If you are struggling with poor hair growth, decreased length between washes, dryness/flakiness, you're not alone. Scalp health is at the root (no pun intended) of most hair health issues and it is not talked about enough in the beauty industry.
Here are my three recommendations for maintaining a health scalp:
1. Always, always, always use professional grade products.
Grocery store products may make your hair feel soft in the shower, but the chemicals in low quality products often times will clog the hair follicle, leave a buildup of wax, and can irritate the skin on your scalp causing dryness and redness.
2. Brush your hair before you shower.
Use a bristled brush and brush your hair really well while your shower warms up.
Start with the ends to get the tangles out, but I want you to work your way up to the scalp and begin to brush downward to move the oils from your scalp down the shaft of the hair. This helps distribute that health hair oil to the entire strand but it also removes some of the build up at the scalp. This way, when you shampoo your hair, your scalp is more clear and prepared to be cleaned.
3. Shampoo twice.
I can preach on the subject for a long time, but if you're not already, I highly recommend shampooing twice with two different shampoos.
I love to use the Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Shampoo because I love how well it CLEANS the scalp. I focus on the back of my head, near the crown, scrubbing with the tips of my fingers in circular motions. It gets my scalp clean and removes buildup of product, dead skin, etc. but it also stimulates the hair follicle and promotes healthy hair growth. This step is so important. Once the first shampoo is complete, I rinse and begin the second shampoo.
The next shampoo I love to use is the Alterna Bond Repair Shampoo. Focusing on the scalp agin, use your fingertips to massage the entire scalp again. This time, I want you to move that shampoo down the shaft of the hair to make sure the strands are clean as well.
Don't skip this part! Make sure that you rinse better than you've ever rinsed. There should be no remaining product in your hair before conditioning. If you have a shower with a removable head, this makes it easy to rinse really well, but if not, turn up the water pressure setting and really get it there with your hands and the water to make sure all of that shampoo is completely rinsed.
When conditioning, it's important that you condition your hair from root to tip. Many people neglect conditioning their scalp and the root because they're afraid it will cause your hair to be oily. If you are rinsing thoroughly after shampoo and conditioner, you will heave shiny, clean hair and no buildup or oil. Try it!
Important note for tweens and teens: If they are having buildup at the root where their hair does not look or feel clean after showering, it is likely that they aren't scrubbing their scalp well enough and/or not rinsing well enough. Teach them how using the steps above and they should notice a big difference.
Kids can certainly use professional grade products, I love the Matrix and Joico options for my kids!
Product and oil builds up at the scalp creates a perpetual cycle of oil excess, irritation, and can cause fragile, broken hair and overall poor scalp health.
Next time you shower, try these three tips and let me know how your hair health improves!