Hair Care

The hair and scalp need regular care and cleaning. Most alkali-free shampoos are able to remove sebum, sweat and scale as well as dirt and the residues of hair care products. Washing gives the hair gloss, makes it easier to dress, and reduces the electrostatic charge. Mild shampoos which do not cause strong degreasing can be used every day. The pH value of optimum shampoos is in the weakly acidic to neutral range. Especially if used daily, the shampoos should contain slightly oiling substances. The addition of conditioners makes the hair easier to comb. These substances are deposited on the keratin of the hair, producing a kind of protective cover. This makes the hair easier to comb, gives it more volume and reduces the electrostatic charge. Typical conditioners are protein hydrolysates, silicon compounds and quarternary ammonia compounds. Through the addition of emulsion- and foam-stabilising tensides such as cetyl alcohol and cetyl sterile alcohol, a gloss effect is produced which reflects the light.
When scaling of the scalp becomes excessive, we speak of dandruff. This phenomenon occurs in the case of seborrhoea with increased sebum production. This increased sebum production provides a favourable environment for microorganisms like the yeast fungus pityrosporum ovale. The enzymes of these fungal infections release free fatty acids and lipoperoxides from the sebum, which then irritate the scalp. This process results in increased scaling on the skin of the head. The scale becomes bound with the sebum and sweat, is visible on the scalp and causes itching. Scratching and the secretions from the wounds then causes scaly scabs, which are cosmetically very distressing for the person affected. The scale can be released by appropriate substances (keratolytics) such as salicyclic acid. Salicyclic acid also has an anti-fungal effect. The accelerated rate of cell division on the scalp can be regulated with selenium and cadmium disulphide. These products should be used twice a week. The fungal infection pityrosporum ovale which affects the scalp can be treated with azole derivatives which have a powerful anti-fungal effect. People with dandruff and very greasy hair are recommended to wash their hair frequently, or even daily, with normal shampoos, rather than with products against greasy hair. People with a dry scalp and damaged, brittle hair, on the other hand, are advised to use weakly acidic shampoos with a high content of re-oiling and conditioning substances. Good conditioners are quarternary ammonia compounds, protein hydrolysates such as sericic protein hydrolysate or wheat protein hydrolysate. The conditioning effect can be reinforced by vegetable oils, lanolin derivatives, moisturisers like propylene glycol or urea, and panthenol. For people with a very dry scalp, hair oils such as peanut oil and olive oil, or also mineral oils, which are massaged through the hair into the scalp with the fingertips, can be used. The hair itself should not have contact with the oils. After the oils have been allowed to work in for some time, if possible overnight, the scales are released. Thanks to the fine oil film, the moisture and elasticity of the scalp is still preserved if the hair is subsequently washed with a shampoo. For dry and damaged hair, commercial conditioners and hair cures are put onto the towel-dry hair and massaged in. O/W emulsions, which are usually fairly runny, can be washed out again after a few minutes; the typical creamy hair cures and packs are left in the hair for about 10 minutes. Conditioners and hair cures also gently oil the scalp. These care products give the hair added gloss and greater volume, improve its combing abilities and at the same time reduce the electrostatic charge. Modern hair lotions, hair setting lotions, colorants, hair skinpilot side toursprays, hair lacquers and gels are available for different hair types and conditions and only rarely cause allergies.