Scalp Health is Hair Health: What Makes a Balanced Cleanser
Hello, hello! This month I want to dive into what makes a cleanser "balanced" with specific regards to your hair. First of all, what does "balanced cleanser" even mean?
A balanced cleanser for your hair focuses on two things: It cleans the scalp effectively without irritation AND it provides nourishment for the hair.
We'll dive into the specifics of hair nourishment in another article, but for now I want to talk about how it all starts with the scalp. The scalp is home to all of the follicles that grow our luscious locks, think of her as the mama. If mama is not happy, nobody is happy; therefore, if the scalp is not happy, the hair is not happy either.
A balanced cleanser should...
Balance Sebum Production
When cleansers are too strong, they can strip away too many oils from the skin (in this case, the scalp) and cause our sebum glands to kick into overdrive in an attempt to replenish the oils. Inversely, when cleansers are not strong enough, they are unable to effectively remove dirt, oils, and dead skin during your cleansing routine. This can lead to build-up, dandruff, and the general feeling of "not clean" in your hair!
The goal is to use a cleanser that keeps you on a comfortable wash schedule for you. If you work out hard or work out in the heat all day, you may need to wash daily for hygiene reasons, and that's just fine, but most of us should be on a 1-4x weekly wash schedule, and a good, balanced shampoo can get us there!
Promote a Healthy Microbiome
The Microbiome is the ecosystem of tiny bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms that maintain skin health, and much the same way that excessive or subpar cleansing can cause sebum imbalances, it can also throw off the balance of good microorganisms vs. less-than-ideal microorganisms.
Provide Nourishment with Natural Oils
I am a firm believer that a shampoo has one job to do - it's supposed to clean your hair, and it should do that remarkably well before it ever thinks of doing anything else. HOWEVER, the scalp greatly benefits from just a little bit of love and nourishment in addition to effective cleansing.
For instance, in our shampoo and conditioner bars, I like to include cupuacu butter for moisture and tea tree essential oil (an all-around good guy for your skin, head-to-toe) for its natural antimicrobial and antioxidant properties.
And that's it! It's really pretty straightforward. Our skin doesn't ask for much, and honestly these days it's begging us for less! That's why I do what I do. My goal is always to offer up products that do what they're supposed to without a bunch of unnecessary fluff that is likely to do more harm than good, anyway.
As always, if you have any questions, feel free to ask me either in a comment here, or shoot me a message from the little chat bubble! I'll get back to you as soon as I'm able.
I appreciate you all so much, and I'm so grateful that you're here.