Your hair should make you look and feel like the best version of yourself. But sometimes this can be compromised by itchy, sore or irritated skin. Fortunately, a good conditioner for sensitive scalp can make an effective (and relaxing) treatment.
With 44% of the public reporting a sensitive or tender scalp, you’re not alone in this; there is a market for a natural alternative that doesn’t have us reaching to itch. From hair masks, to protecting your scalp from direct sunlight, there are many options available to keep your tresses thriving.
However, these have different uses, and applications, so it’s essential to make sure your solution suits your hair care routine.
What causes a sensitive scalp?
Various things in your life can trigger a sensitive scalp. Skin conditions such as eczema, folliculitis, and psoriasis might be the cause of soreness and sensitive skin But so can mental health conditions such as stress, anxiety and depression.
These conditions can lead to muscle tension, which, when concentrated on the scalp, could lead to it being more sensitive, making it imperative to look after your head in more ways than one.
Your skin may also be sensitive to harsh chemicals in your current products such as sulphates, PPD and ammonia. This is why choosing the right conditioner for sensitive skin can be the answer to your problems.
Are there other causes of scalp pain?
There are some external causes of scalp pain too. It’s hard to get sun lotion under the hair, and exposure to too much heat could cause sun damage that sets off a sensitive scalp. City-dwellers tend to need to wash their hair more often because of polluted air, which can also affect your scalp’s general health.
When you add these factors to any health-related scalp issues, you will have to take added precautions with your treatments.
The root of the problem
We’ve talked about some of the potential causes of sensitive and sore scalps, but how else can we understand hair health? Well, as a general rule you should aim to protect your hair from allergens, excess direct sunlight, harsh chemicals and heat.
The pH of hair is somewhere between 3.5-4.5 on the pH scale, making it semi-acidic. Of course, it will fluctuate a little, but maintaining this delicate pH balance will keep your scalp and hair happy, allowing it to achieve its healthiest state.
What are the symptoms of a sensitive scalp?
As we’ve seen, many things can cause a sensitive scalp, but what are the symptoms? On the whole, symptoms of a sensitive scalp are equally wide-ranging.
- Inflamed skin
- Itchy skin
- Numb scalp
- Flaky skin (e.g. dandruff)
- Sore scalp.
In most cases, you can treat these symptoms with a product at home or switch up your hair care routine. If problems worsen, such as having red, oozing bumps on the scalp, seek medical attention immediately.
What you can do about a sensitive scalp and skin
Thankfully, you can quickly (and effectively) treat regular scalp soreness and sensitivity in your own home. Chemical-free, organic hair products can give your hair a break from day-to-day life and leave you feeling strengthened and refreshed, but a lot of it comes down to working out what makes your hair tick.
Treat your hair like your houseplants
Everyone has a different hair care routine. Some swear by a once-a-day wash, and some boycott it altogether! Whichever way you swing, think of your follicles as a beautiful and ever-growing forest, and treat your hair as you would a plant.
Not convinced? Hair and plants are more similar than you might think. They share plenty of commonalities: both require love, understanding, attention, and a whole lot of patience. Both are receptive to the elements, soak up essential nutrients via their roots and need a good bedrock from which to grow, bloom and thrive. For your hair, this means looking after your scalp.
How often should you wash your hair? It all depends on your individual needs. Legendary hairdresser Guy Parsons advises washing hair once a day, at a minimum – not washing can lead to a build-up of oil, causing an imbalance to your scalp’s pH.
On the other end of the scale, washing too often with chemical-rich or PPD-laced products might irritate your skin further, and even lead to allergens later down the road.
Take the time to listen to your locks. Would you shower your plants with water everyday if it made them droop and lose their natural beauty? Would you starve it of nutrients and let it wilt and get crunchy? I don’t think so. The same should be true of your hair.
Time for a self-care moment
Nourished hair can help you feel and look your best, and putting in the time for a little selfcare is an crucial part of any stress-busting routine. An organic hair mask will infuse your hair with essential vitamins and minerals, ideal if you’re looking to pump some life back into heat-damaged locks.
Use a conditioner for sensitive skin
As part of your hair care routine, it’s crucial to have the right products and start cutting out elements that might be damaging your hair and scalp.
A conditioner for sensitive skin, such as the Surya Colour Fixation Henna Hair Conditioner or the Henne Henna Conditioner, can soothe that scalp. Free from harmful chemicals and packed with natural extracts, henna conditioners refresh you back to natural beauty and shine.
PSA: henna is restorative and conditioning, minus the chemicals
You heard that right – henna is naturally restorative and conditioning, minus all the negative effects of traditional over the counter products. As a hypoallergenic hair care alternative, henna conditioner for sensitive scalp is almost too good to be true.
Used for over 5000s years, henna has truly stood the test of the time and is making an exciting comeback into the world of natural hair industry as more and more people want to take advantage of the strengthening and revitalising properties of these plant-based products.
How much should I use?
To experience the full effects of henna’s conditioning powers you should use the correct amount for your hair type. This usually means heeding the saying “less is more”, even for longer hair styles and using around two drops the size of a pound coin.
A rule of thumb is that if your hair feels greasy after conditioning you have likely used too much or haven’t allowed it to soak in properly. Conversely, if it still feels dry or frizzy you should leave it in longer to allow it to fully infuse into the hair strands.
Can you mix henna hair dye with conditioner?
It’s easy to integrate good scalp care into your hair care routine. You can implement this ethos into colouring your hair. So the next time your reach for your henna hair dye, remember to pair it with conditioner for the best results.
Try a henna gloss
You could even go with a henna gloss. A henna gloss is used for those who want to achieve a subtler colour with a deep condition that penetrates and strengthens the follicles. Simply mix 1-2 teaspoons of your chosen henna powder directly into your conditioner and only leave it sitting on your hair for 20-30 minutes.
For those who like to treat their hair to some extra protection, the Henne Color Premium Vegetal Nourishing Hair Care Mask adds that essential extra hydration between washes.
It's not a head-scratcher
If you're worried about a sensitive scalp, the critical thing to remember is that you're not alone. That’s what’s inspired the creation of our range of cruelty-free, organic products, helping you enjoy your healthy, happy hair. For more ideas, check out the itselixir blog.