The dead skin cells present on the surface of the scalp fall off continuously and is replaced by new skin. This is a normal process. However, when the loss of dead skin from the scalp is excess, then the tiny flakes of dead skin tend to get clustered up to form larger white flakes. There could be many reasons behind a dry flaky scalp. Excessive dry skin and dandruff are the two probable causes.
Climate changes, particularly the onset of winter can result in a flaky scalp. It can be due to some skin disorders like psoriasis or eczema or due to some allergic reaction. Other causes include the use of wrong hair care products, bad eating habits, dehydration, intake of alcohol, pollution, hard water, stress, etc. Sometimes, a dry flaky scalp could be a hereditary condition.
Scalp massage is an excellent way of treating dry flaky scalp. Massage the scalp by moving your fingers gently in circular motions. It improves the blood circulation in the scalp which in turn will open up the blocked pores of the scalp that prevent release of natural oils into the scalp. With the production of these oils, the scalp will get lubricated and its dryness will vanish. It can be done before or during shampooing or even before going to bed.
The scalp is badly affected by the dry weather condition of the winter. Hence, during this time of the year, use a shampoo and conditioner that are suitable for dry scalps. In other time of the year, use shampoo and conditioner whenever the condition of dry scalp arises. Otherwise, you can use the shampoo that match your hair type. When you have the problem of dry flaky scalp, do not shampoo your hair too frequently. This is because too much of shampoo takes away the natural oils from the scalp.
After the application of the shampoo make sure you rinse off the hair well to get rid of all the soap residue completely before the use of conditioners. This is because the conditioners often lock up the residual part of the soap which later leads to formation of flakes. Never use hot water on the scalp as it makes the scalp even more drier. Moreover, do not use blow dryer for drying the hair because the heat can aggravate the problem of dry flaky condition further.
A dry flaky scalp is best treated with home based products. Here are some remedies that uses naturally occurring substances:
Coconut Oil: Hot oil treatment using coconut oil is good to moisturize the scalp. Take half a cup of coconut oil and heat it to make it lukewarm. Massage the oil on the scalp with easy circular motions. Apply the oil thoroughly all over the scalp. Wrap up the hair with a hot towel so that the oil is soaked up well into the scalp. After an hour, wash off the oil using a mild shampoo. Do this treatment once a week.
Honey and Apple Cider Vinegar: Mix equal quantities of honey and apple cider vinegar and add a few drops of lavender oil into it. Massage this mixture well into the scalp and leave it untouched for half an hour. Then wash off with lukewarm water. If you have itchy scalp, this is the best remedy because the natural acids present in the vinegar will clean the residue buildup that causes irritation and the honey will hydrate the scalp.
Aloe Vera: Application of fresh aloe vera juice taken from its leaves is helpful to maintain the balance of the natural oils in the scalp. Apply it into the scalp with your fingers and wait for about half an hour. Then shampoo the hair. You can use aloe vera on the scalp as often as you can to get rid of dry scalp.
Along with providing external nourishment to a dry flaky scalp, you have to ensure that you follow a healthy diet with the right balance of nutrients to cure this condition. You also have to drink plenty of water every day to keep yourself hydrated and prevent dehydration of the body.