In this guide, we look at how to maintain a healthy scalp, how a good scalp-care routine will shine through in your hair, and how you can perform scalp treatments with a great brush and massage technique.
What do we mean by “scalp health”?
Scalp health is the latest trend to take the beauty world by storm. But don’t just take it as a passing fad. We invest in detailed skincare routines to keep our faces looking fresh, so why shouldn’t we do the same for our scalps? It’s not just about keeping the skin on your head healthy, but it’s the first step to achieving and maintaining healthy hair.
The length, shine, and strength of your hair all come down to its roots––quite simply: The healthier your scalp, the healthier your hair.
Our scalps are a delicate ecosystem that can easily be thrown out of balance. Things like pollution, product build-up, and even stress can seriously affect your scalp health. But thankfully, there are ways to mitigate these damaging factors.
Why is scalp health important for healthy hair?
Let’s break down the science, shall we?
As you may already know, every single strand of hair on your head comes from its own individual follicle. Sebum (aka oil) is also produced via the sebaceous gland and is secreted by each follicle.
The amount of sebum produced varies from person to person. Just as some of us have oily skin while others have dry skin, the same can be said for our scalps. Some people tend to produce far more sebum than others, it all just comes down to genetics. Sebum is essential for healthy hair, but it can also cause some issues.
If our follicles are blocked or clogged by an excess of sebum or product build-up, it can seriously affect the way our hair grows. In some cases, permanently obstructed follicles can stop producing hair altogether.
Just like the skin on the rest of our bodies, the scalp is made up of cells that are constantly dividing and regenerating. These cells make their way to the surface and then are shed. This is where a regular healthy scalp routine comes in. This dead skin needs to be removed manually by brushing, washing, or weekly exfoliation.
The key here is brushing. Using the right type of brush is imperative for making sure all that dead skin is removed, leaving your follicles free and clear of debris. If you’re not using the right brush, you might notice side effects like a greasy or dry scalp, itchiness, dandruff, and even hair loss.
Keep your scalp healthy with these 5 tips
1. Use the right brush
A hair brush has likely been a staple in your beauty routine since childhood, but are you using the right one for your hair? Take time to do some research, because the correct hair brush is a significant factor for scalp health.
2. Detangle with care
It pays to be super careful when you’re detangling your hair. Knots and snags are unavoidable, but it’s how you deal with them that’s important. A wide-tooth detangling comb is a necessity, especially if you have wavy or curly hair.
Using the wrong brush to detangle hair, particularly when it’s wet, can cause damage. Ideally, use a brush with specially designed for use on wet hair that can work through your tangles gently, especially when wet.
3. Scrub your scalp
Exfoliators aren’t just for your face! A scalp scrub is used as a pre-shampoo treatment, ideally about once a week. A physical exfoliant can help to work out build-up around your follicles and dissolve dead skin cells. You can even DIY a scalp scrub at home by adding raw sugar to a natural conditioner or even coconut oil.
4. …And massage your scalp too!
It doesn’t just feel good––a scalp massage will stimulate blood flow, keeping your scalp healthy and your tresses shiny.
How long should you massage your scalp? 2-5 minutes is all it takes. Aim for a quick scalp massage using small, circular movements several times a day if you can.
You can also invest in a brush or styling tool designed to stimulate and exfoliate the scalp.
5. Try not to over-wash your hair
Though regular washing is essential to keep your scalp clean and healthy, excess shampooing can have the exact opposite effect. Over-washing can strip away too much sebum, which will send your sebaceous glands into overdrive trying to produce more. This will lead to oily-looking roots and the potential for more clogged follicles.
Your go-to destination for happy, healthy hair
We’ve got more easy haircare tips on the rest of the West Brush blog, as well as an expert range of hair brushes and combs designed to care for every step of your hair care routine.