Just like our skin, our hair and scalp requires equally much attention. Similar to skin care, hair care routines also focus on hydrating, nourishing and cleansing.
An important thing to note is that our hair and scalp requires 2 different regimes. Our scalp has a skin-like structure whereas the hairs are held at its roots to the scalp by hair follicles.
Thus, the mantra throughout this post is that a healthy scalp supports the growth of healthy and shiny hair. The concept is same as skincare, a good foundation would provide a good base structure to build on.
Below are 10 types of products that could help you achieve healthier and shinier hair!
1. Scalp Cleansers (Scalp scaler)
To grow and maintain healthy hair, our scalp follicles need to be clean and exfoliated. Scalp cleansers (scalp scalers) do just the job in exfoliating our scalps. Scalp cleansers are salicylic acid based treatments that helps cleanse our scalp like a oil cleanser would for our skin. It contains exfoliant that removes dirt, oil and dead skin build ups. This prevents clogged hair follicles that can result in scalp with pimples, itchy scalp and other problems.
You may think "doesn't shampoo cleanse our hair already?", well applying a scalp cleanser before shampoo would help to create a clean scalp foundation. With a healthier scalp, hair is less prone to frizz and breakage. This would ultimately contribute to fuller, shinier and healthier growth of hair!
Similarly, scalp treatment such as Kymo, Aqua Punch Treatment (available at Korean Hair Salons in Singapore) also cleanses the scalp of impurities.
Next, an all too familiar product - the Shampoo. Shampoo is pretty much a need as it cleans our hair of dirt and impurities. It also helps to open up hair follicles for later parts in a hair care regime (e.g. applying conditioner). As such, a good shampoo sets a base for building on other products later.
In Singapore's humid and hot climate it is recommended to shampoo every day. Use a gentle or organic shampoo if you are afraid of making the hair too dry.
We recommend the following nourishing and moisturising shampoo below.
SanDaWha, Camellia Moisturizing Soothing Shampoo, $57.98
Image via Beautytap
Naturia, Keratin Organic Shampoo, $56
Conditioning of the hair is important and should not be skipped after shampooing! Quoted from Dove "All hair needs conditioner" Conditioning will help to close the hair cuticles to keep hair smooth, while de-tangling hair at the same time.
A conditioner mostly acts protects the hair, nourishes and seals the nutrients to a certian extend but is not able to repair most damages done to the hair. Thus, masks and treatments should still be a regular part of the hair care regimen.
Application: Apply conditioner only to hair strands and not too near the scalp as it can clog the follicles, this is especially so if you have oily hair. Apply on damp hair not wet hair. A wide-toothed comb will help cover the hair evenly.
4. Hair Mask
Blow drying, colouring, straightening and just some of the many ways to damage our hair. When our hair cuticles become weak, hair starts to fall or break.
The differences between a hair mask and a hair conditioner is that a hair masks contain more active. It provides deep hair treatments to strengthen hair so it stays healthy. This includes rehydrating dry hair, treating damaged hair, restoring health and softness to the hair. Having less entangled strands would mean less breakage and hair fall.
In short, a hair conditioner is used to condition hair to bring the hair back to its proper state. Whereas a hair mask nourishes the hair!
Application: Use a hair mask once a week (you may skip conditioning that day). Apply on damp hair for roughly 20mins before rinsing off. Some mask may require you to apply on dry hair.
As mentioned by Lorna Casse, a hair care consultant, on Hair Momentum it is best not to use a hair mask every day "you run the risk of getting build-up issues from all the ingredients that deposit at a time". Some times more isn't more!
Skinfood, Argan Oil Repair Plus Treatment Mask, $15
Image via Masksheets
Starskin, Coco-Nuts™ Nourishing Hot Oil Hair Mask, $16 (Pre-Shampoo Hair Mask)
Image via Sephora
5. Vinegar Rinse
Some times we may use products that may disrupt our scalp’s pH level. Maintaining the right pH levels for scalp is critical in preventing dryness, itchiness, dandruff and excessive oil. This happens because our scalp becomes a breeding ground for harmful germs and bacteria.
A light vinegar rinse will help to balance your scalp’s ideal pH level 4.5 - 5.5 as it seals and repairs our hair cuticles.
Application: Once a week, after Shampoo and conditioner, message and leave on hair for 1-3 minutes and rinse off. Mix with water before applying to dilute the vinegar if you find the scent too strong.
6. Scalp Mask
As mentioned before earlier in the post, the hair and scalp works in different ways and requires different formulated products. Our scalps are sensitive and are usually drier than our hair. Scalp masks moisturises and nourishes the scalp which would eventually promote healthy hair growth.
Here are some fun DIY Scalp Mask you could try.
Application: Once a week, use after shampoo and apply on scalp. Rinse off after 10-15 minutes or as instructed on label.
Nature Republic, Natural Olive Scalp Cooling Hair Pack, $13.40
Image via Roseroseshop
7. Scalp Tonic
A scalp tonic is used to balance the pH levels promoting a healthier scalp. Massage the hair tonic on the scalp, combined this would stimulate blood circulation in the hair follicles and encourage growth of thicker and healthier hair.
Application: After a shower, spray tonic over scalp and massage. There is no need to dry or rinse just like a facial toner.
Image via YeeStyle
Chanamu, Tea Tree Scalp Multivitamin Treatment, $68
8. Scalp Serum/ Scalp Essence
Similar to skincare routines, a scalp serum repairs, hydrates and heals the scalp. This is especially effective with dry and oily scalp. That being said, a dry scalp would require a more hydrating scalp serum while a oilier scalp would require a more lightweight oil free serum.
Application: Spread and massage the serum over the scalp homogeneously. There is no need to rinse the hair.
SHISEIDO Tsubaki, Scalp Serum, $18.90
Image via Watashi Plus by Shiseido Singapore
9. Leave-in Treatment
A leave-in treatment is a product that is used to help repair and maintain the hair. It protects the hair from UV rays and other environmental factors and heat from styling. A good leave in conditioning treatment enhances the hair softness, assists in detangling and smoothing the cuticles. Giving your hair a silky and healthy look.
Leave in treatments also adds body to thin or fine hair and makes it easier to style coarse or brittle hair.
Some people use this instead of a hair serum as it is believed that hair serums coat the hair to give it a shine but does not actually have actual benefits to the hair. - Let's leave this topic on hold for now.
Application: Apply on towel-dry hair. Some leave-in treatments may be applied to the root portion of the hair or even the scalp. Read the instructions of your product before doing so.
10. Overnight Treatment
If you’re feeling lazy, op for an overnight hair mask! It nourishes, strengthens, repairs and conditions your hair as you sleep. Like a deep conditioner. Use a wide-toothed comb for even application. Here are some tips for overnight treatments by Marie Claire.
Application: It is recommended to do this once or twice a week. Apply after applying all serums and essences, hair should be semi dry. Wrap hair in towel or use a shower cap before going to bed.
Living Proof, Perfect hair Day (PhD) Night Cap Overnight, $39
Image via Sephora
Tony Moly, Haeyo Zayo Hair Sleep Pack, $13.32
Image via IRecommend.ru
With the above benefits of each product type listed, it is also fundamental that you find products that suit the needs of your hair and scalp. Application from product to product may vary, so we cannot place more emphasis on reading the product labels.
The underlying tone is to not neglect scalp care! Our scalps are as important as our hair.
Healthy scalp = Healthy hair!
We hoped this article help bring light to some of the products that may be useful for your hair and scalp needs.
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