Understanding Your Scalp
Your scalp is incredibly important for your hair health! It is made up of of hundreds of hair follicles, and it is a sensitive microenvironment that can change due to multiple different factors. Understanding your scalp is really important for ensuring hair growth.
Why is Healthy Scalp Important?
The health of your scalp determines the rate at which your hair grows, as well as how healthy it is. It should have a pH level of between 4.2 and 6.5 as well as a high level of sebum (oil) secretions from its sebaceous gland in order to create an optimum environment for hair growth. If your scalp under or overproduces this sebum, you might notice scalp issues. Therefore, in order to keep your hair healthy, it is key that you keep your scalp healthy.
Scalp Microbiome Explained: Bacteria for Improved Scalp Health
Your scalp microbiome is made up of flora and bacteria that play a very important part in maintaining your scalp health. These different micro-organisms work together to nourish your scalp and your hair.
Common Scalp Disorders
When your scalp microbiome is thrown off balance, this can cause a multitude of different scalp disorders. For example, in a research study completed in 2018, found that Malassezia, Propionibacterium acnes and staphylococcus were directly linked to bacterial dandruff. In order to thicken and strengthen your hair it is key that your scalp microbiome is healthy and a great environment for hair growth.
Dry Cracked Scalp
A dry and cracked scalp is commonly caused by eczema which is a skin condition that causes dry and itchy patches. This can lead to hair loss and scalp irritation. Different lotions or medications may be prescribed by a doctor to treat this.
Dandruff is a condition characterised by flaky skin that falls from the scalp and is often noticed on clothing. Dandruff, is most commonly caused by a dry scalp or an overl y oily scalp. In order to combat this, using shampoo or conditioner that contains zinc pyrithione, salicylic acid or selenium sulfide is helpful. However, bacteria like malassezia, prionibacterium acnes and staphylococcus cause bacterial dandruff. Using a shampoo that contains zinc-pyrithione in it is the most effective way of treating bacterial dandruff as it has antifungal properties.
There are lots of different scalp fungal infections that can really throw off your scalp biome and if left untreated cause hair loss. Some of these fungi are:
- Description: Ringworm is a circular shaped fungal infection that can occur anywhere on the body. When it occurs on the scalp, it is referred to as tinea capitis. It can cause an itchy bald patch on the scalp and if left untreated can spread.
- Treatment: A doctor or dermatologist will probably prescribe antifungal tablets in order to treat the ringworm
- Description: This is a fungal infection that can enter the body t hrough broken skin and causes red blistering, redness and pain around the infection.
- Treatment: A doctor will usually prescribe antifungal medication.
One of the main causes of itchy scalp is seborrheic dermatitis which can cause dandruff, and an itchy scalp. The best way to treat this is to use an anti-dandruff shampoo and if the condition does not resolve itself, to go and see a doctor.
Fungal infections, inflamed hair follicles, and itchy scalp can cause damage to the hair follicles and eventually cause hair loss. If you do not look after your scalp and ensure that it is a good environment for hair growth, it will inevitably cause hair loss.
The Causes of an Unhealthy Scalp
Lots of different things can cause an unhealthy scalp. Something as minimal as stress, to something as severe as a scalp infection can cause an unhealthy scalp and throw your microbiome off balance. The most common causes of an unhealthy scalp are:
- Overactive sebaceous glands
- Poor nutrition
- Certain hair products
Lack of Nutrition
A lack of nutrition can contribute to an unhealthy scalp as your hair and your scalp need specific vitamins and minerals in order to remain healthy. Without these vitamins and minerals, you may experience a dry or overly oily scalp, fungal infections, or dandruff.
Over-styling your hair can cause a build-up of product around the hair follicle causing damage to the hair and the scalp. It can also cause hair damage as tight hairstyles can over pull and break the hair strands, irritating and damaging the scalp.
High stress levels can cause your scalp microbiome to be thrown off. Stress causes the production of specific hormones and inflammatory chemicals which can cause the scalp to become itchy and dry, damaging not only the scalp but also the hair follicles.
Product build-up around the base of the hair follicle can really impact the health of the scalp. It is caused by waxy or very oily products that create “sticky” flakes from the scalp.
