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Masque purifiant cheveux gras.

The purifying mask for oily hair.

Oily hair is a result of a disruption in the sebaceous glands, which promotes the secretion of sebum. This oily substance ensures the lubrication of the hair and protects it from external aggressions. However, when sebum is produced in excess, the hair becomes oily. Thanks to their purifying properties, purifying masks can help to address this issue. Let's focus on these treatments.

Published February 16, 2024, by Manon, Scientific Editor — 5 min read

What are the causes of greasy hair?

Oily hair can impact the appearance of one's locks, making them look heavy and unattractive. This issue is caused by an overproduction of sebum by the sebaceous glands, which results in the hair becoming greasy quickly. Sebum serves to protect and hydrate the scalp and hair fibres.

However, an overproduction of this, referred to as hyperseborrhea, can promote the appearance of dandruff, small dead cells of white to yellow colour, as these feed on the triglycerides present in the sebum. They contribute to the release of prostaglandins, inflammatory mediators that cause itching and irritation of the scalp. There are several factors responsible for oily hair.

  • A hormonal origin.

    An overproduction of androgen hormones is the primary cause of hyperseborrhea. The main androgen in men is testosterone, while in women, it is Δ-4-androstenedione and dehydroepiandrosterone. Within the sebocyte, androgens undergo a transformation by various enzymes, producing testosterone. This testosterone then reacts with the enzyme 5-α-reductase to convert into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which stimulates the activity of the sebaceous glands. Consequently, individuals with high activity of 5-α-reductase are more prone to developing an oily scalp.

  • Diet.

    There is a link between diet and excess sebum on the scalp. Indeed, regular consumption of high glycemic index foods, such as chips or certain biscuits, leads to a rapid increase in insulin in the blood. This elevation leads to an increase in androgen levels, which, in turn, indirectly causes excessive sebum secretion.

  • Environmental factors.

    Pollution, exposure to UV rays, excessive use of hair products, stress, lack of hygiene... these are all factors that cause an over-activation of the sebaceous glands, leading to an overproduction of sebum to protect the scalp.

The benefits of a purifying mask on oily hair.

The benefits of purifying masks on oily hair are numerous.

  • "Regulating" sebum production.

    Purifying masks assist in "regulating" the excessive production of sebum on the scalp. Certain active ingredients present in this type of mask, such as the charcoal or clay, are porous enough to absorb the sebum. Consequently, they remove excess sebum and impurities, which helps to reduce the sensation of greasy hair and prevents it from appearing weighed down and flat.

  • Space out the shampoos.

    Indeed, the purifying mask provides a deep cleanse of the scalp. It penetrates deeply into the hair follicles to remove residues of hair products, impurities, dirt, and pollution that can accumulate and exacerbate the greasy appearance of the hair.

  • Balance of the scalp.

    By removing impurities and regulating sebum production, purifying masks help to balance the scalp. The balance of the scalp is important as it creates a conducive environment for hair growth by maintaining sufficient hydration to prevent dryness and brittleness, whilst regulating sebum production to avoid the hair becoming greasy and heavy.

  • Alleviate skin irritations.

    Some purifying masks contain moisturising agents that help soothe scalp itchiness and irritation. Clay is often used due to its absorbent properties, as well as its soothing benefits that contribute to softening the skin.

  • Reducing dandruff.

    By eliminating excess sebum, the purifying mask helps to limit the proliferation of fungi such as Malassezia which is responsible for dandruff. Moreover, certain essential oils contained in purifying masks have antifungal activity, helping to combat this fungus.

How to use a purifying mask for oily hair?

  • Application time.

    5 to 20 minutes depending on the product.

  • Application of the product.

    Depending on the type of product, the application varies and does not occur at the same point in the routine. Certain purifying masks for oily hair are designed to be applied at the roots, section by section, before shampooing. Other masks should be applied along the lengths and after shampooing. To reap the benefits of these treatments, it is recommended to follow the application advice provided on the product.

  • Frequency of use.

    It is recommended to use a purifying hair mask once a week. Purifying masks are designed to remove excess sebum from the hair. Overuse can lead to excessive dryness of the hair and scalp, resulting in dull and brittle hair. Moreover, it can disrupt the natural balance of sebum production by the scalp's sebaceous glands, leading to the opposite effect, which is an overproduction of sebum.


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