We spend hours styling and caring for our hair, but most of us don’t give our scalp the time of day. That’s unfortunate as healthy hair and a healthy scalp typically travel together. If your scalp isn’t in prime condition, odds are your hair is isn’t ready for prime time either.
Here’s how to care for your scalp (and your hair!)
Go on a shampoo diet
As the weather grows cooler and the humidity drops, your scalp and hair will retain less moisture. Over shampooing will further strip away this needed moisture. During your daily shower, either wet your hair without adding shampoo, or cover it completely and save yourself another blow dry. Dry shampoo can also sop up the oil that makes your hair look greasy and buy time between shampoos and pricey blow drys.
Tip: A scalp massage during your shower will help stimulate blood circulation to the hair follicles (and it feels great).
Ditch the dandruff
If you notice white flakes on all of your clothes and it’s not snowing outside, you may have dandruff. Try an antidandruff shampoo to see if it improves the situation. Follow the instructions on the label for maximum benefits. See your dermatologist if your condition doesn’t improve or worsens.
Add a conditioner to your routine
Occasional use of a moisturizing conditioner (even just on the ends of your hair) can decrease static electricity, smooth split ends and protect your hair from harsh winter weather. Deep conditioning hair masks can also rejuvenate damaged hair. Use a mask once a week.
Dial down the heat
Blow dry your hair on the cool or warm setting, never hot as heat can burn the scalp and damage the hair. Air dry your hair occasionally as well to minimize damage.
Dim the (high)lights
Consider going one or two shades darker for the fall and winter to give your hair a break from the damaging effects of over highlighting. If you also get treatments that change your hair texture – straightening, for example, decide which one is more important to you or discuss the best ways to space them out with a trusted hair stylist.
Stress and anxiety make everything worse – including hair loss and scalp health issues. Find something that helps you take the edge off and do it on a daily basis. Medication, yoga, regular exercise and deep breathing can all reduce stress.
See your dermatologist
Increased itching, dryness, and irritation can mask a more serious scalp condition such as scalp psoriasis. See your dermatologist or ZO skincare professional to find out more.