As you may know, I’m doing a series on the many ways that your hair health may be suffering. Whether your hair is falling out a little, a lot, or it just isn’t as luxurious as it could be, you’ll want to pay attention to this series.
Today, we’re going to dive into how the health of your scalp can impact the health and growth of your hair. Because, after all, several types of hair loss conditions come down to the health of the scalp and the hair follicles within.
We’ll look at 4 signs that indicate a scalp isn’t as healthy as it could be, along with 7 tips to follow if you want your scalp (and thus your hair) to THRIVE!
Let’s jump in…
Your scalp and hair follicles are the very place your hair is produced. It makes sense, then, that if their health is suffering – so is your hair’s health.
Let’s take a look at 4 tell-tale signs of an unhealthy scalp, along with what to do if you find any of these indicators on your head.
If there’s anything worse than getting dandruff, it’s admitting that you have it. But it’s okay! It happens to the best of us and is relatively common. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about, especially since it can be caused by a range of factors.
Dandruff can arise for multiple reasons, including dry skin, seborrheic dermatitis, sensitivity to hair products, and the growth of a specific type of fungus that lives on your scalp.
The result is dry white flakes in your hair that are often itchy.
Thankfully, there are plenty of shampoos on the market designed to get rid of dandruff. These can be quite effective, but sometimes their ingredients can cause an adverse effect or reaction – then you’ve got another problem on your hands.
The good news is that natural alternatives often work just as well. And if one doesn’t work as well as you were hoping, there are TONS of options. Thanks to these ingredients’ antifungal, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and hydrating properties, they can do wonders for your scalp if you’re experiencing dandruff!
You should also avoid certain foods, such as processed foods, sugary foods, fired foods, or red meat.
Your scalp can become itchy periodically for a range of reasons.
However, if you’re experiencing itchiness on a daily basis, this could be a sign of something more going on.
The itchiness could be the result of product buildup clogging your pores and causing irritation. This is a simple fix that requires a product change and a deep clean.
But the itchiness could also be stemming from a skin condition. If you change up your products and treatment, and you’re still experiencing itchiness after three months, it’s best to consult with an expert.
Seek out a local trichologist – a specialist who deals with conditions related to the scalp and hair – for their recommendations. They’ll be able to pinpoint the cause of your itchiness, along with a treatment to get the issue resolved.
If you part your hair and your scalp is red, that’s not a good sign – especially if you’re experiencing other side effects. This is a sign of inflammation within the scalp.
Again, this could be the result of a product (or even a non-hair related allergy) that is irritating your scalp. If so, switching products or avoiding certain substances should do the trick.
But if the issue persists even after a thorough overhaul, it’s time to consult an expert for further guidance.
And here we come to the topic of this article. If you’re losing more hair than usual, it could have to do with the health of your scalp.
On average, we lose about 100 hairs per day. This is no issue, because a healthy scalp containing thriving hair follicles replace this lost hair.
However, a scalp that is struggling won’t replace these hairs as fast (if at all!), leaving you with thinning hair or even bald spots.
The first sign that something is wrong will be a higher volume of hair than normal coming out in the shower, on your hair brush, and on your pillow or couch cushions. If your scalp is to blame, the issue may be joined with one or more of the symptoms listed above.
If so, it’s time to take extra care of your scalp. Keep reading to get some tips to ensure a healthier scalp!
If you want to optimize your hair’s health, a key aspect is taking good care of your scalp. To help with this, I wanted to outline 7 things that you can do that your scalp (and ultimately your hair) will thank you for!
Many of us spend a considerable amount of time maintaining the health of our skin – using facial scrubs, moisturizers, toners, and more. But then we forget about the skin beneath our hair!
Show the skin of your scalp that you love it too by following these 7 tips:
When it comes to the skin on your head, it’s especially sensitive. But unfortunately, so many hair products out there are laden with ingredients that can cause damage and irritation, potentially stunting growth.
For example, products which contain alcohol or fragrances can dry out your scalp and suck the moisture out of your hair. This can lead to not just an itchy, inflamed scalp, but frizzy and damaged hair.
Sulfates are another common ingredient which can strip the scalp of its natural oils, causing dryness and irritation.
When choosing products, be sure to keep in mind the ingredient lists, which each ingredient is, and the purpose of it being in the product. And if you do need to use something with a harsher ingredient, use it in moderation and monitor your scalp afterwards.
This one is pretty straight forward. When lathering shampoo or other products, don’t go too hard on your scalp. This can promote irritation.
Instead, gently rub the product in – almost like you’re giving yourself a massage. This will stimulate blood vessels and increase blood flow.
Of course you need to wash your hair. But doing so too frequently can have a negative effect on your natural oils.
The oils in your hair help keep your scalp and hair hydrated. Stripping these too often can impact your hair’s moisture. But that’s not all…
If you wash to get rid of that oily look, your scalp may retaliate by producing even more sebum to make up for what was just lost. This will make your hair look just as – if not more – oily. It may also cause you to wash more. Then you’re stuck in a vicious cycle.
Experts believe that this is due to omega-3’s ability to nourish the hair by providing stimulation to the scalp. It can also help prevent the inflammation that can be associated with hair loss.
Oxidative stress occurs when free radicals – which are unstable atoms caused by stress, toxins, and natural metabolic processes – cause damage throughout the body.
Thankfully, antioxidants can neutralize these free radicals, reducing and preventing the damage they cause.
The best way to fight this is with the “master antioxidant”. Click here to learn why it’s the best in the antioxidant business.
Experts have found a clear connection between probiotic intake and the health of your skin. 
This is because the health of the gut microbiome – the flora of bacteria residing in the gut – greatly impacts overall health, including that of the skin. 
But when selecting different probiotic strains, be sure to find one that has been shown to help the skin.
For example, L. rhamnosus – one of the most widely studied probiotic strains out there – has been shown to strengthen the health of the skin and is a great option for supporting your scalp! 
Similar to a scrub on your face, a scalp scrub can do wonders. Depending on ingredients, it can flush out pores, remove excess oil, dirt, or dead skin cells, and dilate the blood vessels, promoting hair growth.
You can shop for a store bought scalp scrub, or you can find TONS of different types online.
Just for you, I’ll share my favorite scrub which you can’t go wrong with! Because of the apple cider vinegar, this scrub is great at exfoliating the scalp, balancing pH levels, and ridding the scalp of unwanted bacteria that can cause itchiness and irritation.
Check it out:
1. Mix all of the ingredients together. Store the scrub in a plastic container since you’ll be taking this to the shower and you don’t want to risk dropping glass in there!
2. Once in the shower, lightly wet your hair and scalp. Squeeze out any excess water.
3. Using your fingertips, scoop one to two tablespoons of the scrub from the jar, and rub it between your hands.
4. Starting at your hairline and working toward the back of the head, gently massage the scrub into your scalp.
5. Once you’ve reached the back of your head, rework your way toward the hairline.
6. Let the scrub sit for a minute or two before rinsing thoroughly and following up with shampoo and conditioner.
This scrub can help your hair be vibrant as your scalp becomes cleansed and refreshed!
When it comes to hair health, your scalp is one of the most important things. It houses your hair follicles which are responsible for the growth and quality of your hair.
Knowing what to look out for and following these tips can help you achieve the healthiest hair possible. I hope this article lets you see your scalp in a new light.
To learn other possible causes of hair loss – along with what you can do about it – check out my other articles in this series and keep a lookout for more to come!