For sometime now..
I’ve been battling with dry scalp which causes itchy scalp and flaking. (When those dry dead skin fall on your shoulders and cloth everytime you comb your hair.. And that is so very not pleasant..at all)
Before i get down to details..
Lets get to this detail.. 😀
WHAT EXACTLY IS DRY SCALP?
A lot of people mistake dry scalp for dandruff but that’s not the case.
Dry Scalp is due to loss of moisture from the skin and can be caused by the application of soap, strong detergents, cold weather, product build up, hard water, and diet
Signs and symptoms are itching and small white flakes that come off easily.
(You see i’ve got dry scalp and not dandruff.
And i’ve been thinking its because of product buildup. I’ve never clarified my hair before!)
DANDRUFF,however, is not caused by dryness but rather too much oil (sebum).!
“It is usually due to an over growth of harmless yeast,” explains Jessica Wu, M.D., a Los Angeles Dermatologist and Assistant Clinical Professor of
Dermatology at the University of Southern California Medical School. “In some people, the yeast starts to feed on the excess oil and
dead skin cells on the scalp, causing the skin cells to shed more frequently and clump into
HOW TO TREAT DRY SCALP
Tackling dry scalp could be very easy when we work on eliminating the very causes of it.
The five(a few) causes of dry scalp previously stated above are;
-Application of Soap
-Diet (e.g Caffeine)
I’m going to take time to explain how they affect natural hair and how they could be eliminated 😀
•APPLICATION OF SOAP
Soaps are sodium or potassium salts of
fatty acid. It works by breaking the surface
tension between oil and water (as you
know, oil and water don’t mix, so you need
a facilitator, soaps and detergents are
Now, pH of human skin is 5.5, which is on the acidic side, and skin is happy at this pH i.e soft, supple, full of moisture.
Alkali in the soap (Sodium or Potassium), strips your skin off this acid, and raises the pH.
So, any soap, natural or synthetic is going to strip your scalp off the oil.
Meanwhile,it does not in any way affect the hair growth directly.
Indirectly however, when hair and scalp is dry because of harsh soap, hair tends to tangle really quickly, is not protected well against the friction and other external
factors and might end up falling. This may result in hair loss.
”All soaps” are generally devoid of any kind of conditioning agentand this may result in drier hair and scalp and in turn this may result in hair loss.
So..without too much talk..
Soaps are to be totally avoided on hair except occasionally or when a shampoo is not handy but in such case,follow up with a conditioner.
Some Shampoos contain strong detergents that can strip hair of moisture thereby leaving it dry.
You can probably pick out shampoo faster than it takes you to read this sentence, but accidentally snagging a bad one can strip your hair of protective oils, cause dryness, breakage,and even contribute to hair loss.
Here’s a breakdown of ingredients to avoid when choosing shampoos.
They’re strong chemical detergents (also found in kitchen degreasers like dishwasher soap) that give shampoo that foamy quality, but they can cause scalp irritation, redness, dryness(big time) and itching.
2. ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL
The petroleum-derived substance cleans and dissolves oils, but it’s also found in antifreeze, wood finish, and shellac.
Alcohol is also extremely drying and strips hair of moisture, which can lead to dryness, hair damage
The chemical preservative kills bacteria, but it’s also a known carcinogen that irritates
the eyes and respiratory system and can cause skin inflammation and dryness.
4. PROPYLENE GLYCOL
The detergent helps cleaning ingredients penetrate hair, but it also breaks down healthy-hair proteins and irritates sensitive
skin and eyes.
Avoid these ingredients and a lot others that i will share in another post..
Check out for ingredients before picking any product…even a conditioner!
Some of the gels, mousses, hairsprays,shampoos and conditioners contain chemicals that don’t dissolve in water.
They leave tiny amounts of residue every time you use them.
Over time,these residues accumulate, leaving a coating of gunk on your hair and scalp. Water can’t penetrate this build
up and it’ll eventually dry your hair and scalp.
Your scalp has a natural cycle of shedding skin. Skin is shed and new
skin replaces it. This cycle is affected by product build up and your flakes of skin mix in with the gunk. As this skin/gunk mixture builds it will naturally start to fall from your scalp and will look like dandruff.
