If you think about your head like a garden then it’s easy to see that hair, (like plants) can’t be strong and beautiful unless the scalp, (or the ground) is well nourished. Great hair always starts with a healthy scalp, and a healthy scalp can be affected by a multitude of outside factors from hormones to allergies. The follicle is the only living part of your hair and it grows from deep within the skin’s layers, finally surfacing on the scalp. The skin on the scalp, like all over the body, sheds on a regular cycle. New cells are revealed while old cells must be removed by brushing and washing. It’s essential that follicles are kept clear of old cells, dandruff and excess sebum as blocked follicles mean hair cannot grow properly and in some cases will even stop producing hair. So how to prevent any issues with the scalp and follicles? It’s simple, just follow our guide to optimum scalp care . . .
Scrub Up Nicely
Keeping your scalp in good condition means treating it more like your complexion, as co-founder of IGK and celebrated hair stylist Leo Izquierdo explains: “you should exfoliate your scalp just like you exfoliate the skin on your face. It’s a deeper cleanse that will remove dirt, oil and scrub away product build-up.” We suggest a once a week application of IGK Low Key Cleansing Walnut Scalp Scrub, which uses walnut shell powder and sugar to physically exfoliate, while apple cider vinegar gently clarifies and peppermint oil rebalances.
Wash With Care
It’s important to get to know your own scalp as there are many factors that can damage or aggravate the area, including unbalanced sebum levels, a build-up of oils or silicones from products, even using too hot water when you wash. When shampooing, always check the temperature of your water and go as cold as you can bear, as too hot water can dry out both hair and skin. Philip B, Hollywood’s pre-eminent hair treatment expert, says “try to shampoo at least every second or third day – an oily scalp can make follicles shrink” which is bad news for healthy, full looking hair. If you are a city dweller then pollution and dirt might make daily washing a necessity. If so, try a gentle shampoo like Christophe Robin Delicate Volumising Shampoo with Rose Extracts to ensure you’re not stripping the hair and scalp of natural oils. “It’s important to rid the hair and scalp of product build-up from plastics, which are not water-soluble and often included in styling products,” says Philip, so if you think this could be a problem then swoop in with Bumble and bumble Bb. Scalp Detox – a fizzy foam that deeply cleanses the scalp.
Dandruff Be Gone
If you do find yourself shaking away white flakes then try to get to the root of the problem – has your scalp reacted badly to a new product? Have you changed your diet? Lifestyle factors including stress, hormones and pregnancy can change scalp sensitivity. To quickly tackle the problem we recommend Philip B Anti-Flake Relief Shampoo, which contains active zinc and coal tar to rebalance and calm an itchy scalp, while hair is left gently cleansed and healthy. We also love Oribe Serene Scalp Soothing Leave-On Treatment which uses BHAs to gently lift debris from the scalp, while soothing with chamomile and cooling mint.
“A healthy well-kept and a well-cared for scalp will always produce healthier hair” says Philip, so it’s worth giving your scalp extra attention if you want to improve the look and feel of your strands. We recommend boosting blood flow to the scalp with a head massage to encourage hair growth. If you want to take it up a notch, book a salon treatment or at home use a hair oil like Philip B Rejuvenating Oil and massage well into the scalp and hair before shampooing. “Sebum, which comes from the scalp has a very large molecule” says Philip, “while plant oils have a much smaller molecule. When applied to the scalp they work to soften the layers of natural sebum on the scalp allowing it to be washed away gently along with dead cells and product build-up.”
Style It Out
For instant relief from dandruff or itchiness anywhere anytime, keep IGK Trust Issues Instant Scalp Rebalancing Treatment on hand. “The cooling mist can be used on damp or dry hair and doesn’t leave any residue or white powders, so you can use it on fully styled hair anytime your scalp needs a refresh” explains Aaron Grenia, co-founder of IGK. “It helps to moisturise the scalp immediately and over time, and includes apple cider vinegar to reduce product build-up and rebalance.” If you’re looking to moisturise hair and boost shine while caring for your scalp then try Christophe Robin Hydrating Leave-in Mist with Aloe Vera – the nutrient-rich blend works to hydrate wet or dry hair and instantly calm a stressed-out scalp.