How does scalp health affect the quality of your hair? Learn all about how to keep your scalp healthy and your hair, too in this guide!
Did you know that, on average, you lose 100 hairs every day?
There isn’t much you can do about the natural rate at which we shed our hair. But there’s plenty you can do to take care of your scalp and encourage more luscious locks.
Your scalp health affects everything from dry, brittle hair to dandruff and damage. If you’re struggling with any of the above, you should know how to care for your scalp and hair in a way that protects and restores it.
Keep reading to learn more about how to keep your scalp healthy for beautiful, strong, luscious locks.
The Relationship Between Your Scalp Health and Your Hair
It’s fair to think that, if you’ve got a hair issue, you treat the hair. But when you’ve got a hair issue, the real root of the problem lays with your scalp.
This is because each individual strand starts in an individual hair follicle located on your scalp. And it’s the cleanliness, clarity, and health of these individual follicles that most impact how your hair looks, how it feels, and, most importantly, how it grows.
Healthy Scalp Tips for Better Hair
Fortunately, there’s plenty of measures you can take to help your scalp health and, in turn, your hair health. Start with these simple steps and you should start seeing an improvement in your hair in a matter of weeks.
One important thing to remember about your hair follicles is that they produce oil. Otherwise known as sebum, this oil is what keeps your hair lubricated.
But sebum can also block your follicles along with dead skin and dandruff. This has a big effect on how your hair grows. So much so that permanently obstructed follicles can actually stop producing hair altogether.
To avoid the obstruction of hair follicles, you need to remove dead skin cells from the surface. This way, they don’t get mixed up with sebum and block your hair follicle.
While these cells divide and work their way up to the surface to shed naturally, it doesn’t hurt to give them a little boost. This is especially true as you get older and your bodies’ ability to shed dead skin cells decreases.
Some of the most efficient and effective ways of getting rid of these dead skin cells are things you’re likely already doing. You have to brush, wash and blow-dry your hair to help those skin cells along. But you might also consider exfoliating at least once a week.
The perfect exfoliator for your scalp will be textured. But you don’t want anything too coarse. Look for a product, preferably natural or organic, that has fine grounds in it.
This may be a product with crushed shells or seeds in it. Just make sure that it’s not microbeads, which are bad for the environment and not great for your body either. Make sure you apply the product to your scalp while it’s wet, so the water can carry the product deep into your follicles.
When exfoliating, it’s imperative that you use circular motions with gentle pressure. These motions are akin to a massage. It’s the same way you apply a facial exfoliant and it’s the best way to get your skin to absorb the benefits of the ingredients.
Before rinsing the product out, leave it in for a few minutes. This is another opportunity fo your skin to absorb the benefits of the ingredients and use them to treat your hair.
Some of us are far too rough when we brush, comb, or style our hair. The key to not breaking and damaging your hair is to be gentle. And that extends to the hair and grooming tools that we use.
To comb through tangles, use a wide-tooth comb. These don’t pull and tug at your hair as much as a brush. And you should use a conditioner to help the process along.
When drying your hair after washing, try to squeeze out as much of the water as you can first. To use as little of the blow dryer as possible, you should rough dry as much of the water as you can with a towel, first. But don’t rub either your hair or your scalp too hard in this process.
You should also avoid hairstyles that pull on your hair tightly. That includes ponytails that are tied too tightly. Be mindful of how you tie it too – using an elastic can break your hair strands.
You probably didn’t know that what you eat has an effect on your hair. In reality, this is an extremely important factor in the health of your scalp, and of your skin in general.
Think of it this way: your hair is made up of proteins. So it follows that not eating enough protein can affect your hair. In fact, it can cause weak, brittle hair and even impact the color.
It’s important that you eat at least 45 grams of protein every day. You can get protein from lean meats, fish, poultry, eggs, beans, and dairy products.
Omega-3 fatty acids are also thought to improve scalp health. The best sources of which include fish, flaxseed, cottage cheese, cereal, and yogurt.
Eating nuts is also great for your hair. This is because zinc deficiency can lead to an increased rate of hair shedding, and nuts are a great source of zinc. Look for Brazil nuts, cashews, almonds, and walnuts.
We get it. Eating healthily isn’t always an option in our busy lives. But you still deserve great hair.
If you’re not getting the vitamins and nutrients you need through your diet, you can always try supplementation. This will help treat your scalp from the inside-out.
Before taking any supplements, talk to your doctor and dermatologist. A doctor can tell you if you have any vitamin deficiencies that are causing hair issues. dermatologist, on the other hand, can tell you what supplements will work best for your hair and skin type.
Some common supplements include biotin, B12, folic acid, and zinc. Or, check out a SugarBearHair review for a review of the popular vitamins specifically targeting hair health.
Massage helps to improve circulation, and increased blood circulation improves the health of your scalp.
In addition to better circulation, massage helps move your hair oils through your hair. Your natural hair oils have all the vitamins and nutrients that your hair needs most. But you might also consider a gentle and natural oil, such as coconut oil, for a deeper massage that contributes to stronger, healthier hair.
Cortisol is a hormone your body produces when you’re stressed and this hormone has a direct impact on your hair. It affects how your hair follicles function and regulate themselves. In fact, having too much cortisol in your system can cause hair loss.
Some really great ways of reducing stress are meditation, yoga, and regular exercise. You should take breaks from your work, especially when it’s causing tension.
Washing & Conditioning
You should wash your hair at least every other day. But how often you wash will also depend on your hair type and where you live.
For example, people who live in the city have more than their regular oil and sweat to contend with. Their hair is also absorbing all the contamination that comes with living in close proximity to car exhaust and other environmental pollutants. These people may consider washing their hair once per day.
Similarly, people with oily hair may consider washing their hair more often. Whereas people with dry hair might want to consider not applying potentially drying ingredients every single day.
Regardless of habitat and hair type, you’ll want to make sure you condition. Conditioner replenishes any oils that are stripped during the washing process. It also makes it easier to comb through knots and tangles, so you don’t break and damage your hair strands.
Other Items Affecting Scalp Health
You can do as much scalp massage and supplementing as you wish, but all of that work can be counteracted by some other activities and items. If your noticing problems with your hair, these could be caused by overconsuming alcohol or low-calorie and crash diets. If you’re taking prescription medications for depression, high blood pressure, heart problems, or arthritis, these can also lead to thinning air or an increased shedding rate.
Beyond these reasons for thinning hair, you have solutions. Scalp massage, supplements, and reducing stress can all contribute to thicker, healthier hair. But the most important thing to remember is that your scalp is where your hair follicle lives, and this is where all the care needs to be concentrated.
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