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Should Skin Care Stop at the Hairline?

Rhonda Allison January 2012 issue of Skin Inc. magazine
skin care client getting scalp treatment

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What is at the root of aging hair? Could it all tie into the aging skin on the scalp? Daily hair loss is natural and, although there is no quick fix, recent research has found that many of the cosmeceuticals used to maintain skin health produce the same benefits when applied to the scalp and hair.

The scalp, and thus the hair, ages much like the rest of the body’s skin. It loses tone and elasticity, and cell production declines. As the scalp ages, the hair weakens. It is part of the life cycle of the hair follicle, but that lifespan can be extended when the same methods and ingredients for skin care are applied to the scalp. So why do skin care professionals stop at the hairline?

Understanding hair

The hair follicle is made up of the hair bulb, the inner root sheath and the hair shaft. The hair bulb is onion-shaped, and contains the hair matrix—the germ layer that forms the inner root sheath—as well as the hair shaft, which comprises the medulla, cortex and cuticle. Blood vessels supply the follicle with much of its nutrients, but topical formulas can also provide a boost of nourishment, especially if the blood vessels aren’t supplying an adequate amount. The hair bulb, along with the inner sheath, secures the hair shaft within the follicle, and is continuous with the basal layer of the interfollicular epidermis.

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Treatment How-to: Add-on Scalp Treatment

The Add-on Scalp Massage can be performed during a facial treatment and will work nourishing ingredients further into the scalp.

Price: $30–50

Products needed:

Nutrient-rich scalp serum

Grape seed oil


Strengthening peptide spray (optional)

Supplies needed:

Two towels, one heated

Contraindications: If lesions or any other extreme conditions are apparent, refer the client to a physician before rendering any treatment.

Step 1: Spray the hair with warm water to moisten.

Step 2: Pat with a towel.

Step 3: Apply a generous layer of nutrient-rich scalp serum, working it into the hair with fingertips.

Step 4: Moisten hands with grape seed oil and antioxidants, then massage it into the scalp.

Step 5: Wrap the hair in a heated towel.

Step 6: Clients may leave the skin care facility with the nutrients in their hair or, if your facility has a shower, they may shampoo and finish with a strengthening peptide spray.

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