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Scalp Exfoliation for Healthier Hair

In a world where skincare is all the rage currently, The Beauty Care Crew was just wondering if you remembered your scalp care? Your scalp care should be an extension of your skincare routine, your scalp is your personal crown, so we need to treat it with royal TLC.

The scalp is an extension of the face.

Your scalp skin is more delicate, and it has a higher number of sebaceous glands, sweat glands, and hair follicles, and a lower barrier function than the skin on the rest of your body. It works tirelessly to promote hair growth and regulate oil production. The skin on your scalp also ages faster than the skin on your face. Over time the skin on your scalp gets thinner and has less elasticity. It then has a hard time holding in moisture, allowing your scalp to become dehydrated faster.

Your skin gets gentle cleansers, exfoliation, toners, essences, serums, moisturizers, oils, a gazillion masks, and sunscreen. And then there’s your scalp, it gets maybe a shampoo a few times a week. Your hair gets a bit more extra love with conditioner and maybe a mask. But is a happy head of hair truly possible without a happy, healthy scalp? No! Your head of hair is dependent on your scalp. To understand the health of your hair, you need to look at the root of the problem.

What type of scalp do you have?

There aren't necessarily scalp "types," but rather characteristics of your scalp that depend on how much sebum the scalp produces. Sebum is a natural oil and protectant for your skin. How fast and how much you produce dictates how oily, or not your scalp will be.

  • Dry: If the skin on your head is itchy and flaking, you may have a dry scalp. Dry scalp flakes will be smaller and whiter than Dandruff flakes that will be more yellow in color. A dry scalp occurs when your scalp loses too much moisture. Hair care products, the weather, age, and various skin conditions can cause dry scalp.
  • Dandruff: An allergic reaction to a natural yeast that lives on the scalp's surface. It feeds off of the oils on your scalp, breaking it down and leaving oleic acid, a fatty acid, behind. This triggers an itch response on the scalp causing skin cells to renew faster than usual, allowing dead skin cells to accumulate as flakes.
  • Oily: Signs of an oily scalp are the hair getting oily quickly after washing it, dead skin cell buildup, acne, and dandruff. Oily scalps experience an overproduction of sebum (aka, oil). If your scalp is oily, your hair may look and feel greasy and flat just a day after washing, which may lead you to wash your hair even more frequently.

Everyone's scalp needs a little extra TLC. A happy and healthy scalp will lead to healthier hair overall.

Step One: Pre-cleanse/Rinse

Pre-cleansing your scalp has a multitude of benefits. Just like in your skincare routine, a pre-cleanse helps to clean deeper down removing impurities from the skin. On your scalp, a pre-cleanse can properly remove build-up from sweat, dirt, excess oils, and products that can block the follicles on your scalp, resulting in a range of issues, from inflammation to severe itching and dandruff. How often you deep clean your scalp depends on how oily your scalp is and how many different products you use. If it's super oily, try and get a deep clean in around once a week with a detoxifying shampoo and scalp rinse. If you have a normal or dry scalp, 1-2 times a month should be enough to keep it in top condition.

A few great Pre-cleanse scalp care products:

Step Two: Cleanse

After your deep cleaning pre-cleanse, your next step is to cleanse again! This second cleanse is all about your specific scalp concerns and needs.

If your scalp is irritated, we recommend a calming shampoo. The Alter Ego Italy Calming Shampoo is just that! This gentle shampoo counteracts the feelings of discomfort on the scalp. This shampoo is formulated with fermented Oats which have an exceptional calming and soothing effect, and Sicilian prickly pears to soothe the scalp and promote wound healing, while also helping to eliminate redness and irritation.

For extremely dry scalps, we recommend the Biolage Scalp Sync Calming Shampoo. This shampoo gently cares for both the hair and scalp and is infused with key ingredients glycolic acid and fermented black and green tea to care for the scalp. Fermented black and green tea provide the hair and scalp with powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that help to instantly calm irritation and reduce itchiness. Glycolic Acid is a gentle exfoliant and actively helps to increase cell turnover, helping to instantly remove product buildup and dead skin cells.

