Why you need to detox your scalp
If you’re experiencing more bad hair days than usual, and abuse hair powder, root touch-ups and dry shampoo on a regular basis, you need to read this...
Culture Whisper: Why exactly do you need to detox your scalp?
Anabel Kingsley: Your scalp health is just as important as the skin on your face, and it’s important you look after it just as well, since your scalp is also simply skin that acts in the same way and is just an extension of the skin on your forehead; it sweats, secretes sebum (oil) and sheds dead skin cells. You also take your hair and scalp to the same places you take your face, and they are exposed to the same pollutants. Daily shampooing is an absolute must if you have a scalp condition, such as dandruff or seborrheic eczema. It is becoming common knowledge that hair growth is reliant on the condition of our scalp environment.
CW: How do you combat the effects of dry shampoo and root touch-up products?
AK: Shampoo regularly. Your scalp is skin – a living tissue. It, therefore, needs to be cleansed frequently. Like the skin on your face, your scalp contains thousands of sweat glands and oil glands and sheds dead skin cells. It is also exposed to the same environmental pollution as the skin on your face.
Tone daily. Use a soothing antimicrobial scalp toner each morning to perk-up your scalp environment. Look for Witch Hazel to regulate oil levels, and Camphor to cool and calm.
Don’t forget to exfoliate. Just like the skin on your face, your scalp benefits from weekly exfoliation. Exfoliation helps to remove dead skin cells and pesky flakes. It also encourages healthy skin cell turnover.
CW: Does your diet have implications?
Just as certain foods can affect acne-prone skin, they can also flare-up a problematic scalp. Cheese, full-fat dairy products, very sugary treats, and white wine and champagne are common aggravators. Other foods are very good for your scalp. For instance, Omega 3s found in fatty fish, like salmon and sardines, are anti-inflammatory. For an extra Omega-3 boost, take a daily Omega-3 supplement. I recommend our Root Complex supplement. This also contains Collagen, Silica, Co-Enzyme Q10 and Vitamin D (Vitamin D being another hair and scalp essential).
CW: Talk us through the common scalp disorders
AK: Use highly targeted products daily until symptoms clear, and then incorporate preventative products into your regular regime to help keep issues at bay.
In the case of dandruff, skin cells on the scalp are replaced much faster than they can be shed, leading to a build-up of telltale flakes and itching. The trigger for this is an overgrowth of a certain yeast naturally found on the scalp, called malassezia furfur. Natural skin secretions, such as sweat and sebum, usually protect the scalp and keep these levels in check. However, metabolic shifts, such as hormonal changes and stress, can disrupt skin secretions allowing malassezia furfur to thrive. Try Philip Kingsley Flaky/Itchy Scalp Shampoo, £11.
It can be caused by skin cells on the scalp being replaced much faster than they can be shed, leading to a build-up. It can also be caused by not washing and cleansing the scalp enough that skin cells can build up on the scalp and become visible.
You can get rid of them by daily soothing your scalp with an antimicrobial shampoo and a targeted post-shampoo scalp toner.
CW: What are the benefits if you look after your scalp?
AK: It improves the quality of our hair. Hair grows from the scalp, and so the two are inextricably interlinked. You need to give your hair a healthy base from which to grow; think of your hair as a plant, and your scalp as the soil supporting it. If your scalp is not in good condition the chances of you experiencing problems with hair growth increase significantly. In fact, research has proven that a flaky, itchy scalp can cause and/or worsen hair loss in certain individuals. Therefore if your scalp is not clean and healthy, it simply will not produce hairs of beautiful, strong quality.
1. Malibu Scalp Therapy sachet, £4.50
100% vegan, this vitamin C improves blood flow and delivers nutrients to where you need it most.
2. Philip Kingsley Exfoliating Scalp Mask, £18
Proven to soothe scalps for all hair textures, from Afro to ultra-fine.
3. Grow Gorgeous Scalp Detox, £21
Smells incredible and leaves hair and scalp squeaky clean.
4. Ouai Scalp & Body Scrub, £32
This foaming, coconut oil-based scrub works well from top-to-toe.
5. Christophe Robin Cleansing, Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt, £40
Soothes itching and irritated hot-heads.
6. GOOP G.Tox Himalayan Salt Scalp Scrub, £38
Geranium, orange, and peppermint invigorate the senses and the scalp.
1. Philip Kinglsey Scalp Toner
Protects against bacterial growth, banishes excess grease and is water based so won’t ruin your styling regime either.
2. Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Tea Tree Scalp Treatment, £27
Charcoal draws out impurities while the zingy tea tree oil and peppermint pep you up.
3. O&M Original Detox Shampoo at Space NK, £25
Use as a weekly deep cleanse treatment and especially useful to flush out chlorine post-pool.
4. ESPA Pink Hair and Scalp Mud, £28.90
Deeply moisturises with apricot kernel oil, red clay, and vitamin C and is multi-tasking – it can be used on rough spots like elbows and heels too.
5. Bumble and bumble Bb.Scalp Detox, £25
Salicylic acid removes build-up and leaves scalp feels super clean.