Scalp-Care Products That Promote Healthy Hair

The scalp plays a pivotal role in healthy hair, but it often takes a backseat to the appearance of the strands themselves. Hair thinning, weakness and brittleness can often be traced back to the scalp environment, and this important area is finally getting the attention it deserves. “Scalp care in general is extremely important and unfortunately often neglected. The first sign of an unhealthy scalp is often a change in the quality of the hair,” explains Dr. Miguel Mascaró, founder of the Delray Beach Hair Transplant Center in Delray Beach, Florida, who adds, “This leads to people trying to fix their ‘hair problem’ when in reality it's their scalp trying to send a message.”

“Signs of scalp neglect can include dryness, dandruff, obstructed glands and folliculitis, as well as sensitivity and hair loss,” says Dr. Mascaró—and if you experience persistent scalp and hair issues, it’s a good idea to seek the help of a physician who specializes in hair restoration to identify the source of the problem. “However, an effective scalp-care regimen can help prevent many of these concerns while promoting and maintaining healthy hair.”

Dry-scalp treatments
“The most important thing for those with a dry scalp is figuring out the cause, since there are numerous medical conditions that can lead to dryness,” Dr. Mascaró explains. “In many cases, patients are looking for a quick way to soothe irritation, flaking and dryness prior to seeing their doctor.” A calming, hydrating leave-in treatment, Living Proof Restore Dry Scalp Treatment helps balance the scalp with moisture-attracting hyaluronic acid and a vitamin B3-based microbiome complex, and Dr. Mascaró believes it is a safe and effective product that can instantly comfort the scalp and relieve signs of dryness.

“Scrubs are very important because they help cleanse and exfoliate the scalp while removing excess skin, oil and debris,” says Dr. Mascaró. “Similar to how we exfoliate our skin to keep it looking fresh and young, exfoliating the scalp allows it to be in optimal condition for healthy hair growth.” However, Dr. Mascaró recommends limiting use to once a week, because over-exfoliating and stripping the scalp of too much oil can do more harm than good, but he believes R+Co Crown Scalp Scrub and Ouai Scalp & Body Scrub are two options that can help promote a healthy scalp.

Those with sensitive scalps can benefit from products that work to remove toxins that settle in when excess skin and oil create an imbalance. “The main function of these products is to decrease inflammation, because this can lead to reactive shedding and hinder the follicles’ ability to produce healthy hair,” Dr. Mascaró explains. Leonor Greyl’s Huile Apaisante roll-on treatmentand Bumble and bumble’s Bb. Scalp Detox foam are among his detoxifying suggestions, and he recommends using these products after a scrub and allowing them to sit on the scalp for five to 10 minutes before rinsing for optimal results.

“The scalp and hair are as sensitive to the sun as our exposed skin, not only during summer months but on winter ski trips as well,” says Dr. Mascaró. “Sun exposure can dry the scalp, but more important is reducing the risk of skin cancer, which is often overlooked since this skin is hidden beneath under hair.” A scalp sunscreen is ideal during prolonged sun exposure, and reapplying every three to four hours is essential. Formulated specifically to protect the scalp and strands, Coola Organic SPF 30 Scalp & Hair Mist shields these vulnerable areas from damage without weighing the hair down or interfering with your style.

Hair-strengthening treatments
Philip Kingsley is a great holistic brand with products that target different scalp issues and causes of hair thinning, but their Elasticizer is ideal for enhancing the appearance of full, healthy-looking hair in those with no underlying scalp conditions,” Dr. Mascaró shares. “It’s even better to go to one of their clinics if possible, because they have on-site trichologists, which are specialists that study the health of the hair and scalp.”