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What Causes Scalp Dryness And Flaking?

What Causes Scalp Dryness And Flaking?

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In a parallel universe, we all would have perfectly healthy and long shiny hair that we would never wash and our scalps would never feel itchy, dry, or flaky. However, at some point in our lives, we will all struggle with some type of scalp issues. A dry scalp is as irritating as it is embarrassing. Although it’s best to see a doctor or a derm for an official diagnosis, let’s face it, you probably won’t do that.

There are many potential causes of scalp dryness, however, as each and every one is different, your scalp may require a different treatment than someone else. But on the bright side, if you understand many of the causes and symptoms of dry scalp, it’d be much easier for you to treat it.

Hair routine

There are certain products that can irritate and even trigger scalp dryness. Such products may contain harsh chemicals that cause scalp itchiness. However, sometimes it has nothing to do with products but rather how often you’re using them. Washing your hair every single day can strip your scalp of its natural oils. To prevent that, opt for a natural shampoo or one that does not contain ingredients such as:

– Parabens

– Alcohol

– Formaldehyde

dry scalp causes
Photo credit: Pinterest

Apart from the products, you should also keep an eye on your overall hair care routine. Sometimes using heated styling products too can lead to pulling moisture away from the head. Our scalp produces a natural oil called sebum. Obviously, sebum is stripped away if you shower or use heated styling products every day. Keep in mind that heat is the enemy, so avoid using curling irons, hair dryers, and flat irons as often as possible. However, if you must use them, make sure you use a heat-protectant spray or moisturizer.

Weather conditions

Well, hello there winter. In case you didn’t realize, even the scalp does surrender to harsh conditions. Dry hair can eliminate moisture from the air. In case that other areas of your skin seem dry or itchy, naturally, your scalp will feel dry too.

Not staying hydrated

Yes, partially you can blame dehydration to weather conditions, but it’s mostly a reflection of our choices. We don’t realize that our bodies need much more water than we typically give them in a day. We usually tend to focus on hydration only when we feel thirsty. Staying hydrated is essential for our overall health, including the scalp. When you’re hydrated, your scalp is hydrated too, meaning you will cut the chances of flaking and also get rid of irritation and inflammation. And by hydrated I don’t mean just drinking water although it’d be good to stick to at least 8 oz glasses of water every day. You can also stay hydrated by eating fruits and vegetables that contain a lot of water. Moreover, stay away from drinks and beverages that may dehydrate you like soda and alcohol. As refreshing as they may seem at the time, they actually don’t replace any of the fluids your body loses.


Sometimes you can attribute your itchy scalp to being anxious and jittery. It is yet unknown what causes this connection, but they are definitely linked to one another. First of all, stress can really mess up your hormonal balance, which can also affect the pH balance of the scalp and cause it to dry out. Stress also tends to make the skin more sensitive. So when you’re using the same products that you normally use, they might have a different reaction to the chemicals due to the skin sensitivity.

Eczema and Seborrheic Dermatitis

We already know that eczema causes dryness and flakiness. But eczema can reach the scalp too, causing it to become inflamed, red, and very itchy. Scalp eczema may be followed by dandruff, so you’ll notice an abundance of white flakes as well as the desire to scratch your scalp. Scalp eczema is sometimes referred to as seborrheic dermatitis, which is what causes dandruff. Furthermore, the latter condition is often caused by the overproduction of sebum, the oil that our scalp normally produces. However, when our body produces more sebum than normal, it can leave an oily feeling that causes irritation.

dry scalp causes
Photo credit: Pinterest

Scalp Psoriasis

Most of us think of psoriasis as a skin condition that a person might experience somewhere in the body but not the scalp. The sad news is that the scalp is just as much at risk as any other part of the body. When scalp psoriasis makes an appearance, it can be a single patch or even spread all the way to the neck and forehead. The cause of scalp psoriasis is not known yet, but if left untreated, it can be very painful. The condition causes crusty sores on the scalp that can be very itchy. Itching them can lead to infection and even hair loss.

Since you’re here, you might also want to read:

Hair Treatments For Your Dry And Damaged Hair

Vaseline Uses On Hair And Everything You Need To Know About It

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