Got 99 problems and your scalp is one?
If your scalp is feeling uncomfortably tight, flaky or itchy, you may be suffering from a dry scalp. The snow-like flakes caused by a dry scalp are certainly not top of any woman's wishlist, but these things do happen. Luckily, there’s something you can do to treat it and we’ve got all the tips you need to remedy the dry scalp situation.
Read on to discover the causes, how to treat your dry scalp, and how to prevent it from occurring again.
What Causes a Dry Scalp?
There are many itchy, dry scalp causes, from dehydration to cold weather, product build-up, and allergies and other skin conditions. It’s good to start by trying to work out what might be causing your dry scalp.
If you are sure that your flakes aren’t caused by dandruff (see the section below to understand the difference!), then your dry scalp could be caused by a lack of moisture, product build-up, an allergy or a medical skin condition. One of the most common and easily solvable reasons is when your scalp loses too much moisture.
Dandruff vs Dry Scalp
A dry scalp doesn’t necessarily mean dandruff. Both can cause the dreaded flakes, but dandruff is actually an oily skin condition. It can be caused by an overgrowth of Malassezia yeast on the scalp, or an individual's sensitivity to the yeast and an excess of oil. Dandruff can be triggered by hormones and genetics too.
If you are suffering from a dry scalp condition it can feel like having dry skin, your scalp will feel tight and possibly itchy, and your hair may feel dry and brittle too. Dry scalp and dandruff are two different hair concerns that require separate treatment. If you think it’s dandruff, it’s a good idea to select a good anti-dandruff shampoo. If in doubt, it’s best to consult a professional trichologist for advice.
How to Fix a Dry Scalp?
Wondering how to stop a flaky scalp in its tracks? No one has ever said dealing with a dry scalp is glamourous, but at Percy & Reed HQ we’d like to make it so. So let’s get that itchy, flaky scalp under control.
1. First up, you need to hydrate!
Find a water bottle you love and keep it with you at all times so you can glug on the go. If you’re finding it hard to reach your ‘eight glass a day’ target add some cucumber slices or a squeeze of lemon to give it a fresh twist.
2. Eat the good stuff
You can eat your way to a healthier scalp with a diet full of vitamins that will nourish your body. Healthy foods like salmon, eggs, spinach, and orange juice contain the vitamins, iron and Omega 3 fatty oils you need. Brunch anyone?
3. Check your hair care products.
Are you using the best shampoo for dry scalp? Some people are sensitive to SLS. It may be that the products you are using that are irritating your scalp. It may help to switch to a milder, but moisturising SLS free shampoo. Or perhaps your shampoo is not formulated for dry hair? The Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Wash Shampoo and Wonder Care Conditioner duo make a great choice for those with a dry scalp as the mild formulas cleanse gently and they balance moisture. They are also SLS/SLES free and packed with scalp friendly ingredients. Or try Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Cleanse & Nourish. It’s sulphate-free and jam-packed with natural wonders like aloe vera, camellia oil and essential oils that help soothe the scalp and promote healthy hair growth.
4. Avoid product build-up
To avoid product build-up in the hair, wash it regularly and do the double cleanse. Shampoo your hair not once, but twice while you are in the shower. Shampooing twice will ensure all of the product and any build-up is removed, leading to a healthier scalp in the long run.
5. Make every stroke count
Brushing your hair carefully and gently can help prevent irritating your scalp, and it will also help to carry natural oil produced by the scalp down the length of your strands. Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Treatment Oil+ can work wonders for a dry or irritated scalp. Our co-founder Paul Percival recommends applying the oil to your scalp to exfoliate gently. He says, “Apply the oil to dry hair and scalp and use a paddle brush to gently stroke the hair and scalp around 100 times.” The lightweight oil will deliver a trio of benefits to your scalp and hair.
6. Get specialist advice if you need it
If your scalp is red or inflamed or the flakiness just doesn’t go away, it’s a good idea to get advice from a doctor or specialist. There are several causes of dry scalp, and sometimes it can be caused by allergies or a medical condition like psoriasis, which may need medical treatment.