As we transition into autumn, it’s important to re-evaluate our hair care routines paying closer attention to the scalp as it's harder to keep it healthy and moisturised as the weather turns colder.
If you’ve ever experienced a dry, flaking scalp, you understand how annoying it can be, especially if it’s causing itchiness and irritation. You may even fear it’s causing dandruff. A dry scalp, though, does not signal dandruff. Whilst the symptoms are similar, there is a difference between the causes of both.
A dry scalp occurs when skin gets irritated and flakes off. Dandruff, on the other hand, is caused by too much oil on the scalp. That excess oil causes skin cells to build up and then shed.
Knowing which of these conditions you have can help you get the right treatment and banish flakes for good. A healthy scalp leads to healthy hair follicles and hair strands. If your scalp is not in its best condition, it can lead to hair loss, dry hair, thinning hair, and more.
There are many things you can do at home to transform your scalp, strengthen your locks and promote growth.
HOW TO MAINTAIN A HEALTHY SCALP
Healthy hair begins with a healthy scalp. There are many components that contribute to the health of your scalp:
Moisture and Oils
Scalp glands produce sebum, a natural oil that moisturises hair strands as they grow. It is the key to healthy, moisturised hair. When sebum is stripped from the scalp, it will make your hair dry.
What you should do: Do not wash your hair more than necessary. Shampoo strips sebum from your scalp. When you do wash your hair, use a sulfate-free shampoo.
Your hair type will determine how often you should wash your hair.
If you have type 1 or type 2 hair, you should wash your hair on average every other day. If you have type 3 hair, you should wash your hair once or twice a week, depending on if your hair is more composed of 3A or 3C strands. If you have type 4 hair, you should wash your hair once a week or twice a month, depending on how much moisture your hair needs.
Anyone with type 4 hair should also treat their scalp with oils, such as castor oil, a few times a week because hair is washed less often. Not only will it keep your scalp moisturised between washes, but it will also promote growth.
Not sure of your hair type? Take our brief hair type quiz to find out.
A healthy scalp has a pH level between 4 and 5, (the measure of acid-base). Acid causes the hair cuticle to flatten, which aids in moisture retention. If your scalp is too basic (or alkaline), your cuticle opens, which causes your hair to dry out quicker.
Furthermore, a balanced pH can prevent bacterial and fungus growth, which then prevents dandruff.
What you should do: If you notice a change in your scalp’s appearance, try an apple cider vinegar treatment to restore pH balance, and try using a different brand of hair products. Your scalp may be reacting directly to the type of products you’re using and trying to tell you that it does not like them.
A Clean Scalp is a Healthy Scalp
It’s no secret that oil, hair products, dead skin cells, and dirt can easily build up in hair which leads to clogged pores and follicles. All of this creates a beautiful home for fungus and bacteria to grow which can often lead to dandruff, irritation and many other problems. This is why it’s so important to maintain a clean scalp.
What you should do: Clarifying shampoos are a great way to cleanse your scalp without stripping moisture. Additionally, you can add tea tree oil to your shampoo to prevent bacteria from growing on your scalp.
How Diet Affects Your Hair
Just as a healthy body is the result of a healthy diet, the same can be said about healthy hair. There are many foods that promote healthy hair, a healthy scalp, and hair growth.
Salmon: Salmon promotes shine. It is packed with healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Since our body does not produce these healthy fats, we must get them from food or supplements. Omega-3 helps keep your hair shiny and full.
Spinach: Spinach is a great green to strengthen hair strands. It is full of essential nutrients like vitamin A, iron, and vitamin C. These work together to prevent breakage and maintain a healthy, moisturised scalp and mane.
Guava: Guava is a powerhouse of nutrients including Vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid, potassium, copper, manganese, fibre, flavonoids and other phytochemicals. Thus, it is beneficial for healthy hair growth and maintenance. Being extremely rich in vitamin C, guava helps in combating hair loss problems.
Cinnamon: Cinnamon increases blood flow and circulation bringing oxygen and nutrients to your hair follicles. Try adding some to your ground coffee or oatmeal and not only enjoy the health benefits but the flavour too.
