Daily Hair Care: 4 Essential Tips for a Healthy Scalp, Expert Shares

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Despite the considerable attention we pay to our skin and hair care routines, the scalp often remains neglected. Home to more than 100,000 hair follicles and sebaceous glands, the well-being of the scalp is essential for the optimal appearance and health of our hair. The scalp, a continuation of the skin on the face, demands the same care and inclusion in our daily skincare rituals.

However, the scalp is also prone to irritation, itching and dryness. By taking good care of your scalp, you can promote hair growth and nourish the skin that protects your head from injury and illness. Rob Smith, Dyson's lead hair care scientist, sheds light on vital aspects of scalp health and its influence on hair quality.

Importance of scalp health for hair

A compromised scalp can trigger a number of problems, including dandruff and poor hair growth. The scalp consists of several layers, and the outer layer, known as the “stratum corneum,” acts as a protective barrier. This barrier is crucial to prevent moisture loss and protect against external contaminants, bacterial infections and alterations in keratin formation. Damage to this layer, particularly through disruption of the lipid layer that binds skin cells together, can lead to moisture leakage. Consequently, this can lead to a dry and porous scalp, leading to dandruff, scalp irritation, dull hair texture, increased hair loss, and risk of diseases such as psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis.

When should I wash my hair to keep my scalp clean?

The act of washing your hair helps remove sebum, which, in moderation, is essential for maintaining the skin's moisture barrier and hydration. Overwashing can remove sebum from the scalp, while underwashing can exacerbate microbial problems due to excess sebum. Therefore, a personalized balance is crucial. Regular washing is beneficial, especially for those suffering from dandruff or an itchy scalp, to remove sebum that feeds certain microbes.

Tips for protecting the scalp

Avoid high temperatures: Keep styling tools a safe distance from the scalp to avoid thermal damage. Choose tools equipped with temperature regulation features.

Limit up-do hairstyles: Tight ponytails or hair extensions can strain hair follicles, which could lead to hair loss. Prefer looser, more relaxed hairstyles to minimize tension.

Keep scalp clean: Regularly cleansing the scalp is essential to eliminate sebum, which can become a breeding ground for microbes that transform it into irritants and cause dandruff.

Be sure to protect yourself from the sun: While long hair provides some UV protection through melanin, which converts UV rays into heat, people with short hair should take extra steps to protect their scalp from sun damage.