Never had much of a scalp care routine before? You’re not alone. So many of us were never taught that it’s not just our hair that needs care and attention, but our scalps too!
But if beauty magazine articles and Googling “scalp care” left you feeling too overwhelmed to start, don’t worry! We gotchu. We developed the #ScalpCheckChallenge just for you.
The #ScalpCheckChallenge is 7 days of 1-step healthy hair habits to help you ease into a scalp care routine that keeps you, your hair, and your scalp comfortable, happy, and absolutely gorgeous.
We’ve got a theme for each day, some information, and suggestions- but it’s up to you to find the best way to make it part of your regular routine! Remember, you’re most likely to form new habits that are fun and easy for you, so get creative on how you want to adopt each theme.
Day 1: Use a Gentle, Nourishing Scalp Serum To Improve Scalp Health
Life is so much better with a healthy scalp!
Dry scalps are also usually itchy scalps. And it’s super hard not to scratch an itchy scalp! But scratching can tear at your strands and skin, which could leave you with irritation, infection, and/or frizz.
Soooo many things can dry out your scalp from washing too frequently, to dry weather, to bleaching, dying, perming, or too much heat styling. But, don’t assume you’re doomed to a dry, itchy scalp! That’s where a good scalp serum comes in.
On Day 1 of the #ScalpCheckChallenge, get yourself a good scalp serum and use it to soothe your scalp!
You’re going to want to look for a gentle formula- natural ingredients are best. You want the serum to moisturize the skin of the scalp and deliver concentrated, hair-growth-friendly nutrients right to the root of the hair follicles. You can’t do better than Root22Serum, our all-natural scalp serum renowned for saving edges across the globe.
To apply, separate your hair with a comb or your fingers and apply the serum directly to the scalp all over the scalp (not just areas where you have thinning). Use the rollerball applicator to apply the serum in a circular motion, massaging the serum into the scalp.
How often should you apply Root22Serum? We recommend:
- 2-3 times a week for kids and young adults with healthy hair
- 3-5 times a week for maintenance for people who are middle-aged or older
- 4-7 times a week to promote hair growth, repair damages, or treat scalp conditions (*consult your doctor before use)
Day 2: Address Any Flaking
On Day 2 of the #ScalpCheckChallenge, carefully check your scalp for signs of flaking and make a plan for how you’ll remedy it if you notice any.
Flaking is one of the most common scalp complaints- so don’t be embarrassed if you’re noticing some flakes. However, it is important you address the cause of those flakes in order to keep both your scalp and your hair healthy!
Sometimes flakes are dandruff, sometimes they’re just from dry scalp, sometimes there is a fungus amongus, sometimes it could be a skin condition like eczema, or an autoimmune disease like psoriasis, or something else entirely.
Different causes require different treatments, so you’ll want to talk to your dermatologist to properly address your flaking if you have a stubborn case that won’t go away with over-the-counter treatments.
But, here’s a quick rundown on the difference between dandruff flakes and dry scalp flakes and how to remedy them.
Dandruff flakes are usually large, oily, yellow or white flakes. Dandruff is associated with too much oil on your scalp and often involves an overgrowth of a naturally occurring yeast on your skin called Malassezia. This overgrowth can be triggered by hormones, age, stress, other health conditions, or nutritional deficiencies.
You can usually clear up your dandruff flakes with an over-the-counter dandruff shampoo like Head & Shoulders.
Definitely head to the dermatologist if dandruff shampoo hasn’t resolved your flakes within 30 days, or if using a dandruff shampoo is making your scalp feel worse.
Dry scalp happens when your skin is not getting enough moisture. This can happen when you’re in a dry climate, when you’re using hair care products that strip the natural oils from your scalp, or when your skin is having a reaction to the products you are using.
To clear up dry scalp flakes, it’s important to keep your scalp hydrated and moisturized. Don’t shampoo more than once a week, use Root22 or another nourishing scalp serum daily, and only use natural products with gentle ingredients on your hair so that you don’t strip your scalp of its protective oils.
Day 3: De-Stress
On Day 3, we use scalp care as self care to promote healthy hair growth and good mental health.
Did you know that what is probably the second most commonly diagnosed cause of hair loss, telogen effluvium, can be triggered by stress?
This type of hair loss can happen to people of all ages and genders after a major shock to the system. Hormonal changes from pregnancy or stressful incidents like car crashes, surgery, or extreme dieting are thought to trigger short-term telogen effluvium. Certain medications and nutrient deficiencies may also be triggers. Prolonged stressors like chronic illness may lead to more persistent telogen effluvium.