As i mentioned before, it’s not dandruff,but it certainly looks like it.
WHAT CAUSES PRODUCT BUILDUP?
⇒Not Shampooing Enough
Adding products on top of products without regularly washing them will inevitably result in that familiar residue
on your scalp.
Adding too many products too many products will give you waxy, greasy, flaky, lint attracting hair.
Flakes from your scalps congeal with the hairspray/gel/mouss/shampoo (insert product here) causing residue and eventually
⇒Misuse of Products
Failure to rinse out all your products out will inevitably cause product build up over time.
Rinse thoroughly, and don’t use scalding water!
⇒Using Products containing Silicon and Petroleum Oils
Silicones and petroleum oils are addedto shampoos to de-tangle and
“moisturize” your hair and scalp. They give your hair that lovely soft sheen.
The ironic thing is that they don’t moisturize at all. Don’t forget, the best moisturizer for your hair or scalp is
Silicones/Petroleum oils make your hair feel moisturized though, and that’s why people like them.
What they don’t know is that many of these products are not water soluble.
Prolonged usage will coat your scalp with a layer of gunk. This can cause all sorts of trouble, not least product build up.
Luckily we monitor all our shampoos for all the silicon/petroleum oils that aren’t water soluble.
Co-washing is a relatively new practise of using conditioners instead of shampoos to wash your hair.
The theory is that the conditioners won’t
strip your hair of its natural oils and this is true.
But on the flip side, movements like this are forcing manufactures to rethink the way they formulate shampoos and conditioners. Personal opinions aside,many of the conditioners contain silicon/petroleum products.
Using the wrong conditioner will cause product build up.
Having Hair with Low Porosity
Low porosity means your hair isn’t as porous as most i.e. your hair doesn’t absorb water as well as most people’s hair.
The reason for having hair with low porosity is that the cuticle scales lie tight against the surface of your hair strand. The tightness of these scales prevents water from entering your
There are plenty of upsides to it;your hair will look shiny in comparison to someone with highly porous hair.
However, products tend to remain on the outside of your hair. This can cause build up.
Your scalp can become dry because of regular exposure to very cold or very hot weather, using hair driers too frequently and even showering or bathing in extremely hot water or spending a lot of time in the sauna.
Dry scalp skin can particularly be a problem in the winter when your skin is subjected to cold, windy weather outside and dry indoor heating in buildings for days and weeks on end.
Hard water refers to water that has a high level of minerals in it, particularly magnesium and calcium.
Different areas of the world have different levels of hard or
soft water, each of which can have impacts on the skin and hair.
In general, soft water is preferred to hard water, as the effects of
hard water on hair and skin can be negative.
Hard water can really dry out the hair and make it more difficult to fully rinse out the shampoo and conditioner after every shower. This can cause buildup in the hair, making it look dull, and making the scalp dry and itchy.
The immediate effect of hard water on hair is that it will simply make it more difficult to manage.
Many people with hard water find that their hair becomes tangled very easily, and is difficult to comb or brush out. These
tangles and knots make it more difficult to wash the hair as well, and small amounts of soap and shampoo will likely remain in the hair. This causes grease and film to build up on the hair and on the scalp, causing the hair appear very dull and lifeless.
As this buildup continues to increase, it just exacerbates the overall problem.
Another effect of hard water on hair to consider is that this type of water is very harsh on the hair. People who color their hair, perm it, or otherwise treat it may find that these treatments wash out very quickly.
This can then lead to more frequent hairtreatments, further drying and damaging the hair. Some people find that the effects of hard water makes their hair to become thinner in appearance or more prone to breakage. If not, hard water combined with frequent hair treatments typically leads to dandruff and an itchy scalp.
There are a few ways to mitigate the impacts of hard water on hair. Some people add water softeners to their home water systems in order to reduce the minerals in the tap water throughout the whole home.
Some find that using clarifying shampoo once or twice a week helps to remove buildup, though for people with an especially dry scalp, this might not be a good idea.
It generally takes some trial and error using different types of shampoos and conditioners to find the combination that works best with hard water; there are
some shampoo products available that are
specifically designed for use in hard water.
STAY TUNED FOR MORE HAIR CARE TIPS ON HOW TO FIX DRY HAIR.. 😀