Over the last few years, the beauty world has woken up to the fact that healthy hair starts at the scalp, which has meant that hair care and skin care have become inextricably linked. Skin industry leaders like Neutrogena and Drunk Elephant have expanded their offerings to include shampoo, and now, one of our favorite affordable brands, The Inkey List, is taking things one step further by introducing a hair-care extension, developed specifically for the scalp. The best part? Not a single product will run you more than $17.
The line, which launched on Friday, has everything you need to keep the skin north of your forehead—and the hair grows out of it—as healthy as possible. The Inkey List’s complexion line takes an ingredient-first approach—lacing formulas with ingredients such as caffeine, salicylic acid, vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, peptides, and amino acids—and the hair-care offerings are no different. Whatever hair issues you’re dealing with, the brand has got something for you. Scroll through for help choosing what’s worth adding to your cart.
If you’re looking for fuller strands: Caffeine Stimulating Scalp Treatment, $17
In the skin-care world, caffeine has long been a staple in under-eye cream, thanks to its de-puffing abilities. But when it comes to hair care, it’s been proven to help (at least a little bit) with shedding. In a 2012 study done with patients who had androgenetic alopecia, a hereditary hair fall condition, topical caffeine was found to stimulate circulation and promote a healthy environment for growth. This overnight treatment taps the ingredient and has been indicated to encourage hair thickness by stimulating follicles and keeping them in the anagen (growth) phase for longer. For best results, use it every night before bed.
Shop now: The Inkey List Caffeine Stimulating Scalp Treatment, $17
If your scalp is itchy and flaky: Salicylic Acid Exfoliating Scalp Treatment, $16
While you might think the flakes up there come as a result of dryness, it’s actually the opposite: Most of the time, flakes are the aftereffect of an overproduction of oil. Because of this, regularly exfoliating your scalp is just as important as exfoliating your complexion. The process helps to get rid of product build-up and dead skin cells—which can exacerbate an excess oil situation—and salicylic acid is one of the best ingredients for getting the job done. This serum should be used once or twice a week for 10 minutes before you shampoo.
Shop now: The Inkey List Salicylic Acid Exfoliating Scalp Treatment, $16
If you’re going grey: Amino Acid Anti-Grey Scalp Treatment, $15
Going grey is a natural part of the aging process. As we get older, our follicles produce less of the melanin that gives our hair its natural color. This, in combination with free radical damage from the environment, cause our strands to lose their pigment over time. This overnight treatment uses amino acids and a proprietary ingredient called “darkenyl” to stimulate melanin production and protect your strands from environmental stressors, helping hair to maintain its pigment. Use it every night before bed.
Shop now: The Inkey List Amino Acid Anti-Grey Scalp Treatment, $15
If your hair is flat: Peptide Volumizing Hair Treatment, $13
Adding volume to your hair has traditionally required amping it up with hairspray, but this volumizing treatment does a whole lot more than fake volume. It’s made with two different types of peptides that support your hair’s natural proteins, and work to plump your strands from the inside out. According to The Inkey List, a single use will make your hair look 10,000 strands more voluminous.
Shop now: The Inkey List Peptide Volumizing Hair Treatment, $13
If your hair is dull: Vitamin C Brightening Hair Treatment, $13
Vitamin C is a must-have for brightening your skin, and the same principle applies to your hair. This serum uses a vitamin C compound to restore damaged hair by working to rebuild your hair’s natural surface called the cuticle (which tends to get frayed and dimpled when your strands are damaged), leaving you with smooth, shiny strands. Massage it into wet hair from root to tip, and style as usual.
Shop now: The Inkey List Vitamin C Brightening Hair Treatment, $13
If your hair is dry: Hyaluronic Acid Hair Treatment, $13
Just like with your skin, certain behaviors—like over washing, heat damage, or using the wrong kinds of products—can leave your hair feeling dry and dehydrated. Enter: hyaluronic acid, which is famous for its ability to hold 1,000 times its weight in water. This HA-based serum will add hydration back into your hair, and do away with frustrating frizz (which is one of the most common side effects of dry, damaged hair). It works with every hair texture and is a great regular addition to whatever routine you’re already working with.
Shop now: The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid Hair Treatment, $13
Want to learn more about taking care of your scalp and strands? Check out the video below.
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