Healthy Scalp 101: 8 Tips For Your Healthiest Hair EVER
PSA: #CrownCare’s going to be BIG this year. Wondering why? It’s simple: healthy scalp = healthy hair. And just think about how much time, money, and effort you put into your skincare routine; well, your scalp needs the same TLC. So what does a good scalp care routine look like? It’s all about feeding your scalp with massage techniques that boost hair growth, detoxifying formulas, and scalp-strengthening treatments. Trust us; invest in scalp care and your crown will thank you!
Healthy Scalp Tip #1: Indulge in a Daily Scalp Massage
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly way to amp up your scalp care routine, massaging your scalp is the way to go. Not only is it completely free, but studies show that a daily scalp massage encourages nutrient-rich blood flow, delivering a fresh dose of oxygen to your scalp, thereby boosting hair growth and increasing shine. We like to do ours every morning when we wake up and whenever we shampoo our hair.
How to give yourself a scalp massage: Use your fingertips to apply light-to-medium pressure and work across your scalp in circular motions. If this feels like too much effort, try these scalp massage tools for a major pamper sesh.
Ceremonia Scalp Masajeador, $16: This luxe cutie has a dynamic cushion between its silicon bristles and ergonomic holder to help distribute your scalps’ natural oils evenly while exfoliating and massaging simultaneously.
Kitsch Pro Scalp Exfoliator, $6: The soft, flexible bristles detangle your strands and gently exfoliates the scalp, reducing product build-up while stimulating blood flow for healthier tresses. Not to mention, it feels oh-so-satisfying.
Healthy Scalp Tip #2: Keep Your Scalp Hydrated
This isn’t the first time we’ve written this, and it won’t be the last, so listen up! Hydration is the cornerstone to healthy skin, and the same goes for your scalp. Think of it like watering a plant; keep your scalp hydrated, and your hair will grow longer, feel softer, and shine brighter. On the flip side, a dehydrated scalp is prone to dandruff, redness, split ends, and frizz. It can even trigger oil production as your sebaceous glands produce excess oil to compensate for the lack of moisture. The solution? Hydrate your scalp with these moisture-packed formulas:
Gisou Honey Infused Scalp Treatment, $48: Formulated with nourishing Mirsalehi honey and a unique Prebiotic Complex, this lightweight leave-on serum works overtime to add hydration, soothe irritation, and protect your scalp’s microbiome.
The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + Hyaluronic Acid Scalp Serum, $15: A lightweight milky serum that’s suitable for all hair types, which boosts hydration with hyaluronic acid and squalane.
Healthy Scalp Tip #3: Detox Your Scalp Regularly
As much as we love to style our hair with dry shampoo, stronghold gels (#SnatchedForLife), and salt sprays, all of these products can lead to major product buildup. Not to mention these products combine with the natural scalp buildup of oil, dirt, and even minerals from water. The combo of both can lead to majorly clogged hair follicles, which can lead to irritation, dandruff, and dullness. That’s where these babies come in to save the day and rid your scalp of any unwanted buildup.
Hello Klean Clarifying Scalp Soak, $34: This low-foam formula removes every last bit of dirt and oil lodged in your hair follicles with detoxifying apple cider vinegar, hydrating fermented rice water, and strengthening sweet almond oil. Check out our full review here.
BREAD BEAUTY SUPPLY Mud-Mask: Hair & Scalp Detoxifying Pre-Wash Clay Treatment, $34: An oil-balancing treatment that detoxifies with clay and quartz while scalp-stimulating matcha tea leaf extract improves hair growth.
How to DIY a clarifying rinse at home: Did you know that apple cider vinegar (ACV) also clarifies blocked hair follicles? Mix equal parts of ACV and water (roughly one cup each), then pour the mixture onto your scalp. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then rinse and shampoo as usual.
