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Hair Care

Scalp Exfoliation 101 – All You Need to Know

Often when we think of ‘healthy hair’, we focus on buying the best hair care products and services that we can avail of. However, that alone isn’t going to make your hair healthy. If you want to keep your hair healthy you need to take good care of your scalp. A clean scalp promotes a healthy environment for optimal hair growth.

Hence, you need to focus on scalp treatment that allows you to remove the dead skin cells from around the follicle and exfoliate the scalp the right way. While we focus a lot on skin care we often miss out on the fact that scalp skin also requires the same amount of attention and care. 

Our scalp skin often doesn’t get the kind of attention it deserves mainly because it is under the hair. However, it goes through a lot of damage from the UV rays of the sun and the kind of shampoos and conditioners we use that are loaded with harsh chemicals.

On the other hand, aging also affects the scalp skin and that can lead to the scalp’s inability to maintain healthy follicles. At this point, the cell regeneration process in the scalp diminishes and the follicles become thinners unable to retain enough moisture and distribute nutrients evenly. This eventually leads to hair fall and other hair-related conditions. Hence, you need to look for the best scalp scrub that can help you exfoliate the scalp the right way. 

Understanding Scalp Exfoliation

In layman’s terms, exfoliation is the removal of dead skin cells from the outer layer of the skin. Our body naturally replaces dead skin cells with new skin cells. This happens in a way that at times we don’t even realize it. However, if those dead skin cells do not shed naturally it can result in dull, dry and flaky patches which can become a breeding ground for grime, dirt and bacteria.

Scalp exfoliation is the process of physically removing the dead skin cells. This allows you to keep your scalp skin clean and remove all unwanted oils and dandruff. Regular scalp exfoliation can also lead to healthier and shinier hair from the roots to the tips. Scalp exfoliation can unclog the pores on the scalp which is important for having healthy hair. 

Reasons to Exfoliate Your Scalp

Caring for your scalp is just as important as caring for facial skin and therefore you need to focus on how you can incorporate scalp exfoliation into your routine. Here are some benefits of scalp exfoliation that you need to know. 

Cleansing Your Scalp

Keeping your scalp clean is the best way to keep your scalp and hair healthy. While we do use various hair care products that claim to cleanse our scalp and hair from dandruff, dirt and grime these products often stick to our scalp and lead to build-up. Eventually, this build-up can obstruct the shedding of dead skin cells. Scalp exfoliation is vital to removing this product build-up and cleansing the scalp the right way. This is where scalp scrub comes in and exfoliates your scalp and hair. 

Healthier Environment for Hair Growth

One of the benefits of scalp exfoliation is that you speed up the process of shedding dead skin cells more than it was to shed naturally. This can provide your hair with a healthier environment to grow. Eventually, this can lead to better hair growth

Promotes Shinier Hair

If you have dull and dry hair, it is likely because your hair follicles are clogged with all the dirt and sweat and grime. Scalp exfoliation can help you with cleaning the scalp and unclogging the hair follicles allowing them to open up and breathe. Clean hair follicles help your hair strands grow healthier and make them look shinier naturally. 

Better Results with Hair Care Products

Not all hair care products are designed to clean the scalp. Hence, when you have clogged follicles these hair care products are not as effective as they should be. However, a clean scalp allows these hair products to be more effective as they penetrate your scalp more effectively. This can lead to results that you’ve never seen before. 

Controls Sebum Build-up

Sebum, also known as the body’s natural oil is important but at times it can contribute to an itchy scalp and irritation. Having an extra oily scalp can further make things worse for you. Exfoliating your scalp is a great way to prevent sebum build-up which can clear the excess oil and even regulate the oil production level allowing you to moisturize your scalp to keep it healthier. 

Ways to Exfoliate Your Scalp

Finding a scalp exfoliator isn’t hard these days. You can either go shopping offline at various beauty product stores or browse through the list of online stores and you will find a variety of brands offering you scalp exfoliating shampoos and scrubs. 

Scalp exfoliating shampoos work like any other regular shampoo and therefore you can wet your hair and shampoo your hair. These shampoos have ingredients that strip off all the hair product build-up from your strands. They also have essential nutrients to keep your hair stronger, shinier and healthier. These shampoos also resolve the itchy scalp during the winter months and moisturize the scalp.

On the other hand, you can find plenty of scalp scrubs in the market and therefore you can choose from the best scalp scrubs you can buy. However, when you are using these scrubs you need to ensure that you scrub your scalp gently and focus mainly on the scalp and not the hair shafts. 

Scrub in a circular motion to remove dead skin cells and product build-up and dirt. Massaging your scalp can also help you to have healthy hair naturally. However, you need to remember that when you use your fingers to massage your scalp make sure that you do not scratch your scalp with fingernails. 

If you have a sensitive or sore scalp you might accidentally hurt your scalp.

Also, if you are using a physical exfoliant like an exfoliating brush you may want to brush it gently and use the same circular motion to massage your scalp.

Scalp Exfoliation Frequency

Although the process of scalp exfoliation is all about removing the dead skin cells and cleaning your scalp you shouldn’t do it more than once a week. If you have sensitive skin you may want to do it fortnightly.

This is because scalp exfoliation can strip off all the sebum from your scalp and that would lead to over-production of sebum once the scalp goes into a panic mode. This can lead to having an excessively oily scalp in the future which would lead to more scalp problems. 

Also, when you scrub your scalp frequently with scalp scrubs you may risk tearing and breaking your sensitive skin. This would further make it uncomfortable and therefore you shouldn’t scalp exfoliate daily.

Types of Exfoliants

While you are browsing through the list of scalp exfoliating products you might come across two main categories: physical and chemical exfoliants. 

Let’s find out more about these scrubs that you can buy in the market.

Physical Exfoliants or Scrubs: These exfoliants contain ingredients that friction against the scalp removing the dead skin cells. To make these exfoliants work you need to massage them gently on your scalp. The process of massage removes the dead skin cells and helps you get a cleaner scalp. 

There are plenty of scrubs made from natural ingredients that allow you to exfoliate your scalp.

Chemical Exfoliants: As the name suggests, these exfoliants have chemicals that do not require the process of massage. You can apply these exfoliants on your scalp, leave it for some time and rinse it. 

DIY Exfoliants

Apart from the best scalp exfoliating products that you can find on the market, you can also come up with better DIY exfoliants that allow you to exfoliate your scalp. 

Honey and sugar scrub along with a few drops of white vinegar is a great way to exfoliate your scalp. On the other hand, you can also focus on creating a scrub made from eggs, olive oil and powdered fenugreek seeds. This would allow you to naturally exfoliate the scalp using natural ingredients you can find in your kitchen.

The Bottom Line

Scalp exfoliation is a great way that you can add to your routine to have healthier, shinier and stronger hair from the root to the tip. However, you must do it in moderation and the right way. 

If you have sensitive or broken scalp skin you may want to consult your doctor before you proceed with the exfoliation process. Also, if you experience any irritation, discomfort or swelling while exfoliating you should discontinue it and approach your doctor to get the right help. If you haven’t exfoliated your scalp ever before you can initiate the process with once a month treatment and later on move on to a fortnightly process. With this, you can keep your scalp clean and free from all types of dust, dirt, grime and product build-up.

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  • Icy Health Editorial Team

    The Icy Health team curates the most interesting content and healthstyle related articles for our readers. Our content is vetted by doctors, medical professionals, and established writers.

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