Our scalp is protected by an outer layer of skin cells and it acts as a very effective barrier. Environmental influences (extreme cold or heat) can damage it, and as a result lipids no longer keep the barrier smooth and effective. It, instead becomes permeable, failing to keep the moisture inside the scalp. The results are more dryness, itching, burning, tension and dandruff.
Many factors can cause dry scalp conditions. Dry heated indoor air is certainly most common cause of dryness. Blow-dryer heat and excessive cleaning with harsh, sebum-stripping product is not good for the scalp either. Then there are a myriad of styling products, which which should not be applied on-skin anyway. Hormonal changes, especially menopause, is responsible for burning after shampooing, no matter which product line is used. Scalp becomes red, dry and uncomfortable.
For regular dry scalp during winter months, I recommend sulphate-free shampoo, such as Onesta Hydrating Shampoo. It won’t strip moisture from the scalp, while keeping hair hydrated as well. My customers who use it regularly never complain about dry, flaky scalp. Keep your dryer safe distance from your head- if you can feel the heat, its too close (its mainly for your hair after all!). Never use styling products on-scalp, as most of them are formulated with alcohols to dry quickly. Instead, apply them away from scalp and through the length of your hair.
As for hormonal changes, few things help. Mostly supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids found in flax and hemp oils. They can be purchased almost anywhere these days, and should be kept in the fridge. Add 1 tbsp to your soup, salad or smoothie every day. For vegans, believe it or not, lack of cholesterol might be an issue. Cholesterol is a vital building block for human hormone production. While plant oils are abundant in other fatty acids, saturated fats are only found in coconut oil. Add it to soups, saute your veggies,and if you’d like to avoid coconutty flavor, try Spectrum brand. In addition, using La Biosthetique Huile Nourrisante hair and scalp oil brings immediate relief. It soothes itchiness, burning and dryness immediately, and can be done either in studio as a treatment, or purchased for home use. First the heated oil is massaged into the scalp, then Masque Vital distributed through the length of the hair. Keep it on as long as required and follow with Bain Vital to shampoo out thoroughly. Huile Nourrisante contains calming and soothing oil from the seeds of lady’s smock, vitamin-rich avocado oil and natural Vitamin E.