If you suffer from dry scalp, winter can be the most challenging time of year to keep your condition under control. Outdoor air is less humid than in warmer months, and unless you run a humidifier, indoor air can be even worse. Hot showers also strip the natural oils from your skin, further exacerbating dry scalp problems.
When your scalp is dry, it becomes itchy. This is unpleasant by itself, but scratching that itch can cause skin flakes to fall onto your shoulders. Whether you’re motivated to eliminate an uncomfortable itch, or you’re self-conscious about the white flakes on your shoulders, here’s how to fight back against your dry scalp.
Coconut Oil or Olive Oil
As a naturally antibacterial product, coconut oil is excellent for your health. It nourishes the skin with vitamins and essential fatty acids. Olive oil is a perfect option as well, with antioxidants that protect the skin when applied topically. If you have mild to moderate dry scalp, apply coconut oil or olive oil to your scalp before going to bed one night per week.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is an antifungal essential oil effective for managing scalp itch caused by a fungal infection. For instant relief, apply tea tree oil to itchy spots on your scalp as needed. To prevent irritation, dilute tea tree oil with a carrier oil, such as olive or vitamin E oil, before rubbing it on your scalp. You can also add 10 to 20 drops to a bottle of gentle shampoo. Shake before each use to combine.
Apple Cider Vinegar
This natural remedy has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal properties. Dilute it with warm water and use it after shampooing to alleviate symptoms of dry scalp.
Shampoos for Dry Scalp
Plenty of shampoos on the market target dry, itchy scalp. Look for these ingredients to find the relief you seek:
- Salicylic acid
- Selenium sulfide
- Zinc pyrithione
- Selenium sulfide
- Glycolic acid
Avoid Things that Dry out Your Scalp
As for what not to do, be aware that many hair products and styling techniques dry out your hair and scalp. For instance, you shouldn’t use hairspray with high alcohol content because this ingredient has a drying effect. It’s also wise to avoid shampoo formulated to treat oily scalp since this could make your condition worse. If possible, avoid blow-drying your hair and styling it with a straightener or curling iron, all of which can aggravate dry scalp.
Speak to a Dermatologist
Dry scalp is usually treatable at home. However, if your condition doesn’t improve or seems to worsen with at-home care, a dermatologist can help. Dry scalp is often confused with dandruff or a more severe inflammatory condition known as seborrheic dermatitis. These skin problems may not respond to remedies designed to treat dry scalp.
Don’t combat dry scalp, dandruff, or seborrheic dermatitis alone! Contact Arlington Dermatology at 847-392-5440 to speak with an experienced dermatologist about the advanced treatment options available.