“Beauty starts from the inside out” may read as one of those cliché and overused phrases, but no one can deny its validity. We’re all guilty of tirelessly experimenting with products and techniques, only to realize that neither of those actually get to the root of the issue.
For hair care specifically, we tend to pay more attention to our strands instead of the surface from which they grow: the scalp. Like anything that grows in nature, you must take special care of the scalp if you want hair that looks and feels healthy.
“Your scalp has many functions; one of which is to provide a healthy environment for hair growth,” says Mahisha Dellinger, founder and CEO of the natural hair care brand CURLS. “This is accomplished through the production of sebum, from the sebaceous glands and to your hair strands.”
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Sebum is a natural oil of the body that lubricates the scalp and protects hair strands. However, too much or too little of it will create a host of challenges (dryness, irritation, etc.)
“A healthy scalp should be supple and soft to the touch,” Dellinger emphasizes. “With regular maintenance, your scalp will have adequate blood flow and oil secretions to nourish and protect your hair.”
Here are three key practices to keep in mind as your hair adjusts to a new season. And of course, make an appointment with your dermatologist or trichologist if general care doesn’t suffice.
"Too much oil can create dandruff and other scalp disorders and too little oil can develop an itchy, dry scalp. Cleanse often to regulate sebum production," says Dellinger. "Each cleansing session provides hydration and relieves your scalp of excess oil to make room for more. Use a gentle, hydrating, sulfate-free cleanser like CURLS Blueberry Bliss Reparative Hair Wash once per week, as a general goal for a moderate lifestyle. Increase cleansing sessions for an active lifestyle or a naturally oily scalp."
"Ideally, after each cleansing session, perform a high-level scalp massage. Find a quiet, relaxing place and apply your favorite oil (or conditioner, like the Blueberry Bliss Reparative Leave In Conditioner) to your fingertips," Dellinger continues. "Then, with both hands, plant your fingers just behind your ears and massage in small, circular motions. After each minute, begin to massage in bigger circles, making sure to touch every inch of your scalp. Continue moving closer to the middle of your scalp until your two hands meet. This should be done at least once per week to reap the benefits of improved blood flow to the hair follicles, stress relief and regulating the sebaceous glands.
"Drink plenty of water and fill your diet with foods, rich in omega 3 fatty acids like salmon and walnuts. Add eggs, carrots and leafy greens for your necessary intake of vitamin A and B, iron, zinc and other vital minerals," concludes Dellinger. "Then, throw in some blueberries for a burst of antioxidant power or, take a dietary supplement to accommodate your body's needs like, CURLS Blissful Lengths Liquid Hair Growth Vitamin, which contains the necessary nutrients for healthy hair, scalp, skin and nails.