All of us, at some point in time in our lives, face issues around dandruff and dry scalp. It is irritating, sore, embarrassing and very problematic in more ways than one. But no one said you have to compromise on having fun! Dry scalp can be battled with several methods. There are all kinds of dry scalp treatments and home remedies available for getting rid of dry scalp. But before we get too restless and plunge into the solutions for dry scalp, we must understand what the reasons for dry scalp can be.
Different people have different body types and genetics. They also have very different schedules and lives that they lead. Reasons like overexposure to hard water, lack of nutrient in the body and exposure to extreme weather conditions are factors that can play a role in becoming the cause for your dry scalp. Although, this is nothing that cannot be taken care of.
Some common reason for a dry and flaky scalp include allergies, psoriasis, dandruff, eczema and hair products and styling habits.
Hair products and styling habits also end up creating a lot of dandruff and flaking of the scalp skin. Certain gels, balms, pomades and sprays can build flakes on your scalp, causing the shedding of skin to be much more visible. They may also contain certain ingredients that cause dermatitis rash from irrational allergies. This is something that cannot be controlled apart from banning the usage of these products. Are you re-thinking the overuse of dry shampoo on that party night yet?
It might be tough to hear that one of the main causes of dry scalp and flaky skin can also be your diet. You may be managing your eating habits and routines the best that you can, but are you really doing it right? It can be shocking, but the fact is that some high-carb foods can contribute to increased yeast on your scalp, which results in flakes. A simple most direct remedy would be to cut back on carbs and sugar and see if that makes a difference for you. On the other hand, some nutritional supplements like zinc, vitamin A, B and C can help keep your skin hydrated and in turn reduce the dryness and flaking. What is more! There is no better agent for hydration than water. So drink up folks!
One of the most common reasons for a dry scalp is dandruff. Dandruff is caused by the over-production of oil and other secretions in the skin or an increase in normal skin yeasts. The normal shedding of dead skin cells from your scalp is blocked by the layer of oil on your scalp, and in turn, these dead cells become more apparent and cause the flakes to be noticeable along the hairline. Dandruff isn’t entirely curable but there are definitely ways of keeping the flakes at bay. Anti-dandruff shampoos, oils and massages are some of the ways in which we can do this.
Now that we have a fair idea about the causes of dry scalp and dandruff, understanding the best method of managing dry scalp is next! Read on to find out what would best suit your needs to get rid of those embarrassing flakes on your hairline.
- Coconut oil
Coconut oil has antifungal and antibacterial properties and can help reduce the risk of infections. Easily available at your nearest grocery store or supermarket it is one of the most common and easily applicable solutions for dry scalp and dandruff. Apply a small amount of melted coconut oil directly onto your scalp and massage it there. Let it sit for 10 minutes before washing your hair as you normally would. Sometimes, making the oil warm also helps to increase blood circulation in your scalp thus preventing the flaking of the skin.
- Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is famous for its medicinal properties, there is no way why it would not do some good for your hair! It has anti-inflammatory properties that would help reduce skin irritation and also acts as a great hydrating agent by locking in moisture. This invariably makes the scalp healthier and reduces flaking and dryness. All you have to do is to apply it on your scalp and let it sit for 10 before washing your hair.
- Baking soda and olive oil
This is the perfect combination to fight dandruff. Olive oil has moisturizing properties and baking soda has antifungal and antibacterial properties. When both come together, they slash down the amount of flaking and dandruff that your scalp may be going through.
- Yogurt and egg
No! we aren’t talking about your breakfast habits yet. Both these ingredients have unique benefits that can help get rid of dry scalp. Yogurt is soothing on the skin and can also be exfoliating, while the fat and protein content in eggs can nourish and protect the scalp against free radical damage at the cellular level.
You must use a few tablespoons of plain, unflavoured yogurt and mix it in a well-beaten egg. Massage it on your scalp and wait for 10 minutes before washing your hair as you would regularly.
- Mashed Bananas
Mashed bananas make for a great dry scalp treatment since they are nourishing and moisturising along with being naturally antimicrobial. This helps clear the excess infections or substances on your scalp and make it flake-free. To use this treatment, mash two bananas in few tablespoons of coconut or olive oil. Apply it on your scalp, let it sit for 10-15 minutes and then wash off as you would normally wash your hair.
As it would seem likely, moisturising the scalp well would instantly help you get rid of the dryness and flaking of the scalp. Deep conditioning the scalp with avocado deep conditioners and other oil-based conditioners can prove to be fruitful. Following this with the treatment of a leave-in conditioner and a moisturizing oil like the shea butter or jojoba oil would help prevent itchiness on the scalp because of the dryness. In case you don’t want to invest your money in buying special conditioners and moisturizing oils, Head & Shoulders has come up with their 2 in 1 range that combines the goodness of shampoo and nourishment of a conditioner just in one bottle.
Picking products especially for scalp health like the ones that would not strip your scalp of its natural oils yet help you moisturise it will contribute to reducing scalp dryness.
Massaging the scalp has several health benefits and they end up greatly improving not just the dryness of the skin but several other overall health benefits as well. Some benefits of scalp massages are as follows,
- It increases circulation in your scalp
- It increases the number of red blood cells in your scalp
- More blood cells support the growth and rejuvenation process
- Because of this healing and growing process, more hair follicles are grown.
- It helps the moisturizer/ oil to reach the bottom layers of the skin, moisturising from the inside.
- Dryness is reduced and therefore less shedding of the dead cells
Get the trick right and your scalp will treat you right!
Some simple guidelines to massage your scalp are mentioned below.
- Step 1: Rub your scalp. Massage it by moving the pads of your fingers in a circular motion.
- Step 2: While keeping your knuckles in contact with your scalp, grab large sections of hair in your hand and then gently pull on the hair and release.
- Step 3: With your fingers, locate the dimples in your skull, just behind the top of your ears. Put pressure to the dimples for a few seconds and then release.
- Step 4: Lift your head and neck gently and slowly roll to the left; hold for one second, and release.
- Step 5: Cup both your hands under your neck. Gently lift your head and hold your head in that stretch position for a couple of seconds.
- Step 6: Using your fingers, apply gentle but firm pressure to the occipital hollows at the base of your skull.
A Diet that helps maintain a healthy scalp
Scalp dryness can be caused by the kind of food you eat and the kind of lifestyle you lead. Some diet-based remedies include foods high in iron, zinc, omega-3 Fatty Acids, Vitamin A, Vitamin B-Complex and several other good vitamins. They help maintain the skin health and the moisture as well as the oil content of the skin.
Some common sources of these nutrients can be found in everyday foods like liver, eggs fish, dairy, green leafy vegetables as well as fruits.
It’s time to say bye-bye to dry scalp when you have all these tips and tricks up your sleeve to deceive it! Along with all the above-mentioned home remedies, massage techniques and dietary disciplines, there are some products also available that facilitate the maintenance of a healthy scalp by keeping dryness of the scalp at bay. When an anti-dandruff shampoo like the Head & Shoulders 2-in-1 range which has several variants like Cool Menthol, Active Protect and Silky Smooth is used, dandruff and flaking of the skin are managed well. This range not only takes care of your scalp and keeps it moisturised and free from dandruff, but it also ensures great silky smooth hair.
So, let your hair free and express yourself to the fullest because no flaking or dandruff is good enough to stop you.