Salicylic acid is a chemical exfoliant commonly used in skin care products.
I frequently get asked if this chemical is a good ingredient for hair, so I wanted to answer this question here.
There are also a few other topics to cover related to salicylic acid and the scalp, so buckle up!
Is Salicylic Acid Good for Hair?
Salicylic acid is good for your hair because it helps remove dead skin cells that can clog pores and prevent hair growth.
This makes it an effective treatment for dandruff, psoriasis, and other scalp conditions.
How Does Salicylic Acid Work for Hair?
So how does salicylic acid work? It’s a little complicated, but this section is where we break it down.
- Salicylic acid works by removing the buildup of dead skin cells on your scalp.
- By loosening up the bonds between cells (in other words, breaking down the keratin) and removing dead skin cells, salicylic acid helps to clear away excess debris that can cause irritation and clog pores.
- Additionally, salicylic acid also stimulates collagen production in your follicles by encouraging fibroblasts to produce more collagen. As a result of this action, hair becomes thicker, shinier, and healthier overall!
How to Use Salicylic Acid for Hair
Here are 10 tips on how to use salicylic acid for your hair:
Wash your hair with a gentle shampoo and conditioner.
Apply a small amount of the salicylic acid cream to your scalp and massage it in, concentrating on areas where you have dandruff.
Leave it on for 10 minutes, then rinse with warm water.
Repeat this process twice a week or as needed until you notice an improvement in your dandruff symptoms.
If you find that this treatment is too drying for your hair, try using just one application per week instead of two or more times per week.
If your scalp feels dry after using this cream, apply a light oil-based moisturizer to restore moisture to the skin on your head before bedtime each evening until your dandruff has cleared up completely (or at least significantly).
This will help balance out any negative effects caused by the salicylic acid cream and make sure that your scalp stays hydrated throughout the day so that it doesn’t become flaky or irritated from excess drying from overuse of the medication.
Do not use any other medications containing salicylic acid while using this treatment for dandruff because it can increase the risk of side effects such as irritation and redness on your skin.
How Often Can You Use Salicylic Acid on Your Hair?
Salicylic acid can be used in a variety of ways to treat dandruff, but it is only recommended for use as an ingredient in shampoos and other hair products a few times per week.
If you have sensitive skin, you should avoid using salicylic acid altogether.
Salicylic acid is also not recommended for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
How Long Does It Take for Salicylic Acid to Work on Your Hair?
If you’re looking to get the most out of your salicylic acid treatment, it can take 2-3 weeks for the effects to be noticeable.
This would be a good time to give it a second chance or try something else.
If you stick with it, however, and continue using salicylic acid in your hair care routine over the long term (up to 6 months), then you may see some improvement in dandruff that lasts!
Is Salicylic Acid Good for Oily Hair?
This can be especially beneficial if you have an oily scalp but dry or normal hair.
However, salicylic acid can also be used on dry hair to help remove dead skin cells and promote growth in that area as well.
Finally, salicylic acid is a popular choice for those who color their hair or bleach it regularly because it helps restore moisture to both colored and bleached ends without making them greasy!
Is Salicylic Acid Good for Curly Hair?
Salicylic acid is good for all hair types. It works well on curly hair to remove buildup from the scalp and hair shafts.
Curly hair can be difficult to manage, so it’s especially important to keep your scalp clean.
Is Salicylic Acid Good for Hair That Is Colored or Bleached?
Using salicylic acid on hair that has been colored, bleached, or chemically treated can cause it to shed, break off and become brittle.
This is because the acids in the product can strip your hair of its natural oils. The result? Hair that’s dry and more prone to breakage.
If you’re still interested in using a salicylic acid product for your hair despite these potential adverse effects, we recommend doing so only after you’ve let your color fade for a few weeks and/or stopped using chemical products on your tresses (except perhaps moisturizing treatments).
Side Effects of Using a Salicylic Acid Shampoo
Salicylic acid shampoos are very mild and have no side effects. Therefore, you can use them every day if you want to.
You can also use these shampoos with other products like conditioners or styling products so that your hair gets the best treatment possible.
These shampoos work on all hair types and lengths, from short to long, fine or thick, colored or natural black.
You just have to make sure that the product does not contain any sulfate because it could cause damage to your scalp if left on for too long (the first three ingredients should be water, salicylic acid, and glycerin).
Benefits of Using Salicylic Acid Shampoo
- Salicylic acid has anti-inflammatory properties that can help prevent scalp irritation, which is why it’s often used in shampoo for sensitive skin.
- It gently removes excess oil from your hair and scalp while also improving the texture of your hair by smoothing out the cuticle layer.
- This makes salicylic acid good for oily hair or people with dry scalps who need to control sebum production.
- The exfoliating action of salicylic acid can be good for curly hair because it helps eliminate frizz and promote shine.
- Some studies have also shown that it reduces breakage in coarse, curly locks after repeated use over time (though this isn’t a proven fact).
- If you dye or bleach your hair regularly, salicylic acid may be able to reduce damage caused by chemical processes like these—especially if applied before you color/bleach so that it can penetrate the shafts of each individual strand during application time instead of just sitting on top afterward like other shampoos might do without proper care beforehand (an important thing we’ll discuss later).
Salicylic acid is a grade-A, highly effective ingredient in several hair care products.
We can thank it for the many benefits it provides, like softening and thinning our hair cuticles and reducing sebum production.
Simply put, if your hair needs some hydration, exfoliation, or anti-hair-loss benefits, salicylic acid can provide you with this and more.