You take impeccable care of the skin on your face. You use the most healthy and natural cleansers and moisturizers. You do gentle exfoliations to keep your skin bright and clear. You even put on one of those freaky looking sheet masks once a week. And the rest of your skin is just as pampered. From body scrubs to lotions to dry brushing, you do everything you can to keep your skin silk smooth, healthy and radiant.
But you do you know what you’re totally ignoring? Your scalp. Yes, that’s right. Just because you have a full head of hair doesn’t mean you don’t need to pay special attention to the skin underneath that magnificent mane of yours. In fact, taking better care of your scalp may lead to thicker, fuller, faster-growing hair.
It turns out that although we may be able to get away with fewer shampoos and more ponytails, shampooing hair less frequently doesn’t actually save hair the way we’d hope. Instead of keeping more hair on your head, you may sadly end up with less! Actually, the problem is that leaving the oil and dead skin on your scalp can inhibit the natural and healthy growth cycle of your hair making it appear that you have stringy, dull, heavy and lifeless hair.
But regular scalp treatments can help reverse and prevent these kinds of simple issues. With three simple steps added to your daily regimen, you can bring back vitality, fullness and shine to your hair.
The best healthy scalp tips
Step 1: Massage and relax
Just like with the rest of your body, you need to relieve tension and stress from the muscles in your head. There are pressure points all around the sides and the top of your head that can help increase blood flow to the skin of your scalp as well as reduce tension. If you’re a jaw clencher or an eyebrow knot-er, you’re likely carrying a ton of stress in the muscles around your head and neck. Combine a daily gentle scalp massage with some mindful meditation or relaxation exercises to release tension in your scalp.
Step 2: Scrub and exfoliate
Just like every other part of your body with skin (which is all of it, obviously), the layers of tissue on your scalp get old and should slough away. The problem here is that you have all of this hair obstructing your skin’s ability to refresh and regenerate. Now you have skin build-up and flaky tissue weighing down your hair, preventing the growth of new healthy hair, and generally making it hard to ever get a really nice hairstyle to work for you.
If you have been noticing that your hair seems thinner, isn’t growing as well as it used to, is fighting you on new styles, or just overall seems lifeless and dull, try a scalp scrub product or throw together a really easy scalp scrub (you can make your own by combining oatmeal, brown sugar and your favorite conditioner) and set aside time once a week to exfoliate your scalp. You might be surprised at how vibrant your hair seems again.
Step 3: Replenish and restore
Of course, you can’t just strip the oils and dead skin right off of your scalp without some consequences. Just like when you use a dry brush on your body or a sugar scrub on your face, you need to protect and moisturize your scalp to keep it healthy. If you did an intense exfoliation, exfoliated your scalp for the first time or used a more aggressive chemical-based scalp exfoliating treatment, you should consider using sunscreen on your now raw and exposed scalp (or, wear a hat at the very least, to protect from any sun damage that you would be vulnerable to at this point). It may seem counterintuitive, since you finally achieved the bouncy, shiny hair you've been wanting, but in the end your scalp and hair will thank you.