For the record, you should know that your scalp needs oil to keep it protected and make hair production more efficient. Some naturally have an oily scalp (sebum) more than others, and those who naturally don’t should opt for moisturizing products to ensure that their scalp doesn’t go dry. So, you see, an oily scalp or the presence of sebum on the scalp in itself is not a problem. However, the problem arises when we have an excess of oil on our scalp.
In this article, we’d love to give clarity into the relationship between an oily scalp and baldness or hair loss.
What is sebum, and how does it contribute to baldness?
The sebaceous glands, which are located beneath the scalp, close to the hair roots, are responsible for the production of sebum. These tiny oil glands are responsible for lubricating and moisturizing our skin and hair. Sebum is that lubricating substance that they produce. The Sebum is subsequently released from these glands. When sebum leaves the sebaceous gland, it travels down to the hair follicle via the follicular hair duct. The sebum is pushed up and onto the skin’s surface by hair growth.
When it comes to sebum production, age, gender, sex, hormonal disorders, food, and other factors all play a role. Sebum production differs from person to person as well.
In both men and women, excessive sebum production can lead to itchiness, irritation, dandruff outbreak, and even more severe disorders if left untreated.
When sebum accumulates on the scalp, it forms what is called a build-up, usually by conjoining with other substances like dirt, sweat, dead cells, etc. This build-up creates a niche for microbial infestation. Severe cases can progress to a variety of skin irritations, bacterial and fungal development, e.g., dandruff, and even an infection. Folliculitis is a common infection associated with build-ups. It is also the most ferocious when it comes to baldness.
Folliculitis is simply an inflammation of the hair follicle caused by a fungal or bacterial infection. It is also exacerbated by a blockage of the hair pores, of which these build-ups play the primary role.
Where all these add up is in the fact that there is a direct correlation between blocked follicles, hair thinning, and hair loss. This inflamed follicle disrupts proper hair production, which leads to hair thinning and, if untreated, will eventually lead to baldness.
Do you see the connection now?
Factors that can affect sebum production level
As stated in the introduction, some of us naturally produce more sebum than others, which is not a problem in itself. And, as should be clear by now, the issue is in how we deal with it. Let’s take a look at some of the factors that influence sebum production in our scalp. Knowing these characteristics will assist you in determining how to manage yours best.
Sebum is affected by the texture of the skin:
- You’re more likely to have oily hair if your hair is fine or straight textured: Because there is so little hair to conceal the sebum, those with fine hair produce more of it. Also, due to the lack of waves or curls on ultra-straight hair, sebum can’t be kept close to the roots. The hair, therefore, becomes oilier in both circumstances because sebum is more easily transported along the hair’s length.
- Your hair will be oilier at the roots if you have curls, coils, or waves: Since sebum can’t go as quickly down the hair shaft due to the natural curl pattern, this can lead to an oily scalp and roots as well as more dry, prone-to-damage ends. In wavy and curly hair, the oil doesn’t spread throughout the strands quickly.
- If your hair is thick and packed, you will likely have a large number of follicles: Increased sebum production is frequently associated with an increase in the number of hair follicles. With a larger head of hair comes an increased risk of a greasy scalp.
Hormonal imbalance is one of the most common causes of hair loss since it affects the hair development cycle. Many people may not know this, yet both men and women produce testosterone. It’s only that men’s levels are significantly higher. In our hair follicles, this testosterone is converted into DHT, which causes the glands to overproduce sebum.
DHT levels can change due to a variety of reasons, including stress, pregnancy, menopause, medicines, a high-fat, dairy, or processed-food diet, age, and certain medical diseases. When we have too much DHT in our system, our hair follicles become too tiny to support healthy hair. This causes male pattern baldness and thinning hair in women.
With oily skin comes an abundance of sebum production, which means your hair will be more oily as well.
Oily hair may be a genetic trait passed down from your parents; if they have oily hair themselves
If you have an oily scalp or greasy hair, there’s no need to freak out! In fact, you can use oil against oil, sebum, and olive oil in this case. You’ve got it all wrong if you thought of olive oil as merely a cooking agent. You can use this oil to get rid of anything lurking beneath the surface of your scalp. Just apply a small amount of the product at night and wash it the next morning. This will remove tons of built-up debris and oil that may contribute to your hair’s thinning.
Hormones that induce excessive oil production can be balanced by drinking a lot of water, eating a nutritious diet, and lowering everyday stress.
Using a clarifying shampoo like once a week and shampooing every other day can also help. Conditioners and gentle sulfate-free shampoo are recommended for frequent use if necessary.
Using a scalp treatment can also help prevent an oily scalp. Using a scalp treatment, you may gently exfoliate, revitalize, and wipe away debris from your hair and hairline. Our scalps, like our skin, benefit from regular exfoliation.
Reversing hair loss caused by sebum can be accomplished in a variety of ways; the key is first to identify the cause of your own hair loss. This will help you decide what treatment option will work best for you.
We hope that our information about oily scalps and hair loss prevention has been helpful to you.