Scalp Problems Caused by Sebum


Sebum, which is produced by the sebaceous glands, protects the hair and provides flexibility and shine to your locks. Hair is lubricated by a thin layer of this substance. Abnormally high production of sebum results in oily hair, according to Sebum production can be influenced by hormonal factors, such as puberty and pregnancy.

Sebum, Acne, Oily Hair

Sebum is involved in acne, according to Acne lesions can be caused by the force of new sebum being produced in vast quantities during puberty and can also result from blocked pores or clogged sebum channels, which puts pressure on the sebum canal walls.

Seborrhoeic Dermatitis explains that seborrhoeic dermatitis is a severe form of dandruff. This condition is far more extensive than discovering white flakes on your shoulder. It involves redness and itching of the scalp, flaking, and can even affect the area around your cheeks, nose, eyebrows, behind your ears, in your groin area and on your chest. This condition can affect the health of your hair, even leading to partial baldness. Sebum also can accumulate in the ducts of the glands, which then become distended with undischarged sebum. This can lead to the development of a hard body called a comedo or a white head. Seborrhoeic dermatitis often is seasonal, getting worse in the winter and better in the summer.

Fine Hair

The amount of greasiness that occurs in a person's hair is linked to the amount of oil that is present in that individual's scalp, according to Those with fine hair actually have more hair than those with thicker hair, and their sebum production is generally higher because there are more sebaceous glands, which results in the possibility of too much oil production. An individual may be genetically predisposed to have a greasy scalp, which then causes greasy hair. The best defense against this condition is regular washing with a product that is designed for oily hair.

Out of Balance

Sebaceous glands can get out of balance and result in over- or underproduction of sebum, according to This can result in problems for the scalp, hair and the roots. If too much sebum is being produced, this can result in roots that are undernourished because the hair follicles are clogged by sebum and are, essentially, drenched in oil, which weakens hair strands and the scalp. An excess of sebum can harden on the scalp, which prevents the growth of healthy hair. This can result in thinning hair and hair loss, according to

Expert Insight

Dr. William Rassman, Medical Director and Founder of the New Hair Institute disagrees with the above assessment,saying that sebum doesn't cause any major scalp or hair problems other than styling issues because of the oily condition of the hair.

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