5 All-Natural Ways to Incorporate Scalp Care Into Your Routine
Scalp care is the skin-and-hair care combination you need to master in 2023. Here's what you should know.
There are some elements of skin and hair care that are less glamorous than others. But oftentimes, it's these overlooked areas of the beauty world that, when offered attention, can bring about the most impressive results. Scalp care, for example, is among the most important steps you can take toward healthy, lustrous hair.
Conversely, a lack of care can elicit less-than-desirable results. "Poor scalp health may present with itchiness, redness, irritation, flaking, dandruff, acne, odor, as well as excessive hair loss," says Dr. Michele Green, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. Dullness, brittleness, and breakage are also potential symptoms.
Fortunately for all of our follicles, scalp care is having a major moment. Here's what you need to know.
What Is Scalp Care?
Scalp care is a growing area of interest that sees the health of your scalp as the focus rather than an afterthought. "Skinification"—or extending our devotion to skincare to areas beyond the face—has seen a rise in recent years, with the scalp serving as its latest priority.
Not only does scalp care help with the appearance of your lengths, a healthy, clean, and irritant-free scalp feels better. Plus, the scalp is fairly complex and worthy of the extra effort.
Why Is Scalp Care Important?
"The scalp is estimated to have around 100,000 hair follicles, and each follicle is responsible for growing a single strand of hair," explains Dr. Green, adding that these follicles are also responsible for producing sebum (oil) that moisturizes and conditions the scalp and maintains its natural protective barrier.
"Therefore, scalp health is directly related to hair health, and maintaining a healthy scalp can promote the growth of healthier and fuller-looking hair," she says.
A myriad of over-the-counter products featuring ingredients like salicylic acid, ketoconazole, selenium sulfide, or zinc pyrithione exist to aid in your scalp care regimen. But for those looking for a simpler start, these five all-natural solutions can help maximize your scalp health with minimal effort).
5 Natural Ways to Care For Your Scalp
1. Use Apple Cider Vinegar
According to Dr. Green, Dandruff occurs when the skin cells shed at a higher rate, typically associated with excess oil production and yeast-like fungus. Apple cider vinegar contains natural anti-fungal properties that can help combat fungus and flaking and make for a more balanced scalp.
Bonus: You can make it yourself!
2. Incorporate Coconut Oil
We know by now that coconut oil is a moisturizing master—and that prowess applies to your dry scalp, too.
In fact, one study suggests that using coconut oil as a topical treatment can actually improve your scalp's microbiome, leading to increased hair growth and overall health.
3. Massage Well
Whether you favor your fingertips or a handheld tool (most of which, unfortunately, are crafted from plastic or silicone), massaging your scalp promotes circulation and disrupts build-up, making flakes and other excess oils easier to rinse.
4. Try Tea Tree Oil
"Tea tree oil has natural anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that make it a great cleaning agent that calms the scalp," says Dr. Green. The topical is both astringent and soothing, making it an ideal ingredient to incorporate into your scalp care regimen.
5. Add Aloe
Another hydration hero, aloe vera's soothing qualities are ideal for an inflamed, irritated scalp.
Aloe's naturally-occurring fatty acids and vitamins nourish, calm, and even cleanse, penetrating the scalp skin to promote moisture and balance.
The Best Dermatologist-Approved Ingredients for Your DIY Hair Mask—Plus 7 Recipes to Try
Looking to enhance your at-home hair routine? These dermatologist-recommended, all-natural ingredients will take your DIY hair masks to the next level.
Rice Water for Hair Growth: Benefits and How to Make It
Dermatologists say you can use rice water for hair growth. Here are the benefits, how to make it, and how it helps lengthen your hair.
How Often Should You Wash Your Hair? A Dermatologist Weighs In
Wondering how often to wash your hair? A dermatologist has all the intel you'll need to keep your hair and the planet healthy.