The Importance of a Healthy Scalp

Do you do everything to care for your hair, but see little to no difference in length?   Have you tried everything in the book from slathering your hair with mayonnaise and eggs to paying an arm and a leg for expensive products that claim to increase growth, but still see no results?  You’re not experiencing much breakage, no excessive shedding, and your hair FEELS and LOOKS fine, but it just doesn’t seem to be gaining any length.  You know your hair CAN grow longer, but something is hindering it – something you just can’t quite put your finger on.  In this case, the first place you should look for clues is your scalp.   Is it dry? greasy? flaky? Any of these can be a sign of either simply a need for a change in your hair regimen, diet or a medical issue.

Think of your hair as trees, grass, or flowers and your scalp as the soil.   If the soil isn’t cared for, the plants can not flourish.  If you don’t take time to ensure that you have a healthy scalp, how can you expect to have long, healthy hair?  You can’t.   Many spend an endless amount of time on their hair to get it to grow long, but they neglect their scalp which then leads to time wasted.  Before you embark on a long hair journey, you must first get to the source.

First, look at your scalp and how your hair behaves.   Is your scalp dry and flaky, but your hair greasy?  Or are both your hair AND scalp dry?  Is your scalp greasy, but your hair dry?  Or are they both greasy?

Dry Scalp

A dry, flaky scalp accompanied by dry hair can be your body’s way of telling you that it is in dire need of nutrients.   In order to combat this, it is recommended that you drink more water and supplement your diet with foods rich in zinc, iron, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin A, and B complex vitamins.

Zinc

Zinc is required for the growth and repair of tissues throughout the body so a healthy amount will do wonders for your scalp, but a lack of it could be detrimental to your health and show on your scalp and hair. Whole grains, seafood, meats, poultry and nuts are rich in Zinc and are highly recommended if you need need a nutrient boost.

Iron

Iron’s role in the body is to help in the transportation of oxygen from the lungs to the cells.   Because the scalp and skin are highly dependent on oxygen, this nutrient is vital in promoting and maintaining healthy skin.  Foods high in iron are green vegetables, fruit, beans, grains, and cereals.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega 3 fatty acids aid in moisturizing your skin from the inside.  Cold water fish are an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A aids in the synthesis of protein. Because hair is mostly made up of protein (roughly 97%), a lack of Vitamin A could mean a decrease in the production of the protein needed for growing hair.

B Complex

B complex vitamins increase circulation and increases the life span of cells. a lack of B complex can lead to dry, cracking irritated skin. Breads, nuts, dairy, eggs, and liver are high in B complex.

Before attempting to address the problem on your own, it is best to visit a medical professional so that he or she can address exactly what you are deficient in and establish a diet plan to eliminate the problem if it becomes serious. It is recommended, however, that you take a daily multivitamin to prevent nutrient deficiencies and stay healthy.

A few quick fixes to mask the problem until you everything right diet-wise are hot oil treatments, apple cider vinegar rinses, and/or a hair steamer.

One big cause of dry hair and dry scalp for relaxed ladies is a lack of chelating.  Chelating is the process of removing mineral buildup from the scalp.  When one relaxes his or her hair, specifically with a no lye relaxer, some of the mixture can clog your pores and cause dryness while at the same time preventing your body from transferring nutrients to your hair.  Most people mistake and confuse this with product build up and try to treat it with a clarifying shampoo.  A clarifying shampoo will not do anything at all to remedy the situation like a chelating shampoo.  Chelating shampoos are also recommended for people who live in hard water areas.  All chelating shampoos are not advertised as chelating.  In order to scope out undercover chelating shampoos in your favorite brands, look for shampoos with EDTA as one of the main ingredients.

Dry scalp and Oily hair

wash-hairHaving a dry scalp, but oily hair is an unusual, but not uncommon occurrence. The most common cause is an allergic reaction/ sensitivity to shampoo.  If this problem isn’t a common issue to you and is something that sprung up from nowhere, it could signify that your scalp has a pH imbalance.  To combat this, most women go in search of the many hair products that help to balance the pH of the scalp.  One homemade remedy, however, is baking soda.  Using baking soda in place of strong, irritating shampoos is a good alternative for people with this problem.  Baking soda is known for its ability to neutralize the pH of substances and can do the same for your scalp.

Oily scalp

Oily scalp and oily hair signifies an overproduction of oils and can lead to build up if left untreated.  Remedying this issue, however, is simpler than the others.  A simple clarifying shampoo whenever needed and washing with sulfate shampoo should be enough to remedy the issue.

Oily scalp and dry hair

Like dry scalp and oily hair, this issue is just as unusual but not at all uncommon.  Oily scalp and dry hair can be a sign of clogged pores or a hormonal imbalance.

Clogged Pores

Clogged pores could be caused by a lack of washing or a lack of washing properly.  Product that was not washed away builds up on the scalp and prevent oils and nutrients from being transported to the hair strands.  For people in this scenario, a simple clarifying shampoo followed by a light leave in conditioner should moisturize the hair and remove build up.

Hormonal Imbalance

This problem is common in people with a hormonal imbalance, specifically teens because their hormones are still adjusting.  For people who are out of their teens, it is recommended that they seek medical help so that a medical professional can address the issue and do what needs to be done to fix it.

Pay attention to your scalp.  Your skin is the last to receive any nutrients, but the first to show signs of deficiency.  Knowing your scalp will help you learn more about your skin and its needs and help you prevent any problems that could hinder your growth.  Getting to the source is the first step in solving the problem.

Author: Alisia Wilborn

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  1. Great Site! Thanks!

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