Taking care of your scalp condition is just as crucial as nailing a skincare routine for your face. Experts are increasingly aware of the importance of scalp condition as the foundation for healthy hair growth. If you’re after a lustrous head of hair, the best place to start is your scalp.

However, Kerastase has long known how important a healthy scalp is to great hair. Since 1967 we have been formulating and selling products focused on scalp health, whether to nix dandruff, balance oil or support healthy hair growth at the follicles. As Kerastase founder François Dalle said in 1964, the “scalp is a noble skin at the source of exquisite hair.”

Here we reveal the 5 things you need to know about your scalp, plus how to treat your scalp with the products you need to keep it healthy.

5 Things to Know About Your Scalp

1) Scalp Is Skin
It may seem obvious, but the scalp is often overlooked as being skin. Often, we see it as merely a gateway out of which our strands roam free but the scalp often needs its own specific care. If you’re suffering from a dry scalp, an itchy scalp, or a sensitive scalp then looking to products specifically formulated for these scalp conditions will not only soothe the skin and alleviate the scalp problem, but should help to improve the look of your hair too.

2) But Scalp Skin Is Different
While your scalp is skin, comprised of five layers, it differs in the fact that it has a high number of lipid and sweat glands and is home to around 100,000 hair follicles. Those lipid and sweat glands combined with the strands of hair means that our scalps can get dirty and sweaty far more easily than other areas of our body. Keeping your scalp healthy and clean is the key to beautiful hair.

3) The Internal and External Aggressions
Everyone’s scalp is different, just as some people deal with acne or eczema, some people will suffer from scalp conditions, while others won’t. Internal aggressions like stress and hormones can exacerbate conditions like an itchy scalp, while the stress hormone cortisol can trigger inflammation and an overproduction of sebum that can leave your scalp greasy and irritated. Externally, our scalps have to deal with pollution particles that can irritate the scalp causing dry, brittle strands and even hair loss. If you’re a city-dweller in a polluted area, then taking care of your scalp is even more crucial.

4) Scalp Care for Beautiful Hair
Think of a garden, if you tend and fertilise the soil your plants will have a better chance of growing strong and beautiful, the same goes for your scalp and hair. Healthy scalp equals healthy hair.

5) Scalp Is a Sensorial Zone
Have you ever felt like your hair hurts? Well, it’s likely to be your scalp. It has an abundance of nerve endings which is why a hair massage in the salon always feels so good. Treat your scalp to a massage once a week to help you relax, increase blood flow to the follicles, bringing them oxygen and nutrients that can help your hair grow healthy.

How to Keep Your Scalp Condition Healthy

A lot of scalp conditions such as dry scalp, flaky scalp, itchy scalp or sensitive scalp can be fixed at home with a simple routine. Our hair is dead protein, but our scalp is living, so choosing the right shampoo is key to scalp health, as is really working it into the roots with your fingertips and through to the mid lengths. During the week, you can alternate a scalp-focused shampoo with a hair-focused one to ensure you’re treating both with TLC.

Got an itchy scalp? Use Bain Vital Dermo-Calm Shampoo, that works to remove impurities and soothe inflammation. For a dry scalp look to Bain Riche Dermo-Calm Shampoo that is slightly more nourishing but not heavy. For hair loss, choose Bain Prévention that optimizes micro-circulation to reduce hair looks, while leaving strands looking immediately volumized. If dandruff is your scalp issue, look to Bain Anti-Pelliculaire that acts on both types of dandruff - dry and oily flakes. Lastly, for excess oil, Bain Divalent will regulate the overproduction of sebum.

A dry, flaky or itchy scalp can be caused by anything from pollution to hormones, to gently remove the flakes, soothe and hydrate the scalp try using a nourishing scalp scrub once a week. If your scalp is particularly dry and sensitive, try Scrub Apaisant with its gentle gel texture it will remove any product or dead skin build-up that could be irritating your scalp. It contains sweet orange peel to add shine to your strands, madecassoside has anti-inflammatory benefits and Vitamin B5 promotes healthy hair growth. Scrub Energisant, on the other hand, is designed for anyone dealing with an oily scalp and dandruff. Sea salt exfoliates, removing unwanted impurities, particles and product build-up, while Vitamin B6 and salicylic acid take down inflammation.