Nurturing Your Scalp for Optimal Hair Growth: Tips from Hair Health Expert Shab Caspara
Meet Hair Health Expert and Trichologist, Shab Caspara! After a fulfilling career as an award-winning hairstylist in New York City, she is now one of the most recognized trichologists and an expert source for major beauty and health media outlets. Shab is featured in Forbes, Vogue, Women’s Health, Allure, Prevention, and Cosmopolitan for her expert knowledge on hair and scalp health, hair care, consumer trends, and scientific research.
She is the host of the Hair Like Hers Podcast, a leading show featuring top experts in the beauty, health, wellness, science, and medical industries to help consumers understand how hair grows.
She also launched Leona.co, the first tech-enabled hair care retail platform that matches women with the best hair growth solutions and devices from around the world. We are honored to have our Better Roots Serum and Better Roots Complex featured on Leona.co.
We chatted with Shab about all things hair health and growth, and we are so excited to share her knowledge with you!
What sparked your interest in trichology and scalp and hair health?
After over 17 years of working behind the chair as a hairstylist, I noticed the rise in women’s related hair loss and scalp issues and I wasn’t fit to help them navigate their options and truly help them. If they were having issues finding help and I was the supposed to be their trusted hair expert, something was missing. I quickly realized what huge issue access to information and affection solutions was so I quit my job at one of the most esteemed salons in Manhattan to pursue my true passion of trichology and being able to help women with all their hair and scalp concerns. I realized that cosmetology was only one side of managing and working with hair, and Trichology is bridging the gap to dermatology and other medical services.
Can you share the link between scalp health and the overall well-being and appearance of the hair?
Your scalp is the breeding ground for healthy hair growth. A healthy and balanced scalp ensures continued growth of healthy hair and can help prevent hair thinning or shedding.
What are some common signs or symptoms of an unhealthy scalp that people should look out for?
An unhealthy scalp has an unbalanced microbiome triggered by diet, environment, medication, illnesses, harsh hair products and improper scalp hygiene. Symptoms of a troubled scalp environment include redness, itchiness, flaking, inflammation, soreness, and excessive oiliness.
Can you explain the difference between hair thinning and hair loss?
Hair thinning can be looked at in two ways. 1- the hair quality of each strand is weakening and becoming more fine or 2- the loss of density throughout the head either from the root or from breakage along the hair strand. Hair Loss can be defined as hair shedding and can happen either all around or in specific areas like the front hairline or the crown of the head.
What are 2-3 things everyone can do to improve their scalp health?
1. Wash hair more frequently. With the changes in air pollution and increased contaminants in our water, extending hair wash days are more detrimental to the health of your scalp than ever. I do not suggest extending wash days beyond 4 days as the accumulation of build-up from the environment and the scalp itself can slowly wreak havoc on your hair and scalp overtime. If you wash you hair everyday, I recommend using a gentle cleansing shampoo that wont over dry the scalp and hair. My general rule of thumb is to wash at least every other day and to sub-in a clarifying shampoo if you wash less frequently.
2. Stimulate your scalp either with a manual massage or with the help of a scalp massager in order to increase circulation and encourage cell turnover and increased nourishment from the enhanced blood supply.
3. Exfoliate your scalp like you would your facial skin either weekly or every other week depending on how often you wash your hair to clear out any build-up and allow the scalp to remain balanced and clean.
What are some of the biggest hair myths and misconceptions you have come across in your experience?
1. Washing your hair less allows scalp oils to protect hair. Truth: Increased scalp sebum can cause inflammation and irritate the scalp and hinder hair growth over time.
2. Sleep with your hair mask in your hair overnight. Truth: products that were formulated to be rinsed out should not be left on the hair for an extended period of time as they can dry on the hair and create a coating that will lead to tangling and dull hair because it becomes difficult to wash off.
Could you discuss the relationship between diet and hair health? Are there specific foods or nutrients that are particularly beneficial for the scalp and hair?
Depriving your body of the essential amino acids found mainly in animal protein can result in weaker hair growth. This is very common amongst vegans and vegetarians. Unhealthy fats in your diet can affect your scalp and result in excessive sebum production and possibly flaking. It’s important to take note of changes in your scalp and diet and be aware of what may be triggering any unwanted results. A prolonged state of an unhealthy and clogged scalp leads to thinning over time and should be taken very seriously. The following vitamins and minerals are essential for hair and scalp health: B vitamins: Biotin, B6, B7, B12, B9, Magnesium, Iron, Vitamin A, Vitamin D3, Zinc
Let's talk hair longevity! Could you share some general tips or suggestions that someone can incorporate into their routine to improve the long-term health and condition of their hair, regardless of any specific concerns?
To continue growing in healthy hair, we need to protect the cells in the scalp just as we do for the face. I recommend everyone use a scalp topical to protect and nourish the scalp and the lifespan of the hair follicle itself. I also recommend hair supplements to directly target the cells in the hair follicle and to increase nutrients and vitamins that are becoming increasingly difficult to get from food sources.
Congrats on the launch of Leona! We are grateful to have our Better Roots Serum included on your list of options for scalp health and regrowth—can you share more about why you love the Better Roots Serum?
I love this serum because of its multi-faceted capabilities such as stimulating the hair follicle, supporting the hairs natural melanin, reducing inflammation and that it contains 10 clinically proven active ingredients.
Besides our Better Roots Serum, do you have any other EVOLVh faves?
The InstaVolume Elixir is another favorite of mine because of its ease of use and ability to thicken hair as a conditioner that is applied after a shower rather than a typical rinse-out conditioner during a shower.
You have such beautiful hair! I'm curious if you have any infamous hair regrets?
As a dark haired brunette, excessively highlighting my hair to look more blonde is something i will never go back to because healthy hair means everything and is the sign of youth and overall health. I wont do any chemical treatment that will compromise the shine and integrity of my hair today. I only add baby lights once or twice a year for added dimension and that’s all!