A Healthy Scalp = Healthy Hair

To have healthy hair you need to pay attention to the health of your scalp.  Hair specialist Verona White explains how to attain good scalp health

CLEANSING THE HAIR AND SCALP

Each individual hair grows from your scalp and through it, and the amount of hair varies from person to person. It is so important that your scalp is clean, clear and healthy because if your scalp is full of dead skin, dry skin, dandruff or is infected, this will have an impact on the quality and growth of your hair. Inflamed or obstructed follicles may stop the hair from growing because there will be no entry point for the hair to grow freely. Cleansing your scalp will remove all that build-up and inflammation.  If you go as long as months at a time without cleansing your hair, you will experience bacteria build-up, and if you don’t have a scalp detox, it will affect the growth of your hair.

ITCHY SCALP
When your scalp starts itching, it is a sign that you either have bacteria caused by sweating, by pollution that remains on the scalp, sebum, or you may be allergic to hair products that you have used. Another common cause can be that shampoo or conditioner has not been rinsed out of your hair and scalp properly, and causes irritation when it dries into the scalp. Dryness of the scalp can also cause irritation, but if you are going to apply products to your scalp, make sure the product is light enough to be absorbed into the skin as the scalp responds to small changes. If you have a protective hairstyle which is too tight, this will also cause irritation and is another reason why your scalp might itch.

Blocked pores will also irritate the scalp and if the hair continues to grow, it will grow in a circular formation beneath the scalp and can become infected. This can also happen if you have thick layers of dead skin.

SCALP DISORDERS
There are infections affecting the scalp that need medical treatment. Some of the disorders you can experience are folliculitis psoriasis, eczema, ringworm and, in very rare cases, headlice. Although lice will not survive in very curly hair, they can still get into your hair from someone else. You should always check your scalp for anything abnormal, and once your scalp is infected, and the hair falls out, the follicle will not be able to produce hair in that area.

Your body can usually tell if something is wrong and if you are continually itching your scalp, you should always check that area.

Do not self-diagnose as this can lead to more challenges on your scalp. Speak to your hairdresser or doctor instead. Often, we can save our hair if we are keeping a close eye on it.

PRODUCTS
Even if we wear hair extensions, we should not assume itching of our scalp is normal. If we are experiencing an itchy scalp whilst wearing extensions, it can mean they are too tight, or infection has reached the follicle. We have learnt that if we put products on our scalp, like Vaseline or similar textured products, it will get rid of the dry patches. Using the right product is essential, as this can lead to dehydration on the scalp and cause it to be even drier.

SCALP DETOX
We should detox our scalp at least four times a year. The detox will get rid of any hidden products that harbour in the hair follicle. You can detox your hair in a few different ways. One way is through a scalp scrub. This special recipe has equal parts of bentonite clay, aloe vera gel and apple cider vinegar. Mix together, put all over and cover with a shower cap for 20 minutes. Rinse out the scrub, and then shampoo once to remove residue. Deep condition the hair and apply moisturising products to the hair as directed.

WHEN TO VISIT YOUR TRICOLOGIST
If you or your hairdresser have tried everything and the problem remains, then you should visit your trichologist. They will look at your scalp at a microscopic level, diagnose what’s wrong and provide treatments to remedy the problem.  

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Vernon White is a hairstylist, wig technician, natural hair specialist and author of 21 Recipes for Curly Afro Hair.
Visit www.afrohairgrowthchallenge.co.uk for healthy hair tips.

Written by: Verona White

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