What are Some Causes of Dry Scalp?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 02 September 2018
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A dry scalp is characterized by itching, flaking and sometimes by an increased rate of hair loss. While the ultimate reason behind this condition has to do with a decrease in the proper amount of oils in the hair and the surface of the scalp, there are several reasons why it may develop. Many of them are easily prevented and all of the causes can be treated with relative ease.

There is a misconception that the most common causes of dry scalp conditions have to do with an overabundance of oils by the sebaceous glands. In reality, scalp dryness results from the opposite situation. The oil secreted by these glands is necessary to maintain a healthy balance of natural lubrication in both the hair follicles and the scalp. When a large quantity of this natural oil is not present for some reason, hair becomes brittle and the scalp becomes dry and flaky.

The use of harsh shampoos is one of the most common reasons for the development of a dry scalp. Essentially, the chemicals in the shampoos remove too much of the natural oil from the hair and scalp. The end result is an itchy and flaky scalp as well as hair that lacks any type of luster or natural body. Often, changing to a milder shampoo or at least reducing the number of shampoos per week will allow the scalp to begin healing.


Hard water may also cause scalp dryness. Even if the shampoo product is recommended for dry hair and scalps, it will not work effectively if hard water is used to wash and rinse the area. Water filters can be installed on the showerhead to remove some of the mineral content from the water and allow the natural level of oil in the scalp and hair to return over time.

Diet can also play a role in the development of this condition. Like all functions in the body, the sebaceous glands require the right nutrients to perform properly. Without the right nutrients, the glands will not produce the essential oils. The end result is an itchy scalp and dry hair.

Fortunately, dry scalp treatment options exist that address each of the causes of this condition. Eating a balanced diet will help ensure the oil production is maintained at proper levels. There are shampoos formulated to help heal and correct this condition as well. Many of these same methods will minimize dry scalp symptoms in a short period of time, making it possible to get through the day with itching and flaking. At the same time, the treatments often feed the hair and leave behind hair that is easier to manage and has an attractive sheen.


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Discuss this Article

Post 4

where can I buy a filter to fit over a shower head? Is there a brand name for one.

Post 3

I have a serious problem with my hair. My scalp and hair both are very dry. I don't know how to prevent my hair falling out, either. My hair is also becoming white. Please help me.

Post 2

Thanks dude. Finally, some common sense on the causes of dry scalp. there are so many sites doing the bidding for big pharmaceutical companies and trying to mislead the public to buy their treatments that never cure the issue but mask it and eventually it will turn into another condition down the road. Your info is a breath of fresh air.

Post 1

Aloe vera is not good only for sunburns, but can also help certain dry scalp conditions.

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