what causes dry scalp

What Is Dry Scalp?

Dry skin on the scalp is characterized by feelings of tightness, dryness, irritation and itchiness, and can be accompanied by flakes. Dry scalp can cause hair to lose its shine and luster and can lead to split ends.

What Causes Dry Scalp?

Dry scalp occurs when the hair strand exiting the scalp is not being lubricated by the sebaceous gland (sometimes called the "oil gland"). When the sebaceous gland is under-producing, hair is denied this essential oil, resulting in dry scalp.

Shampooing your hair too frequently, using harsh shampoos and washing with very hot water will often result in scalp dryness. Another possible cause of a dry scalp is a deficiency in fatty acids. Dry scalp can also be caused by very dry, cold weather.

How to Prevent Dry Scalp

To address a deficiency in fatty acids, try taking omega supplements such as flax seed. Avoid hair gels and sprays that contain alcohol and shampoos with SLS (sodium lauryl/laureth sulfates). Wash your hair only two or three times a week with a mild shampoo and use lukewarm water to minimize dry scalp symptoms. Try to minimize the use of hot styling tools.

Effective Ingredients to Combat Dry Scalp

There are several natural ingredients that can help combat dry scalp. Emu oil, which is similar to human oil and easily absorbed, can easy itchy flare-ups and has been shown to restore dormant hair follicles. Argan oil, which is high in unsaturated fatty acids, can ease scalp tightness and dryness. Tea tree is known to help dandruff and offer scalp relief. Other helpful ingredients for scalp dryness include vitamin-rich avocado oil and moisturizing jojoba oil, as well as licorice, which is helpful for controlling scalp sebum and keeping dandruff under control.

Solutions for Dry Scalp

Use gentle, non-drying products to cleanse and condition your hair, and give yourself a gentle scalp massage to stimulate the scalp and increase circulation. As a scalp treatment, rub a few drops of oil directly on your scalp and throughout clean, damp hair before styling. Try not to scratch your itchy scalp, which can lead to irritation and even infection.

If you are experiencing severe symptoms of scalp dryness, itchiness and flakiness, you should consult with a dermatologist to rule out medical causes such as seborrheic dermatitis, scalp psoriasis or eczema.

Read more about Dry Scalp:

Emu Oil for Aging Hair

MoroccanOil care for hair

Licorice - Treats more than a sweet tooth

Hair and Scalp Analysis at Philip Kingsley Trichology Clinic

These are some of our favorite products for Dry Scalp:

Sheer Miracle Organic Argan Oil Moisturizer

Clearly Emu Ultra Clear Emu Oil

Your Best Face Private Reserve Antioxidant Oil

Truth Vitality True Volume Conditioner

Yarok Feed Your Youth Anti-Aging Hair & Scalp Serum

Trinite Organiques Tender Mercy Scalp Elixir