If you feel you have an oily scalp, we recommend the MEDIceuticals Solv-X - Oily Scalp & Hair Shampoo. This shampoo helps to treat and control Seborreah Dermatitis, Excessive Oily Scalp, hair, and skin while helping to reduce inflammation and irritation.

Fear dandruff no more! Your Beauty Care Crew recommends that you try the Redken Scalp Relief Pyrithione Zinc Dandruff Shampoo. This shampoo has been dermatologist-tested and proven to help fight and control dandruff on your scalp. This shampoo also contains zinc which not only helps regulate sebum production, but also has antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties that can help treat seborrheic dermatitis (also called dandruff), scalp psoriasis, and acne. It can prevent the growth of yeast, which is a main factor in dandruff.

Not really identifying with any of these groups of scalps? That just means your scalp doesn't have any serious needs to address. A great deep cleanser for any scalp type is the It's A 10 Scalp Restore Miracle Charcoal Shampoo. We recommend this one because it not only helps to heal your scalp but because it can be used as often as you would like and it pairs well with any hair type and texture. This shampoo is infused with activated charcoal which helps to absorb excess oils and bonds with impurities to lift them away, leaving the scalp and hair clean, clear, and relieved without stripping essential moisture or weighing hair down.

Step Three: Exfoliation

Just like your facial skin, your scalp needs to be exfoliated once in a while! Scalp exfoliation helps to create a healthy environment for the hair to grow by cleaning out anything that might be clogging or blocking the follicles. It also helps to remove buildup caused by products and helps with oiliness, dryness, or flaky scalp issues. Whether you have curly hair, a dry scalp, or dermatitis, it's important to exfoliate off lingering dirt, sweat, and buildup that has accumulated throughout the week. While it's easy to neglect your scalp while you're showering, experts agree that scalp scrubbing is as important as our skin care regimen. A good scalp scrub can also help promote blood flow to the scalp and promote healthier hair growth.

We love a good scalp scrub, some products we recommend:

All of these scrubs feature tiny dissolving particles that gently exfoliate and renew your scalp. Another great option in your shower is the Manta Healthy Hair Brush. This is a flexible shower brush that conforms to the shape of your scalp making it flexible enough to create less tension while brushing your hair, leaving you with smooth and tangle-free hair.

Step Four: Treat/Moisturize

After your scalp has been properly cleansed twice and exfoliated, your final step is to renew and treat your scalp. This step is probably the most important in your scalp care routine/journey because this is where you get to put nutrients back into your scalp. Adding nourishment back to your scalp after exfoliating is essential and can not only make your scalp feel and look better, but it can also make your hair look and feel thicker, fuller, and healthier than ever.

Scalp treatments like the Biolage Scalp Sync Oil Balancing Serum help to rebalance oily scalps. It is formulated with Fermented Black and Green Tea to provide the scalp with a powerful combination of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties to help reduce irritation and itching on the scalp. The Biolage Scalp Sync Oil Balancing Serum leaves both your hair and scalp feeling purified, healthy, and balanced and is the ideal product for between wash days.

The Surface Awaken Therapeutic Treatment helps to stimulate, strengthen, and rejuvenate the scalp helping to maintain a healthy scalp and also aid with hair loss. This treatment is infused with capsaicin (cayenne pepper extract) and peppermint to revive your scalp, helping with all types of scalp challenges such as thinning hair, dandruff, psoriasis, and itchy scalp.

Treatments such as the Mizani Scalp Care Calming Scalp Lotion are great for creating scalp comfort and reducing irritation. This treatment uses Aloe Vera, Avocado, and Eucalyptus oil to instantly soothe and relieve your scalp. This is ideal for use with weaves, extensions, or braids.

Scalp care is equally, if not more important than your skincare. Healthy, shiny hair begins with a healthy scalp! If you’ve read all of the benefits listed above, it becomes pretty clear how scalp care can benefit your hair. When your oil production is balanced, your hair follicles are stimulated, unclogged, and nourished, the end result is the perfect foundation for happy, healthy hair! So take the Beauty Care Crew's advice and try out a few of these amazing scalp care products!

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