RESEARCHES
RESEARCHES

Does scrubbing salt on your scalp really help hair growth?

20 January, 2021

Salt has long been used for its anti-inflammatory and healing properties. As a readily-available kitchen condiment, salt can boost the health of your scalp and hair in a simple and convenient hair scalp treatment in Singapore in the form of a scalp scrub.

Salt is a go-to home remedy for treating sore throats or open wounds. In modern beauty trends, salt has a unique versatility in skincare and haircare as well - ranging from beautiful, beach waves in our hair, to removing dead skin cells in exfoliating scrubs. 

Benefits of sea salt for our scalp

It is not surprising that salt, with all its natural mineral benefits, can improve our scalp’s health. In skincare, sea salt helps to speed up the skin’s healing process, reduce acne-causing bacteria and treat skin infections. 

benefits of sea salt for our scalp

Moreover, sea salt also helps to lock in moisture in the skin, strengthen our skin’s natural moisture reservoir and improve cell-to-cell communication in our bodies. All this contributes to the healthy restoration of the tissues and cells in our skin and body. 

The multitude of benefits can be attributed to the trace amounts of minerals found in salt, or its mineral term “halite”. Some researchers also found different types of salts contain varying amounts of these minerals, with each providing individual benefits to restore the health of our skin (and scalp!). 

Some of these minerals and their advantages include: 

Calcium

Also known as a micronutrient, calcium is a trace mineral found in salt that gives our skin its natural glow from deep within the epidermis. It hydrates the skin by regulating sebum production, as well as strengthens the cell membranes and supports cell regeneration.

Magnesium

Magnesium is an essential nutrient that helps to restore the complexion and tone of your skin. For acne-prone skin, even on the scalp, traces of magnesium in salt can help rebalance hormonal levels and reduce cortisol levels - thus reducing inflammation - and lessen redness on the skin. 

Bromide

Bromide is abundant in seawater. With sea salt containing small traces of bromide, it is reported to provide anti-inflammatory properties and therapeutic effects. 

In low concentrations, bromide is safe for topical application. Studies have shown that concentrations not exceeding 0.25% are not harmful, and bromide in sea salt accounts for less than half of the suggested concentration. 

Sulfur

Boasting anti-dandruff, anti-ageing and antimicrobial properties, sulfur can freshen up your skin by removing excess sebum (oil). This reduces clogged pores in the skin, making it one of the ultimate ingredients in anti-acne products and for skin disorders including eczema, psoriasis and seborrhea (dandruff).

Zinc

Zinc helps hair cell and tissue regeneration in the scalp, promoting hair regrowth with the boosted collagen production and proper regulation of the sebum gland. This effectively inhibits acne-bacterial growth, reduces seborrheic dermatitis and even dandruff. 

Types of salt

Through exfoliation, a salt scalp scrub can improve blood circulation, efficiently transporting oxygen and nutrients to the scalp to stimulate hair growth and regulate sebum and hair cell production. 

However, not all types of salt are the same. As we will learn, each type of salt contains the beneficial mineral traces of zinc or bromine but in varying quantities. 

Table salt

table salt scalp scrub

The most inexpensive and easily obtainable of all the salts, table salt is highly refined and, in many countries, contains iodine which also offers benefits for our scalp. Known to bear anti-inflammatory properties, iodine curbs bacterial growth on the dermis layer of the skin. 

As the most commonly used of all salts, table salt can serve well to protect the health of our scalp, paving the way for natural hair growth. 

Sea salt

sea salt scalp scrub

Per its name, the coarse texture of sea salt is naturally obtained through distillation, a process that involves evaporating sea water until only salt and other trace minerals remain. Because of this process and with little processing, the amount of natural elements that sea salt retains are higher than regular table salt. These include zinc, iron, and potassium. 

On the other hand, sea salt may contain more impurities than refined salt and have a higher risk of containing heavy metals (i.e., lead). These can cause adverse reactions in the skin when taken in high amounts, so use with caution.

Himalayan pink salt

himalayan pink salt scalp scrub

Hailing from the Middle East, the Himalayan pink salt is known for its skin-soothing effects and is often found in bath salts. The iconic pink hue comes from trace amounts of iron oxide and other minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

Although it is relatively similar in mineral content as regular table salt, Himalayan pink salt is less artificial having gone through lesser processing stages and refinements as table salt and does not contain additives. This makes it a natural alternative to sea salt to prevent hair loss and promote hair growth. 

Kosher salt

kosher salt scalp scrub

Kosher salt is typically used in foods that are made guided by traditional Jewish laws. Its distinctive texture is coarser and rounder compared to table salt, and retains its natural mineral content like sea salt. Because it has a larger grain size, it is not recommended to use kosher salt to scrub your scalp if you suffer from inflammation, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, or sensitive scalp. 

Tips when using salt as a hair scalp treatment

A soothing salt scrub can restore your skin’s natural defense against bacteria and pollution by exfoliating the dead skin cells in the scalp, regulate the blood circulation, and the many health benefits of the trace minerals it contains for better hair growth. 

However, there are some considerations to keep in mind when using salt for a hair scalp treatment to prevent further skin damage on your scalp and enhance its effectiveness.

hair scalp treatment concerns

  • Massage the salt into your scalp properly and gently in a circular motion. Massaging the salt grains not only exfoliates the skin of dead skin cells, but kneading the scalp also encourages blood flow around the massaged area.
  • Premade salt scrubs available in drugstores and supermarkets work just as well, but these may contain fragrances and additives to maintain a longer shelf life. Be sure to read the ingredient list on the product packaging before applying it to your skin or scalp. 
  • Salt scrubs are not suitable for all scalp types, such as damaged, wounded or acne-prone scalp. Check with a professional trichologist or specialist to determine your scalp type and the proper treatment routes to control or treat your hair loss. 

Finding the right hair scalp treatment for hair growth

Salt scrubs are a wonderful and relaxing way to pamper the scalp and encourage hair to grow naturally without the use of chemical substances or medication. Adding on the benefits of natural salt to the skin, you can reap the advantages of scalp treatments like salt scrubs to slow down hair loss and regain a head full of hair.

For some types of hair loss, it is recommended to seek the help of trichologists or professional hair and scalp centres to solve the hair loss issue at its roots. No amount of salt or other home remedies can rectify the problems such as clogged hair follicles or hormonal imbalance in the body that cause hair loss.

A trichologist or scalp specialist will be able to recommend suitable treatments for you depending on your scalp type and your goals. 

Schedule a consultation with our trichologists today to determine your scalp type and understand how our treatments can help you.