Many of us spend a lot of time and money caring for our hair. We pre-poo, deep condition, use low-poo cleansers, no-poo cleansers, avoid -cones, moisturize and seal, yet do not have the amount of growth that we expect to see after a year. Hair health starts at the scalp. When the scalp is in top condition it provides a wonderful environment for optimal hair growth.
Check the condition of your scalp. An excessively oily or dry scalp can be a sign of
- a medical condition
- side effects of medication
- a vitamin deficiency
Be sure that you are consuming enough water daily and well balanced meals. Foods such as veggies, fish, fruit, grains, beans, and nuts are great sources for vitamins (such as A, B and C), iron, and healthy fatty acids. If you think you may have an imbalance it is always good to consult with a physician and nutritionist. They can determine your deficiencies and create meal plan tailored to your body’s needs. Daily multivitamins are a great start.
Here are some ways to get your scalp healthy and keep it that way.
Avoid the roots
Avoid applying products too closely to your roots. This allows the sebum to distribute down the length of the hair and can buy you a few days before needing to wash your hair again. Also is a good way to prevent clogging your pores.
Massage your scalp
Rub the scalp with the pads of your fingers for a few minutes daily. This increases blood circulation and stimulates the follicles to encourage hair growth. If your scalp does not produce enough oil, sebum, be sure to oil your scalp as needed. Use an oil of your choice and monitor your scalp’s improvement.
Exfoliate your scalp
If you notice flaking and dandruff scalp, exfoliation is very nice for removing dead skin. It leaves your scalp feeling very fresh and clean! Do not do this treatment regularly. It should only be done as needed on a biweekly basis.
DIY Scalp Scrub
- 2 tablespoons of conditioner
- 3-4 tablespoons of brown sugar
- 3 drops of tea tree, peppermint or eucalyptus essential oil (the Now Foods Eucalyptus Oil is pictured above)
Mix together the ingredients in a bowl. Dampen your hair. Part the hair and apply mixture directly to the scalp. Gently massage the scalp for a minute or so with the pads of your fingers. Rinse out well with warm water and proceed with your wash day routine.
An oily scalp can be due to overproduction of sebum (oil made by the scalp). Usually this causes need to shampoo several times a week. This can make your hair and scalp very dry. Try this diluting a cleanser with water in a dye applicator bottle. Apply it directly to the scalp. Massage and rinse well. Follow up with a rinse out conditioner. Using a dye applicator bottle allows you to apply the cleanser only at the scalp so that you can focus product there, rather than cleansing all of the hair when it doesn't need to be cleansed.