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What Is Dry Scalp?

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Dry scalp is a really common problem, but what exactly is it and how can you treat it?

Dandruff versus dry scalp

Dandruff and dry scalp often share the same symptoms — falling flakes and an itchy scalp. How to tell the difference? With dry scalp, the skin gets irritated and starts flaking. But with dandruff, the cause is often an oily scalp due to seborrheic dermatitis, a condition that turns skin oily, red and scaly, or a fungus called Malassezia. Excess oil triggers skin cells to build up, followed by flaking. You can also distinguish dandruff from a dry, flaky scalp by how they look. Dandruff flakes look oily and are bigger, and are yellow or white in colour. With a dry, flaky scalp, flakes are small and dry.

Causes of dry scalp

Damage to the outer layer of skin cells on the scalp is normally the cause of dry scalp, as this allows essential moisture to easily escape. Dandruff is a key cause of dry scalp – it disrupts the moisture barrier, making it hard for the cells to retain moisture, leading to a dry, tight and often itchy feeling. There are plenty of other factors that can make a dry scalp worse too, from heat styling, hot showers to cold, dry air and ageing.

Dry scalp treatment

Dry scalp1 can be very uncomfortable, but you can easily manage it.

Head & Shoulders Shampoos lock in up to 75% more moisture than an ordinary moisturizing shampoo2, fixing your scalp problems and giving your dry, flaky, itchy scalp a hydration boost. One of our top recommended hydration boosters is our Supreme Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner range, which is formulated with Moroccan Argan Oil to deliver a deep moisturization that you can feel from the first wash.

If you experience dry scalp continuously for three weeks, consult a dermatologist, as your dry scalp could be caused by something other than dandruff.

More about dry scalp

1caused by dandruff

2relative to baseline, with regular use, vs. the leading cosmetic brand’s base variant

Dry scalp causes and treatment Image Title: what causes a dry scalp and how to treat it