So many people have to deal with a flaky, dry scalp especially at this time of year! (My favourite season but dry scalp does tend to creep up more in these colder days.) The outside air is getting colder each day so the weather takes out moisture from our scalps and hair, dry heat from radiators can irritate it also, lots of various factors in the winter can affect our scalp condition. That is why it is so important we focus on our scalp even more than usual. Even for people who don’t suffer from dry scalp, rethinking harsh chemicals that you use on your skin is a good idea…to keep it nice and healthy.
My saying for skincare products is: You wouldn’t eat these chemicals so why put them on your skin? (Even though i do fake tan, so kind of contradicting haha but even though there is chemicals in fake tan it’s better than having over exposure to UV radiation. Where i can cut back on chemicals used on my skin i will always try!)
This post isn’t about dandruff, many people confuse dandruff with dry scalp as they do have similar symptoms but they are two different conditions. Dandruff is usually greasy and a yellowish white shade.The flakes are usually excessive shedding of scalp flakes. Itching is common with dandruff aswell. Dandruff is not caused from dryness, it is from your scalp having too much oil. However although dry scalp is itchy too, it can also cause irritation and redness and has dry scalp flake areas on the scalp. Dry scalp like i mentioned before is from loss of moisture from the skin it can be caused from many things especially if you suffer from it all year round like i used too! The culprits can be cold weather, product build up, diet, dry heat, shampoos/conditioners/hair products with certain ingredients. If your finding it tricky to tell which one you have be sure to see a doctor as they can diagnose this properly for you.
If you do suffer from dry scalp all year round i can really relate to what you go through! It can be embarrassing and can make tying up your hair difficult as it can sometimes shows more. But please don’t feel embarrassed by this because you are not alone and it is alot more common than you probably think. I used to suffer badly from dry scalp around the front of my scalp and it sometimes would spread to a small part of my ear. Luckily, i have been able to help this condition and this is why i am writing this post to share my findings with anyone who needs to trial and error.
Everybody’s scalp is different and will need different treatments or changes made to help lessen dry scalp problem. My dry scalp is mainly caused from season changes, so Spring to Summer and Autumn to Winter, Winter factors like having the radiator on or a fireplace going, both contribute to dry heat irritating my scalp and also from hair products containing Sodium Lauryl Sulfate & Sodium Laureth Sulfate.
My Tips To Help Soothe Your Dry Scalp!
- Shampoo – I cannot stress enough how important a change of shampoo and closely looking at shampoo ingredients was for me. Drugstore brands can have harsh ingredients in their hair products so it is best to avoid. As soon as i knew that hair products with Sodium Lauryl Sulfate & Sodium Laureth Sulfate can flare up dry scalp i instantly read my shampoo i was using and realized it was in the ingredients of ALL my hair products! 90% of shampoos contain these sulfates and other types of sulfates, so it is tricky to find one that doesn’t contain it. These are commonly found in shampoos as they create great lather and foam when using the product (and who doesn’t love a good foamy hair-do when shampooing? I know i do, it makes me feel like the product is really getting into all the nooks and crannies and cleaning it properly.) But if you suffer from dry scalp it may be time to bin & re think your hair care products. You need more products which are gentler on the scalp. Even shampoos that say are good for dry scalp alot still contain these sulfate ingredients. I have used for the past 5 years two shampoos that do not contain this and they really do work for me. I have noticed such a huge difference and now my scalp does not suffer as dry as before.
The best one for me has been Skin Shop’s Hydrosil Dry Scalp Shampoo
This Shampoo is my go to all the time when i wash my hair. It is my secret shampoo that not many people know much about but it really does work wonders so it really should be shared. It is £8.95 for a 250ml bottle and you can purchase it at http://www.skinshop.co.uk. It is in the select few of shampoos that does not contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate & Sodium Laureth Sulfate. The Dry Scalp Shampoo is a “naturally derived hypoallergenic treatment shampoo” and contains two great extracts;
- Cardiospermum – calms down itching and irritation in dry and eczema skin.
- Honey – reduces inflammation and cleanses and calms the scalp The shampoo was developed by one of the Uk’s leading hair scientists and claims to reduce inflammation on the scalp whilst also leaving the hair feeling clean and soft and the scalp being calm and cleansed. It really does do what it claims and i do highly recommend this product! My scalp looked and felt so much better after the 2nd/3rd wash with this product and i have used this for years so you could say it is my holy grail hair shampoo which i forever repurchase. It is also free from Parabens, SLS, MI and Perfumes which means it is nice and gentle for the scalp. It has also been clinically tested for highly sensitive, dry & itchy scalps. The only problem is that if you are the type of person who loves fragrance in your hair after your shampoo and during then this product isn’t really for you. It doesn’t have much of a scent at all i find just smells quite clean (if clean has a scent haha.) But i would say that most fragrance shampoos will irritate a sensitive/ dry scalp so i would try and love non-smelling ones. However you could also spray a little hair perfume on the ends of your hair (not your scalp) to give it a pleasant overall fragrance…I do! Who doesn’t want to be the girl who turns her head and a lovely feminine scent washes over anyone close? 🙂
The other option of shampoo to use is Johnson’s baby shampoo! At a bargain price for so much product it is a great choice too however it does have Sulphates in it surprisingly. This is also alot of hair dresser’s recommendations to me when i say about dry scalp problems. I must say i do find on my scalp type it doesn’t fully help the dry scalp irritation (most likely because of the sulphate ingredient in it) but it does make it less noticeable and less inflamed. If this shampoo is designed for a precious baby’s scalp then of course you can’t get anymore gentler than that! So perhaps if your scalp isn’t badly dry then hopefully this may be a better option than a shampoo full of more bad chemicals. It is; Soap free and clinically proven hypoallergenic, Dermatologist tested and Paraben free.
