How to Treat Dry, Flaky, and Itchy Scalp
More than half of all people – men and women alike – experience significantly dry skin at some point in their lives. During the long, cold winter months, that number skyrockets. Many of those same people will also experience flaky, itchy scalp, which can quickly become uncomfortable or even embarrassing. The tips below will help you get some relief from the flaking, discomfort, and embarrassment often associated with a dry scalp.
Understand the Cause
There are several things that can cause dry, flaky, itchy scalp ranging in severity from mild to extreme. Of these, seborrheic dermatitis is one of the most common. It causes redness and itching all over the body, sometimes only in spots, and there’s often no known cause. Sometimes, medical conditions may be to blame, and these include everything from eczema to psoriasis. Dry, itchy scalp may occur with or without the flaking that is more commonly known as dandruff, as well.
Use Medicated Shampoo
By and large, the best way to treat dry, itchy scalp – whether or not it is accompanied by dandruff – involves using medicated dandruff shampoo. There are a couple of well-known brands you can buy for relatively affordable prices in drug and department stores, and there are also prescription-strength options you can get from your doctor or dermatologist if the problem is severe. You can also find medicated shampoos and products in your favorite salons; some of these contain ingredients like tea tree oil and eucalyptus, which help to moisturize the scalp and provide a cooling sensation.
Shampoo Less Frequently
Though there’s nothing quite like the feeling of a good shampoo, especially when it’s been a couple of days, the truth is that many shampoos are especially drying. The surfactants are designed to wash away all natural oils, leaving a squeaky-clean feeling behind, but those natural oils are also responsible for locking in the very moisture that prevents excessive drying. By shampooing less frequently, you can reduce the amount of drying going on at the scalp. If this is not an option for you, consider looking into especially gentle shampoos that will not strip the oils from your hair.
Wear a Hat or Scarf
Dry indoor and outdoor air will sap the moisture from your skin and your scalp very quickly, leaving you itchy, flaky, and downright uncomfortable. Though you can use lotion on your skin to form a barrier, this is difficult to do when it comes to your scalp. The best barrier in this case is a hat or scarf; it forms a physical barrier between the dry air and your moisturized scalp. This works even better when you pair it up with a good-quality moisturizing deep conditioner that you use once or twice a week.
Almost everyone must deal with dry, flaky, itchy scalp (and the accompanying dandruff) at least once in their lives, but for some, it’s an ongoing issue and the source of discomfort and embarrassment. Fortunately, these tips, along with good haircare products, can resolve it – especially in the winter, when dry air is a fact of life almost every single day.