Did you ever notice how your whole body just feels more refreshed, cleaner, more energized when your scalp is not only healthy but also really clean? On the flip side (this is kinda gross), have you ever actually smelled your own scalp? One can surmise that when it gets to this, your head is likely way overdue for a thorough cleaning. One can also surmise that your head probably doesn’t feel so fresh, light or clean! Don't forget to see Scalp Health Part II
Scabs, Itchiness and Other Fun Stuff That Goes with Fungal Overgrowth
If you’ve gone your personal maximum limit for going between hair washes, you may notice that your scalp starts to form scabs. You may also notice that certain areas of your scalp start to itch a lot more. For me, these areas are right by my temples and at the base of the back of my head.
When those areas start to itch, it’s a telltale sign that I really need to wash my hair. Along with my hair losing all body and shine when I’ve gone too long between washes, the way my scalp feels (and looks) is the biggest reason I really try to stick to a wash and condition schedule that makes sense for me and my lifestyle.
Why is the Scalp so Prone to Fungal and Yeast Over Growth?
I actually was curious about this question myself. To me, it didn’t make a ton of sense that our scalps would be more prone to fungal growth and all these other issues that are specific to the scalp, while the surrounding skin may be totally normal.
Plus, although fungal growth is encouraged in areas not exposed to light and air, and the scalp is obscured with hair, it’s not a particularly damp environment - which is another risk factor for fungal (aka yeast) overgrowth.
So I researched it. Here’s what I found. A lot of the reason behind the scalp’s susceptibility to fungal and yeast overgrowth is the hair follicles, and also the fact that the hair does obscure the head from fresh air and circulation, as well as natural light.
Even though the scalp is only traditionally wet when we wash the hair, even this is a transient event since we either blow it dry (recommended for healthier scalp, in my humble opinion, as long as you’re using a healthy hair dryer that doesn’t use high heat like the Dyson (just recently reviewed!). And here’s another fun fact. Many people don’t know that the soft, white spots that come up pretty easily from your scalp skin aren’t just product and skin buildup.
You can usually attribute these soft white, easily scraped spots to yeast overgrowth. When you can scrape sections off the scalp like this, you definitely know it’s time for a good wash with a shampoo that has anti-fungal, healthy scalp properties just like our Natural Shine Enhancing Shampoo.
You Really Do Have to Keep on Top of Shampooing (Opinion)
I should label this section an opinion piece, because that’s exactly what it is. This is my opinion, based on my experience (and my husbands), with how to keep these overgrowth at bay and maintain a fresh, healthy scalp as often as possible. The first line of defense is to stick to a regular shampoo schedule.
There are many who advocate for something called the ‘no poo’ method which eschews shampoo in favor of cleaning periodically with baking soda. Some people swear by it. And it may very well be the right way to are for the hair and scalp for some people. This opinion is coming from a girl who believes in getting some lather and deep cleaning going on a regular basis though, let that be clear!
This more frequent shampoo schedule has simply worked for us on a personal level. We have found that when we go even a day longer than every other day without washing, we start to experience scabs, scales, itch, soft white spots, and all the other fun stuff that goes with these overgrowths.
I also have to add that I love the side benefit of going to bed with a clean, fresh smelling and feeling head of hair at night. I feel like I actually sleep better when my hair and scalp is consistently clean! Related : Why Does My Hair Look Bad When It's Not Washed Too Long?
Stay tuned for Scalp Health Part II! Too many good things to talk about when it comes to this important issue, so it had to be split up into two parts.