As hairdresser Richard Ward, who has tended the Duchess of Cambridge’s mane, says, “For a long time people have ignored the fact that hair is only ever as good as your scalp. That without a healthy scalp, hair won’t – can’t – grow to its fullest potential.”
So whether your issue is dryness or oiliness, flaking, flat roots, greasy-looking locks, stunted growth or generally unhappy hair, much can be improved by simply looking below your hairline.
“Skincare really shouldn’t stop at your forehead,” agrees Grow Gorgeous expert Elise Parkes.
“When it comes to scalp health, exfoliation is key and will have visible results.”
Now the message is trickling into the shampoo and styling aisles with a deluge of lotions and potions specifically for the scalp. There are serums designed to give a mineral and vitamin boost, add volume and fortify hair growth for stronger, thicker hair, shampoos that aim to do much more than simply fight dandruff and tools to help boost circulation.
If you haven’t considered it before, now could be the time to try a scalp detox or chemical peel. These are particularly beneficial if you’re a fan of dry shampoos, as the grease-absorbing powders in these can build up inside hair follicles and disrupt growth if used too frequently.
“These products also purify, shift dry skin and create the perfect environment for hair growth, as well as helping extend time between washes by managing sebum production,” explains Elise.
Anyone with a particular concern who isn’t sure where to start, may benefit from heading to their local Aveda salon.
There you can have a complimentary consultation in which a camera that magnifies by 600 per cent will help identify your individual needs, whether it be thinning hair or an ageing scalp, and diagnose follicle condition before you are taught massage methods and exfoliating techniques to stimulate blood flow.
Richard Ward’s top tips for a healthy scalp
l Eat healthily – healthy hair comes from healthy follicles, which are directly affected by what we put into our body. Aim for a balanced, varied diet with lots of omega-3, protein, zinc and iron.
l Don’t be afraid of scalp treatments and masks. In the same way that your face needs moisturiser, your scalp needs nourishment and hydration to stay healthy and comfortable and produce strong, glossy locks.
l Don’t overwash your hair as this will dry the scalp out and strip it of its natural oils and proteins, which are essential for keeping it hydrated and healthy. Two or three times a week should be plenty.
l Protect against sun damage. UV rays can scorch your scalp very quickly and exacerbate any existing scalp or hair issues you might be experiencing. If you’re outside in the sun, always wear a hat or apply a sunscreen designed for the scalp and hair.