If you are one of us girls who struggle with oily or greasy hair, chances are you have heard of the term sebum before from various media. But do you know exactly what is scalp sebum? How does it affect your hair and your scalp’s health? Should you be scared of your sebum as much as you were led to believe? Is the sebum on your facial skin and the sebum around your hair work in pretty much the same way? A lot of questions can really crop up if you look into the sebum on your scalp?
Today, we want to share with you the latest comprehensive info on scalp sebum, including the best way to maintain a healthy sebum level while wearing weaves and wigs.
What exactly is sebum on scalp ?
It is absolutely vital to know what sebum is. According to many doctors and dermatologists that we speak to, sebum is oil secreted by our sebaceous glands. Our sebaceous glands can be found all over our face as well as our scalp since they produce the much-needed oil used to protect and moisturized our skin as well as hydrate our hair. The function of these oil glands on our scalp plays a similar role to the rest of our body. With triglycerides and cholesterol as important components, sebum help hydrate and play an occlusive role in your skin, they also hydrate your hair as the oil found in many hair care products.
What role does scalp sebum play in your hair growth?
Besides the yucky feeling that they evoke from us, Sebum actually matters a lot when it comes to hair growth. As they are the natural oil that happens on your scalp, sebum is a smart mechanism of your body to carry out various functions. They are the byproduct of your body to protect your scalp and hair from the natural element. Not only that, they are an indispensable part of how your strands grow.
Why would they matter so much in terms of hair growth? If any of you have ever tried to grow your hair out, you will know that breakage is your number one enemy. Now, if you want your hair to grow, you have to make sure that all strands stay hydrated and your hair is not brittle, leading to breakage. This is why you have to make sure your hair is well hydrated, whether there is enough sebum or not if you want to grow your hair.
Sebum also happens to be the occlusive force that protects your hair from environmental pollution. They are there to keep the pH balance of your hair and skin. If you have heard of the acid mantle in skincare, you will quickly realize that your sebum matters a lot in terms of pH. As they keep your hair hydrated, and sealed from external forces, they actually are the good guys that keep your hair healthy, robust, and shiny.
But too much sebum or too little sebum can be a problem. This has been proved over time and time again. So how does one go about controlling and managing their sebum? We glad you ask. Keep reading to find out.
How should you regulate your level of sebum?
There are a few ways to prevent sebum from overproducing and also keep your scalp clear of buildup. First and foremost, you need to understand whether there is too much sebum or too little sebum to go by for your situation. If you have greasy hair, then you have too much sebum and it can become an issue. On the other hand, if your hair is too dry, you are underproducing sebum.
So the way to regulate your sebum is rather simple. If you have too much, try to reduce the sebum production and reduce buildup. If you have too little, then try to stimulate your scalp to produce more sebum. We will give you some tips to manage your sebum in both of these cases.
What to do when you have too much sebum?
To know how to manage your sebum, you need to understand that your sebum is there for a reason. So it should be clear that sebum is not your enemy. You just need to understand the root cause of why your body is overproducing them. Look at your toiletries cabinet. Are there any products/shampoo that you deemed too stripping or too harsh? Is there any food you habitually consume that will finally be secreted through your sweat glands? A lot of people say that their elimination diet helps them greatly with controlling sebum production so it can be worthwhile to try this diet form with a dietician.
There are many ways one can manage one’s sebum production and it’s important to look at your hair care habit and how you are living holistically. Here is a shortlist of all the methods we’ll think can be helpful.
- Avoid using any hair care products that have natural oil as an ingredient.
- If you have thick hair, you should regularly get them thin out
- Wash your hair with cold or lukewarm water, avoid hot or warm water
- Wash your hair regularly, even daily. There is a common myth that washes your hair too often will mean more sebum but we think this is far from the truth.
- Don’t keep your hair too long. The best length for women with greasy hair is mid-length.
- Eat Healthily. Keep a good proportion of your diet as carbohydrate, add healthful protein and fat according to your body’s need.
- Brush your hair regularly.
What to do when you have too little sebum?
We think it’s a good idea for someone with too little sebum to increase your sebum production in various ways. Here are some useful tricks.
- Shower your scalp with warm water to stimulate your oil glands.
- Give yourself a scalp massage with suitable hair oils.
- Shower your scalp less often so there is more chance for your hair to get the nutrients and protection it needed.
- Eat a plentiful amount of healthy fat as well as other whole-food plant-based food items.
- Switch to a mild shampoo with little to no surfactant to help you balance out your scalp.
How should you manage your scalp sebum and moisturize your hair while wearing hair extensions?
- Wash your hair extensions with the right type of shampoo throughout the wearing duration.
- Avoid conditioner and other oil-based products close to the bonded root areas whether you underproduce or overproduce sebum.
- A clarifying shampoo should be used to clear all the build-up sebum before you fit your extensions.
- Avoid silicon-based shampoo which will easily soften and break down the bonds.
- Keep a strict maintenance schedule of your hair extensions to keep your hair and scalp sebum at the best level.