Healthy scalp for healthy hair

Healthy hair starts from the root. Most of us concentrate on making our hair strands look moisturized and healthy and forget about taking care of the scalp. Here are some suggestions that we can follow to keep our scalp clean and healthy.

Keep the scalp clean
Whenever we shampoo our hair, we apply shampoo on strands and forget the scalp. Best practice when you shampoo is, rub shampoo on the scalp and massage it with a gentle circular motion using your finger tips. Do not use your finger nails. Now let the shampoo run down through the rest of your hair and clean the hair using smoothing motion or while scrunching. Also make sure to thoroughly rinse off all the shampoo from scalp, if you don’t then it might irritate your scalp. If you cowash, then make sure your are rubbing it in properly and washing it off without any residue.


Massage the scalp

Massage scalp gently for healthy hair growth. If you use oils on scalp then wash your hair after a few hours and make sure all the oil is washed away. Otherwise the dirt will stick to your scalp and lead to blocked pores. If  you love oils then you can enhance the performance of your oil by mixing different carrier oils (like coconut, sesame, castor, jojoba, olive etc) together with a few drops of essential oils that are good for hair growth and have antibacterial properties like rosemary essential oil, tea tree essential oil. Check this article on how to mix essential oils with carrier oils.

Avoid putting styling products on scalp

We Curlies have to use different styling products and conditioners to maintain our hair. Avoid putting leave-in styling products and conditioners on scalp.

Massage scalp thoroughly during co-wash and while rinsing off the conditioner

If you co-wash your hair with silicone free conditioner, then massage your scalp while rinsing it off so that there is no product left on the scalp. Some people find shampoo brushes useful in cleaning. Make sure your co-wash conditioner is removing the oil. Use less oil or avoid putting oil on scalp (you can still use oil on hair strands) if you co-wash if you think your conditioner is not removing the oil properly. Also, when you rinse off the conditioner after detangling hair, keep rubbing your scalp so that there is no conditioner left on it. Watch ‘enhance clumps with conditioner‘ and see how I rub my scalp while rinsing off the conditioner after detangling hair.

Some people use chemical colors to dye their at home, so always do a patch test at home to prevent any severe irritation and burns on scalp. The best scenario is get your hair colored from an expert stylist.

Water temperature
Wash your hair using warm water and do not use very hot water which can be a bit harsh for the scalp. Warm water does a better job in cleaning excess oils from scalp than cold water.

Use gentle shampoo
Try to avoid harsh sulfate shampoo which can irritate the scalp.

Treat the dandruff problem
If you have dandruff then treat it right away. Either use medicated shampoo meant for dandruff or use home remedies like lemon, curd or ACV rinse (apple cider vinegar mixed with water, use raw and unfiltered ‘with mother’) on the scalp. If your dandruff does not go away then better consult a doctor. It might be due to other severe scalp issues. When you will keep the scalp clean then you will not have dandruff problem.

Use low setting
When you use a hair dryer to dry your hair, keep it at the low heat setting or better cold setting and your scalp should not feel too much of heat.

Severe scalp conditions
If you have any severe scalp conditions like fungal infection, seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis etc, get help  from a doctor.

Stop Scratching

Avoid using fingernails to scratch your scalp. Also you might transfer germs to any open scratched on scalp.


Exfoliate it regularly. You can use curd which contains lactic acid, a natural exfoliator, or oatmeal etc.

Avoid tight hair styles

Avoid very tight hair styles which cause tension in hair and scalp. It might lead to severe conditions like Traction Alopecia.



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2 thoughts on “Healthy scalp for healthy hair

  • Nandita

    Hi Asha
    I wanted to clarify that co-wash means only using conditioner to wash ur hair, right. But we have always been told not to apply conditioner on the scalp. Then when in co-wash what do we do exactly.

    Thanks n Regards

    • Asha Barrak Post author

      Co-wash is cleaning the scalp and hair with a silicone free conditioner instead of a shampoo. We scrub the scalp properly to loosen any dirt. and rub it properly while rinsing off. Apply the conditioner again to detangle hair and follow the normal routine. But you can also use a sulfate free shampoo instead of following the cowash. Just a personal choice.