Now that the cold weather is here some of you can probably relate to scratching your scalp inconspicuously while you're trying to prevent flakes from settling on your shoulders. However, there is no need to suffer silently. If you have had flakes and dryness for a while, you can finally get some relief from dry scalp without all of the expensive products and treatments.
Sugar scalp scrub
If you suffer from dry scalp then you can relate to having what looks like a mini blizzard surrounding you whenever you scratch your scalp. Every time you scratch, the excess skin cells are being shed.
A simple fix for getting rid of these excess flakes is to gently scrub them away when you cleanse your hair. Put five tablespoons of sugar (preferably brown as the crystals are larger) in a bowl then slowly add olive oil or your favorite oil to it to form a paste. Before shampooing section your hair and apply the paste to your scalp and rub gently in a circular motion then shampoo and condition as normal.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil — obtained from the leaves of the Australian tea tree — has been used for centuries by Australia’s aboriginal people to cure many skin and scalp ailments. If you are suffering from dry scalp then adding a few drops of tea tree oil to your shampoo and conditioner can help to sooth your scalp and act as an anti fungal killing any bacteria that causes the overproduction of skin cells creating flakes.
Add 5-10 drops of tea tree to your shampoo or condish for every 8oz of product depending on the severity of your condition. After about a month of using your new shampoo and conditioner, you should see an improvement in your scalp. If you don’t want to go the DIY route, just purchase a shampoo and conditioner set containing teat tree oil.
Hot oil treatment
As the name implies, dry scalp can be caused by the scalp being dehydrated. To combat the dryness, using a simple hot oil treatment once a week when you cleanse your hair can make a world of difference. The oil acts as a barrier on the scalp preventing it from losing moisture during the cleansing process.
Warm about a ½ cup of oil in the microwave for no more than 20 seconds. Ensure that the oil is not too hot before applying it to your hair. Part your hair and apply the oil to your scalp using an applicator bottle to make the process easier. When your scalp is thoroughly saturated, use the pads of your fingers to massage the oil into your scalp. Finish by shampooing and conditioning as normal.
Medicated or Moisturizing Shampoo
Dr. Kari Williams, Trichologist and scalp expert, says that a medicated shampoo coupled with a deep conditioner or moisturizing shampoo is the way to an itch free scalp. She says:
"If there are symptoms associated with your dry scalp (flaking or itching) I recommend incorporating a medicated shampoo to treat the symptoms. Medicated shampoos are drying, so its always important to follow up with a moisturizing shampoo and deep conditioner. Otherwise, some of my favorite hydrating shampoos for a dry scalp are Eden Bodyworks Jojoba Minoi Shampoo, Shea Moisture African Black Soap Shampoo and Matrix Biolage Hydratherapie Shampoo."
MORE: Sulfate Free Shampoos
Oiling the scalp
"Dry scalp is a result of dehydrated sebaceous glands (the glands that produce the natural oil for our scalps). This dehydration can be due to cold climates, not drinking enough water or a skin condition like psoriasis. Oiling the scalp is okay, but you should avoid heavy greases and pomades. Light essential oils are preferred because they absorb into the skin. During the winter, you may find that your scalp is drier than other times of the year and this is normal. Some great essential oils for the scalp are jojoba oil, coconut oil, olive oil and castor oil," says Dr. Kari.