"Beautiful hair cannot be conceived without a healthy scalp," said Patrick Alès, founder of the Phyto Paris brand. He adds: "The scalp is the nourishing soil of the hair, just as the soil is for a plant". In good health, we don't think about it... When this one is disturbed, you can face itching, hair loss or dandruff. This is a kindly reminder of how important it is to take care of it!
As you can imagine, the scalp covers the entire skull. It is flexible and resistant structure. So far, no major discoveries. In terms of functioning, the scalp has several responsibilities: it constitutes a physical barrier for your skull, it is a thermal insulator and also functions as an immunological protector
The scalp is just the tip of the iceberg. In reality, it is composed of several layers, just as the skin: the epidermis contains the hair bulb (also called the follicle) - i.e. the base of hairs and hair. The dermis contains all the blood vessels and 230 nerve endings. The cellular renewal of the scalp lasts only 14 days, compared to the 28 days of the skin. Usually, dead cells on the scalp are removed, thanks to shampoos.
A rhetorical question and yet... why do we have hair instead of hairs on our heads? To learn why we must go back to the basics of human history. The very first men had not yet developed the art of clothing, making hats and caps, so biology, married with evolution and together, they made an effort for them, providing our ancestors with longer - hairs - on their scalp, to protect themselves from cold, UV light exposure, etc. It makes total sense, no?. You can imagine that the first men living in Canada needed lots of hair on their heads to warm them up! In any case, we thank prehistory for leaving us with this beautiful gift to take care of.
Hairs' health begins at the heart of the scalp. In good health, the hair follicle creates cells called keratinocytes every day. It then produces keratin, the protein that makes up the hair and makes it solid.
In addition, it is also at the heart of the scalp that the nutrients and oxygen necessary for proper hair growth are transported.
Finally, the sebaceous glands, just above the bulbs, are responsible for producing sebum: thanks to it, the hair is protected and lubricated. You can see that if the scalp is unbalanced, the whole hair ecosystem suffers directly from it.
Like skin, there are different types of scalps as well. It is important to identify which type of scalp you have to treat it according to its needs.
- Oily scalp: All scalp types produce sebum. Although, some scalps may produce more than the regular level! This is determined by our genes, by our hormones, but also by the frequency of times you wash our hair: when washed too often, the scalp can get out of control and produce too much sebum to protect itself. Not enough, sebum accumulates in too large a quantity, resulting in that - dirty hair oily sensation- which contributes to this infernal cycle,
- Dry scalp: In opposite cases, the scalp can also produce too little sebum! This phenomenon will result in a tight scalp and dry skin flakes that fall out, everywhere. Sometimes, it can culminate with itching sensations, flare-ups and overall irritation. In this case, it's better to use a moisturizing shampoo, gentle and respectful of your scalp's balance!
- Sensitive scalp: Like your skin or your personality, scalps too, have different levels of sensitivity! There are the strong ones who can handle more or less everything. There are the "normal", those who tolerate up to a certain stage. And then there are the sensitive ones... Those who DO NOT support aggressive shampoos, hair straighteners or daily hairstyles! They let you know their dissatisfaction very quickly: itching, flakes, reactional hair loss.
Several causes can be at the origin of the disorder: there are factors specific to the scalp, such as its condition or the tendency to develop dandruff.
But there are also external factors like the weather.
Temperatures, too high or too low, can easily destabilize the scalp. Symptoms may include overproduction of sebum, scalp irritation.
Pollution plays an important role in deregulation: extremely fine, pollution particles can enter the pores of the scalp.
Lifestyle, such as stress or diet, greatly influences the condition of the scalp. The term psychosomatic is not a new one!
Age also influences the condition of the scalp. For example, dandruff often starts very often in adolescence, or hair gets thinner with age because the scalp activity is not the same as it used to be.
Overall health plays a major role in hair health. When we take medication or treatment, they release toxins that are partially released through the scalp. Full of toxin, it becomes "indurative", meaning that it lacks flexibility and harms the growth of healthy hair.
Considering these observations, many gestures may be adopted to take care of your scalp:
Massage your scalp daily or brush your hair to promote movement and thus blood circulation and oxygenation of the hair follicle!
Nutrition: favour a balanced diet, full of vitamins and fatty acids to provide hair with the nutrients it needs.
NEVER go to bed with wet hair (in the same way that you wouldn't go to bed with a wet swimsuit): it's the ideal environment for bacteria to proliferate. Sleeping with wet hair dehydrates the scalp, unbalancing the hydrolipidic film. The icing on the cake: the scalp tightens, small spasms may appear.
Wash your scalp: you read it right. You don't wash your hair, you wash your scalp! He is the one who needs the sebum and impurities removed!
- Set a good washing rhythm: the scalp is like that friend who doesn't want to be overworked.
Do not wash the scalp too often, at the risk of it becoming irritated and out of control!
Choose your hair care products wisely: the golden rule when choosing your treatments is to select those made to meet the needs of your scalp. Before that, take the time to properly diagnose your needs! Dry shampoo can be used in extreme situations, but it can damage and unbalance the scalp. The choice of ingredients: goodbye silicone, you who choke my scalp... If silicone is often used in products on the market for its shiny effects on the hair, it is very bad for the scalp because it chokes it and disturbs it!
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