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How to Treat Scalp Dryness in Winter?

brunette with healthy shiny hair

Do you observe increased dryness in your skin and scalp during winter months? Flaky skin can be embarrassing and a cause for concern. If we only suffer from flaky scalp during winter months, chances are it’s not a classic dandruff. So let’s see what that is and how to improve the situation. 

I have been suffering from overly dry scalp and facial skin during winter for years. My scalp would flake, especially the day after washing my hair. On top of that, my face would flake also, especially in the eyebrow area and around my nose. 

I will be honest here. It was easier and quicker to help my facial skin. The scalp, on the other hand, was much more challenging. But the good news is we can improve its condition significantly. 

Why do the scalp and skin get dry in winter?

To put it simply, our body tends to generate fewer natural oils. Hence, with the same hair care regimen as in summer, we quickly notice dryness in our skin and scalp. But there is more to that.

  • An underlying skin condition. People suffering from dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, etc., may observe worsening symptoms. The skin gets drier and more irritated.
  • Environmental factors. Cold weather, wind, central heating and dry air. That can all contribute to dry and sensitive skin, including the scalp. 
  • Inadequate beauty products and care regimen. We might need different hair care products in winter, and we might react to harsh ingredients in our standard hair care products. The frequency of washing, in many cases, should be reduced. 
  • Changes. That could be environmental changes or changes in your daily diet, stress and physical activity. Winter is dark and cold, so we spend more time indoors, move less, drink less water, and eat more comfort foods. These factors can all contribute to a decline in our overall health and immune system. As well as negatively affecting our skin.
woman wearing a hat on a snowy day

How can we treat it?

Protect your scalp from adverse weather when outside. Sensitive flaky scalp sufferers should style their winter outfits with hats (and gloves!).

Moisturise sufficiently. First of all, try changing shampoo and conditioner. Swap your standard products with mild but extra moisturising ones. Your standard hair products might be too harsh. Avoid any products containing alcohol, synthetic fragrances and colourings. 

solid shampoo bar on natural fibre towels

Use a rich and moisturising hair mask at least once a week. Excellent home remedies: mashed banana, avocado, or yoghurt and eggs. These easy masks could greatly benefit your sensitive scalp.

Rinse your hair with apple cider vinegar or witch hazel diluted with water. My ratio is one tablespoon per litre of water. And you should leave the mixture on for five minutes, then rinse it off. 

Try a dry scalp treatment, serum or lotion for extra boost. If you are searching for an easy homemade formula, try oil treatment with coconut, jojoba, almond, olive or argan oils. Adding a few drops of tea tree essential oil might add an extra therapeutical kick. However, whenever using essential oils, it is beneficial to perform a patch test for any sensitivities or allergic reactions. And always use carrier oil. Any of the mentioned above would work great.

It’s fundamental to avoid over-washing your hair and using hot water, as this can strip away natural oils and leave your scalp dry. Luckily, the hair and scalp are naturally drier in winter, so there is no need to wash it as frequently. Reducing styling products to a bare minimum can also promote a healthier scalp.

Scalp massage. It not only relaxes you but also helps remove dead skin cells. Moreover, it improves blood circulation in the scalp area. That, in turn, brings more oxygen and nutrients to your scalp. But be gentle. 

Ensure adequate hydration and consume a balanced diet rich with nutrients, particularly Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins B6, B12, D, zinc, and selenium. Keep your gut happy and healthy. Your skin as scalp with thank you for it.

Reduce stress. Regular exercise, yoga and meditation, daily walks, reading, journaling, and hobbies can all contribute to a healthier mind, body, and skin.

If the dryness does not improve, you notice worsening symptoms or suffer from an underlying skin condition, it is best to discuss a specialised care routine with your dermatologist.

avoiding hair and scalp dryness and damage with wool beanie and oversized high neck sweater

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