Dry, itchy scalp driving you round the bend? Having very dry or sensitive skin is hard enough wherever it appears on your body, but when it’s your head that’s affected, it can be even harder to deal with, both practically and psychologically.
Huge numbers of people have extra sensitive skin on the head, and while for some it can be a mild or temporary inconvenience, for others it’s a persistent, embarrassing problem that can be very hard to cope with. Medicated shampoos are often suggested for use on extremely dry or flaky scalps and while these are widely available, might they be causing more problems than they solve?
Medicated shampoos usually work by loosening the dry skin on the scalp, making it easier to remove and wash away the flaky skin. Whilst this can help in the short term, a flaky scalp is likely to reappear, as medicated shampoos only treat the immediate symptoms and don’t address the root cause.
It's worth bearing in mind that medicated products usually contain pretty harsh synthetic ingredients to combat the yeasts that cause flakiness; these ingredients can themselves cause dryness, irritation or even eczema flare-ups, so they could be adding to the problem rather than soothing it. As well as the fungicides, most shampoos prescribed for dandruff contain perfumes, preservativs and foaming agents such as SLS (or other sulphates), all of which can also irritate skin.
If you do use a medicated shampoo, remember it’s important to find other ways of caring for your scalp longer term while you’re treating the immediate problem. A good first step is to change your haircare routine, rather than just treat the symptoms.
Go natural for scalp health!
There are several possible culprits for a dry, itchy, flaky scalp. These include chronic conditions such as dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis and eczema, all of which can be aggravated by harsh artificial additives. Itchiness can also be caused or aggravated by fungal infections or parasites such as nits.
Be cautious of using highly irritant hair products such as shampoo and conditioner, styling mousse, hairspray, serums etc. and of course, as with all dry skin troubles, remember that stress can play a part too. Try switching to natural products to see if that helps reduce the itching and dry skin on the scalp.
Be aware of your overall health as well: stress, lack of sleep and poor diet can all affect how well your skin copes with triggers. If you're run down, poorly or not sleeping well it can mean your scalp gets itchier than otherwise.
Balmonds: ideal for sensitive skin
Finding a gentle product that actually works to keep scalps moisturised and healthy can be very difficult for those with particularly sensitive skin or with pre-existing conditions such as eczema or psoriasis. That's why we at Balmonds have formulated a 100% natural Scalp Oil that keeps the skin on your head well cared for, without aggravating sensitivities with unnecessary additives, fragrances or perfumes.
Balmonds Scalp Oil contains borage oil which is one of the richest sources of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) of any plan; GLA is highly effective in nourishing skin and acts to keep the scalp balanced and healthy as part of a daily skincare regime. It also contains tea tree, nettle and rosemary oils, which are renowed for their antimicrobial, antiparasitical and antiseptic properties, to keep the scalp clean, fresh, and well-nourished.
“Being a life long sufferer of a dry scalp, I’ve tried everything from steroid creams to traditional Chinese medicine in my search for an effective scalp lotion. Having recently discovered Balmonds and their amazing range of products, I am glad (and relieved) to say that my search is now over! Scalp Oil, which I apply every time I wash my hair, has all but cleared up my flaky scalp”
If you require medical advice we recommend you always contact your healthcare professional.
If you or someone you are caring for seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there's something seriously wrong, call for emergency services straight away. For general medical advice, please contact your healthcare professional, this article does not contain or replace medical advice.
Do not delay getting help if you're worried. Trust your instincts.