Dry scalp is not only uncomfortable, but it can also lead to other problems such as itching, irritation and patches of redness on the scalp. Moreover, dry scalp is a common reason why your hair might be dry, lifeless, lackluster, frizzy or even greasy and oily. In this article, we take a look at the most common causes of dry scalp and give you 6 ways to treat dry scalp.
What does dry scalp look like?
A dry scalp can be very irritating and uncomfortable. In most cases, it is easy to tell if you have a dry scalp. Common symptoms include an itchy and scratchy scalp, flakes similar to dandruff or the skin feeling tight and tender. Other common symptoms are that your hair feels lifeless, lackluster and may even be frizzy and difficult to untangle.
Can dry scalp cause oily hair?
A lesser known symptom of dry scalp is actually oily or greasy hair and oily scalp. When the scalp is dry, it can cause an increase in fat production in the hair follicles which results in the hair feeling and looking greasy, greasy or oily.
What causes dry scalp?
There are many factors that can cause dry scalp. Here are 9 of the most common causes.
- You wash your hair too often: Washing your hair too frequently can remove natural moisture and oil from your hair and scalp. This can cause the scalp to become dry, irritated and itchy. For most people, washing their hair no more than 1-3 times per week is sufficient.
- Hair care products with harsh chemicals: far too many hair care products contain chemicals and sulphates that strip natural oil from the scalp. This can cause dryness, itching and flaking of the scalp.
- You don't drink enough water: A dry scalp is often the result of a lack of moisture. Therefore, it is important that you drink enough water every day.
- Weather conditions: Dry and cold weather can drain your scalp of moisture, resulting in a dry and itchy feeling.
- Bacteria and fungal infections: Bacteria and fungal infections can lead to dry scalp by causing inflammation and swelling that clogs the hair follicles and prevents moisture and nutrients from reaching the skin.
- Diet: An unhealthy diet rich in fats and sugars but lacking in nutrients can lead to hair loss which, in turn, can cause dryness.
- Stress: One of the most common causes of dry skin in general is stress. When you are stressed, your body produces less of the natural oils it needs to resist external stresses. This makes you more susceptible to dryness and irritated areas.
- Hormonal changes: A hormonal imbalance common during puberty and menopause can cause the sebaceous glands to malfunction, resulting in a dry scalp.
- Allergic reactions: Allergy to hair products such as shampoo, conditioner or hair dye can cause dryness and itching.
How do I know if it is dandruff or dry scalp?
There are several ways to determine if you have dandruff or dry scalp. One of the easiest ways is to touch your hair and see how it feels. Hair affected by dandruff or seborrheic eczema usually feels greasier and slightly stickier than hair that has dandruff-like flakes caused by a dry scalp. If you run a finger through your hair and it feels like it's sticking a little extra to your finger, it's probably dandruff.
Another way to know if it's dandruff or dry scalp is how your skin quality feels around your scalp. If your scalp feels dry and irritated, it's probably dry scalp. If it feels moist and sticky on your scalp, it's probably dandruff.
How to moisturize dry scalp? Here are our 6 top tips!
So, how do you moisturize and treat dry scalp? There are many ways to treat and prevent dry scalp.
Here are 6 of our top tips:
1. CHOOSE A SULFATE-FREE SHAMPOO
You need a shampoo that is moisturizing and repairing. Avoid at all costs shampoos that contain chemicals such as sulfates, cyclic silicones and parabens as these will only dry out your hair further. Instead, choose a mild shampoo with natural ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, avocado oil and Piroctone Olamine which has a soothing effect on the scalp.
2. WASH YOUR HAIR AT MOST 2-3 TIMES A WEEK
There is a myth that you should wash your hair every day to keep it healthy and clean it from dirt and grease. Actually, it is better to wash your hair at most 2-3 times a week. This is especially true if you have dry and damaged hair. If you wash your hair too often, it will become dry and lifeless.
3. USE A MOISTURIZING CONDITIONER AFTER EACH WASH
While shampoo should not be used more than 2-3 times a week, you can actually use conditioner on your hair every day to moisturize it and keep it healthy. The conditioner takes care of the dry and damaged areas of the hair and makes it soft and easier to detangle. Also remember that you should never shampoo your hair without conditioner afterwards, as this can make it even more dry and damaged. Always choose a moisturizing conditioner for best results.
4. DRINK ENOUGH WATER
Dry scalp is basically caused by a lack of moisture in the scalp. Therefore, be careful to drink enough water. An adult needs about 1.5 - 2 liters of water per day.
5. ADD A HAIR MASK TO YOUR WEEKLY ROUTINE
A hair mask is a perfect way to moisturize your hair. A hair mask with moisturizing ingredients such as shea butter, hyaluronic acid and avocado oil makes your hair softer, shinier and more elastic. Apply the mask 1-2 times a week or more often if your hair feels dry and lifeless.
6. PROTECT YOUR HAIR DURING HEAT STYLING
Most of us use heat tools to style our hair in some way, and it's not always easy to do it gently. High heat is very damaging to your hair, so it is important that you protect your hair from damage. Always use a heat protectant before using heat to style your hair. There are heat protectors that are applied to both dry and wet hair, so there is something for everyone.
The products below are perfect for counteracting and treating a dry scalp.