InStyle

Dry Scalp- How to combat it right now

Everyone has dry scalp at one point or another. Follow these remedies to remove dryness, and to normalise your scalp, which will help your hair to be the best it can be.

Everyone has dry scalp at one point or another, but for some people, it’s a chronic, year-round problem, which is exacerbated by heat, humidity, air conditioning, diet, and a tonne of other things as well.

Follow these remedies to remove dryness, and to normalise your scalp, which will help your hair to be the best it can be.

What is Dry Scalp?

Dry scalp generally develops when the scalp hasn’t got enough moisture, which irritates, just like when any other skin is dry. Some people will find that their scalp, arms and legs all suffer from dryness at the same time.

People who have a dry and flaking scalp often initially suspect dandruff. One way to tell the difference is too look at the flakes. Typically dandruff flakes are large and yellow or white, and may even look oily. If the flakes are quite small, and dry, you probably have dry scalp, and you may notice dry skin on other parts of your body. Dandruff and dry scalp sufferers both have an itchy scalp. However, those with dandruff may see that their skin is red, oil and scaly-looking.

What Causes Dry Scalp?

There is a metric heck tonne of reasons why your scalp might be dry; these causes can are both external and internal, and probably a combination of both.

Internal

  • Skin conditions such as dermatitis, or psoriasis.
  • Age, our skin typically becomes drier as we get older.
  • Physical and emotional stress or a lack of proper
  • Hereditary predisposition
  • Hormonal changes and imbalances
  • Poor diet- too much sugar, fats and starch.

External

  • Changes in temperature or season
  • Too many hair products, which can end up irritating the skin
  • Pollution
  • Dehydration- not drinking enough water, or drinking too much alcohol or coffee.
  • Medications- Some medications can dry your skin, or cause dehydration.

Pre-Wash Treatments for Dry Scalp

  • Massage
    • Massage your scalp with a soft boar bristle brush before washing to remove oil, hair products and skin cells. Pure boar bristles lift away dirt and dust and distribute the natural oil from your scalp.
    • If you don’t use a brush for your hair, you can give yourself a scalp massage with the pads of your fingers, rubbing in circles, gently working from front of your head to the back, while you shampoo, or apply your warm
    • Scalp massages can stimulate natural oil production and increase blood flow to the follicles- which means they receive more nutrients and hair growth is promoted (Yay!)
  • DIY Hair Masks
    • An oil treatment for your scalp will deeply moisturise your scalp. Coconut oil is a highly effective intense natural conditioner for your hair and scalp, but you could also use olive oil or a specially made hair oil.
      • Rub your oil onto your dry scalp, and through your hair, put a shower cap on, and leave for an absolute minimum of 45 minutes.
    • Another DIY hair mask is simple- mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and water, spray the solution onto the scalp and wait at least 15 minutes before rinsing.
    • Regardless of your hair mask, bought or DIY’ed try to keep using it once a week until you’ve noticed an improvement.
  • Exfoliate
    • Just as you would any other part of the body with dry skin, you can use an exfoliator on your scalp.
    • You could use a scrub, but for a gentler option, look for products with fruit enzymes or salicylic acid. Neither of these ingredients requires scrubbing, and so are perfect for the delicate skin on your head.

Shampoos for Dry Scalp

  • Detox/Moisturizing shampoo
  • Medicated Shampoo
    • Look for products containing pyrithione zinc, salicylic acid, tar, selenium sulphide or ketoconazole.
  • Natural Shampoo
    • Look for shampoos with tea tree oil as an active ingredient. Tea tree is well-known for it’s anti-bacterial and antiseptic properties, which is why it’s so popular as a natural alternative to harsh chemicals.
    • If you can’t find a shampoo with tea tree oil, you can always add a few drops to your regular shampoo.

You may also find, just switching your shampoo to a sodium laureth sulphate, or sodium lauryl sulphate (both SLS for short) free one may stop you scratching in a matter of days, not weeks. When you shampoo your hair, be sure that you are washing all your hair product out, don’t be afraid to shampoo twice if you’ve used a lot of styling products since your last wash, and don’t forget to wash all the shampoo out- you ought to be washing until your hair is literally squeaky clean.

 

Topical Spot treatments

  • Daily hair lotion
  • Hair oil
    • Make a mix of coconut and tea tree oil (3-5 drops tea tree oil to 1tbsp of coconut oil.) Heat the coconut oil until it melts, and the tea tree, and apply directly to your hair, using a comb to work through. You can use it between washes as a protective barrier that seals moisture into the hair, making your hair soft and shiny.
  • Beauty Tip: In a pinch Burt’s Bees Hand Salve, which is designed for severely dry hands and made with botanical oils and beeswax, this salve can also be used to alleviate any irritation or flare-ups along the hairline.

Diet changes

  • A poor diet that lacks vital nutrients can be a substantial factor in the cause of dry scalp. By following a healthy, well-balanced diet, you can easily find relief, and keep it.
    • Nutrients you should watch out for in the care of your hair and scalp include:
      • Zinc- Research suggests that zinc is essential for hair, skin, teeth and nail growth.
      • Omega-3 Fatty Acids- These acids can lead to dry skin and poor blood circulation, which both contribute to dry scalp.
      • Vitamin A- Eggs, dairy and heaps of fruit and veg are excellent sources of vitamin A, which is known to support the maintenance and function of skin cells.
    • It’s well known that a diet high in sugar can worsen dandruff and dry scalp conditions. Dandruff, as you know, is often associated with dry scalp, and can be attributed to the candida yeast; an excessive amount of sugar in your diet can promote the growth of this yeast, and contribute to the problem.
  • Stay hydrated.
    • When your body is dehydrated, you have probably noticed how dry your skin becomes, as well as other health issues such as feeling tired, and possibly even sick. Your scalp can dry out, much that same as the rest of your skin, when it is exposed, and mistreated because we don’t usually moisturise the scalp as we do the rest of our skin.

 

Photo Credit: Photo by Cristobal Baeza on Unsplash

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