Healthy hair begins with a healthy scalp. Unfortunately, some of us are guilty of neglecting this particular part of our hair care practices. Your scalp has a vital role in supporting the quality of hair that emerges from your hair follicles. One bad flare up of scalp inflammation or dry scalp can ruin hair that is otherwise flawless triggering an episode of thinning hair or hair loss.
The key to a healthy scalp lies in adopting a consistent scalp care regimen. There are a few things you are probably already doing well but a few things that you can do better.
Here are seven ways to improve the health of your scalp for better hair.
7 Ways to Improve Your Scalp Health
Think of your scalp as being an extension of your skin. You want to have a scalp that has adequate moisture, no redness, or inflammation. Additionally, your goal is to steer clear of oil or product build-up and those pesky dandruff flakes. If you are prone to eczema or psoriasis flare ups, your mission is all about prevention.
Ultimately, you want to always keep things under control and that begins with these seven tips.
Choose Scalp-Friendly Shampoos and Conditioners
Scalp care is all about cleanliness and we all know that has everything to do with choosing shampoos that are scalp-friendly and will support healthy hair growth. If you are dealing with thinning hair or hair loss, you also want to select shampoos and conditioners like Hair Restore Shampoo and Conditioner Set that can aid you in your quest for hair that is is vibrant and flexible enough to withstand the rigors of your hair styling practices.
Stay away from shampoos and conditioners that contain harsh chemicals like parabens, sulfates, phthalates or silicones that can be drying and damaging to your hair and scalp. At a minimum, you will want to wash your hair once or twice a week but no more than three times in a seven day window of time. Sometimes, too much of a good thing can deliver the opposite effect and washing your hair is no different. You want to rid your hair and scalp of dirt but be careful to not wash away your natural oils or create an environment that is ripe for dry scalp or irritation.
Scalp massages are excellent method for improving blood circulation to the region. Blood flow helps to transport vital nutrients that are necessary for moisture, follicle stimulation and healthy hair growth. You can use a few drops of a scalp-friendly oil like tea tree oil which helps to keep fungus at bay and can aid in managing scalp inflammation or irritaiton. Aim for a frequency of once a week for five to ten minutes using gentle fingers that move in a circular motion.
One way to increase the skin cell turnover rate is to adopt an exfoliation regimen. Exfoliating two to three times a week may prove to be particularly useful if you are one who is prone to dry scalp or psoriasis. You purchase exfoliating scalp masks or you can mix up your own DIY exfoliating scalp mask as featured in Prevention Magazine by combing a few drops of olive oil, peppermint oil and ground up tablespoons of almonds or cornmeal. Massage the mix on your scalp using circular motions for three minutes, rinse then shampoo as usual.
If you really want to improve the health of your scalp, take care with the foods you eat. Eat a healthy diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables.
Choose foods that are rich in zinc, vitamin B and healthy fats.
Vitamin B and complex B vitamins are a source of energy that even at the scalp level are important for circulation, the transport of oxygen and most notably iron. These vital nutrients can assist in vastly improving hair growth and hair loss.
The following foods are high in vitamin B:
- Leafy green vegetables: Kale, spinach, turnips, collards, romaine lettuce
- Organ meats: Liver
Zinc is a fantastic mineral that not only has the capacity to boost your immune system but it also helps to repair tissues throughout your body –including your scalp. The following foods are excellent sources for zinc:
- Dairy: milk and cheese
- Seeds: flaxseeds, sesame, pumpkin
- Unprocessed red meat
- Nuts: cashews, almonds, peanuts
Finally, healthy fats are a must-have for scalp health. They naturally support your quest for scalp hydration are often fantastic sources for vitamin E.
- Dark chocolate
- Whole eggs
Adjust Your Scalp Care to Match the Season
What works for your scalp in the winter may not work so well for it in the summer. There are dozens of environmental factors that completely change your scalp care between seasons. During winter months, your greatest concern generally centers around the prevention of dry scalp. During summer months, you may be at greater risk for bacteria, oil, dirt and product buildup. Take care during summer months to protect your scalp from extended periods of sun exposure.
Do not forget to adjust your scalp regimen to match the time of year.
Keep the Heat Away
Keep those heat styling tools away from your scalp. Do what you can to point those dryers away from the scalp when drying hair. Aside from damaging those precious follicles, too much heat can also leave your scalp looking and feeling dehydrated.
Restrict Your Use of Chemical Treatments
Hair straighteners and color treatments can be traumatic for your scalp, leaving it dry, inflamed and irritated. If you must use a chemical to straighten your hair or decide to mix things up with a brand new hair color, seek out the services of a professional. Ideally, they should be able to help you avoid damaging your scalp.
There you have it. These are just seven tips for healthy scalp care. Your key to success in scalp care is consistency and proactivity. Don’t wait for those scalp problems to show up. Do what is necessary to keep your scalp healthy so that it is ready and able to sustain healthy hair growth cycles.