Written by: Ruchi Gupta MD MPH
When it comes to taking care of our scalp and hair, most of us use products like shampoo, conditioner, and hair treatments that focus on surface-level factors. However, what many people don't realize is that the health of our scalp is heavily influenced by intrinsic factors like the microbiome - the collection of microorganisms that live on our skin. In fact, nourishing your microbiome is essential to maintaining a healthy scalp and promoting healthy hair growth.
Your microbiome is an advanced and interdependent community of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms working to keep your skin and scalp healthy. External factors such as harmful chemicals, pollutants, and foreign invaders can disrupt your microbiome causing imbalances that can manifest as dandruff, oily scalp, and even hair loss.
So, how can you nourish your microbiome and promote a healthy scalp?
1. Avoid shampoos with chemicals -- Many commercial shampoos contain harsh chemicals that can disrupt the balance of your microbiome. Instead, opt for a gentle, nourishing shampoo that is free from sulfates and other harsh ingredients. Look for products that contain natural ingredients like , which can help to soothe the scalp and promote a healthy microbiome.
2. Avoid over-washing your hair -- Washing your hair too frequently can strip away the natural oils that keep your scalp healthy and nourished. Aim to wash your hair every 2-3 days and use dry shampoo or other hair styling products to extend the time between washes.
3. Use probiotics to support your microbiome -- Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help to support the health of your microbiome. You can take probiotic supplements or eat probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut to promote a healthy microbiome. You can also look for hair care products that contain probiotics, which can help to restore balance to your scalp.
4. Keep your scalp moisturized -- A dry, itchy scalp leading to dandruff and other scalp problems can be a sign of a microbiome imbalance. Having a hydrated skin barrier actually promotes the growth of good bacteria and a healthy microbiome. t Use a gentle, hydrating conditioner to keep your scalp moisturized and nourished.
Supporting your microbiome is crucial to maintaining a healthy scalp and promoting healthy hair growth. By using gentle hair care products, avoiding over-washing your hair, supporting your microbiome with probiotics, and proper hydration you can promote a healthy scalp and luscious locks. So, next time you're thinking about your hair care routine, remember to pick products that support your hair from the biome up.