Many of us want to have healthy, lustrous hair. However, scalp sensitivity, dryness, dandruff, and hair loss can get in the way. Fortunately, there are specific ingredients you can look for in treatments and products to improve your hair.
In this hair care handbook, we will share these ingredients, alongside the conditions they can remedy. Whether you’re looking to restore hair strength, soothe a sensitive scalp or combat dandruff, we’ve got you covered.
Understanding hair loss
According to a recent survey, hair loss is a top concern among 44% of respondents. Genetics, hormonal imbalances, stress, and nutritional deficiencies can all contribute to hair loss, causing thinning and balding.
Hair growth and anti-hair loss ingredients
Besides looking for ingredients that stimulate hair growth, it’s also important to consider ingredients that will nourish and strengthen your hair.
Minoxidil is a hair growth stimulator and a popular ingredient in anti-hair loss treatments. It improves blood flow to the hair follicles, helping with hair growth. Minoxidil can also delay the ageing of hair follicles and cause your hair to remain in its growth stage for longer. The result is hair that grows longer and thicker.
You can find minoxidil in liquid or foam form, and it should be applied directly to your scalp once or twice daily. The recommended concentration for men is usually 5%, while for women it’s 2%. To see significant results and prevent further hair loss, you must remain consistent in your use of minoxidil and commit to it for the long term.
Biotin, or vitamin B7, is a crucial nutrient for hair health and is often found in anti-hair loss shampoos. Biotin strengthens your hair strands, promotes hair growth and reduces breakage.
Besides getting biotin through hair products, you can also consider food that is rich in this vitamin,such as meat, eggs and nuts.
3. Rosemary oil
Rosemary oil stimulates blood circulation in the scalp, promoting follicle health and stimulating hair growth. Its antioxidant properties help combat free radicals that contribute to hair loss. It also has anti-inflammatory effects, soothing the scalp and reducing inflammation that may hinder hair growth.
Anti-hair loss shampoos and conditioners containing rosemary oil are widely available in Singapore drugstores. Include them in your hair care routine to stimulate hair growth and strengthen your hair strands.
- Ginkgo leaf extract
Ginkgo leaf extract improves blood circulation to the scalp and stimulates hair follicles. It is derived from the leaves of the ginkgo biloba tree. The ingredient is obtained through a process of extraction and concentration, resulting in a concentrated form of the beneficial compounds found in the ginkgo leaves.
You will see ginkgo leaf extracts primarily in anti-hair loss shampoos and scalp treatments. After massaging it into your scalp, leave it on as directed. Incorporate it into your regular anti-hair loss haircare routine.
Peptides can stimulate the production of key proteins in the hair follicles, such as collagen and keratin, which contribute to hair strength and growth. They can also enhance blood circulation to the scalp, promote follicle health, and provide nourishment to the hair follicles.
Peptides are available in various hair care products such as shampoos, conditioners, serums and tonics.
Understanding a sensitive scalp
You may suffer from a sensitive scalp if you experience itching, redness, inflammation and a tight feeling on your scalp. These symptoms are usually the result of an imbalance in the scalp’s moisture levels. Reasons for sensitive scalp include hormonal fluctuations, underlying health conditions, environmental conditions and overwashing.
To care for your sensitive scalp, choose products with gentle, soothing ingredients that won’t contribute to irritation.
Non-irritating and soothing ingredients for sensitive scalps
Niacinamide, or vitamin B3, has anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe and calm a sensitive scalp. It can alleviate redness, itching, and irritation, providing relief to the discomfort associated with scalp sensitivity. Niacinamide can also support the skin’s natural barrier function, enhancing the scalp’s ability to retain moisture and protect against external irritants.
2. Oat extract
Oat extract is known for its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties. It helps relieve irritation, alleviate scalp itching and redness, making it an excellent ingredient for sensitive scalp care.
3. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera has long been known for its calming properties. It helps reduce scalp inflammation, alleviate itching, and moisturise the scalp, relieving sensitive scalps.
Chamomile has anti-inflammatory and anti-irritant properties, making it beneficial for sensitive scalps. It can help soothe itching and redness, promoting a more comfortable scalp environment.
5. Calendula extract
Calendula extract possesses soothing and healing properties. It can help alleviate scalp irritation, redness, and inflammation, providing a gentle solution for sensitive scalps.
You may have dandruff if you see white or yellowish skin flakes on your hair, shoulders or clothing. Dandruff is characterised by the shedding of dead skin cells from the scalp. You may experience itchiness, dryness and redness of the scalp as a result of this condition.
Several factors can contribute to dandruff, including an overgrowth of a fungus called Malassezia, excess oil production, sensitivity to hair care products, hormonal changes and stress.
Ingredients for an anti-dandruff regimen
- Zinc pyrithione
Zinc pyrithione is a commonly used ingredient in anti-dandruff products. It helps control the growth of Malassezia and reduces flaking and itching.
