Healthy, shiny, and strong hair starts with a healthy scalp—literally. A clean, healthy scalp will create a positive environment that facilitates optimal hair growth. Most people focus on nourishing their hair itself, but focusing more on the scalp from which the hair grows can often have a larger impact on the health and shine of one’s hair. Here are some of the most effective ways to improve the health of your scalp for better hair.
Many people shy away from using oils on their hair—after all, nobody wants to intentionally make their hair greasy—but doing so can greatly increase the health of your scalp - and it doesn't leave your hairy greasy. Examples of oils that are known for improving scalp health include:
How to apply them: Massage a few drops of one or several of these oils into your scalp when your hair is wet. Then, let the oil soak into your hair for at least 20 minutes, and wash it out with your usual shampoo.
Treating your hair with oil at least once a week should result in a healthier scalp as well as stronger, more radiant hair. To ensure you aren’t allergic to an oil before applying it to your scalp, make sure to test it out on a small patch of skin first.
Use a Shampoo Without Sulfates or Parabens
The shampoo you use to wash your hair can have a large impact on the health of your scalp. If you use a shampoo that’s loaded with sulfates or parabens, you could unintentionally be doing harm to your scalp.
Parabens are a group of chemicals that are often used as artificial preservatives to extend the shelf life of shampoos. Unfortunately, parabens are easily absorbed through the skin and have been known to cause damage to the scalp by exacerbating skin conditions and causing allergic reactions.
Another common ingredient in shampoos that can negatively affect the health of one’s scalp is sulfates. Sulfates are known for irritating the scalp as well as stripping it of its natural oils, creating a dry, unhealthy environment for hair growth. To improve the health of your scalp, opt for a shampoo that’s free of these two potentially harmful ingredients.
Whether you’re putting your hair in extremely tight hairstyles or tugging on it a bit too harshly with your brush, pulling your hair can damage the hair follicles on your scalp. Such damage can end up causing hair loss, which may become permanent if pulling persists over time. To avoid damaging your scalp’s hair follicles, choose hairstyles that leave the hair loose around the scalp, and only brush your hair when necessary. When you need to brush your hair, make sure to do so gently, avoiding harsh tugging or yanking to get through tangles.