If you live in a cold climate, you know that dry skin in winter is just a fact of life. But what about a dry, itchy scalp? Your scalp is skin after all, so it makes sense to keep your scalp dry even in winter if you have dry skin a lot in winter! Fortunately, you are not stuck with this condition. Read on to learn how to deal with a dry scalp in winter.
What is dry scalp in winter?
If your scalp feels tight or itchy, a dry scalp is most likely to blame. Sometimes dry scalp also causes flakes that look like dandruff. However, dry scalp is not the same as dandruff, which is usually caused by excess moisture on the scalp. Your hair can also be affected. Hair can look dry, dull, and even fall out.
Why do I have a dry scalp in winter?
Dry scalp occurs when your skin is insufficiently hydrated. If you have a dry scalp during the winter, chances are you have dry skin on other areas such as your face and hands.
Dry scalp is caused by:
- Cold, dry air
- Dry, hot air from heating systems
- Harsh products that rid the scalp of its natural protective oils
- Wash hair with water that is too hot
- Shampoo your hair too often
Read on to learn how you can alleviate some of these dry scalp triggers.
How to deal with a dry scalp in winter
1. Switch to a gentle shampoo
Not all shampoos are created equal. If you’ve got a dry scalp in the winter, skip any shampoo marketed for oily hair and choose a shampoo with a gentle, moisturizing formula like Viviscal Gorgeous Growth Densifying Shampoo instead.
2. Decrease the temperature
Long, hot showers may feel amazing in cold weather, but unfortunately, they’re not good for your skin. Why? Because hot water destroys your skin’s natural protective barrier and allows internal moisture to escape.
Of course, we don’t advocate taking cold showers every day! But when you wash your hair, opt for lukewarm water instead of hot one.
3. Turn off the hair dryer
We mentioned earlier that hot air is a trigger for dry scalp in winter. So it makes sense that avoiding your hair dryer can help treat or prevent a dry scalp.
If you can’t skip the hairdryer entirely (after all, going out in the cold with wet hair isn’t a good solution either), dry your hair on a lower heat.
4. Adjust your shampooing frequency
How often you wash your hair can contribute to a dry scalp, even in winter. Many hair experts recommend that you wash your hair about 2-3 times a week. However, since all hair is different, you will need to experiment to find out which schedule is best for you.
5. DIY a scalp scrub
If changing your washing routine doesn’t help, try a DIY moisturizer. Combining sugar with coconut oil creates a DIY scalp scrub that polishes dead skin and moisturizes your scalp. Apply to damp hair and massage the scrub into the scalp for a minute or two, then rinse off with lukewarm water.
6. Always use a conditioner
We hope this goes without saying, but you should always use a conditioner after washing your hair. The shampoo and conditioner are formulated to be used together, with the conditioner replenishing moisture lost during washing.
Typically, we recommend that you only apply conditioner to the mid-length of your hair to the ends. However, if you have a dry scalp, try applying the conditioner to your scalp and letting the product sit for a minute or two before rinsing it off.
7. Try a hair mask
Using a weekly deep conditioning mask can do wonders for a dry scalp, even in winter. Tip: If you sign up for a Viviscal subscription, you will receive two exclusive nourishing hot oil masks from St. Tropica as a gift!
Have you ever experienced dry scalp in winter? How did you treat it Share your experience with other readers in the comments section below!