AndreyPopov / Getty Images and courtesy of Briogeo
Our hair demands so much attention and is in such need of maintenance, cleaning and styling. But too often, the emphasis on our style can come at the expense of the scalp. I speak from experience. I have struggled with scalp issues since I was a teenager and am losing flakes on my high school uniform. I have spent years trying a variety of scalp-focused products, treating everything from dandruff to dry scalp, without finding lasting results. Moving to Chicago made things worse, but eventually I discovered there was a seasonal pattern to my peeling issues. I also found that many of my hair and scalp issues were due to dryness and product build-up.
Chicago-based hairstylist Aeleise Ollarvia recommends simplifying your routine and focusing less on issues like length retention, and more on improving the health of your hair and scalp. She is also the co-creator of Black Curl Magic, an online education center and program for hairdressing professionals, and co-author of the Wash Your Damn Hair guide. âThe biggest scalp problem I see is that we forget about the scalp. The scalp skin needs regular cleaning to maintain a healthy environment, so bacteria and fungi do not multiply and grow. ‘not affect the health of the skin both above and below the surface, âsays Ollarvia.
Ollarvia recommends consulting a professional before performing a self-diagnosis and trying to deal with a problem you don’t have. âFlaking from dry air or dry skin can be common, but sometimes flaking is not just dry skin. If peeling is a concern, I advise clients to see a dermatologist first to understand the cause. If the sebaceous glands are not. producing enough sebum, the waxy substance our bodies secrete, then a dermatologist will likely be helpful in finding a cure. Ditto to find out if these flakes are due to psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis or other causes. “
To combat seasonal scalp peeling, Ollarvia recommends drinking more water to increase internal hydration and increase humidity in your living spaces. Adding a humidifier to my bedroom and living room helps me combat the effects of forced dry air and overall skin dryness. Ollarvia also recommends skipping heavy oils and oily ointments for your scalp. Raw butter and ingredients like coconut oil can lead to a buildup, which can lead to flakes and itching. “If an oil is the only remedy available for dry scalp skin, applying a few drops of argan or jojoba oil only to the dry areas of the scalp after cleansing and conditioning can provide temporary relief”, she says.
In terms of product recommendations, Ollarvia recommends browsing the shampoo aisle first. âOur mantra is to cleanse, condition and style with the help of a high quality shampoo and conditioner, then one or two stylers formulated to execute the finished look you desire. Right now I’m doing turning AG Balance of their Naturals line and Innersense Organic Beauty Color Awakening as my main shower shampoos. For spa-like scalp care, Innersense Organic Beauty offers the True Enlightenment Scalp Scrub that smells divine, “says Ollarvia.
Today, I regularly use clarifying shampoos and have drastically cut back on styling products made with shea butter and coconut oil. I’m happy to say that my flake problems have largely subsided. Here are some of my recommendations for treating product buildup, itchy scalp, and seasonal dry scalp issues.
Aunt Jackie’s Curls and Coils Power Wash intense hydration clarifying shampoo
An affordable choice, this formulation includes jojoba oil and apple cider vinegar to cleanse and soothe. Don’t worry, there is no apple cider vinegar smell, just nice and clean smell and gentle cleansing to remove buildup from hair and scalp.
Briogeo Soothing Scalp Solutions Set
If you’re looking for a fully exfoliating experience, consider Briogeo’s Scalp Revival line of products. This 5-piece set includes a charcoal exfoliating shampoo and stimulating therapeutic massager to manually exfoliate without scratching. The shampoo has just the right amount of grain to keep my scalp perfectly clean.
Drunk Elephant Happi Scalp Scrub
Known for their deliciously packaged and highly effective facial products, Drunk Elephant also offers a scalp care line that brings skin care above the hairline. This 10% AHA / BHA blend is intended to break down buildup and dissolve dead skin cells that are trapped in your hair.
Head and shoulders
Head and Shoulders is a cult classic for treating scalp problems. Their latest line is inspired by the popular DIY apple cider vinegar trend for scalp care, adding the ingredient to a 2-in-1 rinse, shampoo and conditioner to prevent itching and excess oil. .
Neutrogena Healthy Scalp Haircare
Neutrogena Healthy Scalp Haircare is a complete line of scalp-focused products marketed by the brand also known for the highly effective T-Sal scalp care line. With varieties including micellar water, tea tree oil, and pink grapefruit, there’s a shampoo and conditioner combo for every type of scalp need.