We all want healthy hair, but luscious locks aren’t necessarily easy to obtain. Healthy hair starts at the root and that comes down to one thing: your scalp.
Your scalp is part of the largest organ in your body – the skin – and it requires a certain degree of care to keep it in good condition. Using the wrong hair care products, spending too much time in the sun, and subjecting your hair and scalp to harsh chemicals and hairstyles add up to a lifetime of damage which can leave your scalp feeling flaky and your hair dull and flat.
You may not be able to restore perfect scalp health overnight and wake up with a new head of hair, but there are simple steps you can start taking to improve scalp health over time. Proper skincare shouldn’t be limited to your face – read on to learn 18 ways to get a healthy scalp.
Ingredients to Avoid in Hair Care Products
A healthy scalp is the secret to beautiful hair, but you have to remember your scalp is an extension of the skin on your forehead. This means it has sweat and oil glands of its own and it is constantly shedding dead skin cells. The same way you cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturize the skin on your face, you should be applying the same attention to your scalp.
You don’t necessarily need to dedicate part of your morning and evening routine to scalp care (more power to you if you do), but you should treat your scalp with respect by carefully choosing the hair care products you use. Shop according to your skin type and your hair type to find what works for you.
Here are 10 ingredients to avoid when shopping for hair care products:
- Benzene – A type of toluene used as a solvent in hair color, benzene can damage the respiratory system and irritate the skin.
- DEA – Diethanolamine or DEA is used to stabilize the pH of hair products and is a known allergen and eye irritant.
- Formaldehyde – A known animal carcinogen, formaldehyde is often used as a preservative and it has been linked to increased cancer risk in humans.
- Artificial Fragrance – Often used as a catch-all ingredient
- Isopropyl Alcohol – This ingredient is used to strip oil from the hair and scalp, but it tends to do too good of a job and can leave your hair very brittle and dry.
- Mineral Oil – Petroleum products like mineral oil can cause acne, impaired skin respiration, skin irritation, and imbalanced oil production.
- Parabens – These are xenoestrogens commonly used as preservatives in shampoo and may pose a cancer risk in addition to disrupting hormones.
- Phthalates – Because they’ve been linked to cancer, phthalates were banned from certain manufacturing uses but are still often used in hair products.
- Sulfates – These ingredients are added to hair products to remove dirt and oil, but they may do such a good job that they may also trip away the sebum that naturally moisturizes your hair.
- Triclosan – A common antimicrobial chemical used in personal care products, triclosan is a known skin irritant and endocrine disruptor.
In addition to avoiding harsh hair care ingredients, there are a few simple tips you should follow as well. If you have very oily skin or a particularly dry and flaky scalp, your hair might need to be washed every day or at least spritzed with dry shampoo between washings. For most people, however, it’s actually better to shampoo every 2 to 3 days. Read on for more tips to improve your scalp health.
Nutrition and Lifestyle Tips for a Healthy Scalp
Scalp health is an aspect of total body health, so you can’t expect your skin to be healthy if you’re not taking steps to protect your overall wellness. If your skin feels itchy, flaky, or oily, it could probably use some help. Hair loss and chronic skin problems like psoriasis may require a visit to a hair or skin specialist. If you’re simply looking to boost general scalp health, however, there are things you can do.
Here are 8 simple tips to improve your scalp health:
- Follow a balanced diet to get the right amount of essential nutrients – focus particularly on skin- and hair-boosting nutrients like vitamins B, C, and E as well as iron and omega-3 fatty acids.
- Give your scalp a good scrub about once a week – use a salicylic acid shampoo for heavy buildup or add a few spoonfuls of sugar to your regular shampoo for general exfoliation.
- When using conditioner, be sure to work it into your scalp as well as your hair – just make sure you choose a noncomedogenic formula, so it doesn’t clog your pores.
- Consider adding scalp toner to your shower routine – you apply it after shampoo and conditioner – don’t rinse it out. Toner helps remove product buildup and other impurities.
- Add a hair mask to your routine once or twice a week to clarify and replenish moisture in your hair – look for a product that is pH balanced for skin.
- When applying sunscreen, don’t forget your forehead, ears, and part – you may also want the additional protection of wearing a hat.
- Drink plenty of water, especially during the summer, and always rinse or wash your hair after getting it wet with chlorinated water or saltwater.
- Take steps to reduce and manage your stress levels. Stress can influence your hormones which play a role in oil production, dandruff, and breakouts.
Even if you follow a strict hair care routine, your scalp may not receive the full benefit if you don’t use the right products. You don’t necessarily need to spend a fortune each month on shampoo and conditioner, but you should choose your hair products wisely and take skin and hair type into account.
Treat Your Scalp Right with Yon-Ka Paris
Finding the right beauty products can be tough but you can trust Yon-Ka to have what you need. Our products are formulated with the finest natural ingredients and backed by decades of research and experience in the skincare industry. Whether you’re looking for a nourishing oil to repair a dry, itchy scalp, or you want something to boost circulation, Yon-Ka has a wide selection of products to consider.
Here are some of the best Yon-Ka products for scalp health:
- Nutri+ Booster – This nutrient-dense oil is the perfect solution to a dry, itchy scalp. Infused with antioxidants and a rejuvenating blend of plant oils and extracts, and the Yon-Ka Quintessence, this formula nourishes and regenerates the skin for improved strength.
- Huile Delicieuse – Formulated with a delicate blend of sunflower, baobab, and sesame oils, this dry oil nourishes and beautifies the skin and hair. Applied to the scalp, this lightweight oil treatment delivers intense nourishment with plenty of sensory appeal.
- Emulsion Pure – This regenerating formula pairs perfectly with the oils above for use as a weekly pre-shampoo scalp treatment. With a potent concentration of Yon-Ka Quintessence, this emulsion boosts microcirculation for improved hair health, even for thinning hair.
If you’re not sure which hair care products to choose, consult the Skincare Advisor or stop into your local Yon-Ka spa partner for a free consultation. Whether you have fine hair, dry and damaged hair, or you’re dealing with a persistent skin condition, Yon-Ka Paris has products that can help.