Just like the old adage says, 'you'll never know where you're going unless you know where you've come from', your hair journey is also not complete without getting to grips with your scalp!
You should know by know that we are all about the science over here at Nylah's Naturals and this blog post aims to delve a little deep into our scalps.
The hair follicle itself is a dynamic organ made up of 20 different cell types. The follicle stretches from the very base of the hair strand, or the hair papilla, right to the skin surface, or the scalp. The hair follicle regulates growth and varies depending on ethnicity. In Caucasians for instance, the hair follicle is oval shaped, resulting in straight or wavy hair. For those of African descent however, the scalp hair follicle is more curvy, leading to the production of coily, kinky hair. Due to the interaction of hormones and immune cells, the follicles produce different types of hair on different parts of the body. Clever follicles indeed!
The role of sebaceous glands
Sebaceous glands form part of the hair follicle. They produce an oil called sebum, which serves to lubricate the scalp and hair. Wonder how your hair gets greasy even without greasing your hair too much? That's down to good old sebum! Fun fact, sebaceous glands actually exist all over the body aside from the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet. A part from essentially oiling our hair, the sebaceous glands also serve us in regulating temperature and hydration. When hot for instance, sebum mixes with our sweat to produce a layer which aids in delaying dehydration. This occurs on the scalp and the skin.
Sebum and kinky hair
It is a well known fact that afro hair requires a lot of moisture. Caucasian and Asian ladies generally complain of greasy hair and the need to wash their hair quite regularly. Those of African descent however have the opposite complaint and we often find our hair is dryer. There are several reasons for this, but as we are blogging about the scalp we will focus on sebum production today. Did you know that there are several studies which show that people of African decent produce less sebum than our white and Asian counterparts? Coupled with the fact that the curly, coily, kinks, makes it more difficult for the naturally produced sebum to reach down - or should i say, extend up (yes gravity adds an extra challenge) the strands of textured hair, enhances feeling of dryness. This gave rise to the myth that in order to prevent dryness we must 1,wash our hair less frequently, and two we should use heavy grease and butters to lubricate the scalp. I know I'm going against tradition, but sadly both of these practices will lead to an unhealthy and unhappy scalp. Our scalp should be cleansed regularly at least once every ten days, and we can help keep the scalp moisturised by adding light oils, quickly penetrating oils such as our nourishing Super Seed Hair Oil
How to increase blood flow in the scalp
This can be achieved in many ways and can ultimately stimulate hair growth. Many cultures practice head and scalp massages for this very purpose. When carrying out these massages, essential oils can be incorporated to aid the process. Scalp massages aid well-being as well as growth, due to the relaxing and rejuvenating element. Using a good shampoo free from sulphates, such as our Strength and Shine Shampoo, will help cleanse the scalp whilst a our herbal hair tea grow will stimulate blood circulation, and provide a rich supply of nutrients. Ensuring that you maintain, a healthy diet chock full of fruits, veggies, and super greens such as spirulina is key to most things including scalp health.
Do comment and share if you have picked up a tip or two. Follow the blog page for more informative content and of course, get in touch if you have any queries.
Love from the Nylah family