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Treatments for a dry scalp

October 16, 2009 Reviewed by Marta 1 Comment

Dry scalp occurs when the hair strand exiting the scalp is not being lubricated by the sebaceous gland (sometimes called the “oil gland”). It’s the sebaceous gland that actually gives hair its shine and luster; and when it isn’t doing its job (when it’s under-producing), hair is denied this essential oil. The result is the dreaded dry scalp. In addition to flakey skin (which looks like dandruff, but which aren’t - dandruff is actually a fungus that goes by the name of malazzeia globosa), dry scalp can also cause split ends, which can do damage to the hair if left untreated.

There are numerous causes of dry scalp, including very dry, cold weather. Since we can't do much about the weather, let's focus on the causes that we can. One could be deficiency in fatty acids, so a good place to start is to take omega supplements such as flax seed. Obviously, you should avoid gels/sprays that contain alcohol and shampoos with SLS (sodium lauryl/laureth sulfates).

It may seem eccentric, but I would highly recommend emu oil as a scalp rub. Now, there is no need to squeamish about putting bird fat on your head; it is actually very similar to human oil and is therefore easily absorbed. Plus research suggests it can restore dormant hair follicles. It is best to get a good one that has been refined several times to avoid impurities (and farmyard smells). In the same vein, I know people who swear by avocado or jojoba oils.

Max Green Alchemy makes a line of scalp rescuers in the form of shampoo, conditioner and pomade. The conditioner contains tea tree to calm an itchy scalp. The scalp also benefits from licorice, which keeps it hydrated. The shampoo rescued Jimmy;s scalp after a run in with an incompetent colorist and he said it deserved a medal.

Alterna Life Solutions Scalp Therapy is designed to balance sebum. I believe that the sebum control is being done by the bromain and papain, enzymes from pineapple and papaya that are gentle exfoliants. There is also nymphaea alba, white waterlilly and an emollient with plenty of flavenoids.

It is worth trying MoroccanOil as it offers a versatile range of uses.  Professional hairstylists apply MoroccanOil on the hair both before and during color treatment, since it has been shown to enhance and prolong color.  It also boasts deep conditioning benefits that reduce frizz and increase elasticity.  At home, you can rub it throughout clean, damp hair before styling. The key ingredient is argan oil, rich in fatty acids.

  • December 28, 2016

    by Suphie Wesner

    Hi!! Thank you, for this interesting and thoroughly informative and again, interesting article. Could you put out some info. on Earth Therapeutics, Brand? I just got / bought some from Marshalls' and was wondering if it was safe to use.

    Thanks much!



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