Scalp Exfoliation: The Complete DIY Guide
Scalp exfoliation can make our hair look better and healthier. And that makes sense if you think about it. Most of us agree that exfoliating our faces and limbs improve their appearance. Then why would we believe that scrubbing would work differently for our scalps?
The truth is that exfoliating our scalps is one of the best things we could do for our hair’s health and appearance. Our scalps are constantly overloaded by oil and dirt, and washing our hair doesn’t do much to unclog our skin pores.
Let’s take a look at how exfoliating can help our hair, and how to exfoliate our scalps properly.
Why Scalp Exfoliation is Important For Your Hair And Skin
Our scalps contain sebaceous glands, just like the skin on our faces. The entire role of the sebaceous glands has long been disputed, but most scientists believe they play a part in our bodies’ environmental adaptability. These glands produce sebum, an oily substance that improves the skins’ ability to shed water.
The sebum coats the hair on our bodies and creates a water-repellent surface. This was very helpful for our hunter-gatherer ancestors during the cold season. When it’s warm and sunny, the oily surface created by the sebum will facilitate the reflection of sunlight, which helped our ancestors withstand the high temperatures more easily during the summer.
Nowadays, we don’t need to rely on our sebum to protect us from the elements, but our bodies still produce it. Unfortunately, our bodies might actually produce more sebum than usual when they’re exposed to certain chemicals found in shampoos, and they might produce more to protect our scalps from the effects of hard water.
When our scalps produce too much sebum, we might develop Seborrheic Dermatitis (SD) or dandruff. These conditions are considered similar since they are triggered by the same process, share many features, and respond to similar treatments. The only noticeable differences between the conditions are their location and severity. Dandruff is limited to the scalp and it determines the flaking of the skin without causing a visible inflammation. SD can affect the scalp, face, ears, and upper chest, and it can cause visible inflammation and marked erythema.
Now, if we exfoliate our scalps with regularity, we reduce the amount of sebum our scalps produce, thus preventing the onset of these conditions. Let’s see how this helps
Gets Rid Of Excess Oil That Causes Dandruff
Dandruff affects roughly 50 percent of the adult population worldwide, and it’s more common in men than women. The dandruff flakes are nothing else than dead skin cells.
You could say that dandruff is simply a more rapid desquamation of the scalps’ skin cells. However, the skin cells are trapped by the sebum, so the flakes are usually easily noticeable. But unfortunately, dandruff is not so easily defined. This disease can have a huge impact on someone’s life.
Dandruff can cause itchiness, and it can make our hair look unhygienic and untidy. This can cause great embarrassment in public, and it can even lead to social and psychological problems. The personal care industry offers a wide range of products that target these exact social and psychological problems to convince you to buy overpriced products and neglect the simplest solution, exfoliating.
Exfoliating your scalp will remove the excess of oil and dead skin cells, and it can even lower the rate of your scalp’s desquamation.
Removes Oils That Can Cause Hair Thinning
Sometimes, the excess of sebum and dandruff can clog the skin pores on our scalp. This can lead to hair thinning. Each skin pore on our scalps contains a hair follicle. The hair follicle produces at least one hair, but sometimes it can produce even two or more. However, the hair follicle needs to have access to the proper nutrients in order to grow hair.
When the sebum and dandruff clog the skin pore, the hair follicle can’t access nutrients as well as it normally would. Since the follicle can’t feed itself properly, it will produce a smaller number of hairs, which will make your hair look thinner.
Exfoliating your scalp will remove the blockages and prevent them from developing in the first place. This will make your hair look fuller and healthier.
Eliminates Product Build Up
We just talked about how sebum can clog your skin pores. Well, unfortunately, so can hair products. Some of us wash our hairs once every three or four days. Some might even wash their hair once a week. While these practices could, in theory, prevent dandruff buildup, they can lead to a product buildup instead.
Hairstyle products help our hair look nice when the hair itself is healthy. However, they can deteriorate our hair by clogging up the skin pores. This is especially true if you use products that have a high damaging potential, such as low-quality hairspray or hair gel.
Washing your hair regularly will remove most of the product in your hair, but some of it might still stick to your scalp. Exfoliating regularly will remove the remaining product, keeping your scalp clean and healthy.
How Men Use Scalp Exfoliation For Hair Loss Treatment
Scalp exfoliation is a viable treatment option for men who want to prevent hair loss. The exfoliation process cleans the skin pores, allowing the hair follicles to feed themselves properly. But the process also stimulates the scalp’s blood circulation.
The base of the hair follicle contains tiny blood vessels called capillaries. These blood vessels are the ones responsible for the follicle’s nutrition. They are critical for a healthy scalp. The exfoliation process stimulates the local blood circulation, so more blood will circulate through the follicle’s capillaries. The improved supply of oxygen, vitamins, and minerals has an invigorating effect on the hair follicle, and they encourage it to produce more hairs.
A Scalp Exfoliation DIY Guide
If you’re new to exfoliation, you might be wondering how you can do it properly on your scalp. In this guide, you will find out how to prepare your own exfoliating mixture, or how to apply the ones you find in shops.
