After spending a few days in the heat during a work trip in Palm Beach followed by a few days in the freezing temps in NYC, my skin was confused to say the least, going from oily to dry. But my facial skin wasn’t the only place that suffered from the quick climate change. During my weekly blowout, I noticed my scalp (yes, it’s skin, too) was freaking out (and by freaking out, I mean flaking—gross, I know), too. So I reached for Clear Scalp & Hair Beauty Therapy Deep Nourishing Treatment Mask ($6, drugstore.com) in hopes of nipping the flakes in the bud. I also called up the brand’s celebrity dermatologist, Francesca Fusco, for tips on fighting and preventing flakes. She said that when applying shampoo and conditioner, to lightly massage the product in with my fingertips—not nails, a mistake some women and stylists make. She also said that instead of skipping conditioner at my roots to increase volume (a trick I always do!), to slather it on my roots directly, assuring me that my scalp was craving moisture and that the conditioners were light enough that they wouldn’t weigh down my blowout. Guess what? A few days after taking the advice, my flakes were gone (such a relief) and my hair was bouncy despite applying the mask from roots to ends.
This morning, I visited the Phyto Haircare Phyto Universe treatment center in New York City for a hair and scalp consultation—an especially scary prospect when I haven’t shampooed in almost four days! Luckily, the hair expert when easy on me. See the photos of my scalp and hair magnified 200x below:
A few healthy hair pointers I picked up during my consultation:
- Before washing your hair, give yourself a mini scalp massage with a paddle brush to loosen any buildup.
- For maximum shine, use a clarifying shampoo in place of your regular formula once a month.
- To repair and hydrate dry ends like mine, keep a lightweight leave-in cream on hand and lightly smooth over them daily.
Scalp dryness can flare up in winter or from washing your hair frequently after workouts, says Skyy Hadley, owner and founder of As “U” Wish Spa in Hoboken, New Jersey. Prevent flakes and itchiness from over-washing with this simple hydrating treatment: Part hair into four sections with a comb, then use your fingers to rub a dime-sized amount of pure olive oil into each area of your scalp. Leave on for as long as you can and wash out with your regular shampoo. Bonus: This treatment’s practically free!