Get gorgeous hair with a healthier scalp

Who knew that having healthy, beautiful hair would start at the top? Here’s what’s new in scalp-care

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hair beauty

Give your scalp some TLC

If your hair is looking a little lacklustre these days, you might want to give your scalp some TLC. Hair care companies are focusing on scalp care with products from shampoo and conditioner to special scalp serums. Some moisturize to relieve a dry, itchy, tight-feeling scalp; others stimulate the scalp with the aim of helping thin-looking hair appear thicker. (To be clear, this scalp-care trend is not about controlling dandruff, although that can be part of it.)

Peter Lamas and Clear are two such hair care lines available at drugstores. Lamas uses a blend of Chinese herbs to nourish the scalp to help promote stronger, healthier hair growth. A dry scalp can be caused by stress, menopause, certain illnesses and medications, says Lamas, a long-time hairdresser based in California whose line consists of a serum, conditioner and sulphate-free shampoo. It also uses apple stem cells, and biotin to strengthen hair.

As for Clear, a line of six shampoos and five conditioners, it incorporates Dove skincare’s trademarked Nutrium moisturizing approach. Toronto dermatologist Dr. Julia Carroll says it’s important for hair to grow from a scalp that is “not too oily, not too dry. When the scalp doesn’t have moisture balance, hair can be brittle.” Click through for a few examples of the latest scalp-help products, plus, learn how to do a Ayurvedic head rub.


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hair care

The latest in scalp-care

From left to right:
Kérastase intensive anti-thinning treatment with vitamins and arginine is 10 leave-in treatments that you massage into the scalp ($65, 10 x 6 mL).

Live Clean healthy balance shampoo contains scalp-nourishing “Vita-Bond Complex” to encourage thicker hair, and it’s sulphate-free ($9, 350 mL).

Peter Lamas Chinese herbs re-energizing scalp serum has Swertia Japonica for scalp circulation and Chinese herbs to help prevent hair loss; massage a few drops into scalp a.m. and p.m. ($45, 50 mL).

Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy moisturizing dry scalp daily conditioner keeps the scalp’s moisture balance in check via Nutrium 10 moisture complex with vitamins, aloe vera, and sunflower, almond, soybean and coconut oils ($8, 375 mL).

L’Oréal Paris arginine resist x3 reinforcing spray targets the hair root and is designed to be massaged into the scalp to “activate microcirculation around the [hair’s] bulb” ($7, 200 mL).


Photo by Tracy Shumate

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Get thicker hair

Nioxin, a salon brand that targets thin-looking hair, has a new intensive leave-in treatment called DiaMax for daily use by men or women. To increase hair strand diameter, it uses ingredients that have known benefits in skin care: panthenol, caffeine, niacinamide and dimethicone. ($60, 100 mL)


Photo by Tracy Shumate

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head massage spa relax

Try an Ayurvedic head rub

The Indian technique of Ayurvedic scalp massage stimulates the circulation of the scalp, nourishing the roots, and helps promote strong, healthy, lustrous hair. It’s also relaxing and a great way to unwind. You can do it with or without oil.

Closing your eyes, move your fingers and thumbs in circles over your scalp. Slowly apply a firmer pressure, making sure you have covered the entire scalp. Give a little extra attention to the temples.

Now, gently pull on the roots of your hair, ruffling it as you lift it up.


To finish, stroke hair away from your face. Starting at the front edge of the scalp, move your fingers across your entire scalp a few times and back through the length of your hair.  

As you near the end of the massage, grab the ends of hair and lightly pull.

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