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How to Treat Dry Scalp – 6 Simple and Effective Lifestyle Changes
By Jacqueline Samaroo
Dry scalp is often a recurring issue for many naturals and non-naturals, alike. Learning how to treat dry scalp can bring you loads of relief from the itching, flaking, and irritation that come with it.
We covered some of the causes of dry scalp and gave you some clarity on dry scalp vs. dandruff in our recent article: 8 Common Causes of Dry Scalp Plus Easy Ways to Tell It’s Not Dandruff. Now, let’s look at some ways in which you can tweak the things you do each day to remedy a dry scalp. They will also help you to keep the dryness away.
1. How to Treat Dry Scalp – Up your water intake to keep your skin hydrated.
Sometimes drinking more water is all you need to do to treat dry scalp. Of course, it’s not an instant fix. However, over the course of a few days, you should start to see noticeable changes. What’s more, if you make drinking sufficient water a habit, you could banish dry scalp for good. So, drink up!
It’s also good to know that there are plenty of juicy fruits and vegetables that are packed with good ol’ H2O. They can help to boost your daily water intake, along with your daily recommended amount of fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants… You know – all the GOOD stuff!
2. How to Treat Dry Scalp – Decrease your intake of things that dry you out.
There are a bunch of foods that dry out your skin and scalp. Realistically, you may not be able to (or want to) avoid them completely. However, knowing they have the tendency to dry out your skin might help you watch how much of them you consume.
Caffeine – Yeah, that second cuppa could deserve some of the blame for your dry, flaky scalp issues. Caffeine is a diuretic (it makes you want to pee – a lot!). That can lead to too much water loss and dehydration, leaving your skin dry.
Alcohol – Alcohol is a diuretic, just like caffeine. It dries you out as evidenced by the dry mouth that often follows alcohol drinking. What might not be so obvious, however, is the inevitable dryness it causes to your skin and scalp.
Salty foods – This one is pretty much a no-brainer. We’re all probably well aware of how drying excess salt in our diets can be. Cutting back on salty foods, such as salty snacks, is one example of how to treat dry scalp and do something really, really good for your health in the process.
Sugary foods – If you’ve got a sweet tooth, it might not be such sweet news to find out sugary foods can be one of the causes of dry scalp. We know it might be tough but try keeping the sweet treats to a minimum – for the sake of your skin and scalp!
Refined carbs – These do the same number on your skin as sugar does. The good thing to know is that there are plenty of whole-grain options for you to choose from. Your scalp, and all the rest of your skin, will be eternally grateful!
Want to know more about food and hair? Be sure to read 7 Foods to Avoid If You’re Trying to Grow Longer Natural Hair.
3. How to Treat Dry Scalp – Avoid too much vitamin A.
Vitamin A is necessary for hair growth and scalp health BUT getting too much vitamin A can be bad for them, as well. Excess vitamin A can make your scalp dry, your hair brittle, and lead to hair loss – whoa! That’s really good to know.
On the one hand, you should aim to eat a balanced diet that contains foods rich in vitamin A. (We have some tasty vitamin A-rich recipes, here.) On the other hand, you should avoid mega doses of vitamin A.
So, talk to your doctor before taking vitamin and mineral supplements. They can check whether you are at risk of deficiency and suggest the right supplements with the right amounts of vitamin A for you
4. How to Treat Dry Scalp – Catch up on your zzz’s (beauty sleep isn’t just for your face!)
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Sadly for our skin, however, many of us fall way short of that. It’s time for a change!
Over the course of a week or so, aim to go to bed a few minutes earlier each night (or wake up a little later each morning). In no time at all, you should be catching all the lovely restorative zzz’s you need to help keep your skin healthy.
5. How to Treat Dry Scalp – Turn down the heat… but don’t get too chilly.
Dry air is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to the causes of dry scalp. Freezing winter or air-conditioned air is not your scalp’s friend. In fact, it’s not very friendly to any part of your skin. It sucks out moisture, leaving dryness and flakes in its place.
Very warm air isn’t all that good, either. Plus, central heating and log fires can be particularly drying on your skin. That’s why having a humidifier is a good idea when it comes to how to banish dry scalp.
6. How to Treat Dry Scalp – Check your haircare products.
A lot of the time what causes dry scalp is actually the products we use in our hair. What might be happening is a case of contact dermatitis – an allergic reaction you have to one of the ingredients in your haircare products.
Not sure if this might be the case or which product could be causing it? Try eliminating the likely suspects one at a time and see if there is any change in how your scalp looks and feels. Is it less dry? Have your flakes disappeared? Is the itching gone?
Finding the right, non-irritating products may take some trial and error but your scalp, your hair, and the shoulders of your LBD will thank you for it!
Is there anything special you do to keep dry scalp at bay? Share!