At Papilla Haircare, we’re most frequently asked, “How often should I exfoliate my scalp?” Short answer: While all scalps will benefit from regular exfoliation, how often depends on your scalp type.
What exactly is scalp exfoliation?
Exfoliating the scalp essentially means you’re sloughing off the top most layer of dead skin and with it any impurities, excess sebum and product build up that may have accumulated on the scalp. This is an important step because when too much of your natural oils, dead skin cells, leftover product and particulate matter collects it can easily block the follicle opening from where the hair grows, inhibiting hair growth and causing inflammation and itchy, flaky skin.
Why do you need to exfoliate your scalp?
Removing all these impurities helps keep the follicles clear to promote healthy hair growth (which translates to lush, shiny strands). It also reduces the chances of premature hair loss. Plus, exfoliating dead skin cells supports healthy skin cell turnover (just like when you exfoliate your face) allowing healthy new cells to come to the surface. Regular exfoliation can also help regulate oil production so your scalp is at equilibrium and is in the best condition for healthy hair growth.
How to exfoliate your scalp
You can choose to rid your scalp of dead skin and all its impurities with a chemical or physical exfoliator. Some examples of chemical exfoliators are shampoos or serums or hair treatments that have Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) or Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) as their key ingredients. Glycolic and lactic acid, which are both AHAs, help to gently lift away dead skin cells, while salicylic acid, a BHA, helps to dissolve excess oil and go deep within the follicle to clear out gunk and build up. Another key ingredient to look for is tea tree oil that also removes oil and debris while soothing inflammation and calming any irritation. Physical exfoliators include scrubs that might have sea salt, sugar or charcoal; or a scalp massager that physically dislodges flakes and build up before you shampoo your hair. The important thing to keep in mind is to always be gentle, and avoid the hair lengths, it’s the scalp you want to treat here.
If you have a normal scalp, exfoliate once a week
This scalp type doesn’t get too greasy or flaky and we’re essentially exfoliating to support healthy skin cell turnover and tackle any product build up and keep the scalp healthy to reduce any chances of premature hair fall.
If you have an oily scalp, exfoliate two times a week
Given our hot and humid weather, and excess oil production that plagues this scalp type, it’s essential to keep sebum production in check along with sloughing off dead skin, product build up and any other impurities that might cling to the scalp.
If you have a sensitive scalp, exfoliate every one to two weeks
While it’s essential to exfoliate the scalp, you don’t want to cause any further irritation or inflammation. Gentle exfoliation every couple of weeks should keep the scalp healthy
and rid of any flakes or itching. If your scalp turns red or feels sensitised, reduce the number of times you exfoliate.
Now that you’re familiar with scalp exfoliation, you can consider adding a gentle exfoliator like the Bio-Enzyme Scalp Mask into your hair care routine. Instead of acids or physical beads this product uses protease to break down dead skin cells, dirt and grime. At the same time it helps strengthen the scalp’s natural barrier as well as hair lengths thanks to botanical stem cell extracts and antimicrobial peptides. It is suitable for all scalp types and helps promote healthy skin cell renewal, reduce flakes, soothe the scalp and unclog hair follicles.
With the dead skin and dirt out of the way, it’s essential to nourish the scalp. The Hair Regeneration Tonic with PhytoKines (Hair Loss 4 to 6) helps to strengthen the papilla, promote a healthy hair cycle, soothe the scalp and protect it from free radical damage thanks to stellar ingredients like botanical stem cell extracts and Allosterys PE. It also helps reduce hair loss and fight flakes.
Have a question? Schedule a consultation with our specialists today.