How to Restore Improve and Maintain Scalp Health Naturally
By decreasing the amount of heat you use on your hair, increasing your vitamin and mineral intake, reducing chemical exposure and stress levels, you can really make a difference to your scalp health and subsequently your hair health.
Improve Your diet
By improving your diet and increasing your vitamin and amino acid intake, you ensure that your body is getting the right substances to maintain scalp health. Vitamin A, B, and C, as well as zinc, iron, and biotin are crucial for maintaining hair and scalp health. Formulated, targeted hair supplements like KeraHealth Hair contain all 18 essential amino acids together with the necessary vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
By exfoliating your scalp, you are removing dead skin cells to make way for new and healthier skin cells. This can help to remove dandruff. Shampoos, such as Follicle Hero shampoo contains salicylic acid, highly effective in gently exfoliating the scalp.
After exfoliating you scalp, it is important to remember to moisturise the newly exposed skin cells. This ensures that they remain healthy and that your scalp remains a good environment for hair growth. Using ingredients such as coconut oil or aloe vera is excellent for this purpose.
Reduce Chemical Exposure
Chemicals, like hair dyes, straightening agents, and certain hair care products can cause issues like scalp dermatitis. This causes irritation to your scalp and in severe cases cause chemical burns. Reducing your exposure to these chemicals can help ensure that your scalp and its microbiome is healthy.
Reduce Stress and Implement Healthy Lifestyle Changes
High stress levels produce certain chemicals and hormones which can cause scalp irritation, inflammation and redness. In order to combat this, reducing stress, doing meditation, exercising and increasing sleep can be really helpful.
Wear a Hat to Protect Your Scalp from Harmful UV Rays
Wearing a hat or sunscreen on your scalp can protect it from UV rays from the sun and ensure that your scalp remains healthy.
Improve Blood Circulation by Massaging Your Scalp Regularly
Massaging your scalp increases circulation to your hair follicles and your scalp which can improve hair growth. This helps to keep both your hair follicles and scalp healthy.
White vs Yellow Dandruff?
There are two different types of dandruff – white dandruff and yellow dandruff. These both have different causes and there are different ways to treat them.
White dandruff is normally caused by an overly oily scalp or a very dry scalp. Treating this with anti-dandruff shampoo is generally the most effective.
If dandruff flakes are large, greasy, and yellow, they are probably caused by seborrheic dermatitis, which is a scalp condition. In order to treat this, a doctor will usually prescribe a medicated shampoo, cream or lotion.
How to Choose the Right Shampoo and Conditioner for Your Scalp?
Finding the right shampoo and conditioner for your scalp can be a game changer. For dry scalp, look for products containing coconut oil, tea tree oil, and salicylic acid. For an oily scalp, look for products that contain lactic and salicylic acid, castor oil, and chamomile. If you struggle with bacteria imbalances, using a probiotic shampoo or a medicated shampoo can be really helpful. The Follicle Hero shampoo and conditioner provide a complete care system for scalp and hair health, exfoliating and moisturising and soothing the scalp.
Dandruff vs Dry Scalp
Dandruff and dry scalp both have very similar symptoms, however, dry scalp is caused by your skin having too little moisture, whereas dandruff is most commonly caused by seborrheic dermatitis where the skin becomes overly oily. Knowing whether you have dandruff or dry scalp is important as there are different ways to treat them. If you unsure of which you may have, seeing a dermatologist can be very helpful.
How often should you Wash Your Hair?
In order to reduce the chances of your scalp over producing oil, washing your hair every 2-3 days is recommended. Over-shampooing can cause your hair to overproduce oil as it is being stripped of it by the shampoo so often.
The KeraHealth 360 Hair health plan offers a complete, no nonsense approach to hair health – the supplements are proven to reduce hair loss and stimulate growth, from the inside while the Follicle Hero system cares for the scalp and hair health from the outside.
Learn More About KeraHealth Products
TAKE THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF VITAMINS FOR YOUR HAIR
Formulated to help fill gaps in women's diets.*SHOP KERAHEALTH HAIR