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December 22, 2021
Most people misunderstand the more common dry flaky scalp for dandruff, which is usually oily. Dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis can come from stress, seasonal changes, fluctuating hormones or excess yeast growth on the scalp exacerbated by high sugar levels in the diet which feed the bacteria. This is usually Malassezia furfur which lives in the scalp of most people. Hair and scalp health are good indicators of overall wellness. Allowed to develop, poor scalp health can also lead to weaker thinner hair growth.
Human hair with dandruff and close-up illustration view of microscopic fungi Malassezia furfur that cause dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis.
The scalp is an extension of the forehead so skincare shouldn’t stop at the hairline. In the same way that the rest of your skin sheds as it renews, your scalp is no different. It’s easy for dead skin cells on the rest of your body to fall away. Less so on top of your head within a forest of hair. Occasional flakes are rarely dandruff, but exfoliating the scalp regularly avoids dead skin cells hanging around and clogging the pores. This can otherwise lead to more problematic scalp issues such as seborrheic dermatitis – a condition which gives angry red patches, itching and flakiness.
Clean, fresh scalps are a key element in having healthy hair. Some people think washing their hair is enough to keep the scalp clean, but that 30 second shampoo at home may not have much impact on the build-up of sweat, oils, dead cells, pollution and styling products. Scalps need to breathe easy, so periodic exfoliation is necessary to remove this detritus and unclog the pores that are filled with bacteria. Daily or alternate daily shampooing and regular exfoliating will keep the scalp clean and the hair healthier.
Most hair and scalp issues can be traced back to stress, diet and hygiene. Try to reduce stress and increase general wellness. Avoid sugary or spicy foods as these can aggravate dandruff.
A diet rich in anti-inflammatory Omega-3 can help; walnuts, salmon, chia seeds and plant oils for instance.
I use our popular Exfoliating Scalp Shampoo as my regular shampoo now with the Exfoliating Scalp Treatment once per week. It’s the only product combination that’s ever worked for me and I’ve tested dozens over the years.
Exfoliating Scalp Treatment is applied to the wet hair in sections and massaged onto the scalp. Left for 20 minutes, the natural fruit acids help lift away dead skin cells and build up. Follow up with Exfoliating Scalp Shampoo at least twice a week. The plant extracts help clear flakiness and soothe scalp, stimulating blood flow and promoting cellular renewal. Its anti-dandruff, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties help strengthen hair and reduce hair loss. Avoid scratching the scalp with fingernails when shampooing as this can easily damage the surface and cause bacterial infection.
• Regenerative exfoliants of AHA fruit acids from bilberry, sugar maple and citrus fruits.• Soothing and anti-inflammatory aloe-rich formula combines with extracts of comfrey, olive oil and lemongrass.• Stimulating and purifying oils of eucalyptus, rosemary, peppermint and lavender.• Strengthening and protecting cashmere amino acids; almost identical to human hair.• Anti-fungal cleansing of piroctone olamine.• Anti-bacterial Zinc PCA also reduces sebum production.• Moisturising allantoin.• ZERO – Silicone, phthalates, parabens, xenoestrogens, micro-beads and other nasties.
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