Enzymatic And Chemical Scalp Exfoliation And How To DIY Them


In this post I'll be talking about exfoliating products for the scalp with enzymes and acids, as well as how to improvise when you can't buy these products where you live. 

One of the basics of hair care is treating your scalp and your actual hair separately. The skin on your head may have very different issues from your hair, for example be oily while your hair is dry. While a healthy scalp is a prerequisite to healthy hair, it may need very different things from your hair.

When you switch from using harsh shampoos to gentler ones, with gentler surfactants or without surfactants altogether, you might need to give your scalp a bit of extra exfoliation. Chemical exfoliation is gentler yet more thorough in the long run.

Who should use chemical exfoliation? 

Everyone who wants to cleanse their scalp thoroughly, but also people with dandruff as physical scrubs can cause microtears and worsen the issue. Exfoliating the scalp also lifts hair at the roots and keeps it fresher longer, and can prevent itching.

Chances are you are already using a product with chemical exfoliation and don't know it. Some shampoos contain enzymes, AHAs or BHA (see list of exfoliating ingredients below).

Look for these common exfoliating ingredients:

Basic pH: baking soda, cleansing soap (such as Savon De Marseille) -- not really recommended for the scalp, as it can disrupt the skin's pH level.

Urea 10-30%

Enzymes: bromelaine. (2-8%), papaine (5%)

Beta hydroxy acid (salicylic acid): 1-5%, preferably in oil and not alcohol 

Alpha Hydroxy Acids: lactic acid, glicolic cid, mandaleic acid, malic acid, all in the concentration of 3-10%, lactobionic 2-8%

LHA lipohydroxic acid 0,3%-1%

Scalp exfoliating products are practically unknown in many countries. I picked up the one from Only Bio on a trip to Poland. But if you don't have access to ready made products, you can use products meant for the face. Try toners or serums or even face cleansing products, as creams can be too rich and clog pores. Always start with a low concentration of the active ingredient, as our scalp usually hasn't had much exposure to such ingredients.
Another easy way to DIY scalp exfoliant is by mixing urea. Start with 5-10%. 
Apply on the scalp and leave on for 10-15 minutes. 


Image: Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

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