Is your hair and scalp trying to say something about your health?
Before we get into any health conditions it’s good to know that there are also some external factors that may contribute to any hair or scalp health issues. Many scalp or hair conditions could be caused by using harsh shampoos and other hair chemicals. Simply by changing how you look after your hair, you can solve your problem.
Some other external examples may include:
- Pollution in the environment around you
- Certain types of medication
- Emotional or Traumatic experiences
So what are some of the problems you should be looking out for?
Dandruff ( white flakes)
Oil on the scalp causes the skin cells to clump together forming white flakes. Dandruff seems to have a few causes including:
- an overgrowth of a fungus
- seborrhoeic dermatitis
- shampooing too much
- eczema or psoriasis
- a sensitivity to certain hair care products and not washing often enough.
Depending on the cause the treatment could be as easy as lessening the amount of times you shampoo. Certain medication or special shampoos may be necessary in other cases.
Finding greasy yellow and oily flakes indicates that you might have seborrheic dermatitis. This is an inflammatory condition that occurs in areas where there is an abundance of oil glands. It can also include other areas like the face. The cause is not really known, but may be linked to hormones, a fungus and certain neurological issues. The treatment is the same as for dandruff.
Scaly patches on your hairline
A thick scaly crust that forms on your scalp especially along the hairline can be an indication of psoriasis. Psoriasis can also affect the whole body. This is an autoimmune problem and can be triggered by stress, infections, medications and may also be linked to genetics.
Topical treatments and medication may offer relief.
Hair loss and scalp health
Losing a certain amount of hair is nothing to be worried about. You can naturally lose about 100 hairs every day. The hair falls out and new hair grows back again.
More serious hair loss can be caused by different reasons, such as:
Alopecia areata – bald patches
This involves quite a bit of hair loss causing some balding patches. In this case the immune system is attacking the hair follicles and is usually caused by severe cases of stress or may be due to an autoimmune disease. The underlying condition is treated to help prevent more hair loss
Telogen Effluvium – temporary hair loss
A temporary loss of hair mostly on the top of the scalp. This is due to stressful conditions including things like, childbirth, surgery or a serious illness. Most of the time no treatment is required as the hair grows back after the stress goes away.
Male pattern baldness – permanent hair loss
This is permanent hair loss and is caused mainly by being a hereditary trait. Meaning that it is all in the genes. Treatment can be with medication to prevent further hair loss and surgeons can perform hair transplants to help prevent further balding.
Women can also suffer from baldness mainly on the top of the head. It has been found that women rarely suffer from complete baldness. The cause in this case can also be genetic, due to hormone issues, birth control pills or just part of the ageing process.
Premature greying hair
Greying is natural as we get older, but there are instances where greying hair can happen to a younger person. In this case the cause can be blamed on genetics and a family history of the problem.
There are a few other more serious causes of premature greying:
- Thyroid problems
- Deficiency in Vitamin B-12
- Insulin resistance
Dying your hair can be a solution to cover the grey, but some people may be sensitive to the hair colour chemicals.
What you can do to keep your scalp and hair healthy
- A healthy lifestyle: nutrients are important so eat healthy and exercise. A big enough nutritional deficiency can cause hair to fall out.
- Don’t over style your hair as the products used and heat applied can dry the scalp and make your hair brittle.
- Wash hair with a gentle shampoo that is eco-friendly and use a conditioner.
- Give your hair and scalp a regular moisturising treatment with a scalp massage if possible.
- Take a supplement to help with scalp and hair health.
- Your scalp can benefit from a regular exfoliation. This is the first time I have heard of this, but it makes sense that just like your face you can exfoliate to remove dead skin cells.
A simple DIY scalp exfoliation recipe
You will need
- You can use either ¼ cup of olive oil or some of your hair conditioner
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- Optional: essential oils. Teat tree or Lavender. Always read the directions and precautions on the label of essential oils before using.
Mix all the ingredients together and gently rub into your scalp for 2 minutes. Rinse and shampoo as usual. You can also add a drop or two of essential oil to the recipe if you like.
Rock Paper Scissor is a Hair and Beauty Salon located in Durbanville’s Graanendal Shopping Center. Hair Design Menu. Beauty Menu. Contact us: 021 9794292