Dry Flaky Scalp

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This very common problem is often confused with dandruff and other conditions. It must firstly be correctly identified by checking out the two descriptions below or looking at our list of more definitions:

  • Dry flakiness If you have flakiness that is dry and often confined to the top of the head, hairline or nape with tiny dust like flakes that are white in colour you may simply have a dry flaky scalp. The patches which may or may not be itchy can often be worse at certain times of the year e.g. the change of seasons. Also ask yourself if this dry area is the same spot that you always apply your shampoo to or the point where the hot water from the shower hits?
  • Dandruff is more often associated with an oily scalp than dry, flakes are often 1mm plus in diameter, rather than the fine dust type, and whitish in colour. The scalp may be itchy but if you examine it closely should not be red or inflamed. You should also not have any dry patched around the nose, ears, chest, elbows or knees.

(If you feel your condition more closely resembles dandruff click on the link to go straight to it).

Possible causes and cures for a dry flaky scalp:

  • Dry weather can affect your scalp, so try a shampoo and conditioner specifically for dry scalps at the onset of winter. When the flakes disappear go back to products designed for your hair type and switch between the products if the condition returns.
  • Hot showers are also a common culprit. If you like your shower really hot the effects on your scalp are really obvious. Try working your conditioner into the scalp, as it will act as a moisturiser: Take it easy on the heat!
  • Always rinse hair thoroughly after shampooing before conditioning. Conditioner seals down the outside of the hair making it smooth and easy to comb but it will also seal in any remaining 'soap' from your shampoo which will later come off as 'flakes'. Look up good shampoo and conditioning habits for more tips.

It is important to deal with dry scalp immediately as the flakes can build up which could lead to scalp breakouts.


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