Skincare is big business these days. British women spend over £1 billion on facial skincare alone each year, with a whopping 92% of us using facial cleansers. But while we’ve made great steps in looking after the skin on our faces and bodies in recent years, we’ve neglected the skin on our heads. Many of us spend a lot of time selecting the right shampoos, conditioners and products for our hair, without thinking of the scalp beneath it. But the tide is turning. With the skinification of hair trending strongly, scalp care is rising high on the haircare agenda.
A healthy scalp is a vital component for healthy hair, and it's important to understand how to keep your scalp in great condition. So, we've put together this comprehensive guide to help you learn all about scalp care. Here’s what you need to know.
The Role Of The Scalp
What does the scalp actually do? Fore-mostly, it’s there to protect your skull from physical trauma and infections. And of course, it’s there to grow hair; hair that is thicker and longer than other areas of your body. Interestingly, this situation is unique in mammals. It is believed it helps insulate our brains while also playing a role in sexual attraction. Whatever the case may be, an average scalp has around 100,000 hair follicles, each containing a single hair. The follicles also produce sebum, an oily substance that hydrates the scalp and protects it from infection.
What Scalp Type Am I?
Generally speaking, your scalp type is down to the levels of sebum it produces. There are 3 types – dry, oily and balanced. Low sebum production usually results in a dry scalp, which can cause tightness, itchiness and some flaking. Heavy sebum levels can cause an oily scalp, leaving your hair and scalp feeling greasy, even after a recent wash. Dandruff and scalp acne are common too. A balanced scalp is where just enough sebum is produced to keep your scalp and hair in perfect condition.
A Balanced Scalp
A healthy scalp should be free of itching, burning, inflammation and acne. It should not feel excessively dry or oily, and heavy dandruff is also a symptom of something being amiss. It should not feel tender, emit strong odours and there should be no hair loss (outside of the usual day to day shedding). If you’re suffering from any or a combination of these, then it’s time to look to improve your scalp care regimen.
Scalp Care – Dos And Don’ts
The main principle of skinification is to treat your scalp with the same love as your face. This should be the foundation of your scalp care. You need to keep it hydrated and nurtured while removing all the dirt, debris and general gunk picked up living in the modern world. Here's how:
Examine Your Scalp Regularly
Take the time to take a close look at your scalp on a weekly basis. It’ll help you identify issues like dryness, oiliness, redness and irritation, or more serious conditions like hair fall. Whatever’s happening, finding out at the early stage and acting quickly is always the best path to solving the problem.
Though washing is the obvious way to clean your hair, overwashing can lead to scalp irritation and dehydration. It’s tricky, especially for those of us with oily scalps, but try to wash your hair no more than two to three times a week.
Brushing too much can strip natural oils from the scalp, causing irritation. Direct and heavy pressure can also cause inflammation. To keep your scalp healthy, brush your hair no more than twice a day and even better, use the wide-tooth Hair Gain comb to effortlessly detangle wet or dry hair.
Excessive heat styling, such as blow drying and curling, can cause scalp irritation (as well as damage to the cuticle of the hair). Try using heat styling only once a week and turn the heat dial right down. Try to Air-dry your tresses whenever possible.
Even in our more enlightened times, many hair and scalp products, serums and cleansers contain harsh chemicals that can strip the scalp of its natural oils and cause irritation. Always choose natural, sulphate-free, and paraben-free products whenever possible.
Use Great Hair Supplements For Scalp Care
Your hair and scalp health go hand in hand, and you need to look after them from the inside as well as the outside. The best hair supplements will contain the right vitamins and nutrients to help your scalp as well as your locks. Niacin, also known as B3, assists blood circulation, which is required to get those essential nutrients to your scalp. It’s also renowned for its anti-inflammatory properties. Vitamin E is another anti-inflammatory superstar. Make sure you make these part of your diet – you’ll find both in Hair Gain Capsules and Gummies.
Dry shampoo can be a useful hair hack, but some can cause a drying action that can strip your scalp of essential oils. Make sure you do your research and look to apply it on your hair rather than on your scalp.
Scalp Care: Moisturise & Stimulate
Because you’re now treating your scalp like your skin, you need to nourish and moisturise it in the same way. We all know how a face mask helps to do this, helping to make our skin glow with health. Using a hair mask can do the same thing for your scalp. Our Hair Mask is scientifically formulated to hydrate and stimulate your scalp while strengthening and protecting your hair. A brilliant win-win for your locks and the skin beneath them!
To get the most out of your Hair Mask, Hair Gain’s resident Trichologist Samantha Stewart MIT says:
“Start off with a great shampoo that aids hydration and cleanses the scalp well, but doesn’t strip all the natural oil. Then apply the hair mask for a full ten minutes to towel dried hair and really massage it into your scalp through to your ends. I absolutely love the Hair Gain Hair Mask, this fantastic hair mask not only protects the hair shaft against moisture loss but also aids healthy hair growth.”
Ultimately, healthy hair begins with a healthy scalp, so it's important to take the time to give it the care and attention it deserves. We hope this guide provides you with the knowledge and resources you need to keep your scalp healthy and happy with the right scalp treatment.