Your scalp is more sensitive than you think, and it requires just as much attention as the rest of your body.
Let’s be honest: When we talk about skin care our face gets all the attention. It’s front and center, after all! But even when we actually do start thinking about ways to tend to the skin on our bodies, scalp care tends to get the ol’ shaft.
Caring for our scalp is super important, and it can even make a difference in the overall health and quality of your hair. Without proper attention and scalp care, it can become unbalanced. This results in excess oil, dryness, flakes, bumps, and other dermatological issues. A healthy scalp feels good, looks good, and helps promote shiny, healthy hair. Who doesn’t want a shiny mane?
Let’s talk about the signs of an unhealthy scalp, common culprits, and how to remedy any scalp issues you’re dealing with.
Signs Your Scalp is Unhealthy
The biggest sign your scalp could use some TLC is if you’re experiencing any sort of discomfort. This can range from mild tightness, itchiness, and irritation (sometimes accompanied by flakes) to painful bumps or scab-like spots.
In milder cases, you may simply experience dryness and flaking with no real discomfort. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you may experience excessive oiliness where your hair gets stringy with oil within a day of washing. In some cases, you may experience both flakes and oil.
All the above can lead to hair that looks flat, dull, stringy, or otherwise unhealthy that’s in need of some scalp care.
Causes of an Unbalanced Scalp
There are several key causes of an unbalanced scalp, so let’s outline each one!
While everyone has their own “best pace” when it comes to shampooing their hair, not washing frequently enough can lead to scalp issues. It’s important to find a frequency that creates a balanced scalp- this might look different for everyone.
In addition, you should wash your hair anytime you’ve been sweating a lot or have been in a body of water (including the pool).
Not washing enough can lead to issues, but so can washing too much. Just like your facial skin, your scalp can become dried out from excessive shampooing. This presents differently for everyone, but can often create a tight, dry, or itchy sensation accompanied by flaking. It can also lead to too much oil production as your scalp overcompensates for lack of moisture.
Product-Related Buildup or Irritation
Haircare products can sometimes leave behind a film on our strands and our scalps, which can lead to an imbalance. We recommend using a chelating or anti-residue shampoo once every week or two to help clear out any build-up. The La’Dor Triplex Natural Shampoo to gently work on irritated scalps to deep clean, using green tea, tea tree, and other great ingredients to balance and restore.
A detox mask can also work wonders. Our favorite, the British M Regenall Calming Mask, uses glacial clay, coconut, and glycerin to remove grime and buildup, manage dandruff and regulate oiliness.
Scalp irritation can also be caused by products that may have ingredients that your scalp doesn’t agree with. This is a case-by-case situation, and it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause. If you suspect it’s a product causing your issue, swap it out for something else.
There are several dermatological issues that can lead to an unhealthy scalp. This ranges from mild seborrheic dermatitis (AKA dandruff) to scalp acne to psoriasis, folliculitis, and infections.
While mild cases of dandruff can often be treated over the counter with medication shampoos containing zinc pyrithione, more severe cases may require a stronger prescription from your dermatologist or doctor. The remaining dermatological issues we mentioned also benefit from doctor intervention. It may feel like a bother to schedule an appointment, but the relief you can experience will have you wondering why you didn’t go sooner.
How to Promote a Healthy Scalp
The best way to maintain a healthy and happy scalp is to follow the advice we outlined above. Find the best shampooing pace for your scalp’s needs and be mindful of product buildup and irritation. And of course, speak with a doctor when it’s an issue that’s difficult to treat with simple at-home care.
For extra credit, consider incorporating some fun products into your hair and scalp care regimens, such as deep conditioners, like the Too Cool For School Egg Remedy Hair Pack, that help keep strands and skin hydrated, exfoliating scalp scrubs, or a silicone scalp massager that helps work products into your scalp while improving blood flow to the area.