A flaky scalp can not only be inconvenient and embarrassing, but it can also be accompanied by discomfort such as tightness, itching and stinging. Find out what causes a dry flaky scalp and how you can help reduce the symptoms and even prevent the condition from coming back. A dry scalp is caused by the skin's incapacity to produce (or retain) enough natural oils to keep itself moisturised. As a result, the top layer of the skin dries out, cracks and sheds as fine white flakes.
Award-winning hair stylist Anthony Nader shares his best tips to salvaging your itchy, dry scalp:
- Hair Care.
Restoring the natural moisture levels of your scalp isn't like moisturising your skin. You can't simply apply an emollient over the head, as this will leave the hair greasy and limp. Shampoos and conditioners that feature sulphates, could cause your scalp to dry out and become itchy and uncomfortable. The solution is in haircare designed specifically for sensitive scalps, like the Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Scalp Care Anti-thinning Shampoo 300ml (sulfate free), followed by Paul Mitchell Teat Tree Scalp Care Anti-Thinning Conditioner 300ml.
By nourishing the scalp with a scalp treatment, you can instantly soothe and fix the main cause of dryness and itchiness. A scalp treatment can nourish the scalp so much that problems such as itching and irritation become a rarity. Our top pick: Nioxin 3D Expert Scalp Renew Treatment 75ml.
A good scalp treatment should be left in for at least 20 minutes to fully penetrate the scalp. Once the treatment is complete, rinse hair with cool water to help close the hair shaft and seal in maximum moisture. It is recommended that at home conditioning treatments are carried out at least once a week for best results.
2. Use a boar bristle brush.
Running a brush through your hair is recommended as the unique structure of the boar bristle can carry natural oils produced by the scalp all the way down to the end of the hair shaft. This results in shiny, well-conditioned hair and removal of any oil or hair product build-up on the scalp. A gentle pre-wash massage with a boar brush can open up pores on the scalp and remove dead skin cells so that the scalp can be properly cleansed and moisturised. Our pick: One & Only Mason Pearson Pocket Boar Bristle & Nylon - Ivory BN4.
Our scalp requires nourishment from the food we eat, so try to have balanced and varied diet. Maximizing your intake of Omega-3 fatty acids will boost moisture levels and reduce the inflammation that can arise from an irritated scalp. Fish oil supplements, foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins for healthy scalp will nourish your scalp and leave it feeling soft and supple. And don’t forget to drink your water!
4.Keep it cool.
When washing your hair, opt for warm water and apply a cold rinse to seal the hair’s cuticles. This will boost shine and most importantly, improve the poor circulation that leads to a dry scalp.