Scalp dryness is a common problem amongst so many ladies and so many of us routinely oil our scalp because we believe it is essential for hair growth and to prevent scalp dryness, but is oiling the solution?
UNDERSTAND YOUR SCALP
Our scalp is naturally moisturised from within by water being pushed up to the epidermis, top layer of the skin on our scalp, from the deeper skin layers. Our skin also produces natural oil called sebum. The sebum reaches the surface of our scalp through our hair follicles. It’s function is to stop our skin from becoming excessively dry by preventing moisture loss. Our scalp is designed to moisturise hair by itself and hair sebum to prevent dryness too. Contrary to popular belief, oil does not help in moisturising the hair but only in locking it in. In fact excessive oiling or using hard oil can clog the hair follicles causing even more hair problems.
CAUSES OF SCALP DRYNESS
1. Not drinking enough water
If you are not drinking enough water, your body will send the water that you do consume to your vital organs first. Drinking enough water will ensure that an adequate amount is sent to your scalp helping to keep it hydrated from within.
2. Insufficient sebum production
The amount of sebum our scalp produces can be affected by various things such as genetics, hormonal imbalances, medications, skin diseases, a poor diet etc. Whatever the cause, insufficient sebum production leads to moisture being lost or evaporated from our scalp quicker than a person who produces adequate amount of sebum resulting in dryness.
3. Using harsh products or reaction to ingredients in products
Harsh ingredients in hair products can leave the skin on our body and scalp dry. Also, some people just react to certain ingredients even if it is a natural or organic product.
4. Build up of shed skin, dirt and product residue
The skin on our scalp (like the rest of our body) sheds and flakes off, however if we do not clean our scalp regularly to remove shed skin, product residue and dirt build-up, it will simply pile up on our scalp leading to dryness, itching and other scalp problems.
RELIEF FOR SCALP DRYNESS
1. Drink up
Consume enough water and have a balanced diet so that you give your body what it needs to moisturise and keep the moisture locked in.
2. Clean up
Ensure that your scalp is cleaned regularly either by using a gentle shampoo or other means. The aim is to remove build up and actually moisturise your scalp skin externally by bringing it into direct contact with water. This is actually the best way to externally moisturise your scalp.
3. Experiment with new products
It may be that the products you are using are harsh for your scalp or perhaps your skin simply does not react well with some ingredients in your products. Try other well recommended brands or an alternative natural product, like switching from coconut oil to olive oil.
4. Light oiling
If you find that despite regular cleansing (and using gentle products) your scalp still feels dry, it may be that your scalp is not producing sufficient sebum to keep the moisture locked in. If this is the case, small amount of a light oil such as jojoba oil can be applied to your scalp and massaged in.