Maintaining a Healthy Scalp Between and During Hair Extension Installs

What would your scalp say if it could speak? Maybe for some of us, it would be screaming. Is it dry? Greasy? Flaky? Any of these can be a sign for the need for a change in your hair regimen, diet, or a medical issue. Think of a beautiful flower, like a rose.  The growth and allure of that rose is greatly dependent upon the soil that’s used. If the soil isn’t cared for, the rose can’t flourish. Well, your scalp serves much of the same purpose.  If you don’t take the time to ensure that you have a healthy scalp, how can you expect to have long, healthy hair?  You can’t. Most of us will have our hair extensions installed for at least 1-3 months. This increases the likelihood of having itchy scalp and dandruff. Are you encountering any of these scenarios?

  • A. Your scalp is dry and flaky, but your hair is greasy? 
  • B. Both your hair AND scalp is dry?  
  • C. Your scalp is greasy, but your hair is dry?  
  • D. Both your scalp AND hair are greasy?

Dry Scalp

If you have a dry, flaky scalp accompanied by dry hair this may be your body’s way of telling you that it is in dire need of nutrients. To address this issue, first make sure that you are drinking enough water then consider supplementing your diet with foods rich in Zinc, Vitamin C, Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Vitamin A, and B complex vitamins.

Zinc

Zinc is essential to healthy cell growth and development, which is necessary for the maintenance of a healthy scalp. Deficiency in this mineral can contribute to the development of a variety of skin conditions including itchy scalp, dandruff and eczema. Foods that are good sources of zinc include meat, poultry, seafood, whole grains and nuts.

Vitamin C

While vitamin C is best known for its role in the immune system however, this nutrient is also important to skin health. Vitamin C-rich foods include citrus fruits and juices, kiwi, strawberries, green peppers, Brussels sprouts and spinach.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Itchy scalp can also be a symptom of an essential fatty acid deficiency and Omega-3s are the fatty acids most likely to be deficient. Foods rich in Omega-3 essential fatty acids include cold-water fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines, as well as walnuts, flax seed, pumpkin seeds and canola oil.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is essential to skin and scalp health.  It plays an important role in supporting the maintenance and function of skin cells. Adding foods rich in vitamin A to your diet might help improve skin health, alleviating scalp itch. Foods that are good sources of vitamin A include eggs, butter, dairy products, sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, cantaloupe and papaya.

B complex

B vitamins assist in the creation and growth of new cells so it plays a vital role to skin health. Foods that are good sources of B vitamins include meat, poultry, dairy products, whole grains, potatoes, beans and leafy green vegetables.

Before attempting to address the problem on your own, visit a medical professional so that he or she can address exactly what you are deficient in and establish a meal plan to eliminate the problem.

If you are relaxing your hair…

One big cause of dry hair and scalp for relaxed ladies is a lack of chelating.  Chelating is the process of removing mineral buildup from the scalp.  When one relaxes his or her hair, specifically with a no lye relaxer, some of the mixture can clog your pores and cause dryness while at the same time preventing your body from transferring nutrients to your hair.  Most people mistake and confuse this with product build up and try to treat it with a clarifying shampoo.  A clarifying shampoo will not do anything at all to remedy the situation like a chelating shampoo.  Chelating shampoos are also recommended for people who live in hard water areas.  All chelating shampoos are not advertised as chelating.  In order to scope out undercover chelating shampoos in your favorite brands, look for shampoos with EDTA as one of the main ingredients.

Dry scalp and Oily hair

Having a dry scalp, but oily hair is an unusual, but not uncommon occurrence. The most common cause is an allergic reaction/ sensitivity to shampoo.  If this problem isn’t a common issue to you and is something that sprung up from nowhere, it could signify that your scalp has a pH imbalance.  To combat this, consider using a hair product that helps to balance the pH of the scalp.  

Oily scalp

Oily scalp and hair signifies an overproduction of oils and can lead to build up if left untreated.  Remedying this issue, however, is simpler than the others.  A simple clarifying shampoo whenever needed and washing with sulfate shampoo should be enough to remedy the issue.

Oily scalp and dry hair

Like dry scalp and oily hair, this issue is just as unusual but not at all uncommon.  Oily scalp and dry hair can be a sign of clogged pores or a hormonal imbalance.

Clogged Pores

Clogged pores could be caused by a lack of washing or a lack of washing properly.  Product that was not washed away builds up on the scalp and prevent oils and nutrients from being transported to the hair strands.  For people in this scenario, a simple clarifying shampoo followed by a light leave in conditioner should moisturize the hair and remove build up.

Hormonal Imbalance

This problem is common in people with a hormonal imbalance, specifically teens because their hormones are still adjusting.  If you suspect you have a hormone imbalance, speak with a medical professional so that they can help with getting things back in proper working order. 

Pay close attention to your scalp and skin. Getting to the source is the first step in solving the problem. Your skin is the last to receive any nutrients, but the first to show signs of deficiency.  Taking care of your skin will reward you in the form of healthy hair growth and glowing skin.