This type of stress-related hair loss often appears as balding patches near the top of the scalp. Though it rarely causes people to lose all of their hair, in some extreme cases, hair thinning may occur on other parts of the body like your eyebrows or bikini area.
Luckily, telogen effluvium is reversible since it doesn’t permanently damage the hair follicles. Treatment varies depending on what triggered the condition. So, if stress was a trigger, stress reduction is a treatment.
Not to mention, stress may even trigger bouts of dandruff or make them worse!
That’s why it’s a good idea to make sure your scalp care routine is enjoyable and relaxing.
Using hair products with relaxing scents and skin-calming ingredients like lavender is a great way to incorporate a de-stressing ritual into your scalp care routine.
Scalp massage is also a fabulous way to stimulate scalp circulation, relax the muscles in your head, face, and neck, and release tension.
Day 4: Go Sulfate & Paraben-Free
On Day 4 of the #ScalpCheckChallenge, it’s time to throw out the hair care products that could be drying out and irritating our scalps. They do not spark joy.
Two common ingredients in hair care products that you want to watch out for are parabens and sulfates.
Parabens, often used as preservatives in cosmetic products, have shown some evidence of being harmful to humans, perhaps even carcinogenic. (Some types of parabens have even been banned in personal care products in California and the European Union!)
Sulfates are a type of salt often included in hair care products to produce a lather for cleansing the scalp. The problem is, hair products heavy in sulfates may strip the scalp of healthy natural oils. They can irritate and dry out the scalp and cause frizzy hair in people with sensitive skin or dyed or chemically treated hair.
Day 5: Eat a Hair Healthy Diet
So, on Day 5 of the #ScalpCheckChallenge, it’s time to add some nutrient-rich foods to your grocery list and incorporate them into at least one of your meals that day.
Don’t worry, you can find hair healthy foods at your local grocery store. They're the same foods that are healthy for the rest of your body! No need to fast or start restricting, just strive to eat an overall balanced diet.
“I want people to consider eating healthy as a lifestyle like your scalp care routine,” says Vigor Roots CEO Nathalee DuRose. “Some days you won’t eat healthy, and that’s fine- but follow an 80/20 rule where you make sure most of what goes into your body and on your scalp is healthy stuff.”
If the other 20% is pizza? We won’t judge.
If you’d like some ideas for hair-healthy foods to add to your grocery list and our delicious Vigor Roots Juice Recipes, check out our blog post all about how diet affects your hair.
Day 6: Give Your Hair a Break from Heat Styling
“The heat literally fries your hair,” says DuRose. “Too much heat will make the ends weaker, and weak ends break. You want to limit your heat exposure to maintain healthy hair.”
So, on Day 6 of the #ScalpCheckChallenge, give your hair at least one day off from heat styling (preferably more). Let it air dry. Rock your natural texture. Notice if there is any difference in how your scalp feels. If so, consider giving your hair regular breaks from heat styling.
And, when you do heat style, see how you can limit your hair’s exposure to high heat. Use a heat protectant. Turn the temperature down on your styling tools. Only partially blow dry and let the air take care of the rest.
Day 7: Massage Your Scalp
Remember how we mentioned scalp massage was a great way to relax the mind and body? Well, it really is. And it promotes healthy circulation of the scalp- which may help protect against hair loss.
So, since you’ve made it all the way to Day 7 of the #ScalpCheckChallenge, the last day is a real treat. It’s scalp massage day!
If you can’t make it to the spa and your significant other won’t oblige, don’t worry. You can give yourself a fantastic scalp massage on your own! Just grab your Root22Serum, and check out our blog post on scalp massage to perfect your technique.
Voilà! Now You Have a Healthy Scalp Care Routine!
Easy-peasy, right? If you made it to the end of this challenge, your scalp is probably feeling pretty good right about now. And go ahead and be proud of yourself sis, you look AMAZING.
We hope you’ll carry what you learned during this #ScalpCheckChallenge forward into a gorgeous future of shiny, luxurious hair and healthy, comfortable scalps.
If you take the #ScalpCheckChallenge, post about it with this hashtag and tag @vigorroots on social media! We love to see it- and we just might slide into your DMs with a secret discount code just to make your day. Remember to repeat the #ScalpCheckChallenge whenever you need to get back into the swing of a healthy scalp care routine.