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Greasy Hair and Sebum
The case of hair that is greasy towards the root, and dry throughout its length
What you must avoid
What we recommend
On the scalp, the secretion of sebum is said to be excessive when the feeling of having greasy hair appears from the 2nd to the 3rd day after shampooing. That is when we speak of seborrhoea. The term hyper-seborrhoea is used for hair that is greasy as of the first day.
Produced by the sebaceous glands, the secretion of sebum depends on the androgens (male hormones, secreted in small quantities by women through their ovaries and suprarenal glands), starting at puberty. That is what explains that an excess of sebum does not appear before adolescence and that, in some women, the hair is greasier during menstruation.
This production of sebum is genetically transmitted. However, heredity is not the only cause and seborrhoea is often strongly amplified by other factors upon which it is possible to act:
Excessively rich food
- Poorly adapted hair care, which stimulates sebaceous secretions, precisely when we are trying to moderate them (reactive seborrhoea).
They can be at three different levels, from the most benign to the most preoccupying:
At the first level, the excess of sebum can make the hair weak and heavy, and difficult to comb.
More seriously, the seborrhoea can lead to the formation of greasy dandruff, which sticks in the sebum and remains flat on the scalp, thus favouring the development of bacteria and itchiness.
Even more seriously: sebum and hair loss. If you are predisposed to losing your hair, seborrhoea can contribute to its loss and the progressive thinning out of your regrowing hair. This last symptom is the tip of the iceberg: it can only be found via a microscope analysis of the hair Clauderer hair diagnosis.
It is unfortunately the most preoccupying symptom: the sebum must thus not be left to proliferate under the scalp, because it directly impacts the hair’s life.
HERE IS WHY...
Because it stagnates under the scalp, rather than fully evacuating towards the outside, excessive sebum blocks the hair follicle, precisely where the hair’s reproduction cells are located. This infiltration generates toxins that will agglutinate around the roots and disturb the blood’s circulation. Asphyxiated and compressed, the roots shrink and produce increasingly weak hair (see below, the sketch on the left). Seborrhoea is not a triggering factor of androgenetic hair loss, but it certainly is an important aggravating factor.
on the left
The root and blood
by an excess
of seborrheic toxins
on the right
and clear circulation,
with the sebum
towards outside the scalp.
The case of hair that is greasy
towards the root and dry throughout its length
Here, rather than propagating itself along the hair stem, the sebum stagnates around the scalp, making the hair too greasy towards the roots, leaving it too dry throughout the length and on the points. The process is explained by an alteration of the keratin, the asperities of which prevent the sebum from gliding along the hair, the way it normally should. This usually (but not always) affects hair that is died, discoloured, permed or dried with an excessively hot electric dryer.
What you should avoid
While shampooing: vigorous massages of the scalp, excessively hot water, leaving the shampoo
for a certain period of time, and two successive washings. Those are all arousing factors for the sebaceous glands.
The so-called ‘baby shampoo' (believe it or not), because the label does not mean ‘ultra-soft’ but rather that it is not strongly irritating and does not sting the eyes. In fact, those shampoos contain over-greasing ingredients, useful for children’s hair, but not adapted to those of adolescents or adults.
Using the hairdryer at high temperature and too close to the scalp: it will artificially dry out the skin, and proportionally stimulate the secretion of sebum.
The so-called ‘anti-seborrhea’ products, which are alcohol-based, negatively modify the skin’s pH. Brushes or combs with tight teeth: they propagate the sebum’s migration to the rest of the hair.
The hand in the hair twitch. It is a true habit for some adolescents: they never stop running their hands through their hair, which favours the sebum’s migration along the hair stems, and gets the hair dirty more quickly. Also, when they have acne, it further spreads the bacteria caused by it.
A diet rich in pastries, candy, white bread, white rice, fast food, wheat and industrial sugars…basically, all the industrially transformed cereal products! Such nutrients, according to recent American publications*, trigger a succession of hormonal events: an increase in the level of insulin which favours the secretion of androgen, which, in turn, frees the sebum under its control. However, contrary to common misconceptions, chocolate and cooked pork meats apparently do not have an impact on sebaceous secretions.
Research initiated by the works of Dr Loren Cordain, the first to have demonstrated the incidence of refined ingredients on the skin (2002).
What we recommend
Frequent shampooing, i.e., as many times a week as you feel the need. However, if you do wash your hair often, only do one shampoo. The second is superfluous, it only uselessly makes the scalp more sensitive and the hair more electrically charged.
The shampoos you use must necessarily be chosen according to two specific criteria:
They must have a neutral pH of 7, i.e., neither acid nor alkaline, so as to not irritate the scalp and enable frequent washing.
. Carry the ‘ultra-soft’ label, so as to avoid the classic rebound effect (arousing of the sebaceous glands as soon as the hair is dry). A good criterion for selection is the product’s foaming capability. You should know that the softer a shampoo, the less it will foam and the less it risks aggressing your sebaceous glands
In the case of hair that is greasy at root-level but with dry points, try to ‘hold off’ for one extra day, so that the core of the hair is not too frequently in contact with the washing product.
Cold water to end the shampoo rinsing, in order to avoid arousing the sebaceous glands.
Tannin plant masks that naturally adhere to the hair, give it tonus and absorb the sebum, while letting the scalp breathe. It is the best remedy against greasy hair. However, if your hair has dry points, only apply the product on the scalp and the first centimetres of the hair.
A diet with green vegetables and fresh fruit, which helps to eliminate the toxins. Anti-greasy hair vitamin treatments: sulphured amino acids, zinc and vitamin B6.
You should also know that cyproterone acetate contraceptive pills (Dianette, Diane 35, Ginette 35) is actively ‘anti-androgen’: it should help to limit the production of your sebaceous glands and make your hair noticeably less greasy. Otherwise, the Yasmin pill will also help to adequately control your seborrhoea. At menopause, the acetate HRT medicine is Climen.
A rapid massage of the scalp (see below), twice a week, on dry hair, before and not during shampoos. It will help the excess sebum evacuate from the hair follicles towards outside the scalp. It is very effective.
The ‘pinching’ massage. The hands are 2 cm away from each other and the fingers are kept together. Bring both hands’ fingers closer, as if it were to pinch the scalp. Be careful, the fingers should not skid along the skin, but rather remain on the part of the head where they are laid. The idea is to make the skin slide along the skull, and not the fingers along the skin. Length: 1 minute, to cover the entire head.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION :
Dandruff and Itchiness
Vitamins by Oral Intake and Hair Loss
Excessively Acid Diet: Beware for Your Hair!
Your Diet and Hair Loss
Your Shampoo: Get Rid of Common Misconceptions
Androgenetic Hair Loss/Alopecia
Thinner and Fewer Regrowing Hair (with sketches). What To Do
The Hair’s 5 Vital Functions
Daily Hair Loss: What Is the Norm?
Hair and Puberty
FOR TREATING :
Contraception and Hair
CLAUDERER Anti-Hair Loss Treatments
Clauderer in-Depth Hair Diagnosis
Treat your Hair to the French Touch!