With winter dryness around the corner, many people begin to wonder if they should start applying conditioner to their scalp as well.
The answer to this question is pretty simple: no matter what season it is, applying hair conditioner to the scalp is never a good idea.
Your scalp is capable of producing oil or sebum, which travels through the entire length of the hair to keep it moisturized, but this sebum is the most concentrated on the scalp. (1) Therefore, the scalp does not require more conditioning.
If you put conditioner on your scalp, it will just make the hair excessively greasy and weighed down without providing any actual benefits to hair health.
So, to enjoy healthy, bouncy, fresh-looking hair, it is best to avoid applying conditioner to the scalp.
Continue reading to learn why you should not put conditioner on your scalp and what to use if your scalp feels dry.
Conditioner is a must-have hair product in your hair care cabinet, but it is only for your hair ends and lengths. It’s not for your scalp!
According to researchers, using conditioner on your scalp will cause product buildup, and the presence of residues on the scalp will clog your hair follicles and also make your hair look very greasy and oily.
This is not where the problem stops. Continuous use of conditioner can also lead to dandruff. This is because the product buildup on the scalp disturbs your scalp’s natural sebum and oil production, leading to various scalp issues. (2)
While all types of conditioner should be avoided on the scalp, the ones that have heavy oils or silicone can be the most troublesome.
As explained in the previous section, the use of conditioners on the scalp can lead to a lot of scalp issues.
Also, conditioners, when applied on the scalp, can act as a trap for debris and bacteria, causing their accumulation on the scalp.
This all adds up and leads to a lot of hair follicle damage, which eventually causes hair loss. (2)(3)
Contact dermatitis is a kind of allergic response that appears as a skin rash when you come in contact with something that triggers inflammation and irritation in your body.
According to researchers, people who have a sensitive scalp are more prone to contact dermatitis, and the main reason for this problem in such people is the use of conditioners on the scalp because, many times, these conditioners contain potential allergens. (3)
Your scalp produces natural oils to keep your hair moisturized. Applying conditioner to the scalp can lead to an overmoisturization of the scalp, which can make your hair look very greasy and oily.
Furthermore, the use of conditioner on the scalp flattens your follicles, which means that your hair will appear less voluminous and flatter. This is not something that a lot of people like, and it can be a very troubling situation for those who already have thin hair. (2)
A lot of time, many ingredients that are found in a conditioner can be quite irritating for the scalp.
This can include ingredients such as fragrances, surfactants, and other components that can trigger an inflammatory response, which can lead to scalp redness and itchiness.
This kind of reaction is more pronounced in people who already suffer from issues such as eczema and psoriasis.
A study found that those who have sensitive scalp are very prone to experience the negative effects of conditioners when used on the scalp such as burning and itchiness. (3)
Now that conditioners are out of the picture, what can you apply to your scalp when it feels dry?
The answer to this question is pretty simple. There are special kinds of products called scalp conditioners, which are developed in a way that they are good for dry scalp and do not harm your scalp like regular conditioners do.
Also, scalp conditioners can be of different types, and the one that is the most suitable for you will depend upon your hair texture, hair size, hair volume, and personal preferences.
It is best to use conditioner on your hair every time you shampoo your hair. There are also some conditioners that you can use without shampooing your hair first.
Since it is not good to apply conditioner to the scalp, you can use scalp serums and oils.
Diluting your conditioner by adding water to it is not a good idea as it is not going to benefit your scalp much.
Remember not to apply conditioner to your scalp. Although it is highly beneficial for your hair strands, it can be pretty harmful to your scalp.
You might think that it’s good to apply conditioner to the hair roots for improved moisturization and conditioning, but the truth is that it will only clog the hair follicles and cause inflammatory responses in people who have sensitive scalp.