Magnificence Breakdown: Our Full Information To Scalp Care, Professional Suggestions + Merchandise Included

Hannah Frye

mbg Assistant Magnificence Editor

By Hannah Frye

mbg Assistant Magnificence Editor

Hannah Frye is the Assistant Magnificence Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism and a minor in ladies’s, gender, and queer research from California Polytechnic State College, San Luis Obispo. Hannah has written throughout life-style sections together with well being, wellness, sustainability, private growth, and extra.

Picture by ohlamour studio / Stocksy

July 18, 2022

Welcome to the Magnificence Breakdown, our collection that dives into right now’s buzziest magnificence matters. In every, we deal with a special theme and spotlight all of the need-to-know fundamentals, widespread errors, and the most effective merchandise to get your fingers on.

A number of many years in the past, utilizing something however cleaning soap and a easy lotion to cleanse and deal with the face would have been considered as extreme and pointless. Clearly, occasions have modified fairly a bit. Skincare is the brand new regular, and it is nice to see youthful generations prioritizing hygiene and self-care. 

One space that is not too long ago entered the highlight on this realm: the scalp. Whereas many individuals equate a wholesome scalp to wholesome hair, there’s way more to this nuanced subject than meets the attention.

It’s true {that a} wholesome scalp encourages wholesome hair, however that is not all. The scalp is its personal beast to deal with, and it requires a lot totally different care than the hair. The truth is, it is best to view your scalp as an extension of the face relatively than the bottom of your strands. 

There are many sources to find out about skincare routines, regimens, merchandise, and coverings on the market—however scalp care sources are missing. Right here, a full breakdown of the whole lot it is advisable find out about scalp care from the consultants who research scalps and hair care product elements each single day. 


The 101 on scalp care. 

Let’s begin by clarifying one factor: Scalp care is just not the identical as hair care, and it should not be approached as such. As we mentioned earlier, your scalp is an extension of your face, so it ought to actually be handled extra like primary skincare than hair care. 

Whereas your objective with hair care is to encourage robust, mushy strands, you are aiming for one thing fully totally different in the case of the scalp. As licensed trichologist and founding father of scalp-first hair care model Act+Acre Helen Reavey places it, “The objective is to steadiness the scalp microbiome and maintain it in homeostasis.” 

When your scalp is wholesome, the next processes can run easily: 

  • Nutrient supply: When the hair follicle is cleared, you are capable of get vitamins out of your hair care delivered to your scalp. When there’s extreme buildup across the follicle, nevertheless, your scalp cannot soak up the vitamins it must steadiness the microbiome and thrive. 
  • Hair development: A wholesome scalp encourages wholesome hair development. When there’s extreme irritation, buildup, or dryness, the hair can not develop correctly. 
  • Hydration all through the hair: In case your hair is dry, your scalp is probably going in an analogous state and vice versa. Consider it like a series response: When you begin prioritizing scalp care, your strands will profit too.

5 issues we’re getting fallacious proper now. 

Even probably the most diligent pores and skin and hair care devotees can have habits that could be working towards them. Right here, widespread practices that could be affecting your scalp:

  • Not wanting on the scalp sufficient: If you neglect common check-ins together with your scalp, you may miss the prime window for treating any issues earlier than they worsen. It is similar to skincare: When you did not have a look at your pores and skin within the mirror, you may miss a response to a product and proceed utilizing it till you are experiencing a full-blown rash or different opposed response. 
  • Assuming flakes imply dandruff: When you check out your scalp and see flakes, you will most likely assume it is dandruff. The reality? It isn’t that easy. Consider flakes on the scalp as an indication of one thing, however do not leap the gun and assume it is useless pores and skin. Extra on that in a bit.
  • Ignoring hair kind: Completely different hair varieties name for barely totally different approaches to scalp care. For instance, these with curly hair ought to prioritize scalp hydration. “The diameter [of the follicle] is flat and ribbon-like, so it does not retain moisture,” clear ingredient knowledgeable, founder, and CEO of Innersense Magnificence Greg Starkman tells mbg. This implies the scalp must be hydrated much more for these with curly strands. 
  • Equating scalp care to hair care: It is a widespread false impression that merchandise designed for the physique of the hair ought to be used on the scalp as effectively. You may additionally assume that scalp-focused merchandise ought to be utilized to the strands The 2 usually are not mutually unique, because the scalp is pores and skin and the hair is, effectively, hair. Use dry shampoo in your strands, not your scalp. The identical goes for cleaning shampoos. 
  • Pulling too exhausting: Whereas the slicked-back ponytail could also be having a second, your scalp begs to vary. When the scalp is pulled again many times, the harm is unavoidable. This will even result in location-based hair loss on the base of the ponytail if finished over time. That is known as traction alopecia, and you may learn extra about it right here. 

The 6 steps it is advisable know:


Take a look at your scalp.

When was the final time you actually checked out your scalp? Licensed trichologist and hair well being knowledgeable Shab Reslan tells her shoppers: “Be just a little bit extra curious in regards to the situation of your scalp.” 

