Don’t Forget To Give Your Scalp Some Serious TLC This Summer

Handy advice and tips on caring for your scalp in the sweltering heat.

Published On Apr 22, 2024 | Updated On Apr 22, 2024


Sure, our hair is our ‘crowning glory’. Haircare ads have always shown bouncy, shiny hair, and the only times the scalp was in focus was for dandruff. But the fact is that we often tend to forget to care for the scalp altogether, and there’s more to scalp care than just tackling dandruff; especially in the summers when the sun is beating down on our heads. 

“In the vibrant warmth of summer, our scalp requires as much attention and care as our skin,” says Dr Geetika Mittal Gupta, aesthetic physician and founder of ISAAC Luxe (International Skin & Anti-Aging Centre), an aesthetic clinic. “The rise in temperatures and humidity levels can exacerbate certain scalp conditions, making it imperative to adopt a seasonal scalp care routine. Incorporating traditional Indian scalp care methods and products can offer soothing, natural solutions.”’ 

She shares that the primary issues include scalp oiliness, increased dandruff, and sun damage. “The heat can stimulate the sebaceous glands, leading to excess oil production, while sweat accumulation can irritate the scalp, fostering fungal growth. Tackling these concerns involves maintaining a clean scalp, using light, non-greasy products, and not forgetting to protect the scalp from UV exposure with hats or scarves,” says Dr Geetika. 


Dr. Aparna Santhanam, MD, DNB, DDV (Dermatology), head - medical operations at Kaya too agrees that summers are a slightly woeful time for the scalp, as around the country it gets very hot. “To add to that, both extremes of humidity, very dry and very humid also affect the health and condition of the scalp. In dry climates, dry itchy scalp and dry dandruff are very common, while in humid weather, sticky dandruff, small infections like folliculitis and seborrheic dermatitis tend to be very common.” 


She shares that it is very important to understand the scalp cleansing routine for your type of scalp. Those with oily scalp can cleanse their scalps thrice a week, while for the rest twice is enough. “Use a scalp tonic to preserve the hydration of the scalp and use gentle sulfate-free shampoos. Your conditioner can also be a lightweight leave-in serum,” she suggests. 

In fact, Kaya Skin Clinic also has a scalp analysis tool. “Our type of scalp changes seasonally. Many people who experience dry scalp in winter can suddenly experience oiliness in summer. A diagnostic tool evaluates how your scalp is at this point of time and is the starting point for preventing as well as treating many summer scalp conditions,” says Dr Aparna. 

For those of us who love oiling the scalp and hair, we wonder though if this is the right thing to do in the heat of summers. “Yes, oiling can still be beneficial, provided you choose the right oils,” points out Dr Geetika. “Lightweight oils such as coconut or amla oil are ideal for the summer. They nourish the scalp without causing additional oiliness. It’s best to apply oil an hour before shampooing.” 

Both doctors shared a list of things to watch out for in the summer with regards to scalp health. 

  1. Avoid overuse of heating and styling tools for the hair which tends to affect the scalp health as well.
  2. Air dry your hair as much as possible after washing and use a lightweight serum with hyaluronic acid after.
  3. While scalp scrubs and exfoliation can help very oily, sticky scalps, avoid overdoing it. Over-exfoliation can cause dryness and change in the scalp pH, making it susceptible to fungal infections.
  4. Wash hair frequently with a lightweight shampoo and conditioner. Regular washing with a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo to remove sweat and oil buildup is crucial.
  5. In your diet avoid the allium family like garlic and onion to reduce sweating.
  6. While swimming, especially in the summer, always protect your scalp and hair with a swimming cap to avoid the harsh effects of chlorine as well as UV rays.
  7. Opt for loose hairstyles to minimize sweat accumulation.
  8. Rinse your hair with cool water after a day out in the heat to soothe the scalp.
  9. When outdoors, the best way to protect your scalp is to wear a hat with a broad brim.
  10. Weekly scalp massages with cooling oils like coconut or brahmi oil can enhance blood circulation and nourish the scalp.
  11. Traditional Indian ingredients like neem and turmeric can be added to homemade scalp scrubs for their antimicrobial properties.
  12. Herbal tonics and natural hair masks made with ingredients like neem, tea tree oil, or aloe vera can significantly alleviate scalp issues.
  13. Regularly changing your pillowcases and towels to ensure cleanliness and hygiene can also reduce scalp irritation.
  14. Last but not the least, stay well hydrated to help regulate your body and scalp’s temperature.

Kaya Resolvist Scalp Tonic 

An overnight treatment, this anti-dandruff tonic is a water-based formula and is enriched with ichthyol pale, salicylic acid, seascalp, aloe vera, allantoin, and panthenol. It targets dandruff-causing fungi, gently exfoliating the scalp, and providing optimal hydration to alleviate itching and scalp irritations. 

Buy here 

Minimalist Vitamin B6 + Carnitine 3% Scalp Serum 

This lightweight & non-greasy leave-in formula is designed to regulate excess sebum & reduce scalp oiliness. To be used after shampooing, this works by reducing sebum production by inhibiting bacterial growth & blocking the enzyme resulting to a less oily scalp. This fragrance & oil-free formula also contains ingredients to reduce scalp irritation and ensure optimal hydration. 

Buy here 

Nykaa Naturals Activated Charcoal & Bamboo Anti-Pollution Scalp Serum 

Packed with the power of charcoal and bamboo this serum helps exfoliate away trapped toxins, chemicals and environmental pollutants. It goes deep into the pores to get rid of itchiness and scalp acne as well. 

Buy here 

Raw Beauty Wellness Grandma Nourishing Scalp Butter 

A scalp butter that provides intense nourishment to the scalp and hair, it improves the overall health of the scalp, and is good for treating dandruff and itchiness. Packed with milk thistle, sacha inchi, panax ginseng and green tea, the product also actively works at boosting hair growth. 

Buy here 

Deconstruct AHA BHA Exfoliating Scalp Serum 

With 1% salicylic acid and lactic acid each and 2% zinc complex, this chemical exfoliant for the scalp is a water-based lightweight serum that absorbs into the scalp quickly. It helps remove excess oil and dead skin cells, balances pH level and exfoliates the scalp. 

Buy here 

Bare Anatomy Cleansing Scalp Scrub 

This scrub removes scalp buildup caused by pollution, dirt, and excess oil production as well as hair products and sprays, by gently exfoliating. It also deeply nourishes the scalp. It includes a combination of natural AHAs, as well as sugar as a physical exfoliant, and coconut oil to moisturise. 

Buy here 

Hemtattva Herbal Scalp Itching & Dandruff Control Shampoo-Marigold & Ginger 

A paraben- and SLS-free shampoo, this works to gently cleanse the scalp, while the aroma of marigold and ginger leave your hair smelling fresh while removing all the dirt, dandruff, and pollutants. The shampoo contains essential oils of walnut, almond, patchouli, marigold, as well as extracts from reetha, mango seed, ginger, turmeric, and aloe vera. 

Buy here 

Justhuman AyuGrowth Fortifying Hair Oil 

Formulated with a potent blend of 22 oils and natural extracts including amla, Brahmi, and hibiscus, this elixir nourishes the roots, reducing hair loss and promoting regrowth. The oil is cruelty-free and pH balanced and focuses on intense hydration and scalp nourishment for stronger roots. 

Buy here

Photo: Pexels