The Best Treatments and Preventions for a Dry and Itchy Scalp

Having to deal with an itchy or dry scalp? You might be interested to know that about 40% of adults in the UK experience this unpleasant condition, and while knowing this doesnt make it any more pleasant to deal with, there is a silver lining! Since so many people all over the world have this common problem, interest in scalp care has increased so much over the past few years that treating a dry scalp is easier than ever.

In todays blog, we are going to share some much needed guidance on your scalp-care journey, whether you are dealing with pesky dandruff or even product buildup. We are going to go over what causes it, and how you can treat it and prevent it, so you will be ready to book a hair appointment online with confidence.

What causes a dry scalp?

There are numerous causes for a dry scalp, but basically it is caused by dry skin, just like any other part of your body. Therefore, anything that dries out the rest of your skin, like dry weather and seasonal changes, can do the same to your scalp. Dandruff or the other hand, or seborrheic dermatitis, is another common cause of a dry, itchy scalp, and is thought to be related to a yeast called malassezia that lives on the skin.

Another common cause is a buildup of your products which are giving your skin a bad reaction. Hair products can leave residue on your scalp for hours, even after using products like shampoo and conditioner. That residue can cause irritant or allergic contact dermatitis, leaving you with a red, flaky, or itchy scalp, so its important to be aware of your productsspecific ingredients.

Psoriasis is another major culprit for an itchy scalp. Scalp psoriasis is a common skin disorder inflammation in the skin that causes the skin cells to grow extremely fast and become patches of dry, itchy, flaky skin. 

Finally, it may interest you to know that your grooming habits could be a cause for some of your scalp discomfort. Over-washing or under-washing can each lead to dryness or itching.

How do you treat a dry scalp?

If in your case, your scalp itching is a result of product buildup, the best way that you can manage those unwanted symptoms is to modify your scalp-care routine. Products that are heavy in sulphates and surfactants and some fragrances can all cause dry scalp. Overusing dry shampoo can also lead to a significant amount of buildup on your scalp, blocking the hair follicles and causing various scalp issues. You can start addressing it by swapping out your shampoo for one that is sulphate-free, minimising your use of dry shampoo, and increasing your water intake.

If you are experiencing an allergic reaction as opposed to product buildup however, be sure to swap out your usual hair-care products with gentler alternatives. Look for hair-care products labelled as non irritating, and fragrance-free products, which can be helpful for those with sensitivities. Depending on your hair type, dry scalp can be managed by using an exfoliating shampoo that is gentle enough to use every hair-wash day, and/or an extra-strength exfoliating shampoo once every two weeks.

How do you treat dandruff?

If you have dandruff we would recommend setting aside the best toner for bleached hair and opting for an over-the-counter shampoo formulated with salicylic acid to address the condition. If relief is not achieved with over-the-counter shampoos, we highly encourage seeking out the opinion of a board-certified dermatologist. This is likely the case with conditions like Psoriasis, which often requires management with prescription therapy. 

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