We’re all about hair. It is our crowning glory, our most prized possession, the part of ourselves that will make everything seem okay when everything else isn’t.
Which is why we’re also all about hair care. Shampoos to tame the frizz, conditioners to boost the shine, treatments to keep and rejuvenate the glow, we are all up on that alley. Haircare is important to keep the crown on top of our heads alive, strong, and healthy. But truth be told, if you truly want your hair gloriously luscious, there’s one part of your body that you are forgetting to pay attention to: your scalp.
Yes, folks, scalps are vital to hair health and growth, and has a whole other care routine that is different from your everyday haircare.
Under all that hair lies the sensitive skin of your scalp, which rarely thought of, requires regular maintenance to keep healthy. Bet you didn’t know that huh?
According to Skin Store, like the skin on the rest of your body, your scalp consists of layers of tissue. The lower layers are the healthiest, 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 of skin 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.
There are so many common scalp problems that occur if you don’t have a good scalp.
Dandruff would be the most common and apparent. They’re the icky and itchy white and yellow flakes that form on one’s scalp. Skin that is too dry or too oily is more likely to develop dandruff, and in some cases, the condition is caused by an overproduction of yeast.
Scalp eczema is highly common as well. It’s the itchy, red to brown rash that looks like small raised bumps when viewed up close. The condition develops due to a hypersensitivity reaction where your immune system mistakes a harmless substance as a threat and produces inflammation to protect your body.
Be careful of Scalp psoriasis. It occurs when your body fails to shed skin cells at a normal rate, causing a buildup of cells that forms red patches that are topped with white flakes. The condition mostly occurs due to a malfunction in the immune system.
Impetigois something you definitely don’t want to get. It is a skin infection marked by red sores that burst and then form an orange or yellow crust. The condition is typically very itchy and often highly contagious. Catching this would probably need a trip to the doctors.
The amount of scalp problems that can be encountered doesn’t end there, and these can greatly damage hair growth. The condition of your hair could have more to do with your scalp than you realize—you can’t have healthy hair without a healthy scalp. This is imperative for everyone, men and women, young and old. Young people, especially, need UV protection because the scalp skin is subject to a lifetime of the damaging effects of our environment and especially from the sun.
Happi Magazine says that the vitality of our bodies diminishes as we age, and this is a normal consequence of the aging process. But our skin, being a major part of the body’s defenses, is subjected to a much greater level of stress. The scalp skin is subjected to the same or even more premature aging as the skin covering the body—but the signs are usually different. Aging of the scalp manifests itself not in wrinkles as with facial skin, but in its inability to maintain healthy follicles. The scalp’s cell regeneration diminishes to the point that, as with the skin covering the rest of our bodies, it becomes thinner and loses its ability to retain moisture, and its ability to distribute nutrients to and detoxify the follicle.
Do you see how important this is? Well, now that you do, we’ve done some research and compiled some remedies for you. If you’re invested in hair and skincare, you might want to add this to your daily TLC routine. Here are some scalp care tips:
By regularly, we don’t mean every day, because that can seriously dry out your scalp. 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—try shampooing every two to three days, just so your scalp doesn’t get too dry or too oily. And rather than shopping for shampoo at random, look for brands that have their basis in natural ingredients or those geared toward your specific scalp problems.
Many common scalp problems arise from dry skin. When you shower and bathe, avoid exposing your scalp to hot water whenever possible. If you can’t take the cold, use lukewarm water instead, for rinsing—which allows more of the natural sebum necessary for moisturizing the tissue to remain on your scalp. If you blow-dry often, skip it once or twice a week and allow your hair to naturally air dry to give the skin on your scalp a break from the drying heat of your hairdryer.
The Philippines is hot. It only either rains or shines, and when it shines, oh it shines alright. The sun loves the Filipino people, which is why you have to be aware of protecting your scalp from harsh rays. Skin cancer is very common, and often develops on the scalp, which is nearly always exposed to the sun during your day-to-day activities. When you plan to be under the sun for long periods of time, wear a hat, or use an umbrella. In addition, consider applying a spray-on broad-spectrum sunscreen to your part or using a shampoo that contains a sunscreen, which will help protect your scalp from ultraviolet rays.
Limit chemical treatments
A great perm, straightening or hair coloring treatment can improve the look of your hair and boost your confidence, but the chemicals used in these treatments can dry out and irritate the scalp. Have chemical treatments performed by a professional to limit damage, and follow their recommendations for how often to touch up treatments. Also, during any chemical treatment, be on the lookout for signs of irritation like burning or itching, and let your stylist know immediately!
This is probably the best scalp care regimen because let’s face it, who doesn’t want a good massage? Beneath the skin on your scalp is an intricate network of blood vessels that carry oxygen and vital nutrients to the tissue. Keep the circulation going in your scalp by massaging the skin when you lather in the bath or shower. Then, once per week, spend five to 10 minutes massaging your scalp, using gentle circular motions. But for the ultimate indulgence, consider getting a professional scalp massage.
This is probably the step that we leave behind when it comes to body care. You know what they say “What you are is what you eat” and it’s definitely true. What you intake will reflect on your body, and a well-balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables will help supply the skin of the scalp with the raw materials necessary to produce new, healthy cells. Strive to always have your fill of fruits, veggies, and the right amount of protein. Trust us, this will ultimately rejuvenate your scalp.
Art by Tricia Guevara
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