Scalp Health, Explained

“Scalp health” might have seemed like a strange concept just a few years ago—but recently, the beauty world hasn’t able to get enough of it. Multi-step scalp treatments are flying off Sephora’s shelves. DIY remedies on Pinterest read more like grocery lists, with ingredients ranging from olive oil to cinnamon to oatmeal. A simple Google query for ‘scalp health’ returns over 86 million results. And while some beauty trends are better left alone, this is one we’re fully behind. After all, healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp. Read on to find out whether or not you’re doing enough for yours.

Identify the problem.

Unfortunately, this is trickier than it seems when it comes to scalp health. For instance, though dandruff and dry scalp have many of the same symptoms, they actually have opposite causes. While dry scalp is exactly what it sounds like, dandruff is the result of an overproduction of sebum, or oil. So how do you figure out what’s going on? “Dandruff is often discolored and often sticks to the hair due to the excess sebum on the scalp,” explains Moroccanoil Artistic Director Kevin Hughes. “Dry scalp is dry, flaky, white and falls out of the hair due to lack of oil at the scalp.” Often, he says, a dry scalp will also be itchy, tender or covered in red, scaly bumps.

Find the right treatment.

You can’t solve separate problems with the same solution. That’s why Moroccanoil created two different treatments. Formulated to help balance excess sebum and provide natural astringent properties, Oily Scalp Treatment helps control dandruff and inflammation. Dry Scalp Treatment, on the other hand, relieves irritation and dryness with a blend of soothing essential oils and fatty acid-rich argan oil.  “Whether your scalp is dry and flaky or overactive and oily, these concentrated formulas instantly soothe and control scalp imbalances,” says Kevin. “As the scalp is restored to a perfect balance, hair is instantly revitalized with more body and vitality.”

Moroccanoil Artistic Director Kevin Hughes styles hair in a salon. In this post, Kevin discusses scalp health.

Watch for changes.

As with any issue of personal health, early intervention is best. For that reason, it’s important not only to keep an eye on your symptoms but to know what factors are likely to cause a decline in scalp health. Kevin names hormones, age, the shampoo and conditioner you use and dry, cold weather as frequent culprits. Moroccanoil Senior Educator Angela Geftos agrees: “In winter, 50% or more of my clients suffer from dry, itchy scalp.”

Try new tools.

Scalp treatments aren’t the only products you should take a second look at if your scalp health is less than ideal. For instance. Angela recommends that her clients use a brush with boar or nylon bristles to help stimulate the scalp and boost circulation. Additionally, committing to a weekly hair mask can help condition dry scalps. (It’s also a great Sunday night ritual.) Try Intense Hydrating Mask for medium to thick dry hair or Weightless Hydrating Mask for fine dry hair. Both are enriched with argan oil and other nourishing ingredients.