Reslan recommends sectioning the hair and looking out intently on the scalp within the mirror. Ask your self the next inquiries to information your at-home scalp examination: Can I see product buildup across the follicle? Is there any redness or irritation? Are there any flakes? 

“Flakes might imply that you’ve an oil buildup or the other, that you simply’re drying out your scalp. Or, it could possibly be associated to the surroundings or merchandise you are utilizing,” she says. So it is protected to say, utilizing a dandruff shampoo the second you see a flake on the scalp is not going to unravel each downside. 


Exfoliate weekly. 

As a result of scalp care is skincare, you need to be exfoliating weekly. There are a couple of other ways to exfoliate the scalp, and it is price making an attempt out totally different strategies to search out which one is greatest for you. A number of choices: 

  • Scalp scrubs: To be clear, we’re not referring to harsh, large-rock-based salt scrubs. These may be too harsh on the pores and skin and, like harsh bodily face exfoliation, trigger micro-tears and irritation, Reavey explains. That being mentioned, there are some gentler choices which are worthwhile for eliminating buildup (see under for our go-to scalp scrub). 
  • Chemical exfoliants: Salicylic acid is a standard scalp exfoliator because it helps to eradicate buildup and regulate sebum manufacturing, thus serving to to steadiness oily hair. A gentler exfoliating agent present in scalp cleaning merchandise is glycolic acid.

That being mentioned, in the event you’re not having any form of irritation, itchiness, flaking, or oil imbalance, this sort of exfoliation could also be pointless. As an alternative, you will need to go for gentler detox merchandise. Reslan says to maintain these chemical exfoliants on the scalp and keep away from working them by the remainder of your hair because it’ll solely dry out your strands.


Replenish hydration. 

Particularly in the event you see dryness in your scalp or in your strands, utilizing a hydrating product to replenish moisture after exfoliating is vital. You would not use an exfoliating serum in your face with out slathering on moisturizer after, and the identical rule applies right here. 

Hair and scalp oils are totally different from scalp serums. The latter is supposed to remain in your hair with out feeling greasy or leaving residue. These serums can assist in hair development, assist fight dry patches on the scalp, and total contribute to microbiome steadiness. 

If you apply a scalp serum, accomplish that to a clear scalp. Be sure you separate your hair with a comb and apply the serum to your total scalp. After you apply, therapeutic massage the serum into the scalp to make sure it absorbs. Pay particular consideration to any downside areas. 


Give your scalp a break.

It isn’t against the law to sport your favourite slicked-back fashion every so often. Pulling in your scalp day by day, nevertheless, is not the most effective concept. “Pulling again the hairline goes to be harsh as a result of it places quite a lot of strain on the follicle,” Starkman says. 

If you’re taking correct care of your scalp, then these kinds will not be as harmful, as your scalp can be stronger and extra resilient. However, attempt to not make this an on a regular basis incidence. Everybody’s scalp is totally different and thus, can tolerate totally different kinds. 

Merely take note of your scalp’s state, particularly across the hairline and base of the ponytail or braid, to catch any early indicators of hair loss if you wish to proceed carrying these kinds safely. 


Use your fingers. 

There may be a lot energy in your built-in instruments. Giving your self a scalp therapeutic massage within the bathe or with merchandise earlier than or after your rinse can work wonders. “Doing self-massage on the scalp promotes blood stream, which is related to pure oxygen within the physique. This promotes more healthy hair development,” Starkman explains.

When you choose a scalp therapeutic massage device as a substitute, by all means, use what you want. Do observe, nevertheless, that a few of these massagers may be manufactured from exhausting plastic and really harm the pores and skin on the scalp. Your fingers can function an enough device that is simply as efficient and fewer dangerous than utilizing a tough, aggressive device. 


Shield the scalp. 

When you’re spending an extended day within the solar, you need to be defending your scalp. You may definitely select to put on a hat and supply a bodily barrier, or you possibly can go for SPF on the scalp. This may assist forestall sunburn, in fact, but additionally maintain your scalp microbiome pleased, and as you now know, that is the important thing to a wholesome scalp. 

There are tons of merchandise in the marketplace for this actual objective—here is a listing of our high 8 scalp sunscreens in your shopping pleasure. 


Know when to see knowledgeable. 

As is with skincare, generally at-home therapy simply is not sufficient. If you’re having extreme scalp bother, whether or not or not it’s extreme and treatment-resistant flaking, irritation, or hair loss, it is best to hunt skilled help. 

You may go to a trichologist for a scalp examination or go to your dermatologist to debate attainable in-office remedies or, if obligatory, prescription-grade merchandise. 


3 further scalp-care steps for these trying to degree up. 

For many who need to take their routine past the fundamentals:


Weekly scalp oiling.

It is a basic Ayurvedic custom that may work wonders for a dry scalp. Discover a clear and pure hair oil you’re keen on (one in all our favorites listed under), and spend a while massaging the oil into your scalp. 

Merely separate your hair into sections, run some oil down the half, therapeutic massage, and repeat. This could be a aware observe that doubles as a second of peace and a devoted act of self-care. When you can, depart the oil in your hair for a couple of hours or in a single day to extend absorption. 


