Show Your Scalp Some Love
Posted by Cat Meeker on August 15, 2012 at 12:10 PM
When trying to get the perfect hair, too many of us focus solely on our strands. However, we’re ignoring a crucial part, by not giving our scalp extra attention. Did you know many of our hair gripes, like flakes or oily strands, can be prevented by caring for our scalp? Here are 7 ways to show your scalp some love and finally get those gorgeous locks you’ve been dreaming of!
Lather Up & More
Think of caring for your scalp, just as how you’d care for that expensive silk blouse. You wouldn’t just toss the blouse in the washing machine with the rest of your clothes and just wash with Tide. You take the extra effort to care for the delicate fabric, which is how you should care for the delicate skin of your scalp. If you’ve been suffering from hair problems and think your scalp is to blame, look for a shampoo and conditioner that are formulate for both hair and scalp care. A great, inexpensive product would be Clear Scalp & Hair Beauty Therapy Shampoo and Conditioners. Whichever you choose, stick with one brand, because they are designed to work together.
Massage Your Scalp
Not only do you need to use the right shampoo and conditioner for your hair, but you must apply it the correct way, too. It might sound strange, but you should take the extra time to give yourself a scalp massage every time you wash your hair. Massaging your scalp boosts circulation, removes dead skin cells and excess oils, as well as allows the conditioner to absorb better. Remember not to use your nails, since they can scratch and irritate your scalp, but the balls of your fingers instead.
Block the Sun
If you thought you were done after spraying sunscreen over your body, you were wrong. If you have fine hair or even a distinct part, your scalp will be susceptible to sunburn. The best protection is hat, but you can also use a makeup wedge to apply sunscreen onto your hairline and part. If you’re worried about oiliness, use a mineral powder with SPF, like Thomas Roth’s. It’s definitely worth the extra effort, since a burnt scalp can lead to peeling, flaking, dryness, and, of course, skin cancer.
Banish Product Build Up
Think about how many products you use in your hair on a daily basis, like root-lifting spray, volumizing products, hairspray, frizz-fighting creams, dry shampoo, and more. Odds are you’re getting some of it on your scalp and it’s just there, clogging your pores, for longer than you think. All this product build-up prevents hair growth since it’s blocking the pores. While it’s good to use gentle shampoos, they sometimes leave behind some of the product buildup.
Pick up a clarifying shampoo, such as Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo or Paul Mitchell Three Shampoo for a monthly deep clean. Since these clarifying shampoos remove all the product buildup, they might strip some of your natural oils as well. To maintain balance, you can also try a weekly conditioning treatment. After applying conditioner to your hair and scalp, wrap your head in a warm towel and let it soak in for 5 minutes or longer. Rinse and style as usual.
Use the Right Brush
Brushing is important because it distributes oils from your scalp and stimulates circulation -- but you don't want to overdo it, and you want to make sure you're using the right brush. Natural, boar bristle brushes are widely recommended for hair care. They are made of keratin, just like your own hair, which means you get a little bit of give when using them, and prevent your hair from snapping. The holy grail of brushes is the Mason Pearson, but at over $100, it’s definitely a splurge.
Cut Back on Heat Styling
You wouldn't blast your skin with extremely hot air for half an hour, so why do you do it to your scalp? Too many of the heat tools we use on our hair and near our scalp use more heat than necessary. Remember to hold the blow-dryer at least 12 inches away from your hair while drying. Also, if you’re a flat-iron addict, like myself, then try switching to lower heat settings.
Condition Your Roots
I’ve been conditioning just the bottom half of my hair for years, because I was afraid of getting my naturally greasy roots even more oily. However, your scalp needs conditioning too, so don’t be afraid to apply it everywhere. If you fear overdoing it, try conditioning your scalp and roots every other time you shampoo. John Frieda’s Root Awakening Conditioner is a great choice for moisturizing while maintaining balanced oil production.
Did you know what a big role scalp care played in healthy hair? Share your hair advice in the comments below!