PSA: #CrownCare is going to be BIG this year. Are you wondering why? It's simple: healthy scalp = healthy hair. And think of the time, money and effort you put into your skin care routine; well, your scalp needs the same TLC. So what does a good scalp care routine look like? It's all about nourishing your scalp with massage techniques that stimulate hair growth, detoxifying formulas and scalp strengthening treatments. Trust us; invest in scalp care and your crown will thank you!
#1 Healthy Scalp Tip: Treat yourself to a daily scalp massage
If you're looking for a cost-effective way to improve your scalp care routine, scalp massage is the way to go. Not only is it completely free, but studies show that a daily scalp massage promotes nutrient-rich blood flow, providing a fresh dose of oxygen to your scalp, stimulating hair growth and increasing shine. We like to do ours every morning when we wake up and every time we wash our hair.
How to treat yourself to a scalp massage: Use your fingertips to apply light to medium pressure and work on your scalp in circular motions. If that seems like too much effort, try these scalp massage tools for a great skincare session.
Ceremonia Scalp Masajeador16 $: This deluxe cutie has a dynamic cushion between its silicone bristles and ergonomic support to help evenly distribute your scalp's natural oils while simultaneously exfoliating and massaging.
Kitsch Pro Scalp Scrub6 $: The soft, flexible bristles detangle your strands and gently exfoliate the scalp, reducing product buildup while stimulating blood flow for healthier hair. Not to mention, it's so satisfying.
#2 Healthy Scalp Tip: Keep your scalp moisturized
This isn't the first time we've written this, and it won't be the last, so listen up! Hydration is the cornerstone of healthy skin, and the same goes for your scalp. Think of it like watering a plant; keep your scalp hydrated and your hair will grow longer, be softer and shinier. On the other hand, a dehydrated scalp is prone to dandruff, redness, split ends and frizz. It can even trigger sebum production as your sebaceous glands produce excess sebum to compensate for the lack of moisture. The solution? Moisturize your scalp with these hydrating formulas:
Gisou honey infused scalp treatment48 $: Formulated with nourishing Mirsalehi honey and a unique prebiotic complex, this lightweight leave-in serum works overtime to add moisture, soothe irritation and protect your scalp's microbiome.
The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + Hyaluronic Acid Scalp Serum15 $: A light milky serum that is suitable for all hair types, boosting hydration with hyaluronic acid and squalane.
Tip #3 for a healthy scalp: Detoxify your scalp regularly
As much as we like to style our hair with dry shampoo, strong gels (#SnatchedForLife) and saline sprays, all of these products can lead to significant product build-up. Not to mention, these products combine with the natural build-up of oil, dirt and even water minerals on the scalp. The combination of the two can lead to severely clogged hair follicles, which can lead to irritation, dandruff and dullness. That's where these babies come in to save the day and get rid of your scalp of any undesirable accumulation.
Hello Klean Clarifying Scalp Soak34 $: This low-foaming formula removes every last bit of dirt and oil lodged in your hair follicles with detoxifying apple cider vinegar, moisturizing fermented rice water and strengthening sweet almond oil. Read our full review here.
BREAD BEAUTY SUPPLY Mud-Mask : Detoxifying pre-wash treatment with clay for hair and scalp34 $: A balancing oil treatment that detoxifies with clay and quartz while scalp-stimulating matcha tea leaf extract improves hair growth.
How to DIY a clarifying rinse at home: Did you know that apple cider vinegar (ACV) also clears blocked hair follicles? Mix equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water (about a cup each), then pour the mixture onto your scalp. Leave on for 10 minutes, then rinse and shampoo as usual.
Pro Tip: Don't forget to clean your hairbrush, which slyly collects scalp debris, persistent products and excess hair, sending them back to your scalp with every stroke. Start by removing loose bristles, then soak the brush in a mixture of warm water and a clarifying shampoo for about four minutes... do this every two weeks.
