I was watching an ad selling hair shampoo the other day. According to the advertiser, this shampoo had the ability to add shine and bounce to hair. I thought it was great and even considered buying it for my curly hair that is hard to manage at times. However, I’m always cautious about hair products. I’d bought shampoo that led to some hair loss sometime back. I did some research into the product and found that all it does is add a layer of chemicals to the hair shaft and didn’t address the hair follicle. Simply put, it can interfere with the hair follicle leading to hair damage and even loss. I dropped the thought of buying the shampoo immediately.
I had been looking for a shampoo that will help me manage my hair but in vain. Perhaps I was looking at things the wrong way. “What if it’s not the shampoo only but the health of my scalp that’s the problem?” I thought. If I focus on keeping my scalp healthy, then maybe I can avoid the constant itching which often leads to scabs on scalp. I decided to work on keeping the scalp and skin healthy through the following ways.
My first step towards a healthier scalp involved eating the right food. A healthy scalp needs a good supply of protein, zinc, iron, vitamins and essential oils. Lack of these nutrients leads to a dry flaky scalp. Other symptoms of lack of these nutrients include abnormal hair growth, hair loss and damage to the hair follicle. To get a good supply of these minerals, foods such as eggs, fish, berries and green leafy vegetables should be included in the diet.
My second step was washing my hair daily. The scalp is home to millions of microorganism including bacteria and, fungi. These need to be kept in manageable amounts through washing. Mild soap or shampoo is recommended as opposed to products that claim to do magic for the hair. The mild soap will remove any excess microorganism as well as remove dead skin cells which have developed on the scalp. Washing also removes excess oils which have settled on the skins surface.
By washing the head daily, I reduce the risk of developing scalp folliculitis, a serious condition. This is a condition that occurs when bacteria, skin oils and microorganisms clog the hair follicle causing an itchy rush.
My third step involved weekly massaging of the scalp. In addition to providing relief for stress, a head massage also promotes scalp health. A good massage promotes the flow of blood to the hair follicles. This ensures that the hair follicle has a sufficient amount of oxygen and nutrients needed for the growth of healthy hair.
Finally, I always ensure that my scalp doesn’t dry out. I usually apply petroleum jelly on the scalp to prevent drying. The reason why I use petroleum jelly is that it isn’t water soluble and won’t therefore seep into the skin. Its also easy to wash off with soap and warm water.