We all want shiny, healthy, lustrous hair, but in order to achieve hair greatness, we need to pay more attention to a part of our bodies that isn’t as sexy to read about: our scalp.
“Healthy hair begins at the scalp and it’s important to nourish and take care of it,” says Matrix SoColor stylist George Papanikolas. “All the hair products that we use eventually leave buildup and oil on our scalps, which can hinder growth.”
Two of the telltale signs that indicate you’ve been neglecting your scalp and could be preventing your hair from growing? Scaly skin and excessive oiliness. In order to ensure your scalp is as healthy as possible, it’s important to remember that your scalp is skin and proper cleansing is necessary to maintain an optimal scalp environment for beautiful hair to grow and flourish, says Dr. Francesca Fusco, a CLEAR dermatologist and scalp expert who recommends using a shampoo and conditioner regimen with zinc pyrithione.
“You should always pair your anti-dandruff shampoo with an anti-dandruff conditioner,” Fusco says. “Unilever has actually done studies on this, and they found that when people use dandruff shampoo, specifically ones with zinc pyrithione, and they use a beauty conditioner afterwards, which can rinse away up to 50 percent of the flake-fighting effects of the medicated shampoo.”
Fusco recommends CLEAR Complete Scalp Care Anti-Dandruff Shampoo & Conditioner, which she says contain a medicated formula that controls dandruff, yet smells nice and addresses other hair needs. “A good scalp massage will also help stimulate the scalp and improve circulation, which is known to help hair growth,” Fusco says. Other tips for scalp health include adding a drop of lavender oil to your humidifier, which Fusco says provides a double hit: overnight, scalp and hair won’t lose moisture to the environment and the lavender oil has been documented to be aromatherapy for hair growth.
It’s also possible to eat your way to a healthier scalp. “Try increasing your protein intake with protein-rich foods such as fish, beans, nuts, and whole grains,” Fusco says. “I see many women who drastically reduce their meat intake or become vegan and experienced more shedding because of inadequate protein intake. If you are not getting excellent nutrition through daily meals, a supplement can make a world of difference. Look for a multivitamin that is formulated and labeled ‘for Hair, Skin and Nails.’ They contain a variety of vitamins including the B’s, Biotin, Vitamin C, and other ingredients that support hair health.”
Lastly, it’s important to break bad habits that could be damaging your scalp more than you know. Avoid scalding hot showers, something Fusco says will dehydrate your scalp, don’t pull your hair back tight with rubber bands and scrunchies.
For more beauty news and tips, check out the one thing you should never do when straightening your hair and the one thing you should never do when washing curly hair.
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