Chances are your scalp is hidden beneath your luscious locks. Or maybe you can see a little patch of skin here and there. Regardless, you probably don’t think much about your scalp health. However, your scalp health is fundamental for your hair growth and overall wellness. It contains five different layers of tissues and has tons of oil glands and hair follicles. But how would you know if your scalp is healthy or unhealthy? There are a few telltale signs that indicate your scalp could use a little more attention. 

Remember, the scalp is skin. Just as you have a skincare routine, you will want to adopt a scalp care routine. A healthy scalp will foster healthy and robust hair growth. An unhealthy scalp can cause dry or brittle hair, hair loss, and other health problems. 

7 Signs of an Unhealthy Scalp

An unhealthy scalp may be itchy, flaky, red, or inflamed. It can also have acne, be painful, or be excessively oily. Or you may notice changes in your hair, and your scalp is to blame. 

Itchy Scalp – If you find yourself dragging your fingernails through your scalp to relieve intense itching, you need to determine what may be the trigger. Have you switched haircare products lately? You could be having an allergic reaction to a new product. If not, unfortunately, you can transfer bacteria from under your fingernails to your scalp. This could cause inflammation. There is also a possibility that your scalp is just dry. 

Flaky Scalp – Dry skin can cause a flaky scalp accompanied by itching or irritation. Dead skin can mix with your oil glands and possibly clog your pores. A dry scalp may be caused by a change in humidity, season, stress, or changes in your daily diet. 

Dandruff – Most people think dandruff flakes are due to dry scalp. It is actually the opposite. Dandruff occurs when there is excessive oil production and a yeast-like fungus. It sounds gross, but it is incredibly common. You can typically treat dandruff with medicated shampoos. 

Red or Inflamed Scalp – Psoriasis can occur on the scalp as well. Visible signs of inflammation or raised plaques and scales can form on the skin. There are other causes for scalp redness as well. If you wear tight hairstyles frequently, you can cause undue tension in the hair follicles. Irritation and inflammation can cause pain in the scalp as well. 

Acne on the Scalp – No one likes pimples, especially painful and hard-to-reach pimples that may occur if you have an unhealthy scalp. Acne on the scalp is caused by excessive oil production and clogged pores. Even though you may not be able to see the acne at first glance, you will want to treat it, so you do not cause damage to your hair. 

Excessively Oily Scalp – It isn’t just dry conditions that may cause an unhealthy scalp. The opposite end of the spectrum is excessive oil. When your oil glands are in overdrive, your scalp may excrete too much sebum. This can clog pores, cause greasy hair, and possibly even mild irritation. 

Increased Shedding – A small amount of hair shedding is normal. However, if you notice clumps of hair in your brush, comb, or shower, your scalp may need some extra attention. Hair loss due to scalp health is frequently found at the temples or crown of the head. 

Signs of a Healthy Scalp

A healthy scalp will promote healthy hair growth. When determining if you have a healthy scalp vs. an unhealthy scalp, look for the following signs:

  • Smooth and free of flakes or scales
  • Healthy skin-colored or pink tone
  • No pain when brushing or manipulating your hair
  • Regular amount of shedding

7 Healthy Scalp Tips

Whether you have a healthy scalp that you want to maintain or an unhealthy scalp and need to nourish it, there are a few healthy scalp tips you can try. 

Shampoo Regularly – You don’t have to wash your hair daily, but proper hair hygiene is essential for optimum scalp health. Shampoo can lift dirt, sweat, and grime out of your hair to ensure your pores are not clogged. 

Massage Your Scalp – Beneath your scalp lies an intricate map of blood vessels. By massaging your scalp regularly, you can stimulate blood flow under the scalp. This increased circulation allows vital vitamins and nutrients to reach your hair follicles. You can massage your scalp with tools or use your own two hands. Plus, this practice aids stress relief and can reduce anxiety. 

Drink Water – You’ve probably been told repeatedly to drink plenty of water for radiant skin. The same is true for your scalp. If you want to promote a healthy scalp and hair, be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. When you first wake up, try to drink a glass of water. Your body dehydrates as you sleep, and you often wake up thirsty, even if you do not realize it. 

Amp Up Nutrition – Are you getting enough Vitamin E, Vitamin D, and B vitamins in your diet? What about iron? What you eat plays a pivotal role in your skin, scalp, and hair health. In fact, an unhealthy scalp could be attributed to a nutrient deficiency. Your hair also needs omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon and avocado. These vitamins can help reduce inflammation and stimulate circulation in the scalp.   

Try Probiotics – While we’re talking about nutrition, you may be surprised to know your gut health is directly correlated with your skin health. Your gut’s microbiome can impact your scalp’s condition. Therefore, you may want to enjoy some healthy probiotics either by supplement or through yogurt to help keep you regular and your gut health in check. 

Use Gentle Products – The more natural, the better. Choose products free of parabens, sulfates, alcohol, mineral oil, and harsh chemicals when caring for your hair. This way, you can prevent an allergic reaction on your scalp or excessive dryness. 

Manage Stress – Stress can cause your hair to fall out, cause your skin to produce excess oil, and a whole host of other ailments. If you’re faced with daily stress and anxiety is getting out of hand, consider some ways you can take time to reduce your stress. You can try journaling, meditation, yoga, walking, listening to calming music, or even booking a massage. Self-care is paramount when you’re striving for healthy skin. 

What About Hair Loss?

Let’s say you have an unhealthy scalp and now notice excessive hair loss or even balding. Don’t fret. There are many hair restoration treatments you can try. The first step is to get to the root of the problem (pun intended). Is an unhealthy scalp causing your hair loss? Or is it hormonal changes, aging, genetics, diet, or some other culprit? Next, you want to determine the best course of treatment. There are medications you can take to stimulate hair growth. There are also other nonsurgical, non-invasive methods such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment that uses your own blood to stimulate hair growth. 

PRP takes growth factors from your own blood and injects them into your scalp’s treatment areas. This stimulates collagen and elastin production, which can result in new hair growth. Side effects are very rare since you’re using your own blood and no other foreign substances. Best of all, there is no downtime after the procedure. Multiple treatments may be necessary for the best outcome. 

Getting Started

If you notice some of the symptoms of an unhealthy scalp or are curious about what scalp type you may have (dry, oily, combination), you may benefit from a comprehensive consultation with an expert from First Impressions Rejuvenation Clinic. The highly experienced team understands that hair care can be complicated. Receive personalized attention from a practitioner to discuss your hair health history and hair care goals. The team can recommend treatment options, products, and scalp care routines that make you feel good, both inside and out. Book a consultation today and take the next step to a healthy, happy, radiant you.


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