As beauty lovers we tend to spend a significant amount of time on skincare and hair care, but even the most diligent of us are prone to neglecting our scalps. What we need to remember, is that the health of our hair largely depends on the health of our scalps.
A healthy, nourished and moisturised scalp leads to better hair growth, less shedding and all-round glossier hair. But like the skin on our faces, the skin on our scalp is also prone to challenges. It may get oily, dehydrated, flaky, itchy and even sensitive.
A compromised scalp can lead to slower hair growth, hair loss, lacklustre hair and hair that is prone to dehydration or dryness. The key to a healthy scalp is not only to maintain it with a few key products, but also to take action as soon as you notice a change.
While – like our skin – each scalp has unique needs, there are a few simple steps we can all take to ensure our scalps stay healthy, hydrated and fresh.
Find the right shampoo
Washing your hair regularly is essential to ensure a healthy and nourished scalp. If your hair becomes greasy quickly, it is likely due to an over-production of sebum coming from the scalp. When this happens, many women tend to over-wash their hair in an effort to keep it clean, however, this could lead to dehydration of the scalp, which means the body may produce even more sebum to compensate.
The key lies in finding the right shampoo: one that is gentle yet cleanses effectively, and one that removes sebum, product build-up and impurities without irritating the scalp.
Try Redken Amino Mint Shampoo (R380.00). Specially designed to remove build-up, refresh roots, and balance the pH level of all hair types and textures, Redken Amino Mint Shampoo is formulated with mint extract and menthol, along with other nourishing ingredients like chelator agents, to condition the hair without weighing it down. It ensures an oil-free scalp and leaves your hair with a fresh and minty feel.
Using hot water when you wash your hair? Hot water can scald the scalp and lead to dehydration of the skin, which often leads to flakiness and itchiness. We recommend using lukewarm water instead, and – if you can bear it – cold water to rinse your conditioner (it leads to shinier hair!).
Your skin and body requires weekly exfoliation, and your scalp does too! Like the skin on the rest of our bodies, our scalps shed dry and dead skin cells regularly. Shampooing frequently is not enough to remove these cells. A good old-fashioned mechanical scrub once a week works wonders to remove build-up and impurities, however, be gentle when massaging the scrub into your scalp as vigorous rubbing may lead to sensitivity.
Try Umberto Giannini Exfoliating Anti-Dandruff Treatment (R170.00). Packed with natural exfoliants from super fruit enzymes and micro grains of natural walnut shell, this 97% natural clinically proven formula removes dead skin cells, bacteria and excess oils to prevent flakes and restore a clear and healthy scalp. It smells heavenly and is ultra-satisfying to use!
You’ve scrubbed and shampoo’ed, and now all that’s left is a scalp treatment! Like a face mask for your scalp, scalp masks and treatments address conditions such as oiliness, dryness, dehydration and dandruff. We recommend using a scalp treatment a couple of times per month to reap the full benefits.
Try Sh’Zen Clear Scalp Recovery Mask (R249.00). This beautifully-scented scalp mask helps clear away dandruff and flakiness while leaving hair feeling soft to the touch. It is filled with nourishing natural ingredients like Tahiti flower oil, shea butter, peppermint and lavender to soothe, restore and rebalance the scalp.
Sh’Zen Clear Scalp Tonic (R249.00) relieves a dry scalp and controls dandruff while restoring shine to dull, greasy hair. Suitable for all hair types, the fragrant blend contains four essential oils that cool, cleanse and soothe the scalp, helping to revitalise hair and giving it renewed shine.
Drying your hair
Much like hot water from a shower can scald your scalp, the hot air from a hairdryer can do the same. Take care to hold your hairdryer a little further away from your scalp, and when possible, decrease the heat to a medium or cooler setting rather than the hottest setting.