Black Hair Care 101: The Top Tips for a Healthy Scalp
There are few things worse than a dry, irritated scalp.
It’s a problem that all of have suffered from at some point in our lives.
Scalp issues can be caused by so many triggers that it can be hard to identify the source.
Certain products just don’t work for black women’s hair, particularly oil-based ones. Some of them can even make scalp problems worse.
For those of us with natural hair, scalp flaking can be especially noticeable and embarrassing.
Fortunately, getting a healthy scalp, especially if you suffer from a dry scalp, is easy for black women. For many of us, having a healthy scalp is all about prevention.
Keep reading for our guide to maintaining a healthy scalp with black hair.
Maintaining a Healthy Scalp
The best way to protect your scalp from becoming dry and irritated is to use preventative measures.
Taking care of your scalp to prevent or manage symptoms is much easier than trying to treat them once they occur.
Sometimes, it’s downright impossible to completely prevent a dry scalp. We are more prone to it than others.
Even if you don’t know what’s causing your scalp problems or you have inherited a troublesome scalp, here are some things you can do to keep your scalp as healthy as possible.
Protect Your Scalp From the Weather
If certain weather conditions seem to trigger your scalp, protect it from those elements.
Both too much sun and excessive cold can be hard on the scalp.
If you have a weave, you should wrap it in a silk scarf at night. This will not only keep it soft and healthy, but it will also prevent it from getting pulled.
Take Cool Showers
As much as we enjoy a hot shower, heat is terrible for our hair and scalp.
Heat and hot water will strip moisture from your scalp. Not only does this cause it to appear dry and cause frizz but it leads to scalp itching.
The heat from blow dryers, straighteners, and curling irons can cause the same problem. While it’s best to avoid using hot styling tools altogether, if you do use them, a protectant spray can save your hair.
Use this spray before applying any heat to your hair.
Avoid washing your hair every day as this can dry out your hair and scalp. When you do shower, opt for lukewarm or cooler water. Your hair will thank you.
Consider Your Style
Your favorite hairstyle could be causing problems for your scalp.
If you wear your hair up or in braids, it could be putting stress on your hair follicles. Not only can this irritate your scalp, but it can also lead to hair loss.
So how can you prevent this? By wearing your hair pulled back or in braids as loosely as you can.
Also, give your hair a rest from time to time by letting it hang down naturally.
Mind Your Diet
As they say, you are what you eat. What you put into your body affects its outside too.
Some scalp issues result from nutritional deficiencies. Making sure you get the right nutrients from the food you eat can improve the health of your hair and scalp.
If your diet isn’t providing the nutrients you need, consider taking a multivitamin supplement. Drinking plenty of water is good for your health and your hair.
Remedies for a Dry Scalp
Let’s face it, sometimes despite our best efforts, prevention methods don’t work.
This is especially the case if your scalp problems are the result of a medical condition. Those with scalp related medical conditions may need more aggressive treatment.
For the rest of us, there are some tried and true home remedies for scalp irritation that are natural and affordable.
You’ve probably heard of coconut’s hydrating properties, but did you know you can use it on your hair?
Create a hair mask using coconut oil by melting a few tablespoons of coconut oil. Then, massage the oil onto your scalp and into your hair.
You can either let it sit for a few minutes or leave it overnight. Make sure you do rinse it out though.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is an essential oil that has many benefits.
This oil can moisturize your scalp and remedy dryness and flaking, but it can also treat more sinister conditions.
Tea tree oil has antibacterial, antiseptic, and antifungal properties that can treat these conditions when applied to the scalp.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Like tea tree oil, apple cider vinegar has antiseptic and antifungal properties that can help treat and heal your scalp.
It’s also acidic and can balance the pH levels on your scalp.
How to use it? Rinse your scalp with apple cider vinegar once a week. This will clean your scalp and prevent it from flaking.
For More Advice
We hope this article will help you get and maintain a healthy scalp.
Keep in mind that finding the source of your scalp problems will help you avoid triggers and find the best treatment for you. If you think you might have a medical condition such as psoriasis, ask your dermatologist before treating your scalp.
Scalp health starts with a good hair care routine as well as good overall health.
Check out this article to learn more about the best leave-in conditioners all black women should be using to keep your scalp healthy.