Are you struggling with an itchy, flaky scalp and wondering what could be causing it? There are many possible reasons, some beyond your control, like genetics, and others within your control, like your hair care routine.
To help you get your hair care routine right, our scalp specialists have compiled common mistakes people make when tending to their hair. Avoid these mistakes and you should be able to improve your hair health.
Your scalp produces natural oils that keep your hair and scalp moisturised and healthy. When you wash your hair too frequently, you strip away these oils, leaving your scalp dry and vulnerable to damage.
Over time, excessive washing can also disrupt the natural pH balance of your scalp, leading to irritation, inflammation, and even dandruff.
So, how often should you wash your hair? It depends on your hair type and lifestyle, but generally, it’s recommended to wash your hair every two to three days.
Using harsh shampoos and hair care products
Harsh shampoos often contain sulphates, powerful detergents that can strip away your scalp’s natural oils, leaving it dry and prone to irritation. This can lead to itchiness, flakiness, and dandruff.
Additionally, many hair care products contain alcohol and other harsh chemicals that can further dry out your scalp and damage hair follicles, leading to hair loss, breakage and bald patches.
So, it’s important to choose hair care products that are gentle and nourishing. Look for products that contain natural ingredients like aloe vera, chamomile and tea tree oil, which can soothe and hydrate your scalp.
Such ingredients can also benefit you in other ways. A Royal Prince Alfred Hospital study found, for instance, that people who used shampoos containing 5% of tea tree oil reported a 41% improvement in their dandruff condition.
Overexposure to heat
When exposed to excessive heat, from the sun or hot styling tools, your scalp can become irritated and prone to dandruff. Your hair can also become dry and brittle, leading to breakage and split ends.
If you’re spending time in the sun, it’s important to protect your scalp from UV rays by wearing a hat or sunscreen. When using hot styling tools, avoid the highest heat setting and apply a heat protectant spray to your hair.
Tight buns and hairstyles
Wearing tight buns, braids, or ponytails puts tension on your scalp, which can cause your hair follicles to become inflamed. This can lead to a condition called traction alopecia, which is characterised by hair loss around the hairline and temples.
Tight hairstyles can also cause damage to the hair shaft, leading to breakage and split ends. This can make your hair appear thinner and more brittle over time. Consider wearing your hair down once in a while to protect your scalp.
Brushing wet hair
When your hair is wet, it’s in its most vulnerable state. The hair shaft is more fragile and prone to damage. Brushing wet hair can cause the hair shaft to stretch and break, leading to split ends.
Try using a wide-tooth comb or a brush specifically designed for wet hair to gently detangle your hair, starting at the ends and working your way up to the roots.
Not drinking enough water
The human body consists of 60% water and getting enough of it is essential so that your body can function properly. Without water, dehydration sets in, leading to not only dry mouth or throat itchiness but also poor hair and scalp health. A dehydrated scalp can lead to itchiness, flakiness, and dandruff.
So, make sure you hydrate yourself sufficiently to keep your hair healthy.
Not getting enough sleep
The average sleep time for most Singaporeans is 6.4 hours, which is below the 7-9 hours recommended by the National Sleep Foundation.
Lack of sleep affects not only your ability to do daily tasks but the health of your hair and scalp. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body produces more stress hormones, such as cortisol, which can cause inflammation and damage your scalp. You could also end up with hair conditions like dandruff and hair loss.
Looking for a scalp specialist in Singapore?
Avoiding the seven common hair care mistakes mentioned above is important in keeping your scalp healthy. However, if you’ve already experienced hair damage and tried various home remedies to no avail, it could be time to see professional treatment.
TrichoLab is a scalp specialist based in Singapore.We have various scalp treatments designed to address issues like dandruff, dryness and inflammation. Our team of experts will analyse your scalp and recommend the best course of action to restore its health.