Scalp care is very much underrated. We focus so much attention on our face, applying creams and treatments, but often neglect the skin on the top of our heads. A healthy scalp is key to healthy hair growth, so make the most of the summer break to start some healthy scalp habits, and ensure your locks are luscious.
One hundred strokes before bed
OK, you don’t really need to brush your hair 100 times, but brushing it daily removes any dry skin, as well as the build-up of sebum (an oil-like substance) around your hair follicles, little pockets in your skin. It will also help to distribute the oils throughout your hair.
How often should you wash your hair?
Cleansing your hair and scalp is important, but that doesn’t mean you should wash your hair every day. Washing strips the natural oils from your hair which can result in your scalp producing excess sebum to try and counteract the loss of oils. Ironically, this can leave you with oily roots and dry ends.
For most people, washing your hair every other day or every three days should be enough to keep it healthy and clean.
For some hair types, even this can be too often. Some dry, thick and/or curly hair types need the sebum, so only need washing once a week.
Do you find you still have a greasy scalp, no matter how often you wash your hair? Or perhaps, because of the styling products you use, your shampoo doesn’t seem to do a good enough job. This is when you can try a clarifying, or purifying, shampoo. They remove build-up in your hair caused by sweat, dead skin cells, sebum, or too much dry shampoo, so it’s best to only use a clarifying shampoo once or twice a month.
If you prefer a natural solution, mix one part apple cider vinegar with three parts water in a spray bottle. Wet your hair, spray the mixture throughout your roots, wait for five minutes, then do a regular wash with shampoo and conditioner.
What about dandruff?
Dandruff is caused by excess sebum on your scalp that clumps together and appears as white flakes. This should be treated with special, anti-dandruff shampoo.
But these products can dry out the rest of your hair, so you should use them carefully. Here’s my advice: massage the shampoo into your scalp only.
If you have particularly stubborn dandruff, you could also try a scalp exfoliating product. Exfoliation involves rubbing a grainy substance on skin to help remove excess skin cells.
If you struggle with an oily scalp between washes, consider using a dry shampoo on non-wash days. It will refresh your locks, absorb excess sebum, and add some texture to your hair.