What is Dandruff And Oily Scalp
2023-04-27 18:52:49

Understanding Hair

The average adult has approximately 150000 hair follicles, and normal hair is visible to the naked eye as fine strands with a smooth surface. However, in reality, hair has a very delicate scale like structure, which is like a tile covering each other. This basic surface structure is called the pellicle, and whether the hair is smooth, shiny, and healthy is closely related to the state of the pellicle. Let's take a look at the surface structure of normal hair first:

To protect hair, more than half of the work is related to maintaining the health and normal state of the fur.

Hair has an inherent lifespan and will naturally fall off after a certain cycle, constantly undergoing cycles of growth (3 years), regression (3 weeks), rest (3 months), and shedding (2-5 months). Under normal circumstances, hair grows out of hair follicles, and the hair roots reach several millimeters deep into the dermis, making them quite firm. When hair follicles and roots are affected by certain factors, abnormal hair loss may occur. The following image is a magnified skin mirror photo of the scalp and hair:

Under an electron microscope, it looks like this:

Common hair problems

1. Dandruff
Chinese people have the highest incidence of dandruff in the world. Dandruff is an abnormal, lumpy exfoliation of the cuticle of the scalp. Since there are very many aggregated keratinocytes (1000 to 10000), it is white. Research has shown that it is a result of an inflammatory reaction on the scalp. It has been confirmed that dandruff is related to the abnormal increase of Malassezia on the scalp surface.

Malassezia can induce an immune response. If the response is effective, it will not produce dandruff. Conversely, it will cause dandruff and also cause itching in the head. When immunity is low, the immune response is often incomplete.

Inhibiting Malassezia is a very effective method for removing dandruff, and commonly used methods include:

Selenium disulfide shampoo: Selenium disulfide belongs to antifungal drugs, and Malassezia is sensitive to it. Can you ask a doctor to prescribe (this medicine has an unpleasant taste).
Anti dandruff shampoo: ZPT (Pyrathionic Zinc, zinc pyrithione sulfate/zinc pyrithione) and OPT (pirotone amine) are usually used.

One study found that Staphylococcus epidermidis significantly increased on the dandruff scalp, propionibacterium acnes decreased, and there was a significant microecological imbalance on the scalp, in addition to inflammation, barrier function damage, abnormal sebum secretion and other phenomena. It can be seen that the nursing of dandruff needs comprehensive consideration from many aspects, such as inhibiting inflammation, regulating the balance of flora, and promoting the repair of scalp barrier, in order to achieve better results.

2. Scalp too oily
The main reason for the oily scalp is the excessive secretion of sebaceous glands in the scalp hair follicles.
The sebaceous glands on one side of the pores continuously secrete oil to nourish the scalp and hair, and the secretion of sebum is regulated by androgens. The sebaceous gland of the hair follicle is an independent functional unit and is considered the second sexual organ of the human body. It has androgen receptors and can regulate sebum secretion. At the same time, the state of the scalp can also affect sebum production. Therefore, excessive hair oil is often not a simple problem, but is related to multiple factors:

1)Androgens: Excessive androgen or hypersensitivity of androgen receptors can lead to excessive secretion of sebum. If there is a systemic excess of androgens, medical examination and treatment may be necessary (related diseases often include adrenal hyperplasia, polycystic ovary syndrome, etc.). If this is not the case, some topical drugs can be used to inhibit oil secretion. Plant extracts are an effective component that can partially block the effect of androgens on the sebaceous glands.

2)Microbiology: Liporrheic symptoms are often associated with Malassezia, but the mechanism between each other is not yet clear. Perhaps the activity of Malassezia stimulates the activity of the sebaceous glands (which is also related to seborrheic dermatitis on the face).

On the other hand, the stratum corneum of the scalp is a sponge that adsorbs oil (approximately one-third of the sebum). When Malassezia causes abnormally large amounts of dandruff, it may partially lose its ability to adsorb oil, making the scalp appear more oily. Therefore, anti dandruff methods can reduce dandruff as well as scalp oil.

In addition, existing studies have confirmed that consuming foods high in sugar, fat, and leucine can promote sebaceous gland secretion. Therefore, it is recommended to reduce the intake of such foods and maintain a light diet.

Some friends often ask, does washing hair too frequently lead to an increase in the "reactive secretion" of scalp oil? There is currently no serious research evidence to support this claim. This may be related to the weakening of the stratum corneum's ability to absorb oil by washing hair too frequently. Considering these factors, washing your hair 2-3 times a week is sufficient, not necessarily every day.

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