I don’t skimp on hair care. In fact, I use quality salon products, try to keep heat styling to a minimum & I also have regular in-salon treatments. So you can image my surprise when a stylist at my local blow dry bar mentioned that my scalp was dry!
Then I realised that this is by no means a new or unusual problem…. as you will notice from the adverts below.
On a slightly more serious note. Luckily the problem is easily treated, but you need the facts about dry scalp to be able to do so. I’ve gathered some expert insights, including advice from Philip Kingsley’s South-African Trichologist (an expert in the study of hair & scalp health), Trevenen Bam.
IS OFTEN DUE TO AN ALLERGIC REACTION TO INGREDIENTS. This condition is called Contact Dermatitis. Change your products & your problem should be sorted. Trevenen recommends avoiding products that contain excess salt & also go for sulfate-free options.
IS NOT CAUSED BY TOO MUCH HEAT STYLING. Sure, excess heat can dry out your hair, but is not likely to cause dry scalp. But, excessive sun exposure can cause sunburn on your scalp.
COULD BE EVIDENCE OF UNHEALTHY LIFESTYLE CHOICES. We all know what this means, right? No smoking, a healthy diet…
IS NOT THE SAME AS DANDRUFF. If you notice yellow scales or white flakes on your scalp & hair, you could have dandruff or a condition called Seborrheic Dermatitis. Red, scaly, silvery-looking patches on your scalp may mean that you are suffering from Psoriasis (caused by an immune system that’s not functioning properly) or even scalp ringworm. Concerned? Then get to a trichologist or dermatologist for a diagnosis & a prescription of the correct treatment.
REACTS WELL TO GENTLE MASSAGE. Use your fingertips (no nails!) to massage your head gently when washing to get the blood flowing & get rid of flaky bits. Do this for one minute a day.
SHOULD NOT BE TREATED WITH HOME REMEDIES. Yup, forget about the vinegar or anti-fungal foot spray! Rather try one of these tried-&-tested products:
1. Eucerin DermoCapillaire Calming Urea Scalp Treatment (R109.99 for 100ml at Dis-Chem, Clicks and selected pharmacies.)
What it does: An intense leave-in treatment that works gently with extra sensitive skin & deals with the micro inflammation that causes dryness & itching. Key ingredients are urea & lactate – the skin’s own moisturizing agents.
2. Moroccan Oil Dry Scalp Treatment (R310 for 45ml at selected salons)
What is does: The combination of antioxidant-rich oils like argan, lavender & geranium, penetrate your scalp to soothe irritation and dryness & provides instant relief. An excellent lightweight oil treatment.
3. Philip Kingsley Stimulating Scalp Mask (R120 for 20ml at selected Edgars stores)
What it does: This mask penetrates deep into the scalp. It is made up of a potent cocktail of ingredients including vitamins, minerals, caffeine, iron & silicon. Stimulants like menthol, camphor & peppermint (all great for blood flow) will give you a tingling sensation when applied. Use once a week.
Yay for happy, healthy scalps!
Ps. Keep your eye on aZestyLife in October for a post on in-salon hair treatments that I love – including the Philip Kingsley Trichology scalp treatment.
Featured image: source; 1945 advert: source; 1952 Vaseline ad: source.