A beautiful head of hair comes from a healthy scalp. Though there may be a few exceptions to this rule, this is generally how it goes. To have the hair and balanced scalp you want you may need?to review?a few things you have overlooked or never thought about. The key to how to treat scalp problems does not have to be as overwhelming as it may seem. We’ve broken down in detail before how to manage a scalp issues like hair loss, dandruff, eczema, psoriasis, seborrhea and lichen planus?but in case you missed it,?here’s eight possible reasons why your scalp is flaring up and their solutions for getting the balanced, healthy scalp you want.
#1: YOU STILL HAVE NOT SEEN YOUR DOCTOR
It’s important that you see a doctor, more specifically a Dermatologist, if you have scalp issues like dandruff, eczema, psoriasis, seborrhea and lichen planus. A dermatologist can examine your scalp and give you a proper diagnosis of your condition (dry scalp can often be confused for dandruff) as well as prescribe any medications you need to treat your condition. You may also have an autoimmune issue that is causing your scalp problems so it’s important to see a doctor.*
#2: YOU THOUGHT YOU HAD NO OTHER OPTIONS IF COULDN’T AFFORD TO SEE A DOCTOR
We realize that not everyone has the privilege of seeing a medical doctor especially if you don’t have insurance.* A much more affordable option to a medical doctor which is just as good and in some cases even better is to see a Trichologist. Though not medical doctors, Trichologists are trained hair and scalp specialists who can properly diagnose hair and scalp conditions including breakage, thinning and scalp conditions and apply the proper treatment. Prices we found for treatments around the country started around $40 per session depending on what’s being treated. In Los Angeles, our go to Trichologist is Dr. Kari Williams, PhD (Trichology). She’s also the Vice President of the California State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology. If you need to find a Trichologist in your area, you can start with a Yelp search and ask around to any hairstylists you may know. You could also call any local dermatologiet and ask them if they’d be willing to refer you to a Tricologist in the area as many Dermatologists work with Tricologists.
#3: YOU’RE STILL USING PRODUCTS THAT SEEM GOOD IN THEORY BUT ARE NOT SCALP FRIENDLY
Hair gels, mousse, hair spray, that new shampoo everyone is raving out. We know your pain. We love to try products too, but when you have a sensitive scalp, it is absolutely essential to have a regimen that works with your scalp and not against it. That does not mean that you can’t try products, it just means that you need to try them smarter – read your labels and find products that have a smaller chance of inflaming your scalp condition. You need to know your active ingredients as well as scalp friendly ingredients that will soothe your scalp and not inflame it. To figure out how to do that, start by reading our Scalp Health guides: 10 Effective Ways To Manage & Prevent Scalp Flare Ups | Scalp Health: Dandruff, Eczema And Dry Scalp | Scalp Health: Psoriasis, Seborrhea And Lichen Planus
#4: YOU STILL THINK ALL OILS ARE “NATURAL” SO THEY MUST BE OKAY TO PUT ON YOUR SCALP
This one is a biggie. Like Dr. Kari addressed before in our scalp series, if you have seborrhea also known as seborrheic dermatitis, you need to be specific in what oils you choose to use yon your hair. You’ll want to avoid most natural oils as they can cause your scalp to become worse and if you must use one, try tea tree or jojoba oil.
#5: YOU AVOID SCALP PRODUCTS BECAUSE YOU THINK THEY ARE “STINKY”, “GROSS” AND “MEDICINE-Y”
There are many ways you can treat your scalp while minimizing the use of smelly medicated products and the first way is to use all natural or all organic shampoos and conditioners. Most organic or natural-based products are chock full of healthy scalp friendly ingredients like honey, agave, shea butter, coconut and olive oil to name a few. Ingredients like these normally soothe your scalp versus synthetic ingredients that can inflame it. You should still use a medicated shampoo to treat flare ups but in between medicated treatments, using organic and natural-based products is also an option to maintain a healthy scalp. Scalp friendly brands we like are: Yarok Feed Your Volume Shampoo and Conditioner, Avalon Organics Rosemary Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner, Acure Organics Moroccan Argan Oil and Argan Stem Cell Shampoo and Conditioner, John Masters Zinc & Sage Shampoo with Conditioner, Intelligent Nutrients Harmonic Shampoo and Conditioner, Aterna Bamboo Abundant Volume Shampoo, Rahua Shampoo and Conditioner, Desert Essence Coconut Shampoo and Conditioner, Korres Laurel & Echinacea Shampoo for Dry Scalp and Dandruff and Juice Organics PomSmoooth Shampoo and Conditioner. Be sure to read the ingredients labels to decide which products would be best for both your scalp issue and hair texture.
Additionally, not all shampoos formulated to treat inflamed scalps are stinky. One of our favorite products, Jason Dandruff Relief 2-in-1 Shampoo & Conditioner, smells amazing and no one will be able to tell you used a medicated shampoo. Quite the opposite actually because they may want the shampoo for themselves for the smell alone.
#6: YOU DON’T WASH YOUR HAIR ENOUGH OR YOU’RE WASHING TOO MUCH
A clean, balanced scalp will help to keep your flare ups for occurring so often which will also lessen the tender scalp issue that you may have inadvertently also caused from scratching so much. Be sure to pay attention to when your scalp is at it’s healthiest and work around that. If that means you need to wash twice a week, and apply a scalp treatment once a week, then wash twice a week. No need to try to keep up with how often other curly haired women are washing (often once a week) if your scalp pays for it in the end.
#7: YOU ARE SUPER STRESSED OUT
Yes, it is absolutely true that stress can cause your scalp to flare up. We’ve covered it before but just in case, here is a refresher on why this happens and what you can do about it: What Is The Connection Between Stress And Hair Loss In Women?
#8: YOUR DIET IS NOT HEALTHY
Having a diet high in healthy protein ? both meat and vegan based, complex carbohydrates, fatty acids and essential vitamins is vital to a healthy scalp. Seek out the advice of a nutritionist for optimizing your daily foods. If you cannot afford a nutritionist try a DIY approach. Go to your local library or book store** and ask the librarian to help you find books on eating organic and or healthy foods. Also, often if a library does not have a book or can’t get it on loan from another sister library, they will actually order it for you. A few books we recommend to get started are: Eat to Live, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto and The Honest Life: Living Naturally and True to You.
*Open Enrollment for Obamacare for 2015 health insurance coverage is proposed to begin November 15th. Learn more about Obamacare at HealthCare.gov.
**If you find a book that you want in the book store, write the name if it down and ask your local library if they carry it.