To exfoliate or not to exfoliate, is that even a question? Most people know that gently scrubbing away the impurities from our face and body is crucial for maintaining skin health and a beautiful glow. However, even the best of us can devalue the importance of giving that same special treatment to our body’s crowning glory: the hair and scalp.
Since exfoliating this area isn’t everybody’s strong suit, we’ve gathered some of KEVIN.MURPHY’s top educators to answer the key questions most people have about the subject.
MEET THE PANEL:
What are the health advantages of exfoliating your scalp and hair?
SARAH: Exfoliation is a very important first step in achieving overall health of the hair and scalp. This ultimately leads to hair that is shinier, styles easier and is free of buildup. Exfoliating can bring your hair back to a healthier state.
TIM: This simple act also increases circulation to the blood vessels in the scalp, encouraging healthier hair growth.
WADE: Exfoliation will reduce dead skin cells and remove debris and toxins from the scalp. By ridding the follicle of its impurities, your hair is free to grow normally without restriction.
How does exfoliating effect the physical appearance of your hair?
JOSEPH: With the daily abuse hair takes from blow dryers, irons and the environment, the cuticle loses its resilience. This compromises its shine and the ability to maintain its shape. By exfoliating the hair, you’re essentially removing the damaged parts and returning its shine and lustre – just as much as it does when you exfoliate the skin. The scalp benefits greatly by allowing the pores to breathe, so your hair grows in a healthy environment.
SARAH: Buildup can clog hair follicles, trap oil on the scalp and weigh hair down. This barrier can prevent healthy ingredients from penetrating past the cuticle of the hair, where they are able to perform the most effectively.
How often should the hair and scalp be exfoliated?
JOSEPH: Exfoliating is beneficial to everyone regardless of gender. As a general rule of thumb, once a week is the best approach for most people. I would usually time it together when exfoliating your face and body for a complete refresh.
WADE: Someone with a mild condition like oily or flaky scalp should probably exfoliate more often, and then taper it off once the condition is under control.
Are there any habits that might cause someone to need to exfoliate more often?
MASSIMO: Lifestyle choices can affect our skin and how we look. Living a stressful lifestyle or maintaining an irregular diet could lead to skin and scalp issues.
SARAH: The main factor to look at would be the lifestyle of the hair. The more wax or silicone based products a person uses, the more they may have to exfoliate.
JOSEPH: If you use high heat elements such as blow dryers and curling irons, then you would be more inclined to exfoliate, as the cuticle regularly takes more damage.
WADE: Even putting your hair up or in a pony when wet or wearing a hat all the time can cause scalp issues that can be helped by exfoliation.
What are some of your favorite methods for exfoliating and removing build-up?
WADE: Our hero product MAXI.WASH is the way to go. Think of it like skin care, it’s an easy 1,2,3: First use MAXI.WASH to exfoliate, then your favorite WASH to cleanse, and finally your favorite RINSE to moisturise.
SARAH: MAXI.WASH utilises Alpha Hydroxyl Acids (AHAs) from Citrus Fruits, much like what an Esthetician would use in a facial. These AHAs work to lightly buff the outer surface of the hair and scalp by removing any buildup.
JOSEPH: The best method is to apply MAXI.WASH by smoothing over the hair and scalp and allowing it to sit for a few moments before rinsing off. The use of a warm towel is also great as it allows the cuticle to open naturally so the wash can absorb easier.
Are there any misconceptions you’ve heard about exfoliating your scalp?
JOSEPH: The most common misconception is that exfoliation strips the skin of its natural oils and is drying. Most often, this is due to the confusion between an exfoliant and a clarifying product. KEVIN.MURPHY products specifically avoid using sulphates, which is the usual cause of cleansers that become too astringent.
SARAH: An exfoliating shampoo is typically going to contain ingredients that are similar to those in skin care. They tend to be more gentle on the hair by removing buildup only on the outer surface maintaining the color and integrity of the hair strand while creating a clean, healthy environment on the scalp.