Healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp, so why do we hear so little about how to nurture the skin underneath our locks? It’s time to give your scalp the love it deserves, and to find out how, we spoke to Leonor Greyl Partner Eva Scrivo, owner of Eva Scrivo Salons in New York City and Pound Ridge, NY. Scrivo, a big advocate of empowering her clients to up their home-haircare game, talked about scalp issues she sees in the salon, what causes them, and how surprisingly simple it can be to make and keep your scalp healthy with your home routine.
When things go wrong for the scalp
We’re in the middle of winter, a time when low humidity and high heat indoors, as well as cold air outdoors, dehydrate our skin (and what is the scalp but skin?). Dry, itchy scalps can be as much a part of winter as coats and gloves. But we can’t just blame the weather; how we care for our scalp plays a role as well. Infrequent washing, some dry shampoos, a lack of brushing, overprocessing the hair, relying on hot tools for styling, and even diet can lead to scalp problems, clogging hair follicles and drying out the skin.
Signs that your scalp is asking for help
“Given that hair does such a good job hiding the scalp, it’s not always easy to know that things are not going well there. You might notice hair loss, tightness in your scalp, a lack of shine in your hair, ends that split no matter how much you trim them, or even dermatitis or seborrhea (also known as dandruff).” Scrivo’s salon does scalp assessments, and what they see can be telling, she says. “When you see someone’s scalp under a magnifying glass, it’s very different than when you are cutting one’s hair. We’re looking for flakiness, redness, irritation, inflammation around the follicle, or loss of color.” Fortunately, all of these symptoms are treatable.
Scalp treatment 101
“As a stylist, I think it’s important to educate and empower clients with the tools they can learn how to use and have at home,” Scrivo says. “Before there was luxury hair care, people used to brush their hair regularly. That alone is the foundation of a healthy scalp.”
For this first line of defense against scalp irritation, Scrivo loves Leonor Greyl’s natural boar bristle brush. Its soft bristles are a favorite of her clients, especially those with fine hair. It helps pull the natural oils down the hair shaft, acting as Nature’s own deep conditioner.
Whether your hair is naturally oily or dry (or somewhere in between), oils play a big role in scalp health. Scrivo suggests clients use Huile Apaisante before coloring or shampooing, to soothe itchy or sensitive scalps. Those who don’t have sensitivity can use Régénerescence Naturelle to purify and invigorate the scalp.
She also recommends her clients use L’Huile de Leonor Greyl, with the combination of the natural boar bristle brush and this oil being “the perfect marriage to improve scalp health, condition the hair, and encourage hair growth.” Scrivo suggests using L’Huile de Leonor Greyl in the evening, for an overnight treatment on both the length and ends when planning to shampoo the next morning. For cleansing she recommends a clarifying shampoo like Bain TS that both purifies the scalp and hydrates the length.
Promoting scalp health proactively
Even if you’ve never had scalp problems, healthy ongoing habits can help maximize your hair’s health by keeping the scalp happy. “Wash more frequently with a hydrating shampoo and massage your scalp as you clean, which encourages blood flow and stimulates the scalp, as well as acting as a natural exfoliant—Leonor Greyl’s massaging scalp brush is a perfect tool to help maximize your results. Brush your hair regularly with a natural-bristle brush.” Scrivo also uses Tonique Vivifiant, which is a leave-in vitalizing formula for scalp health. Continue to use oils like Huile Apaisante or Régénerescence Naturelle once or twice a week to soothe and calm or purify and invigorate.
Asked for any last thoughts about scalp health, Scrivo says, “I look at all aspects of a client’s hair, and I think scalp health really starts in the shower, with the home routine. And I think that if you can look at the scalp and skin as one, you will start to see a difference, with stronger, healthier, shinier hair as a result.”