While most of us know how to tackle and take care of dry frizzy hair, we become almost clueless when it comes to dealing with a dry and itchy scalp. A dry scalp is a very common problem, and if ignored, can not only cause a lot of itching and discomfort but is also a major reason for dandruff and flakiness.
While the best way to deal with this problem is to simply use the right kind of hair care products, sometimes it is not enough. If you have a seriously dry and itchy scalp, then you may need to do a bit more in order to keep your hair healthy and moisturised. But if you are curious about where to start or what you should do, then worry not, we have got you covered. In this article, Dr. Niketa Sonavane shares some valuable insights on how to get rid of a dry scalp in no time. From the causes of dry scalps to some of the best home remedies, this article has got it all. Let’s get started…
Causes of dry scalp
Before we look at the treatments for dry scalp, let’s first understand the reasons why you could be having a dry scalp in the first place. More often than not, a dry scalp is the result of some simple everyday habits, which can be resolved quite easily. Let’s take a look at the possible causes of dry scalp in detail:
1. Over washing
This is one of the most common reasons for dry scalps. Washing your hair very frequently strips your scalp of the natural oils present on the scalp, leaving it super dry. The harsh chemicals like SLS present in a lot of shampoos are to be blamed for this. SLS is a cleansing agent that makes the shampoo lather and gives you that squeaky clean, tingly feel after each hair wash. But that feeling is actually an indication that your shampoo is too harsh for your hair and scalp and needs to be changed ASAP.
2. Wrong hair care products
The kind of hair care products you use plays a major role in determining the quality of your hair and scalp, and can sometimes be a major cause of dry scalp. A lot of hair care products are brimming with ingredients such as fragrances, dyes, sulphates and alcohol, which can be too harsh for you, especially if you already have a dry and sensitive scalp. These products also tend to leave a residue on your scalp, which causes build-up over time and can further exacerbate the dryness in your scalp, leading to dandruff and itchiness.
3. Skin conditions
If you suffer from any skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, etc., then that could be the reason behind your dry and itchy scalp. Under these conditions, your scalp either becomes really dry, inflamed and itchy or there is an overproduction of oil on the scalp, leading to build-up and flakiness. If you notice that you have any of these symptoms, then it is best to visit a dermatologist to treat these problems effectively.
Research claims that chronic stress is a major cause of dandruff and itchiness, which are the most common symptoms of dry scalp. Stress is often a trigger behind common hair and scalp problems, and dandruff is one of them. Make sure to develop a stress management routine that works for you and stick to it every single day.
The kind of food you eat also has a major impact on your hair and scalp health. Eating inflammatory foods like dairy, sugar and alcohol can cause inflammation on the scalp and lead to dandruff, itching and redness. In worse cases, it can even lead to hair fall due to inflammation.
Treatment to get rid of dry scalp
‘How to get rid of a dry scalp as soon as possible?’, is a common question that most people with this condition are constantly struggling with. While having a dry scalp can be really uncomfortable and annoying, you’d be happy to know that dealing with this condition is easier than you think. With some simple tweaks and changes in your daily hair care routine and lifestyle, you can easily keep this problem under control. Here’s how –
1. Hot oil massages
Hot oil massages are an age-old practice to moisturise a dry and itchy scalp. You can use any cold-pressed oil such as coconut, avocado, almond or jojoba and mix it with a few drops of essential oil like rosemary, ylang-ylang or lavender. This not only delivers a burst of hydration but also stimulates dormant hair follicles to improve growth and make your hair stronger and healthier. But remember not to overdo hair oiling. Always apply just a little oil to ensure that it can be easily washed off with one round of shampoo.
2. Deep conditioning hair masks
Including a deep conditioning hair mask is another great way to get rid of a dry scalp. Hair masks are loaded with moisturising ingredients such as shea butter, aloe vera, glycerine, honey and natural oils, to name a few. These potent ingredients aid in moisturising and soothing dry scalps in just one or two uses.
3. Scalp massage
Scalp massages are highly underrated! Simply massaging your scalp with your fingers twice a day has a number of benefits, especially when it comes to dealing with a dry scalp. It is a great way to improve blood circulation to the area, regulate the production of natural oils and stimulate hair follicles to boost hair growth. Gently massage your scalp in small circular motions using your fingertips every single night and while shampooing to see awesome results.
4. Right hair care products
Always choose your hair care products wisely, because they play a major role in determining the health of your strands and scalp. Always use gentle SLS-free shampoos to avoid stripping your hair of its natural oils and over-drying your scalp and hair. When choosing other hair care and styling products, make sure to read the ingredients carefully. Avoid products that contain alcohols, fragrances, dyes, silicones, etc., as they create a build-up on your scalp and can eventually aggravate dandruff.
5. Natural remedies for dry scalp
Apart from this, you can always indulge in gentle home remedies using ingredients that are already present in your kitchen. Applying a bit of aloe vera gel to your scalp 15-20 minutes before a hair wash helps in conditioning your scalp. Alternatively, you could even make your own deep conditioning hair mask using a banana, some honey and some curds.
FAQs about dry scalp
Q. How often should someone with a dry scalp wash their hair?
A. If you have a dry scalp, it is very important to limit the number of times you wash your hair. As seen earlier, over-washing can strip your hair of natural oils and make problems such as dandruff and itching worse. It would be best to wash your hair just once a week, but if you exercise or are outdoors and tend to sweat on your scalp too much, then you can wash your hair about twice a week, but no more.
Q. What are the best oils for dry scalp?
A. Natural cold-pressed oils are an awesome remedy to get rid of dry scalp. The best oils that help in treating a dry scalp are olive, jojoba, avocado and almond. Not only are all these super moisturising and conditioning, but they are also brimming with anti-inflammatory properties to soothe the redness and itching that accompanies dry scalp.