Like most of our other body organs, many of us take our scalp’s health for granted. When we choose our shampoo, conditioner, and other hair products, the only pre-thought is how they will improve the health of our hair. However, hair health correlates to our scalp’s health. Many of us often experience certain scalp problems, such as repeated scratching, visible dandruff flakes, and bumps, which can be highly annoying.
Let’s learn how to upkeep the health of our scalp that will provide us with a sense of peace and aid in preventing future loss.
What Constitutes a Healthy Scalp?
Having a healthy scalp refers to keeping your scalp skin in the greatest possible condition, devoid of itchiness, redness, or flakiness. It will also be without any acne, cysts, or sun damage. We must lead a stress-free life and have a balanced diet to achieve this. Besides that, we should also make informed choices about hair care products.
What Are the Signs of an Unhealthy Scalp?
Dandruff and some minor infections are significant signs of an unhealthy scalp. Dandruff frequently starts with a minor scalp infection. With time, hair products, oil, debris, and dead skin accumulate on the scalp. Bacteria and yeast can become trapped in the buildup and develop on the scalp. These yeasts cause an abnormal spike in the growth of skin cells on the scalp. Dandruff is caused by an excess of skin cells that pile up and shed.
Irregular shampooing or poor hygiene are the most common causes of product and oil accumulation. Unbalances in these microorganisms can also be caused by stress, hormonal changes, dietary changes, or diseases. However, some people are more susceptible to the yeasts that produce dandruff; this is probably hereditary. In that case, they have to take extra care of their scalp. Also, the skin can get flaky due to a dry scalp.
What Are the Ways To Keep Your Scalp Healthy?
Simple tweaks to your hair care routine may make a significant difference in keeping your scalp healthy. More often than not, it’s as simple as being gentler with your shampoo or just going easy with harsh hair colors or other chemical hair products. Consider the following tips to help you take care of your scalp.
Use Mild Hair Care Products
Avoiding products that have sulfates, alcohols, or scents may help enhance the health of your scalp. Sulfates eliminate natural oils from your hair and dead skin cells, leaving the scalp dry and susceptible to irritation. Additionally, because your scalp is already sensitive, applying shampoo or other products containing alcohol and scents sucks the moisture out of your hair. This will lead to your hair becoming dry and brittle and cause inflammation, leaving you with a dry, irritated scalp. Parabens cause scalp inflammation and dry your scalp as well.
Also, avoid hair products containing harsh ingredients and hair treatments such as perming, hair coloring, and bleach. These can harm the hair roots and scalp skin.
Adjust Your Shampooing Technique
Massage your scalp instead of scraping it when washing your hair. This will promote circulation and prevent scalp abrasions.
Wash Less Frequently
It’s reasonable to assume that you must wash more frequently if you want to avoid greasy hair. This, however, might have the opposite effect. Shampooing your hair everyday removes natural oils. As a result, your scalp may create extra oils to keep itself moisturized, leading to more oily-looking hair.
Dermatologists recommend washing your hair three times a week. If your scalp is dry, you can utilize items such as coconut oil to moisture in a positive way.
Take Omega-3 Supplements
Despite the lack of solid scientific proof, many people think that fish oil supplements can help encourage hair health and manage hair loss.
Consume More Antioxidants
When harmful free radicals in our body exceed the number of good antioxidants, oxidative stress happens. Oxidative stress may create health problems like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, but it is also thought to impact scalp health, which can cause hair loss. Vegetables and fruits are the most potent sources of antioxidants. We must include them in our diet, as their benefits go beyond keeping your scalp healthy.
Probiotics are essential for maintaining your gut health, which is directly responsible for healthy scalp skin. It would help if you consumed probiotics to keep a healthy gut microbiome. It is recommended to have probiotics with a minimum of two bacteria strains, such as Lactobacillus, which has shown in a study to have thickened mouse hair.
Exfoliate Scalp Skin
Similar to a face scrub, a detoxifying shampoo acts as a method of exfoliating the skin and hair of your scalp. These contain various chemical and physical exfoliants that help remove dead skin cells, sebum, and dandruff. They may also improve the blood flow beneath your skin, thus increasing hair growth. They are also incredibly calming and aid in stress-reduction. This is something that should be done once in a great while, not every day and not every week. Make sure the product you use is scalp specific and research the ingredients prior to use.
Use Conditioners and Natural Oils
Use a leave-in conditioner to replenish hydration in your scalp after every wash. Afterward, lock in moisture with any natural oils, like avocado oil, jojoba oil, or Jamaican black castor oil.
Optimal pH Balance of the Scalp
The pH of a healthy scalp fluctuates between 4 and 5. The pH of your scalp is critical for retaining moisture in your hair. Acid flattens the hair cuticle, allowing it to remain hydrated. When the scalp skin is too alkaline or basic, the cuticle opens, and the hair dries faster. Moreover, optimum acidity also reduces tangles, and an ideal pH balance is responsible for preventing bacterial and fungal development.
Many products have a very high pH, which upsets the scalp’s equilibrium. Products with a very low pH, on the other hand, might damage your hair and skin. So, always choose a product that can help maintain the pH balance of your scalp. So, the bottom line is that because a healthy scalp results in good hair, it’s critical to take care of your scalp. If you still experience redness, itching, flakiness, discomfort, or severe hair loss after taking all the precautions mentioned above, consult a dermatologist. They can tell you whether you have an undiagnosed health issue or if you need to adjust your hair care regimen.