- Maintain Your Scalp pH
- Protect Your Scalp from Environmental Damage
- Limit the Use of Chemical Treatments
- Give Your Scalp a Massage
- Avoid Tight Hairstyles
- Eat a Healthy Diet
- Use Essential Oils
- Avoid Hot Showers
- Use mineral and silicone-free hair products
- Reduce Stress
- See a Dermatologist
But before we get into the tips, let’s first understand the basics of a healthy scalp.
Functions of a Healthy Scalp
The scalp refers to the skin on the head covered with hair. It contains about 100,000 to 150,000 hair follicles (hair roots).
The scalp also contains blood vessels that provide nutrients to the hair follicles and remove waste products.
And like the skin on the rest of your body, it has several essential functions. The scalp:
- Produces sebum that lubricates and waterproofs your hair
- Provides nutrients to your hair follicles
- Protects your head from UV rays and other environmental hazards
- Regulates body temperature
- Keeps your head and hair clean
- It helps you sense touch and pain.
Why is a Healthy Scalp Important?
There are many benefits to having a healthy scalp.
- For one, it can help improve the condition of your hair. If your scalp is healthy, your hair will be less likely to become dry, brittle, and damaged.
- Additionally, a healthy scalp is less susceptible to dandruff, itchiness, and other common scalp problems.
- Furthermore, healthy hair follicles can promote hair growth, so a healthy scalp is vital if you’re looking to achieve long and luscious locks!
Signs of an Unhealthy Scalp
There are a few signs that can indicate an unhealthy scalp.
If you notice any of the following, it’s time to take action and get your scalp back on track:
- Hair loss
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, don’t despair! There are several things you can do to improve the health of your scalp. We’ll discuss these tips shortly.
Common Scalp Disorders
Many scalp disorders can cause the symptoms mentioned earlier.
Some of the most common include:
- Dandruff: Characterized by dry, flaky skin on the scalp. Factors, including genetics, diet, and hygiene, cause dandruff.
- Seborrheic dermatitis: is a chronic inflammation of the scalp that can cause redness, flakiness, and itchiness. A fungus called Malassezia often causes it.
- Psoriasis: a condition that causes the skin cells to grow too quickly. It can lead to dry, scaly patches on the scalp (and other body parts).
If you experience these disorders, don’t hesitate to see a dermatologist or other medical professional. They can provide you with the treatment you need to get your scalp back to good health!
Causes of an Unhealthy Scalp
Several things can cause an unhealthy scalp. Some of the most common include:
- Hygiene: Not washing your hair (or not cleaning it properly) can lead to an accumulation of dirt, oil, and sweat, which can lead to an unhealthy scalp.
- Stress: Stress can cause several problems, including an unhealthy scalp. When stressed, your body produces cortisol, leading to dryness and flakiness.
- Harsh weather: Extreme cold or heat can cause the skin on your scalp to become dry and irritated.
- Hairstyle: Certain hairstyles (e.g., tight ponytails) can cause undue stress on the scalp, leading to irritation and inflammation.
- Poor circulation: Poor circulation can cause the hair follicles to become starved of nutrients, leading to an unhealthy scalp.
- Diet: Excessive consumption of processed foods, sugar, and unhealthy fats can lead to an unhealthy scalp (and hair).
Characteristics of a Healthy Scalp
Now that we’ve discussed some of the leading causes of an unhealthy scalp let’s look at what makes a healthy scalp.
A healthy scalp is:
- Clean: A healthy scalp is free of dirt, oil, and sweat.
- Moisturized: A healthy scalp is well-moisturized. Sufficient moisture helps keep the skin supple and prevents dryness and flakiness.
- Free of irritation: A healthy scalp is free of redness, itchiness, and soreness.
- Well-nourished: A healthy scalp is well-nourished, getting the nutrients it needs from a healthy diet.
Now that you know what makes a healthy scalp let’s look at some tips for keeping yours in tip-top shape!
16 Tips to Get a Healthy Scalp
Now that we’ve covered some of the basics let’s get into the nitty-gritty.
If you want healthy hair, you need a healthy scalp! Here are 15 tips to help you achieve just that:
1. Shampoo your hair regularly, but don’t overdo it
Regularly cleaning your hair may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s essential to achieving a healthy scalp. It removes dirt, oil, and other build-ups that can clog your pores and lead to scalp problems.
On the other hand, washing your hair too frequently can strip it of natural oils, leading to dryness and breakage. Aim to wash your hair every few days if you have dry or damaged hair. If you have oily hair, you may need to wash it more often.
2. Wash Your Hair the Right Way
One of the most important things you can do for your scalp is wash your hair the right way.
That means using a gentle shampoo that won’t strip your hair (or scalp) of its natural oils. Avoid shampoos that contain sulphates or other harsh ingredients.
When you wash your hair, massage your scalp gently with your fingertips. Using fingertips helps loosen any dirt and debris accumulated on your scalp without causing irritation.
3. Use a Clarifying Shampoo
If you use many styling products or live in an area with hard water, you may need to use a clarifying shampoo regularly to remove build-up from your scalp.
What sets a clarifying shampoo apart from a regular one is that it contains a high level of surfactants. Surfactants are cleaning agents that help remove dirt, oil, and other build-ups from your scalp and hair.
Clarifying shampoos can be drying, so follow up with a conditioner.
Also, a clarifying shampoo should not replace your regular shampoo but only use occasionally.
