Tips // Why You Need A Scalp Analysis
Published 1/14/19, 3:47 PM by Fleur Scalp Care
There are a wide variety of causes and treatments for different hair problems from dandruff to scalp eczema or dealing with oily or dry and brittle hair. Much like seeing a doctor when we are down with flu, scalp analysis is the best way to better understand our hair condition, identify the possible causes and seek appropriate treatments.
A detailed scalp analysis allows us to see the state of your scalp and hair closeup. It assesses the hair and scalp from the condition of your scalp to density of your hair and the health of the follicles.
Our hair is made of two parts - the follicle and shaft. A good way to picture this is the anatomy of a plant - the roots and leaves.
Hair follicle is the hidden part under the scalp where nutrients and minerals are circulated upwards to the hair shaft, the visible hair that we see. Sebaceous glands are also attached to the follicle and produces sebum to coat and moisturize the hair and scalp.
Read more about our hair structure here.
Hair shaft is the visible hair we see. It is made up of three layers - cuticle, cortex and medulla.
Cuticle is the outermost layer and protects the hair from external elements. It works somewhat like a window blinds where it can be lifted up under the right conditions (heat and pH level) to cleanse or augment the natural pigment. This is also how shampoos and hair dyes work.
Cortex is the middle layer of the shaft and this is where the hair gets its strength and elasticity. This layer also houses the colour pigment of our hair too.
Medulla is the innermost layer and is more commonly found in large thick hair. This serves as the marrow of the hair strand.
Some Hair Problems and Possible Causes
The hair structure can be a complex one with several parts working together to make healthy hair. When hair problem arises, it’s important to first identify which component could be a factor.
There are various possible culprits when it comes to having itchy and flaky scalp. Shedding of dead skin cells is a natural process for everyone but some conditions could affect the process causing more flakes to form consistently.
Irritated, oily skin (seborrheic dermatitis)
Greasy scalp causes the flakes to clump together and fall off, forming dandruff flakes.
Dry scalp are usually itchy, irritable and tends to flake more. The flakes formed are smaller and less oily.
Malassezia; yeast-like fungus
Malassezia is a yeast-like fungus that lives naturally on most adults’ scalp, especially on areas rich in sebum oil. It could kick into overgrowth and irritate the scalp causing dandruff.
Sensitivity to hair care products
Some of us may have developed sensitivity towards certain chemicals in some products. Sensitivities could trigger and cause a red and itchy scalp. When the scalp is irritated, dandruff could form.
Hair loss usually begins with thinning hair or receding hairline especially pattern loss. The shrinking of follicles can also result in hair loss gradually when healthy hair regrowth is not sustained.
DHT (dihydrotestosterone) is the primary hormone linked closely to the shrinking or miniaturization of hair follicles.
Scalp eczema and seborrheic dermatitis can cause inflammation and damage the hair follicles leading to thinning hair or hair loss. Seborrheic dermatitis symptoms may include a reddish irritable skin with skin flakes.
Hair & Scalp Care Routine
Hair loss can also be contributed by improper hair care such as using unsuitable products that may irritate and cause a sensitive reaction on the scalp. Frequent hair treatments such as hair dyes, bleaches and perms may also damage the hair.
With so many possible triggers and causes for different hair problems, getting a scalp analysis is the best way forward to analyze and understand the hair and scalp condition. With a detailed analysis, we can identify the possible causes and recommend the appropriate treatments.