The Foundation of Your Hair
If you didn’t know before, a healthy scalp = hair growth! No seriously, there are so many benefits to making sure that your scalp is healthy, moisturized and feels good, but if you are hoping to achieve long-lasting hair growth, it is even more important!
Your scalp is pretty much the foundation of your hair – after all, it’s literally where the roots are! In order for the hair strands growing from the roots to be strong and healthy, you need to ensure those roots are well-fed – kind of like soil for plants. If you want your plants to grow big and bloom beautifully, you have to make sure the soil is healthy and full of nutrients and your scalp is just like that!
The science behind it
Your scalp has oil (or sebaceous) glands that are constantly producing oils that keep your hair healthy and lubricated which allows it to grow. Certain products can strip your scalp of these natural oils (also known as sebum) which can result in dry, itchy or inflamed scalp. Alternately, if your scalp is not clarified often, the sebaceous glands can become clogged with build-up, excessive oils, sweat, dirt etc.- all of which can also result in unhealthy hair and an uncomfortable scalp. Not good!
How to care for your scalp
Maintain your scalp's pH balance
You want to make sure your scalp’s pH is balanced. A healthy pH balance forms a protective barrier that prevents bacteria and fungus from growing. It also seals your hair cuticles to help with moisture retention and to prevent breakage. Your hair’s pH should be around 4.5-5.5 which is mildly acidic. Keeping your scalp pH in this range will help maintain your scalp’s acid mantle and ensure a healthy scalp and hair growth! Learn more about hair and scalp pH balance here!
Of course, you don’t need to measure you hair’s pH—this is just for informational purposes! Seeking out products that contain mildly acidic ingredients (and avoiding alkaline ones e.g. Sodium hydroxide and Triethanolamine) and including them in your regimen is a step in the right direction. A good gauge is simply how your scalp feels when you use certain products—is it dry? Is there a lot of dandruff? Is it oily? Depending on the condition of your scalp, you may need to add or remove certain products.
Clarify your scalp
One thing’s for sure: you should clarify your hair often. Some experts recommend once a week, others recommend less frequently. It is important for you to understand what your hair needs in order to know how often is right for you. You need to clarify regularly, or else products, sweat etc. will start to build up. Gentle clarifying shampoos, like this one, typically work for most hair types, while those with oily hair and scalp can try an apple cider vinegar rinse which is great for removing buildup and dirt as well as improving scalp pH.
Stimulate your scalp
Finally, try a scalp massage! Scalp massages are great at improving blood flow which in turn helps your hair follicles to feel stimulated and to grow! You can combine your scalp massages with regular hot oil treatments, especially in the colder months. When doing a hot oil treatment, it’s important to use both an essential oil like rosemary oil, tea tree oil etc. (to help stimulate hair growth) as well as a carrier oil like avocado oil or jojoba oil to dilute your essential oils which are super concentrated.
You can, of course, simply use your fingers to slowly massage your scalp for about 10 minutes every few days, but we definitely recommend the use of a scalp massager. Scalp massagers are very affordable and can help stimulate your follicles more effectively than with your fingers alone. They can be manual like this one and this one or you can go for an electronic one if you prefer!
Nurture the root!
We hope you are now convinced of the importance of a healthy scalp—when it comes to healthy hair, it starts at the root!
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