I would recommend this shampoo instead of the one above if your dry scalp is more mild. If you do suffer with it more then it is best i would say to try out the Skin shop’s shampoo as i found it more helpful for my scalp.
- Give yourself a Scalp Massage – Whilst on the topic of shampooing i find a scalp massage helps too. Massaging your scalp beforehand using a soft pure boar bristle brush before washing your hair helps to, lift away and remove any dirt, dust, build up of hair products/oil and flaky, dead skin cells (which you can then just wash out). During washing just take a little bit of time and care on your scalp. It is really important to add a little pressure with your finger tips to really massage in the scalp. This will help to properly shampoo any dry areas on your scalp.
- Drinking enough water – Everyone says this for lots of healthy skin but it is so important and true! And i really do stand by this saying alot. If you stay hydrated on the inside by drinking lots of water, your whole body (hair and skin) will benefit. It won’t solve the dry scalp problem fully but as this time of year moisture can be sucked from our skin being topped up with water helps.
- Wash your hair in cooler water and less often – If you didn’t know this already, you do now. Hot water can strip natural oils from your scalp and skin causing dryness and a tight feeling. It can cause all sorts of irritation when having a hot shower. As tempting as it may be in this cold winter to whack up your shower water heat try not too as it will do alot more bad than good. Cutting your hair washes also to every other day and not every day will give your hair and scalp a chance to create it’s own oil which helps protect your scalp and skin and re-balance its natural pH.
- Avoid scratching – As tempting as it can be really focus on not scratching your dry areas on your scalp, it can damage the skin and possibly lead to an infection.
- Conditioning – I often switch up on my conditioner as i have yet to find a really deep hydrating one. For dry scalp it is best to find a deep conditioner that helps to add moisture and hydration back into your scalp. I am on the look out but if i find a really beneficial one i will let you know.
- Find a dry skin cream that works for you – If your dry scalp is more on your hairline or spreads a little to your ear you can get some creams that are specifically for dry skin which can help. If it’s quite bad doctors may prescribe you with a stronger medicated cream. So there are alot of helpful things that can help sort it out as best as possible. I have had prescribed creams when it was bad but now it’s calmed down more now occasionally i will use Aqueous Cream. I have tried many other dry skin creams and found this one is the best for me…so it may be for you too 🙂 Choose a cream that really helps soothe.
- Avoid hairdryers as much as possible – My last bit of advice would have to be to try and limit the use of your hairdryer. The intense heat on your scalp can cause even more dryness and really doesn’t do much good. Obviously in the winter you most likely don’t want to step out in the freezing cold with wet hair as you will feel even colder. So, even if you use your hairdryer still make sure it’s on the coolest setting you can do (plus the coolness with lock in shine) or even dry half of it with the hairdryer and leave the rest to air dry. If your like me though where if you don’t use a hairdryer on your hair and it goes awfully frizzy and huge then the cool setting is the best idea. But on days you are at home and relaxing be sure to cut the use of your hairdryer to protect your precious scalp!
My future hair care products to try on my scalp;
Another brand of shampoo i have wanted to try so will definitely give it a go in the future is Liz Earle. However a 200ml bottle is a little bit more pricey at £10. I have heard great reviews and opinions on this product though and is for all hair types! The ingredients list also looks beneficial. So perfect if your looking for a sodium lauryl/laureth sulphate free shampoo in general. When i do a small shopping splurge on my hair shampoo i will definitely be picking this one up to give it a try and will review too for you all.
Moroccanoil Dry Scalp Treatment – Now i have never used a treatment on my scalp but in times where my scalp really does flare up i think i need to start trying one out to see if it makes a difference. This one by Moroccanoil is one to try for me and to purchase later. I have read some great reviews on this product and i know that Moroccanoil has a cult following so it must be worthy. it is abit pricey but there are alot of different UK shops that stock this product so really it’s finding the place with the better price. It claims to help the needs of dry, flaky scalps, relieves irritation,dryness and itchiness, restores scalp imbalances and revitalizes the hair. It is a concentrated formula packed with antioxidant-rich argan oil, lavender and geranium essential oils that nourish and soothe the scalp. Apparently people also see immediate and impressive results by the first use. Because of all of this i would love to try this and review at one point. Again when i have a hair care splurge. 🙂
Thank you to everyone who has taken their time to read this. I really do hope you find some information useful and definitely trial and error until your scalp is soothing to certain changes you make! I would love to know if any of you suffer from this especially in the winter and do feel free to leave any tips that you find works for you! Love hearing from you all!