You skin is your largest organ and is responsible for protecting your body, regulating your body temperature, and expelling toxins. Your scalp is part of your skin and you need to take care of it just as much as you do the rest of the skin on your body. This will ensure you have healthy looking and beautiful hair. Each hair on your body grows from a hair follicle located in the dermis (middle layer) of your skin, and are nourished by capillaries located in your skin.
How thick this hair grows depends on where it is located on your body. (The only two places you don’t have hair follicles is the palm of your hands, and the soles of your feet.) The scalp has the most dense collection of hair follicles, and if you take care of your scalp you will be rewarded with gorgeous and shiny hair. Since your hair follicles receive nutrients from your blood supply, what you eat and drink has an effect on your hair.
While conditioning and protecting your hair is important, the hair you can see is actually hardened keratin cells and not living tissue. It is the hair follicle and hair root which need nutrients, and your scalp needs care so that you will have healthy looking and feeling hair. One of the easiest ways to take care of your scalp is to eat a balanced diet and drink plenty of water.
You Are What You Eat
A balanced diet consisting of whole grains, lean protein, and complex carbs gives not only your skin and scalp what it needs, but will improve your general health. Water is important to keep your skin hydrated. Water also helps your body distribute the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrient throughout your tissues. It also helps your body flush out toxins and clean your system. Foods high in Essential Fatty Acids such as Omega 3’s help to build protein cells (what keratin is made from).
Moisture is Essential
Use moisturizing shampoos and conditioners which contain natural ingredients. Look for shea butter, olive oil, Argan oil, and sunflower oils. These will not only make your hair soft, but help to keep your scalp moisturized and in great shape. Avoid product containing sulfates or styling products with alcohol since these dry your scalp. If your scalp becomes itchy or irritated try a medicated shampoo. Many of these are sulfa based and help to heal irritation and address the cause of flakes and itch. If your scalp becomes very irritated, consult with your doctor to rule out any serious underlying medical condition.
True beauty comes from the inside out, and your hair and scalp are no exception. If you eat a healthy balanced diet, drink plenty of water, and use gentle cleansing and styling product your scalp will be healthy. Take a break once in a while from your high heat styling tools, and wear a hat in the sun. You can even find styling products and conditioners with sunscreen for extra protection. A healthy scalp really does equal healthy hair, so take care of yourself and look great.