What is Sebum?
Just what is sebum, anyway? It’s the medical term for skin oils produced by microscopic sebaceous glands hidden under the surface of our skin. Sebum is a mixture of an assortment of fats and dead sebaceous gland cells. The sebaceous glands can be found deep within our dermis. They connect with the hair follicles and release their contents through the pores. They can also be found throughout our body, especially on the face. Sebum hair loss can result from an excess of these oils when there is too much sebum on the scalp.
Does Excess Sebum Cause Hair Loss?
Hair loss is a condition that affects many people and can cause anxiety and depression. While many factors may contribute to decreased hair health, excessive production of sebum can be a trigger. Sebum-related hair loss can be embarrassing and uncomfortable, but there are ways to help prevent excess sebum buildup on the scalp.
How Can Sebum Cause Hair Loss?
Though it may feel greasy, sebum on the scalp helps to moisturize your hair and also protects it from getting brittle and breaking off. It also helps to maintain the pH of our skin, keeping our skin cells from drying out. But when too much sebum is produced, you could end up with an oily scalp, which in turn affects the hair growth cycle. An oily scalp can also lead to the growth of the yeast fungus that causes dandruff — another reason why one might experience shedding and hair loss. Some sebum in the hair is good, but excess sebum can be a problem.
Your hair follicles are surrounded by sebaceous glands that produce sebum. When your sebaceous glands produce more than average sebum in the hair, it could lead to your hair follicles being blocked by the greasy substance. This, in turn, could cause infection and reduce the productivity of the hair growth cycle, leaving hair looking unhealthy and greasy.
When excess sebum in the hair occurs, your hair looks lackluster because the hair follicles are drowning in the excess sebum produced by the glands. When an excess amount collects on your scalp, the sebum buildup clogs up the pores as it hardens over time. This sebum buildup can cause hair thinning and even sebum hair loss, which is when hair falls out faster than usual during the normal hair growth cycle because the sebum has clogged up the follicles.
How to Prevent Sebum Hair Loss
Having an oily scalp may not necessarily be a bad thing, but excess sebum buildup can be a problem. Washing your hair regularly helps remove excess sebum and prevents sebum buildup. Many shampoos are mild, and they are ideal for everyday use to eliminate the greasy appearance of sebum in the hair. Mild shampoos also preserve the nutrition and protection of the natural oils that your hair needs to be healthy. There are products like Nutrafol, which includes specialized supplements for men and women, made with ingredients shown to improve hair growth.
How to Reduce Sebum Production
The simple act of brushing your hair stimulates the blood capillaries in your head, increasing circulation of the blood. This promotes the transportation of oxygen and nutrients to the scalp, both of which help keep the scalp and hair follicles healthy. Brushing also helps to keep the pores of the scalp open, allowing them to breathe and retain the normally required amount of oil.
It is also important to eat properly to encourage healthy oil production in the body, as well as the right amount of hair sebum. By eating the right amounts of vitamin-packed food, your skin and scalp will feel and look healthier, leading to less sebum hair loss. You can choose supplements that help decrease sebum production and discourage dandruff as well. There are also natural home remedies that people use to try to manage their scalp’s sebum production. These home remedies range from essential oils to coconut oil.
Better Hair Health Comes from a Bigger Approach
Combining good hygiene, healthy eating, and your own home hair care regimen can drastically improve your hair’s health and appearance, and can also help to decrease sebum on your scalp. Using a quality, natural hair health supplement can also provide additional support in keeping your scalp and hair healthy for years to come.