The key to healthy hair is a healthy scalp. So, if you happen to notice flakes and bumps, or constant itching on your scalp, then this means that you aren't caring for your scalp well.
For many, caring for their scalp health is something they tend to completely ignore. However, learning how to take care of your scalp can improve the overall health of your hair and even boost your self-confidence.
How can you do this? Invest the right amount of energy and attention required to take care of your scalp? We explain everything you need to know in this article.
What is a Healthy Scalp?
A healthy scalp is one that is free from:
- Sun damage
- Excessive hair loss
If you can experience any of this, it's a sign that it needs to be cared for.
Benefits Of A Healthy Scalp
Your scalp is like the soil where you plant crops, and if you don't provide the soil with the right nutrients it needs, your plants won't thrive. Similarly, if you don't give your scalp the necessary care and attention it needs, your hair won't grow longer and healthier. Here are 3 reasons why you should take care of your scalp.
- It prevents thinning hair: A healthy scalp is free of DHT, a toxic by-product of testosterone that is responsible for causing thinning hair.
- It helps with hair growth: A clean scalp will also promote good cell turnover and promote a healthy environment for optimal hair growth by getting rid of dead hair cells that could inhibit hair growth.
- It prevents hair infections: Our scalp contains about 100,000 follicles. Each of these follicles contains a single hair strand that grows. These follicles produce sebum/oil that keeps the scalp healthy and moisturized. If the scalp is unhealthy, it would be unable to produce the oil the hair needs and it leaves the scalp open to hair infections like dandruff.
How To Keep Your Scalp Healthy
1. Establish a cleansing routine
Your hair requires regular cleansing especially from the product buildup it's being exposed to on a daily. This is why you need to wash your hair regularly, say two to three times weekly to get rid of sweat, oil, dirt, or product build-up on the hair.
2. Eliminate flakes
You should take action immediately you notice dandruff on your hair or cloth when combing your hair. Consult your hair specialist to recommend a product to get rid of it or try other natural remedies for treating dandruff.
3. Exfoliate your scalp
Just like you exfoliate your skin to keep it healthy, your scalp needs exfoliation too. Exfoliation helps to get rid of excess oils and product build-ups from the scalp.
How can you exfoliate my scalp? It is pretty easy. For the days when you'd be rocking your natural curls, you can exfoliate by combing/brushing your hair with a bristle brush or an exfoliating brush. This ensures that blood is properly circulated throughout your scalp and hair.
For your shampoo days, gently massage your hair with your fingers tips to remove dead skin cells and increase blood circulation.
4. Apply conditioner on wash days
Most people don't add conditioner to their scalp because they think it would make their hair oily or weigh down the hair. However, if you have a dry scalp, you should consider applying conditioner to your scalp after shampooing. This is more like moisturizing and hydrating the scalp after every wash.
5. Protect your scalp from sun rays
Excessive exposure of your scalp to the sun rays can damage your scalp and cause your hair to thin. If you'd be staying out for longer hours, ensure you wear a hat or apply sunscreens specifically made for the scalp.
How can I treat an itchy or flaking scalp?
Here are 5 steps to quickly get rid of an itchy or flaking scalp.
- Deep condition your hair weekly. This would provide moisture and nourishment for your hair and scalp.
- Do an exfoliating scrub and then wash it off with a cleansing shampoo.
- The next step after washing is to restore your hair's PH with an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse.
- Apply a leave-in conditioner to moisturize your scalp.
- Seal in moisture with an all-natural oil like avocado, Shea butter, or castor oil. This would retain moisture in your hair and prevent it from drying out.