The Root of Your Hair Problems: The Scalp
Shiney, long, strong hair is a dream for all of us, but it’s not always easy to achieve. Sure, some girls were blessed with the genetic jackpot for horse-like, thick hair, but let’s be honest - most of us were not. So how can you truly improve the health of your hair? You need to get to the root of hair problems: your scalp.
Why does a healthy scalp = healthy hair?
The scalp is the base layer of your hair and naturally home to millions of your hair follicles. Keeping these tiny follicles and your scalp’s skin in tip-top shape will yield healthier hair overall.
A hair doctor interviewed for Harper’s Bazar said:
"Each hair grows from, and through, an individual follicle which surfaces on your scalp... It is essential that the follicle and the scalp, at point of exit, are clean, clear, healthy, and maintained; follicles that are full of sebum or blocked by dead skin, dandruff or infection will have an impact on the quality of hair growth. In fact, permanently blocked or obstructed follicles may eventually cease to produce hair at all.”
You heard it. Healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp. But how do you get that?
The 5 Basics of Scalp Health
It’s easy to keep a healthy scalp if you follow these five basics:
1. Control Moisture and Oils
Oil production is natural, but look out for too little or too much oil, or sebum, production. Like if you have brittle, dry hair, address this problem first by only washing the hair 2-3 times per week and including Omega 3’s in your diet.
2. Balance PH Levels
A healthy scalp rests with a PH between 4-5, the perfect place to ward off bacteria and fungus, tighten pores, and produce stronger hair. Balance your PH level through a healthy diet and avoiding harsh shampoos and overwashing.
3. Keep it Clean
Your scalp is skin, so it flakes and sheds like any other part of your body. The problem is these dead flakes can build up and block follicles. Keep your scalp clean through regular brushing, washing, and even weekly exfoliations.
4. Increase Circulation
A little extra blood flow can work miracles for your scalp. Indulge in a scalp massage to increase circulation to your head, or just focus on digging deep while your shampoo.
5. Protect the Scalp
Your scalp is delicate so protection is key. Be sure to protect your scalp from sun exposure, UV radiation, extreme heat, and strong chemicals. So if you’re noticing poor scalp health, you might need to kiss your Brazilian blowouts goodbye.
The Downlow on Dandruff
Dandruff is your scalp waving a white flag. Dandruff is a sign that your scalp isn’t happy and is either too oily or not oily enough. Causes for dandruff vary, but common culprits are stress, hormonal changes, under washing, poor diet (too much dairy, fatty, or sugary foods), and harsh temperatures. Your continuously shedding skin can trap excess oil, sweat, and bacteria and even lead to infection.
If you spot some flakes, try a dandruff shampoo, scalp toner, or exfoliator to relieve symptoms. Also, take a break from ‘sticky’ products like hairspray, gels, and mousses - anything with high alcohol content - that could cause extra buildup and dryness.
Products to Solve Scalp Problems
Pleasing your scalp doesn’t need to be difficult. Active ingredients like CBD, aloe vera, tea tree oil, and adaptogens can work to holistically de-stress skin, relieve itchiness, increase blood circulation, and relieve the scalp. Look for products that also protect the hair from toxins or environmental pollutants, like CBDetox. This holistic, lightweight serum is a blend of powerful, natural ingredients that work to soothe and revive overworked hair plus prevent hair loss.
Sometimes, your hair needs a vacation just as badly as you do. Thankfully, a bottle of scalp-centric ingredients can become your one-way ticket to longer, stronger, healthier hair.