The hair is a man’s crowning glory.
But what happens if that crowning glory produces white, flaky-like substances whenever you rub them, they’re almost visible near the roots of your hair even when you’re not doing anything?
Yikes, it looks like a recipe for hair disaster.
We should care for the skin of our head just like how we care for the skin of our face. Just because they’re not visible to the naked eye doesn’t mean they’re not suffering too.
If you find yourself often itching and touching your scalp, there is a high chance that there’s something wrong on the surface of your head. It’s what most people who ignore their scalp suffer from the most—a dry scalp.
So what is a dry scalp, and why is our head itching (literally) whenever we think of it?
What Is A Dry Scalp?
Like the skin, our scalp dries out when it gets little to no moisture. The absence of moisture causes the scalp to become dry, itchy, and flake off.
Signs that you may have dry scalp include persistent itchiness of the scalp and dandruff, soreness, and hair loss.
Too often, people with dry scalp tend to scratch their scalp too much, which leads to wounds and redness.
Causes Of A Dry Scalp
There are various reasons why a person might develop a dry scalp, from natural to unnatural causes. Thus, we must know what causes this dry scalp to intervene and avoid the things causing it.
You’ve heard much gossip about how often one should wash their hair. Those hearsays aren’t precisely unfounded since very frequent washing can strip away the natural oils in the scalp, which it needs to moisturize itself.
The outer layers help protect the skin and work as a barrier to trap the moisture in healthy skin. Once these barriers are broken due to irritation, or too much washing, it can lead to moisture escaping the skin and eventually cause dry scalp.
So the real question is: how often should we wash our hair to avoid dry scalp? How do we moisturize the scalp without making your hair greasy by not washing it?
There’s no exact general answer to this question. It always depends on your hair type. However, it is okay not to wash your hair for a few days, especially when you’re not going out.
Like our face, our scalp also gets irritated when applied with products not suitable for your hair. This is often called contact dermatitis. Your scalp will get itchy, red, and flake after washing, so it is best to determine which product is causing the allergic reaction by cutting back on each product one step at a time.
Try not to scratch your head too much when this happens, as it may cause more skin irritation and damages the scalp more.
Changing Weather Conditions
Winter is a nightmare for the scalp, and so are extreme changing weather conditions.
Humidity in the air drops during winter or freezing seasons, so dry scalp is prevalent during these seasons. At the same time, when it’s cold, we tend to use heating products like blow dryers too much, which can also dry out the scalp.
This is the same thing as showering on hot water too much and too often during the winter season. It’s the drop in humidity and our actions to fight the cold that often leads to the drying of the scalp.
Dandruff vs. Dry Scalp
Many people confuse dandruff and dry scalp. While one might cause the other, they are quite different.
Both have the same main symptoms, but a dry scalp can cause dandruff. Dandruff is dead skin cells and usually come in big patches. On the other hand, the dry scalp has the same symptoms, except the shedding on the dry scalp is generally smaller.
While the dry scalp is caused by factors that contribute to the drying of the skin, dandruff is more often associated with sensitive and oily skin causing dead skin cells to shed.
How to Moisturize A Dry Scalp
Now that we know that it’s dry scalp, how do we address these issues? Here are a few suggestions on how to treat dry scalp.
A suggestion on how to moisturize your scalp naturally is by using oils you can find at home. And no, I definitely don’t mean cooking oil.
Coconut oil is a good option as it has been famed to contribute to so many significant effects, especially to the hair. There’s a reason why we have hair coconut treatments, right?
Coconut oil contains antifungal and antibacterial properties that help heal the irritation on the scalp. At the same time, its moisturizing properties are excellent as well.
You can also use tea tree oil as an alternative because it helps relieve dry scalp with its antiseptic, antifungal, and antibiotic properties, helping keep the scalp moisturized.
How often should I oil my scalp? Grab any one of these oils, apply on to the hands, massage it to the scalp for 10 minutes, and wash off.
Switch Your Hair Products
We know that certain hair products might be the cause of scalp drying. Once you’ve figured out which of your products causes dry scalp, it’s time to switch to a different kind, something that’s probably gentler. When your hair gets sensitive to specific products, it might signify that your scalp is looking for something gentle and has fewer chemicals on it.
Avoid dry shampoos. Some people might opt for dry shampoo because they were told to avoid washing often, but using dry shampoo extensively dehydrates the scalp.
If you are wearing a weave, there are ways to moisturize the scalp under a weave. Cleanse your scalp and hair with sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner once every three weeks to remove build-up without drying your hair.
Massage Your Scalp
Give your scalp a good massage once every week. A good massage helps prevent flaky scalp conditions like dandruff or psoriasis and helps rid dead skin cells. It also helps promote blood flow to the scalp, making it healthier.
You can make circular motions to massage your scalp gently and without scratching on it from front to back. Massage for about five to ten minutes with oil, if available. If not, massaging without it is absolutely fine.
Dry scalp can also be caused by a nutritional deficiency in Vitamin B6 and B12, Omega 3, and iodine-rich food. Make sure to eat food with these ingredients like walnuts, flaxseeds, barley, avocado, whole grain bread, and cereals for Vitamin B6 and B122. You can take potatoes, yogurt, and strawberries for iodine-rich food.
Don’t forget to exercise regularly, too, as exercising helps promote healthy blood flow to the scalp and helps produce the natural oils to keep it hydrated.
If exercising, remember to condition your hair every other day to avoid irritation due to dried sweat.