Experiencing dry scalp? Now or year-round?
A common misconception about flakey scalp, or dandruff, is that it is due to actual dry scalp or dry hair- but it’s not. The medical term for dandruff is seborrheic dermatitis, and it can start at any age. It appears as cradle cap in infants and young children, or as flakey scalp across any age. It can be itchy or have no symptoms at all. It is actually caused by a harmless yeast we all have naturally- so it isn’t an infection.
Some people will start to use more oils when they notice this scalp dryness, others will eliminate oils, but neither is really the answer. Actually, washing your hair less which leads to oilier hair can make it worse. Your hair type (color, quality, and texture) determines which specific routine or product will be best for you. We must realize there is no actual “cure” for seborrheic dermatitis as often it needs a maintenance routine, even if seasonally. Some people might have very mild dandruff with intermittent flares, and others may need ongoing treatment to prevent or control flares.
First thing to try? Over-the-counter dandruff shampoo is how to start, BUT you need to know HOW or it might not work.
Step 1: Choose a shampoo with the active ingredient zinc pyrithione, such as Head and Shoulders or Harry’s 2-in-1, or selenium sulfide, such as Selsun Blue.
*if you have color-treated or blonde hair, try Dove Dermacare anti-dandruff shampoo, Neutrogena clear TSAL shampoo or Oribe Serene scalp anti-dandruff shampoo because they won’t tint your color.
Step 2: use the shampoo daily, leaving it on for 3-5 minutes before rinsing. You do not have to use it on all of your hair, you can focus on just the scalp and not run it through to the ends, as these shampoos can dry your ends.
Step 3: Condition ends of hair (or all of hair) to prevent hair dryness from the shampoo.
Step 4: Continue for 2-3 weeks until improved, then try reducing to less often to maintain the benefit and you can alternate with your favorite shampoo.
Step 5: If you improve, but not fully, come in to see us so we can get you the rest of the way!
You don’t need to be frustrated by your dry scalp! Whether it’s you, your child, or a loved one, there are many options. Choosing the right one and HOW you use it in your regimen are the key- we can help if you don’t nail it down yourself or just aren’t in the mood for trial and error 😀