The beauty industry has spent decades investigating the best ingredients for healthy, high-shine hair. Now, experts are analysing the root of our hair concerns—quite literally—and tasking the industry with creating products that can supercharge the scalp to ensure it stimulates healthy hair growth.
It may not be an attractive discussion point, but when it comes to skincare concerns, dry scalps are commonplace. More than 50 per cent of the adult population suffers from dandruff and similar scalp issues which can cause* severe dryness, itching, flaking and even lowered self-esteem.
If you've long ignored your scalp health, there's many reasons to start making it a priority.
Despite popular belief, scalp treatments aren't reserved for those who suffer from dandruff or dry, itchy scalps. Just like the skin on our face, the skin on our scalp ages and demands regular cleansing, exfoliation and protection.
The scalp is the foundation for your hair follicles and if it's not in good condition, your chances of experiencing issues relating to hair growth and health increase significantly. When a hair follicles' exit becomes blocked by dandruff, dead skin or sebum, hair growth will be impacted. Over time, permanently blocked follicles can cease to produce hair altogether.
The skin on your scalp is affected by the same aggressors as the skin on your face—think harmful UV rays, pollution, stress. Rather than wrinkles, a damaged and dry scalp will produce weak and dull hair.
What Causes An Itchy Or Dry Scalp?
A dry, itchy or flakey scalp can range from mild to severe, with myriad lifestyle, dietary, hormonal and seasonal factors the root of its cause.
The skin on your scalp is constantly shedding and producing oil and sweat, which, when combined, forms a protective layer over the scalp. However, if not regularly exfoliated and nourished it can result in blocked hair follicles, a build-up of trapped bacteria (leading to infection) or excessive shedding.
Dandruff has also been linked to poor hygiene, infrequent use or overuse of hair products and irritating hair product ingredients such as sulfates, parabens and alcohol.
Do I Have Dandruff?
Dandruff is best described as the flaking of the scalp, with side-effects including an itchy scalp or dry scalp and lacklustre, brittle hair. You'll most likely notice you have dandruff when wearing a dark top: you'll see small, dust-like particles on your shoulders. If in doubt, always check in with your GP.
How To Improve Your Scalp Health
Hair comprises two parts: the bulb and the hair fibre.
The bulb is the living element of the hair at the dermis level that is responsible for the formation of the hair fibre. Conditioning the scalp with powerful, hydrating actives will bolster your hair strength, colour and shine.
Regardless of whether your scalp is itchy, dry, oily or normal, a healthy scalp will boost hair structure. Start by using a shampoo and conditioner that combines innovative scalp care and anti-dandruff technology with luxury ingredients to give you beautiful looking flake-free hair such as the new Head & Shoulders Supreme 0% Purify & Volume shampoo and conditioner.
Stimulate blood circulation by massaging the shampoo into your hair in a circular motion using the pads of your fingers. Formulated with patented technology and nourishing natural extracts (and completely free from sulphates, parabens, silicones and colourants), Head & Shoulders Purify & Volume shampoo leaves hair with a delicate scent of dewy florals, white musk and precious woods. The addition of Argan oil, provides essential nutrients such as vitamin A, E and antioxidants to protect both your hair and scalp.
Invest in a weekly detoxifying scalp mask to remove gritty product residue, flakes and dead skin cells, before using your shampoo and conditioner. To further promote blood circulation, add a boar-bristle or scalpal brush and to your arsenal. Anti-ageing's next-gen skincare routine now also includes the scalp: introduce a potent, collagen-loaded serum for added follicle stimulation. Finally, spritz hair and scalp daily with an SPF protectant.
Head & Shoulders Supreme Purify & Volume Anti-Dandruff shampoo, $7.99 at Priceline
Head & Shoulders Supreme Purify & Volume Anti-Dandruff conditioner, $7.99 at Priceline
Pramasana Exfoliating Brush by Aveda, $49 at Adore Beauty
T.L.C. Happi Scalp Scrub by Drunk Elephant, $58 at MECCA