Having a healthy scalp is really important if you want healthy hair. Scalp infections and dandruff may lead to hair fall. That is why, it is really important to keep your hair and scalp clean and problem-free. In men and women with patterned hair loss, there are many things that can cause damage to the scalp and hair. Sun damage can cause thinning of the epidermis and dermis. Hair care products and treatments may cause damage to the hair shaft and scalp. There are specific nutritional and metabolic requirements needed for keeping the scalp healthy and for the growth of hair follicles.
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Our guide to a healthy scalp and beautiful hair:
- Tips for healthy scalp and hair
- Home remedies for healthy scalp
- Dry scalp
- Oily scalp
- Healthy diet for a healthy scalp
Tips for healthy scalp and hair:
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1. Avoid over washing- Washing your hair daily or washing them too often may lead to an irritated scalp. Even if you have a very oily scalp, you need not wash it daily, as daily washing may deprive the scalp of natural oils secreted by the oil glands. People with normal to dry scalp should wash their hair 2-3 times a week and people having an oily scalp may wash it every other day.
2. Regular oiling- Regular oiling is very important as it promotes blood circulation to the scalp, which improves hair growth. Coconut oil is one of the best oils for scalp massage as its molecules are very small and can easily penetrate deep into your scalp, nourishing it from within. Castor oil, olive oil, sesame oil, argon oil, etc. are also very good and effective if you have a problematic scalp or hair. Essential oils such as lavender oil, tea tree oil, etc. can also be added to these oils for added benefits.
3. Always use conditioner- After washing your hair; always use a conditioner to restore the moisture and shine of your hair to make them more manageable and soft. Depending on your hair length, take a generous amount of conditioner on your palm and apply only on the lengths of your hair and then wash after a few minutes. Never apply conditioner on your roots/scalp as it will make your scalp very oily and sticky and can also lead to hair fall.
4. Avoid using hot tools- Try to style your hair without using any hot tools such as straightening iron, blow dryer or curling tongs. Instead, try styling them in a natural way as much as possible as the heat from these tools can damage your hair shaft permanently. If you are styling your hair with a hot tool, always use a heat protection spray on your hair to protect it from the harsh effects caused by heat.
5. Choose products according to your hair type- Always use products that are meant for your hair type. For example, if you have an oily scalp and dry hair use a cleansing shampoo and combine it with a moisturizing conditioner meant for dry hair.
6. Cleanse- It is very important to cleanse your hair and scalp once a month to get rid of all the build-up caused by dirt, sweat, products, etc. You can either use a cleansing shampoo or a mixture of baking soda and plain water to get rid of all the build-up, leading to a healthy scalp and shiny mane.
7. Seek a dermatologist’s help- If your scalp is behaving in an abnormal way and even the above stated tips are not providing any help, probably it is time for you to see a dermatologist, as it might be something serious. He/she will examine your scalp and hair and will prescribe you some medicines and treatments accordingly. It is better to see a doctor as only he can tell you about the underlying problem.
Home remedies for healthy scalp
· Dry scalp- Dry scalp is a very common problem among people. When the sebaceous glands do not
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secrete enough oil, the scalp and hair become dry. In order to keep your scalp healthy and moisturized, you can try out the below mentioned hair remedies.
o Scalp massage- People with dry scalp should massage their scalp regularly using oils. The oils will moisturize the scalp and the massage will activate the sebaceous glands to produce more oil. You can use any oil of your choice
o Apple cider vinegar- It is a great option to treat dry scalp and getting rid of all the residue from products, dirt, sweat, etc.
– Take 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar and dilute it with a cup of water and store this mixture in a spray bottle.
– After shampoo, spray this solution on your scalp and let it sit on your hair for 5 minutes and then wash off with lukewarm water.
– Condition your hair like you normally would.
o Yogurt- if you have dry or itchy scalp, yogurt and gram flour hair pack is perfect for you. Yogurt is very moisturizing and acts as a conditioner too.
-Combine 3-tablespoon yogurt with 1-tablespoon gram flour and make a paste.
-Apply this mixture on your scalp and hair and let it sit for 30 minutes.
– Wash it off with lukewarm water and use a mild shampoo to get rid of all the stickiness.
o Aloe Vera- Aloe Vera has antipruritic properties or a substance that relieves itching. It also exfoliates dead skin cells. You can either use fresh aloe Vera gel or store bought, whichever is more convenient.
-Rinse or shampoo your hair with warm water to get rid of any oil or dirt.
-Take 2-tablespoon aloe Vera gel and massage it onto your scalp.
