If you care about your hair, you’ve probably already spent thousands of dollars alone on cuts and treatments over the past few years. It can be tough (not to mention costly) to maintain healthy, voluminous and smooth head of hair in a climate like Singapore’s, no matter your hair type.
And then there’s the matter of regular heat damage that happens with constantly blow-drying or heat styling hair (curlers or straighteners alike), as well as the mechanical damage that comes with brushing your hair constantly or breaking your hair when it’s wet and more vulnerable.
When you combine the hot and humid weather, constant heat and mechanical damage as well as chemical treatments like hair colouring or perming, we’re left facing a never-ending battle for great hair.
But here’s the thing. We’re willing to bet you don’t think of your scalp all that much. After all, you hardly see it, unless your hair is cut really short, and even then, your hair has always been the main focus.
The reality that needs to be understood is that your scalp is quite literally the root of all your hair’s strengths and weaknesses. You might know that essentially, hair that has grown out of your scalp is now dead and simply made up of keratinised proteins. So it’s in the growing process that we must exercise extra caution, because healthy scalp equals healthy hair.
How to care for your scalp
You should figure out what your scalp is like to begin with. It could be oily, dry, or even clogged from product buildup over time. If you have a particularly dry scalp, you’ll notice more irritation or even flaking like dandruff, which means you need to hydrate it. Think of your scalp as you would think of your skin, and you’ll be on the right track.
#1 Exfoliate or deep-cleanse it
There are also ways to exfoliate your scalp when it’s dry and flaking, or deep-cleanse your scalp when your hair follicles are clogged (one sign of this is pimples beginning to form).
Haircare brands like PHS Hairscience and Aveda have products that are dedicated to the scalp. Something like the exfoliating PHS Hairscience ADV Pre Treatment Scalp Elixir can be used to cleanse and exfoliate your scalp before you go in with your shampoo.
I personally have a deep cleansing (clarifying) shampoo that I use once every two weeks to really get rid of any hair product build-up (from things like conditioners, dry shampoo, hair serums, or sprays), so my scalp can breathe again and keep healthy. Limiting the use of your clarifying shampoos to twice a month will help you avoid over-stripping your scalp of moisture.
There are hair oils you can use to hydrate your scalp and hair (try working castor oil into your hair and scalp and leaving it on half an hour before your wash your hair or even overnight), as well as conditioners that if non-comedogenic, can be used on your scalp. Some brands like Tsubaki actually make conditioners that are meant for both the scalp and hair.
The foods you eat and your water intake will also go a long way towards keeping your scalp from getting dry or flaky. Make sure you up your intake of Omega-3s and water-rich foods like fruits and veggies, and get enough protein in your diet for healthy hair growth.
Hair salon services aren’t just about coaxing moisture or strength back to our already dead hair. While that might help your hair look and feel great temporarily, it won’t do much to solve the issue of your scalp. Some hair salons do offer scalp treatments which may well be as worth your time as paying to get a facial.
Choose a service that throws in a scalp analysis to give you an idea of your problem areas and provide a more personalised solution. You can check out PHS Hairscience, DRx Medispa, The Scene at Robinsons The Heeren, and J’s Salon at Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, just to name a few.
Bottomline: The next time you’re considering a hair treatment, remember that when your scalp is balanced, well-exfoliated and healthy, your hair grows out healthier, too.
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