Dry scalp is the noticeable shedding of skin cells on your scalp. A dry, flaky scalp usually manifests itself as tiny, white flakes. Dry scalp and dandruff are similar in that they both cause the scalp to flake but they are different because dandruff is usually oily rather than dry. Dry scalp is caused by a number of factors:
Causes of Dry Scalp
- Environmental Conditions- overexposure to sun and wind.
- Swimming or bathing in chlorinated water.
- Hair chemicals- such as perms, relaxers, hair bleaches and dyes.
- Hard water- hard water is usually treated with several minerals including calcium. Unfortunately calcium deposits can make the hair hard and dries out the scalp; in fact it is a key ingredient in no-lye relaxers because of its high pH value.
- Harsh shampoos.
- Lack of moisture to the scalp.
- Certain medications.
- Excess and prolonged heat.
Solutions To Dry Scalp
Dry scalp is easy to treat at home and does not require medical intervention. There are some common sense steps to take when treating dry scalp:
- Clarify hair- the very first thing to do when experience dry, flaky scalp is to try to restore the hairs pH, this can be done through clarification with apple cider vinegar, baking soda, peppermint essential oil or aloe vera.
- Use a mild shampoo, without many added chemicals (including sulfates) and use the bare minimum to get your hair scalp clean. The truth is if you cannot bear to put your shampoo on the rest of your skin do not put it on your scalp.
- Avoid the use of too much heat, not only the heat from appliances but also hot water to wash the hair, use warm water instead and finish with a cold wash. Practice the air-drying method for a while, if you can afford the time. If you can’t, dry hair on cool or the lowest heat possible on your overhead dryer. Try not to blow dry the hair at all.
- If you live in a region where the water is too hard, invest in a shower filter.
- Hot oil treatment- this works very well for dry scalp, it works even if you use shampoos with harsh chemicals or hard water. Done before a shampoo, it mitigates the effects of the shampoo and hard water, very useful treatment to help the scalp. A variety of carrier and essential oils can be used for dry scalp. However, a carrier oil (olive oil, coconut oil, castor oil) mixed with the essential oil of peppermint is especially useful.
- Scalp massage- a scalp massage with aloe vera is very beneficial in dry scalp situations. The massage will loosen up the dead skin and make it easier to wash away; the aloe vera rejuvenates the scalp and promotes blood flow.
- Condition Hair
For some people conditioners with heavy silicone can create a build up, so the best thing to use especially if you are experiencing dry, flaky scalp is a conditioner with light or no silicone.
- Rinse hair thoroughly- after applying hair products or leaving them on for a period of time, especially gels or silicone based products you need to rinse hair thoroughly, infrequent hair rinsing can cause build up and eventually a dry burdened scalp.