If you find yourself dealing with a dry, flaky scalp as soon as the temperature starts to drop, you’re definitely not alone. Believe it or not, but 50 million people in the U.S. alone struggle with dandruff on a regular basis, with many likely experiencing their own flare-ups as the seasons change.
And while that may be comforting to know, it doesn’t change the fact that those pesky little flakes can be annoying, uncomfortable, and even a little embarrassing at times. The good news is that there are ways to manage a dry scalp. Just like the rest of your skin, your scalp also needs some TLC to help keep it balanced, healthy, and hydrated.
“A healthy scalp environment is the key to healthy hair growth,” explains Shiva Tavakoli, founder of Joon Haircare. “Eradicating buildup such as flakes/oil, nourishing and balancing the scalp microbiome, increasing blood circulation to the scalp and strengthening hair follicles are all ways to help promote healthy hair growth.”
To learn more about the causes of dandruff as well as the best ways to treat it, The Tease tapped Tavakoli to share her best tips and insights on the scalp condition. Keep scrolling to hear her thoughts.
What Exactly Causes Dandruff or a Dry, Flaky Scalp?
“Both dry scalp and dandruff can leave your scalp itchy with flakes, however dry scalp is caused by a lack of moisture on the scalp and dandruff is caused by an excess of oil and often times an overgrowth of the yeast Malassezia,” Tavakoli says. “Other causes of flaky scalp, diet, hormones, and harsh hair products that leave your scalp irritated.”
As there are several reasons for why a person could be experiencing a dry scalp, it’s definitely not a bad idea to see a dermatologist to get a proper diagnosis.
What Are Some Ways to Treat Dandruff or a Dry, Flaky Scalp?
When it comes to managing your dandruff or dry scalp, it’s important to be very selective with the hair products in your haircare routine and even opt for gentler ones when possible. “If you have a dry scalp, you should wash your hair with a gentle shampoo that doesn’t strip your hair of moistures,” says Tavakoli.
Wondering what ingredients to specifically look out for? Tavakoli recommends checking for tea tree oil, mint, sumac, fenugreek, olive oil, and castor oil in your cleansing products. Both tea tree oil and mint have antifungal, antimicrobial, and soothing properties that make them very helpful for dandruff and dry scalp. As for sumac and fenugreek, they are both rich in antioxidants and help combat scalp inflammation. And olive oil and castor oil are two ingredients that not only are rich sources of nutrients but they also help moisturize the scalp and hair.
Additionally, it may also be beneficial to start using a scalp scrub like JOON’s Sumac Scalp Scrub. Infused with antioxidant-rich sumac and olive oil to moisturize and add shine, this 2-in-1 exfoliator and detoxifying shampoo eliminates flakes and dryness. “It makes my scalp feel clean, refreshed, rejuvenated, and like it can breathe again,” Tavakoli says. “It’s a scalp reset.” To use JOON’s scalp scrub, simply apply it into your scalp before massaging it throughout your hair. The scrub will gently cleanse and exfoliate the scalp of any buildup.
For more of Tavakoli’s hair tips, be sure to follow @joonhaircare on Instagram.