You take care of your skin. You take care of your hair. What do you do for your scalp?
If you are like many people, you do not give much thought to scalp health. Unless you have dandruff, are experiencing itchiness, or struggle with excessive oil, you probably assume your scalp is doing fine. However, if your hair or skin are struggling, your scalp health could be the reason.
Your Scalp Is Skin.
That statement may seem very obvious. However, if you look at the products you typically put on your scalp, you will see that they are haircare products. Haircare products are great for caring for your hair’s needs, but they do not have the unique ingredients needed to ensure your scalp is in good shape.
To understand the basics of excellent scalp care, you need to start thinking of your scalp as an extension of your face. You know how you choose different skincare products for your face than you do for the rest of your body? There is a reason for that. The skin on your face is different. It is more delicate, with more sweat glands, sebaceous glands, and hair follicles than the skin on the rest of your body.
Scalp Care Starts With a Clean Scalp.
There is a lot of conflicting advice out there about how often you should wash your hair, which leaves people conflicted about how often they should be cleaning their scalp. Like all skincare, the answer depends on your individual scalp condition. You should be cleaning your hair at least three times a week for most people.
Cleaning Your Scalp Does Not Have to Dry Out Your Hair.
Many folks, especially those with dry or damaged hair, wash their hair less than three times per week. Washing it more often leads to dull, dry, frizzy hair. One of the questions they ask is if they can clean their scalp without washing their hair. Yes, that is possible. You could focus your shampoo on the scalp and rinse through the lengths of your hair for some of your cleansing. That leaves natural oils on the lengths of your hair. This approach can be beneficial for frequent hair washers. For example, it can help people who like to hit the gym and work up a sweat and want to remove that sweat from their scalp and the hair near the scalp without drying the ends.
Can Dry Shampoos Replace a Shampoo?
If you have an oily scalp but dry hair, you may think that dry shampoo is fabulous. We all love dry shampoo. No time to wash, dry, and style your hair? No problem. Just spritz it with a high-quality dry shampoo, hit it with the hairdryer, and go.
For an occasional fix, dry shampoo is fabulous. However, should it be a long-term scalp care solution? Keep in mind that your scalp is an extension of your face. Instead of washing your face, would you choose to use mattifying powder on it regularly? Hopefully, the answer to that is no.
So, keep the dry shampoo available for emergencies, but avoid making it part of your daily haircare routine.
How Do I Care for My Scalp?
The key to scalp care is shampooing your hair the right way. Getting your scalp clean is easy if you have relatively thin, straight, non-textured hair. You naturally scrub the scalp as you lather the shampoo. However, if your hair is textured, thick, or both, it can be more challenging to ensure that you are actually cleaning your scalp and not just your hair.
Choose enough shampoo to cleanse your scalp thoroughly. Lather the shampoo using circular motions near the scalp. You can use your hands or a tool to make sure you get the scalp clean. Then, and for some reason, people resist this step, shampoo again. The second shampoo helps ensure that the scalp is thoroughly clean. It is essential for people who use lots of products.
You know how nice it feels to get a shampoo during a visit to the salon? Spend a few extra minutes giving your scalp a nice massage during that second shampoo. While you do not want to be rough on your hair, vigorously rub your scalp, it is okay. That is what your stylist does when finishing off your shampoo with a nice scalp massage.
Once your scalp and hair are clean, you want to make sure and condition them. Choose a conditioner known for its scalp care.
The Importance of Products
While the basics of scalp care are pretty simple, the products you choose can make a big difference. Just like different hair types need different products, different scalp types need different products. First, you need to determine if your scalp is dry, dehydrated, oily, very oil, normal, or a combination. Yes, that is right, you can have combination scalp skin. Remember, you want to think of your scalp as an extension of your facial skin. If you have combination facial skin, there is a good chance you have combination scalp skin.
Next, you want to identify whether you have any specific scalp issues. Do you have an itchy scalp? Have you noticed redness on your scalp? Did you get a sunburn, or are you prone to burning in your part lines? Do you have dandruff? If you have any of these scalp issues, you may need specific products to address them.
The Big D
We don’t mean Dallas, Divorce, or that other big D. We mean dandruff. No one wants a flaky scalp. In most cases, dandruff is embarrassing but not a severe health condition. However, it is crucial to treat dandruff like its health condition and not as a cosmetic condition.
Usually, dandruff refers to flaking skin on your scalp. That type of dandruff is a mild form of seborrheic dermatitis. You can get dandruff on the scalp, but did you know you can also get it in other facial hair? Yes, it is true. You can get dandruff in eyebrows, beards, and mustaches. You can also get dandruff-like flakes on your shoulders.
What causes dandruff? Well, seborrheic dermatitis is a fancy name for a form of eczema that creates red patches and flakes. It has many causes, but they all come down to skin irritation. You can get dandruff if your skin is too dry or too oily. You can get dandruff if you have a bad reaction to hair products. You can also get dandruff from a fungus that eats scalp oils.
While we may think of dandruff as white flakes of skin, there is another type of dandruff, as well. Yellow dandruff, also known as wet dandruff, is related to oil buildup on the scalp. You may have overactive sebaceous glands on your head that even routine washing cannot remove. One of the biggest challenges with wet dandruff is that it can be tough and even painful to remove. Using targeted products can help you remove it within a few days of washing. Continued, regular use of those products can help keep wet dandruff from reappearing at least once a week.
While your hairdresser can typically help you handle dandruff, sometimes you need extra help. If you have a severe case of dandruff or if your hairdresser suspects psoriasis or another skin condition is the root cause of your flakes, we may recommend you visit a dermatologist for additional treatment.
What Products Are Best for the Scalp?
We bet you can guess the answer to this question! You are absolutely right if you guessed that it depends on your scalp. Picking the right hair and scalp care products depends on you.
For the best scalp health, you want to pick a shampoo compatible with your scalp type, occasionally moisturize with a scalp mask, and regularly use a treatment product.
There are two significant trends in scalp products right now. The first one is clay-shampoos or clay-scalp masks. If you have an oily scalp and hair, clay can help absorb that oil and grease. However, keep in mind that clay products will also absorb oils and moisture from the hair. Micellar shampoos manage to be gentle while still providing a deep clean.
Do I Need a Scalp Detox?
Detoxing is widespread across the health and beauty world. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that people do scalp detoxing. Do you need a scalp detox? It depends on several things, including where and how you live. Living in the city means we are subject to more pollutants. We are not in the super-polluted part of Houston here in Kingwood over by the refineries, but we still get our fair share of pollutants. We also get plenty of pollen from trees, which can aggravate our scalps and cause irritation. You can do a scalp detox by combining cleaning with exfoliation.
How Do I Pick the Right Products?
If you have specific scalp concerns, come into Sanke. We would be happy to discuss your scalp concerns with you, take a look at your scalp, and recommend the products that can help. We have several scalp serums and treatments aimed at the micro-biome of the scalp. Depending on your particular concerns, we might recommend a product that contains moringa, rhamnose, or salicylic acid. These ingredients go beyond haircare to target your scalp and help improve scalp health. As you improve the health of your scalp, you will see an improvement in the health of your hair. You may also notice skin problems on your face clear up as your scalp health improves!