#4 Healthy Scalp Tip: Soothe irritation with balancing serums
Strip down with us because things are about to get a little scientific? Just like your skin, your scalp has a unique microbiome that acts as its first line of defense against unwanted germs. When your microbiome is out of sync, your scalp is prone to dandruff, flaking, itching and even small white bumps at the base of the hair follicle. If you're feeling this way, don't panic, because there are a ton of soothing, rebalancing serums that restore and strengthen the scalp. Here are two of our favorites.
Barbara Sturm Balancing Scalp Serum100 $: A vegan serum that soothes itching and prevents scalp redness with Japanese camellia, brown and green algae and lavender.
Fable & Mane SahaScalp Amla Soothing Serum34 $: A color-safe formula that soothes itchy scalp with vitamin C-rich amla (an ancient Indian super berry) while Ayurvedic bakuchiol stimulates skin cell growth and aloe vera hydrates.
#5 Healthy Scalp Tip: Nourish your scalp with oils
Hair oil is one of the products the most popular products in the hair care industry, and for good reason. Studies show that hair oils penetrate the deepest layers of your scalp to reach your hair follicles, increasing blood circulation and, with regular use, promoting hair growth. Plus, they give your hair a beautiful shiny finish while sealing split ends. Need we say more? We recommend doubling up and pairing it with a scalp massage tool to boost absorption:
GIRL+HAIR Scalp and Hair Strengthening Oil with Pumpkin Oil and Rosemary Oil20 $: This derma-based concoction blends eight hair-loving oils, including pumpkin and rosemary oils, which have been shown to stimulate hair growth and reduce thinning.
JVN Haircare Complete scalp and hair treatment oil before washing29 $: A lightweight treatment oil that effortlessly penetrates fine to thick hair to clarify, soothe and strengthen the scalp for better hair growth.
Pro Tip: Take your hair oil to the next level and slug your strands at home. Read our slugging guide for more details.
#6 Healthy Scalp Tip: Use SPF for the scalp in summer
Did we mention that the skin on your scalp is more fragile than the rest of your body? Now think about how it's ALWAYS exposed to the sun. *Gulp.* Don't worry; these SPF formulas will protect your scalp from burning, flaking and peeling all year long. Be sure to apply when you're at the beach or when your scalp is exposed to the sun for long periods of time.
Sunburn Sunscreen Spray SPF 3018 $: A quick-drying vegan mist that protects your roots with sunflower seed oil without feeling heavy and greasy.
COOL Scalp & Hair Organic Sunscreen Mist SPF 3028 $: A light lacquer that blocks UVA/UVB rays to play with your locks. Bonus: it is water resistant up to 80 minutes.
Pro Tip: We hate to say it, but tight hair elastics are not good for your roots, which is where the "hair growth" magic happens. Swap them for silk scrunchies to protect your hair from damage.
Tip #7 for a healthy scalp: Do a monthly HAIRcial
We know; it's a lot of work, but that's why we schedule a HAIRcial each month to keep our hair in tip-top shape. If your scalp is oily, start with a detoxifying pre-wash formula to absorb excess oil and product build-up. Alternatively, you can use a repairing oil if your hair is dull, dry or brittle. Then double cleanse, starting with a clarifying shampoo followed by your regular shampoo (you can also shampoo twice).
After that, take care of your hair with a repairing hair mask to bring back any moisture loss. Once dry, finish with a coat of hair oil for a shiny finish. Find our step-by-step guide here.
#8 Healthy Scalp Tip: Stop Over-Washing Your Hair
Celebrity stylist Dom Seeley constantly tells us to wash our hair less. According to Dom, washing your hair too frequently can disrupt the natural biome of your scalp. He explains, "Hair is at a pH balance of 4.5 to 5, which is the ideal pH balance so that your scalp grows. When you dry shampoo or wash it every day, you strip that protective layer from your hair, and your hair and scalp will go into "panic mode," which can lead to oily, dry, damaged hair. Instead, wash your hair once or twice a week (unless you sweat a lot) and use dry shampoo only when necessary.
Have you ever checked out these do's and don'ts for better hair care habits?
Disclaimer: Every product we review has been independently selected and tested without bias by our editorial team. Although some brands allow affiliate links, we never take payment for reviewing products, so we may earn a commission if you purchase a product by clicking on one of our links.
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