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Hairy tales

A healthy scalp is a must for beautiful hair

A healthy scalp is a must for beautiful hair
Everyone who would like to be the owner of shiny,healthy hair should know that the health of your scalp will reflect on the hair. “A scalp’s skin should be toned and well stimulated for hair growth,” says Dr Murlidhar Rajagopal,Apollo Hospitals,Chennai. So,keep the scalp clean so that there are no clogged pores.

Here are some tips to maintain a healthy scalp:
KNOW THE INGREDIENTS OF YOUR SHAMPOO
Mild shampoos,with an acid rather than an alkaline base,are recommended. “You should always check the ingredients of your shampoo before you buy it. Some shampoos may promise to get rid of the dandruff but may contain harmful chemicals that may damage the texture of your hair,” says Dr S K Bose,Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals,New Delhi. 

MOISTURE FOR THE SCALP
It’s just not your skin,the scalp too needs constant moisturising. “You can use jojoba oil or shea butter to moisturise your hair. Jojoba oil makes an excellent moisturiser that is loaded with vitamin E,” says hairstylist Sumit Israni,Soop,New Delhi. Shea butter also acts as a natural moisturiser that makes a great conditioner for your hair. 

MASSAGE REGULARLY
Besides promoting blood flow to the scalp and hair growth,a good scalp massage also soothes nerves and relaxes the muscles in your brain. You can ask your dermatologist or hair stylist to recommend the type of oil that suits your scalp – olive,almond or any other. “Use the balls of your fingertips in a circular motion with firm pressure and upward strokes for an effective massage,” says Dr Rajagopal. 

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AVOID HOT WATER
One of the main causes of dry scalp is shampooing with hot water. “This can strip the essential oils from your scalp and cause dryness in your scalp. So,to avoid dryness and to retain essential oils in your scalp,wash your hair with lukewarm water,” says Dr Bose. Also,try to avoid excessive blow- drying as this can also lead to a dry scalp. 

DON’T OVER-WASH
If you shampoo your hair daily,use professional shampoos that are specially designed with softening agents and moisturisers. “As shampoos are designed for your scalp rather than your hair,be sure to concentrate on rubbing your scalp for better results,” says Israni.

DIET AND EXERCISE
Maintaining a healthy diet is imperative for proper scalp care and hair nourishment.  “Vitamins and minerals are essential for hair growth and your overall health in general. Nutritional imbalances may result in inadequate nourishment to our scalps which may hinder hair growth and scalp health,” says Dr Gulshant Panesar,Consultant,dermatology,Moolchand Medcity. A diet containing high fresh fruits and vegetables is best.  Foods rich in B vitamins: nuts,peas,beans,whole grains are also a must for a healthy scalp. “Regular exercise will help improve the condition of your hair. As physical activity reduces stress and increases blood flow to the extremities,including the head and scalp,” says Dr Panesar.