It’s a strange concept to get your head around, but we all should be thinking about the scalp as an extension of the face. Beneath your hair is some rather delicate skin, which, though rarely thought of, also requires regular care to remain healthy.
Like the skin on the rest of your body, your scalp consists of layers of tissue. The lower layers are the newest skin produced by your body, while the outermost layer consists of cells that are mostly dead tissue and ready to be shed to reveal the newer layers beneath. Along with hair follicles, the skin on your scalp contains sebaceous glands, which produce the oil necessary to keep the skin on your scalp lubricated and feeling good.
This is where you come in, and a healthy scalp care routine involves more than just regular cleansing to remove bacteria, sweat, and excess oil from the skin.
Don’t forget to exfoliate.
To help boost the skin cell turnover process, exfoliate your scalp on a regular basis. There are some great products out there that can help you do this correctly, and if you suffer from dry skin or psoriasis, you may need to get stuck in two or three times per week.
If you’re conscious about adding yet more products to your ever-growing beauty arsenal, you can also use a gentle facial scrub – physical, not chemical – as a pre-treatment before you shampoo.
Maintain your moisture levels
Many common scalp problems arise from dry skin or are exacerbated by dehydrated tissue. When you shower, avoid exposing your scalp to hot water whenever possible – this also goes for your hair, which really doesn’t need high temperatures to get clean. Instead, use lukewarm water for rinsing, which allows more of the natural sebum to remain on your scalp.
In addition, once or twice per week let your hair dry naturally – the heat from a hairdryer can really wreak havoc on a sensitive scalp, so give it a break when you can.
We all love a good head massage, right? Well so does the skin of your scalp, which contains an intricate network of blood vessels that carry oxygen and vital nutrients to the tissue. Keep the circulation going by massaging the skin whenever you shampoo, then once a week give your scalp a good five or ten minute going over using gentle circular motions. Better still, get a significant other to take care of it for you!
Shampoo regularly – but don’t overdo it
For many people, washing your hair once per day is ideal, though if you suffer from scalp problems or damaged hair, you may need to wash less frequently. Cleansing is one of the most important parts of scalp care, but what you shampoo with is just as important as how often you do it. Look for brands that have their basis in natural, clean ingredients or those geared toward your specific scalp problems. Take a look at ethqiue’s Heali Kiwi which is specifically designed for those with scalp problems.
Slap on a hat
Like the skin on your face and body, it’s essential to protect your scalp from the sun. Skin cancer often develops on the scalp, which is nearly always exposed to the sun during the day. When you plan to be in the sun for long periods of time, wear a hat to protect your scalp. In addition, consider applying a spray-on broad-spectrum sunscreen to your part – your scalp will most definitely thank you for it.