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January 10, 2024
We talk with a lot of people about their hair. The main concern that comes up in conversation is about the health of the scalp. So many people experience scalp issues!
The scalp complaints include:
Of course, there are medical conditions that include some of these symptoms and for those, you should seek licensed help. But, in a lot of cases, these symptoms can be alleviated by ditching your drugstore shampoo and conditioner.
What can cause these scalp issues?
EXCESSIVE OIL PRODUCTION
Do you wash your hair every morning only to find it feeling oily by the end of the day?
It is normal for individuals to tend more toward oily or dry depending on their genetics, diet, and geographical location, but sometimes, the products we are using can exacerbate the problem.
Most shampoos contain very harsh cleansers that strip your hair and scalp of all its natural oils, causing your skin to excessively produce more oils to replace them. More specifically, there is an imbalance of the oleic and linoleic oils being produced; Oily skin types tend to lack linoleic oils so resort to over-producing oleic oils.
Our Multnomah Falls Shampoo is formulated to work with an oily scalp to bring that oil production back into balance. We use a mild, yet effective, blend of coconut-derived cleansers to cleanse away excess oils without stripping your scalp of nutrients. Green Clay helps gently absorb oils, while peppermint and tea tree oils nourish and stimulate the scalp. Rice protein is added to increase the elasticity of the scalp and hair, and give a little extra volume to the hair for a more full appearance.
We've heard from many individuals who have been able to extend the time between washings after switching to our oil-balancing shampoo. Or, those who enjoy washing their hair every day, have noticed the oil not being a problem come night time.
ITCHY, FLAKY, IRRITATED, LITTLE BUMPS OR SORES
Embarrassing, for sure, but very common. I was surprised to learn just how many people suffer from symptoms like these! There are many causes for these symptoms outside of an actual medical condition. This is good news, because it means a simple switch in products or habits can help clear away a lot of these.
Any of these symptoms can be the result of:
Harsh Shampoos: As we covered in the last section, most shampoos contain very harsh cleansers. The most notorious culprits are sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate. These two cleansers, among many others, have very tiny molecules. So tiny they can penetrate the scalp and cause irritation there. It's very common to have a sensitivity to these two cleansers, but because they are in the vast majority of shampoos, people attribute the symptoms to something else. The big companies (you know the ones, the ones that own 90+% of the brands found in your nearest big box stores) continue to use these horrible ingredients because they are cheap. They'll slap on some fancy ingredients at less than 1% of the formula to make it appear these are high-quality.
Buildup on the Scalp: Buildup on the scalp and hair happens to everyone. Our own oils, hair styling products, minerals from the water, and other environmental factors, all build up on the scalp and hair. This is why we wash our hair; to remove buildup so our scalp can function properly and our hair can absorb hydration and nutrients from our conditioners. Harsh shampoos like we explored above do remove buildup, but it comes at an expense. On the flip side, shampoos that use more mild cleansers can be ineffective. Many of the options in the "natural" section just aren't strong enough to remove buildup and will lead to clogged follicles on your scalp. This may result in those little bumps or sores and excessive hair shedding.
The Lava Butte Shampoo is formulated to mitigate these issues. Our blend of coconut-derived cleansers is mild, yet effective. We add kaolin clay and activated charcoal to do more of the heavy lifting to remove buildup without adding harshness.
One review says:
"I have had an itchy scalp for my entire adult life. I have tried all kinds of shampoos, OTC and prescription strength. Nothing worked. I decided to try the Lava Butte Solid Shampoo after reading the positive reviews. It is amazing. It really works! Not only does my scalp feel so much better, but the shampoo leaves my curly gray hair feeling so soft and clean." -C.S.
Hair wet for too long: This was a game changer for me when I figured this out. Scalps do not like to be wet for prolonged periods. This can happen if your hair is long or dense and you let it air dry or go to sleep with it wet. The moisture on your scalp can lead to mildew which will cause flaking, itching, little bumps or sores. If you are in the habit of leaving your hair and scalp wet, try blow drying it on low heat and avoid sleeping on it wet. I can almost guarantee your scalp will thank you.
You'll feel like you have a dry scalp if it feels tight while also potentially itchy and flaky. The biggest difference between an irritated scalp and a dry scalp is going to be your propensity for extending the time between your hair-washing days. Typically, if you like to go 5+ days between wash days, your scalp is going to tend toward more dry. Chances are, your hair is also dry.
The remedy for this is a culmination of the above reasons for switching to a mild, yet effective shampoo, with the addition of an extra creamy lather that offers slip and nourishment while cleansing to protect your hair.
Our Smith Rock Shampoo is made with our blend of coconut-derived cleansers along with an oat-derived cleanser for an extra soothing lather. This shampoo effectively cleans to avoid buildup while gently conditioning the scalp as well.
Do you have any of these scalp issues? Do you have a scalp issue I did not address? Leave a comment or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions!