One of the first things you rush to grab when dealing with itchy scalp is a dandruff treatment. But there's more to itchiness than just dandruff; dry and flaky scalp can have many contributing factors. If you are dealing with dry, flaky and itchy scalp, it is important to find out the exact reason behind it. This will ensure that you're treating it the right way without wasting time or effort.
Here are the 4 major reasons for dry, flaky and itchy scalp and how to deal with it.
01. Seborrheic Dermatitis (dandruff)
Seborrheic dermatitis is another name for dandruff and appears on the body where there are a lot of oil-producing (sebaceous) glands and mainly appears on your scalp causing dryness and flakiness. While the exact cause is unknown, it’s said that genes and hormones play a major role.
FYI: There is no permanent cure for dandruff, but there are ways to keep it in control and tone down the flakiness. The easiest fix is to get a good anti-dandruff shampoo. Do a label check and pick options containing zinc pyrithione or selenium sulfide for best results. Apply only on your scalp and try to leave the shampoo on for a couple of minutes to work its magic. If the condition is getting out of hand, talk to your dermatologist. You can also grab an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream (1 %) and apply it twice a day for a week.
BB picks: Dove Dandruff Clean & Fresh Shampoo
It is a well-known fact that what you eat shows up on your skin and hair. A diet rich in high-carb foods like bread, potatoes and dairy can lead to increased yeast on your scalp. This leads to the dry, flaky and itchy condition of your scalp.
We don't suggest cutting down on carbs altogether, but if you have been struggling with dandruff for long, try cutting back on them. Supplement your hair health with omega-3 fatty acid-rich foods, fish oil supplements, a diet rich in zinc and vitamins A, B, and C from fruits and veggies. Also, keep your dry scalp hydrated by drinking lots of water.
03. Hairstyling and hair care routines
Product build-up from gels, creams, balms, pomades and sprays lead to flaky and itchy scalp. A number of harsh ingredients present in these products — especially hair dyes and protective sprays — can cause allergies in your scalp. Always do a patch test of any new product you are planning to use. You can also schedule an appointment with your dermatologist to do a full trial on which ingredients make your skin act out. Use this information to make all your future buys!
Dryness on your scalp can be worsened by your hair care habits too. Depending on how often you wash out hair, flaky and itchy conditions can prevail. Shampooing too often dries out your scalp, and on the flip side, infrequent washes can lead to oil build-up. Go over your hair washing habits and consider adding dry shampoo to your hair care routine. Use a gentle shampoo if you are not able to stretch out your hair wash cycle.
Psoriasis is a common skin ailment that causes red and flaky patches which result in itchiness. If you are dealing with psoriasis on your body. Chances are you might get it on your scalp too. This issue requires attention from professionals as you cannot treat it on your own. The usual treatment for psoriasis-induced flaky and itchy scalp is hair washes with salicylic acid or mineral oil in them. That is why it is important to consult a professional to take a call on the right product that won't weigh your hair down!