Correct us if we’re wrong, you don’t mind spending your precious time swiping, slathering and tapping on dozens of skincare products in pursuit of a perfect complexion. But, when it comes to your scalp, it’s often a case of ‘out of sight, out of mind’. News Flash: your skin doesn’t stop at your forehead! Your scalp is like an extension of your face, just with a larger number of sebaceous glands, sweat glands, and hair follicles. Yup, that’s right. Long story short, your scalp needs just as much as TLC as your face and body. Healthy hair = healthy scalp.
Did you know that there’s a strong interplay between the health of your hair and the health of your scalp? To treat your scalp right, you’ve gotta understand the kind of scalp you have. Once you’ve figured that out, it’s only ahhhmaazzzingg hair days from there.
So, given the different types of scalp, what Exactly Is My Scalp Type?
1. Dry Scalp
Is your hair brittle and dull? Does it break easily? Do you find small, white flakes falling with alarming regularity on your black T-shirt? If your answer is yes, yes and yes, then you have a dry scalp.
How do I care for my dry scalp?
Rebalancing your hair and scalp pH levels is the first step to treating a dry scalp. You can count on Apple Cider Vinegar to do the trick—thanks to its acidic nature, it helps exfoliate dry flakes, removes residue and boosts shine, sans chemicals. Next, oil up! Applying oil directly to the scalp once or twice a week can be extremely beneficial in combating dryness and soothing irritation.
Nykaa Recommends: WOW Skin Science Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo, Kama Ayurveda Bringadi Intensive Hair Treatment Oil
2. Oily Scalp
Find yourself the victim of greasy strands, limp roots and occasional spots on your forehead? Then, you have an oily scalp.
How do I care for my oily scalp?
Just like your body, your scalp needs a good slough once every week. Meet this exfoliating scrub from The Body Shop that works to eliminate dead skin cells, soothe irritation and reduce oil production—it’s loaded with good-for-you ingredients like Green Tea that help promote blood circulation, prevent hair fall and enhance shine. And, to keep the limp and lifeless strands at bay, religiously apply this specialised treatment from Moroccan Oil. It’s designed to keep overactive oil glands in check and revive listless hair, all in one go?
Nykaa Recommends: The Body Shop Fuji Green Tea Refreshingly Purifying Cleansing Hair Scrub, Moroccanoil Dry Scalp Treatment
3. Combination Scalp
If you're struggling with an oily scalp and dry and rough strands, then you have a combination scalp. Confusing, right?
How do I care for my combo scalp?
Here’s what you need...a detoxifying shampoo for your scalp and a hydrating conditioner for your dry ends. We suggest using a clay-based shampoo to fight oil and tackle greasy roots, while still providing a gentle cleanse. Couple it with a lightweight conditioner for a boost of moisture. Tip: keep a soothing scalp mask handy on days when your scalp feels a tad bit irritated—once a week is plenty.
Nykaa Recommends: L'Oreal Paris Extraordinary Clay Shampoo (10% Extra), Wella Professionals Elements Lightweight Renewing Conditioner (Zero Parabens)
4. Normal Scalp
If you have a ‘normal scalp’, your hair is probably manageable most of the time. You can go at least two days without a wash and not have to worry about an oily hairline. Lucky you!
How do I care for my normal scalp?
You’re probably already doing something right. The only advice we have for you is to switch your contemporary shampoo and conditioner to sulphate and paraben-free formulas. Why? Because they’re not harsh on your scalp and will help support your scalp’s natural pH level for a healthy mane.
Nykaa Recommends: Aveda Cherry Almond Softening Shampoo, Forest Essentials Hair Conditioner - Bhringraj & Shikakai
5. What Causes My Scalp To Feel Dry And Itchy?
#1 A poor diet: Too little protein, fruits and veggies, and over indulgence in carbs, sugar and fast food can trigger dandruff, dryness, hair loss & scalp nourishment.
#2 Stress: Stress makes our hormones go haywire, i.e., the rise in cortisol levels causes your oil glands to go into overdrive. The result: excess sebum, greasy strands and an oil build-up (ain’t nobody got time for that).
#3 UV damage: Our lifestyles subject us to increasing levels of sun exposure and pollution that can leave us with an unhappy scalp and meh strands.
#4 Over-zealous styling: Some gels, sprays, pomades and dry shampoos can wreak havoc on your scalp and hair. How, you ask? They cause a serious build-up which leads to clogged hair follicles, white flakes and even hair loss. Eeks!