Just as it is impossible to build a strong house on a weak foundation, it is impossible to maintain strong healthy hair if the scalp is in poor condition. Unfortunately, most people neglect the health of their scalps and then try to improve the condition of their hair by spending a small fortune on salon products and services. Much money and time could have been saved if only these individuals had paid more attention to proper scalp care.
Why should anyone make an effort to care for their scalp? The scalp provides the hair with nutrients and oils which it needs to be strong, shiny, and healthy. If the scalp’s follicles become clogged with excessive oil, dirt, and debris, then the hair which grows from it will be less than healthy. Compare growing your hair to growing a garden: a great garden needs great soil, and great hair needs a great scalp. Just as you use a rake to remove debris from your garden, you must “rake” the dead skin, excessive oil, dirt, styling products, and other debris which clogs up the hair follicles.
The first and most important factor which one should examine is the blood circulation. A healthy scalp should be slightly pink in color. This indicated good blood circulation. If a scalp is too white in color, this indicates poor circulation. Circulation to the scalp can be improved a variety of ways. Certain shampoos and other haircare products contain ingredients which have been shown to stimulate the scalp. Tea tree oil, eucalyptus, and menthol are common ingredients which improve blood circulation to the scalp. Massage is another easy way to increase blood circulation. This can be done at a spa or a salon, which will most likely have a variety of scalp care services available. You can also perform massage on your own scalp whenever you shampoo your hair. Instead of your usual quick scrub, take 5 full minutes to manipulate your scalp with an invigorating shampoo.
It is also important to remove debris from your scalp by using a clarifying shampoo once or twice each month. These deep cleaning shampoos are specially formulated to wash away the millions of dead skin cells which clog up follicles, as well as excessive oil and residue from gels, hair sprays, and other styling products. However, if you color or perm your hair, you will not want to overuse clarifying shampoos since they can strip away haircolor and perms.
If you suffer from more severe scalp conditions, such as psoriasis, dandruff, or eczema, it may be best to consult a dermatologist, who will likely recommend a medicated shampoo. Most medicated shampoos contain ingredients like sulfer, zinc pyrithione, niacin, selenium, and other ingredients which help regulate the scalp’s moisture content, blood circulation, and oil production.