Washing your hair every day can strip your scalp of the natural oils it needs to stay hydrated.
Over time, you can dry out your hair to the point where it becomes brittle and breaks. How often you should wash depends on your hair type. People with coarser hair may only need once-weekly washings.
Those with fine hair may need to wash a few times a week. Ask your stylist or dermatologist how often to wash based on your hair type.
A scalp that turns red, itches, and flakes after you wash it could be contact dermatitis.
This allergic reaction happens when you use certain shampoos, soaps, or other products in your hair. If you dye your hair black, dermatitis may be a reaction to the chemical PPD in the hair dye.
The first step to treating contact dermatitis is to figure out which product caused the reaction. Cut out one thing at a time to see if your symptoms clear up.
After 2-4 weeks off the product, your dry scalp should improve. While you figure out the cause, try not to scratch your scalp.
Scratching irritates the skin and can make your symptoms worse. Place a cool, wet washcloth on your scalp for 15 to 30 minutes a few times a day to soothe the itch. You can also apply a cortisone anti-itch cream.
During the winter months in cold climates, the humidity in the airdrops. Cold weather dries out the skin all over your body, including on your scalp. Blasting the heat can also be drying.
Use warm water instead of hot water in your shower and bath to keep your skin and scalp moist. Don’t stay under the water for longer than 5 or 10 minutes at a time.
Spending too much time under hot water can strip your skin of its natural oils. Turn on a humidifier in your home to add moisture to the air. And use a gentle moisturizing shampoo to wash your hair.
If you have dry scalp, wash with a gentle shampoo and then use a moisturizing conditioner. One way to tell whether you have dry scalp or dandruff is to apply a light moisturizer to your scalp before you go to bed. If the cause is dry scalp, the flakes should disappear once you shower the next morning. Some hair stylists can perform a scalp treatment that uses steam to deliver more moisture to your scalp.
If your scalp is very dry, itchy, or flaky, consider shampoos that are specifically formulated for dry scalps. Ingredients such as menthol and tea tree can help moisturize.
When your scalp is dry, itchy, or flaky, choosing the right shampoo can be your first line of defense against the uncomfortable, sometimes embarrassing conditions that can occur. It’s essential to choose a shampoo that doesn’t add to the issue when you have a dry scalp. Try these tips:
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