-Let it sit on your scalp for 5 minutes and then wash it off.
o Bananas- Bananas are loaded with potassium and oils. It is great for dry and itchy scalp due to its moisturising properties.
-Take an over ripe banana and mash it into a paste like consistency.
-Add 2 tablespoons honey to the paste and mix well.
-Apply this mixture on your scalp and let it sit for at-least 20 minutes.
-Wash with lukewarm water.
· Oily scalp- if your hair gets greasy just 1 or 2 days after washing your hair, you have an oily scalp. Oily
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scalp attracts dust and gets dirty, that is why it is very important to keep your hair clean and oil free for a fresh and neat look. The below mentioned remedies are sure to help you maintain that oily scalp.
o Black tea-Black tea act as an astringent that helps prevent oil buildup on the scalp by tightening the pores.
-Add one to two tablespoons of black tea leaves to a cup of water.
-Boil it for 10 minutes.
-Strain the tea leaves and allow it to cool to room temperature.
-Pour this mixture on your scalp and hair.
-Leave it on for five minutes, rinse it off, and then wash your hair with a mild shampoo.
-Repeat two or three times a week to get rid of oily hair.
o Fuller’s earth- Fuller’s earth has the tendency to absorb all the oil and buildup from the scalp and it also helps to maintain the pH level of the scalp.
-Make a paste by combining 3-tablespoon fuller’s earth and water.
-Apply this mixture on your scalp and let it sit there for 30-45 minutes.
-Wash with lukewarm water and shampoo as you normally would.
-Apply this pack twice a month for better results.
o Henna- Henna is great for treating oily scalp, especially if you are suffering from Seborrheic Eczema or scalp eczema. It soothes the scalp and get rid of the oiliness.
-Soak ½ cup fenugreek seeds overnight and make a paste out of it in the morning.
-Add enough henna powder to this paste and apply on your scalp.
-Let it sit for 30-40 minutes and then rinse well.
o Diluted beer- Beer contains alcohol, which acts as a drying agent. It also cleanses the scalp and hair, removing all the buildup. It is best to use beer as a rinse.
-To start of take a can or bottle of beer and open it. Keep it like that for 30-40 minutes.
-Make a rinse by combining ½ cup beer with ½ cup water.
-Wash and condition your hair as you normally would.
-Squeeze out all the excess water from your hair and pour the rinse on your scalp.
-Let it sit for ten minutes then wash it off with plain water.
o Witch hazel- Witch hazel is an astringent i.e. it shrinks and constricts your pore size, resulting in less oil secretion. It is one of the best treatments for oily scalp and is very easy to use.
-Section your hair and apply witch hazel with a cotton ball all over your scalp.
-Let it sit for 5 minutes.
-Shampoo and condition as you normally would. Avoid putting any conditioner close to your scalp.
-Finally rinse with cold water to close the pores.
Healthy diet for a healthy scalp
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To maintain a healthy scalp, it is very important that you consume a very well balanced diet to provide you with all the essential nutrients. Hair care and home remedies combined with a balanced diet is the secret to a healthy scalp and hair. Try to include the below mentioned super foods in your diet for a healthy and problem free scalp.
1. Flaxseeds- Flaxseeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B1, magnesium, copper and dietary fibre. They are also a good source of phosphorus, magnesium and selenium. Including them in your diet may relieve you of dry scaly scalp, improve hair elasticity hence preventing breakage. Woks wonders for dandruff and scalp eczema.
2. Whole grains- Whole grains are rich in fibre and nutrients, which promotes hair growth and keeps your scalp and hair healthy.
3. Walnuts- Loaded with omega 3 fatty acids, walnuts are a perfect scalp food. It is also rich in biotin, vitamin E and copper. It provides sun protection, prevents hair loss and adds lustre to your hair.
4. Dark green leafy vegetables- these are excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin C. People with dry scalp, should definitely incorporate them in their diet as they help in formation of sebum as well as condition and nourish the scalp.
5. Carrot- Another great food to incorporate in your diet if you are dealing with dry scalp and dandruff. Vitamin A present in the vegetable aids in the production of sebum thus relieving dry scalp.
6. Eggs- Rich in biotin and vitamin B, eggs will be a perfect addition to your healthy scalp diet.
7. Salmon- Salmon is a great source of protein, vitamin D and omega 3 fatty acids. Try including salmon in your diet for a healthy and moisturized scalp.
Try to incorporate these things in your daily routine and you can easily maintain a healthy scalp and hair that will make everyone envy you.