Let’s Talk Scalp Care
We all love to have long and entertaining conversations about our hair. I personally love it when a person approaches me and looking at my hair with wonder, asks: “How do you do that with your hair?” I have to remind myself not to talk their ears off about the joys (and trials) of the natural hair journey.
However, there is one integral part of growing healthy strands that I hardly ever discuss with anyone and that is scalp care. This is unfortunate as scalp care should be considered just as important as hair care. A healthy scalp only makes for healthy hair growth. So here are a few tips and tricks to maintaining a healthy scalp.
THE SCALP IS SKIN TOO!
Because our scalp is covered with hair, we tend to forget that our scalp is skin too. It needs to breathe, just like skin does. It is a permeable layer that requires nutrients in order to survive; and while it behaves somewhat differently to the skin that covers the rest of our bodies, it is good to remember that it is skin. This is important to keep in mind when creating a hair care routine and when protective styling. I always encourage taking a break between protective hairstyles and letting your hair down every so often. This will not only benefit your hairline, but it will give your scalp a chance to breathe and recover after all the tight hairstyles.
IT SHEDS LIKE SKIN TOO!
Also known as dandruff, scalp shedding in general, is healthy and normal. A healthy amount of dandruff will vary with each person. Each person should know when they are producing an unusual amount of dandruff and should see a professional if the tips below do not work. A small amount of dandruff is expected, however, environmental changes, changes in diet, the products you use and how you use them can affect the amount of dandruff you'll experience. The scalp, like the skin, goes through phases of shedding as new cells grow and replace the old, dead cells.
Here are a few tricks I have picked up over time that have helped me maintain a healthy scalp. Some may surprise you.
- CLEANSE YOUR SCALP REGULARLY
Whether you use a cleansing shampoo or use a home remedy, cleansing should be part of your scalp care routine. How often you cleanse your scalp depends on the state of your scalp, the products you use and the environmental factors you are exposed to.
Cleansing helps clear the scalp and the hair of product build-up, which will occur eventually no matter which products you use. Build-up occurs when products, dirt or dead scalp cells block the scalp pores and the hair follicles, preventing your hair and scalp from receiving extra nutrients. While washing the hair generally rids it of dirt, the products used can leave a coating or a film that needs to be cleared.
The most convenient way of cleansing the scalp is to buy a cleansing shampoo. Personally, I have found using a clay hair mask to be a very effective convenient and cheap solution. It cleanses and simultaneously conditions the hair, saving me time as I don't need to deep condition afterwards.
- SCRUB IT!
You can use a shower brush, your fingers or add sugar to your shampoo to exfoliate your scalp. Just like skin, your scalp can benefit immensely from exfoliation. In any case, it is a nice way to massage your head, which leads me to my next tip.
- MASSAGE, MASSAGE, MASSAGE
Massaging is all about stimulating blood flow that will bring additional nutrients to your scalp. This will result in a healthier scalp and encourage hair follicle growth.
- GO EASY ON THE OIL
Oiling the scalp goes back many centuries and while I advocate the use of oils regularly, be wary of using too much and selecting heavy oils for the scalp. Castor oil is great for hair growth, however, adding it directly onto your scalp regularly and for an extended period of time, may cause build-up on the scalp. Some simple ways of reducing the risks are to mix heavy oils with lighter ones, using oils that have a close proximity to our natural oil and perhaps oiling the scalp less often. Once again, cleansing will help avoid this problem altogether.
There are many ways of maintaining a healthy scalp. As always, it is about finding what works best for you, through trial and error!
Wishing you a healthy scalp journey!
How do I create a hair care routine? Beginner's Series: Create a Routine
How do I maintain a healthy hairline/ edges? Edges, hairline and baby hair
Which oil should I use? Beginner's Guide to Oil for Hair
- Afri-Berry Moroccan Gold Black Soap Shampoo & Conditioner
- Archaic Human African Black Soap
- Zarona African Black Soap Shampoo
- Mabu Tribe Nourishing Cleanser
- Suki Suki Naturals Activated Charcoal Shampoo Bar
- WGN Solutions Collection
- Suki Suki Naturals Miraculous Oils
- Mabu Tribe Oil Splendor
- Zarona Oil Coconut & Jojoba Oil Serum
- Perspective by Pai