Our scalps are often neglected when we do our daily skincare routine. It is skin just like the rest of our skin and it can get dry and uncomfortable. The good news is that there are many things that can be done to keep our scalps healthy and happy. These 5 tips can be easily added to your daily routine and are sure to have your scalp itch-free in no time.
Shampoo and Conditioner
When your scalp is dry, not all shampoos and conditioners will be a good idea. You want to find products that contain tar, zinc pyrithione or salicylic acid. This will help in preventing the flaking and dandruff that is often associated with dry scalp. These ingredients are generally found in shampoos and since they can be drying while combating dandruff and flakes, it is important to moisturize right after using this shampoo.
All conditioners have the purpose of being moisturizing, but some are better than others. You want one that is creamy and provides the most amount of moisture as possible. For example, a conditioner that contains an essential oil in it is a good choice. If your hair is oily, you will want to use a conditioner with an essential oil every other day and then a regular conditioner on your off days.
Leave-in conditioner is another option. Look for one containing olive oil or henna wax. You can generally find these at drugstores. You just need to read the ingredients on the back of the bottle. Other good oil choices include coconut oil, castor oil and jojoba oil.
Hot water can further contribute to dry scalp. While a hot shower can be incredibly relaxing, it can be counterproductive when you already have a dry scalp. You want to use cool water. Cool water may not be very comfortable, but there is a solution. You will use cool water when you are wetting or rinsing your scalp. Then, just use hot water the rest of the time. This will allow you to take a hot shower without further drying out your scalp.
Chemicals in water can also become an issue. For example, if you swim a lot you are exposing your scalp to chlorine and this is a rather harsh chemical. You can still swim, but you want to wear a swim cap to protect your scalp and hair. You should also thoroughly wash and condition your hair immediately after swimming so that if any chlorine got in, you can quickly get is washed out so that it does not have time to sit there and dry out your scalp and hair.
Just like hot water can dry out your scalp, other sources of heat can too. This means that you should avoid the blow dryer, flat iron, heated rollers and curling irons. Go natural with your hair by letting it air dry and just use a brush and comb to style it. This may take a bit of getting used to, but your scalp and hair will thank you for this. Wash your hair at night and then allow it to dry a bit before lying down. Once you wake up in the morning, your hair will be completely dry and ready to be styled. If you want to add some bounce and body and do not use a blow dryer, just style your hair while bent over and looking at the ground. A little hair spray and a brush and you will achieve the style that you are looking for.
Be Mindful of the Sun
The sun can burn our scalp just like it can the rest of our skin. Since we really cannot put sunscreen on our scalp because it will make our hair appear greasy and unclean, we have to use other methods to protect it. Always wear a hat when you go out for a long period of time under sun. There are plenty of choices for hats so you should not have a problem finding one that will match your outfit. You can also choose a head scarf. Keep in mind that in addition to the sun, the cold and wind can also be quite drying, so cover your head on any day you will be outside for a long time.
Do Not Scratch
Scratching will only lead to more scalp irritation and more irritation means more itching and discomfort. If you tend to scratch a lot at night, wear some gloves while you are sleeping. This way, if you are still scratching, your nails will not come into direct contact with your scalp. Scratching can also loosen the flakes and make flaking appear a lot worse than it already is.