WorkshopNovember 1, 2007 By: American Salon Staff American Salon
Clients who complain of dry, brittle and thinning hair are often unaware that their hair's poor health is the result of a damaged, neglected scalp. "Healthy hair begins at the scalp, specifically at the follicle," says Belinda Knisley, director of education, training and development at Nioxin. "When the follicle is damaged, it interrupts the hair's growth cycle, leading to fragile, thinning hair and loss of pigmentation." Knisley says it's important for the hair to stay in its growth stage for as long as possible so that it's deeply rooted, stronger and better quality. "If you take good care of the scalp, it will take color easier and respond better to chemical services," she adds.
The follicle is extremely sensitive to internal and external changes. "Hormonal issues or fluctuations, fever, medications and diet are all internal factors that can affect the health of the follicle," Knisley says. "External factors include exposure to sunlight and to residues from haircolor, bleach, permanent waves and chemical relaxers, which can result in burning on the scalp and cause it to become itchy and dry. Also, minerals and metals that are left on the scalp after water evaporates can build up on the follicle and stifle it."
Even the styling products that we choose can affect the health of the scalp. "Research has shown that styling products with drying alcohol, sticky animal proteins or PVP film formers can build up on the follicle, weigh down the hair and make it dry and brittle," says Knisley.
Research has shown that more than 50 percent of the population experiences a scalp condition at some point that, if left unattended, can lead to scalp stress—a scalp that is dry, tight and itchy or excessively oily. And Knisley warns that masking scalp issues instead of treating them can eventually hurt your business. "If hairstylists don't focus on the scalp, the client will end up going somewhere else when their hair becomes thinner and more fragile."
In-salon scalp treatments are a great add-on service that can help balance your clients' scalps—and boost profits, especially when partnered with a take-home scalp treatment. Performed either at the backbar or chair, treatments usually incorporate a head massage to improve circulation. Hairstylist Fabian Lliguin, owner of Cocoon Hair Salon in New York City, performs a Rahua Scalp Treatment at his salon using Rahua nut oil harvested in Ecuador. The oil was traditionally used by indigenous groups for its wound-healing and antiseptic properties. During the service, a few drops are massaged into the scalp, where they penetrate the cortex to rebuild damaged hair.
The Aveda Shampoo Massage combines Aveda's signature stress-relieving massage with the new Scalp Benefits Shampoo to clean and stimulate the scalp, promote exfoliation and facilitate relaxation. Yarok Sensory Treatments, currently available at Pasha Salon in Manhattan and John Vaillancourt in Chicago, consist of seven unique serums, such as Spark Your Youth and Chill After Sun, that incorporate vitamins and minerals from organically grown plants to address specific scalp conditions. Phyto teamed up with A.K.S Salon in New York City to deliver the nine-step Anti-Aging Balancing Act treatment. It incorporates the Phytopolleine pre-shampoo treatment, which is massaged into the scalp to purify and balance, and also the Phytodensium serum, which replaces the amino acid Tyrosine to boost production of melanin and slow down the aging process. A few drops of Phytolisse provides an ultra-smooth finish. —CARRIE WATSON
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