The beauty world is abuzz right now, and it’s all thanks to a part of your body you’ve probably never given much thought to before: your scalp. Yet new research has revealed that looking after this delicate area is just as important as tending to the skin on your face – and that it could provide the answers to many of your hair woes. Here, our scalp care guide explains why a healthy, happy scalp is the first step to the best hair of your life.
While we’ll happily spend hours honing our skincare regimes, investing in a seemingly never-ending range of lotions and potions to sort out any number of issues, when it comes to the skin above our foreheads all that suddenly goes out the window. But why? Poor scalp health has been proven to be one of the main factors in hair loss and thinning, which affects 40% of women in their lifetime. And studies have shown that the scalp ages just as fast as the skin on our face, thanks to a cocktail of aggravators including pollution, sun exposure and the overuse of pore-clogging products. Add stress and fluctuating hormones into the mix and the results can be catastrophic.
Searches for targeted scalp care solutions are on the rise, with Cult Beauty revealing they’ve seen queries for scalp-related products increase by over 200% in the last year alone. Now there’s a new brand leading the way when it comes to pioneering haircare in this field: MONPURE. The world’s first sustainable luxury brand dedicated to scalp care, their formulas prioritise natural and ethically sourced ingredients. The result is a range of game-changing formulas that are 100% vegan, cruelty-free and housed in recycled packaging – and promise to banish scalp-related issues for good.
Here, we’ve broken down some of the main triggers that can affect your scalp health, as well as the best ways to treat them.
Stress doesn’t just affect our mental and physical wellbeing – it can also wreak havoc on the skin, including that on our scalps. It’s one of the main causes of inflammation in the body, which in turn can lead to flare-ups of conditions like eczema and psoriasis, as well as general itching and irritation. When we’re stressed our bodies release the hormone cortisol, which regulates how our hair follicles function. Large amounts of this hormone can cause our hair follicle cells to undergo a process called apoptosis, meaning they die and make our hair fall out prematurely.
So far, so terrifying. So how do we look after our scalps during times of peak stress? One way is by using a special scalp serum daily – just like you’d do for your face. Many of the same ingredients that help to soothe enflamed skin work just as well for your scalp.
Take MONPURE’s Hydrate and Soothe Scalp Serum, which contains healing witch hazel to calm redness and irritation, and aloe vera for a healthy dose of hydration. Apply directly onto a clean, dry scalp using the dropper and massage in (there’s no need to rinse – it absorbs in a flash). It also boasts a de-stressing blend of sweet orange and relaxing sandalwood oil, so after you’ve massaged the serum through your roots, bring your hands to your face and deeply inhale to help relieve any lingering tension.
It’s a fact that scalp skin ages just as fast as the skin on our face, if not quicker thanks to a lack of sun protection and having to contend with a regular onslaught of styling products. This means the skin becomes dryer, while cell turnover slows down, leading to an increase in flaky skin – one of the main scalp issues people suffer from – and congested hair follicles, the latter of which can result in stunted hair growth.
Thankfully, there are now targeted anti-ageing products for your scalp to address all of these concerns – like MONPURE’s hardworking Follicle Boost Density Serum, which contains a special pumpkin seed extract to prevent age-related dryness and hair loss. It works by blocking an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase, which mixes with the testosterone in your body to produce a chemical called DHT, a known cause of hair loss. The serum also contains a gentle retinol and lactic acid, which work to speed up skin cell renewal and boost collagen production. The result? Scalp skin is renewed and hair follicles stay healthy.
Free radical damage
You might be familiar with free radicals in facial skincare – they’re the unstable molecules that attack healthy cells, causing premature ageing. One of the main triggers of free radicals is exposure to UV rays and pollution, both of which your scalp are vulnerable to, especially if you have fine hair.
Investing in a topical scalp care product that contains antioxidants is a great way to protect your scalp against the elements and combat environmental aggressors. MONPURE’s Nourish and Stimulate Scalp Mask contains vitamin-rich camellia tea oil, which repairs and replenishes the scalp skin, relieving any itchiness in the process. Use it two or three times a week – especially in the summer – to reduce any redness and irritation from UV rays.
While the invention of dry shampoo may be a lifesaver when it comes to prolonging a good blow dry, it does nothing for our scalp health. In fact, styling products like dry shampoo and hairspray are some of worst culprits when it comes to our scalps, as they can not only irritate the skin but also clog up hair follicles, stopping any new hair that might be growing through.
While frequent washing is one way to get rid of product build-up, shampoos that contain synthetic detergents like sulphates – especially SLS – can be too drying for the scalp skin, leaving it sensitised, flaky and aggravated. A gentle way to detox your hair is with MONPURE’s Strengthening Silk Protein Shampoo, which not only cleanses with natural ingredients but also strengthens and hydrates both your scalp and your hair, so neither are left parched in the process.
Women are no strangers to fluctuating hormones, with everything from switching our method of birth control to pregnancy and menopause having the potential to disrupt our natural balance. All of this can cause the body to send the skin’s oil glands into overdrive, including those on our scalp. This can result in greasy roots and hair that looks limp and lifeless, as well as seborrhoeic dermatitis (which is as unpleasant as it sounds – think red, scaly skin).
The answer? A good scalp conditioner. These bear little resemblance to the heavier conditioners we’ve always been told to apply only to the ends of our hair – the right product can actually help balance oil production, so your scalp doesn’t overcompensate by producing too much of it.
MONPURE’s Strengthening Essence-Conditioner is designed to be used like an ‘essence’ in skincare (hence the fluid texture), making it lightweight enough to treat your scalp without feeling greasy. It contains nourishing argan oil and Vitamin B5, together with vegan silk peptides, to create a ‘second skin’ effect to strengthen both your hair and your scalp.
Dead skin build-up
While we’re all used to the idea of body brushing and moisturising regularly to get rid of any dry, rough patches on our bodies, it’s rare that we pay such attention to our scalps. But changes in weather, air-conditioning and central heating can all take their toll here, too, zapping the scalp skin of moisture and leaving it dehydrated and flaky, as well as causing stunted hair growth.
Regular scrubbing a few times a week is key – however, a lot of body scrubs are too abrasive for the scalp, not to mention being packed with oils that can weigh hair down. MONPURE’s Clarifying Scalp Scrub gently buffs away dead cells with biodegradable jojoba beads, while nourishing the skin underneath with argan oil and shea butter. Think of it as the ultimate cleanse for your scalp.
As the ‘clean foundation for healthy hair’, MONPURE was established by a team of beauty experts, scientists and dermatologists, with the view that skincare doesn’t just stop at the hairline. Discover this pioneering range, together with more tips and advice on how to kick-start start your scalp-skincare regime, over at monpure.com.