Scalp hair is just as important as hair care—period. Without a healthy and hydrated scalp, your hair can’t be in its best shape. When you really think about it, your scalp should be cared for the same way you care for your skin. Everything from the climate you live in to underlying skin conditions can affect your scalp, but the key to caring for it the right way is to use the right products. Detoxifying and hydrating products should be at the top of mind, and we got the full breakdown from two hair and scalp experts to learn more. Keep on reading for more from Adam Federico, Director of Content at R+Co, and Dr. Iris Rubin, Harvard-trained Dermatologist and Co-Founder of SEEN.
The Truth About Scalp Health
As we stated above, healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp. “My overall recommendation is to be kind and gentle to your scalp,” says Federico. Products that are too abrasive can lead to irritation, inflammation, and trigger any underlying skin conditions. If you suffer from psoriasis, a dry scalp, or dandruff, the last thing you want to do is trigger any of those symptoms. Keep it gentle and you’ll see the difference.
“I recommend avoiding Sulfates, Parabens, and Silicones. Sulfates strip your hair of its natural oils, causing dehydration and sometimes an overproduction of oil in the scalp,” he explains. “Parabens can throw off your hormones (which can lead to hair loss) and are a known skin irritant. It’s unfortunate, but a lot of products contain these ingredients.”
“R+Co is formulated without them, but we also have a product geared specifically towards rebalancing a scalp that’s been exposed to them.” The fan-favorite R+Co ACID WASH Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse is a detoxifying apple cider vinegar cleansing rinse. “Not only does it leave hair looking healthy and shiny, but it also soothes and restores balance to an irritated scalp,” he explains.
Signs of an Unhealthy Scalp
“Common signs of an unhealthy scalp are redness, itching, irritation, and flaking,” says Rubin. You could be shampooing too frequently, cleansing with harmful ingredients, or excluding hydration and moisture altogether. Water temperature is also a big trigger when it comes to scalp care because washing with water that’s too hot ultimately dries out your scalp and strands even further. On the other hand, if your hair tends to get oily easily, your scalp could benefit from cleansing and detoxing more frequently.
Maintaining a Healthy Scalp
“Avoid irritants and any allergens you know you may react to. If you are prone to product build-up, a clarifying shampoo can help. And if your scalp is dry or flaky, a medicated shampoo can help,” she says. “Using skin-friendly hair formulations like SEEN Skin-Caring Shampoo and Conditioner can help maintain a healthy scalp.” SEEN Skin-Caring Hair Care is good for your skin and your scalp, and clinically proven to be non-irritating and non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores).”
If you’re experiencing more severe scalp issues such as constant itching, burning, or even bleeding, it’s best to see a dermatologist for further consultation. In the worst-case scenario, oral and topical medications plus medicated shampoos may be necessary.