Out of sight, out of mind – that’s been the fate of scalp care for too long.
Because it’s most often covered by hair, the scalp hasn’t received the same attention as the rest of our skin. But the scalp is skin and it can suffer from the same problems as the rest of our epidermis.
Consumers are realizing that their scalp requires the same level of care as the rest of their skin. The benefits of this care, while perhaps not as visible as a glowing complexion, are real and can be manifested in a healthier head of hair and a scalp that is clear and itch-free.
While scalp care historically has centered on seborrhea and the resulting dandruff, market research firm Mintel has found that consumers also are concerned about protecting their scalps from UV damage, preventing the buildup of pollution and harmful particles, retaining moisture and controlling excess sebum.
It helps to think of scalp as the soil for hair and, just like soil, scalps have their own microbiome. The microbiome needs to be cared for correctly in order provide the best possible environment for hair to thrive.
This care regimen includes exfoliating the scalp to remove dead skin cells, excess sebum and residual hair care products, all of which can cause itchiness and damage the microbiome. This can be accomplished with scrubs and shampoos with natural exfoliants, such as apricot shells, but many brands also provide tools and massagers to be used on the scalp to deliver more invigorating stimulation than fingers and brushes alone can provide.
Sophisticated scalp scanners available in high-end salons can deliver an in-depth analysis of a scalp microbiome, including hair density and thickness, keratin, pore status and more. This information can be shared with the consumer to emphasize the importance of scalp care and to customize a treatment program that will deliver maximum benefits.
A variety of products, including pre-shampoo treatments, scalp masks and probiotic treatments designed to improve the microbiome, are entering the market in response to consumer interest in caring for their scalps.
Lubrizol has created “A Good Start”, a line of five innovative formulations to clean, soothe and nourish the scalp. It offers a comprehensive range of products from a pre-shampoo scrub and mask to two shampoos and a leave-on elixir, all specifically formulated to provide superior care for the most neglected part of the skin.