Do you actually need to start caring for your scalp?

All of a sudden, ‘scalp facials’ have become big in the beauty world and the ‘skinification’ of hair is reigning strong.

The idea is that we should have scalp care routines as thorough as our skincare ones.

Ingredients like salicylic acid – previously reserved only for oily and congested skin – are now widely available in scalp treatments and shampoos.

Avenno haircare’s trichologist Stephanie Sey tells Metro.co.uk there is some value in caring for the scalp, rather than neglecting it, but you should be mindful of how far you take the trends.

‘To keep your hair looking and feeling its best for as long as possible, it requires considered and consistent care.

‘I like the analogy of a silk blouse: when you buy silk you have to take certain steps to look after it in a specialist way due to its delicate properties. For example, you avoid high temperatures and only use gentle cleaning products.

‘On the scalp, hot water is excessively drying, so it will contribute to the stripping of your skin’s natural barrier.’

She believes the conversation on scalp care has been spurred on by the pandemic, in which people’s routines changed and there was increased stress which can affect skin.

So what should you watch out for?

Exfoliation has become more popular on the scalp, but you can easily overdo it and cause damage through microtears, especially when using beads that feel sharp against skin.

Stephanie says for many people a healthy scalp can simply be achieved through regular brushing and washing only. 

Other lotions and potions aren’t always necessary.

Though if you have a flaky scalp and skin build-up, a gentle, yet thorough, exfoliation may be useful to remove this. 

She advises: ‘Be gentle to avoid irritating the scalp further through over-exfoliation, as this can lead to a stripping of the natural oils leaving your scalp being overly oily or dry. 

‘I would usually recommend chemical exfoliants, with ingredients like salicylic acid and sulphur, as opposed to a physical exfoliant that can be harsh on the skin.’ 

Another trick that does have some value is scalp massaging, which ‘helps to bring more blood to the area, eliminating scalp tension and aiding with relaxation while stimulating hair growth.’

Otherwise, the only other thing Stephanie says to keep in mind is using sunscreen on exposed scalp areas.

Just like skin, everyone’s type and needs are different. The key thing is to tailor your approach to your needs, rather than feeling pressured to invest in a large routine that you don’t need.

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