The Importance of a Healthy Scalp for Healthy Hair Growth
MHR Clinic’s managing director Craig Henton looks in depth at the relationship between a healthy scalp membrane and the quality of hair growth on a person’s head.
MHR Clinic has a range of products suitable for balancing the pH value of the scalp.
A healthy head of hair cannot grow from an unhealthy scalp
The condition of a person’s scalp is critical for the production of good hair because a healthy scalp helps with hair growth.
A scalp kept in poor condition leads to dry, damaged and thinning hair and, in some cases, hair loss.
For those of us addressing hair loss issues, the maintenance of a healthy scalp becomes important to avoid the shedding of more hair.
How Unhealthy Scalp Issues Emerge
Ideal scalp health is maintained through the control of a good pH balance in the scalp membrane. And the best pH point for a healthy scalp lies between 4.5 and 5.5 on the pH scale, in a slightly acidic state.
A scalp which falls too far down the pH scale, into a more acidic state, produces dry flaking skin which leads to itchiness and irritation. This condition occurs when the scalp is not sufficiently moisturised by the presence of naturally produced oil (medically known as sebum). This lack of sebum results in the excessive shedding of snow white skin, which may resemble dandruff but it is simply the result of a scalp which is too dry. Hair will also present as very dry in circumstances of a low pH value.
Dandruff is caused by a scalp registering too highly on the pH scale, presenting an alkaline state. In this alkaline state, the scalp is encouraged to produce too much oil. Excess sebum traps bacteria in the scalp, so yeast flourishes. This yeast leads to excessive skin cell production, which builds up and sheds in the form of dandruff with a more yellow appearance to flakes of skin. Follicles which are full of sebum or blocked by dead skin, dandruff and infection hugely constrain the growth of strong, healthy hair. Furthermore, permanently blocked or obstructed follicles eventually cease to produce hair entirely.
How to Tackle Scalp & Hair Problems
In each instance, hair follicles become clogged and prevent the growth of healthy hair. Balancing the acidic and alkaline properties of scalp membranes therefore becomes important. It helps us to avoid both types of skin condition which curtail hair growth. A balanced pH prevents bacterial and fungal growth, which in turn prevents dandruff. It also prevents a different kind of flaking which causes itchiness and irritation.
The maintenance of a good hair care routine is the best way to keep a scalp in the sweet spot of the 4.5 – 5.5 pH range. It is essential that the follicle and the scalp, at point of exit, are clean, clear, healthy and well maintained. The scalp is made up of cells which divide and continually work their way to the surface and shed. Therefore, it is essential that dead skin is removed by good exfoliation, washing and conditioning on a regular basis.
Before washing hair, it is well advised to exfoliate the scalp. Exfoliation is best performed on wet hair. While scalp exfoliators are available, a simple at-home DIY exfoliation recipe can be made with brown sugar, baking soda, conditioner and tea tree essential oil. An even simpler one can be made by mixing equal amounts of sea salt, fresh lemon juice and olive or coconut oil. Using a teasing brush, loofah or rough face cloth, lightly rub either of these scalp scrubs in a circular motion along the hairline, across the crown, back and both sides of the scalp. If a particular part of the scalp is itchier than the rest, show it a touch more attention. Then, rinse and follow up with the following wash routine.
Wash hair with a MHR-recommended shampoo. Our enzyme-inhibiting ‘Growthick’ hair fattening shampoo and La Biosthetique’s Epicélan Purifiant shampoo possess pH properties to calm scalps and restore their balance through washing. However, for dandruff, La Biosthetique’s Lipokerine A shampoo cleanses and calms oily scalps, normalises the scalp environment and restores natural balance, freeing it from surplus oils without re-stimulating sebaceous glands – which rapidly turn scalps oily again. In the case of dryness, La Biosthetique’s Lipokerine B shampoo provides extremely mild and gentle cleansing of dry scalps, while its active panthenol provides valuable moisture retention for dry and brittle hair.
To condition scalp and hair effectively after washing while restoring their pH balance, MHR recommends moving from washing to the application of conditioning lotions for the scalp and hair. For dandruff, La Biosthetique’s Desincrustante lotion loosens the external skin cell layer, unlocks sebum in blocked pores and reduces inflammation, leaving scalp complexions cleaner and clearer. Its alcohol clarifies the skin surface, and prevents new inflammation. In the case of dryness, La Biosthetique Ergines B lotion soothes and restores dry and sensitive scalps with natural, conditioning ingredients including active panthenol. It also prevents hair becoming brittle, dry and damaged.
How Often to Tackle Scalp & Hair Problems
If you have type 1 (straight) or type 2 (wavy) hair, follow this advice on average every other day. If you have type 3 (curly) hair, then these practices should be completed once or twice a week. For type 4 (kinky) hair, this routine is only necessary once a week or twice a month, depending on how much moisture your hair needs. Type 4 hair should also treat their scalp with oils to keep the scalp moisturised between washes and promote growth.
The importance of a healthy scalp in producing healthy hair cannot be underestimated. These guidelines will ensure you can maintaining a healthy scalp membrane. If you would like more information about maintaining a healthy scalp and head of hair, please contact MHR Clinic on 01565 745 344 or each out to us with contact through this website.