· By Carly Bitz
How to Get Rid of a Dry Scalp... Once and For All
We apply lotion when we notice our skin is getting dry, but what do we do when our scalp is? Itchiness and flaking is never ideal, but at one point or another everyone experiences scalp dryness. Below, we discuss the reasons you could have an irritated scalp - and of course, how to fix it.
Dry scalp vs. Dandruff
So, what's the difference? When you have a dry scalp, your skin is lacking moisture. Dandruff on the other hand, is the build up of oil on the scalp - causing the skin cells the shed. It's key to know which condition is affecting you so that you can properly treat it.
With dry scalp, you'll notice other areas of your skin are also dry. You will experience itchiness and the flakes will be small/dry. With dandruff, you will notice your skin is extra oily along with redness and itchiness. The flakes will be much larger and won't disappear with a simple scalp moisturizer.
The main cause of dandruff is seborrheic dermatitis, a inflammatory condition of the scalp that causes red, scaly, oily skin. Luckily, it can be managed with proper care. Keep reading for more causes and what you can do to prevent dryness.
The weather outside is...dry
It's hard to have a Hot Girl Summer when you are feeling insecure about your strands. Living in a dry climate could be the culprit. If you have a dry scalp because of the weather, try applying a lightweight oil from roots to ends.
Evaluate your products
Cleanse your hair with a gentle shampoo and follow up with a moisturizing conditioner. If you have dandruff, use a shampoo that is specifically made to treat it. A shampoo with tea tree oil is also a great option, as it has natural anti-fungal and antibacterial properties.
We're big fans of dry shampoo, but there can be too much of a good thing. Spraying everyday can cause buildup on your scalp. Invest in a clarifying shampoo and use it once a week to rid your scalp of any product buildup.
Try to avoid products with alcohol. This sneaky ingredient can be ultra-drying and cause a pH imbalance.
Could it be dirty hair?
Nope, your weekly wash is just fine - and your natural hair oils will hydrate the scalp. If you need some hairstyle inspo, check out our blog post 9 Second Day Hairstyles That You (and Your Hair) Will Love.
As if we needed an excuse to catch some rays, studies show that exposure to ultraviolet rays can help control dandruff. Just don't forget your sunscreen.
When to see a doctor
If you try these remedies for a few months and you don't see a change, it may be time to see the dermatologist. Your doctor can prescribe you a stronger shampoo or help you figure out if you have eczema or atopic dermatitis. In some cases, you may need a steroid lotion to stop the symptoms.