The scalp functions more or less like the skin in terms of rejuvenating and replacing old cells with new ones. However, the exfoliating process is disturbed by hair strands and application of hair styling products. Dead cells remain adhered to the surface of the scalp, rather than falling off. With time, such cells accumulate and pile up, causing itching symptoms. Ultimately, they clog follicles and hamper the release of sebum in the scalp, thus, resulting in increased dryness and fine flakes.
Mild itchy scalp is a condition that subsides with time. However, it is accompanied by the production of powdery flakes which can be difficult to deal with. Learning the probable causes and avoiding them is one of the best solution for it.
What Causes a Dry and Itchy Scalp?
The major cause is prolonged exposure to dry indoor and outdoor environmental conditions. This is the prime reason why it is more prevalent in cold winter months, when the atmospheric air is dry and low in humidity levels. Other common causes are increased use of hair care products and irregular shampooing. In some instances, it's manifested as a symptom of other conditions such as dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, and psoriasis. In case of any such condition, medical treatment is imperative at the earliest.
Even though an itchy scalp isn't a severe medical condition, it can be annoying. Also, visible skin flakes trapped between the hair strands or fallen on the clothes can be embarrassing. However, this problem can be treated using natural remedies in most cases without using harmful chemical products. Here are some home remedies:
- Shampooing on a regular basis helps in getting rid of the dead cells to some extent. At any point of time, do not shampoo everyday with a strong formulation, as it will wash off the scalp moisture and exacerbate dryness.
- Using a deep moisturizing itchy scalp shampoo helps in retaining moisture in the scalp, thereby reducing dryness and formation of skin flakes. For better results, select a quality product of a reputed brand and follow the directions mentioned in the leaflet.
- After shampooing is done, towel dry your hair and scalp gently. Then, massage the scalp with a deep conditioner. Doing so helps in holding moisture, preventing dryness, and most importantly relieving a dry and itchy scalp.
- Another remedy is to use a clarifying shampoo at least once a week. The active ingredients used in the product aids in deep cleaning of the hair and scalp. In severe cases, two times usage is prescribed.
- If possible, avoid exposure to hot water because, it drains off natural moisturizing oils from the scalp. Also, do not use a blow dryer frequently, as it worsens the condition. Use lowest temperature while blow drying occasionally.
- Massaging the scalp with essential oils (lavender oil, eucalyptus oil, chamomile oil, etc.) reduces intense itching. You can also use dilute apple cider vinegar for getting relief.
If at all there are no positive responses, you can consult a qualified dermatologist. He will check for fungal infections and prescribe appropriate products.