Scalp care is often less addressed than hair-care, but treating the scalp primarily is one of the secrets to healthy hair. Browse my selection of solutions for hair loss, hair thinning, dry or itchy scalp, dandruff control and more.
Be sure the shampoo you are using has a good PH,5.50 to 6.50 (read below for more on this). Choose one suitable to cleanse the scalp properly. Beware of shampoos for colored hair. They often are a weaker shampoo so as not to strip the color, but often don’t sufficiently cleanse the oil and product build-up from the scalp, which can eventually result in scalp problems like dandruff.
Popular to remove dead cells from the scalp, and aid dandruff, dryness and itchiness. They are usually developed with a base of sugar or salt granules in a shampoo base, just as they are for body exfoliating soaps. Be sure to choose granules not so large as to irritate the scalp in any way. Though scalp exfoliation is a fantastic treatment, if you’re suffering from more serious scalp conditions such as psoriasis or eczema, you should avoid exfoliating with a brush or scrubs as the friction may cause further aggravation.
Scalp Massage Brush
Unblocks pores and promotes circulation, drawing essential nutrients to the follicles and leading to more effective hair growth. These brushes can be easily found online and vary in all sizes and prices. I quite like the brushes that offer a stimulating massage.
Another form of scalp hydration. Choose a high quality mask that is vitamin infused. Apply to mid-length and ends and then apply liberally to the scalp also. By applying a shower cap it contains the body heat within and aids faster penetration to both scalp and hair shaft. A high performant mask will not weigh the hair down. Depending on your hair texture and thickness, masks can be applied every 2 weeks to once a month.
Usually come in the form of small uni-doses packed by the dozen or 24 units to be applied daily over a treatment period. These are often sold only through professional hairdressing salons.
Food is the best source of the vitamins you need for healthy scalp and hair growth. However, if you fail to get enough in your diet, supplements may be helpful.
All cells need vitamin A for growth. This includes hair, the fastest growing tissue in the human body. Vitamin A also helps skin glands make an oily substance called sebum. Sebum moisturizes the scalp and helps keep hair healthy. Hence, the Grandmothers tales of 100 brush strokes a day to distribute this sebum through to the hair ends, nourishing each hair shaft. This was before the days of conditioner as we know it. Find vitamin A in sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkins, spinach and kale. All are high in beta-carotene which is transformed into vitamin A. Vitamin A can also be found in animal products such as milk, eggs and yogurt. Cod liver oil is also a particularly good source.
One of the best known vitamins for hair growth is a B-vitamin called biotin. Deficiency is very rare because it occurs naturally in a wide range of foods. B-vitamins help create red blood cells, which carry oxygen and nutrients to the scalp and hair follicles, important for hair growth. B-vitamins are found in many foods, including whole grains, almonds, meat, fish, seafood and dark, leafy greens. Additionally, animal foods are the only good source of vitamin B12. So if you’re following a vegetarian or vegan diet, consider taking B12 as a supplement.
Free radical damage can block growth and cause your hair to age.Vitamin C will counteract this.
Your body produces Vitamin D through direct contact with the sun’s rays. It plays a part in healthy hair growth. Vitamin D can be found in fatty fish, cod liver oil, some mushrooms and fortified foods.
In one study, people with hair loss experienced a 34.5% increase in hair growth after supplementing with vitamin E for 8 months. Sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach and avocados are all good sources of vitamin E.
Helps red blood cells carry oxygen to your cells. This makes it an important mineral for many bodily functions, including hair growth. Iron deficiency, which causes anemia, is a major cause of hair loss. It’s especially common in women
Zinc plays an important role in hair tissue growth and repair. It also helps keep the oil glands around the follicles working properly, excreting what we know as sebum. Foods high in zinc include oysters, beef, spinach, wheat germ, pumpkin seeds and lentils.
Hair is made almost entirely of protein. Eating enough protein is important for hair growth, although a protein deficiency is rare in Western countries these days.
Be aware: Large doses of vitamins and minerals can be harmful if you are not deficient. So work with a doctor to determine if you have a deficiency or not.
Last but not least. In fact, it is first in my scalp care routine. Use high performance products. A shampoo should have a PH value of around 5.50 to 6.50 and a conditioner 4.00 – 5.00. There are PH strips available that can guide you by changing color according to PH value of each product. The best I’ve found is in the Iles Formula Signature Collection. These 3 formulas will cleanse, repair and protect your hair from the first use. Any excess debris on the scalp you are unaware of will be released with this shampoo, so don’t be alarmed if you find some cleaning of the scalp in the process. This is a very high performant brand just doing its job. The reviews should convince you.
While great for all women, this is knowledge that should be transmitted to husbands or partners with thinning hair. A healthy scalp is similar to healthy soil for a plant. Think about it…. a plant in poor soil does not do well. If the scalp is weak the hair will probably be weak, too.
Subscribe today for free to receive our weekly update and never miss an article.