The importance of having a healthy scalp if you are trying to grow your hair long.
Sometimes in our quest for growing long hair, we often shift all of our focus onto the hair and either forget about or neglect the importance of a healthy scalp. We deep condition, protein treat, search & destroy, do protective styling, low manipulation styling and moisturize until the cows come home.
Yet, while these are all great things to protect the hair that’s already sprouted from your head (yes, our hair is like plants that grow and sprout 🙂 , it does little to actually grow out new hair.
I used to focus a lot of my attention on getting rid of split ends so that my hair would grow. But, here’s the kicker. Your ends have nothing to do with hair growth. What’s going on in your scalp is responsible for that.
Without a healthy scalp, your hair will either not grow or it won’t grow to it’s fullest potential. That’s why having a healthy scalp is just as important (if not more so) as having healthy, flowing strands of hair.
Now, let me back track a little because I know there will be some ladies who will read this and say, “Your hair won’t grow long if you have split ends.”
That’s where I have to disagree. Your hair can absolutely grow long with split ends. Will it be a healthy looking long? Probably not. But it can grow long. I don’t dispute that it’s important to pay attention to your ends and get them trimmed as needed (every 6 weeks is not an as needed frame of time……unless you are constantly damaging it).
The purpose of this article is to shed as much light as possible on the fact that your scalp is the most important asset you possess for growing a long head of healthy hair. Your scalp is what possesses the hair follicles that your hair grows from. Your hair follicles extend deep down into your scalp and consists of several parts including:
The Papilla – It’s at the base of the follicle and contains blood vessels that nourish the cells of the follicle
Inner and Outer Sheaths of the Follicle – These protect the hair growing within
The Bulb – That little white thing you see at the top of the hair when it sheds. It’s the living part of the hair follicle
Sebaceous Glands – Responsible for producing the sebum that conditions the hair and scalp
It would stand to reason that the house in which your hair follicles reside (your scalp) containing all these important parts, needs to be healthy enough to sustain it. Otherwise, there would be no hair or the hair that does manage to make it through, will probably not be very healthy.
Supporting your scalp health by ensuring that it’s not clogged, stays clean and is properly nourished and stimulated will ensure a healthy environment for your hair to grow. Conversely, you don’t want to overstimulate it or over cleanse it. That could cause excessive dryness and itching which can lead you to scratch your scalp intensely, resulting in damage to the skin.
For more information on the structure of the hair as well as the 3 growth cycles (Anagen, Catagen, Telogen) of the hair, check out this Science of Hair Article on WebMD.