Scalp aging affects your hair. Like your skin, your scalp needs care too. Here are expert tips on how to take care of your scalp.
As we age most of us worry about wrinkles and ageing skin. However, very few of us are aware that our scalp ages too. What causes scalp aging? How scalp aging affects our hair? What can we do to protect and enhance scalp health? Dr. B L Jangid, Dermatologist and Hair Transplant Surgeon, SkinQure Clinic, Saket- New Delhi, provide answers to all your queries here.
Dr. Jangid says, “If we talk about how scalp aging happens there are few factors that we have to see i.e. collagen and elastin. Talking about collagen, it gives volume to your skin and elastin gives stretchability to your skin. Depending on the changes in these two factors we decide about aging. We might notice changes more on the scalp than on the face since it is thicker, oilier, hairier, and more exposed to the sun.”
Factors that contribute to scalp aging
According to the hair transplant surgeon, many factors contribute to scalp aging. These include:
- Oxidative stress: With age oxidative stress can increase and can contribute to scalp aging.
- Deficiency: If there is some deficiency in your body, it can be responsible for the aging part. For example, Vitamin C helps in production of collagen and if you are having Vitamin C deficiency it can contribute to scalp aging.
- Stress: Yes, it can increase aging process.
- Smoking and Alcohol: The more you drink and smoke the more it will contribute to scalp aging.
- Estrogen and hormonal imbalance can increase the scalp aging process.
- Chronic condition of scalp or body
Scalp aging also depends on external factors.
- If we are damaging it by using too much heat, chemicals.
- Not taking proper care of the scalp. If your scalp is prone to fungus or bacteria which are part of dandruff so it can increase the aging process.
- Photo damage is quite common in sun exposed skin.
How does the aging of your scalp affect your hair?
If your scalp aging process is more either directly or indirectly or due to internal or external factors, it will definitely affect your hair. Since estrogen and male pattern baldness hormones can increase the scalp aging process which can also be responsible for hair fall and greying of hair. So, if you are not able to take care of scalp health it will have impact on hair and with time visibility part will increase due to hair loss.
How should one take care of their scalps? Dos and don’ts
Like the way you care for your skin, the same way you have to care for your scalp.
- For the scalp, the cleansing part is very important. Scalp care is indirectly your hair care. Use a good shampoo as per your scalp. If there are no issues, use a sulphate free shampoo, those having dandruff should use anti dandruff shampoo 2-3 times in a week. Please understand that shampoo is used for scalp care and conditioner for hair care.
- Take a diet rich in Vitamin C, E and A, maintain a healthy lifestyle. Take a mixed diet which includes green leafy vegetables, fruits, juice and nuts.
- Avoid using products which are irritating for the skin. Especially people using dye to color hair should be careful and should use dye/ color after consulting a dermatologist who can suggest a better option which will not react or harm your skin.
- Once in a week you can do scalp massage at home. For oiling hair, you can use any oil but its use should be minimal. There is no need to apply too much oil or to keep oil in hair the whole night. By doing this you might increase the chances of getting dandruff.
- Try to protect your scalp from the direct sunlight, wear a cap or scarf while going out in daylight. You can also use hair sunscreen, if required.
- Keeping small hair is what can help, though in females it’s not always possible. However if you can keep your hair short, it will help you to analyse or examine your scalp health and you can do proper scalp care.
- Minimise the use of heat styling tools and harsh chemicals
- In case you are having some scalp issues or conditions it is very important to get it treated at the earliest. Underlying conditions such as thyroid or liver/ kidney condition should be treated for a healthy scalp.
- Avoid doing self-medications for scalp and hair care.
- If you are noticing too much hair loss, it is advisable to consult a dermatologist.
“Reversing damage can be difficult but by doing or following all the above points we can protect and enhance scalp health. Lastly, it is advisable to go for routine examination to keep a tap of not only your scalp health but your overall health. The earlier we know about any condition the better we will be able to treat it,” Dr. Jangid sums up.
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