Your Essential Guide to Scalp Care: Boosting Hair Health and Growth

Why is scalp care the hottest buzz word of the year? Well, your hair needs a healthy foundation to grow and flourish. Let's dig into the roots of scalp care and uncover how a healthy scalp is your hair's best-kept secret, with the help of Trichologist and Curly haired educator and content creator, Marta Teixeira.  

Why Everyone's Talking About Scalp Care? 

Scalp care isn't just a trend; it's a crucial aspect of hair health. Did you know that a healthy scalp is the #1 secret to hair growth, retention and overall hair health. And the world is catching on—Google searches for scalp health are skyrocketing! 

 #ScalpCare: The Skinification of Hair Care  

With over 2 billion searches on TikTok, #scalpcare is having its moment and it’s here to stay. Think of scalp care as an extension of your skincare routine – and just as important!  

The skin on your scalp is just as sensitive and prone to issues like flakiness, sweat overproduction and irritation as the skin on your face. In fact the scalp has more sebaceous glands, apocrine glands, and hair follicles than anywhere else on our body, making it more complex than the skin on our face. 

Taking care of your scalp is as important as taking care of your skin, as scalp health is directly correlated the growth of strong, dense, and healthy hair.  


The science behind a healthy scalp 

The scalp is home to hair follicles, the structures from which hair grows. Each hair follicle is connected to blood vessels that supply nutrients and oxygen, essential for hair growth. A healthy scalp ensures that these blood vessels are functioning optimally, providing the necessary nutrients for hair growth. 

The optimum health of your scalp depends on the unique balance of your scalp’s microbiome, which is the community of unique microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi. This microbiome plays a crucial role in maintaining scalp health and, by extension, hair health. Disruptions to the scalp microbiome can lead to problems like itchiness, irritation, and even hair loss so maintaining the right balance of yeast and bacteria is particularly important for preventing scalp issues and promoting healthy hair growth. 

The scalp's microbiome can be disrupted by various factors, both internal and external:

External factors include environmental pollutants, UV radiation and harsh weather conditions. The hair shaft, although composed of dead cells, is constantly exposed to the environment and can serve as a surface for bacterial adherence and potential colonisation. Over-use of certain products can reduce the number and variety of microbes and certain cosmetic ingredients impact the growth of microorganisms. Product and dead-cell build-up from daily hair-care rituals can also disrupt the balance of the scalp microbiome.  

Internal factors include stress and hormonal fluctuations, which can influence the scalp’s sebum production and pH levels, creating a more favourable environment for microorganisms to grow. Nutritional deficiencies and certain lifestyle factors may contribute to an imbalance in the scalp microbiome, which can be associated with inflammatory conditions of the scalp.

One of the strongest contributing factors, however, is the level of a fungus called Malassezia. While Malassezia is a natural part of the skin microbiome, an overgrowth or imbalance of this yeast can lead to scalp issues.

Maintaining a healthy scalp environment and using appropriate hair care products can help manage the levels of Malassezia. An overabundance of oil and sebum on the scalp creates the perfect environment for Malassezia to thrive and release a substance that can irritate the top layer of your scalp leading to the rapid shedding of skin cells, aka dandruff.


Your Scalp's Best Friends: The products to use for a healthy scalp 

To maintain your scalp’s health, it's all in how you care for it. The right products don't just clean; they care, control, and condition, turning every day into a good hair day, meaning a tailored scalp and hair care routine specific for your needs and hair type is essential in maintaining scalp health. 

Luckily, you don’t need to settle for just functional products anymore, upgrade your hair routine with Umberto Giannini’s range of Scalp products that contain clinically proven ingredients to help revive, refresh and re-balance whilst delivering a great sensorial experience that you’ll love to show off in your  

Uncovering the Clues of a Scalp Condition 

Understanding more on your scalp condition will help to better inform you on how to improve and maintain your scalp and hair health. Look for signs like dandruff and itchiness to better understand how you can treat your scalp to much needed TLC…   

To assess the condition of your scalp, it is important to consider various factors that can indicate how healthy it is. Various factors need to be considered, including the presence of dandruff, itchiness, inflammation, and the overall health of the scalp, as well as the presence of loose flakes in the hair and scalp erythema (Grimshaw et al., 2019).  

Assessing the scalp condition should involve self-assessment and documentation of any changes in the scalp condition (Schweiger et al., 2013). For example, the efficacy of anti-dandruff shampoos can be evaluated by measuring scalp flaking, which is an important symptom of dandruff (Diao et al., 2021).  

To assess the condition of the scalp, it's important to consider the following factors:  

Visual: Examine your scalp for any visible signs of oiliness, redness, or flakiness. These visual cues can provide initial insights into the condition of your scalp.  

Texture and Sensation: Pay attention to the texture of your scalp. Does it feel sore, itchy, or sensitive? Conversely, does it feel excessively oily or have a greasy texture? These tactile sensations can offer additional information about your scalp's condition. 

Observing Hair Health: The health of your hair can also reflect the condition of your scalp. For instance, if you notice an increase in dandruff, hair thinning, or changes in hair texture, it may indicate an underlying scalp issue. 

Consultation with a Professional if issues persist: If you have concerns about your scalp's condition, it's advisable to seek guidance from a Trichologist or medical professional.  


