A healthy scalp supports healthy hair growth. However, it can function properly when it is nourished from within. Just like our skin, the scalp also has layers. The hair follicles extend to the deep scalp layers (1). So, to ensure your hair follicles receive all the benefits of the hair nourishing products and maintain scalp health, it is crucial to understand the layers of the scalp and their mechanism. Keep reading to learn in detail.
In This Article
The Layers Of The Scalp
The scalp has a highly complex structure. It has five layers, and all have unique functions. Let’s take a look at the layers of the scalp (1):
1. The Skin
This is the topmost layer of the scalp and contains the hair follicles and sebaceous glands. The hair follicles can go deep into the second layer – the dense connective tissue layer. The sebaceous glands are responsible for producing sebum or the natural oils that contain lipids, ceramides, and other situation-specific chemicals that help regulate the scalp microbiome, keep the hair and the scalp skin moisturized.
2. Superficial Fascia
This is the second layer of the scalp that contains a collection of dense connective tissues. This layer contains nerves and lymphatics, and the scalp tissues get their vascular supply primarily through this layer. The blood vessels present in this scalp layer are generally extremely adherent to these tissues. That is why any head injury can lead to profuse bleeding.
3. Epicranial Aponeurosis
This layer is also known as galea aponeurotica and is the third layer of the scalp. This layer connects the occipitalis and frontalis muscles in your scalp. In simple terms, the muscles in the front and the back of your head are joined by this layer.
4. Loose Areolar Connective Tissue
The fourth scalp layer is essential for the freeness and mobility of the first three layers. If not for this layer, the scalp tissues would probably stick to the pericranium (the layer covering the skull). The loose areolar connective tissue contains the vascular system, including emissary veins that connect the scalp veins to intracranial venous sinuses (blood channels between the endosteal and meningeal layers of the dura) and diploic veins. It also contains mast and plasma cells and adipocytes.
The final layer that covers the skull is known as pericranium. This is the outermost layer of the skull. This has connective tissues that adhere strictly to the lower layers of the skull and is immovable. This layer supports the vascular supply of the lower layers of the skull. It has an upper fibrous layer and a lower layer known as the cambium.
The scalp is an extremely sensitive area. It is made up of thin layers, and a small infection can spread rapidly to other integral parts of your head. You must always take any sign of change in your scalp very seriously and maintain a normal and healthy scalp under all circumstances.
Now that you know everything about the scalp layers keep reading to understand how you can maintain your scalp health.
How To Keep Your Scalp Healthy
1. Keep The Scalp Clean
Maintaining a scalp cleaning routine is crucial. This is because excessive cleaning can dry out the scalp and strip the natural oils. Similarly, cleaning it infrequently can cause dead skin and sebum buildup, affecting optimal scalp health.
Wash your scalp not more than two to three times a week. Also, choose your shampoo carefully. Use a mild and nourishing shampoo for everyday use, and once in two weeks, use a clarifying shampoo to cleanse the scalp.
2. Get Rid Of Dandruff
Dandruff is caused by an overgrowth of Malassezia, the yeast-like fungus. This fungus naturally occurs in our scalp and feeds on dead cells and lipids.
However, certain factors can cause an overgrowth of the fungus, affecting your scalp health. This can cause flakiness, discomfort, and itching. Constant itching may damage the hair follicles and injure the scalp tissue. Consult a dermatologist and use a medicated shampoo to get rid of dandruff.
3. Condition Your Scalp
Just like you condition your skin to maintain its moisture, condition the scalp to keep it nourished and moisturized. If you have a dry scalp, you can go for a weekly hot oil massage to nourish and condition it. Massaging the scalp also improves blood circulation, keeps your scalp healthy, and promotes healthy hair growth.
4. Protect It From The Sun
While a little bit of sun exposure is good for your health, prolonged exposure can damage the scalp’s skin. The UV rays can also damage the hair follicles. Hence, you must protect your scalp from prolonged exposure to the sun rays. When you are out, use an umbrella, a cap, hat, or headgear to cover the scalp.
5. Follow A Healthy Diet
Consuming a healthy diet is especially important for healthy scalp tissue. Green vegetables, fruits, dairy, poultry, and whole grains contain nutrients that keep your scalp and body healthy from within. Apart from these, exercising and massaging can also help improve blood flow to your scalp and make it less prone to dryness.
If you feel that the steps you are taking are not enough to maintain your scalp’s health, consult a dermatologist.
In A Nutshell
The scalp is sensitive and protects some of the most critical aspects of your body. It is made up of five layers that perform important functions to maintain scalp health. Follow the tips discussed in the article to maintain a healthy scalp. If you have any scalp condition, visit a dermatologist to prevent further deterioration.
Frequently Asked Questions
What ingredients should I avoid in my shampoo?
Avoid ingredients like sulfates, parabens, synthetic fragrances, and color.
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