Why Scalp Care is Just as Important as Skin Care
Posted on 29th November 2021Back to news
Why Scalp Care is Just as Important as Skin Care
Historically, the focus of most haircare products has been on encouraging stronger, shinier, healthier hair – neglecting the health of our scalps altogether. However, as consumer interest increases, there has been a growth in the number of products that aim to keep both the scalp and hair healthy.
In fact, Vogue reports “searches for targeted scalp solutions are on the rise – up to some 310 percent year-on-year according to Google”.
Arguably this is one of 2021’s most important trends in haircare; the shift towards new generation haircare products that use ingredients traditionally found in skincare formulations is being referred to as the ‘’skinification of hair”.
Previously, scalp care products were typically marketed towards people seeking relief from issues like dryness, itchiness, irritation and flaking. However, the wider consumer market has become more interested in the connection between a healthy scalp and strong, healthy, and well-nourished hair.
Do We Need to Pay Attention to Our Scalps?
Yes, the skin on top of our heads is just as important as the skin on the rest of our bodies, so it’s vital that just as much time and investment goes into looking after it as we do the skin on our face and body.
The Scalp Microbiome
Although the skin on our scalp is the same type of skin as that on our face, it’s much thicker and has around 100,000 hair follicles to support. Unfortunately, it has a much lower barrier function which means it’s not as good at retaining and replenishing hydration as the skin found on other parts of our bodies.
However, just like our faces, the scalp has a microbiome that serves as the first line of defence against external threats.
The scalp microbiome can become compromised when microbial diversity is reduced or the balance between negative and positive microbes is thrown off, allowing some negative microbial species to dominate their positive counterparts.
When the scalp microbiome is balanced, it will look and feel healthy, but when the balance is off, itchiness, irritation, redness, and dandruff can follow. In essence, keeping a healthy scalp microbiome can help in alleviating some of our most irritating scalp concerns, as well as encouraging healthy hair growth.
Over washing, incorrect conditioning, styling and colouring hair daily can create an unfavourable environment for healthy scalps. Most of the products we use during these processes are formulated solely for hair but not skin, and over time this constant exposure can lead to problems.
The part of our body that is always most exposed to the sun is our head and whilst we do a lot to protect the skin on our faces from harmful UV rays, many of us often overlook the need to do the same for our scalps.
Some of us can rely on our hair to provide our scalp with some protection from sun damage, spending extended periods of time out in the sun will inevitably result in some damage to the underlying skin. People with ageing, fine or light hair are more prone to this type of damage as, of course, are those who have little or no hair covering their scalp.
The Link Between Healthy Scalps and Healthy Hair
Think of your scalp as the substrate from which your hair grows. If it is of poor quality and isn’t tended to properly, it’s unlikely that you will get the results you want for your hair. A balanced, nourished scalp is supportive of thick, strong, healthy hair.
Scalp care products are formulated to work to tackle anything that disrupts the scalp microbiome and could potentially affect healthy hair growth, from bacteria and dirt to product build-up and excess oil.
Which Haircare Ingredients Actively Support Scalp Health?
Hyaluronic acid, collagen, azelaic acid and hemp seed oil are all instantly recognisable components in skincare products, but when it comes to scalp care, what are the important ingredients to look out for?
Each product will differ in terms of when and how it should be used but, in general, treatments and serums targeting scalp conditions are best used at night when the body is at rest and when cell regeneration is at its peak.
Selenium is an anti-fungal chemical compound that is used to target the genus of fungi that causes conditions such as dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis.
Ceramides are a type of lipid that is a natural component of skin and scalp, making up about 50% of the outer layers of our skin. So, if they’re already present in our skin – why do we need more from our hair products too?
Ceramides play a key role in nourishing the scalp which, in turn, helps prevent an overgrowth of microbes which can help to keep the microbiome from being thrown off balance.
Hair cuticle inflammation and scalp dryness can both be alleviated with the use of products and treatments containing CBD. With potent anti-inflammatory properties that aid in soothing scalp irritation, CBD can be applied topically to the scalp to reduce irritation and patchy flaking.
Its antimicrobial properties can also help to prevent the development of scalp disorder.
Containing 75 active molecules, 20 minerals, 18 amino acids, 12 vitamins and so much more, aloe vera is an ingredient that’s instantly recognised for its unparalleled hydrating properties. In scalp care, hydration is key for treating dryness, irritation, and flakiness.
The proteolytic enzymes present in aloe vera also help to repair dead skin cells on the scalp that could be clogging the hair follicle and preventing nutrients from penetrating the hair.
Aloe vera’s alkalizing properties also help to balance the hair and scalp’s pH level which promotes healthy hair growth.
Product build-up can cause clogged hair follicles which can result in oily scalp. Clarifying ingredients such as charcoal can remove impurities and give your scalp a deep cleanse, drawing out sebum, clarifying oil build up and washing away bacteria.
Baobab Seed Oil
Baobab seed oil is rich in vitamin E and omega fatty acids which moisturise dehydrated hair and nourish the follicles. Its anti-inflammatory properties help to limit the ageing effects of free radicals and can help soothe irritated scalps.
This less well-known ingredient serves as an emollient – soothing and hydrating the skin, before covering it with a protective film to keep the moisture in.
Sunflower Seed Oil
Just like any other skin on the body, the scalp is susceptible to skin cancer and UVA/UVB damage – especially the skin exposed at the parting, hairline, or any thinning patches. Sunflower seed oil has a high fatty acid content that can help with the dryness associated with sun damage.
Zinc Oxide and Titanium Oxide
In the interests of sun protection, zinc oxide and titanium oxide are two ingredients that can provide protection to the skin from harmful UV rays. By shielding against cell damage, they halt the scalp ageing process.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar, the fermented juice from crushed apples, is said to bring a host of health benefits in various parts of the body for those who use it. For the scalp, its anti-inflammatory properties help to balance the skin whilst the AHAs that it contains chemically exfoliate the scalp to remove the build-up of dead skin and product.
This plant-derived carbohydrate complex is similar to that found in the skin. It moisturises dry scalp and protects the skin barrier, as well as balancing the level of particular microorganisms that cause flaky scalp.
This is an anti-dandruff active ingredient that soothes irritated scalps and reduces flaking. It has a specific action against Pityrosporum Ovale, the agent responsible for producing dandruff. It helps destroy the fungus infection that is responsible for the dandruff and works against the formation of new dandruff.
Food supplements for the protective skin microbiota to help supports the growth of beneficial microorganisms and reinforce the protective skin microbiota.
Scalp Care Product Development with Jarvis Cosmetic Developments
Since 1974, the laboratories and production facilities of Jarvis Cosmetic Developments have been creating premium skin and hair care products for boutique, spa, and independent brands. With scalp care being a continuation of skin care, our market-leading expertise allows us to provide our customers with world-class scalp care cosmetics and botanical extracts that exceed their expectations.
Whether you’re redeveloping an existing product or looking to create something entirely new, we welcome creative challenges – get in touch with our expert team to discuss your next project in this exciting area.