Don’t Forget The Scalp! Scalp Facials Explained

Scalp massages are nothing new, but how about scalp scrubs? If your business offers face and body treatments, you’ve pretty much got it covered when it comes to skin care, right? But what about the skin on top of your head? Scalp care is often a routine that is widely ignored – even at a lot of hair salons, where the focus is the hair and not the scalp – but it seems that scalp love is slowly gaining popularity. And if you take a moment to think about it, you realise how odd it is we tend to neglect the skin in between our hair.

Shampoo, conditioner, hairspray, dry shampoo, colour, volumizing spray, sea salt mist – just a few of many products our scalp can regularly come into contact with, and yet we generally don’t think to cleanse or exfoliate it. But recently, several brands have released brand spanking new scalp detox products, stressing the importance of scalp care in order to maintain healthy, shiny hair.

Alfaparf Milano is many a hair salon’s preferred haircare brand, and their re-launched Semi Di Lino range includes the Detoxifying Mud, which gently removes impurities from hair and scalps that are stressed by pollutants, leaving hair radiant and revitalised. Its clay texture leaves a feeling of freshness and wellbeing. It’s used before other treatments in order to prep the scalp and hair for the best absorption of subsequent products, cleansing the scalp from metabolic residue. According to Anais Perou from Alfaparf, “the detoxifying treatment is important as it creates a really good environment for healthy hair growth.”

“Because the hair is like a sponge, it absorbs all the nutrients but unfortunately also high quantities of harmful substances.  For instance, it absorbs PM10, cigarette smoke, heavy metals, exhaust gases and fine particles. When large amounts of atmospheric particles are deposited on the surface of the hair, the light does not reflect evenly and the visual effect is opaque and dull. Pollutants, as seen in laboratory tests, can also affect the lipid structure, which is the cement that seals the cuticles, opening them up and creating strong friction during brushing.”

“The detoxifying Mud gently removes impurities from hair and scalp stressed by pollutants, making the hair radiant and revitalised.” Another brand that’s jumped on the scalp exfoliation trend is vegan haircare brand Noughty. The Detox Dynamo Shampoo gives hair and scalp a deep cleanse by stripping back any synthetic product buildup. Natural sugar beet extract helps condition hair while peppermint extract purifies.

Noughty’s Beauty Botanist Jennifer Hirsch explains the basic principle of hair and scalp detoxing. “Like our skin, our hair is the outfit we wear every day. Perched up top, it’s exposed to everything from sun to air pollution to the minerals in the water we use to wash it. And that’s before we apply product. The combination of these factors leads to build-up on the scalp that can cause hair to look dull and feel heavy or lacking in body. Aside from how build up looks, it can prevent your haircare from working properly. The answer? Hair detoxing.”

“Just like doing an internal body detox flushes away a build-up of toxins, hair detoxing lifts build-up off the hair shaft, enabling it to be washed away when you rinse. And it’s much simpler than body detoxes, requiring just a single wash with a clarifying shampoo like Noughty’s Detox Dynamo,” Hirsch says. “Powerhouse ingredients behind detoxing are known as chelating agents. These are chemical compounds that react with metal ions to form a stable complex that is water-soluble. Noughty uses two chelating agents, sodium phytate and trisodium ethylenediamine disuccinate, for their antioxidant activity, helping to keep products stable. What’s even better is that they’re naturally derived. In Detox Dynamo, Noughty uses this technical chemistry to power the shampoo’s clarifying action. Chelating agents lift away and prevent the build-up of minerals and heavy metals. Minerals and metals are chemistry present in water, but also in air pollution. Their buildup can lead to dullness and weigh the hair down. More than that, it can prevent active ingredients in your product from properly penetrating the hair shaft and getting to work.”

French hair and skin care expert brand La Biosthétique’s Education Director Alexander Fuchs tells us that a scalp exfoliating treatment is crucial for oily scalps, and that it can actually help treat conditions including sweatiness, flaking, dandruff and even early  signs of psoriasis. “For anyone with a scalp issue scalp exfoliating is a crucial step but it doesn’t have to be done as regularly as skin exfoliating and it should be done by a hair stylist. If the itchy scalp is caused by build-up of product, flakes or oil then for sure an exfoliation will help,” Fuchs explains.

When it comes to maintenance, thankfully the scalp isn’t quite as needy as our face. “For normal scalps I recommend a scalp treatment every three months, for someone with dandruff or oily scalp I recommend once a month,” he says. “La Biosthétique scalp exfoliators are in-salon products only, meaning you have to see a La Biosthétique salon to get this service done. We recommend only experienced stylist to perform scalp exfoliation, so the expert can monitor the positive changes on the scalp and recommend the correct follow up products.”

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