Step 1: Mix Up Exfoliating Scrub
You can skip this step if you’re using commercial scalp scrub. Preparing your own exfoliating scrub is a good solution for those who don’t want to spend too much on this process. The exfoliating scalp scrub doesn’t contain expensive ingredients, and it’s very easy to put together.
To prepare the exfoliating scrub, you will need one tablespoon of baking soda or brown sugar, three drops of peppermint, vitamin E, or lavender essential oil, and three tablespoons of conditioner. Combine the ingredients in a bowl and stir them using a spoon.
Step 2: Wet Hair
Wet your hair using lukewarm or cold water. Avoid hot water when you’re washing your hair because it can dry out your skin.
Step 3: Scrub Mixture Into Hair And Scalp
Apply the exfoliating scrub on your scalp using your fingers. Make sure you actually reach the skin instead of applying the scrub on your hair. Now, vigorously scrub the area for a minute or two using moderate pressure. This will help remove the dead skin cells.
Make sure you scrub the entire scalp, from the front of your hairline to the back of your head. Do not skip scrubbing the sides of your head. Focus on the parts of your scalp that feel itchy or dry.
Step 4: Rinse
Now that you removed the dead skin cells off your scalp, it’s time to remove the scrub from your hair. Make sure you remove all the exfoliating scrub, then shampoo your hair and apply conditioner if you normally do so.
What Are The Best Scalp Exfoliation Products?
If you don’t want to lose time mixing up your own exfoliating scrub and you want to buy a commercial product, we recommend using one of the following:
Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal and Coconut Oil Micro-exfoliating Shampoo
The Briogeo Scalp Revival comes in 8oz containers, and it’s good for all types of hair. This shampoo exfoliates and soothes your scalp, leaving it hydrated and clean. The shampoo combines the antibacterial proprieties of the binchotan charcoal with the efficiency of vegetable-derived exfoliators. This will remove the excess sebum and dead skin cells while drawing out and eliminating all the bacteria that might have entered the skin pore.
The shampoo contains a mix of spearmint and peppermint oils that will reduce itchiness and produce a cooling effect.
Aveda Scalp Exfoliation Brush
This exfoliation brush is the perfect solution for those who want to use their own concoction as an exfoliation scrub. The Aveda scalp exfoliation brush enhances the exfoliating effect of the scrub, and you can use it to remove the dandruff flakes without washing your hair.
The brush not only helps with the exfoliation process, but it will also stimulate the scalp’s blood circulation. This will help the hair follicle to produce healthier hairs.
IGK Low Key Cleansing Walnut Scalp Scrub
The IGK Low Key cleansing walnut scalp scrub is a refreshing scalp shampoo that is suitable for all types of hair. This shampoo contains small sugar particles that gently scrub the dead skin cells on your scalp. In addition, the shampoo contains apple cider vinegar that will help remove all the debris that clogs up your skin pores and walnut oil that nourishes the skin and rebalances its sebum production.
Using the shampoo will clean your scalp and make your hair look soft and shiny.
Majestic Pure Himalayan Salt Body Scrub With Lychee Essential Oil
The Majestic Pure salt body scrub comes in 12oz containers. This body scrub is rich in minerals that are very effective at removing the dead skin cells. This comes with the essential oil, which is full of useful minerals. The minerals also do a great job at stimulating the blood circulation in your scalp.
Thanks to the improved circulation, the follicle will be able to grow healthier hairs.
The Majestic Pure scrub also contains lychee essential oil that will leave your skin feeling soft and pleasantly scented.
People Who Should Avoid Scalp Exfoliation
Even though scalp exfoliation produces beneficial effects for most people, it is not recommended for some. Scrubbing might aggravate several diseases and conditions.
People With Psoriasis, Open Wounds, Infections, Or Eczema On The Scalp
Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease that has a genetic, environmental, and immunological determination. The underlying mechanism that triggers this skin disease is not yet fully known, but scientists know enough about the condition to recommend avoiding scrubbing.
People who suffer from psoriasis often have reddish or scaly patches that can be painful. Scrubbing these areas can lead to wounds and even infections, so it’s recommended to avoid doing it.
Those who have open wounds should also avoid exfoliating. The exfoliating scrub can remove the thin crust produced by the granulation tissue in the proliferation phase of the healing. By removing the crust, the scrub is essentially delaying the body’s healing process.
People who have skin infections should also avoid exfoliating. The body usually struggles to limit the infection to a certain area. When the body detects an infection of the scalp, it usually contains it by creating pimples. If you scrub your scalp and break a pimple, you’re actually helping the infectious agent spread over a large area.
Those who suffer from eczema on the scalp should not exfoliate. You can help your body repair the scalp by drinking a lot of water and moisturizing the area, but exfoliating it is not advised. When you suffer from eczema, the skin is dry. Your first priority should be to hydrate it properly, and exfoliate only when you’re certain it’s elastic enough to withstand the process.
The Benefits Of Scalp Exfoliation
Scalp exfoliation is very beneficial for those who suffer from dandruff and Seborrheic Dermatitis. This is an effective solution of itchy scalp. By removing the sebum excess and the dead skin cells, this process keeps your scalp healthy and nice-looking.
Men who experience hair loss can also benefit from scalp exfoliation. This process will help their hair follicles produce healthier hairs, which will slow down or even stop the hair loss.