How to Have a Healthier Scalp

We definitely enjoyed ourselves during the holiday season, but January is all about sobering up. As we resolve to start the year fresh, it’s time to consider not only our locks, but also our scalps. After all, this is the month of detox. We don’t want to neglect any key areas, so we went straight to the expert to find out all about scalp detoxing—which is not only a thing, but also necessary for healthier, stronger hair. Anabel Kingsley, Director of Communications and Head Trichologist at Philip Kingsley explains how to begin your own scalp detox journey.

Scalp Detox

 (image via Philip Kingsley)

SCALP DETOX 101

As the scalp is the environment from which hair grows, keeping it clean and healthy is key to healthy hair growth.  As a rule of thumb, treat your scalp with similar TLC to the skin on your face,” advises Anabel. “After all, the scalp is simply an extension of the skin on your forehead; you take them to the same places and they are subject to the same environmental pollution,” Anabel reminds us. In order to keep your scalp squeaky clean, cleanse frequently with the correct shampoo for your hair texture.

Scalp Detox

(image via Philip Kingsley)

Anabel recommends shampooing daily if possible, and to definitely not go more than 3 days between washes. To regulate sebum (aka oil), use an anti-inflammatory daily scalp toner that will help keep it in check and provide a cooling sensation. To get there, Anabel suggests Philip Kingsley Scalp Toner ($34). “Good ingredients to look for are Witch Hazel and Menthol,” she says. If you have a “problem scalp,” and experience issues such as flaking or itching, use a soothing antimicrobial shampoo, like Philip Kingsley Flaky/Itchy Shampoo ($40 ). “Like your face, you should care for your scalp consistently and daily – not ‘once-in-awhile,’” she adds.

  Scalp Detox

(image via Philip Kingsley)

Also like facial skin, your scalp can benefit from gentle weekly exfoliation. “Once a week, apply a pre-shampoo exfoliating scalp mask approximately 20 minutes before you shampoo, and then wash and condition as usual. We make an Exfoliating Scalp Mask ($30) that contains ingredients such as Zinc, which helps to control sebum production, Aloe Vera, which helps to moisturize and sooth the scalp, and Betaine Salicylate, a gentle exfoliant,” Anabel tells us.

Scalp Detox

(image via Philip Kingsley)

Ultimately, the health of your hair is strongly reliant on the condition of your scalp; the more robust your scalp is, the better your hair will be–it’s that simple. It’s important to remember that scalp problems can interfere with hair growth. “A flaky scalp can cause hair loss, so it’s really important to keep the scalp healthy and free of a build-up of dead skin cells,” says Anabel of the need to lather up.

 

However, make sure that when doing your scalp detox, to stay away from harsh scrubs or masks, as these can damage delicate skin, causing irritation and redness. Anabel also cautions against rubbing oils into your scalp to get rid of flakes, which is something to consider before busting out the cure-all coconut oil. “Dandruff is almost always oily, not dry—and rubbing oils in will simply make the flakes stickier,” she says.

 

If you want to DIY scalp detox, Anabel advises to start monitoring your diet, since scalp health is directly correlated to foods we eat. “If your scalp is itchy, flaky or irritated, take a look at your diet,” she says. “There are certain foods and drinks that have a tendency to flare-up the scalp. The most common offenders are full fat dairy products, such as cheese and cream, very spicy and sugary foods, and white wine and champagne,”Anabel explains. “Problem foods are not the same for everyone, so try to work out what yours are by process of elimination,” she adds. Next time we’re reaching for the bad stuff, we’ll need to remind ourselves that beauty really does come from within!

Want to keep hair health in check? TRY these vitamins for your mane.

 

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