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Cure de sébum : bonne ou mauvaise idée ?

Sebum treatment: good or bad idea?

Naturally secreted by the sebaceous glands, sebum is a fatty substance that spreads across the skin's surface. Brushing the hair helps distribute the sebum along the hair fibres to protect them. This sebum is then allowed to soak into the hair for several days: this is the sebum treatment. But is this practice truly beneficial? Let's delve into it.

What is sebum?

Sebum is a greasy, whitish and thick secretion, produced by the sebaceous glands of the skin. The sebaceous glands cover the vast majority of the body. Although they are often grouped around hair follicles, many exist independently. The face and scalp contain the highest concentration of sebaceous glands. The palms of the hands and the soles of the feet are the only areas of skin devoid of these glands.

Each gland secretes sebum. This contains various lipophilic molecules: triglycerides and fatty acids (57%), wax esters (26%), squalene (12%) and cholesterol (4.5%).

The primary function of sebum is to protect the skin and hair from moisture loss.

Sebum also plays a crucial role in the protection of the skin and scalp (fungistatic and bactericidal action). Moreover, when mixed with sweat, sebum forms the hydrolipidic film which shields the epidermis from external aggressions and dehydration. In terms of hair, sebum protects the scalp and hair fibres against damage.

Sebum cure, what is it all about?

The sebum cure involves skipping hair washing for an extended period, sometimes for a month or more, to "self-regulate" sebum production with the aim of achieving healthy hair. The goal is to allow the sebum to flow from the roots to the tips. As this substance is produced by the skin, there is no risk of allergy and it is suitable for all hair types.

What are the benefits of a sebum treatment?

Undergoing a sebum treatment can have several benefits such as regulating the skin's sebum production, naturally maintaining hair and scalp health, reducing the risk of breakage along the hair length, minimising split ends, and combating hair dehydration.

A sebum treatment can be beneficial for various hair types. For oily hair, a sebum treatment can regulate sebum production, thus reducing the frequency of shampooing. For dry hair, sebum production will be naturally stimulated to better nourish and maintain the hydration of the hair fibre.

However, this practice also comes with significant drawbacks.

The drawbacks of the sebum treatment.

Even though a sebum treatment brings numerous benefits to the hair fibre, it is not recommended. The implementation of a sebum treatment presents many drawbacks and even certain risks.

  • Scalp Irritation

    The sebum produced by the scalp is a fatty substance that can potentially block the pores of the epidermis. Washing helps to remove sebum residues that can clog these pores. Without washing, the accumulation of sebum on the scalp can cause itching and even the formation of greasy dandruff. When the scalp's pores are blocked, the hair will not be properly nourished. As a result, hair growth is slowed down.

  • Hygiene

    The sebum that accumulates on the scalp undergoes transformation and oxidation, breaking down into substances that not only emit an unpleasant odour, but can also cause itching or flaking, thereby creating an ideal environment for an unhealthy scalp. The cumulative effects of this phenomenon can have a negative impact on the hair. Furthermore, from a social perspective, it can be quite embarrassing to have dirty hair for several days.

The solution to extending the intervals between shampoos lies in the use of gentle and natural shampoos, formulated without sulfates, parabens or silicones that can exacerbate the issue of sebum overproduction.

Opt for gentle formulas, with or without essential oils depending on your tolerance. These natural ingredients will regulate sebum production and, gradually, allow you to space out your shampoos while respecting your scalp. At Typology, we have developed three natural shampoos to address various hair issues.

  • The nourishing shampoo with 1% Biolipid Complex + Camellia Oil deeply repairs and nourishes the hair fibre, smoothens and fills in the hair cuticles. It is particularly recommended for dry and damaged hair, as well as for curly and frizzy hair.

  • The volume shampoo with 1% Almond Protein strengthens and coats the hair fibre to provide structure and volume to the hair. It is particularly recommended for fine hairthat lacks density.

  • The anti-dandruff shampoo containing 1% Piroctone Olamine and Jujube extract reduces the proliferation of dandruff, regulates flaking, and soothes scalp irritations.

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