You care for your lengths and ends, but are you guilty of neglecting your scalp? When we think of hair care products to help maintain health, most of us reach for a hair mask, hot oil treatment, or heat protectant spray. But you'd be surprised how many hair concerns you can tackle when you take the time to care for your scalp.
Our hair specialists reveal why everyone should have scalp care products as part of their hair care routine, how to choose the perfect product, and the most effective way to use it. It's time to get to the root of lovely locks!
What are the benefits of scalp care?
Healthy scalps mean healthy hair growth. According to research by science-led hair brand, Kérastase, scalp care products like scrubs can make your hair 22% cleaner, add up to 79% more volume, and make your hair six times shinier.
Aside from the obvious aesthetic benefits, regular scalp care treatments are essential for clearing unwanted build-up from your hair. They can also help rebalance sensitised hair and oily scalps.
It's hard to achieve the perfect finished look without a styling product or three, especially if you want long-lasting hold! Shampoo can't always remove every trace of product, but a good exfoliant will help dislodge build-up.
According to a scientific study, just 24 hours of exposure to dust and diesel can hurt hair growth and retention by causing protein levels to drop. Pollutants can also make your hair look dull and feel dry, so it's better to draw them out!
It's common practice to remove dead skin cells from your face each day, so why not your scalp, too? By regularly removing dead cells with products like scalp scrubs, you can reduce the likelihood of irritation, itching or flaking.
Better yet, gently massaging your scalp can help stimulate blood flow to the follicle. When our hair follicles have a good blood supply, the roots are stronger, so hair fall is reduced, and hair growth is stimulated.
What can I use to protect my scalp?
Serums are great for your scalp as well as your face. Kérastase Spécifique Potentialiste is an excellent choice — it's been formulated with Bifidus prebiotic, probiotic fractions, and Vitamin C to help rebalance your scalp microbiome. It acts as a shield against aggressors and protects 100% of scalp microbiota. Not only does it give an immediate cooling sensation to itchy scalps, but it also promotes root health and hair strength over time.
A scalp scrub is an exfoliant designed to remove grease and debris from the scalp to leave hair looking shinier and healthier. Much like scrubs designed for the face or body, scalp scrubs are available in physical or chemical variants. Our favourite is Kérastase Chronologiste Pre-Cleanse Régénérant scalp scrub . It removes up to 96% more pollution particles than a standard shampoo and it smells utterly divine.
If you like the idea of removing pollutants and impurities from your scalp, Davines The Purity Circle hair mask is an excellent option. It removes pollution, dust and heavy metals from hair to leave it purified and refreshed. You can also try Kérastase Spécifique Masque Hydra-Apaisant , formulated to enhance the quality of your scalp while building its defences against oiliness and flaking.
You can use a scalp brush to massage and exfoliate while you shampoo your hair. They have smaller, close-set bristles that prevent dandruff and promote hair growth rather than detangle.
Your scalp is almost constantly exposed to direct sunlight, especially in hot summer months. Aside from wearing a hat (which is a very stylish option), you can also protect your scalp by using a mineral powder sunscreen like Brush On Block®. The soft brush applicator makes it super easy to apply sunscreen to your hairline and hair parting to avoid painful sunburn on exposed areas. Better yet, it won't leave a white residue or make your hair feel oily.
Do you need scalp care? Here's how to tell...
The health of your scalp directly impacts the health of your hair. You can't have one without the other! However, not all scalp treatments will be right for you.
As a general rule, if you don't suffer from scalp sensitivity or dermatological issues like eczema, acne, or psoriasis, you should be fine to use a scalp scrub, a mask, or a scalp brush. Still not sure? Book a hair appointment with our specialists and get expert advice tailored to you.
Should I use a scalp scrub for dandruff?
Scalp scrubs are good for clearing away the light flakes caused by dry dandruff and can help prevent 'adherent dandruff' (oily flakes caused by excess sebum). However, if you already have adherent dandruff, a scrub might not be the right option.
Instead, we'd recommend an anti-dandruff shampoo like Kérastase Spécifique Bain Anti-Pelliculaire shampoo or the Spécifique Cure Anti-Pelliculaire treatment, which target both dry flakes and oily flakes.
Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo is a good choice for anyone with a very sensitive or irritated scalp. It's a soothing, deeply cleansing formula that contains Shiso extract, known for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Will a scalp scrub help with hair loss?
You could prevent potential hair loss by taking good care of your scalp using products like scrubs. However, if you're already experiencing hair loss, we don't recommend using a scrub because the scrubbing action may weaken the hair or cause more to drop. Instead, we'd recommend specialist scalp care products and treatments designed to target this specific concern.
Kérastase has a range of products formulated to prevent thinning hair and hair fall. You can also try Viviscal Professional hair supplements which contain AminoMar marine complex to protect against thinning and loss.
Can scalp care promote hair growth?
Although scalp products aren't medically proven to promote hair growth, there's scientific evidence to suggest that regular cleansing, massage, and non-surgical treatments like micro-needling can promote healthy hair growth. The effectiveness of these treatments will depend on your hair type and your hair growth cycle.
Regularly removing debris and pollutants from your scalp can keep follicles in good condition and may encourage cellular turnover. The abrasive texture of physical exfoliants and brushes on your scalp can help promote hair growth by encouraging more blood flow to the skin's surface and into the hair follicle.
How often should you use scalp care products?
Aim to use a scalp treatment at least once a week in your hair care routine. If you find your scalp is becoming irritated, drop your usage down to once a fortnight. If you're a fan of styling products or dry shampoo, you might need to use your chosen product twice a week to keep your roots free of build-up.Treat yourself to a deep cleansing routine from our online shop or book an appointment with our hair specialists to get expert advice on the best scalp cleanses for your hair type.