4. Condition and Deep Condition Your Hair
If you want healthy hair, you need to condition it regularly. Conditioner helps to replenish moisture and repair damage.
Be sure to use a conditioner that is appropriate for your hair type. If you have dry or damaged hair, look for a deep conditioner or mask.
To get the most out of your conditioner, apply it to damp hair and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing.
Conditioning help keep hair hydrated and prevent dryness, leading to scalp problems.
5. Exfoliate Your Scalp
Like the rest of your skin, your scalp benefits from regular exfoliation.
Exfoliating helps remove dead skin cells that clog pores and cause scalp problems. It also stimulates blood flow to the scalp, which promotes hair growth.
You can use a store-bought scalp scrub or make your own at home using various ingredients such as brown sugar or Himalayan sea salt.
Be sure not to exfoliate too often, as this can irritate the scalp.
6. Maintain Your Scalp pH
Your scalp has a delicate pH balance that needs to be maintained to stay healthy.
The ideal pH for a healthy scalp is between four and five. This pH is slightly acidic, which helps keep the scalp free of bacteria and fungus.
After shampooing, you can maintain your scalp pH by using an apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinse. ACV has a pH of around three, so it can help balance out an overly alkaline scalp.
Avoid alkali hair products such as those containing high sodium Laureth sulphate (SLS), as they can disrupt the scalp’s pH balance.
7. Protect Your Scalp from Environmental Damage
Like your skin, your scalp is susceptible to damage from the sun and other environmental factors.
Too much sun can cause sunburn, leading to inflammation and irritation. It can also cause the hair follicles to become damaged, leading to thinning hair.
To protect your scalp from the sun, wear a hat or scarf when you’re outdoors for extended periods.
You can also use a sunscreen made specifically for the scalp. These products usually come in the form of sprays or oils and can be applied before heading outdoors.
In addition to sun protection, you should also avoid exposing your scalp to extreme cold or heat. Extreme temperatures can cause dryness, irritation, and even scalp damage.
8. Limit the Use of Chemical Treatments
If you colour your hair or use other chemical treatments, it’s essential to take extra care of your scalp.
These treatments can cause dryness and irritation, so be sure to use a mild shampoo and conditioner designed for colour-treated hair. You should also avoid using heat styling tools as much as possible.
If you use chemical treatments, follow the instructions carefully and always patch test first to make sure you’re not allergic to any of the ingredients.
9. Give Your Scalp a Massage
Scalp massages are one of the best things you can do for your scalp health.
They feel amazing and also help improve blood circulation and stimulate hair growth.
Rub your fingertips in small circular motions across your scalp to give yourself a scalp massage. You can do this for a few minutes each day or as often as possible.
10. Avoid Tight Hairstyles
Tight hairstyles can pull on the hair follicles and cause damage to the scalp.
If you wear your hair in a tight ponytail or bun, take breaks and allow your scalp to rest.
Other tight hairstyles may include braids, cornrows, and extensions. If you wear these styles often, give your scalp a break every few weeks.
Also, if you notice any redness, irritation, or bald spots on your scalp, it’s essential to see a dermatologist as soon as possible.
11. Eat a Healthy Diet
What you eat directly impacts the health of your scalp (and hair).
Eating a diet high in healthy fats, proteins, and vitamins can help promote a healthy scalp. Foods like salmon, avocado, and eggs are all great for the scalp.
Also, drink plenty of water to keep your scalp hydrated.
12. Use Essential Oils
Essential oils are a great way to nourish and moisturize the scalp.
They can also help to stimulate hair growth and prevent scalp conditions like dandruff.
Good essential oils for the scalp include rosemary, lavender, and peppermint.
You can add a few drops of essential oil to your shampoo or conditioner or make your scalp treatment by mixing the oil with a carrier oil like jojoba or almond oil.
13. Avoid Hot Showers
While a hot shower may feel good, it can damage your scalp.
Hot water can strip the natural oils from your scalp, leaving it dry and irritated.
It can also cause the hair follicles to become damaged, leading to thinning hair.
To avoid these problems, make sure to use lukewarm water when washing your hair.
And if you do use hot water, be sure to follow up with a conditioner to help hydrate your scalp.
14. Use Mineral and Silicone-free Hair Products
Mineral oil and silicone are common ingredients in hair products, but they can damage your scalp.
These ingredients can clog the pores and irritate the scalp.
Instead, look for hair products made with natural ingredients and free of these harmful chemicals.
15. Reduce Stress
Stress can hurt the health of your scalp.
When you’re stressed, your body produces cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone that can prevent hair growth and lead to thinning hair.
Stress can also lead to an increase in androgens, which cause the scalp to produce more oil. It can lead to conditions like dandruff and scalp acne.
Take breaks throughout the day, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly to reduce stress. You can also try relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation.
16. See a Dermatologist
If you’re concerned about the health of your scalp, it’s essential to see a dermatologist.
They can help to diagnose and treat any scalp conditions you may have.
They can also recommend the best products and treatments for your specific scalp type.
Taking care of your scalp is vital for maintaining healthy and strong hair.
By following these tips, you can help to keep your scalp healthy and prevent problems like hair loss, dandruff, and scalp acne.
If you’re concerned about the health of your scalp, be sure to see a dermatologist for further evaluation and treatment. They can help you figure out the best course of action for your individual needs.
And don’t forget, healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp! So take care of your scalp, and it will take care of you.
Happy, healthy hair days, everyone! :]