Dry scalp is often accompanied by a near-constant urge to scratch as well as small flakes that fall off and look like dandruff. A dry, itchy scalp can not only be irritating and embarrassing but may also trigger or contribute to conditions that can lead to thinning hair and hair loss.
Symptoms and Causes of Dry Scalp
Symptoms of dry scalp typically include redness and irritation of the scalp, which causes skin cells to die and flake off. The irritated skin is a source of discomfort, leading to itching, further damaging the scalp tissue and hair follicles. Dry scalp can be a symptom of a number of ongoing skin conditions that may require medical treatment, as well as environmental or lifestyle influences.
Dandruff-like flakes often accompany dry scalp, but they are actually quite different. Dandruff is caused by a medical condition known as Seborrheic Dermatitis. While this condition is often confused with dry scalp, dandruff is caused by an excess of oil on the scalp. The oil prevents the normal shedding of skin cells, and they form clumps that become visible along the hairline and on clothing.
Psoriasis is a prevalent skin condition associated with dry scalp. Psoriasis can cause redness, flaking, and scaling on your scalp. Psoriasis's scaliness is usually more noticeable than typical dandruff and is often controlled with prescription medications.
Many hair products, as well as your styling habits, can cause dry scalp. The daily or excessive use of hair products such as gels, creams, balms, pomades, and sprays can cause a buildup of products on the scalp, leading to itching and flakes from excessive skin shedding. Other hair products may contain ingredients that are irritants. Some of these harsh ingredients, even in small amounts, can cause a skin rash or allergic reaction.
Your dry scalp may also be caused by merely shampooing too often. Shampoo is a detergent that removes not only the dirt from your hair but also the essential oils needed to protect your scalp and hair. While many shampoos contain conditioners designed to offset the stripping of your natural oils protective qualities, excessive shampooing can dry the scalp, leaving it feeling flaky and itchy.
A number of more ordinary situations may also cause or worsen dry scalp. For instance, a diet lacking in essential vitamins, minerals, nutrients, or everyday stress can impact the skin and scalp's health. The dryness of winter weather combined with dry and heated indoor air can also have a drying effect on the skin and scalp.
Can A Dry Scalp Cause Hair Loss?
Various factors can cause dry scalp, but, ultimately, a dry, itchy scalp can irritate and damage your hair follicles, inhibiting their ability to grow healthy strands of hair. If you scratch a dry scalp repeatedly or aggressively, it can damage the skin on your scalp and hair follicles and cause hair breakage, which leads to thinning hair. In some cases, irritated hair follicles can become inflamed, leading to scarring, which can permanently damage the follicle.
Nearly everyone experiences issues with dry scalp at some point. Although dry scalp and thinning hair or hair loss often occur independently in men and women, there is sometimes a link between them. Left untreated, dry scalp can become a chronic problem that not only causes an itchy scalp and flakes but can also lead to thinning hair and hair loss.
Schedule Your FREE Consultation With HRC – Hair Restoration of California
Determining the precise cause of thinning hair and hair loss can be complicated, with many factors to consider. If you find yourself trying to refrain from continually itching an irritated scalp and noticing signs of thinning hair and hair loss, a dry scalp may be the cause. At HRC – Hair Restoration of California, we are experts in the care of your scalp and hair. Our highly skilled team will help you create a customized a solution for men and women that will protect the health of your scalp and hair follicles. To learn more about dry scalp and other conditions that can cause thinning hair and hair loss, and how our team of experts can create a solution for you, contact us today and schedule your FREE initial consultation.