Like the skin on our body and face, the scalp’s skin needs lots of kindness, love, and attention to grow longer, healthier, and more attractive. While caring for and focusing on your scalp needs might extend your shower routine by a few more minutes, this little act of personal care will be well worth it the moment you begin to notice your hair growing fuller, shinier, healthier, and than ever before.
This article will provide you with the details of how a healthy scalp looks like, and how to get a healthy scalp, and identify or treat common scalp concerns.
What does a healthy scalp look like?
Since a forest of hair covers our scalp, discerning whether our scalp is healthy and at its top condition could sometimes be a challenge, but it is actually worth evaluating. Dr. Michele Green, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York, says that “it is essential to maintain a healthy scalp because it is where your hair follicles reside and where your hair begins to grow.”
Any burning sensations, irritation, or itchiness, could be indications of an unhealthy scalp. “A healthy scalp should be free of any signs of infection, dryness, redness, irritation, flakes, or disruption of the scalp skin.” According to Dr. Kari Williams, a member of DevaCurl’s Expert Curl Council, a licensed cosmetologist and board-certified trichologist, “a healthy scalp free of dry patches, pimples, and flakes – the scalp will look smooth, clean and well hydrated with no cuts or breaks in the surface.”
Common Scalp-Health Issues
Dry And Itchy Scalp
If your scalp feels dry and itchy, you may have to figure out what’s drying it out. Dry scalp is often caused by the irritation and flaking of the skin in that area. To identify a dry and itchy scalp, check the scalp for loose, white, powdery flakes.
Dr, Williams says that “an allergic reaction, dry air, contact dermatitis, extreme cold, or products you use on your scalp can lead to a dry scalp.” “You can have irritation reactions from hair conditioners, hairsprays, gels, and shampoos.” To get a healthy and well-moisturized scalp, wash your hair and scalp regularly and moderately apply oily products on your scalp to moisturize your hair follicles and avoid dryness.
Hair loss is another symptom of an unhealthy scalp. Hair loss occurs when hair follicles gradually begin to shrink up, causing your scalp to become dry, damaging the hair follicles even further. According to Dr. Green, most times, when hair loss kicks in, the hairs become thinner little by little until they completely stop growing.
Hair loss could also be caused by aggressive styling techniques, hormonal changes, hereditary factors, or more short-lived problems. Dr. Williams says that most non-scarring hair loss forms caused by illness, medications, or dietary changes are temporary, and the hair will grow back once the body returns to its normal condition.
You can also prevent hair loss by watching the products you apply to your scalp. Most times, these products are often way too harsh for our scalp, so they tend to affect our hair follicles. Use moderate and well-defined for hair scalp products to achieve a healthy scalp.
Dandruff (Or When You Notice Flakes On Your Black T-shirt)
Dandruff flakes are found at the layers of our body. They are skin cells that are yellowish or white. So if you are noticing flakes on your black T-shirt, you might have dandruff. This condition is often caused by having excessive oil on the scalp, leading to the buildup of excess skin cells, which would later shed.
Apart from excess oil being on your hair, “dandruff could also be caused by scalp disorders like excess yeast-like fungus (Malassezia) that causes dandruff, eczema, or psoriasis,” Dr. Green explains. Other contributing factors include changes in temperatures like cold weather, age, hormones, stress, and not washing your hair enough.
Product Buildup And Excess Oil
If you are dealing with excess oil and product buildup on your scalp, you might want to change your hair care routine. According to Dr. Williams, “product buildup on the scalp occurs when the scalp is not cleaned thoroughly and regularly.” “An easy and quick fix to product buildup and excess oil is by adjusting your hair-care regimen to include a clarifying shampoo.”
When incorporating a clarifying shampoo, ensure you apply it directly to your scalp and thoroughly massage it in with your fingertips’ pads. This will gently eradicate the excess oil and product buildup from your scalp and ensure your scalp is in perfect condition.
How To Have A Healthy Scalp
A healthy scalp always results in long, healthy, and beautiful hair. The following tips should help you develop a healthy scalp or treat your scalp issues.
Just like you exfoliate your skin on your face, your scalp can also benefit from a good scrub. Always avoid using your fingernails when scrubbing. Use only the pads of your fingertips and scrub gently and massage thoroughly to get an effective result.
- Taking Supplements:
Adding supplements with the right balance of vitamins also can help you achieve maximum healthy scalps. Look for a formula made for your hair with biotin, silica, vitamin B and C, vitamin E, iron, and omega-3. Keep your scalp warm most times because hair grows faster in warmer conditions, keeping your hair and scalp healthy.
- Moisturize and Hydrate Your Scalp:
Just like our faces require moisturizer, our scalp also benefits from hydration. Wash your hair frequently down to your scalp using an excellent conditioner and shampoo. Moisturizing your scalp will prevent you from having a dry and itchy scalp.
- Protect Your Scalp From the Intense Heat of the Sun:
UV rays from the sun can damage your scalp and exacerbate hair thinning. And the less hair you have, the greater the risk of UV damage on your scalp. When you are outside for prolonged periods, make sure to wear a hat or apply sunscreen specially formulated for scalp protection.
- Establish A Proper Cleansing Routine:
To have a healthy scalp, commit yourself to wash your hair every 2 to 3 days. If you wash your hair more often, you are at risk of drying out your scalp. Washing your hair less often than two to three or four times per week can cause an unhealthy buildup of oil and dirt on your scalp, which can clog follicles and reduce the growth of your hair.
Having a dry, itchy scalp could be very frustrating and discomforting, so maintaining a healthy, dry-free, and flake-free scalp should be your top priority. It is not expensive, and you will be happy you did.