Have you ever felt like this before? Your head is itchy, your hair is frizzy, and your shoulders are dusted in flakes? While your hair is probably not conspiring to frustrate you, you may be experiencing a dry scalp.
A dry scalp is a normal, albeit frustrating problem. It manifests itself in various conditions and comes from different sources, making it sometimes complicated to treat effectively. Luckily, mother nature — and generations of dermatologists — have provided us with a multitude of remedies.
Below, we’ve outlined some of the most popular and effective solutions for soothing a dry scalp.
Let’s talk first about why dry scalp happens because knowing the cause of your specific issue can help you decide how to treat it. The truth is, our scalps are quite impressionable. Everything from the weather to our stress levels to the products we apply can cause big reactions up top. Here are some of the most common causes.
The temperature of the air and its ability to hold moisture can have a huge impact on your skin. If you’ve ever noticed that your skin is more moisturized in the summer and drier in the winter, it’s likely due to the moisture in the air.
Some hair care products can do more damage than good. Shampoos that contain sulfates tend to work a little too hard at cleansing your hair and actually strip your scalp of its natural oils, resulting in a dry and irritated head of hair. To that end, over-washing your hair may lead to a dry scalp, preventing it from maintaining its natural balance of oils.
In the same way that stress can affect your energy, mood, and complexion — many people struggle with stress-related acne — high stress levels can also impact your scalp’s microbiome leading to flaking and irritation.
Yes, we will join the choir when it comes to harping on the importance of hydration. Ultimately your scalp is skin, and skin flourishes, appearing more radiant and moisturized when you’re drinking the right amount of water.
You may also be experiencing dry scalp as a result of a dry skin condition. If that’s the case, treatment tends to look a little different. Talk to your dermatologist if you experience a dry or scaly scalp that won’t go away.
Now that we’ve covered the causes, let’s dig into what a dry scalp can feel like. Depending on how severe your case is, you may experience all of these symptoms.
Itchiness: This is perhaps the most common symptom related to dry scalp. If you’ve found yourself relentlessly itching your head, you may need to take steps to hydrate your scalp.
Flaking: When we itch, we tend to break free of dead skin cells that have accumulated on our scalp. Flaking due to dry scalp will look different than flaking related to dandruff, which will be more oily and heavy. It’s important that you understand the difference between these two conditions, as dandruff is related to a fungal imbalance in the scalp and not just dryness. More on that here.
Discomfort and Irritation: In more serious cases, a dry scalp can lead to pretty major swelling, including red, scaly patches.
Regardless of why you’re experiencing dry scalp and how it’s manifesting, you’re probably desperately looking for some solutions.
Essential oils of all kinds can be useful in treating dry scalp. Tea tree oil tends to be popular in scalp care. While it won’t treat the underlying cause of a dry scalp, applying it may help alleviate some of the systems.
Like tea tree oil, apple cider vinegar can help exfoliate your scalp, removing excess skin cells and product buildup that might be contributing to some of your irritation.
Most people who are suffering from a dry scalp just need a little moisturization. Jojoba oil is very good at that. It can also help reduce redness and irritation.
...high stress levels can also impact your scalp’s microbiome leading to flaking and irritation.
Avocados make for a pretty compelling natural hair mask. Avocados contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, which can help moisturize and strengthen your skin’s natural barrier.
Speaking of fatty acids, next up on the list is Castor oil.
Castor oil is a vegetable oil with many uses, one of which is moisturizing skin. It contains a high amount of ricinoleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid. This again helps restore your skin’s natural barrier, preventing water from escaping.
Castor oil tends to be on the thicker side, so look for products that contain this natural ingredient and have been mixed to achieve a hydrating consistency for use on your skin.
Lastly, we want to highlight the ultra-useful plant aloe vera. There’s a reason it’s recommended so much for sunburn. It can moisturize and reduce redness and swelling.
Many scalp and hair care products contain aloe vera — including our Restoring Serum.
The important thing is to always use professionally formulated scalp and hair care products. At home remedies lacking the proper dosage and type of ingredient can wreak havoc on an already irritated scalp. Always leave the product formulations to the chemists, your scalp will thank you.
In addition to these remedies, you may want to take a closer look at how you’re treating your scalp to help relieve dryness. There are some behaviors you’ll want to avoid and some you can try adding to your routine.
Use heated styling tools sporadically. We know it can be tempting to reach for the blow dryer but giving your scalp regular breaks from heat will help it stay moisturized.
Avoid sulfates in shampoo and conditioner. As we mentioned, they strip away all the stuff that keeps your scalp hydrated and balanced.
Regularly exfoliate your scalp. A scalp brush or a scalp scrub can help remove excess dead skin from your scalp and reduce flaking.
Adjust your diet to include more fatty acids. Fish, nuts, and eggs are all high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help support a healthy scalp.
Watch your water temperature in the shower. Even though it can feel relaxing, hot water in the shower can do a lot of harm to the skin on your scalp. Stick to milder temperatures and give your hair a cool rinse before stepping out and help lock in moisture on your scalp.
Finding the right hair care solutions for you is a journey, but you can say goodbye to a dry scalp for good with the right products.
Check out Jupiter’s Nourishing Conditioner which is packed with moisturizing ingredients like colloidal oatmeal and vitamin B5 to protect your scalp’s moisture barrier and keep you itch free.
All scalps can use a little TLC. Our daily conditioner is packed with luxe ingredients that’ll leave your hair feeling silky fresh, while working behind the scenes to soothe and moisturize. With notes of mint, vanilla, sage, and lavender, it’s a conditioner not of this world. Use after washing with our Balancing Shampoo.