Role of scalp health in achieving optimal hair growth and retention

Antonella Tosti, James R. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


We have conducted a thorough review of the literature to assess the evidence for supporting a cause-and-effect linkage between scalp condition and resultant hair condition. Over 20 epidemiological studies have been published covering a wide range of abnormal scalp conditions in which consequent impacts to the hair have been documented. A treatment study was conducted to demonstrate not only that impaired scalp condition led to impaired hair quality but that the impacts to hair are reversible upon normalization of the scalp condition. A proposed explanation involves the impact of scalp oxidative stress, which is part of the etiology of these scalp conditions as well as normal aging, in interfering with the normal keratinization of the pre-emergent hair cuticle. This perturbed cuticle impedes normal fiber anchorage and emerges more brittle and fragile than normal cuticle leading to accelerated physical degradation, mirroring the effects of chronological aging of the hair fiber. The consequences of the rapid cuticle degradation result in hair that is more vulnerable to mechanical insults and compromised overall quality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S1-S8
JournalInternational journal of cosmetic science
Issue numberS1
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • growth
  • hair
  • oxidative stress
  • retention
  • scalp

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Aging
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Dermatology
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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