Keep that head of hair naturally beautiful by taking good care of your scalp
No matter how much attention you pay to your skin, there may be one place you’re forgetting. “The scalp is skin—an extension of the face,” reminds Mordechai Alvow, founder and CEO of the Yarok hair care line, and a New York City-based stylist (yarokhair.com). “You have to think about taking care of the scalp the same way you treat the skin on your face and body.”
Ignoring the scalp can lead to a host of common issues like dandruff, psoriasis, and—just like on the rest of the body—dry patches or oil-related breakouts. Plus, Alvow explains, the condition of your scalp also has a direct effect on the health of your hair. “There are little glands under the scalp that deliver nutrients and natural oils to the hair, and that help protect the hair, hydrate it, and keep it on our heads,” he says. “If the scalp is not able to help deliver these oils, we can see dull or unruly hair, and split ends.”
To help keep the scalp healthy, Alvow recommends a two-pronged attack: detoxification, to get rid of dirt and product build-up; and hydration, particularly when there have been changes in the weather or your diet, and when the hair and scalp have been exposed to pollution, sun, and sea salt or chlorine. Look for products that add moisture and won’t strip the scalp’s natural oils, as well as ones that will penetrate the scalp to re-condition the oil glands, and that will help treat any hair issues.
Show your scalp some love with these products.
Made with vitamin-enriched water, Fair Trade African black soap, 11 organic herbal extracts, and argan, coconut, and hemp oils, Yarok’s new Feed Your Moisture shampoo ($38) gently detoxifies the hair and scalp without stripping their natural oils, and keeps the scalp hydrated and free of flakes. With the Feed Your Shine drops ($26.40), hair is left visibly smooth as Atlas cedar, clary sage, Roman chamomile and pettigrain calm scalp irritations, relieve itching and dandruff, and restore balance. For a deeper treatment, the Feed Your Youth (1oz, $28.60) serum uses avocado, yarrow, bitter orange and more to clarify and heal the scalp, and promote hair growth. yarokhair.com
Two of Aveda’s botanical-filled hair care collections are specially-formulated to treat the scalp. The Scalp Benefits Balancing Shampoo ($17) and Conditioner ($17) clear extra oil and buildup to help hair flourish, while balancing the scalp to prevent future issues. Designed to tackle thinning hair (studies show it can help boost hair growth by 33 percent), the Invati system—Exfoliating Shampoo ($27), Thickening Conditioner ($27), and Scalp Revitalizer ($60)—stimulates growth by nourishing and energizing the scalp and balancing oil production, using milk thistle and Ayurvedic herbs like turmeric and ginseng. If flakiness is an issue, try the Shampure Calming Aromatic Oil for Body, Bath and Scalp or the daily Scalp Remedy Dandruff Solution Spray ($26) with lippia to purify and salicylic acid to exfoliate. aveda.com
Astringent oregano, rosemary, and tea tree oils, and rejuvenating algae and sea kelp work together to give your scalp a break—and roots a boost—in the organic Scalp Detox treatment. Balanced Scalp works to regulate sebum production, while the sweet-smelling Nourished Scalp strengthens weak scalps, follicles and roots. (All oils $12-$23; balancedguru.com)
Harnessing the power of nettle—long-used in traditional herbal hair and scalp remedies—and sweet almond oil, the Nettle Remedy Oil ($25) helps soothe dry and tense scalp skin and irritations, which can also help with thinning hair. (It’s also safe enough to use on babies with “cradle cap.”) Farmaesthetics’ Powdered Silk Dry Shampoo ($30) contains lavender buds, sea salt and silk powder to gently clear away excess oil and refresh both hair and scalp between washings.