I’ve been banging on about the importance of looking after your scalp for years. Finally, the rest of the world seems to be catching on. The term #scalp has picked up 700 million views on TikTok and Google searches related to scalp health are up by over 300% since last year. From scalp scrubs and masks to oils and serums, all the big haircare brands have joined in, making scalp care a product category in its own right. We love to see it.
Why Scalp Care Matters
While your hair is dead, your scalp is essentially an extension of the skin on your face. This means it accumulates bacteria and has follicles that can become blocked. It even sweats, just like the rest of your skin.
Your hair comes from the follicles in your scalp. It’s the scalp and the underlying structures of blood vessels and nerve endings that are nourishing the hair follicle to produce healthy hair. In other words, the condition of your scalp determines the overall condition of your hair.
Your scalp is affected by the same things that affect the skin on the rest of your body. From double cleansing to the serum you simply can’t live without, I bet you put a lot of thought into the products and steps that feature in your skincare routine. Well, your scalp deserves the same care and attention.
How to Look After Your Scalp
The best tip I can give you is to treat your scalp like you would the skin on your face. Cleanse gently but thoroughly, don’t overuse dry shampoo (imagine applying deodorant everyday but never washing your armpits – gross), exfoliate regularly and don’t forget to put the moisture back in. Simple!
Let’s unpack some of these steps in more detail…
I don’t know about you, but I love a good body scrub. It feels like I’m washing away my sins with all that dead skin. Well, if you think that’s fun, imagine the sensation of using a scalp scrub. It doesn’t just feel good, it does your scalp good too, sloughing away product build-up, pollution, excess sebum, oils and dead skin. When you lift away the dirt, grime and dead skin cells clogging hair follicles, it increases oxygenation, allows your scalp to breathe and clears the path for new hair growth. Win win! Just be wary of overdoing it as you’ll end up snapping your hair at the roots. I’d go for a gentle massage with soft granules, or you could try a liquid exfoliator.
Scalp Oils, Serums and Mists
Once you’ve given your scalp a good scrub, you need to add the moisture back in. There are loads of hydrating oils, serums and mists to choose from. Some are applied pre-wash and others can be used at night before bed with no need to shampoo out.
If you’re looking for something easy and affordable, spritzing your scalp with rose water is a simple hack that’s popular on TikTok. I can definitely see the logic. Rose water is a mild astringent which may help reduce oiliness and dandruff. It also has anti-inflammatory properties than can help with scalp conditions like psoriasis and eczema.
Don’t Neglect the Lengths
I’ll give you top marks for looking after your scalp, but only if you’re conditioning those lengths too. While your scalp does a pretty good job of creating enough sebum and moisture to keep everything nearby in tip top condition, the long part of your hair is a dead protein. It doesn’t have the same support that the root has, so we need to use products to nourish it. Ask me about one of my personal favourites, MUK Deep 1 Minute Ultra Soft Treatment, next time you’re in the salon.