No one really talks about scalp health, because ew, why would we if we didn’t have to? But despite how the subject makes you feel (lots of cringing and goosebumps—girl, we feel you), your hair’s health is at risk if you don’t start paying closer attention to your scalp’s behavior. In celebration of IGK’s new LOW KEY Cleansing Walnut Scalp Scrub, we asked Aaron Grenia, one of the brand’s co-founders (who also owns an IGK Salon in New York’s Dream Hotel) to enlighten us on the territory atop our heads that has everything to do with the way our hair grows. Keep reading for Aaron’s expert advice on how to harness a healthy scalp.
Clean Follicles = Fuller Hair
The scalp plays a huge part in your hair growth and health. Your scalp’s hair follicles are the only part of the hair where there are living cells, or where your hair’s growth and health starts. If your scalp becomes clogged with dirt, oil, flaking or product buildup, your hair won’t be able to grow in as thick or healthy-looking. Hair can grow in thinner or may not be able to grow. You can tell your scalp is unhealthy if you have flakiness or itchiness, are seeing above-average oil, or are experiencing unusual hair loss or thinning hair.
A traditional shampoo will cleanse your hair but the most effective method to clean your scalp is to physically exfoliate, using a gentle exfoliator and massaging in with your fingertips. I recommend exfoliating 1-2x a week to remove general buildup, dirt, and oil. You can also exfoliate anytime you’ve used a lot of product, are experiencing dry skin or flakiness, or after a color service to remove any residual chemicals that could irritate your scalp.
Use Your Fingertips (Not Nails)
I like to use IGK LOW KEY Cleansing Walnut Scalp Scrub 1-2x a week to maintain scalp health. It uses sugar (instead of drying salt) and walnut shell powder to gently exfoliate and remove buildup; and apple cider vinegar and peppermint oil to rebalance scalp pH and cleanse. Using a walnut-sized amount, work from your hairline back, massaging with your fingertips directly at the root; and from the nape of the neck up. Add water to create a good lather. Rinse clean and follow with conditioner, or our EXPENSIVE Amla Oil Hi-Shine Topcoat.
Circular Motion is Key
You can massage your scalp as often as you’d like to improve circulation and stimulate growth. Every day for a couple minutes is great – using gentle circular motions with your fingertips. You want your water to be warm, ideally slightly above body temperature. This will help melt oils and residue from the scalp and hair without being too hot and causing irritation.
The Ideal Candidate For a Scrub
Everyone can benefit from our LOW KEY Cleansing Walnut Scalp Scrub as part of their normal routine. It’s especially great for people with sensitive or irritated scalps, because of the gentle exfoliates and the balancing and cleansing properties of the peppermint oil and apple cider vinegar. It’s also ideal for anyone who uses a lot of styling products, to physically exfoliate and remove the buildup regularly – to promote strong hair growth and scalp health.