Everyone wants beautiful hair, and the only way to achieve this is to make sure that you have a fresh and healthy scalp from which it can grow. Your scalp is an extension of the skin on your face and as such should be looked after in the same way. It is important to keep your scalp clean, moisturised, and stimulated in order for your hair to grow out healthy and strong.
Did you know that your skin is the largest organ of your body? During winter, when the weather is cold we expose our skin to dramatic temperature changes. When inside we are cosy and warm, but when we step out, it’s freezing!! These fluctuating temperatures cause havoc with the PH balance of our skin and scalp and as result they become dry, dehydrated and begin to flake. Not a good look!!
Dry scalp can also be triggered by a number of factors. A change in diet or medication can have a negative effect, as can age. As we get older, our bodies are not as productive at distributing nutrients to non-vital organs and as a result our skin and scalp take a hit. Another cause can be a reaction to heavy products like styling gels and sprays that coat the skin, blocking the follicle wells from which our hair grows.
While we can’t stop the aging process we can be more selective with the products we choose to use. Make sure to check all the ingredients in your products to confirm that there is nothing that will cause build-up or irritate your skin/scalp to make it worse. If you are not sure what ingredients to trust, you can always consult a third-party website that lists potentially toxic ingredients. We like the non-profit Green Salon in Denmark where all our products appear on their Green List, ensuring they are safest available for you and the environment.
Luckily, there are many things we can do to get a sound scalp. Here are my 5 best tips to keep the pores on your scalp clear and healthy.
1. Use the right shampoo
If you have a dry scalp, make sure to select a gentle shampoo without any harsh surfactant chemicals. Surfactant is the detergent ingredient that does the cleaning work, however like in other cleaning products, these can be very harsh and strip all the healthy natural oils that keep your scalp protected and your hair flexible. This probably means avoiding shampoos that you can find in supermarkets, as the ingredients tend to be cheaper and less refined.
If you have an itchy or flaky scalp and your skin is generally dry all over, you probably don’t need an anti-dandruff shampoo. These can also be very harsh and while appearing to make an initial improvement, can actually make the situation worse in the long run.
Actual dandruff flakes (called seborrheic dermatitis) are big and caused by excessive oil building up on the scalp. That excess of oil causes skin cells to build up, clog the pores and then shed off in big pieces. If you experience this, then we suggest contacting a skin specialist immediately for a professional consultation before reaching for a dandruff shampoo.
I generally recommend using a shampoo that is slightly acidic to reflect the natural oils on your scalp (typically at a pH of 4.5 to 5.5). Look for mildly acidic ingredients like sodium citrate or citric acid that indicate your shampoo has been balanced to preserve the naturally acidic pH of your scalp.
We recommend Vital Cleanse Shampoo for a healthy scalp in winter.
Vital Cleanse shampoo
Richly moisturising and colour protecting shampoo designed to gently cleanse and rehydrate. Suitable for: colour treated, highlighted, dry, curly or frizzy hair. Give energy to dry, brittle hair: Cleanse and moisturise with this thick, creamy shampoo. Rehydrate thirsty hair:… Read More
2. Massage your scalp
Massage has a surprising number of health benefits, and have been practised by Eastern cultures over the centuries to treat people struggling with scalp issues. Giving yourself a good scalp massage leads to a healthy scalp. Promoting the flow of blood to the area encourages good hair growth, soothing your nerves and relaxing the muscles in the brain. Improving the blood circulation of your scalp feeds the follicle at the root where the hair is born. A lack of good circulation is a major contributing factor to hair loss.
Invest in a silicone massage brush or just use your hands. Add a little hair conditioner to moisturise and start by applying gentle pressure, moving your fingers in a circular motion. Slowly increase the pressure, then spread your fingers wider so that you can massage your entire head. I try to do this at least once a day. (I often convince Anders to do it for me while watching Netflix before bed at night – lucky me!)
Your scalp, just like the skin on the rest of your body, needs regular moisture to stay supple and well-toned. Treating your whole head with a good conditioner or mask and leaving it in for a few minutes before you rinse, is an obvious solution. Be careful not to use products loaded with silicone. They will give you the feeling that you're adding moisture, however the molecular structure of silicone is larger than that of natural plant based oils and they are not designed to absorb into the skin. Instead, they add a lubricating barrier that can prevent real moisture from entering the skin cells, which only exacerbates the problem of dehydration. Therefore we only use sunflower seed oil in our conditioners to ensure that the ingredient absorbs completely into the hair and scalp.
We recommend Vital Rinse conditioner for a healthy scalp.
275.00 SEK Moisturising conditioner to leave your hair soft, flexible and hydrated without any residue. Suitable for: Dry, damaged, curly or frizzy hair, split ends. Soft and tangle-free: Moisturise and restore your hair without any heavy or greasy residue! More flexibility… Read More
Vital Rinse conditioner
Moisturising conditioner to leave your hair soft, flexible and hydrated without any residue. Suitable for: Dry, damaged, curly or frizzy hair, split ends. Soft and tangle-free: Moisturise and restore your hair without any heavy or greasy residue! More flexibility… Read More
4. Less wash and cooler rinse
There is no strict rule here – just wash as often as your hair really needs it, no more. Excessive shampooing can strip natural oils from your scalp, causing it to become dry, and your hair brittle. The same goes for very hot water, so try to have it just warm enough.
To keep your hair fresh and healthy between washes, use a conditioning dry shampoo that refreshes the hair without leaving a starchy residue. Many dry shampoos use coarse powdery ingredients that can build up on the scalp, blocking the pores and absorbing all the natural oils that you actually need to prevent the flaking. Try not to spray the product directly onto the scalp, rather just through the hair while lightly shaking it with your fingers.
We offer a choice of 2 dry shampoo formulas.
Clean Mousse as a fast-drying foam
Clean Mousse dry shampoo
Refreshing dry shampoo mousse that dries immediately for a clean finish. Instantly fresh hair: Revitalise your hair with this new cleaning and conditioning mousse. Feel and smell clean all day!Lasts all day: Dries immediately and absorbs oil and dirt for… Read More
Invisible Cleanse as a conditioning dry spray
Invisible Cleanse dry shampoo
Transparent, conditioning dry shampoo spray without powdery brittle residue. Instantly fresh hair: Revitalise your hair with this cleaning and conditioning spray. Feel and smell clean all day! Easy to apply: Just spray though your hair for a lasting… Read More
5. Balance your diet
For the best hair and scalp possible, incorporate healthy foods into your diet. Think lean proteins, healthy fats, and dark green vegetables. A daily boost of Omega-3s (readily found in fish oils, nuts and chia seeds) can help provide your skin with much needed moisture from the inside and improve the overall quality and suppleness of your skin. Of course, Omega 3s can also be taken in a supplement form if you are not sure that you are getting enough in your diet (which is quite often the case.) Stay away from processed foods and anything deep fried.
Treat yourself with a small piece of dark chocolate while getting that head massage instead!
Founder and Creative Director
All Martinsson King products are 100% vegan and eco-friendly, made in Sweden and recommended by the non-profit Green Salon™.