Home >>  Hair Problems >>  Dry Flaky Scalp  

Dry Flaky Scalp Causes and Treatment

Everyday a lot of people experience dry flaky scalp – one of the common hair problems.

We lose dead skin cells from our scalps and when more are lost than normal, they cluster together and form white or grey flakes. This is also called dandruff. Dry flaky scalp condition can form either when the scalp is too dry or too oily. A fungus named pityrosporum ovale that lives naturally on the scalp, has been involved in the development of dry flaky scalp. The growth of this fungus is fuelled by excess production of sebum, the natural oil secreted from glands in the skin.

This makes clear why, oftentimes, dry flakey scalp condition begins in puberty when hormonal changes take place and why people with oily scalps suffer more.

Dry flaky scalp condition is said to run in families. Too salty, spicy or sugary diets, accompanied by too much alcohol worsen it; likewise, stress and climatic changes. Seborrheic eczema is known to cause itchy and dry flaky patches on the scalp. Such a dry flaky itchy scalp is likely to be more acute than simple dandruff, since the skin and glands get inflamed. These flakes are very often greasier and yellower in color. They can also affect eyebrows, ears, face and the upper body.

Causes of Dry Flaky Scalp

Most often the causes of dry flaky scalp decide the course of action to treat dry flakey scalp. If what you are using is causing problems, stop. In case you have to wash your hair often, don't lather more than once. Also try massaging your scalp as little as possible. If the environment around your house is a problem, use a humidifier in your bedroom. It can help the skin all over your body too.

Treatments for Dry Flakey Scalp

The mainstay of treatment for dry flaky scalp is anti-dandruff shampoos. It usually takes a little trial and error to find the one that works. For more obstinate dry flakey scalp or seborrheic eczema, selenium, zinc, coal tar in coconut oil or salicylic acid is also known to help. Scalp preparations contain a variety of recipes. However, you should be careful when using tar to treat dry flaky scalp, as it can discolor fair hair and bed linen.

Antifungal shampoos that contain ketoconazole are known to work well for dry flakey scalp treatment and seborrheic eczema. They should be used a couple times, regularly every week. Be patient: they sometimes even take up to 6 weeks to work. All these remedies for dry flaky scalp treatments are available from a druggist without prescription.

* Dry weather affects the scalp. So, at the onset of winter, try using a shampoo and conditioner exclusively made for dry scalps. Once the flakes vanish, you can return to products designed for your hair type and alternate between the products in case the dry scalp condition returns.

* Hot showers are also a common culprit, so in case you prefer your shower really hot the effects on your scalp are really obvious. Try to work the conditioner into your scalp. This will act as a moisturizer, but go easy on the heat.

* At all times thoroughly rinse your hair after shampooing and before conditioning. Conditioners seal down the outer surface of the hair. They make it smooth and easy to comb. However, it will also seal in any remaining soap from the shampoo. This later comes off as flakes.