Use silk or satin hair ties. 

Like we mentioned earlier, pulling the hair into extra-tight hairstyles can severely harm the scalp. As an alternative, go for silk hair ties and scrunchies. This manner, you possibly can go for updos with out fear because the satin will not pull on the scalp as conventional, rubber hair ties would. 

This may even assist forestall breakage on the strand the place the tie is mounted. This step serves as a greatest observe in your hair and in your scalp. 


Do not forget about in-salon remedies. 

There are tons of scalp-focused remedies provided at hair salons. These vary from hair development to hydration to exfoliation-focused processes. Your hairstylist or trichologist will show you how to decide what your scalp wants on the time. 


The 6 merchandise to attempt.

One of the best scalp care is holistic in nature—merchandise included. Right here, a few of our favorites.

Finest scalp care merchandise:


  • Not the most effective for greasy hair

Life-style concerns: Vegan, Cruelty-free, Light, Shade-safe, Paraben-free

This pre-cleanse oil gently breaks down sebum, removes buildup, and helps restore steadiness to the scalp. The clear and pure ingredient record options baobab and basil leaf, two antioxidant and anti inflammatory vegetation that assist soothe and restore moisture. Moringa extract works to stimulate microcirculation for wholesome hair development. The plethora of further botanical oils present a further antioxidant increase to assist shield the hair from long-term environmental harm. This one is good for these trying to keep a wholesome scalp. In case your scalp is already dealing with bother, the salicylic acid-based Scalp Renew could also be a more sensible choice.

Finest scalp scrub: Innersense Magnificence True Enlightenment Scalp Scrub

True Enlightenment Scalp Scrub

VIEW ON Credo | $42


  • Not the most effective for ultra-sensitive scalps

Life-style concerns: Vegan, Cruelty-free, Light, Shade-safe, Paraben-free

If you are going to use a scalp scrub, it is best to go for this one. Many scrubs are made with giant salt particles that may harm your scalp, however this one is formulated to be mild but efficient. The Hawaiian Purple salt is crushed into smaller granules that rub away dry pores and skin and buildup with out tearing the pores and skin. Apple extract works to revive hydration whereas peppermint oil stimulates blood stream. The ahh-inducing aroma comes from the tea tree oil that is actively soothing irritation and irritation. 

Finest hydrating serum: Davines Elevating Scalp Restoration Therapy

Elevating Scalp Restoration Therapy

VIEW ON Amazon | $41


  • Protected for irritated scalps

Life-style concerns: Vegan, Cruelty-free, Light, Shade-safe, Paraben-free

As we mentioned, if you are going to exfoliate, it is advisable keep hydration as effectively. Enter, a restoration therapy in your scalp. This leave-on therapy incorporates botanical extracts of Tasmannia Lanceolata leaf and Fumaria Officinalis that work to hydrate the scalp and supply antioxidant safety. When you’ve overdone it with harsh therapy or simply need to give your scalp some TLC, go for this product.


  • Not the most effective for eradicating buildup

Life-style concerns: Vegan, Cruelty-free, Light, Shade-safe, Paraben-free

When you’re on the lookout for a staple scalp-care product, that is it. This apple cider vinegar serum can be utilized each day to encourage a balanced microbiome and hydrated scalp. The serum is hydrating however oil-free, which implies it goes on clean and acts as an invisible, light-weight therapy. Be sure you divide your hair into sections and prioritize any downside areas.


  • Can be utilized on the strands and scalp


  • Not a leave-in scalp product

Life-style concerns: Vegan, Cruelty-free, Light, Shade-safe, Paraben-free

If you wish to have interaction in weekly scalp oiling and therapeutic massage, this product can be your greatest pal. Not solely does the clear and pure components scent divine, however it may be used on the scalp and the hair, making it bang in your buck. Be sure you depart the oil in for a couple of hours after making use of. Professional tip: Do that earlier than mattress so you do not have to consider styling oily hair all through the day.


  • Absorbs extra oil
  • Will not persist with the scalp

Life-style concerns: Vegan, Cruelty-free, Light, Shade-safe, Paraben-free

Dry shampoo is a common savior. You need to restrict your dry-shampoo styling days to 1 or two earlier than giving your scalp and strands a correct cleanse, and search for clear merchandise like this one from Rahua. Made with tapioca starch, this product naturally absorbs oil with out sticking to the hair follicle like glue. To not point out, natural star anise provides a recent scent to make sure your hair smells as clear because it seems to be (even when that is not essentially true). Be sure you focus the product on the strands relatively than the scalp itself.

The sweetness breakdown.

As we mentioned, there’s way more to scalp care than meets the attention. From exfoliation to hydration and at-home massages, you possibly can see why scalp care is extra just like skincare than hair care. When you’re undecided the place to begin, bear in mind this: We do not have a look at our scalps as a lot as we should always, and your scalp will let you know what it wants in the event you give it the time and a focus it deserves. When you comply with these steps, you will be on the highway to a balanced, comfy scalp very quickly.