One of the most common questions I get in the salon is how to have healthy hair. Healthy hair begins with a healthy scalp! In this day and age, with all of the product usage and build up like dry shampoo, along with pollution, sweat and environmental irritants, our scalp can take a hard hit.
I am here to tell you how to fix that. I am not going to tell you to stop using dry shampoo, that stuff is a lifesaver! But, we just need to create regular practices of cleansing in the salon and at home to maintain a balanced and healthy scalp. It’s just like how we care for the skin on our face or body – we need to exfoliate, cleanse, and protect it.
In The Salon
The best place to start with scalp care is to schedule a consultation and treatment in the salon. All Neroli salons offer a Pramasana Scalp Therapy Treatment customized just for you. You can add this service on to your next haircut! Here’s how it works.
First, we need to evaluate what is wrong. Is your scalp dry? Irritated? Oily? We use a scalp camera that magnifies the scalp by 600%. This allows us to pinpoint specific problems by getting a very closeup look at it. We can closely examine the sebum levels, redness/irritation, and dryness/flakiness.
Next, we exfoliate. We use a special brush with looped bristles to massage the scalp without tangling the hair. This loosens build up and stimulates circulation to the hair follicles.
Then, we cleanse. We use the Pramasana Scalp Cleanser to clear out dead skin from the follicles. You may be wondering- Why use a cleanser on a dry scalp? We need to start by clearing out dead skin from the hair follicles so that they can breath and easily absorb nutrients and oils that will nourish them. The cleanser will balance sebum levels. After the cleanser, we will shampoo the hair with a regular Aveda shampoo based on your hair concerns.
Next, we treat with the Pramasana Nourishing Scalp Masque. The masque is applied to the scalp and root of the hair. It will give you a cooling and tingling sensation as it soothes any inflammation. We give a wonderfully relaxing head massage, then rinse the masque out and towel dry the hair as usual.
Lastly, we will protect from pollution and other free radicals by applying the Pramasana Protective Scalp Concentrate. This is a lightweight serum that is left on before blow drying and styling the hair.
You may need to get this service done more than once depending on how severe the condition of your scalp is.
Massage your scalp regularly. This encourages circulation, which stimulates hair follicles for growth and health of the hair. Take your time and divide the hair into 4-6 sections. You can use an oil on your fingertips, especially if you’re dry or flaky. My favorite is the Nutriplenish Multi-Use Hair Oil. You can also use the Dry Remedy Daily Moisturizing Oil. Do not drag your fingers through your hair as you massage. If your hair gets tangled, work in smaller sections and gently pull the hair apart with your hands while massaging the oil into your ends.
Exfoliate, Cleanse, & Protect
Aveda has three Pramasana products available for purchase. There is the looped brush for exfoliating, the Pramasana Scalp Cleanser, and the Pramasana Protective Scalp Concentrate.
If you are going to buy just one, start with the cleanser. It comes in an easy to use applicator bottle that you can apply directly to the scalp. This cleanser is made with wintergreen-derived salicylic acid to exfoliate and refresh and is suitable for all skin types. Make sure it is completely rinsed out of the hair before applying your regular shampoo.
Do you struggle with dandruff? You will want to use the Scalp Remedy Dandruff Solution. Otherwise, if your scalp is normal, oily or dry, use the Pramasana Protective Scalp Concentrate. Apply a drop per one inch parting and massage in. You do not need much. A little goes a long way! The serum is light enough that you do not need to rinse out before styling your hair. It is like a leave-in conditioner but at the root of your hair versus the ends.
Common Questions & Concerns
How often should I use the scalp cleanser at home?
This will vary person to person. I would start by using the cleanser once or twice a week. If you have more irritation at different times of the year, say around winter or times of seasonal change, you may want to use it more often. It all depends on how extreme your issues are. If you are still uncertain, ask your hairstylist during your next hair consultation.
My scalp is oily but my ends are dry- how can I maintain balance?
When getting the scalp therapy treatment in the salon, your stylist can add a dry or damage remedy hair therapy treatment to the ends of your hair. That way your scalp will be cleansed while your ends are getting moisturized. A rule of thumb for at home hair care is to only ever shampoo the scalp. Just let the shampoo run through the ends as you rinse, but you do not need to lather shampoo at your ends. Vise versa for conditioner- you only need to apply conditioner or a conditioning masque to the ends, never near the scalp. The same goes for leave-in conditioners. You can also pre-condition the ends of your hair before getting in the shower with the Nutriplenish Multi-Use Hair Oil if your ends are extra dry.
Do I need to use a conditioner if my scalp is oily?
Yes. Just avoid applying conditioner near the scalp. Conditioner protects the cuticle of the hair. Without it, the hair cuticle is left wide open and this will leave the hair susceptible to the damaging elements that will cause the hair to weaken, break, and tangle. At least apply it to the very ends of the hair.
Why do I get dandruff?
Our skin is covered in millions of tiny microbes or skin flora, but for some people the skin cells multiply and shed more quickly than usual. This is usually due to inflammation of the skin that is caused by factors like age, hormones and stress.
Do I have dandruff or dry flakes?
Both dandruff and dry flakes can make your scalp itch, so it can be tricky to determine which is the culprit. Dandruff flakes are bigger and look oily. The scalp is usually oily, red or scaly. If you are uncertain, it is best to refer to a dermatologist.
Can my diet affect my scalp?
Absolutely! Foods rich in antioxidants improve blood circulation and are necessary for a healthy scalp. Load up on dark, leafy greens and berries! They are a great source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C, both of which help in the formation of sebum, a natural hair conditioner. In general, focus on fresh plant-based foods. A diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids will help alleviate a dry scalp. These foods include flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts. Flaxseeds are especially beneficial, just one tablespoon a day can satisfy your body’s omega-3 needs!
Blog written by North Shore Hair Designer, Marcia. Want to stock up on your products? Call 414.227.2888 to place your curbside pickup order or stop in to shop at a Neroli location. Schedule your reservation on the Neroli app, online reservations or call 414.227.2888.