A dry scalp is a common problem that affects men and women of all ages. It is usually itchy, sore and uncomfortable, however it is relatively easy to treat. Making a couple of tweaks to your lifestyle and choice of hair care can make a huge difference.
What causes a dry scalp?
It occurs when the hair root is not sufficiently lubricated by the oil (sebum) secreted by the sebaceous glands lining the scalp, which provide the natural oils to the base of each hair.
The sebum gives hair its characteristic shine and lustre and when there is an insufficient amount of it, both the scalp and hair begin to dry out. Most people immediately think of dry scalp as being dandruff, but nothing could be further from the truth. Dandruff may occur even in an oily scalp as it is associated with a yeast infection of the scalp that leads to excessive cell shedding. Dandruff does not itch, whereas a dry scalp is often accompanied by itching.
There are several common causal factors for a dry and itchy scalp and include:
Weather – If you spend a lot of the time out in the sun or you are exposed to cold, dry, windy weather, then this may contribute to your scalp drying out.
Cosmetic Habits – Many people use hair styling products such as hairspray and gels that can aggravate the scalp leading to a dry scalp. Some people spend a long time drying their hair often on high heat settings that can also be problematic. Finally, excessive brushing can also lead to inflammation of the scalp and hence drying it out.
Diet – A diet laden with sugar and fats does not just affect your weight and increase the risk of heart disease, it also affects your skin. Ensure that you have a healthy and varied diet rich in vegetables, as well as oily fish, which provides you with essential fats to help to “lubricate” the scalp and it will also help calm down underlying inflammation, which results in an itchy and dry scalp.
Shampoo – Believe it or not the most common cause for dry and itchy scalps is the use of chemically laden shampoos and conditioners. The main chemical to look out for is sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS). SLS is used as a foaming agent giving you the impression that your hair is being cleaned. Unfortunately it also strips the scalp of its natural oils and can disturb the pH and the natural protection that these oils impart to the scalp.
How can you soothe a dry scalp?
A good scalp treatment plan should focus on the cause of the problem and address it in order to prevent recurrence. Most people unfortunately treat the scalp with off-the-shelf products only to find that the problem returns soon after the treatment has stopped.
As mentioned above, the most common causal factor is the use of chemically laden shampoos and to this end I am a great fan of Fulvic Acid Shampoo. This shampoo is free from SLS and many other chemicals that are found in the majority of shampoos on the market. Fulvic Shampoo contains a blend of fulvic acid, aloe vera gel and B vitamins which not only help to calm the scalp but help to encourage the healing process.
There is also an accompanying product, Fulvic Acid Mist, that can be used either daily or twice a week to calm the scalp down. This is the hero product from the range with a concentrated blend of active ingredients to calm, soothe, heal and repair an inflamed scalp. Simply spray onto the scalp and hair and leave overnight to help combat dry, itchy scalp.
Finally, aside from using chemical-free shampoos, another causal factor for scalp concerns is the lack of omega 3 essential fatty acids within our diet. Omega 3 fats are normally derived from oily fish, flaxseeds and other seeds and nuts. Unfortunately, the vegetarian versions of Omega 3’s are poorly converted by the body into their active components called EPA and DHA. Fish oils already have these present within the oil, however if you are intending to use fish oil capsules then ensure that you use highly purified high strength fish oils, which are devoid of toxins such as mercury and PCB’s. I tend to recommend krill oil by way of supplementation such as Power of Krill which is free from all toxins and is utilized by every single cell within our bodies.
I am sure that using the above treatment products and supplementation will help to restore a healthy scalp and thus healthy hair.