Anti-dandruff shampoos containing zinc pyrithione are found at a concentration of 1% to 2%.
- Salicylic acid
Salicylic acid exfoliates the scalp by removing dead skin cells and unclogging hair follicles. It helps to reduce flaking and promotes a healthier scalp environment.
For reducing dandruff, it is typically recommended to use salicylic acid at a concentration of 1% to 3%. You can find the ingredient in anti-dandruff shampoos and scalp treatments.
Ketoconazole is an antifungal ingredient that effectively targets the yeast responsible for dandruff. It helps eliminate fungal overgrowth, reduce inflammation, and alleviate dandruff symptoms.
To treat dandruff, use ketoconazole at a concentration of 1% or 2%. You can find it in the form of anti-dandruff shampoos or creams.
- Coal tar
Coal tar is an effective ingredient for treating dandruff and scalp psoriasis. It helps slow down the excessive growth of skin cells on the scalp, reducing flaking and inflammation.
In Singapore, you can find coal tar in medicated anti-dandruff shampoos and scalp treatments at a concentration of between 0.5% and 5%.
- Selenium sulfide
Selenium sulfide is an antifungal agent that helps control Malassezia growth and reduces dandruff symptoms. It also has mild exfoliating properties to remove dead skin cells.
Selenium sulfide is found in anti-dandruff shampoos with a concentration between 1% and 2.5%.
- Peppermint extract
Peppermint extract can be used in an anti-dandruff regimen due to its soothing and antimicrobial properties. It helps reduce scalp irritation, itching, and flaking associated with dandruff.
Peppermint extract is available in various forms, including essential oils, anti-dandruff shampoos and scalp treatments.
- Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) balances the pH level of the scalp and restores its natural acidity. It also possesses antifungal properties,creating an inhospitable environment for Malassezia to thrive.
ACV’s mild exfoliating properties remove dead skin cells and flakes, promoting a healthier scalp. It also soothes and calms the scalp, relieving itchiness and irritation commonly associated with dandruff.
You can find ACV in many haircare products, including shampoos, serums and scalp exfoliators.
Understanding oily hair
Oily hair is caused by excessive oil production on the scalp. Various factors, including dead skin buildup, hormonal changes, genetics and environmental conditions, cause this condition. You can identify oily hair by its greasy appearance, oiliness on the scalp and flat or limp hair.
Ingredients for oil control
1. Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil controls excess oil production, reduces scalp inflammation, and keeps the scalp clean through its antibacterial and antifungal properties. It is available in essential oil form.
2. Witch hazel
Witch hazel acts as an astringent and tightens the hair follicles, reducing excess oil production. It is available as a solution and as an ingredient in shampoos.
3. Citrus extracts
Citrus extracts, from, lemon, grapefruit and orange, contain natural acids that remove excess oil and provide a refreshing sensation. Citrus extracts are commonly found in shampoos.
4. Peppermint oil
Peppermint oil helps with oily hair and scalp by regulating oil production and providing a cooling effect. It can balance sebum levels, reduce greasiness and is also effective at promoting hair growth. Peppermint oil is available in shampoos and conditioners. You can also use it in essential oil form and dilute it with carrier oil for direct application to your scalp.
5. Salicylic acid
Salicylic acid helps with oily hair and scalp by exfoliating the scalp, removing excess oil and dead skin cells. It helps promote a cleaner and less oily environment. The ingredient is commonly found in shampoos and scalp treatments.
Reading labels and choosing the right hair products
When selecting hair care products, it’s essential to read labels and understand the ingredients used. Keep the following tips in mind:
- Consider your hair condition
Consider your hair condition (e.g., sensitivity, dandruff or hair loss) and choose products to address those issues.
- Look for targeted ingredients
Identify the key ingredients that address your concerns, such as those mentioned in this handbook.
- Avoid harsh ingredients
Stay away from sulfates, fragrances, alcohol, harsh preservatives and synthetic colourants, as these can be irritating and detrimental to most scalp conditions.
- Patch test
We recommend a patch test, especially If you have a sensitive scalp or known allergies. Before using your new product, perform the patch test to ensure it doesn’t cause any adverse reactions.
Here’s how to perform a patch test:
- Select a small, inconspicuous area on your skin, such as the inside of your wrist or behind your ear.
- Cleanse the chosen area with mild soap and water, ensuring it is free from any other products or residues.
- Take a small amount of the hair care product and apply it to the patch test area.
- Allow the product to remain on the patch test area for 24 hours. During this time, avoid washing or wetting the area.
- After the allotted time, examine the patch test area. If you experience any redness, itching, burning, or irritation, do not use the product.
Hair restoration products in Singapore
Taking care of your hair goes beyond simple cleansing and conditioning. Understanding your specific hair concerns and selecting the right ingredients are crucial.
TrichoLab offers a range of hair restoration products, including shampoos, conditioners, masks, and treatments to help people with a variety of hair conditions..