I have written so much about how slowly my hair grows--and how it sheds, and how it breaks! Recently, I decided to stop worrying about growth and the ends of my hair and go right to the source of the issue: my scalp.
Unless you have dandruff or psoriasis, chances are you almost never think about the health of your scalp.
Things that can improve scalp health range from free-99 self-massaging to thousand dollar laser combs, but I wanted to see what was hovering in the middle--especially those products that are marketed to women, as we have different hormones to contend with regarding hair loss.
Some of these products are unisex (which rules), but the most effective one I tried is made specifically for women. I’m not sure if that means it’s a no-go for others, but it was formulated with women in mind.
Here’s what my hair looked like in its thinnest area four weeks ago.
I have lots of breakage in the back, but the worst is a full segment of just short hair, where I suspect all the long hairs just jettisoned and left behind all the hair that’s half as long!
For those with similar struggles, here are three healthy scalp products/habits that decrease shedding and increase growth.
1. Nightly Scalp Massage
Massage is one of the simplest ways to treat your scalp. Circulation is key to preventing excess shedding. It can even slow down graying!
Consistency is important: I try to do a scalp massage every night, at least with a brush if not my fingertips. I like to use a fun product with my massage, Phyto's Phytopolléine Botanical Scalp Treatment ($38), which has a base of essential oils. Left in for 10 to 20 minutes before shampooing, this blend of cajeput (similar to tea tree) rosemary, lemon, and sage gives that extra scalp stimulation that you can't get with a brush or your fingers alone. Also, the scent is delightfully herbal. I let this soak in after a massage while pre-treating my ends at least once a week.
2. Daily Scalp Serum
I toyed with Dr. Dennis Gross' Anti-Aging Scalp Serum ($54) a few months ago, and I have to say this stuff this stuff is really worth its salt. Pairing retinol, antioxidants, and copper peptides, the serum leaves no visible buildup in the hair. I used it consistently after each shampoo and I'm happy to report a noticeable reduction in shedding. My beau (who also used it) noticed less shedding, too. We couldn't be happier with the regrowth situation going on with our strands.
3. A Weekly Deep Treatment
Formulated for women experiencing thinning hair from stress, pregnancy, diet, and other health-related matters, Phyto’s Phytocyane Revitalizing Serum ($65) has been around for ages. My own thinning hair is hormonal, and currently being treated by a doctor, but I wanted to give this serum a shot.
You get 12 ampoules in the set; I only used a half vial per application, as a whole one was just too much. So this will last 24 weeks for me.
What's inside these little ampoules is pretty effective: after four weeks my hair looked fuller, shinier, and healthier. Hero ingredients include procyanidins, B vitamins, and herbal extracts, all of which will do a dance in your follicles.
Here’s what my hair looked like after four weeks of these treatments.
So, what do you think? Is it high time we stop neglecting our scalps? I really think all of this stuff I’ve been doing has made a difference. Some of you may remember that I'd been using Monistat for hair growth, but I paused that for this experiment. I'll likely add it back into the mix.
- Do you pay attention to your scalp?
- What’s your favorite scalp product?
Photos: Darnell Scott