How To Look After Your Scalp, Trust Us, It's Important
Posted by rachael-funnell in Hair
As lovers of beauty we strive each day to keep ourselves in tip top condition, exfoliating our legs, moisturising our faces and brushing our hair. Yet many of us are guilty of neglecting a large and extremely important part of our bodies simply because it is out of sight. Hidden beneath our well groomed hair sits the often-forgotten scalp, but what many don’t realise is that having an unhealthy scalp is one of the leading causes of an itchy scalp and hair loss. But fret not, we’ve put together some skin-saving tips and the best hair products for treating your scalp to some TLC.
First of all, it’s important to identify what kind of scalp you have. The skin under the hair can be split, similarly to our faces, into three categories: normal, dry and oily. At My Beauty Matches we’re all about bespoke beauty and matching products to your specific scalp type is vital if you want to see good results. Not sure what kind of scalp you have? The table below should help you decide:
Before we split into the separate scalp types, there is one important tip that is vital in maintain scalp health for ALL women. If you’re someone who colours their hair you must always, always, ALWAYS do a patch test. Whether you use home colour or get your colour done at a salon, even if you’ve been using the same product for years, it’s incredibly important to do patch tests. I myself am a living example of someone who was never allergic to hair dye, until they were. Even if you’ve been dying your hair for years your allergies can change throughout your life and with the risks from suffering a reaction being so severe, it’s well worth taking the time to do a test. If anything is going to go wrong with your skin, you want it to happen to a small patch on your arms before it gets applied to your entire head, trust me…
Those of you who are lucky enough to have a healthy scalp should find you very rarely experience problems such as flaking, itching and greasy hair. However to ensure the continued health of your hair and scalp here are some basic tips to live by:
Shampoos & conditioner: Ensure you use the best hair products suited to your scalp and hair type. There are many specialist products out there for curly, straight, dry and greasy hair so if you’d like to find your perfect products, try taking our online beauty questionnaire.
Washing: Avoid washing hair too regularly as this can upset the natural balance by stripping the scalp of its oils which is one of the main itchy scalp causes. Some oil is good as it acts as a natural conditioner for the skin and prevents dandruff.
Get A Massage: At least once a month treat your scalp to a massage (or better yet, get someone else to do it for you) either when shampooing or by using an oil therapy such as Lisa’s Hair Elixir Scalp and Hair Restoring Oil £22.85. This restorative treatment nourishes the hair and scalp from deep inside the follicle. It contains multiple essential oils including basil, mint and eucalyptus which restore the scalp’s natural moisture, whilst reducing shedding and breakage of the hair.
Exfoliate: Your scalp also will benefit from exfoliation as dead skin cells can get trapped under the hair, try adding some sugar to your usual shampoo and massage into the scalp to scrub away any residue.
Treatments: Even a healthy scalp will benefit from a nourishing treatment once a month such as this Pink Hair and Scalp Mud Treatment from ESPA £32, our brand of the month. This rich and conditioning treatment mask nourishes the scalp and stimulates circulation to improve health and boost hair growth. You’ll have glossy, gorgeous hair and feel relaxed and soothed with this salon quality product.
A dry scalp is one of the leading causes of an itchy scalp. If you suffer from a dry scalp then you’ve probably experienced redness, flaking and hair that’s rough and dull. Having a dry scalp can be very irritating and it will continue to get worse unless you act.
Warm oil treatments: These can be very beneficial for dry hair, especially if massaged into the scalp for a few minutes. Use the oil once a week to begin with then less frequently as your scalp health improves. This Indian Amla Oil from Organic Root £4.99 is one of the best hair products for massaging into dry scalps as it revives and conditions the skin without upsetting the balance or leaving a greasy residue.
Water Temperature: Use lukewarm water when washing your hair, using very hot water causes the skin on your head (as well as the rest of your body) to become dry and this will only exacerbate your symptoms.
Washing: You should try to wash your hair as infrequently as possible without sacrificing your hygiene, once a week to begin with is ideal but it is different for each person. Frequent washing strips the scalp of it’s natural conditioner, sebum, which results in dryness and irritation, so washing less frequently can help restore the scalp to its natural condition.
Hair Products: I myself am often guilty of shopping for hair products based on which are on offer, but it’s important to be selective and buy the best hair products that are suitable for your needs. If you suffer from a dry scalp then one product which can help is this Deep Cleansing Shampoo from Bonacare £7.16 which only removes the excess oil from hair, preserving the essential oils which keep the hair and scalp healthy. If you have a problematic scalp, it’s always best to research the products before you buy them, or try taking our quick and free online questionnaire to discover the perfect products for you.
Blow Drying: It’s best to try and keep blow drying to a minimum if you suffer from a dry scalp. Blow drying hair on a high heat for a long time can have very detrimental effects on your scalp, so try to allow your hair to dry naturally and when you really need to use a hair dryer, try to limit yourself to just 5 minutes.
If your scalp is oily, you’ll find you often experience dandruff and hair that is greasy and flat. This can result in hair that needs washing far too often and which won’t respond to styling products. What you can do:
Products: Avoid using products that are likely to clog pores on your scalp. Look for shampoos that are non-comedogenic or say they’re suitable for oily hair. This Dualsenses Scalp Specialist Deep Cleansing Shampoo from Goldwell £5.74 is one of the best hair products for those with an oily scalp. Specially formulated to deeply cleanse over burdened and oily hair, this cleanser regulates the production of sebum, preventing the quick formation of grease. Also if you’re a product junkie the build-up of styling products and chlorine is gently and effectively removed leaving hair visibly healthier with a fresher, clearer scalp.
Exfoliate: It’s import to exfoliate your scalp at least once a week to prevent buildup of dead skin cells that will also result in clogged pores. There are also many great hair cleansers on the market such as this Redken Hair Cleansing Cream £10.20 which safely and gently removes product residue and dead skin cells leaving your scalp and hair clean and conditioned.
Washing Try to wash your hair regularly, but not too excess as this can cause overproduction of sebum, resulting in hair which gets greasy quickly. 3-4 times a week is an acceptable goal but it can depend on the individual.
Condition: When using conditioner, only apply to the roots for most washes as it is most important for preventing split ends. Then once every 1-2 weeks apply all over using a non-comedogenic conditioner to give your scalp a pampering treatment. This Scalp Benefits Balancing Conditioner from Aveda £20.50 is a great product for moisturising scalps that are prone to being oily as it replenishes the scalp without upsetting the natural balance of oils.
They say “look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves”. Well, it’s kind of the same deal with your scalp and hair as well. If you keep your scalp in tip top condition then the hair it produces will also be in great health. So give your hard working scalp some lovin’, it does more for you than you realise…
If you’d like to treat your hair and scalp to some TLC, you can shop our luxurious range of treatments here.
Not sure which products are right for your scalp? Try taking our quick and free online questionnaire to gain access to your beauty matches.
Looking for your perfect new shampoo? Shop our collection here.