Head CaseNovember 1, 2008 By: Lori Morris American Salon
Healthy hair starts at the scalp, and treatments can create an optimal environment.
If a client has dry, brittle or dull hair, your inclination is to suggest a moisturizing or shine treatment as a solution. According to Nioxin International Corporate Trainer Linda Norris, however, that sort of quick fix isn't really worth much. "It's about more than just shampooing and shining hair," she says. "Until you address scalp issues, you're only putting a Band-Aid on your clients' hair problems."
Ray Civello for Aveda encourages all salon owners to incorporate scalp care into their service menus.
A healthy and balanced scalp environment is crucial to achieving healthy hair. If the scalp isn't kept clean and isn't given enough oxygen or nutrients, the hair cannot get what it needs to grow. "It's like nurturing soil for a plant," says Norris, who is also a stylist and an esthetician. She points to external factors like the environment, chemical services and product buildup as things that can pollute the scalp and cause all sorts of problems.
"Stylists are often the first ones to notice scalp concerns," Norris says. "They need to be aware of the differences in the hair between visits." Symptoms of an unhealthy scalp include shorter hairs, which indicate breakage or a hormonal shift that is affecting hair's life cycle; excess hair in the drain while shampooing; thinning along the hair line; dull-looking hair, often a sign that the scalp is out of balance; an oily scalp, which means there are overactive sebaceous glands; and dryness, redness or flaking that could lead to dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis.
Ray Civello, president of Civello Salon-Spas and Collega in Canada, part of the Aveda network, suggests that each hair appointment start with a scalp analysis. "Look at your clients' scalp and ask them questions," he says. "Change your basic shampoo experience to include a consultation and scalp treatment." Civello encourages all salon owners to incorporate scalp care into their menu or services and encourage clients to come in for a treatment each season (or more frequently for people with extreme scalp conditions). It can be as simple as an add-on to a basic shampoo or a full stand-alone treatment. "This is a great revenue-generating opportunity," he says. "Plus, if the scalp and hair are in better condition, all of the work you do on your client will ultimately look better."
The Botanical Scalp Therapy treatment from Aveda is customized with different Scalp Remedy Balancing Concentrates based on the client's individual needs. The aroma-therapeutic blends are based on the principles of Ayurveda and include Infinity/Air Scalp Remedy for normal to dry scalps, Fire Scalp Remedy for sensitive scalps and Water/Earth Scalp Remedy for normal to oily scalps. The concentrates are applied during a Balancing Touch massage to improve circulation and bring elements into balance.
Nioxin Scalp Renew, billed as the first microdermabrasion product for the scalp, exfoliates to remove toxins and increase circulation, promoting cellular turnover. It also fights the aging process. "As hair thins or texture changes, cellular activity slows down and hair becomes dry and not as full of life," Norris explains. "Once you remove the dead skin cells and clean the follicle, hair will grow healthier and faster because of the improved environment." She also notes that the intense moisture deposited into the scalp during the treatment will give hair strands greater elasticity.