Having healthy hair is more than just washing it once or twice a week. There are certain skin conditions affecting the scalp and hair follicles which may lead to onset of dandruff and overproduction of oil by the sebaceous glands, making the hair greasy and prone to breaking off or splitting at the ends. Washing your hair once or twice a week is just half of the equation, maintaining the scalp and cleaning the follicles from buildup of dead skin cells and excess oil is a very important step if you want your hair to be lush and beautiful.
Try to avoid using strong shampoos, as they can cause the opposite effect then the one you desired, triggering inflammation and itchiness to the scalp and making your hair thin and brittle. Take some extra time to carefully read the labels and try to avoid those with synthetic compounds and artificial foaming agents. A mild clarifying shampoo has less irritants than the regular ones, and is quite useful in dealing with flaky skin which can clog the follicles and prevent new, healthy hair from growing.
When it comes to hair care, even the simple act of washing is important and should be done properly. You should never use too much shampoo, just enough to cover the scalp and a portion of the hair. Using your fingertips, gently, but firmly massage the scalp in circular motion until the shampoo is evenly distributed. Scalp massages not only feel good, but also help in unclogging the hair follicles by breaking up the buildup of oil and dead skin cells. Also avoid using hot water when washing your hair, lukewarm has more benefits as the enzymes in hair products activate and work most efficiently at skin temperature.
There are quite a few natural remedies that do this job exceptionally well. For example, lemon and hazel hair balm is used for greasy hair, because they contain acid which breaks down the oil molecules. Comfrey and camomile are effective in treating scalp irritation, thyme and rosemary tea rinses add shine and a delightful aroma and calendula is used to add volume to the hair.
Australian tea tree oil is one of the best natural hair care remedy as it has antibacterial and antifungal properties helping with skin irritations and also moisturizes the skin, preventing it from becoming dry and flaky. Have in mind the oil is very strong and concentrated, so it is advised to dilute it in water or a carrier oil, such as olive, almond or coconut oil.
Apple cider vinegar has a broad spectrum of use: it breaks down the excess oil and unclogs the follicles, allowing your hair to grow.
It has antibacterial properties and helps avoid inflammation to the scalp, and in doing so, eliminating some of the causes of dandruff. It also makes your hair look better by adding shine to your hair and balancing the pH level. You may use it by itself, or if you have sensitive skin, diluted in water. You use it before washing your hair with shampoo, just pour the vinegar directly on your scalp, massage it gently and let it sit for a couple of minutes. Use this method until your scalp condition improves.