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Why You Need to Book a Scalp Facial Immediately

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If you're like most of us, you wash your face once or twice a day—at the very least, before you go to bed to remove your makeup. In fact, most of us probably wouldn't dream of skipping this step (after all, sleeping in makeup can do serious damage to your skin). Yet, day after day, you wake up, work out, go to work, go to bed, wake up again and simply douse your scalp with dry shampoo before heading out the door. How is that any different from sleeping in your makeup and simply piling more on the next day? It's not. So, yeah. Gross.

For years I've made a virtue of stretching my blowouts for three or four days (and yes, we've even shown you how to extend your blowout for five whole days). The word on the street and in salons was that it was healthier for your hair not to cleanse it every day. And that turns out to be true—up to a point, as I learned when I went to the Fourteenjay salon in New York City for a Pramasana Awakening Scalp Ritual.

The one-hour treatment starts with a close-up photo of your scalp where you can see things like redness, inflammation, product residue, and flakiness (it's not pretty). Next, a stylist massages your scalp with a debris-lifting brush, before working a scalp concentrate and finally a scalp mask into your head. In addition to feeling seriously heavenly, the treatment yields immediately visible results.

And the need for a good scalp cleansing is at an all-time high currently because so many of us abuse dry shampoo, explains David Adams, a co-owner of Fourteenjay who administered the treatment. We use it not just to freshen our hair, but as a styler (for body and hold), too. Consequently, we're cleansing way less than we should and clogging our follicles with all that dry shampoo residue, which may ultimately lead to not only dull hair, but decreased hair growth.

To break the cycle, Adams recommends shampooing every two or three days, and simply using dry shampoo when you need to freshen up between washes. (Here, more dry shampoo mistakes you may be making.)

As for the professional scalp treatment, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I saw even more of a difference post-treatment than I usually do after a facial. There was far less nastiness around my follicles and my hair looked shinier and bouncier overall (also the result of getting rid of all that product and oil buildup).

So could you simply scrub your regular shampoo into your scalp for the same effect? Well, only if you'd cleanse your face with it. Scalp skin is more like face skin and less like hair than you'd think; therefore, it does require special treatment.

Fortunately, a few smart companies are making just-for-scalp products these days, including Aveda's Pramasana Scalp Care Line, which comes with an Exfoliating Scalp Brush, Scalp Cleanser, and Scalp Concentrate ($20–$45; aveda.com); Phylia Connect Leave-In Treatment for Scalp, Follicles, and Hair ($60; shen-beauty.com), and Alterna Haircare Caviar Clinical Exfoliating Scalp Facial ($36; sephora.com).

 

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