Run a finger through your scalp; does it come off with small, white flakes stuck to it? You might think it’s dandruff. However, itchiness and white flakes are also symptoms of a dry scalp. Dry scalp hair loss is a reality for many people. Dandruff, mainly occurring due to seborrheic dermatitis, results from the clumping of skin cells. That happens because of the overproduction of oil. Dry scalp, therefore, is an entirely different matter.
You must know the difference between the two conditions. This will help you find the right treatment for it. One way to distinguish between the two is to check the size of the flakes. Dandruff flakes are oily and larger. Moreover, hair moisturization won’t make dandruff go away. Let’s understand the causes, symptoms and treatment for dry scalp and hair.
What Causes Dry Scalp?
When your scalp isn’t producing enough sebum to keep the scalp moisturized, it causes scalp dryness. It’s not just the scalp; you may notice skin dryness on other areas of the body. Dry skin is a condition known as xerosis.
According to the American Skin Association, normally, you shouldn’t worry about dry skin. It is a bother regardless. The constantly itchy scalp and the ‘snowflakes’ on your shoulders can also make you feel embarrassed. To find out the way by which you can ensure healthy hair and scalp, you need to understand what causes dry scalp.
Moisture-Stripping Hair Products
A lot of the time, these are the culprits. Sulfates in shampoos are notorious for leaving the scalp dry and itchy. So, don’t get drawn in by the nice packaging of shampoos. Make sure to read the ingredients at the back.
Avoid shampoos with ammonium lauryl sulfate/sodium laureth (and lauryl) sulfate, sodium chloride (salt), and alcohols like ethanol, propanol, isopropyl, and isopropanol, etc. Cetearyl, cetyl, stearyl, and lauryl are good alcohols. They help in hydrating the scalp and hair follicles. Also, try incorporating a moisturizing conditioner in your haircare routine.
Try using mild shampoos and conditioners. You may also end up developing an allergic reaction to an ingredient in these hair care products. This is known as contact dermatitis. It can make your scalp dry, red and itchy.
Now your hands might itch (pardon the pun) to scratch the itch; it can end up worsening the symptoms. Avoid doing that. Stop using the product with the allergen, and the symptoms of contact dermatitis may clear on their own in a month. Regardless, make sure to consult a medical professional.
Washing Hair Too Frequently
You definitely don’t have to wash your hair daily. It’s actually not a good idea to do that. You are stripping your hair follicles and scalp of moisture and natural oils. It can result in dry scalp hair loss as your hair becomes weak and brittle.
People with very fine, oily hair may need to wash their hair daily. Moreover, those individuals who perform vigorous physical activity might also have to wash their hair every day. The grime, dirt and sweat can otherwise clog the pores in your scalp. Those who live in hot and humid weather conditions also find it hard to go a day without shampooing their hair.
Eczema or Atopic Dermatitis
That’s another condition that can leave your scalp dry, itchy, red and inflamed. It usually runs in families. So, if someone in your family has it, you might also have eczema. Other than that, environmental factors such as changes in weather, stress, and pollutants can also work together to cause atopic dermatitis.
It is important to use mild shampoos and moisturizing creams so that you don’t end up aggravating your condition. Get in touch with your doctor to get started on its treatment.
It is an autoimmune condition in which the hair cells produce at a much faster rate than they shed. This results in a buildup of skin cells; crusty, scaly patches called plaques form on the scalp. It can cause redness, swelling, itchiness, and flakiness.
The exact cause of scalp psoriasis is not known. However, certain factors can trigger it, such as stress, physical injury, weather changes, and infection. Your doctor may prescribe you anti-inflammatory corticosteroids or, in severe cases, medicines that help suppress the immune system.
Changes In Weather
Cold weather and low humidity mean that your hair will get the worst end of it. The air will whip the moisture right out of your scalp and hair. That doesn’t mean that you should prepare yourself for dry scalp hair loss whenever winter’s around the corner.
No matter how much you like hot water baths, they can leave your skin dry and tight. Thus, it is important that you use warm water to wash your hair. Other than that, you can consider doing a scalp massage before shampooing the hair. Moreover, use hair moisturizers and conditioners. Buying a humidifier can also help as it helps your hair retain its moisture.
How To Prevent Dry Scalp?
There are more than a few things that you can do to prevent a dry scalp. Haircare is important. However, you also need to be careful about different skin conditions as these too can cause your hair to fall. Healthy hair begins from a healthy scalp. And you need it for your hair growth.
DIY Hair Masks
Water loss from damage to the lipid barrier of the scalp can result in dry scalp hair loss. The answer to most of the problems you can find in your home. You can create some of the best hair products right at home.
For a dry scalp, you can always apply coconut oil on your scalp or mix it with tea tree oil before application. The fatty acids in avocados can also help nourish your hair. You can also use jojoba oil, olive oil and aloe vera on your scalp. They can also provide nutrients to the hair shaft.
Massaging the Scalp
There’s nothing better than getting a nice scalp massage, even for a few minutes. Surprisingly, it can also help with a dry scalp. Gently move your finger in a circular motion on the scalp. Not only does it improve blood circulation but also stimulate the production of oils.
This can moisturize your scalp and prevent any dryness. If you’re already struggling with a dry, itchy scalp, scalp massages can help relieve these symptoms. You can always massage oils into your scalp.
Drink Water and Eat Healthily
What’s the best way to keep your skin hydrated? Well, drink water, of course! Just as your throat gets parched, so does your hair. So, make sure to quench its thirst by drinking ample water. It helps in dealing with dry, itchy scalp, prevents brittle hair and hair loss.
Eat foods rich in proteins, vitamins, zinc, iron, essential fatty acids and biotin as they ensure healthy hair growth. If you have thinning hair, it may be the result of nutritional deficiencies.
Use Gentle Hair Care Products
It is important to shampoo your hair for the health of the scalp and hair, but most people don’t need to shampoo daily. Even when you do, use those with mild formulas so that they don’t cause scalp irritation, dryness or itchiness. Also, try avoiding the use of many hair styling products like curlers or straighteners. The heat from them can also damage the hair shaft.
Can Dry Scalp Cause Hair Loss?
Yes, dry scalp hair loss can occur. One big reason why this happens is that itchiness can make you scratch your head rather intensely at times. And let’s be honest, we all love scratching an itch. The itchiness can make you scratch your scalp, which can end up weakening the hair follicles. If you don’t get any treatment, it can also cause permanent harm to the hair roots. This can result in permanent hair loss.
In order to avoid this, you are advised to see a dermatologist and find a solution for your dry scalp. You can also follow the steps we shared with you to moisturise your scalp.
Can You Get Hair Transplant with Dry Scalp?
Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait for your itchy, dry, and flaky scalp to get better. Flakes, wounds and scabs on the skin make it difficult for the surgeon to operate during the hair transplant procedure. So, you need to wait until complete recovery from dry scalp.
Before the surgery, we will ask for pictures of your scalp to see check if it is in good health. You can also consult your dermatologist before booking the surgery to find out if you are a suitable candidate for a hair transplant.
You may develop a dry scalp due to different reasons. Normally, it is nothing to worry about, but it can develop as a result of some underlying disease. Also, hair dandruff, sometimes mixed up with alopecia areata, is different from dry scalp.
There are more than a few things that you can try to take care of your scalp and hair to make sure that they don’t get dry. That’s because a dry scalp may result in permanent hair loss in severe cases. In that case, you need to wait for your scalp to clear up before getting a hair transplant. Contact professionals at Longevita right now for more information about hair transplant procedures.