We know that the secret to gorgeous hair begins with a happy scalp. Considering how much time we put into our typical skincare routines, we should pay attention to that certain section of your complexion — especially if it’s sensitive, irritated, or flaking. Here, eight industry experts guide you to total hair hotness — starting with some TLC for the scalp. Read on to learn their tips and shop our scalp-friendly picks.

KEVIN MURPHY, FOUNDER OF KEVIN MURPHY HAIRCARE

1. Your scalp is the source of your long-term hair health. The haircare line is known for creating nourishing products akin to “skincare for the hair.” As Murphy shares with us, “[When it comes to hair health,] we used to talk about the ends, now we talk about the source… Scalp health is crucial to the hair’s long-term health.” To nourish your strands long into the future, Murphy recommends reaching for products that provide the benefits of botanical extracts, essential oils, vitamins, and enzymes. Brit + Co Pick: Kevin Murphy Leave-In Repair ($37)

meghan carraher, founder of the collection by meghan carraher

2. Choose a shampoo and conditioner that promote ph balance. Proper pH is essential for scalp health, follicle health, and hair growth, but unfortunately, many OTC products offer a pH that is way too high. This imbalance in pH can lead to dandruff and bacterial growth linked to itching, inflammation, and hair loss. That’s why the celebrity hairstylist beloved by Chrissy Teigen developed a holistic haircare line that nurtures a happy, flake-free scalp. “Think of [yourself as] the architect of your dream home and [scalp care] as the foundation,” she explains. “We must create a healthy environment for our hair to reach its best potential.” Her clarifying shampoo and conditioner do just that and more, starting with an optimally balanced scalp pH that falls between 4.5 and 5.5. Brit + Co Pick: The Collection by Meghan Carraher Cleanse Duo ($88)

leo izquierdo, co-founder of IGK Hair Care

3. Exfoliate your scalp weekly. The number one sign that your scalp is unhappy? “If it’s irritated in any way — itchy, dry, sensitive, flakey, or oily,” explains Izquierdo. “Your scalp can change or become irritated for a lot of reasons — most [commonly], in reaction to products, season/weather changes, or hormones.” For relief, he recommends an exfoliating scalp scrub to remove product buildup, which can cause irritation and clog hair follicles. Brit + Co Pick: IGK Low Key Cleansing Walnut Scalp Scrub ($36)

stefani padilla, founder of la tierra sagrada

4. Heal your scalp with a message. Prevent symptom reoccurrence with a weekly botanical treatment and help yourself to a scalp massage while you’re at it. Padilla drew from her industry experience and her training with a South American shaman when developing her eco-friendly haircare line, which contains the spiritually significant plant ayahuasca. “Massage your scalp and give it the attention it is begging for! I suggest doing a hair treatment, or ‘hair-emony.’ This is what I like to call a healing self-care ritual,” she says. Brit + Co Pick: La Tierra Sagrada Treatment ($44)

GARREN, CO-FOUNDER OF R+CO

5. Cleanse strands thoroughly. Avoid product buildup and gunked up pores with the right scalp cleanser. The celebrity hairstylist and co-founder of the popular beauty brand is here to dispel the old wives’ tale that minimal shampooing is good for the scalp. He says, “The thing is, a lot of women have not been shampooing their hair, [which] causes a clogging of the pore, which then causes flakiness.” A cleansing rinse like the ACV-based formula above can be used twice weekly to keep you squeaky-clean — and flake-free. Brit + Co Pick: R+Co Acid Wash ACV Cleansing Rinse ($32)

carolyn aronson, founder of it’s a 10

6. Pick your dry shampoo wisely — and use it sparingly. Our hair experts all agree that product buildup, often from the over-use of dry shampoo, spells out disaster. Aronson’s dual shampoo and conditioner efficiently treats your tresses from root to ends, avoiding product overload and using scalp-friendly ingredients like vitamin C, ginger, Tahitian noni oil, and aloe vera. “It refreshes the scalp without leaving a white powder at the root, while conditioning the ends so restyling won’t [cause hair] damage,” she says. Tip: Apply it and then use your dryer to look like you’re fresh from the salon. Brit + Co Pick: It’s A 10 Miracle Dry Shampoo and Conditioner in One ($16)

beth bewley, founder of eufora international

7. Protect your scalp by using antioxidants. Bewley developed a scalp-care spray that draws from skincare research to provide you with the best nourishment possible. “Choose products that offer an effective antioxidant [like] vitamins E, C, or CoQ10,” she says. You will love the added perk of a thicker head of hair, not to mention healthy strands. Brit + Co Pick: Eufora Thickening Scalp Treatment ($33)

michele burgess, oribe director of product development + Davide Marinelli, oribe educator + salon owner

8. Keep dandruff at bay with balanced moisture levels. “If you have an overly oily scalp, you will want to use a more cleansing shampoo and a lightweight conditioner,” they share. “If you have a dry scalp, you will want to use a more hydrating shampoo and conditioner.” They also note that certain ingredients are ace at revitalizing the scalp (e.g., caffeine) and for treating dandruff (e.g., salicylic acid). Brit + Co Pick: Oribe Serene Scalp Anti-Dandruff Shampoo ($44)

(Feature Image via Brit + Co)

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