Now that we’ve officially said our goodbyes to summer, we’re bound to experience some changes in our bodies — starting with the scalp. The scalp is one of the few body parts that doesn’t get the attention it deserves and it should be treated with the same care as the rest of our skin. After all, our skin is the largest organ found on our bodies, so why doesn’t it have its own skincare routine. If you want to achieve overall hair wellness, you can't ignore your scalp. After all, beautiful hair starts at the root.
The truth is, you’d be surprised how many beauty aficionados do have a routine solely dedicated to their scalps because they realize the importance of scalp health. If you think about it, the scalp is directly correlated to healthy hair, so why wouldn’t you care for it in the best way possible? It goes far beyond just shampooing and rinsing out the day’s pollution and product buildup, and we’re here to break down the specifics. Ahead, read on for the truth about what a healthy scalp actually looks like, feels like, and how to care for your own.
A Healthy Scalp
Photo via phshairscience
It’s very easy to overlook the scalp, and with that being said you’ll have to take a closer look at it to understand the state of its health. A healthy scalp does not have any flakes on it and does not release any flakes when you pass a brush through your hair. If you have dry patches throughout your scalp while touching your scalp and running your fingers through it, this is also a red flag. There is also a possibility that some people can have scalp acne and small bumps throughout the surface of the scalp, which would require the examination of a skincare expert. In any of these cases, your scalp may not be at a normal or healthy state and you should see a trichologist.
A trichologist focuses on the health of the hair and scalp and can determine what’s really going on and what help you may need. They can turn you to an over-the-counter shampoo or treatment or prescribe you medication if the condition is more serious and requires long-term medical attention. Either way, it’s best not to ignore it if you notice any of these signs, especially for a long time. A healthy scalp also produces a normal level of oil, meaning that it’s not too dry and not too oily. If there’s an overproduction of oil on your scalp, you should also consider seeing a trichologist because this can lead to other issues, such as scalp acne, in the future.
Related: Why a Healthy Scalp Is So Important
If you’re noticing any signs that indicate your scalp is more on the unhealthy side, don’t worry just yet. There are plenty of treatments available to you from over-the-counter products to natural remedies and prescription medications for the worst-case scenarios. If you’re noticing any initial dryness or excessive flakes, the best place to start is with a medicated shampoo. One of the most popular anti-dandruff shampoos is Nizoral. This extra-strength shampoo contains ketoconazole, which binds your hair’s natural protein to kill dandruff and stops itchiness. Other popular medicated shampoos include Neutrogena T/Gel, Selsun Blue, and Head & Shoulders.
Natural remedies are effective too! Apple cider vinegar is a common ingredient known for gently lifting excessive product buildup and flakes from the scalp. You can also apply tea tree oil directly onto the scalp whenever you feel any itchiness or uncomfortable dryness. Other treatments for dandruff include crushed and uncoated aspirin pills mixed with water, baking soda, peppermint oil, and coconut oil. Our GRO Hair Serum is plant-based and the formula promotes healthy hair growth, so it’s safe to apply directly onto the scalp for these symptoms as well. All of these are gentle on the scalp and can penetrate the issue directly. Prescription medication is obviously the last resort. A lot of the time, a dermatologist will provide a topical steroid to treat the affected areas. In other cases, an oral medication will be prescribed or the patient will receive injections directly into the scalp to treat their condition.
Learn: How to Exfoliate Your Scalp
Seeking Medical Help
You’re probably wondering when is the right time to see a doctor if you have any scalp concerns. The answer is as soon as you realize that none of the over-the-counter or natural remedies seem to be working or if your condition actually worsens. If your scalp is in a lot of pain or the itch becomes unbearable, it’s also time to seek medical attention. Do some research and find a trichologist near you to get down to the bottom of the issue and find the most effective treatment for you.