No matter your hair type or length, you should always aim to you keep your scalp healthy and moisturized to avoid a dry scalp. And it begins with understanding the reason why your scalp gets dry. While dandruff may seem like the obvious answer, Dr. Iris Rubin, dermatologist and co-founder of SEEN Hair Care told Byrdie that common causes of a dry scalp include seasonality, irritation from hair products, or potentially even an allergy (or worse, an allergic reaction). Trichologist Dr. Dominic Burg, chief scientist and hair biologist for évolis Professional seconded, “The air in winter is particularly dry, as is the air from air conditioners in the summer. This can lead to drying of the skin, leading to sensitivity, itchiness, prickliness, and flaking” (via Elle).
The good news? There are things you can do to prevent a dry scalp. Just note that if at-home hair care routine shifts don’t solve the problem, it may be necessary to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist to get the problem solved once and for all.
You should not wash your hair more than three times a week
Firstly, you need to reassess how often you wash your hair. “The scalp actually has a population of billions of good bacteria from hundreds of different species,” Burg explains. “The microbes help balance pH and actually work to out-compete the bad microbes for nutrients and by producing special defense molecules.” When you wash your hair too often, you are messing with the microbes. So, the first thing you can do to prevent a dry scalp, is simply to reduce hair washing to a maximum of three times per week.
Secondly, you need to take a closer look at the hair products you’re using. “Consider avoiding sulfates in shampoo which tend to be more harsh cleansers that can strip the skin of its natural oils,” Rubin advised. Instead, look for products with “gentle, natural ingredients.” You may also want to consider adding a targeted scalp product into your hair care routine, avoiding scrubs. “There are scalp serums, lotions, and oils that can moisturize the scalp just like you would moisturize other skin areas,” Rubin added.
In the end, it’s worth it to address this problem, not only to avoid embarrassing flakes, but ultimately, the healthier your scalp, the healthier your hair.
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