Many individuals deal with a dry scalp at some point in their lives. The hallmark sign of a dry scalp is a scalp that feels persistently itchy. Itching excessively can lead to dandruff and flaking, and affected individuals may also experience soreness. In serious cases, a dry scalp can cause hair loss. Several different things can cause a dry scalp. Most commonly, the skin will dry out because of a harsh chemical in hair products or a weather change. Being dehydrated can also cause dryness. In some cases, an underlying medical condition like psoriasis and eczema can cause a dry scalp as well.
Thankfully, there are many options for dry scalp treatment. Serious cases, especially severe medical conditions, often require a prescription dry scalp treatment. For instance, some individuals may require a prescription dandruff shampoo or another medical shampoo for dry scalp. However, there are also natural moisturizing scalp treatments and other dry scalp remedies. Learn about them now.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has long been publicized as a way to resolve scalp issues, including excess dandruff. The theory is that the acidity of the vinegar helps restore the pH balance in an individual's scalp. When the pH balance of any portion of an individual's body is off, different growths can form. In the case of dandruff, an imbalanced pH level can cause a fungus called Malassezia furfur to grow. This fungus, which is similar in structure to yeast, can cause the scalp to flake and have excess dandruff. Apple cider vinegar may not work for dryness that does not have associated dandruff, since this is likely not caused by the fungus.
To treat the scalp with apple cider vinegar, individuals should dilute vinegar by mixing a small amount of it with a significant amount of water. They should then pour the mixture into a spray bottle and spray it gently over their scalp and hair. Individuals should leave the mixture on their head for anywhere from fifteen to sixty minutes before rinsing it out. Advocates of apple cider vinegar treatment recommend doing this one or twice each week.
Some individuals use coconut oil as an alternative, natural skincare product. It is a good choice if individuals want to avoid the harsh chemicals in mainstream products. The core of the oil is moisture, which makes it ideal for those with a dry and itchy scalp. Individuals can also use coconut oil on dry skin on other portions of their body. If individuals have dandruff and flaking skin, coconut oil may be able to moisturize their skin enough to reduce or stop the accumulation of dandruff.
One study showed that coconut oil was more helpful for children with eczema than traditionally-used mineral oil. The theory behind this is coconut oil was able to penetrate below the top layer of skin to provide deeper moisturizing. In addition, coconut oil has lauric acid, an antimicrobial product that can target fungus and bacteria. Malassezia furfur is supposed to be present in small quantities on the scalp, but too much can cause flaking. Some research indicates coconut oil has properties that reduce pain and inflammation, making it a good choice if an individual's dry scalp is caused by a painful or itchy skin disease like psoriasis.
Mashed bananas are a remedy for more than just a dry scalp. This fruit also has properties that can help repair and moisturize damaged, dry, and brittle hair. Individuals massaging mashed bananas through their scalp and hair will provide their hair with vitamin B5, magnesium, and vitamin C. Vitamin B5 is famous for strengthening hair while making it soft and shiny. If individuals are going to repair their hair using natural ingredients, bananas should be one of the first fruits they try. A hair mask made of mashed bananas can also promote faster hair growth, and it may help with thinning hair, though the results on this are not conclusive.
Individuals can make a hair mask by mashing up a few overripe bananas if they want to go the simple route. If individuals want to add more moisturizing properties to the mask, they should mix in a few tablespoons of coconut oil, honey, and lime juice. For additional volume and body, they should add an egg yolk and egg white.
Stop Using Products With Sulfates
If individuals are noticing abnormal scalp dryness and residue on their hair, the culprit may be sitting in their shower. The first thing individuals should do to combat a dry scalp is to stop using products with sulfates. Sulfates, a type of surfactant, are substances that cause shampoo to foam when individuals add water to them and rub them into their scalp. Surfactants are in foaming agents, emulsifiers, and certain detergents.
A sulfate attracts water and oil, allowing for dead skin cells and grim to be sucked up by the shampoo and washed away. Unfortunately, sulfates also strip the natural oil found on an individual's scalp and hair, leading to hair dryness and brittleness. If individuals have a sensitive scalp, stripping the oil can cause it to become dry, itchy, and red. Individuals should try switching to a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner to see how it benefits their scalp and hair.
Do Not Wash Hair Daily
One mistake some individuals make is washing their hair every day, but to avoid damage and dryness, individuals should not wash their hair every day. Even if individuals shower daily, they should not use their shampoo and conditioner every day. Different hair and skin types need to be washed with different frequencies, but experts say that no type of hair needs daily washing.
Daily washing strips away the natural oils in hair, leading to a dry scalp. The individual's skin produces more sebum to combat the dryness, which causes their hair and scalp to be greasy. It is a vicious cycle of dryness followed by grease followed by more dryness. The texture of an individual's hair affects how often they need to wash it. Those with coarse and curly hair do not need to wash as often because it takes longer for grease to travel from the roots to the ends of the hair. Fine and straight hair may need to be washed every two to three days.
Tea Tree Oil
Many individuals with a dry scalp, including those with medical conditions that cause it, can find some relief if they use tea tree oil. It is particularly effective as a dandruff treatment. In many instances, these individuals should search for a commercial shampoo that contains tea tree oil. The best benefits will often come when this shampoo is also free of sulfates, as discussed previously. Individuals can also add a couple drops of tea tree oil to their regular shampoo. Tea tree oil is a good treatment outside of shampoo as well. However, individuals should always dilute tea tree oil with a carrier oil or other substance. Examples include coconut oil and aloe vera.
Aloe vera is another effective natural remedy for a dry scalp. Research shows that part of this is due to its anti-inflammatory properties. In addition to relieving a dry scalp, aloe vera may also help reduce some of the itching that accompanies the dryness. Aloe vera is also fairly moisturizing. Some hair products do contain real aloe vera. However, individuals can also look for a dedicated aloe vera product. Evidence shows that they can relieve a dry scalp and other symptoms if they apply pure aloe vera directly to their scalp as a hair mask for ten minutes before shampooing.
Many individuals experience decent results from using avocados to treat their dry scalp. Although there are hair products that use avocados and avocado oil as the feature ingredients, there is a method that is even more natural. Specifically, individuals can create their own moisturizing hair mask. A good recipe to start with involves combining one avocado with one banana and a few tablespoons of honey. After mashing and mixing these ingredients, individuals can apply the mixture to their hair generously. Some may want to then cover their hair with a shower cap, though this is not always necessary. They can rinse it out after ten to twenty minutes. The fatty acids in the avocado are moisturizing and easy to absorb, as are the vitamin A and vitamin B it contains.
Individuals who are interested in oils for hair health should definitely consider using jojoba oil, especially if they have a dry scalp. Jojoba oil is quite moisturizing and will relieve a dry scalp and the accompanying itching quite effectively. It is particularly helpful in treating psoriasis on the scalp. In addition, it is worth noting that jojoba oil does not need a carrier oil or to be diluted in another way. Individuals can use a small amount of jojoba oil and massage it into their scalp. They should leave it on their scalp for ten to twenty minutes before rinsing it out and shampooing.
Yogurt And Eggs
Homemade hair masks can help with many hair issues, including a dry scalp. Another good example of a hydrating hair mask to relieve a dry scalp is one made with yogurt and eggs. All individuals need is a half cup of plain yogurt and two eggs. Once they finish mixing these ingredients, individuals can apply it generously to their scalp and leave it on for up to twenty minutes before rinsing. Although individuals can use the whole eggs, minus the shells, in this hair mask for a dry scalp, some evidence indicates that separating the eggs and only using the egg whites is effective as well.