Healthy Hair, Healthy Scalp
By now, we all know that skin care is important–including how we do it and what we use. Now similar attention is being paid to taking care of your hair and scalp. It’s sometimes referred to as the 'skinification' of hair, and it is well underway, treating hair and scalp with the same type of care, efficacious ingredients and performance driven formulas you use for face and body. After all, just like your face, hair and scalp get dry, brittle, itchy, oily, clogged and need just as much TLC.
How is Scalp Skin Different?
In order to talk about hair, we need to talk about a healthy scalp. There are two big differences between your scalp and the rest of your skin: Scalp skin is some of the thickest skin of the body, and it carries more blood vessels than the rest of your skin. Your scalp also contains many sebaceous glands, which produce oil, or sebum, that protects hair.
Sebum helps to protect and moisturize your hair and your scalp by forming a protective barrier. Without getting too scientific, sebum production is regulated by hormones called androgens, such as testosterone. Men experience an increase in sebum production around puberty.
Because of the abundance of sebaceous glands, it's important to clean your scalp thoroughly. If oil builds up, you can end up with clogged hair follicles, an itchy scalp, or dandruff. Dandruff is caused by bacteria that get trapped in the oil and produce fatty acids that cause itching and swelling. This causes the skin cells on your scalp to replenish more frequently, and flakes of dead skin can get caught in your hair and fall to your shoulders.
It should also be noted that differences in genetics, hormones, environment, lifestyle, and more can affect your hair and scalp.
So, What Exactly is Hair?
Hair is made of a tough protein called keratin. A hair follicle anchors each hair into the scalp skin–we average around 100,000 hair follicles. Blood vessels nourish the root of the hair in the follicle, and deliver hormones that modify hair growth and structure at different times of life. But once the hair is at the skin's surface, the cells within the strand of hair aren't alive anymore. Each strand of hair we see has an outer cuticle made up of layers. If these layers are damaged- from friction, heat or harsh chemicals, they become raised- leaving cracks in its exterior. Once cracked, the cuticle lifts (or opens up), causing your hair to look dull, dry, frizzy, or brittle, while also making it more prone to damage and breakage.
How We Can Help
Our goal, and the goal of healthy hair and healthy scalp, is to help restore, repair, renew, and replenish.
Huron Wash & Strengthen Shampoo
Specially formulated hair cleansers work the same way as face washes–by gently removing impurities while moisturizing your scalp and strengthening your strands. A rich lather helps to remove any pollution, oil and dirty buildup. And just like we want to keep our skin nourished with oils and vitamins, our Shampoo does the same for your hair and scalp.
Our sulfate-free and alcohol-free Shampoo contains Vitamin E, an antioxidant that fights free radical damage, as well as Panthenol (Provitamin B5), which helps improve hair’s moisture retention and flexibility. Argan Oil and Glycerin in the Shampoo are both plant-derived ingredients that help attract and seal moisture to the hair, and restore smoothness, shine and softness.
Huron Smooth & Nourish Conditioner
Much like how face moisturizers and oils deliver and seal in moisture, hair moisturizers provide root-to-tip nourishment for a shinier, more manageable mane. By maintaining the cuticle of your hair, those layers we were talking about will help add extra shine to your hair by reflecting light. Our Conditioner nourishes the hair and scalp, helping to rehydrate and repair dry, damaged hair.
We’ve included Biotin (Vitamin B7) to help increase elasticity and strength. Healthy hair is much more elastic, making it easier to style. (Things like heat damage from blow drying can also contribute to damaged hair and decreased elasticity.) Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein in our Conditioner penetrates the hair to repair damage as it thickens and adds volume to thinning hair. To help with hydration and moisturization, we included Argan Oil and Shea Butter, which are both rich in Vitamin E.
Huron Define & Hold Hair Gel + Condition & Light Hold Hair Styler
The same way we add extra serums, oils and creams to our faces, we do the same to our hair with styler and gel. Our lightweight hair gel has a built-in protective layer to help fight off humidity. It also works to fortify, strengthen and add fullness to your hair. Our cream-based styler conditions hair, helping to restore moisture and elasticity. And similar to the gel, the styler strengthens hair and smoothes out frizz and dryness.
Natural plant extracts like Mallow Flower and Burdock Root in our Hair Gel help soften hair and improve elasticity while fortifying and strengthening your hair cuticles. Rice Protein significantly increases hair volume, and along with Sunflower Seed Oil, adds a natural shine to your hair.
Coconut Oil and Glycerin in the Hair Styler are both natural humectants that work to balance moisture and restore hair’s smoothness. It also contains an Amino Acid Blend that increases hair strength and elasticity while reducing frizz.
Hair Care and Styling Pro Tips
Aside from using premium products with great ingredients, there are other ways you can help take care of your scalp and hair.
1. Switch from a hot shower to a lukewarm shower
Hot showers can actually strip the oils from your hair and scalp, drying them out. If you’re experiencing dryness or in a cold, dry climate, try switching to a lukewarm shower to preserve those natural oils.
2. Shampoo and condition appropriately
For your Shampoo, make sure to work the lather into your roots. You don’t really need to Shampoo the tips of your hair–that’s what your Conditioner is for. When using your Conditioner, be careful of applying too much directly to the scalp, and focus instead on the ends.
3. Massage your scalp
Massaging your Shampoo into your scalp really helps the lather to penetrate any dirt or oil buildup. Additionally, massaging your scalp helps stimulate blood flow, which can help with thinning hair and hair growth. (There’s a reason your barber does this, it’s not just for relaxation.)
4. Consider co-washing
If you have dry, wavy or curly, color treated, and/or coarse hair, co-washing might be a good option for you. Co-washing simply means using conditioner in place of shampoo for a deeper moisturization and cleanse. Instead of using shampoo, use a generous amount of conditioner and really work it into your scalp. Then, use conditioner a second time as you normally would. This is especially helpful in the summer when we tend to both sweat more and wash our hair more.
5. Protect your scalp from the sun
Wearing a hat when out in the sun for prolonged periods, or using a product with UV protection, can prevent you from getting a sunburn on your scalp. Which, to us, sounds like one of the top three worst places to get a sunburn.
The Bottom Line
Hopefully this helps you to better understand your hair and scalp, and the importance of keeping them healthy. Just like skincare, scalp and hair care doesn’t have to be complicated. Find good products that work for your hair type and address any concerns you may have. (And keep in mind that many factors like genetics, environment and lifestyle affect your hair and scalp, too.) A simple routine and habitual care and application can make a world of difference in ensuring that your scalp and hair are as pristine as they can be.