What causes a dry and itchy scalp
An itchy scalp isn’t the most glamorous of topics, but a persistent problem that affects a huge chunk of the population. When it comes to treating a dry and itchy scalp, it’s important to look at where the problem stems from so you can banish those flakes. It’s not always down to the dreaded ‘D’ word – dandruff; an overly itchy scalp can be caused by a number of factors, from medical conditions to every day habits. Here we take a look at the most common reasons.
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If you have recently coloured your hair and are experiencing uncomfortable itchiness, it could be a sign that you are allergic to hair dye. It turns out this can happen even if you’ve previously used the product without any trouble. It’s not only hair dye that can trigger an allergic reaction; your average shampoo, and other hair care, can cause a reaction too. In order to pinpoint what exactly is irritating your scalp, try using one hair product at a time for one week, rather than using several new ones at the same time.
Skin tends to get much dryer and even flaky in winter, so it’s really no surprise that your scalp reacts this way too. Sudden changes in temperature, such as moving from the cold outdoors to heated indoors, can cause your scalp to freak out a little. This tends to be worse during the winter, where the dryness strips the scalp of its important oils.
Dandruff is understandably the most talked about scalp condition for its reputation to embarrass especially if you love wearing black. Dandruff, otherwise known medically as seborrheic dermatitis, is caused by an overgrowth of yeast and is most common on oily scalps; in fact the yeast thrives in oily environments. This means if you have a dry, flaky scalp it’s likely something other than dandruff is the cause.
Eczema or psoriasis
Dandruff isn’t the only skin condition that could be causing havoc; inflammatory skin conditions eczema or psoriasis might be to blame, arising from changes to your immune system. It can be tricky to decipher the difference between these and dandruff; however the scalp will have red, flaky and itchy patches. But don’t freak out just yet! These skin conditions are very common, with eczema on the scalp being common in babies, whereas psoriasis is more common among adults. In this case your doctor will be able to provide you with the best treatment.
Spent a little too much time out in the sun lately? Your flakiness could be down to something as simple as sunburn! It’s crucial to cover up by wearing a summer hat when out in the sun all day.
Not washing your hair enough
When you extend your hair wash by a couple days more than you should, you might notice more itching and scratching going on than usual. This is because your natural oils, dirt and product residue build up on your scalp causing irritation. Exercising and not washing your hair could also be the culprit. When the sweat from a workout dries on your scalp, it can also irritate the skin and leave it feeling itchy.
Stress affects literally everything, including your hair and scalp. In short, stress can trigger the production of certain hormones causing an increase in your scalp’s production of oils. This can result in roots that get limp and greasy faster than usual.
Now you've got to the root cause of your pesky itchiness, you can learn exactly how to treat your dry scalp.
If you've suffered with a dry, itchy scalp how did you find out the cause?