Pro tip: Don’t forget to clean your hairbrush, which sneakily collects scalp debris, lingering product, and excess hair, dumping it back onto your scalp with every brush-through. Start by removing any loose hair, then soak the brush in a mixture of hot water and a clarifying shampoo for about four minutes – do this every two weeks.
Healthy Scalp Tip #4: Soothe Irritation with Balancing Serums
Bare with us as things are going to get a little science-y… Just like your skin, your scalp has a unique microbiome that acts as its first line of defense against unwanted germs. When your microbiome is out of sync, your scalp is prone to dandruff, flaking, itching, and even small white bumps at the base of the hair follicle. If you experience this, don’t panic, as there are a ton of soothing, rebalancing serums that restore and strengthen the scalp. Here are two of our faves.
Barbara Sturm Balancing Scalp Serum, $100: A vegan serum that soothes itchiness and keeps scalp redness at bay with Japanese Camellia, brown and green algae, and lavender.
Fable & Mane SahaScalp Amla Soothing Serum, $34: A color-safe formula that calms itchy scalps with vitamin C-rich amla (an ancient Indian super berry) while Ayurvedic bakuchiol boosts skin cell growth and aloe hydrates.
Healthy Scalp Tip #5: Nourish Your Scalp with Oils
One of the most popular products in the haircare industry is hair oil, and for good reason. Studies show that hair oils penetrate the deepest layers of your scalp to reach your hair follicles, increasing blood circulation and, with regular use, encouraging hair growth. Plus, they give your hair a stunning, glossy finish while sealing split ends. Need we say more? We’d recommend doubling down and pairing it with a scalp massage tool to boost absorption:
GIRL+HAIR Scalp & Hair Strengthening Oil with Pumpkin Oil and Rosemary Oil, $20: This derm-formulated concoction blends together eight hair-loving oils, including pumpkin and rosemary oils, both of which are proven to boost hair growth and reduce thinning.
JVN Haircare Complete Pre-Wash Scalp & Hair Treatment Oil, $29: A lightweight treatment oil that sinks effortlessly into fine to thick tresses to clarify, soothe, and strengthen the scalp for improved hair growth.
Pro tip: Take your hair oil to the next level and slug your strands at home. Read our hair slugging guide for more deets.
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Healthy Scalp Tip #6: Use Scalp SPF in Summer
Did we mention that your scalp’s skin is weaker than the rest of your body? Now, think about how it’s ALWAYS exposed to the sun. *Gulp.* Don’t fret; these SPF formulas will protect your scalps from burning, peeling, and flaking all year round. Make sure to apply when you’re at the beach or your scalp is exposed to direct sunshine for long periods of time.
Sun Bum Sunscreen Scalp Spray SPF 30, $18: A vegan, fast-drying mist that protects your roots with sunflower seed oil without a heavy, greasy feel.
Healthy Scalp Tip #7: Do a Monthly HAIRcial
We know; it’s a lot of work, but that’s why we schedule a HAIRcial every month to keep our tresses in tip-top shape. If your scalp feels greasy, start with a detoxifying pre-wash formula to soak up any excess oils and product buildup. Alternatively, you could use a restorative oil if your hair feels dull, dry, or brittle. Then double-cleanse, starting with a clarifying shampoo followed by your regular shampoo (you could also just shampoo twice).
Healthy Scalp Tip #8: Stop Washing Overwashing Your Hair
Celeb stylist Dom Seeley is constantly telling us to wash our hair less. According to Dom, washing your hair too frequently can disrupt the natural biome of your scalp. He explains, “Hair sits at a pH balance of 4.5 to 5, which is the ideal pH balance for your scalp to thrive. When you dry shampoo or wash it every day, you’ll strip that protective layer off your hair, and your hair and scalp will go into panic mode,” which can lead to greasy, dry, and damaged hair. Instead, wash your hair once or twice a week (unless you’re working up a serious sweat) and only use dry shampoo when necessary.
Have you checked out these dos and don’ts of building better haircare habits yet?