We are well informed about the importance of skin care, and everywhere you look there are lotions and potions designed to solve any skin complaint we might have, but more often than not the scalp seems to get forgotten in the daily moisturising regime. There are lots of products and advice for keeping the hair itself looking healthy, but what about the scalp? Not caring for the scalp but expecting hair to be lustrous and healthy is the equivalent of trying to grow a flower by only watering the leaves, and completely ignoring the soil and roots – we wouldn’t expect the flower to grow well, so why do we think our hair will? Our aim is to provide you with some simple tricks you can do at home to start to improve the condition of your scalp.
TIP 1 – are you washing your hair correctly?
This might sound like a ridiculous question to ask, as everyone knows how to wash their hair don’t they? There are actually lots of common mistakes people make which can either cause damage to the hair, or stop it from being fully cleansed. By following these simple techniques and rules you can benefit both your scalp and hair:
- Don’t apply shampoo directly – instead of squeezing shampoo directly onto your hair, dispense a small amount into your hands and work it between them before applying evenly to the roots.
- Focus on the roots – the roots of hair tend to become ‘dirtier’ or greasier than the ends, so this is where you should be targeting the shampoo. It also means you can remove product build-up from the scalp that could be clogging up the hair follicles.
- Shampoo hair twice – this is one of the most common mistakes people make. The first shampoo will open the hair cuticle and begin to lift any dirt or grease, but the second shampoo will really deep clean the hair and scalp.
- Always condition hair – conditioner works by closing the hair cuticle and replenishing moisture that has been lost during the washing process. Even if your hair is fine or short you should always use conditioner, just focus the application on the lengths and ends to avoid weighing down the roots or making hair look lank.
- Don’t singe your scalp – a boiling hot shower may feel lovely at the time, but it can cause damage to your scalp. Lukewarm water (or cold if you can bare it) are much better for your scalp and hair.
TIP 2 – it’s time to give your scalp some TLC
Your scalp is home to an incredible number of hair follicles which have a rich blood supply. One very quick and simple thing you can do to improve the blood supply to these follicles, and to the scalp in general, is to gently massage your it regularly. Doing this daily can even help to support hair growth and prevent loss. The trick is to make sure you’re using the right techniques, and most importantly being gentle. Rather than using your fingertips to massage try using the lengths of your fingers by making blades with your hands. This will help prevent hair from tangling and reduce any damage that can be caused by sharp nails or a too-vigorous technique! For an added health bonus you can also try using a scalp serum to keep the skin hydrated – we have a serum in our Rejuvenate range which contains Collagen, Peptides and Procapil which is perfect for this use, and helps to relieve tight, itchy scalps at the same time.
TIP 3 – step away from the heat
It’s not just using hot water in the shower that can dry out your scalp, any persistent heat source on the skin can cause dryness, flaking and itching. Try turning your hair dryer down to a lower heat setting, or better yet give your scalp a break a few days week, and either allow hair to dry naturally, or try an up-do that works better with slightly dirty hair (braids are perfect for this). If you usually curl or tong your hair try braiding it instead while it’s still damp, then when it’s completely dry run your fingers through to release soft, beachy waves. If you suffer from frizz you can try a keratin smoothing treatment which will reduce the need to either blow dry or straighten hair. We offer a service called KeraStraight in our salons that also strengthens whilst smoothing the hair.