Overlooking  care of your scalp as part of your skincare routine is easy to do,  but since the scalp is really just an extension of your face, it too is susceptible to irritation, itchiness, and dryness.

Taking care of your scalp can help you create a healthy environment for your hair to grow, and help you nourish the skin that protects your skull from trauma and infection.    A healthy scalp is characterized by clean, hydrated skin, good blood circulation, balanced oil production, and the absence of inflammation, itching and flaking.  It is important to note that hair is a non-essential tissue. When the body is hormonally imbalanced, (nutritionally)  deficient,   it will begin to self correct and redirect nutrients away from the cells that form our hair to the vital organs to compensate.   Again as we have mentioned over and over physical health also plays a role in hair growth.    Your hair growth begins below the skin, so by the time your hair protrudes from the hair follicle it has already been formed.   For this reason, all follicular activity—both hair creation and hair growth—requires the involvement of your scalp and its components.  Optimally  your scalp and its hair follicles need to be kept clean, clear, and not be weighed down by sebum (oil), dandruff or tons of products.

Pay attention to your skin type and choose cleansing products accordingly.  Remove dirt and oil, as well as making sure it stays hydrated and nourished.  

Having a DRY SCALP can be a result of something as simple as overusing heating tools or dehydration ,  to more complex scalp conditions like dandruff or plaque psoriasis.    If your scalp is extremely dry, see your healthcare provider for a proper assessment.  In terms of cleansing, avoid over-washing your hair so that your natural oils can build up.  Naturally produced oils function as emollients or moisturizers for your scalp and prevent excessive dryness.  Select gentle, hydrating shampoos and conditioners. You can also use natural oils like coconut, jojoba, or argan oil to moisturize your scalp.  Using these oils must be done carefully and turned over often as they can also have a negative effect collecting debris around the follicle. 

Most products out there that are marketed for an OILY SCALP .  Dry shampoos don’t stop oil production, they are just meant to absorb oil, which can add more layers of products to your scalp.

The best consensus on conditioners amongst professionals is to apply conditioner to your hair a minimum of 10 minutes before you shampoo your dry, dirty hair.  This allows the hair fiber to receive the proper humectant, lipids, and proteins necessary to keep the hair fibers and scalp healthy while preventing any additional build up on the scalp.   When using oil-regulating shampoos, you can apply them directly to your scalp, cover with a cap, and allow the active ingredients to do their job.  Products with zinc, apple cider vinegar, and witch hazel are recommended .  Zinc will help control the growth of bacteria and assist with calming itchiness, while the vinegar contains natural alpha hydroxy acids, which encourage exfoliation. Witch hazel, on the other hand, reduces free radicals.   

When it comes to scalp care, it is important to have a routine that is specifically designed for your scalp type and issues. Consistently caring for your scalp will not only give your hair follicles a healthy foundation, but also will nourish and protect the skin of your scalp.

If you notice that your scalp is inflamed, itchy, or flaky, this could be a sign of an underlying issue that needs to be addressed. Consider talking with a certified trichologist, or a dermatologist about your concerns.