It’s the part of your body that often gets forgotten about–– your scalp. Unless you have particular scalp issues, you may not think much about it. What most people don’t realize though, is that healthy hair begins with your scalp. Your scalp is really an extension of your face, and it ages 6-20 times faster than facial skin.
As well as investing in an in-depth skincare routine, why not invest in your scalp? After all, a healthy scalp leads to healthy hair.
Ingredients are Important
We’ve all heard that we should avoid ingredients like silicones, sulfates, and parabens–– but why is that? All three are bad for their own reasons, and repeated use of them can ultimately lead to major scalp problems.
Sulfates help products create a strong lather, but will ultimately strip your scalp of its essential oils, leading to an imbalanced biome. Parabens help give products a longer shelf life, but are believed to disrupt your hormones and potentially irritate your scalp. Silicones may give your hair a sleek, shiny appearance, but cause major buildup on the scalp, and prevent moisture from reaching both the hair shaft and hair follicle.
Avoiding all three and opting for naturally nourishing products will deeply decrease your chances of developing scalp issues, and will allow your hair to become its healthiest, happiest self.
Time Between Washes Matters
It’s an extremely common misconception that the longer you go in-between washes, the better it is for your hair. But think about it–– would you ever let yourself go a week without washing your face? Never! Dirt, sweat, oil, and pollution all build up on your scalp, and if it isn’t regularly removed, it can lead to a multitude of scalp issues, including hair loss. Making sure your scalp is clean, nourished, and free of buildup is the best way to ensure that it remains balanced and healthy. As long as you are using gentle, nourishing products, frequent washing will not cause any harm or damage to your actual hair.
What Sweat Is Really Doing to Your Scalp
Working out is obviously great for your body and overall health, but you have to beware of the toll it may be taking on your scalp. Your sweat naturally contains lactic acid, and when it isn’t removed properly, post-sweat sesh, it can lead to eventual hair loss if your scalp is exposed to excessive amounts of it. This is because lactic acid can strip away your hair’s protective keratin coating (which is why lactic acid is a common ingredient found in hair-removal products). The key takeaway: wash your hair after you workout!
Dry Scalp = Itchy Scalp
Ever wonder why your head feels so itchy? It’s probably because your scalp isn’t balanced. Sweat, pollution, and oil all cause bacteria to fester, which can lead to discomfort and itchiness. However, the main cause of bacteria on your scalp is product buildup. Imagine a layer of product laying on top of your skin—any beneficial nutrients you put on top of that layer can therefore not reach your scalp or hair root. Enter—a weekly scalp detox.
Bad Hair Day? It’s Probably Because of Your scalp
“You can tell straightaway why the hair isn’t styling properly,” Helen Reavey, founder of Act+Acre, says of how underlying scalp irritation can affect things like shine, volume, and bounce. Reavey goes on to say that she has seen irritation cause flaky, raw, and inflamed scalps, which will eventually lead to serious hair issues such as breakage, hair thinning, and most severely, premature hair loss.
In summary—be more mindful in treating your scalp like you treat your skin!