Your hair is your crowning glory, and most people invest significant time and effort into caring for it. However, many forget that the foundation of healthy hair is a healthy scalp. One way to achieve a healthy scalp is through regular scalp exfoliation.
How often should you exfoliate, can all scalp exfoliating methods be trusted, and when should you see a scalp specialist for proper treatment?
Our in-house scalp experts share more.
What is scalp exfoliation?
Scalp exfoliation is the process of removing excess dead skin cells from the scalp. Due to poor hygiene practices and overuse of hair products, dead skin cells can accumulate and cause clogged pores, itching, flaking and even hair loss.
Is exfoliating good for your scalp?
1. Promotes hair growth
When dead skin cells accumulate on your scalp, they can clog hair follicles and prevent hair growth.
Scalp exfoliation helps to unclog these hair follicles, allowing for new hair growth.
2. Fights dandruff
Dandruff is caused by an overgrowth of a fungus called Malassezia. The excessive oil produced by your hair follicles and the scalp’s dead skin cells becomes a food source for the fungus to grow, causing inflammation and irritation on your scalp.
Exfoliation prevents these dead skin cells from accumulating on your scalp and minimises the risk of dandruff formation. In addition to that, scalp exfoliation can help reduce oil production and create a less favourable environment for the fungus to thrive in.
Removing excessive oil and dead skin cells from your scalp also increases the chances of anti-dandruff products working more effectively, as you provide them with a clean environment to work their magic.
3. Improves blood flow and circulation
When you exfoliate your scalp, you create a clearer pathway for blood to flow to the hair follicles, nourishing them and improving their function. Increased blood circulation can also stimulate hair growth and improve scalp health.
Furthermore, scalp exfoliation can help release tension or tightness in your scalp muscles. Tension can restrict blood flow to the scalp and affect hair health.
4. Reduces itching and irritation
Exfoliation removes bacteria and oil buildup, which can cause irritation and itching.
5. Deeply cleanses the scalp
Regular shampooing may not be enough to remove dirt, oil and buildup that can accumulate on the scalp – that’s where a scalp exfoliation comes in.
A deep cleanse can help to remove this buildup, allowing the scalp to breathe and function properly. This can promote healthy hair growth and prevent hair problems like dandruff and itching.
How often should you exfoliate your scalp?
The frequency of scalp exfoliation depends on your hair type, scalp condition and product use – but as a general rule, it’s recommended to exfoliate your scalp once a week.
If you have an oily scalp or use a lot of styling products, you may need to exfoliate more frequently to prevent buildup. On the other hand, if you have a sensitive scalp or are prone to dryness, you may need to exfoliate less frequently to avoid irritation.
How can I exfoliate my scalp naturally?
While getting your scalp exfoliated by a professional is always advisable to get the best results, you may try the following do-it-yourself approaches as a first measure to get your scalp clean, moisturised, and hydrated.
1. Do-it-yourself scalp scrubs
One option for scalp exfoliation is a DIY scalp scrub, which can be made with ingredients found in most kitchens. Here are a few popular DIY scalp scrub recipes:
- Brown sugar and coconut oil scrub
- Baking soda and water scrub
- Apple cider vinegar and honey scrub
While DIY scalp scrubs are made out of ingredients you can find in your kitchen, you may not have the time or know how to do it properly. This is where store-bought scalp scrubs can help.
2. Store-bought scalp scrubs
Store-bought scalp scrubs are typically formulated with physical exfoliants, chemical exfoliants and natural ingredients like oils and vitamins.
While DIY and store-bought scalp scrubs can be economical, do note that they might not get to the root of your scalp problem. A scalp specialist can do a scalp analysis before recommending the best course of action.
3. Use scalp massagers or a scrubbing brush
A scalp massage is also an easy and economical way to remove excess oil, dirt and debris from your scalp. To elevate your experience, you may consider using a scalp massager or brush.
Aside from improving blood circulation and removing dead skin cells, using scalp massagers for exfoliation can help distribute hair products evenly throughout the scalp, allowing for better absorption and effectiveness.
A scrubbing brush is another tool to help with the scalp exfoliation process. Like a massager, a scrubbing brush can help remove buildup and dead skin cells from your scalp, promoting a healthy scalp and hair growth. Scrubbing brushes typically have stiff bristles or rubber nubs for massaging the scalp and can be used with your favourite shampoo.
4. Visit a specialist
While DIY scalp exfoliation methods can be effective for some, there may be situations where these methods don’t provide the desired results. In this instance, you may have a scalp issue which requires medical attention. A scalp specialist can professionally assess your scalp and recommend treatment options. They can help identify underlying conditions contributing to your scalp issues.
Seeking professional medical advice can be beneficial not only for treating your scalp issues but also for preventing further damage. So, if you’re struggling with persistent scalp issues, consider scheduling an appointment with a doctor or specialist to get the help you need.
The available treatments at TrichoLab
Hydrating exfoliating treatment
- Starts with a scalp analysis, followed by a relaxing head massage
- Your scalp is washed and conditioned
- A hyaluronic acid peel to clear away dead skin cells and product buildup is applied
- After rinsing, a scalp ampoule is applied, followed by a scalp soothing fluid.
- The treatment is completed with a post-treatment scalp scan.
Key benefits: Provides natural antioxidant benefits; simultaneously hydrates and exfoliates the scalp; balances moisture levels
Suitable for: Sensitive scalp types
Scalp exfoliating treatment
- Starts with a scalp analysis, followed by a head massage
- Your hair is brushed and an exfoliating mask is used to stimulate your scalp
- Your scalp is steam to open your hair follicles, before an exfoliating scrubber is used to remove buildup and dead skin cells
- TrichoLab’s sensitive scalp shampoo is then applied to your scalp before it is conditioned
- A sensitive scalp ampoule or anti-inflammation lotion is then applied to your scalp
- Your scalp is massaged and treated with a scalp-soothing fluid, before it is blow-dried
- The treatment is completed with a post-treatment analysis
Key benefits: Clears away existing dandruff and environmental buildup; soothes redness and irritation; prevents itching; minimises flaking and dandruff formation.
Looking for scalp exfoliating and dandruff treatment in Singapore
Regularly exfoliating your scalp can keep it clean, moisturised, and hydrated. This minimises the possibility of scalp issues arising down the line. While you may exfoliate your scalp at home through store-bought scalp scrubs or a DIY approach, it may not be sufficient, especially if you have an underlying or severe scalp condition.
In that case, consulting with a scalp specialist like TrichoLab is your best option. Our doctors can assess your condition and get to the root of the problem. This means you will get a personalised treatment that may pair exfoliation with add-on treatments such as serum and LED light application.