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Dry Skin on Scalp: What Are the Causes?

Having dry skin isn’t much fun, with those suffering daily from this looking for the ideal solution. From an itchy scalp, to red, irritated skin, and dry flakes visible in your hair, it’s a common problem and resisting the urge to scratch is difficult. If you have been plagued by dry skin on your scalp and have been looking at ways to relieve the irritation, you may have already tried different products to varying success

As hair transplant experts here at Vera Clinic, we know that many people care about their hair and the healthiness of their scalp, helping avoid damage to hair follicles. Below, you will find out more about what causes dry scalp and how you can help resolve this.

What Causes Dry Scalp?

A dry scalp is where the skin on top of your head is not receiving enough moisture, becoming very dry. This leads to visibly dried-out skin, flakiness, and also the skin becoming red from being irritated. As the skin becomes tight and uncomfortable, it can be extremely itchy, however, scratching can make the issue worse, cause more dry flakes to build up in your hair, and damage the skin further.

There are a few ways the scalp becomes dry; the weather, harsh chemicals present in some hair products, and also skin conditions. Sun exposure directly on your head can cause the skin to burn, much like anywhere else on your body, which dries the skin out, but also cold environments can dry the skin too. If you suffer from conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, or dermatitis, this also causes the skin to become extremely dry and flaky. Dandruff may seem similar to a dry scalp, but the cause of it is from a condition called Seborrheic dermatitis which causes the skin to become oily and stressed.

The types of hair products we use on our heads can also be a contributing factor to drying out the skin. This is called contact dermatitis, where the skin reacts to ingredients in products to cause irritation. The issue with some shampoos and other hair products is that they may strip the essential oils away that naturally occur, leaving the skin to become dry.

What Helps a Dry Scalp?

Depending on whether you have a serious skin condition or not, there are treatments available to help that can be prescribed by your doctor. For those who do not suffer from a skin condition, it can be as simple as a few changes in daily habits that can make a difference. Identifying the cause of dry skin on your scalp will be a case of elimination, but here’s some quick tips:

  • When using shampoo, make sure this is thoroughly rinsed from your hair. Any remaining shampoo will irritate the scalp.
  • Avoid overexposure to the sun by wearing a hat to cover your scalp, and in cold climates, wear a warm hat to avoid the skin becoming too dried out. Your skin does benefit from UV light, but too much can be damaging.
  • When showering, avoid very hot water that can irritate the skin further
  • Use moisturising shampoo that is rich with essential oils such as tea tree oil that can assist a healthy scalp.
  • If you’re a smoker, this can cause issues for the scalp by restricting blood flow, also an issue for healthy hair growth. Reducing the amount you smoke, or quitting altogether, may help.
  • Whilst you do want to wash your hair, you may not need to as frequently. The daily showers and washing and drying of your hair may be causing the skin to become irritated.

What to Use for a Dry Scalp?

As there are many causes of dry skin on scalps, a process of elimination should help find the main issue. To help, you can start to do things differently as mentioned above, as well as drinking more water and keeping your stress levels down.

Staying hydrated is very important for your skin, helping it to function normally. If you lack moisture in your body, more water is the best way to resolve this. Water is good for our general health too, so ensuring you are regularly drinking this will provide a positive effect on your body.

Stress is another important factor that can cause the scalp to become oilier, leading to issues such as dandruff. This is due to the increased production of androgens when under stress, so practising calming techniques such as yoga or meditation can help.

Having a Healthier, Hydrated Scalp

With a few changes in your daily habits, you may be able to reverse the causes of dry skin on your scalp. If you have tried this and still have no resolution, it’s recommended to visit your doctor for an assessment to see whether any treatment is required to help. At Vera Clinic, we know having a healthy scalp is beneficial for your hair follicles, ensuring normal hair growth. If you have any concerns about hair loss, we may be able to help.

To find out more about our hair transplant surgery including the minimally invasive FUE hair transplant procedure, please contact us today or book a consultation to speak with our experts.