The state of your scalp dictates whether or not your hair grows! Say Whaaaaaaaat? But my hair is always growing! Yes it grows, but only if you maintain a healthy scalp.
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I want you to think about your scalp and hair, and compare it to growing and maintaining a plant. If the soil is watered and is weed free then that plant is destined to thrive. The scalp is the foundation of healthy hair, and to achieve length you must maintain a regimen that caters to keeping the hair and scalp clean and healthy. Scalp health is not just about maintaining the skin that is visible through your strands, but it’s also about preserving what’s underneath. I’m referring to the hair follicle.
The Hair Follicle
The hair has two distinct features: the hair follicle which resides below the scalp and the hair shaft that is visible above the skin. The follicle is a structure of the skin that produces hair growth, and according to the Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery, if that follicle is damaged then you can over time suffer from alopecia. The health of the hair follicle is very important when trying to achieve a healthy scalp along with healthy or long hair.
Some factors that damage the follicle and stops hair growth include:
Water plays an extremely important role in providing the follicles with blood and nutrients to facilitate hair growth. The daily water intake recommended by experts is 64 oz or 8 glasses of water. However, you should aim to drink as much as you can throughout the day to hydrate your body and hair. So drink up ladies!
Tension from tight hairstyles may remove the follicles from the scalp and cause damage. The damage varies from person to person, but tension can create permanent hair loss if the damage is severe.
Chemicals such as sodium hydroxide have the ability to damage the scalp and follicles severely and ultimately prevent hair growth. So be extremely careful when using any chemicals on the hair, so be sure to see a professional stylist for these treatments.
Unhealthy hair products
The scalp’s role in hair growth
Scalp skin can be viewed as a variant of normal skin in that it has an epidermis and dermis, but it also has a greater concentration of large, terminal hair follicles. The hair follicle has a growth cycle (anagen, catagen,and telogen phases) that can be altered by hormones, medications, diet, illness and many other factors. The health of the hair, scalp epidermis, and dermis is related to good nutrition and hair care products, which plays a major role in hair growth, hair shaft thickness, and the survival and growth of the hair shaft and follicles.
How to identify an unhealthy scalp
A healthy scalp is clean with clear pores, intact follicles, and good blood flow. The characteristics of an unhealthy scalp include:
Seborrheic Dermatitis (Dandruff)
Dandruff is usually caused by too much bacteria or yeast on the scalp which results in flakes and sometimes red sores and spots.
Excessively oily scalp
Stay tuned for my next post, I will be teaching you how you can promote scalp health and keep your scalp healthy for the long term.