Of all hair problems out there, dry scalp is one of those you can’t spot easily. It often gets ignored until the telltale signs such as dandruff and itchiness become apparent. Once you realize the issue, it’s often too late for a simple solution.
Dry scalp is pretty mild. However, the itchiness is burdensome. It can prompt you to scratch your head more, which triggers more dandruff to fall off. Speaking of dandruff, having them on your mane and clothes could be embarrassing.
The good news is that there are numerous hair tips on how to counter and prevent such condition. To get rid of your dry scalp, the first thing you need to do is find out its possible root cause.
Your hair owes its shine from the natural oils or sebum produced by your scalp. Such oils are also the indication of a healthy scalp. However, sebum production can be disrupted, which may lead to dry hair and scalp.
The cause of disruption in sebum production tends to differ from one person to another. Do you remember how teens are more prone to having acne than those in other age groups? Those who are in their puberty stage also suffer from dry scalp because of the hormonal changes they’re experiencing. Instead of dry scalp, some of them may deal with too greasy hair.
Androgen hormones are the ones in-charge of stimulating sebum production. Teens often experience a spike in such hormones. As a result, the sebaceous glands in their scalp can produce more oil than what their hair needs. Ironically, the overproduction may damage or clog the actual glands, prompting them to give off less oil.
Being outdoors for too long and without proper headgear can damage your sebaceous glands as well. It could be due to the sun’s heat, the dry air, or the constantly changing temperature. During winter, staying indoors and getting exposed to dry hair can also affect your scalp.
Excessive scratching can also trigger or worsen your dry scalp. Doing such out of habit or in response to itchiness can further irritate the sebaceous glands.
The least common and most serious cause of dry scalp is seborrheic eczema. As its name implies, it’s a form of eczema that occurs in your scalp. In some cases, it extends to the face. It’s characterized by scaly and yellowish skin patches. Unless you’re diagnosed with this condition, you can treat dry scalp on your own.
Certain lifestyle habits and conditions make you more prone to developing dry scalp. Just like the root cause, it’s also worth addressing these risk factors to prevent further recurrences. The risk factors you should be mindful of are as follows:
- High stress levels
- Having one or both parents who have or had dry skin
- A diet rich in spicy, salty and sugary foods
- Old age
- Excessive use of hair products that have allergens and/or irritants
Dandruff is among the signs of having dry scalp. It manifests in the form of white flakes that fall off from the scalp. These flakes are actually the dead skin cells of your scalp.
One common misconception about dandruff and dry scalp is that they always go together. In reality, there are other possible skin conditions that can bring about those white flakes. These conditions include eczema, psoriasis and excessive sebum production on the scalp. Frequent scratching and sensitivity to hair products are other potential reasons.
Both the dry scalp and dandruff can trigger the itchy feeling. Scratching your scalp makes it worse.
The soreness from a typical dry scalp is tolerable. However, if its cause is eczema, it can be too much to bear.
- Bleeding scalp
This one is pretty rare. However, excessive scratching and eczema may result to this condition.
Hair tips for treating dry scalp doesn’t have to be costly. You can treat it at home using products that you can get from your garden, kitchen or the nearest store. You can also order some of the products online. If you decide to buy products, make sure to try the smallest options first.
- Apply aloe vera gel on your scalp and hair.
Aloe vera acts as moisturizer for your scalp. If you have dry hair, you can take advantage of its moisturizing properties as well. Aloe vera also helps with the soreness associated with dry scalp.
- Massage your scalp using coconut oil.
The use of coconut oil is among the standard hair tips. It’s been mentioned many times before but it’s worth reiterating because of its benefits to your hair.
As an oil, this product helps satisfy your scalp and hair’s need for moisture. Coconut oil also possesses anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. This can help relieve irritation caused by bacteria in your scalp.
You can also make a hair mask out of coconut oil. You can blend it with avocado, honey or argan oil to reap more benefits for both your hair and scalp.
- Opt for a shampoo that moisturizes and reduces itchiness.
KeraCare’s Anti-Dandruff Moisturizing Shampoo and Phyto Moisturizing Scalp Exfoliating Shampoo are two of the recommended hair products you can use. Avalon, the company behind KeraCare, is well-known for their line of hair care products for different types of hair.
KeraCare’s shampoo for dry scalp helps moisturize your hair. It also addresses the itchiness and flakiness resulting from the unhealthy scalp. Wild chamomile, menthol and citric acid are among the many ingredients of this shampoo.
Phyto’s offering takes pride on its main ingredients which are Guyana wood and black pepper. This product is also promising in hydrating and removing the flakes and itchiness in your scalp. It leaves your hair shiny as well.
Regardless of the shampoo you use, make sure you apply it by massaging it gently into your scalp. Never use your nails when shampooing. Use your fingertips instead.
In case moisturizing and anti-dandruff hair products aren’t effective, you should consider visiting a dermatologist. This is also advisable if the soreness and itchiness are too much. In case you spot yellowish flakes instead of the white ones, you might be suffering from eczema. A dermatologist can recommend better products for treating the skin condition.
Additional Hair Tips
- Lessen your blower use. Blower won’t just dry your hair in an instant; it can dehydrate your scalp as well. Style your hair without the curling or flattening iron as well. During weekends, you can simply towel-dry or air-dry your hair.
- Wash your hair less frequently. Even if you don’t apply shampoo or conditioner, excessive exposure to water can wash away the natural oils in your scalp.
- Trim the ends every 4 to 6 weeks. The ends of your hair are usually the most damaged parts. Prevent them from affecting the other parts of your hair by cutting them away.
- Use a humidifier when the air in your home (or even in your workplace) is too dry. A humidifier moistens the air, which in turn prevents the air from dehydrating your scalp.
- Minimize your consumption of spicy, salty and sugary foods. It also helps if you eat more foods rich in fatty acids.
- Resist scratching your scalp. If it’s too itchy, press your fingertips to the affected parts instead. You can use a head massager as well. Aside from managing the itchiness, massaging your scalp can also improve blood circulation therein.
- Comb your hair in a gentle manner. Just like scratching, harsh combing can irritate your scalp. When buying combs, pay attention to their tips as well. Make sure the tips aren’t sharp.
- As for hair brushes, avoid the synthetic ones. Don’t over brush your hair as well. If you do, you risk brushing the natural oils away.
Dry scalp is manageable. It can take some time to eradicate the root cause and manage the risk factors. However, if you treat the root cause and practice hair care, you can stop dry scalp and its signs from bothering you in the long run.