DO’S AND DON’TS OF DRY SCALP
Every single person has dealt with a dry scalp at some point but doesn’t know what to do. Here are a few things you should be mindful about.
During the cold months, you might start to see your skin dry out and crack, usually on the face. But in between all this, you might forget to check your scalp hiding under all that hair. A dry scalp only becomes obvious, and a point of concern, when you see those small white flakes falling down.
What is a dry scalp?
Your scalp is covered with a large quantity of sebaceous glands that secrete a waxy oil like substance known as sebum, which is vital in the proper functioning of your skin. It creates a protective barrier against the external elements, preventing any bacterial infections or microbes from taking root. It simultaneously moisturises and lubricates your skin, reducing oxidative stress and helps to retain hydration levels.
If your scalp does not produce enough sebum or is unable to retain it, your scalp will dry out. This is usually a temporary condition, brought on by a particular reason. Dry hair scalp can be prone to infections and inflammation, along with making your hair brittle. You will also experience itching and flaking, which is commonly mistaken as dry scalp dandruff.
Causes of dry scalp
There are various causes of dry scalp:
- Over-washing your hair and using shampoos too often can strip the natural oils from your scalp and hair. This is the primary cause of dry hair scalp.
- An allergic reaction to certain products might cause your scalp to dry out and lose its protective layer.
- Extreme weather changes can also disrupt your oil production, with cold weather being the commonly observed reason.
- Heat treatment through blow-dryers and straighteners can increase the temperature on your scalp and dry it out.
- Hormonal changes, including during moments of stress, can disrupt your oil production.
- Colouring your hair or certain chemical treatments can dehydrate your scalp.
- Having a poor diet with inadequate nutrients can also contribute to your dry scalp.
Dry scalp vs. DandruffIt is important to note that dry scalp and hair dandruff are not the same. Yes, both have flaking and itching, but their sources are different. The cause of dandruff is generally a naturally occurring fungus known as Malassezia Globosa that feeds on excess oil produced by your scalp.
Dry scalp flakes are generally smaller and whiter in colour, while dandruff is white-yellow and oily in nature that clumps together on your hair. Dandruff is also associated with redness on the scalp. If you want to learn how to get rid of dandruff or dry scalp, you need to identify the differences. Always check with a doctor if you can’t do this by yourself.
Do’sThere are certain steps you can take on how to prevent dry scalp.
Use oilslike Argan oil and massage it into your scalp. Argan oil can replenish your moisture levels, rejuvenate the scalp and act as a heat protection. You can also apply oils like coconut oil or jojoba oil directly on to your scalp. They have great moisturising properties and are the simplest solutions on how to prevent dry scalp.
Apply aloe vera gelonto your scalp. This contains nourishing vitamins and enzymes which can soothe any itching and have an anti-inflammatory effect. It is a great method on how to prevent scalp dryness.
Try home-made hair masksthat can restore moisture to your scalp. There are multiple masks that you can make, depending on the way your body reacts. Always be careful with the quantities and ingredients. One hair mask that you can make is to combine egg and yogurt. Another one is to create a mash of bananas and olive oil. Apply either of these mixtures to your hair and leave it for about 30 minutes. Wash with a gentle shampoo after.
Tea tree oilis an essential oil that can help to moisturise your scalp and hair. You can create a combination with a carrier oil like olive oil and apply it to your head. Be careful not to apply undiluted tea tree oil.
See a dermatologistin case your dry scalp issue is something more serious, like Eczema or Psoriasis. It is important to get a correct diagnosis before attempting anything.
Drink water and eat healthyIncrease your intake of vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids, as these can help to regulate the oil production and overall health of your scalp.
Don’tsThere are things that you need to stop doing if you want to learn how to avoid dry scalp.
Don’t wash your hair too often.and reduce shampoo use. When your head becomes slightly greasy, there is a tendency to wash more regularly. This can strip away any natural oils that your head produces. 2-3 times a week should be sufficient.
Don’t go out in the sun without covering your head.The heat and the UV rays can cook your head, while drying out your scalp.
Avoid alcohol-based hair and scalp products.These can increase evaporation and break down the oils present.
Reduce the use of blow-dryersand straighteners as they can increase the temperature of your scalp and break the moisture barrier.
Stop taking scalding hot showersas it can severely dry out your scalp. This is especially true during the colder months.
Don’t scratch.That itchy feeling can drive you crazy, but your scalp is vulnerable when it’s dry. Scratching can damage the skin and even transfer germs from your hands.
Reduce the number of hair productsyou use and get rid of any harsh chemicals. You might want to delay any hair colouring treatment as well.
Reduce your caffeine, alcohol, sugar,and processed-food intake. These have shown to disrupt oil production.
Reduce your stress levelsas it can spike your cortisol hormones which can play havoc with your sebum levels.
Taking care of your hair and scalp is vital in preventing a dried-out scalp, or any other issues, from cropping up. Using the right products on a regular basis should help to maintain scalp and hair health. Try the Head and Shoulders Cool Menthol 2in1 shampoo plus conditioner in one that restores dry hair while leaving you revitalised and fresh. Or if you want an indulgent shampoo for dry and frizzy hair, try the Head and Shoulders Silky Black .