Does Excess Sebum Cause Hair Loss?

by Viviscal Hair Expert on December 17th, 2015
How to treat excess sebum and hair loss

Although hair sebum may sound like something disgusting, it really has an important role to play in a healthy head of hair. Of all of the myths about sebum, hair loss is one of the most prevalent. The truth is this greasy secretion helps to keep your hair moisturized, and protects against breakage caused by the hair shaft becoming dry and brittle.

However, some people experience excessive sebum production, which can lead to an oily scalp. While excess sebum alone is not a cause of hair loss, it can affect the hair growth cycle.

Your hair follicles are tubular structures in your skin, within which each hair is rooted. The follicle is flanked by sebaceous glands, which are responsible for the production of sebum. Men and women with higher than average sebum levels can be more susceptible to hair folliculitis. This can occur when hair follicles are blocked with grease, and then become infected, causing inflammation. The inflammation can impair the efficiency of the hair growth cycle, leading to unhealthy, lackluster and even greasy-looking hair.

In the case of folliculitis, it is not the oily scalp itself that causes hair loss, but rather the infection of hair follicles and resultant inflammation. Thankfully, Viviscal Gentle Shampoo and Moisturizing Conditioner provide a complete hair wash solution, which can be used regularly without the fear of irritation from harsh ingredients such as SLS/SLES. These products use natural oils, rather than mineral oil, which can carry carcinogenic impurities if poorly refined. They also contain shea butter extract which has natural anti-inflammatory properties to help keep hair follicles healthy.

Choosing a gentle shampoo is important because the mild formula allows you to wash your hair daily. For those of us with excessive sebum production, this prevents hair from looking greasy, but helps to preserve some of the protective qualities of natural oils. Different hair types produce varying amounts of sebum, and should be washed accordingly. Hence there is no golden rule — everyone’s washing needs vary.

If you do have excessive hair sebum that makes your hair look greasy, then don’t rush out and buy harmful products which will cause irritation to the scalp. Products with irritants such as SLS/SLES may feel like they are cutting through the dirt, but they can cause inflammation and make the problems worse. Choose a specialist shampoo and conditioner, and give your hair and scalp some TLC.