You’ve probably noticed that throughout lockdown, your scalp has become exceptionally greasier in between washes. Well, the root of the problem (see what I did there) is all down to stress.
You might not feel stressed on the inside, but the sudden change in environment, combined with global uncertainty, can naturally have affected your Cortisol hormone levels – triggering an increase in sebum or oil production in your skin and scalp.
Excess amounts of oil produced on the scalp can also cause the scalp to form yeast, resulting in an inflamed, itchy and flaky head. So how do you combat ‘quarantine hair’ now that we begin to take on the real world again? Follow these tips…
Create a stress-free zone
The main goal is to try and stop your body from over-producing sebum in the scalp, which it does in response to stress. Try to create yourself a stress-free zone by eating healthily, getting the right amount of exercise and sleep and going easy on yourself during these hard times, by taking extra care of your body and your needs.
Wash your hair less
Over-washing your hair to get rid of the grease on your scalp will only trigger your body to produce more oil. Ideally, washing your hair once or twice a week with a special sulfate-free shampoo will help gently cleanse your scalp without fully stripping it of these natural oils. Normally, in between washes, you would use dry shampoo to keep your hair looking fresh. In this case, you will only be adding to the current build-up of sebum and product in the pores of your scalp. The less you reach for the dry shampoo at the minute, the better.
Using DIY hair masks
Using an at-home hair mask of apple cider vinegar and water can help to soothe and cleanse the scalp as it has anti-inflammatory properties that can also prevent the growth of yeast. An apple cider vinegar mask will help to cut through all the product build-up on your scalp, without stripping your hair of its natural oils.
You should mix the vinegar and water at the ratio of 1:5 to avoid causing any potential damage to your scalp and use in between shampooing and conditioning your hair. Using this mask once every week should help to stunt the overproduction of sebum to your scalp, taking it back to its pre-lockdown state. You can also find shampoos and conditioners with apple cider vinegar as the main ingredient, which may be worth investing in if this is reoccurring.
Specially formulated products
Heard of combination skin? Well, you might be suffering from combination hair. If you are suffering from an overly greasy scalp, but have dry and brittle ends, another way to help your hair is to use specially formulated products which cleanse the scalp but nourish the ends. To help further strengthen your hair, you should regularly trim it to help prevent damage and split ends. Another way to help condition your ends, whilst avoiding touching your scalp area, is by using a leave-in conditioner. This will give you more control as to where the product is applied and can help avoid product build-up on the scalp.
Hopefully, after these tips and tricks, you’ll soon be on your way back to heavenly hair!