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How to Moisturize Your Scalp: 5 Tips for a Healthy-Feeling Scalp

Remember: It isn’t just your hair that needs moisture.
  • Naydeline Mejia
February 23, 2024

Whether a visit to your go-to hairstylist is a part of your regular self-care ritual or you’re a DIY hair queen who’s got it handled at home, incorporating a scalp moisturizer into your regular haircare routine is an absolute must. After all, you wouldn’t skip out on your daily facial moisturizer—you shouldn’t turn a blind eye to your scalp, either.

Ultimately, when it comes to maintaining healthy-looking hair, everything begins at your scalp. And if you fail to give your scalp the attention it deserves, dryness and itchiness can occur. That’s why, here, you’ll find five of our best tips on how to moisturize your scalp. Plus, we’re sharing the scoop on some of our favorite products for a hydrated, healthy-feeling scalp. Keep reading for the details.

What Happens If You Don’t Moisturize Your Scalp?

According to a 2018 study published in the International Journal of Trichology, proper scalp care is the key to maintaining your hair’s healthy appearance. Moisturizing your scalp can help keep your hair looking full, smooth, and shiny—and even help fend off unwanted concerns like dandruff.

So if you want great-looking hair, it’s probably a good idea to include a scalp moisturizer in your regular haircare routine.

Tips for Moisturizing Your Scalp

Before we get into our favorite scalp moisturizers, we thought it might be useful to go over some basic scalp care tips. Ahead, learn how to care for your scalp and keep it feeling moisturized and healthy.

1. Exfoliate your scalp regularly

If you let dirt, oil, and other debris build up on your scalp, it can weigh down your hair and contribute to a flat, greasy appearance. While you can’t avoid product buildup entirely, adding a scalp scrub to your routine can help. Many scalp treatments contain sea salt or other exfoliants to help gently remove dead skin, product buildup, and other debris. This, in turn, can help ensure your scalp moisturizer actually reaches your skin rather than just sitting on your strands.

2. Use lukewarm water

Fact: Consistently showering in extra-hot water can wreak havoc on your hair. And when it comes to your scalp, it’s not the perfect match, either. See, hot water can dry out your skin, which is bad news, especially if you already have a dry, itchy scalp.

Instead, turn your dial to a lukewarm temperature that won’t dry out your scalp and hurt your moisturizing efforts. Trust us, your scalp will thank you.

3. Grab a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner

Harsh, aggressive cleansers can strip your skin of much-needed moisture, leaving it feeling dry and tight. Using moisturizing haircare products can help ensure your hair gets clean—without your scalp or strands becoming overly dry.

Personally, we like the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Hyaluron + Plump Hydrating Shampoo, Paraben-Free and L’Oréal Paris Elvive Hyaluron + Plump Hydrating Conditioner, Paraben-Free The system, which is formulated with hyaluronic acid, gently cleanses and instantly hydrates, locking in moisture for up to 72 hours.

4. Seal the deal with a hair oil or serum

Consider adding a hair serum to your daily routine. These lightweight moisturizers can help smooth your strands and provide moisture to help fend off dryness.

When it comes to serums, we like to rely on the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Hyaluron + Plump Moisture Plump Serum to get the job done. Formulated with hyaluronic acid, this deeply nourishing serum works wonders to hydrate your scalp and hair, plus lock in moisture with every use.

5. Simplify your routine

When it comes to combating a dry scalp, you may want to use every moisturizing product you can find, but before grabbing everything on the shelves, take a beat. While a scalp moisturizer is essential for a healthy mane, using too many products can offset ingredients and cause adverse effects—like weighing down your hair or clogging pores.

One of the best ways to keep your scalp happy and moisturized is to implement a balanced hair care routine that will provide your mane with the love it needs without overloading it with products. It’s true what they say: Less is more.

How to Moisturize Your Scalp According to Your Hair Type

Just as every strand is not the same (even within the same head of hair!), no scalp is identical, either. In general, people may fall into one of four scalp and hair types: oily, dry, balanced, or mixed. For the best results, the products you use to moisturize your scalp should be dictated by your scalp type.

With that said, keep reading to discover which scalp moisturizer you should grab according to your scalp and hair type.

Oily scalp and hair

Overactive sebaceous glands can lead to oily skin as well as greasy-looking, oily hair. While plenty of people fall into this camp, greasiness is an especially common concern for those with fine, thin hair. This scalp type still needs moisture, but care should be taken to avoid weighing the strands down further. As such, we recommend L’Oréal Paris Elvive Hyaluron Pure Oil Erasing Serum. The purifying formula helps minimize impurities and excess oil, while at the same time hydrating your strands. The result is your mane feels wonderfully refreshed and moisturized.

How to Use It: Before shampooing, section your dry hair and apply the serum directly onto the scalp. Massage the product in, wait 15 minutes, then hop in the shower and wash your hair as usual.

Dry scalp and hair

On the opposite end of the oily scalp spectrum lies a dry scalp. Dryness can have many causes, including stress from repeated coloring or heat styling. But no matter the cause, those with dry and brittle hair should prioritize moisture to help keep their scalp and strands feeling their best.

For those of us in the dry hair committee, we like to rely on the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Hyaluron + Plump Flash Hydration Wonder Water. This serum works to hydrate strands in seconds and helps the scalp retain moisture over time.

How to Use It: Apply to wet hair after shampooing. Massage evenly for about eight seconds, rinse, and apply conditioner as needed.

Balanced scalp and hair

Those with balanced or “normal” hair and scalps have manes that appear shiny and full. (Lucky you!) Keep that healthy, balanced scalp feeling its best by incorporating L’Oréal Paris EverPure Simply Clean Melting Jelly Mask into your weekly routine. This indulgent hair mask with rosemary essential oil detangles and locks in hydration for a healthy-feeling mane (and scalp).

How to Use It: After shampooing with L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate Free Simply Clean Shampoo with Essential Oil, apply the mask evenly through clean, damp hair. Let it sit for about five minutes, then rinse and style as usual.

Mixed scalp and hair

A mixed scalp or mane describes hair with oily roots, often paired with dry and/or damaged strands—it’s sort of like the “combination skin” of the hair world. This scalp type requires products that give it the hydration it needs without weighing down oilier roots. Our pick: L’Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Clay Rebalancing Shampoo and Rebalancing Conditioner Set. Formulated with three refined clays, this shampoo and conditioner set helps to purify oily roots, while hydrating dry ends for hair that feels fresh and clean.

How to Use It: Massage the rebalancing shampoo onto wet hair, lather, then rinse. Follow this step up with the rebalancing conditioner, massaging it through your lengths. Leave the product on for one to three minutes, then rinse.

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