Malcolm McLaren’s Buffalo Gals has been on my mind a lot recently – or rather, the line: “All that’s scratching is making me itch.” Thanks to lotions and potions and HRT, I have my menopausal itchy skin more or less under control. My itchy scalp, however, has been another thing. After all, you can’t slather thick creams on your hair (the wet-look is so not now).
It was Mr 50Sense who put me on to Philip Kingsley’s Flaky/Itchy Scalp range. (And that’s quite shameful, as I met his daughter Anabel Kingsley a few years ago and have always been impressed with their products. Did you know, he developed his No Scent No Colour shampoo and conditioner for his wife after she was diagnosed with breast cancer? What a man.)
Anyway, this is truly a game-changer for me. I went the whole hog and bought the shampoo and scalp toner, plus a moisturising conditioner. I also use the Philip Kingsley Elasticizer once a week, which I love. The result – I no longer look like I’m in need of Nitty Norah. There’s a reason why it’s won awards and gets such good reviews.
Me being me, however, couldn’t let it lie at that and so I asked Anabel for her advice to help other women with menopause itchy scalp.
“When it comes to hair health and growth, scalp is king,” she says. “If your scalp is not clean and healthy, it simply will not produce hairs of beautiful, strong quality.
“If you think of each hair as a flower and your scalp as the soil supporting it, it makes complete sense to nourish and care for your scalp.
“To keep your scalp in great condition, treat it with similar TLC as you do the skin on your face. After all, your scalp is simply an extension of the skin on your forehead.”
Anabel Kingsley’s top tips to help an itchy scalp:
• Shampoo regularly. Your scalp is skin – a living tissue. It therefore needs to be cleansed frequently. Like the skin on your face, your scalp contains thousands of sweat glands and oil glands and sheds dead skin cells. It is also exposed to the same environmental pollution as the skin on your face.
• Tone daily. Use a soothing antimicrobial scalp toner each morning to perk-up your scalp environment. Look for witch hazel to regulate oil levels and camphor to cool and calm.
• Don’t forget to exfoliate. Just like the skin on your face, your scalp benefits from weekly exfoliation. Exfoliation helps to remove dead skin cells and pesky flakes. It also encourages healthy skin cell turnover. (Now this I have never even thought of and yet it’s so logical – 50Sense)
• Protect your scalp from UV rays. Your scalp can burn just like the skin on your face. Initially, this can result in redness, peeling and itching. Long term, sun exposure can cause serious damage, like skin cancer.
• Eat right. Just as certain foods can affect acne-prone skin, they can also flare-up a problematic scalp. Cheese, full-fat dairy products, very sugary treats and white wine and champagne are common aggravators.
Other foods are very good for your scalp. For instance, Omega 3s found in fatty fish such as salmon and sardines are anti-inflammatory.
For an extra Omega-3 boost, take a daily Omega-3 supplement. I recommend our Root Complex supplement. This also contains Collagen, Silica, Co-Enzyme Q10 and Vitamin D (Vitamin D being another hair and scalp essential).
• Approach a scalp problem as you would a skin problem. Use highly targeted products daily until symptoms clear, and then incorporate preventative products into your regular regime to help keep issues at bay.
How has menopause affected your hair? And what do you do to treat it? Let me know in the comments below.
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Main image: Good Free Photos.