- Gentle Care for Sensitive Scalps
Gentle Care for Sensitive Scalps
- Tender loving care calms a sensitive scalp and cures the itch
- © Getty Images
Do you sometimes feel like jumping out of your skin, especially your scalp? Does your tight, itchy, burning scalp drive you to distraction? We tell you why your scalp is so out of control and more importantly, how you can take back the control and create some equilibrium
Some people’s scalp is always a little more sensitive, for others the condition occurs sporadically. The culprits may be the climate, frequent or improperly applied permanents or colour treatments or also unsuitable hair care products. The physiology may also play a role. Stress and tension can also disturb the skin and scalp equilibrium.
The Sensitive Scalp and the Broken Protective Barrier
Just like the skin the scalp is covered by a protective layer. Think of the layer as a brick wall and imagine that the bricks symbolise the horn cells. The cement between the bricks consists of lipids, i.e. fatty substances. External influences can lead to the removal of part of the lipids or in our picture, the cement. As a result the barrier (our brick wall) is now leaky. Too much moisture escapes and the ways are cleared so that harmful substances can intrude. This irritates the scalp and it reacts with itching, burning, redness, dandruff or tightness.
A Sensitive Scalp Due to Hair Care Sins
Do you wash your hair daily and then proceed using alcohol-containing styling products, such as styling gel or mousse? Over time, this will dry out the scalp. If you must wash your hair daily then you should use a very mild shampoo. Leave out the alcohol-containing styling products for a while and style your hair using leave-in conditioners, styling spray or wax instead.
Climate Change Aggravates a Sensitive Scalp
Dry heated air in winter and air conditioners in summer are hard on the entire skin including the scalp. In those hard times for the scalp, moisturising shampoos, conditioners and leave-in hair treatments are a true blessing for hair and scalp. In the process, you replenish the scalp’s moisture reserves without adding lipids in large amounts. Lipids (fat) can weigh hair down, especially fine hair.
The Sensitive Scalp: Your Dermatologist May Come to the Rescue
Persistent itching may be the symptom of a fungal disease affecting the scalp. Redness and large dandruff flakes make a fungal disease even more likely. An oily scalp is particularly prone to fungal overgrowth because the fungus likes the environment. If your scalp is fatty and itches you should consult with a dermatologist about this combination of problems.
This will bring back the equilibrium to your scalp:
An oil cure is pure heaven for the dry scalp. You treat your scalp to an oil cure by massaging drops of a high quality light plant oil (Jojoba, almond or argan oil) on your scalp and leave it there overnight. The next morning, you should massage shampoo into your dry hair before lathering it up with water and rinsing with lukewarm water. It is important to adhere to the above sequence because it is the only way to remove excess oil from the scalp and hair
In the presence of acute scalp problems, the detergents in shampoos may dry your hair out. If this is a problem you should mix the shampoo 1 : 1 with water before using it
Residual shampoo or lime from hard tap water may irritate the scalp. You should therefore be sure to rinse out all the shampoo. Use an acidic rinse after shampooing if your tap water is hard or very hard. The rinse will remove lime scale residues. Our recipe for the acidic rinse is simple: Put one tablespoon of lemon juice or apple vinegar into a litre of cold water and use it to give your hair a thorough final rinse
Gentle massages with a non-greasy liquid cure calm an irritated scalp. Beware of massage liquids with ethereal (essential) oils, which may also irritate the scalp
In case your scalp itches badly and feels very taut, you should forego any heated styling tools for a while. Such styling tools are for example blow-dryers as well as flat, curling or crimping irons. The heat radiating from these tools will dry out the scalp even more
Brushes with plastic or metal bristles may also irritate the sensitive scalp. A soft brush with relatively dense natural bristles is better for the hair and scalp