How's your scalp?
Oily, dry, flaky, breakage, itchy tight? The scalp is really just an extension of your face, it too is susceptible to irritation, itchiness, and dryness.
The scalp is anatomically similar to the rest of your skin, just with a little extra density, it has five different layers of tissue while the rest of our skin has three, more oil glands, and a ton of hair follicles — about 100,000 to be exact.
The purpose of the scalp isn’t just to produce hair; it also serves as a physical barrier to protect the skull from trauma and infection. So, the scalp serves both a functional purpose as well as an aesthetic one.
What does a unhappy scalp look like?
If you see redness, feel scales, buildup or irritation, those are signs that your scalp needs some care It should not feel tender or have an odour. If your scalp has any of these problems, the issue could be as basic as a reaction to a shampoo or as complex as an autoimmune condition.
For this post, we are going to focus on the ones that are easier to address yourself. If you are living with chronic dandruff or scalp psoriasis they best course of action is to visit a dermatologist.
How should you care for your scalp?
The basic principles of skin care generally apply to scalp care. Consistently removing debris, dirt, and oil on your scalp and regular hydrating it. And just like your skin-care routine, your scalp-care routine should be reflective of the condition of your scalp. If yours tends to be dry, for example, avoid over stripping it with harsh scrubs. Something you may not be doing brushing your hair before you get in the shower to help loosen debris so it can be easily rinsed away. Much like dry brushing the skin on your body.
While shampooing properly is important for any scalp, there are some differences in caring for a dry one versus an oily one.
What does dry scalp look and feel like?
In a dry scalp, the skin gets irritated, and can have tiny flakes. It can also feel tight and itchy. It doesn’t have enough oil and moisture. People with dry skin are also prone to dry scalp and both problems are usually caused by the same factors, such as genetic predisposition, dry air, excessive washing, and older age.
If you’re experiencing dryness, it’s also important to wash with a gentle, moisturizing shampoo, followed by a moisturizing conditioner. Try to shampoo your hair less frequently and use warm water instead of hot water. Running a humidifier is another way to prevent dehydration. Try letting your hair air dry most of the way before adding heat of the blow dyer. Or even just let it air dry completely.
An occasional light exfoliation can help. Try Serene Scalp by Oribe.
Treating an oily scalp.
Oily hair tends to be more easily recognized. Heavy and limp at the scalp. Dark and slightly wet looking all the time. The first step to care for hair that’s on the oilier side is to shampoo more frequently. But resist the urge to regularly use clarifying shampoos. Instead, wash with a gentle, sulphate free shampoos and alternate with a scrub to exfoliate the scalp the next. Scalp exfoliators containing physical exfoliants work great to remove the debris and buildup that often accumulate on an oily scalp.
Certain scalp conditions can result in hair breakage and even hair loss, so it’s vital to take the signs — like redness, irritation, and itchiness — seriously.
A dermatologist can help correctly diagnose what may be going on, and outline the best treatment options for you. Keep your eye out for another post on hair loss and how to treat it.This is a general overview of some scalp concerns and ways to treat them.
The best thing you could do for your scalp and hair is to ask your stylist for a diagnosis and a recommendation at your next appointment.
They can recommend in salon and take home treatments to manage all of your scalp concerns now, and all through the year.
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