Dry scalp treatments you can rely on to beat the itch

Let's get to the root of the problem.

Woman on grass with daisies in hair

by Jade Moscrop |

Nobody likes talking about it, but dry scalps can cause you serious distress. It's embarrassing, frustrating and can make you feel gross, but luckily, you don't have to suffer if you arm yourself with the right products.

Whether you're a platinum blonde honey or a brunette badass, dry scalps don't discriminate. Luckily, there are plenty of brilliant specialist products out there that get to the root of the problem straight away. That means you can finally relax, stop worrying about it and be on your way to healthier hair.

What causes a dry scalp?

Although you might think that washing your hair is doing your scalp good, it can sometimes have the opposite effect. When you wash your hair, you actually dry out the scalp, depending on how often you wash it and which products you use.

Dry air (hello, cold weather) and skin conditions can also give you a dry scalp. Just like having dry skin anywhere else on your body, a dry scalp can cause itching, flaking, and irritation. If you have dry skin, it's likely you'll suffer from a dry scalp, too.

Is dry scalp the same as dandruff?

While they are similar, having a dry scalp and dandruff are not the same. However, it is possible to have dandruff AND a dry scalp.

If your scalp feels oily, itchy, you have large yellow/white flakes and your hair looks greasy, it's more likely to be dandruff. If the flakes are small and dry and you have dry skin elsewhere on your body, it's likely to be a dry scalp.

Dandruff is thought to be caused by fungal infections of the scalp, due to excess sebum or a sensitivity to certain products. It could also be triggered by other factors such as diet and stress.

Can dry scalp cause hair loss?

Like any infection that isn't treated, symptoms may worsen over time. Dandruff can lead to hair loss if it remains untreated, although cases of this are uncommon.

Certain medical conditions that are associated with hair loss, such as seborrheic dermatitis, eczema, scalp psoriasis, and scalp ringworm can cause dandruff.

Furthermore, constant scratching of the scalp can damage your hair follicles, which may slow or stop hair growth over time.

The key to treating dandruff is identifying what the cause of it is. Speak to a dermatologist if you need help tackling the problem.

We spoke to Philip Kingsley's Trichologist (a scalp specialist, to you and I), Anabel Kingsley, to find out her top tips and products for keeping your scalp healthy.

Why do our scalps seem to suffer more in the winter months?

You might find that towards the end of the year, your scalp becomes unbearable. Anabel puts this down to our desire for delicious treats during the festive season.

She explains, “Heavier, wintery foods like cream and cheese, as well as celebratory drinks, like champagne, can trigger dandruff in those who are prone to it.”

Why does everything we love want to hurt us?

To get great hair, one must put the work into scalp health. Anabel notes, "Hair grows its best from a healthy scalp – so anything you do to improve the condition of your scalp will benefit your hair."

Packing your beauty cupboard full of scalp saviours should help you stave off the dreaded dandruff this year. Here are our favourites:

Check out: The best dry scalp treatments to buy online 2022

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