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Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Your Scalp

by Janell Hickman |

You heard it here first: scalp care is the new skincare. Here’s why — a healthy scalp promotes hair growth which starts with happy, nourished follicles. Like a garden, you want to foster an environment where your hair can start to flourish (not fail). And, even if you aren’t rocking much hair, you still want to give your baldie some much needed TLC. 

Don't know where to start? we caught up with cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Michele Green to ask a few burning questions that have been on our mind for awhile touching on everything from hair loss to key ingredients to look for, and what to avoid.

Keep scrolling to get the scoop on everything you ever wanted to know about your scalp. 

Q: What should I avoid to reduce further hair loss? 

There are a myriad of issues which can affect the scalp therefore affecting hair growth such as stress, chemical processing, coloring, as well as certain medical conditions. These issues can cause the scalp to become dry, and damage the hair follicles. The health of the hair follicle plays a major role in the health of the hair, so when you have a clean, well-functioning scalp, you will in turn have healthy strong, shiny hair that grows.

 Q: What Actually Causes Hair Loss?

There are many different types of hair loss. Hair loss can be caused by a variety of factors like genetics, hormones, lifestyle, and stress. To treat hair loss, it is necessary to find the underlying issue or medical condition that is causing the hair to thin and fall out. Consulting with a board-certified dermatologist is the best way to diagnose the specific type of hair loss and formulate a treatment plan.

 

Q: What makes spearmint anti-fungal and why might it be good for your scalp?

Spearmint ( aka mentha spicata) has anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antibacterial properties. It soothes the scalp and prevents build of sebum.

Q: How does clove promote hair growth and other hair benefits?

The essential oil of clove is great for scalp health. Cloves have anti-microbial properties which eases scalp irritation and boost scalp circulation. Applying cloves to the scalp can improve scalp health reducing hair thinning and promoting hair growth.

Q: How does nettle combat hair loss and promote hair growth?

This prickly leafed plant which can inflict pain upon contact can be beneficial to hair growth due to its antioxidant and inflammatory properties. Nettle is rich in minerals such as zinc, magnesium and iron which are all beneficial to the health of the hair follicles.

Q: What about hemp seed makes it great for your scalp?

Hemp is rich in omega 3, 6 and 9, hemp oil also contains fatty acids that are necessary for maximizing hair growth.

Q: What are the downsides of petroleum clogging the scalp's pores?

Petroleum also contains mineral oil that accumulates on the scalp, clogging hair follicles, which slows hair growth. It may make your hair look shiny but that is because it is a greasy product, not because your hair follicles are producing its own moisture.

Q: What are the downsides of using mineral oil on the scalp?

Like petroleum, mineral oil can also clog the hair follicles as well as cause scalp irritation and hair loss.

Q: Do I need to incorporate a scalp scrub into my routine? 

Using a scalp scrub can help maintain a healthy scalp which will in turn facilitate hair growth, however scalp health is also contingent upon external as well as internal factors. The hair follicles need the right nourishment and the scalp also needs to maintain the right pH balance...when all are in harmony hair grows.

 In addition to scalp scrubs, using the right hair care products are also essential to scalp health—and creating a healthy microbiome. Also, there are treatments such as PRP (Platelet-Enriched Plasma) which is injected into the skin of the scalp, it can stimulate the withering hair follicles to become larger and healthier than before. If the hair follicles get stronger, then this can reverse the hair loss process. 

Q: What about in-office treatments — are there things I should consider?

[I’m a fan of the] HydraFacial Keravive which is packed full of growth factors to hydrate, nourish and stimulate the scalp in a three-step process. This rejuvenating scalp treatment is a facial for the scalp cleansing the scalp and stimulating circulation for healthier hair follicles. 

Q: Could you explain what malasezzia is and the harm it does to your scalp?

Malassezia is a monophyletic genus of fungi. This fungus can be found on the skin surface of over 7 billion humans. The fungus is also associated with a variety of skin and scalp conditions, which includes dandruff, atopic eczema, dermatitis, pityriasis versicolor, seborrheic dermatitis, and folliculitis.

Q: How can people best balance the microbiome on their scalp?

Maintaining a healthy scalp is essential to the balance of the microbiome of the scalp. The scalp is the means by which the hair follicles get nourishment to maintain healthy looking hair, promote hair growth and prevent hair loss. Dandruff, buildup of dirt, oil and product residue can accumulate on the scalp, causing scalp issues such as scalp dermatitis, thinning hair or hair loss.

 

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