Written by Nateisha Scott
Image by @loriharvey
After being slept on for several years, genuinely looking after and caring for your scalp is now seen as important as caring for your skin (your complexion, that is). Essentially, as your ‘second skin’, your scalp is a continuation of your body’s biggest organ. But sat beneath our hair, we may have forgotten how important it is to incorporate treatments and haircare rituals to help keep it healthy. Without care, our scalps experience a build-up of bacteria, blocked follicles and an accumulation of sweat. So, as a unique ecosystem that needs cleansing, conditioning, exfoliating and moisturising, amping up your scalp care routine alongside your hair routine will help to regulate oil production and grow and maintain your tresses. Here’s our guide to looking after your scalp…
Consider your cleanse
We’re all aware of how important it is to cleanse our scalps regularly; it helps to remove the dirt, build-up and pollutants that’ll affect the overall health of the scalp and hair strands. But remember to be gentle and not introduce overly harsh shampoos that may irritate the scalp – (if you have a sensitive scalp, look for shampoos without sulphates). Prioritise shampoos with skin benefits such as hyaluronic acid, salicylic acid and peptides to hydrate, purify and moisturise your scalp.
HAIR GROWTH TIP: Try a scalp massager while shampooing your scalp and hair, try a scalp massager. This will help stimulate the follicles, dilate the blood vessels beneath the skin and encourage hair growth and thickness.
Try a pre-treatment
To ensure that you’re getting the most from your shampoo, try a pre-scalp treatment to help lift and remove any build-up. Formulated to treat the scalp, you may find many that help to encourage cellular turnover and reduce inflammation using soothing ingredients. Wash this out and follow this with your first shampoo to optimise cleansing.
Invest time in exfoliation
In the same way that exfoliating your skin helps to unclog pores and prevent breakouts, introducing an exfoliating scrub will help to reduce the impact sweat, oils, and dead cells have on your scalp’s health. Remember that the number of times you do this depends on how often you wash your hair and the type of hair, but routine exfoliation will help your scalp breathe and aid hair growth. Like skincare, ingredients like salicylic acid and glycolic acid are scalp saviours and if you prefer a physical scrub, opt for soft granules and fruit enzymes as a kinder alternative on the scalp’s surface.
Take the time to treat
More than anything, once you’ve cleansed and exfoliated your scalp, it’s equally important to treat it to help nourish and moisturise it. Think oils, masks and serums as your edited saviour. An overnight, 15-minute treatment or dousing your strands in a mask before letting it marinate, find your favourite selection to keep your scalp healthy.
Watch the heat
In the same way that we keep our skin out of the sun to protect from sun damage, the same can be said for our scalps, in addition to heat damage. So avoid hot, steaming showers on your scalp; it’ll irritate and dehydrate the scalp leading to flaking, dandruff and itching.