Style/ Beauty

Scalp Care: A Scan Revealed The Common Mistakes People Make When Looking After Their Hair

Looking through the lens all I can see is a sea of white that looks like the scaly bottom of my kettle. What I’m actually looking at is my scalp. Scratch that, it should be my scalp but as not much of it is peaking through it’s more of a sludgy affair – somewhere fish might go to forage, perhaps. Needless to say, it’s put me off my sushi lunch.

It’s no secret that scalp care is the new skincare and rightfully so, as the skin north of your forehead suffers from the same issues – spots, sensitivity and oiliness – as your face. Not only that, but getting to the root of things – literally – can improve both the health and growth of your hair strands.

It seems everyone is jumping on the trend with luxe brands such as Augustinus Bader and Dr Barbara Sturm launching scalp treatments that rival facial serums they’re so high-tech. While new collections from Kérastase and Aveda focus on relieving the symptoms of dandruff.

But today, I’m in the chair with Act + Acre, a cult scalp care brand that first launched in the US in 2019 with an 18,000+ person wait list for its Cold Processed Stem Cell Serum after selling out. Its mission is to take hair care into the wellness space and at its helm is Helen Reavey, a hairstylist turned trichologist, who used to be part of Sam McKnight’s elite backstage squad at Fashion Week.

“I want scalp to have its own category,” Helen says. “It’s a natural progression as the scalp is an extension of your face and ages six times faster from exposure to heat and the elements, and the fact that we don’t do anything to care for it.”

What causes an unhealthy scalp?

Scalp health impacts hair health, Helen explains. “50% of people before the age of 40 have some type of hair loss, while one in two suffer from some type of scalp issue. If your hair is dull, lifeless, it gets oily or you feel like you can’t style it and it won’t even hold a curl – all those common things come from product build up and not taking care of the scalp.”

When the scalp is thrown out of balance, it has a domino effect. Perhaps your hair never feels really clean or maybe your scalp is so dry, it has entered into snowflake territory. “The goal is to get the scalp to homeostasis, where there is a balance between good and bad bacteria to avoid itchiness and various inflammatory responses,” Helen adds.

How can I improve my scalp health?

The easy answer: “It’s crucial to keep the scalp really clean when new hair is coming through as you want it to have the best environment; for the circulation to be good so it’s pumping blood to the hair follicle and delivering nutrients,” Helen notes. “If you don’t, pollution and product build up will get in the way and hair regrowth will come through finer.”

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