A look at what’s beneath your hair
Shine, volume, strength… We all want hair that looks good, but we don’t often think too deeply about what it takes to achieve a gorgeous mane. Fact is, healthy hair starts at the root, so divine.ca went looking for more info on our unseen friend, the scalp. We spoke with Dr. Julia Carroll—Director of Dermatology at the Medcan Clinic, and scalp expert for the new Clear Scalp & Hair Beauty Therapy line of shampoos and conditioners—on what it takes to keep one’s scalp happy, and how this can lead to healthy strands, too!
What role does the scalp play in regards to healthy hair?
Dr. Carroll compares one’s hair to grass and, therefore, one’s scalp as the soil. “You need a healthy, well-balanced scalp in order to grow great hair,” she says. This includes a healthy diet, but also what products you actually put onto your scalp.
What scalp issues do women tend to have?
“A lot of people have an oily scalp, [much like] people have oily skin on their face,” the expert shares. Another prevalent issue is scalp that’s too dry: “This can lead to an itchy scalp, and the scratching can lead to extra hair loss.”
Is dandruff more of a “men’s issue”, or is there a large number of women who suffer from it?
“Statistically, it’s probably about the same,” Dr. Carroll explains. “Dandruff is just hidden a bit more due to [women’s] longer hair, and there aren’t many products specifically [targeted towards] women.” Besides, women tend to gravitate towards products that have beauty in mind, such as products that smell nice or promise a shinier mane.
Since we’re in the middle of summer, what happens to scalp when exposed to the sun?
“Initially, you can get sunburn, which is extremely painful. And then there’s peeling and flaking, which can be unattractive,” says Dr. Carroll. She warns that the scalp is skin, just like any other part of the body, so damage to the scalp can still lead to skin cancers.
What’s more, if hair is thinning, the scalp hasn’t seen the sun in a pretty long time, so it’s even more sensitive and susceptible to sun damage. Whether you have thin or thick hair, protection is paramount, so it is advised to slather on some sunscreen or, even better, wear a hat.
Does dying one’s hair cause damage to the scalp?
Dr. Carroll puts that myth to rest: “For the most part, no,” she assures us. “It may dry it out a little bit, but as long as you use products [geared towards] colour-treated hair, it should be fine.” Although, and while it’s not very common, people with allergies to dyes can get a severe reaction, such as redness (both to the scalp and face) and puffy eyes.
How can women care for their scalp, and help maintain a healthy scalp?
As stated above, a well-balanced diet is important but, for women, getting extra iron is an imperative part of keeping hair and scalp healthy. “Why?” we asked. “This is due to the fact that women lose more iron during their periods,” Dr. Carroll explains.
Another tip: hydration, hydration, hydration! “Scalp is skin, and the basis where hair starts from,” so she suggests thinking of conditioner as a moisturizer for your scalp. (Genius!) “Think of the skin,” is a mantra the good doctor reminds us to live by.
To find a targeted solution for your hair and scalp, visit www.clearhaircare.com/women.
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