Healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp, however it’s quite common for people to forget this and focus solely on maintaining healthy locks. If we don’t take care of our scalp, this can result in the development of skin conditions such as eczema and leave us with a dry, flaky scalp which affects the health of the hair, so it’s imperative that we take care of it. Here, Abbas Kanani, Lead Pharmacist and Health adviser for Chemist Click shares his tips for maintaining a healthy scalp for strong, shiny hair.
- Use gentle hair care products
Often using products with harsh chemicals or a high soap content can leave your scalp feeling dry, itchy and sore. If you notice that the hair care products you are using are leaving your scalp feeling uncomfortable after each wash, then you may want to switch them up for something a little kinder to your skin. Use gentle hair care products, avoiding products that contain sulfates, alcohols or fragrances as these could cause dry skin and promote flaking. If you suffer with any sort of skin condition you may also want to talk to your GP or Pharmacist about specific products for skin that’s prone to dryness.
- Use a scalp scrub
Scalp scrubs work wonders for your scalp and hair, similar to facial and body scrubs, they work to exfoliate and get rid of the dead skin cells and get rid of any product build up they could be causing your scalp to freak out. Scalp scrubs not only help to keep the skin on the scalp in good nik, they also promote healthy and shiny hair by starting at the root, so are really worth investing in. Be mindful to choose a scrub which is not too evasive and harsh, this is especially important if you suffer with a dry, flaky scalp, there are more gentle ones available that won’t damage your scalp.
- Try Probiotics
Probiotic dietary supplements can help to alleviate an itchy scalp, which helps to prevent any future skin conditions on the scalp such as eczema. These are worth trying if you often find you suffer with a dry and itchy scalp, you can also find probiotic bacteria in some shampoos and conditioners so it’s worth browsing the market and seeing what might work for you.
- Wash hair less frequently
Washing your hair everyday or every other day can often leave your scalp feeling dry and damaged, this is because you are stripping the natural oils from your scalp and hair follicles and this can result in limp looking hair from overwashing, and an irritated scalp. Try and limit your hair washing to twice a week, if you partake in hobbies that require you to wash your hair more regularly such as high impact exercise you may want to rinse your hair with cold water afterwards but avoid shampoo if you can.
- Avoid tight hairstyles
Often, tying your hair into tight hairstyles such as high ponytails, buns and braids can cause a lot of stress to the hair follicles and scalp, and this can result in a sore and stressed scalp. Avoid these types of hairstyles if you can as having your hair in these types of styles over a prolonged period may also lead to hair loss conditions such as alopecia. Hair Loss in men can be treated using medication such as Finasteride tablets, however you should consult a medical professional before going down this route.
- Maintain a healthy diet
What you put into your body will determine what you get out of your body, and so if your diet is not rich with fruit, veg, protein and the right meats then you may find that your hair starts to become dry, brittle, lose its shine and could also promote hair thinning or shedding. Spinach, berrys, eggs, fatty fish, avocados, nuts and seeds all promote healthy hair, so including them in your diet is advised.
- Protect your scalp from the sun
As we head into the summer months, it’s super important that we take care of our scalp and protect it from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Just like the skin on your body and face, your scalp should also be protected. A burnt scalp will not only leave you feeling terrible and potentially cause you to develop sunstroke, it can also be really detrimental to the skin and may promote various skin conditions such as eczema. Try to wear a hat, cap or head scarf on hotter days. You can also purchase scalp SPF sprays which can be sprayed directly on the scalp and protect the delicate skin from harm.