Ingredient Spotlight: What Your Scalp Needs 

Whether your scalp is dry, itchy, or showing signs of dandruff, there's an ingredient for it. 

Look out for these ingredients in your scalp products, these have all been clinically studied for their benefits into maintaining a healthy scalp, including addressing conditions such as dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis and can be found across our range of scalp products. 

1. Piroctone Olamine: 

An antifungal ingredient which has been clinically trialled. A study published in the Journal of Dermatological Treatment found that shampoos like Scalp Restore Scalp Reviving Shampoo containing piroctone olamine were effective in reducing dandruff by inhibiting the fungus Malassezia, which is often associated with dandruff

2. Salicylic Acid: 

This skin hero is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) commonly used to treat a variety of skin conditions.

These ingredients can be incorporated into scalp scrub exfoliating anti-dandruff treatments like the Scalp Scrub Exfoliating Anti-Dandruff Treatment from Umberto Giannini and Scalp Restore Scalp Reviving Anti Dandruff Shampoo and conditioner to target dandruff and promote a healthier scalp. 

3. Pineapple Extract: 

Pineapple extract contains bromelain, an enzyme that has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activities. While there are no specific studies on its effects on scalp conditions, its properties are believed to be beneficial for scalp health (Siriwardane, 2022)

4. Saccharide Isomerate: 

Has been shown to suggest potential beneficial effects on the scalp. (Martin et al., 2022) and can be found in the Scalp Serum Hydration Drops.

5. Rosemary Oil: 

Rosemary is herbal hero for your hair gaining viral status on Tiktok because of its incredible scalp and hair health benefits. In studies, Rosemary Oil essential oil has antioxidant and antimicrobial benefits as well as for its potential for promoting scalp health (Oliveira et al., 2019). The inhibitory properties of rosemary essential oil have been found to be potentially effective against as an anti-dandruff agent.The Rosemary Scalp and Hair Oil is a formulated blend of 16 different essential oils that have been studied for their benefits for scalp and hair health.

It's important to remember that everyone’s skin is different, and what works for one person may not work for another.  

Elevate Your Hair Game with the Right Scalp Care 

In the world of hair care, scalp care is the headliner. Think of scalp care as you as you would your skincare routine, using the products regularly and over time will give you the essential building blocks to make sure your scalp is functioning healthy and at its best. 

1. Use a weekly scalp scrub  

Exfoliating the scalp is an important practice for maintaining scalp health. The process of exfoliation involves the removal of dead skin cells from the scalp, which can accumulate and lead to various issues if not properly managed. One of the key reasons for exfoliating the scalp is to prevent conditions such as dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis and even psoriasis, which is characterised by excessive exfoliation of the scalp's horny layer (Lestari et al., 2021). These conditions (except for psoriasis, which is an auto-immune condition) can be exacerbated by factors such as the presence of the fungus Malassezia (Santos & Dias-Souza, 2017). Therefore, exfoliation plays a crucial role in managing these scalp conditions.  

Furthermore, exfoliation of the scalp is essential for promoting overall scalp health. It can stimulate blood circulation, strengthen hair and scalp, and promote the penetration of beneficial products. Certain cosmetic ingredients offer exfoliating properties that can contribute to scalp health and the removal of dead skin cells through exfoliation can aid in maintaining a healthy scalp environment, potentially preventing other scalp issues (Goyal & Jerold, 2021; Zhang et al., 2019). 

2. Regular use is essential

Like any skincare routine, to benefit from the long-term results from scalp care products, they should be used routinely to allow optimum effectiveness.

We always would recommend consulting with a trichologist or dermatologist if you have any medical scalp concerns. 

Circulation-boosting, Scalp Massager Brush aids the stimulation of the roots to promote growth and can be used on wet or dry hair, with shampoo, hair oil or treatments.. Gently massage to stimulate blood flow encouraging growth of healthy hair, while sloughing away dead skin cells and sebum build up that accumulates between washes.

Marta is a Certified Trichologist (specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of hair and scalp conditions) and Dermatology Specialist Nurse in the NHS who is currently studying for an MSc in Clinical Dermatology.

Marta is a Certified Trichologist (specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of hair and scalp conditions) and Dermatology Specialist Nurse in the NHS who is currently studying for an MSc in Clinical Dermatology. She has successfully completed the Fundamentals of Hair Science and Hair Claims course by TRI Princeton, a leading global centre for hair and cosmetic science research, as well as the Independent Prescribing Postgraduate course, making her the first Nurse Prescribing Trichologist in the UK, enabling her to prescribe medication in her specialised field. Marta was appointed as a Hair Expert for the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) for the Department for Education in London as a member of the Route Panel for Hair and Beauty, where she is responsible for providing expert recommendations on the technical and scientific content of hair education courses and standards. She has written clinical review articles on hair science, published in the Dermatology Nursing Journal, and is a member of different organisations such as the European Hair Research Society, British Association of Hair Restoration Surgery, British Dermatological Nursing Group and many others. Marta also serves as a medical reviewer, specialising in hair science and trichology-related dermatology articles. She also works as an online curly hair educator in Portugal, explaining hair science mainly via Instagram posts, with frequent one-to-one online hair consultations, haircare education courses, media quotes and public speaking. Marta provides Trichology Consultations for consultations for individuals dealing with hair loss at CliniHair in Hampshire.

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