When it comes to giving our scalps the love they really deserve, one size doesn’t fit all. And, if we’re treating dandruff (which happens to the best of us), we need to take into consideration the condition of our scalp, as well as the texture of our hair to make sure we don’t soothe one by compromising the other. That’s why curly girls will need to take a different approach to girls with straighter hair.
“Having a scalp condition can be challenging, but having afro hair too can make treating it a bit more difficult,” explains specialist afro trichologist, Stephanie Sey. “Afro hair tends to be dryer than other types of hair, more delicate and must be moisturised more often,” she says. Therefore, harsh, drying detergents are not the way to go. “Sometimes, scalp conditions are long-term, so learning how to treat your scalp without damaging or drying out afro hair is important to maintain its health.”
1. Cleanse your hair and scalp regularly
It goes without saying that you want to rid your hair of the product build-up, sweat and bacteria that can cause irritation to your scalp. “Washing your hair regularly helps to remove any dirt, sweat, dead skin cells, bacteria and fungus,” says Stephanie, so make sure you’re washing your hair at least twice a week.
2. Give your scalp a dry massage
Yes, it’s deeply relaxing, but a scalp massage will “increase blood flow to the area as well as improve circulation,” explains Stephanie. This can help with lymphatic drainage and healthy hair growth. The manual movement can also aid the removal of dead skin and flakiness. Stephanie recommends a vibrating massage tool, but you can also use your fingers and knuckles. Start at the front and work towards the back using stroking and circular motions and gentle kneading.
3. Lather up your shampoo in the shower
This requires more massage (lucky scalp). “Massaging your scalp during washing helps to lather the shampoo as well as remove dirt and residue from the surface of the scalp,” explains Stephanie. “The best was to do this is by using the pads of your fingers and moving your hands in a circular motion. Whilst doing this, move your fingers back and forth,” she says. Just make sure you don’t scrub at your scalp. It may be tempting, but it’s also highly irritating for your skin. This method ensures you clean your scalp thoroughly, “also you increase circulation and blood flow to the scalp,” says Stephanie.
4. Try to reduce your stress
We know. Easier said than done and not always entirely achievable. But take little breaks where you can to take extra care of yourself. “Reduce your stress levels by taking more time to take care of yourself,” says Stephanie.
These are the three products she recommends…
- Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo, £6.30, Boots
“If you’ve already tried everything, try Nizoral anti-dandruff shampoo,” she says. It’s clinically proven to provide relief from dandruff since it contains ketozconazle to combat the fungas malassezia that causes dandruff. “Compared to most anti-dandruff shampoos that only act on the surface, this treats the root cause of dandruff itself, not just the symptoms,” she says.
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- Black Castor & Shea Nourishing Almond Oil, £4.49, Superdrug
“This has been specially developed and salon tested for dry, coarse and frizzy hair,” says Stephanie. “The oil helps nourish and tame frizz, leaving hair healthy-looking.” Plus, it can be used on skin, too.
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- Dr Organic Moroccan Argan Oil Conditioner, £6.49, Holland & Barrett
“This is a restoring conditioner that’s ideal for adding body to thin or dry hair,” says Stephanie. It can smooth and moisturise all hair types.”
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