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Want long, shiny hair? Take care of your scalp first

It is important to treat the root cause of a scalp condition instead of using products like shampoos and serums that claim to offer results

It is vital to understand the difference between haircare and scalp care to ensure the best outcome and avoid the aggravation of an existing scalp condition. (Pexels)

By Saloni Anand

LAST PUBLISHED 06.09.2023  |  05:00 PM IST

The foundation for healthy hair lies in a well cared for scalp. A neglected scalp can lead to a variety of issues, such as dandruff, dryness, itchiness, even hair loss. 

Here are some essential steps and practices to ensure your scalp remains in optimal condition, setting the stage for healthy hair:

Understand the scalp

Before diving into scalp care, it's important to understand its significance. It is home to hair follicles, sebaceous glands, and sweat glands, all of which contribute to hair growth. 

By nourishing the scalp, you create a favourable environment for strong and healthy hair. When someone's scalp health deteriorates, it can have a significant impact on the hair. Poor scalp health is closely linked to the acceleration of genetic hair loss or androgenic alopecia. While androgenic alopecia is primarily a genetic condition, the presence of bad scalp health can expedite the hair loss process. Amid various efforts, such as applying hair serums and topical solutions, it is essential not to overlook this fundamental root cause. Addressing issues like dandruff and ensuring optimal scalp health can be pivotal in your journey towards hair regrowth.

Also read: Indians are embracing simpler, less hectic hair routines, says Florian Hurel

Many people face scalp problems including itchiness, dandruff and dryness. Dry scalp if left untreated leads to small flakes without redness or inflammation. On the other hand, Seborrheic dermatitis results in red, scaly, oily patches with white or yellow flakes. Malassezia is a scalp fungus that can trigger extra skin cell growth, leading to dandruff. Contact dermatitis is another scalp condition that is caused due to sensitivity to certain ingredients in topical products like shampoos. Lastly, scalp build-up from styling products can also actively contribute to dandruff. These scalp conditions must be treated early on to ensure ideal scalp health. 

To gain a deeper understanding, it is important to recognize what leads to these common scalp-related problems. One of the typical reasons is the build-up of styling products due to excessive use and inadequate cleansing that blocks hair follicles, resulting in itchiness and dryness. Additionally, our hectic lifestyles can contribute to stress levels that further affect scalp health. It is vital to understand the difference between haircare and scalp care to ensure the best outcome and avoid the aggravation of an existing scalp condition. It is imperative to treat the root cause of a scalp condition instead of using over the counter products like shampoos and serums that claim to offer results. 

Simple steps to maintain a healthy scalp

The good news is that many of these issues can be addressed through simple measures. Wash your hair regularly using a mild shampoo to get rid of dirt, oil, and product build-up that can bother your scalp. Regular exfoliation is also important for a healthy scalp because it helps get rid of dead skin cells and build-up from hair products. 

If you have a scalp condition, it is essential to visit the dermatologist to understand the root cause and treat it accordingly. While home remedies may provide instant relief, it will not give you sustainable results. Dandruff, for instance, is a recurring condition and you may witness it periodically. However, products containing Ketoconazole are one of the most effective solutions for such a condition but will require a maintenance routine to ensure sustained scalp health. Lastly, maintaining a nutritious diet is crucial too. Ensure you consume enough fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

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A healthy scalp means your hair roots are happy and can hold onto your hair better, reducing the chance of early-stage hair loss.

Saloni Anand is co-founder of Traya, a haircare brand.

Also read: A hair serum for every scalp concern