Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Igors scalp typing system

I'm seeing some flakes on my scalp again. It seems like seasonal changes really provokes it? 

It got me thinking: We have the Fia's hair typing system, but what about the scalp? 
Doesn't a lot of people treat their hair according to what their scalp needs, more than what the length needs?

So here are my thoughts on creating a scalp typing system...

First of all, it needs to split up the scalp issues in two: The waxy and oily sebum.
And of course here we can discuss on whether it really is two different kinds of sebum, or it just is that some heads of hair can re-absorb the oil and leave the wax behind. Let's ignore that discussion.

And people will need to be able to tell waxy scalp from seborrheic dermatitis of course. Typically, seborrheic dermatitis presents with scaly, flaky, itchy, and red skin. Symptoms occur most commonly anywhere on the skin of the face, behind the ears and in areas where the skin folds. Flakes may be yellow, white or grayish.

So maybe the scalp typing system also needs an option for medical scalp issues as well?

Also an option for seasonal changes, like a lot of people have!

Second, it needs some sort of "grading" for each kind, which makes me wonder where the "norm" is. Of course since this is aimed at the hair nerds, the bell curve for how often you need to wash is completely different from the mainstream.

I'm thinking a "grading" that goes something like this:

  • Noticeably waxy or oily scalp less than 24 hours after washing: Very oily or waxy scalp
  • Noticeably waxy or oily scalp more than 24 hours after, but less than 48 hours after washing: Oily or waxy scalp
  • Noticeably waxy or oily scalp more than 2 days after, but less than 4 days after washing: Normal scalp
  • Noticeably waxy or oily scalp more than 4 days after, but less than a week after washing: Dry scalp
  • Noticeably waxy or oily scalp more than a week after washing: Very dry scalp

Not sure how accurate this is, hmm?
I'd say around 5 categories should cover most scalps?

But here's the thing: You would have to split the typing up in two, right?
You could have waxy, but dry scalp... 

So if one type, like waxiness gave a letter between A and E and the oiliness gave a number between 1 and 5?

And add a D for seborrheic Dermatitis? DD for severe seborrheic dermatitis?
And a M for other Medical scalp issue? MM for severe other medical scalp issue?
And a S for Seasonal Changes? SS for strongly affected by seasonal changes?

Hmm. That would make my scalp type D5S.

But what to name the categories?

The opposite of oily is dry.
But the opposite of waxy is.... Also dry?
Or... slick? Smooth?
Kind of sounds awful, doesn't it?



  1. Interesting take. That's why I love your blog, you are trying to add science and rationality to an often emotional subject.

    Wouldn't it be awesome to have an internet page where one fills in all their hair/scalp characteristics and an algorithm produces the best regimen and products to employ? Similar to how medical protocols are developing for treating various diseases.

  2. Nomenclature.
    I want to see the Igor Scalp Grade on every profile.

    Waxy opposite and oily opposite, in this case, are the same thing, clear scalp.
    If I'm reading correctly, the grade is a scalp condition shorthand. Short hands should be fairly simple, like the hair classification.

    (Note grade versus classification. A class is typically attributes that stay the same. Grading covers things that change.)

    So, I'd say I was a W3-4.
    I don't have significant differences at the scalp in seasons. What I do have is more distribution of sebum in dry situations. The hair drinks it in/ slides it down. (Which would it be, absorption or coating?)

    Also posted in UTT