Is your hair getting greasier at a quicker rate than normal? Do you have an itchy scalp? Or found flaky bits in your hair? These could all be signs that your scalp needs a little extra TLC.
Scalp care has taken off recently as the new self-care trend and GLOWWA are all here for it! We are starting to see more and more influencers promoting products and routines that are dedicated solely to scalp health. In fact, last year, searches on Google related to ‘scalp health’ were up over 300% and the term #scalp had a haaauuge 700 million views on TikTok!
But why is scalp care/health so important?
Most of us spend so much time looking after our hair, that our precious scalps often get neglected. We forget that our scalp is home to our luscious locks, and without a healthy scalp, dreams of healthy hair will sadly go down the drain. You see each one of our hair follicles goes deep into our scalps, with its very own microbiome (which is a community of microorganisms). If this microbiome becomes imbalanced it can cause a whole range of issues like eczema, dandruff, and even dermatitis.
Okay, so we get that our scalp is a big deal – but what is our scalp skin actually like? Well, compared to the skin on our faces, our scalp has a much higher density of hairs known as terminal hairs (which are a lot thicker than other hairs on our body) as well as a higher amount of sebum being produced. Sebum, by the way, is an oily substance our body produces that protects our skin from drying out. These two factors (hair density and oily sebum production) mean some people are more predisposed to scalp conditions. However, it doesn’t mean our scalps are disposed to more disorders, it’s just the fact the scalp suffers different conditions compared to elsewhere in our bodies.
Our clever scalp produces all this sebum to also protect our hair (thanks scalp), though, depending on the texture and type of hair you have, it can sometimes make it harder for this sebum to travel down our hair. For example, if you are a curly-haired queen, sebum doesn’t always travel down the hair follicles as easily as other hair types, meaning a build-up of sebum on your scalp *eek*. When build-up happens, follicles on the scalp can become blocked, just like our facial pores, which can result in hair thinning, hair breakage and even premature hair loss.
Before we start dishing out our expert tips on how to achieve a happy healthy scalp, you first need to discover what type of scalp you have. This way you can personalise your routine to suit your scalp type.
Here are the four main hair and scalp types...
Dry: Have you found that your hair lacks bounce and shine, and your scalp is often itchy and irritated? You probably have a dry scalp type. A dry scalp is a sign that your scalp is producing not enough sebum, meaning you lack moisture. This can mean people with dry scalps often have dandruff and dry dull hair. Dry hair can only be stretched 15% of its overall length before breaking, while healthy hair can be stretched twice its amount!
Balanced: Often referred to as ‘normal’ and is a happy healthy scalp. It has the right amount of sebum and an ideal pH level (how acidic something is). People with balanced scalps have shiny and healthy hair.
Oily: This type of scalp happens when we have overactive sebaceous glands, meaning we have too much oily sebum. Some tell-tale signs could be dandruff or limp hair that gets greasier throughout the day, even if you’ve just washed it! Oily hair types can often be mistaken for product build-up and can cause us to overwash our hair, which ultimately produces even more oil. Interestingly fair hair compared to dark hair is more susceptible to excess oil.
Mixed: Sometimes known as a combination scalp. Here your hair might be dry/frizzy but your scalp is oily. This can be caused by overactive sebaceous glands creating too much oily sebum. This sebum is absorbed, preventing essential oils from travelling the length of our hair.
Right, so that’s scalp types in a nutshell. Let’s turn our attention now to external factors which can also be hugely debilitating to our scalp’s health. External influences include exposure to toxins, extreme weather, and stress, which annoyingly are quite hard to avoid in the modern world we live in.
But before you panic, all is not lost. You’ll be pleased to know the two main evil culprits to scalp issues can be very easily controlled, phew.
The first is product build-up. This can happen when hair products like shampoo, conditioner, dry shampoo or even hair masks, aren’t washed away properly.
The second culprit of an unhealthy scalp can be overwashing your hair. Words of wisdom -You do not need to wash your hair every single day - there we’ve said it. The act of washing your hair often can strip away your hair’s natural oils, which can cause scalp oil production to increase.
By sticking to the following simple scalp care practices, you can give your hair a fabulous foundation for growth...
Brush before you wash: Your hair is at its weakest once it’s wet, meaning from now on ensure you grab your brush before washing! Brushing will magically lift residue off your scalp so you can wash all that nastiness off more easily. While you wash your hair, massage your scalp in small gentle circles using your fingertips, another step in loosening that residue to get rid.
Smart shampooing: Most hair experts recommend washing your hair every two to three days, though this does depend on hair type, texture, seasons, exercise routines and also your age.
Check the ingredients: Gentle hair products are going to nourish your scalp and not cause too much build-up. Products that include ingredients such as sulphates, parabens, or alcohol can heighten build-up issues and cause irritation. Make sure you look over the ingredients of hair products before purchasing to ensure there aren’t any pesky little ingredients in there. Allllso, look for pH-balanced (acidity level) hair products and avoid harsh chemicals that would impact your hair’s natural balance.
Scalp exfoliating: If you’re new to the idea of scalp exfoliating, you may not know there are two ways you can do this. No.1 is when you physically scrub away any dead skin, build up etc. No.2 (which is actually our preferred choice) is using a liquid exfoliant which will loosen up all that build-up and excess oily sebum which you can then wash away, YAY! For some scalp types, not exfoliating could lead to clogged-up follicles and an itchy scalp. Be careful though, over exfoliating can result in an irritated scalp and like most things over production of sebum, which can lead to nasty scalp conditions.
Feed your follicles: Just like how our diet affects the skin on our face, it also affects our scalp. A diet brimming with vitamins and minerals our body thanks us with a healthy scalp. Foods like eggs, salmon, spinach, and avocados ensure your scalp gets the goodness it needs.
Stress-Free Scalp: Excessive stress can wreak havoc on our scalp’s condition, leading to irritation and dryness. Whether it’s meditating, a bubble bath or a walk in your local park, ensure you give yourself some well-deserved relaxation time. Your scalp will thank you for it.
GLOWWA Hair Food: To keep your scalp as happy as it can be we’d recommend GLOWWA’s hair vitamins. In as little as 12 weeks say hello to restored hair health, glowing skin, reduced shedding and a happy scalp.
There you have it, everything you need to know on how to keep your scalp at its best. With this new knowledge and easy tips, you’ll be able to transform your scalp care routine. Let’s celebrate how marvellous our head is and treat it with all the love and affection it deserves