When we think of hygiene we immediately picture cleaning our armpits, stomach, chest and legs. Wherever there is a piece of skin that doesn’t get sunlight and isn’t exposed to the air, we tend to consider that something we should clean regularly. We know that where skin folds or is trapped, there is a tendency for germs and bacteria to multiply.
Yet when we think about the hygiene of our upper body we always miss out the head. Taking care of our face is something we do first and foremost as it’s not only our presentation to the world but it’s our most unique feature. So moisturizing the skin, wiping away germs from our eyes, neck and throat is something we don’t think twice about. But why then do we always treat our ears, teeth and scalp as afterthoughts?
We brush our teeth in the morning and evening but is that enough considering what you do to your teeth daily? What affects our mouth affects our throat too, so both need extra care. Our ears might be out of mind most of the time but this is where dead skin loves to pool and earwax collect. It’s about time you added a head hygiene routine to your facial routine.
Sore scalp sensitivities
The first thing you need to realize when you have some kind of scalp condition is that more than likely it’s related to hydration. More often than not, a dry scalp is because of the lack of natural oils in the hair and scalp. If you have dry hair you’re more than likely to have an itchy scalp.
What little oils that are secreted get sucked up into the hair and even then if you have long hair, it won’t be enough for the hair to become hydrated. This causes the scalp to continually need hydration to keep from cracking. It takes a lot of strength to keep the hair in our roots lively, bouncy and full of life. When a scalp is dry it can cause it to crack and even more, moisture is lost so you’ll end up with a flaky itchy scalp that becomes sore.
To combat a dry scalp, first you shouldn’t wash your hair every day, in fact you should leave 1 or 2 days gap between washes. Try to avoid having your hair exposed to the sun for any length of time. Don’t put too many products in your hair, such as hair dye. Eat more protein foods such as eggs and meat. Go to a doctor to get a prescription shampoo which you can use as part of your daily routine. Ditch products that have too many chemicals in them and stick to something more natural such as tea shampoo. Find a conditioner that is rich in B12 vitamin to allow your hair to lock in the moisture.
More than twice a day
Brushing your teeth twice a day simply isn’t enough anymore. It used to be the recommended amount but nowadays with more knowledge about teeth decay and the foods we eat, twice a day is the minimum you should be doing. One of the clearest signs that you aren’t taking good care of your teeth is when you spit blood after brushing.
This is the first sign of gum disease which you can learn more. There are multiple diseases that could affect you if you aren’t doing more than brushing your teeth such as flossing regularly. Flossing is so simple yet many of us don’t try it. A thin thread is driven through our teeth and this cleans the tiny pieces of food away which will rot and decay our teeth. This is something that takes less time than brushing and also costs less as floss string is cheap.
However sometimes you can’t help it and your gums will bleed because of a disease that you have such as diabetes or leukemia. You might also have a vitamin C deficiency hence the old tale that scurvy among sailors is kept at bay by eating oranges. On the other hand it could be due to stress as this also has an effect on our blood pressure making it easier to scrape or cut your plump gums. It might also be due to genetics as it’s something inherited from your parents.
In the curvy crevices
The shape of ears is brilliant and a product of evolution. The entire design is to help sound from all sides reverberate into our earhole and then contact our eardrum. However because of these curves we tend to trap dead skin cells in them. The cartilage in our ear acts as shelves and traps the shedding skin cells from dropping off and away. Earwax is something far too many people allow to build up also, however it’s an awkward cleaning process which puts them off.
Firstly, to clean your ears use a damp cloth to wipe the inside cartilage of your ear. Wipe in the curves and use your pinky finger if the crevice is too narrow. You should also clean behind the ears as this is where sweat and dead skin can also accumulate.
Next to clean the ear wax you should use a thin cloth dipped in water to clean out the ear canal. Do not put cotton buds down your ears as two things that are detrimental. Firstly your ears need earwax to keep your ear from drying up and to also catch small debris and dirt from entering. The other reason is that you might actually push the earwax deeper in which can block your ear canal and impede hearing. The simply way to clean your ear is to allow water to slightly enter your ear when showering.
Head hygiene is something we don’t pay much attention to as a society. However you’ll realize how important it is when your scalp is dry and so itchy that it becomes flaky and sore.
Change your diet and give your hair a break from shampoos with too many chemicals. Bleeding gums is something you can’t ignore, so floss more often and consider expert help if you know it’s because of a disease you suffer from.