Dry scalp: Why does it happen and how to treat it


Dry scalp can often be itchy and flaky, and needs attention and care. Here’s how you can keep your scalp healthy

Do you find yourself scratching your head, wondering why your scalp suddenly feels itchy as the season gets colder? Winter calls for proper dry scalp treatment, and this must be taken seriously if you want to avoid a flaky scalp.

Not only does dry scalp lead to itching, but the area might even become extremely tender.

What are the symptoms of dry scalp?

A dry scalp goes beyond a mere lack of moisture. It signifies an imbalance in the skin’s natural hydration levels. “This condition can lead to not only physical discomfort but also potential issues like persistent itching and the presence of dry flakes. A dry scalp may be indicative of disrupted skin barrier function, making it crucial to address underlying causes such as environmental factors, hair care practices, or even certain skin conditions for a comprehensive and effective solution,” dermatologist Dr Priyanka Kuri tells Health Shots. Some of common signs of dry scalp include:

  • Persistent itching
  • Presence of dry flakes
  • Scalp tenderness
  • Redness or irritation

Also Read: Winter hair care: 7 natural ways to get rid of dry scalp

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What causes a dry scalp?

There are many reasons behind a dry scalp, and they need to be addressed at once for effective relief.

Woman sitting with face covered
The lack of moisture in the air, during winters, is what leads to a dry scalp.

1. Cold weather

In the cold weather, the moisture from our scalp and our skin is gone, and this can lead to dryness. The skin and scalp lose natural oils.

2. Over-washing hair with harsh products

Washing your hair very frequently can also cause a dry scalp, as this also leads to the scalp losing its natural oil.

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3. Inadequate hydration

If you are not drinking enough water, this might be the reason behind your scalp being dry as well. If you drink adequate water, your scalp, and your skin too, will be healthy.

4. Skin conditions like eczema

Eczema can have an impact on your scalp too. In fact, scalp eczema is one that makes the skin on your scalp itchy, dry and even inflamed.

5. Excessive use of hot water

No matter how cold it is outside, don’t use very hot water in the shower. Here too, the natural oil of your scalp is stripped away, and this leads to extreme dryness.

6. Psoriasis and contact dermatitis

Psoriasis and contact dermatitis, due to products, result in dry scalp. Addressing these root causes ensures a more comprehensive and lasting solution.

Also Read: Dry scalp vs dandruff: Here’s how to spot the difference

How to get rid of dry scalp?

There are ways to ensure that your scalp does not lose its natural oils.

1. Using the right products

Hydrating the scalp goes beyond product choice; it involves a holistic approach. Incorporate moisturising shampoos and nourishing conditioners into your routine.

2. Scalp massages

You can stimulate blood flow through scalp massages. Using coconut oil, tea tree oil, aloe vera, as well as olive oil can prove to be very effective. Other home remedies also include using bananas, yogurt, eggs as well as avocado. Always do a test patch before you apply it on your entire scalp.

A woman drinking water
Drinking enough water can also keep dry scalp at bay. Image courtesy: Adobe stock

3. Hydrate well

Make sure to drink enough eater. Prioritise overall hydration with adequate water intake.

4. Minimise using styling products

Using strong styling products on your hair can often result in lack of moisture and may even damage the hair. Minimising the use of harsh styling products preserves scalp health.

5. Eat well

Eating a balanced diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids supports skin resilience. This must be followed for skin health as well as for a healthy scalp.

6. Take professional help

Consulting a dermatologist ensures personalised guidance, acknowledging that each individual’s needs and conditions vary. If have a wound of an inflamed scalp, it is essential to consult a doctor before you apply anything, including oil, as this can cause further damage.

So, adopting a combination of using the right products, and eating the right things can keep dry scalp at bay.




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