Who here loves pampering her skin? Costly facials, nightly sheet masks, multiple products to hydrate, illuminate, and treat—a lot of us don’t just stop at washing our faces. We’ve perfected multi-step routines just to have clear, glowing complexions which look uh-mazing even without makeup.
Now, can you say the same for your scalp? Probably not. At a recent Head & Shoulders event in Bangkok, Thailand, we learned that seven out of 10 people spend 15 minutes taking care of their skin—and just five minutes looking after their scalp. It may sound shocking, but you have to admit, it’s very relatable.
And that’s not the only thing we picked up! Below, a few important things on dandruff, scalp health, and just what might be making your hair greasy:
1. Your scalp is actually skin, too.
That may sound like the most obvious thing in the world, but it’s something a lot of people tend to overlook. Whatever it is your face experiences (including irritation, dryness, and acne) can occur on your scalp, too. “The only difference is the density of hair that grows on your scalp. The environment is warm and dark, and it is the right environment for microorganisms to live,” explained Saint Tiu, Head & Shoulders principal scientist. And because of this amount of hair, skin has a difficult time shedding naturally and gets stuck, resulting in discomfort and flaking.
2. You can’t stop your body from producing sebum, but you can do something to minimize its presence.
Tiu stresses the importance of using the right products. Your leave-on conditioner, for instance, may have ingredients (like silicone) that are difficult to remove. You might think you’ve properly washed your hair, but what you may be doing is just re-depositing the oil. With frequent use, build-up occurs and interacts with sebum, resulting in an oily scalp and greasy hair.
3. There’s no factor that sets apart women’s scalps from men’s.
“If you look at the physiology of the scalp, it’s the same,” said Tiu. “What makes the difference is the type of hair and the hair needs that we have. Essentially, the scalp is the same.” Anti-dandruff shampoo variants, then, target your scalp the same way, but may have different effects on your actual hair.
4. Your scalp will show you when it's unhealthy, so pay attention.
Unlike the skin on our face, our scalp is harder to observe closely. We just don’t spend the time spreading apart our hair and inspecting our scalps! But according to Tiu, there will be physical manifestations to clue you in. “First, itch. The moment you scratch your head, that means there’s some irritation going on,” he told Cosmo.ph. “Second, flakes. The moment you start seeing them on your scalp or on your shoulders. Look for those particular incidences.”
5. Anti-dandruff products should be used for prevention and maintenance, not just treatment.
Tiu, who’s a Pinoy himself, believes that Filipinos need to be more proactive about caring for the scalp. “What Filipinos think is that anti-dandruff shampoo is just a treatment to a problem. So once itch and visible flakes go away, they stop and move back to another beauty shampoo,” he shared. “And after a while, they’ll start experiencing the problem again. They need to regularly use the product for them to prevent these conditions.”
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