There’s a lot to look forward to in the winter. Festive holidays, hot chocolate by a warm fire, and playing in the snow probably all come to mind when you think about this time of year. What you’re probably not looking forward to, though, is the dry, itchy scalp that plagues many of us in the winter. So what can you do about it? Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to lessen winter’s ill effects on your scalp.
- First, consider your hair products. The change in seasons can cause your scalp to become dry and flakey, but so can products that are too harsh. Instead, use a gentle, hydrating, moisturizing shampoo, and skip the oily hair formulations because they can be drying. Shower in warm water instead of hot water, and steer clear of hair styling products that contain alcohol.
- Make sure you’re eating a healthy diet. Nutrients like vitamins B6, B12, and D, zinc, selenium, and Omega 3s are essential for healthy skin and scalp, as is proper hydration. So fill your plate with nutrient-dense foods like salmon, nuts, avocado, flax seeds, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and drink plenty of water.
- Find ways to manage your stress. For example, get some exercise, get enough sleep, and consider yoga, meditation, or other stress-relieving measures.
- Home remedies can be helpful. Try a scalp massage or exfoliate your scalp. You can buy products for these purposes, or you can use products readily available in the grocery store to create a home remedy. Coconut oil, olive oil, and avocado oil can help moisturize the scalp when used topically, and coconut oil has antifungal and antibacterial properties. Jojoba oil can help with moisture when a few drops are added to shampoo. Tea tree oil can relieve dry scalp because it’s got antiseptic, antifungal, and antibiotic properties but shouldn’t be put straight onto the scalp. Instead, add a few drops of it to a carrier oil like olive oil or coconut oil and massage it into the scalp, leaving it on for a few minutes before washing it away. Applying apple cider vinegar or witch hazel with two parts water and leaving the mixture on your scalp for 5 minutes before rinsing can help exfoliate your scalp, and so can baking soda mixed with olive oil. Mashed bananas can help moisturize your scalp, and so can avocado or a few tablespoons of plain yogurt mixed with an egg. Leave them for 10 minutes and then rinse them out.
If you don’t see any results from home remedies after a couple of weeks, it’s time to see a dermatologist. When you need expert advice and help caring for your skin and scalp, contact Arlington Dermatology. For over 40 years, our Board-Certified dermatologists have been serving patients, making the health and welfare of our patients our top priority. We offer innovative treatment methods using state-of-the-art medical equipment in our conveniently located, patient-friendly facility in Rolling Meadows, Illinois. Contact us or call 847-392-5440.