The breakdown on what the scalp microbiome is and how to properly support it for the best results, root to tip.
Just like your gut is often referred to as a ‘second brain,’ your scalp is just as smart and plays host to its own ecosystem of bacteria that works to support healthy hair growth.
Known as the ‘scalp microbiome,’ similar to the skin microbiome, the scalp has its own microbes (healthy bacteria) that work together as a friendly community to protect the scalp from pathogens and environmental toxins while strengthening the skin barrier.
When all is good and balanced, the ecosystem works to provide a fertile ground to support healthy hair follicle growth and with it glossy, strong and shiny hair straands.
However when the microbes aren’t happy and your skin becomes too dry, your sebaceous glands go into overdrive mode to replenish the natural oils. This leads to skin and hair imbalances from oily roots, psoriasis, dandruff and eczema to thinning hair and sometimes even hair loss.
Scalp stress is 100% a thing, so learning how to be nurturing towards it in the same way you would the skin on your face is the only way to ensure a happy scalp exists and make sure your hair remains glossy.
Let’s discuss why you need a scalp care routine and how to get one.
Why is scalp care important?
The scalp microbiome is simply an extension of the skin microbiome. Both work in similar ways and thrive off the same environments, the only difference is that the scalp microbiome features an added layer of intelligence, with each hair follicle said to have its own microbiome as well. Which brings us to the burning question: how has the scalp not yet got the mainstream recognition it deserves given its vital role?
With the rise of clean beauty and self care, the ‘skinification’ of hair care is officially in which means we’re becoming much more savvy with tending to all parts of our mind and body wellbeing, most importantly: the scalp.
Which brings us to now: we’re back to going out, exploring which also means we're more exposed to more environmental toxins than ever.
Like any harsh climate change, our scalp (just like our skin), is prone to reacting to or needing to adjust to different temperatures or toxins, so balancing our scalp’s microbiome is now more important than ever.
As Well + Good puts it, “like the skin microbiome, the scalp's microbiome is [in the] first line of defence against the outside world, which means that keeping it in check is critical to your overall hair health.”
While environmental factors play a large influence on our microbiome, other factors such as product build up (such as too many dry shampoo days), changes to diet or hormones (due to stress), can all influence whether our scalp stays happy or not.
It’s a tricky balancing act of needing to preserve the microbes to help them fight off toxins and harmful microbes (that impact skin imbalances) while also ensuring they simultaneously work together to keep the positive microbes (that lead to strong skin barrier and hair follicles).
What does a healthy scalp care routine look like?
To cultivate a healthy scalp care routine and ensure it’s self managing its ecosystem effectively we should start with a mindset shift by seeing our scalp as the same as our facial skin.
After all, the scalps surface is really just an extension of the face. It hosts the same live bacteria and ecosystem (with added hair follicle complexity) so ideally, it should receive the same love that our skin does. We’re talking a cleanse, exfoliate, moisturize at least.
Although our hair hides covers our scalp, it’s just as important to tend to the scalp skin by applying the same skincare regime the way you would your face.
By incorporating a regular scalp routine you’ll also be less likely to end up in a dash to the pharmacy in a panic.
The right scalp routine should be a mix of prebiotics, exfoliation, hydration and nourishment… that is a prebiotic shampoo, scalp scrub, conditioner and scalp serum.
How our products support your scalp microbiome
We offer our very own prebiotic shampoo, featuring a plant derived ingredient that balances the scalp microbiome.
DEFENSCALP™ works to rebalance and preserve the ecology of the scalp (regulating the Malassezia proliferation), while also acting as a defence system and hair tonic to maintain healthy non-oily hair.
When partnered together in our scalp range, these two powerhouse ingredients nurture the microbes and bring the hair’s habitat back into homeostasis organically, minus any chemical nasties and toxins.
To care for your scalp shop our range of scalp treatments.