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Sebum – Does an Oily Scalp Cause Hair Loss?

Ever noticed that men tend not to have as many wrinkles as women? Well it may come at a price. Men secrete slightly more sebum on the skin than women and this natural oil is used to moisturise the skin and prevent it from drying out (ever noticed men tend to sweat more?) and help prevent the build up of certain bacteria. Basically sebum is vital for healthy hair and skin which is why men tend to wrinkle less, as well as produce more hair growth – on their body that is…

It doesn't seem like Colin Farrell's greasy hair is going anywhereSebum is a bit of a double edged sword in many ways. Too much sebum can block pores in the skin and lead to acne (which is why acne is more common in men) and with sebum comes an increased level of DHT which is essentially the most common cause of hair loss. Of course not all men with an oily scalp are bald (think Colin Farrell at the Oscars last year) so it begs the question – if your locks are a bit on the shiny side, how do you know if your time with them is running out?

Well, those most likely to be affected by sebum in regard to hair loss are those who are sensitive to the effects of DHT on the scalp. In other words, those who have a family history of hair loss are more likely to go down the same path. Nearly 80% of men will experience male pattern baldness at some stage of their life but it’s a relief to know that sometimes the genetic trait can skip a generation. So, if your hair’s a bit on the slick side, the first step in managing the onset of hair loss is to keep the sebum levels down.

Ever heard that you should try to limit washing your hair to once a week? The whole myth that over-washing strips your scalp of its natural oils is just that – a myth. Shampoos aren’t as harsh as they once were and daily washing won’t deplete the scalp of its natural oils. If your scalp starts to get a bit dry, switch to a milder option – one that’s designed for daily, frequent washes. Now you’ve got no excuse to ditch regular shampooing. You wouldn’t go a week without washing your face so why should you let dirt and oil gather on your scalp?

There are some foods that can trigger hair loss and if you’ve got a naturally oily scalp, there are some others you should also try to avoid. It’s a bit like the whole ‘crisps and chocolate give you pimples – or do they?’ thing. Although there’s no concrete evidence, spicy and oily foods are said to stimulate the oil production glands. These foods might not singularly contribute to hair loss, but it can’t hurt to be on the cautious side. A clean, healthy scalp is after all essential for healthy hair growth, as is nutrition.

Essentially, hair loss related to sebum or an oily scalp is largely genetic. If you’re in the shower and notice you’ve got less and less hair to wash each time, you should think about getting a specialists opinion about the nature of the condition. DHT may not be the only factor at play or you may have naturally high levels of DHT, regardless of sebum production.

There are FDA approved treatments for hair loss that will effectively manage the condition in the large majority of cases but an individualised approach based on a personalised diagnosis is the most important thing in obtaining maximum results.

If you’d like to find out more, contact the Belgravia Centre on 020 7730 6666 to speak to a hair loss and scalp specialist, or send an email. Or you might wish to fill in the online diagnostic form for some advice and access to a world-wide mail-order hair loss treatment course.

More Information:

Male Pattern Baldness
Female Hair Loss
Seborrhoeic Dermatitis

Interesting Articles:

Tips for Preventing Hair Loss
DHT’s Role in Hair Loss

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2 Comments

1st March, 2010 at 3:18 pm

Timothy Taylor

whats the beat shampoo for oily scalp and hair growth, thanks.

4th March, 2010 at 4:12 pm

Jonny

You can find details of our shampoo range on the following page - http://www.belgraviacentre.com/blog/the-belgravia-centre-shampoo-and-conditioner-range/. B2 shampoo is especially for oily hair and scalp. Unfortunately there is no shampoo that will assist with hair growth - for that you need to use proven hair loss treatments.

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