Eggs: Eggs are a great source of protein and iron. They’re also rich in biotin, which is a type of vitamin B that promotes hair growth. A lack of biotin can lead to hair loss.
Protect Your Scalp
Damage to your scalp will make it more difficult to grow your hair. Damage can be from a number of things, such as UV radiation, bleach, and perms. Protect your hair and scalp by wearing a hat when you’re in strong sunshine. Avoid chemical treatments. Wash your hair with cold or warm water, not hot water.
Signs of an Unhealthy Scalp
Dandruff: When oil and dirt build up on the scalp, trapped bacteria and yeast can flourish leading to excessive skin cell growth. This builds up and sheds in the form of dandruff. Dandruff tends to be yellow in colour, oily and form in large flakes.
Dry scalp produces flakes that are smaller and white in colour. The skin cells on your scalp and body normally multiply when you need more of them. Then they die and shed off. But when you have dandruff, skin cells on your scalp shed more quickly than usual.
HOW TO GET RID OF DANDRUFF
There are many dandruff shampoos on the market. People with dandruff should shampoo their hair with anti-dandruff shampoo regularly. This can treat underlying causes of dandruff.
If you prefer natural remedies tea tree oil shampoo is a great alternative. Tea Tree oil has antimicrobial properties, meaning it is an agent that kills microorganisms or stops their growth. At-home remedies should always be consulted by a doctor.
Is it Really Dandruff or Something Else?
Often mistaken for dandruff, dry scalp is a result of a lack of moisture. And, if your scalp is dry, it’s likely that the skin on other parts of your body is dry too. It can also be brought on by cold, dry air or contact dermatitis.
Contact dermatitis isn’t as alarming as it sounds. It’s simply a condition in where the chemicals your body comes into contact with causes a reaction. For instance, have you ever tried a new shampoo or hair gel, only to have red and irritated skin? Often the irritation goes away on its own once you stop using the product that brought on the reaction.
HOW TO GET RID OF DRY SCALP
Keep your scalp moisturised by deep conditioning regularly. Avocados provide a deep moisturising treatment for your hair and scalp. After deep conditioning, follow up with a leave in conditioner and a moisturising oil like Shea butter or jojoba oil.
Exfoliate your scalp. Before cleansing your hair with shampoo, do an exfoliating scrub to get rid of any buildup.
A simple at-home DIY recipe can be made with brown sugar, baking soda, conditioner and essential oils such as tea tree or lavender. Scrub your scalp for a minute or two, making sure to scrub along your hairline as well as the middle to effectively treat your entire scalp. If a certain part of your scalp is more itchy than the rest, show it a little more attention. Then, rinse and follow up with your usual wash routine.
If the irritation and itchiness persists, see a doctor or dermatologist for more information on what could be the cause.
OUR SOLUTION TO HEALTHIER HAIR
We’ve touched base on many at-home solutions and remedies to maintaining healthy hair, from your diet to DIY exfoliating scrubs.
The RevAir Reverse Air Dryer also aids in the promotion of healthy hair. While the most well known benefits of the Reverse-Air Hair Dryer are that it dries and straightens in a single, hassle-free step, three times faster and with substantially less heat, it’s lesser known attributes lie in its role in hair health.
If your hair is frizz prone or suffers from everyday flyaways, it is a strong indicator that your hair has a raised cuticle.
The wand and hose use tension to dry the hair in its natural direction, smoothing and sealing the cuticle in the process. When the hair becomes damaged due to the stressors it's exposed to, including chemical processing, singeing curls into submission or forcing waves with hot tools, and even UV exposure, the cuticle (the outer protective layer) opens and stays in a raised, jagged angle.
The process of sealing the cuticle with reverse air results in smoother hair that holds style better and has a healthy shine.
RevAir Reverse-Air Hair Dryer works wonders on raised cuticles, as the airflow (suction) dries hair in the natural direction in which the cuticles are intended to lay.
If you have more questions about how the RevAir will work on your specific hair type, do not hesitate to visit our support center. We are devoted to providing you with all the information you need to use our products to their best abilities.