What Causes A Dry Flaky Scalp In Winter

A flaky scalp can be inconvenient and create discomfort like tightness, itching and stinging, especially during the winter season. There are several factors like the cold, dry air, indoor heating systems, and the lack of moisture can trigger scalp concerns like dryness and dandruff. In this article, we’ll discuss the major causes of dry flaky scalp in winters and how you can help reduce the symptoms and even prevent the condition from coming back.

What is a dry flaky scalp?

A dry, flaky scalp is a common condition characterised by excessive shedding of small, white, or greyish flakes of skin from the scalp. It is often caused by various factors, including dehydration, overuse of hair products, or skin conditions like seborrheic dermatitis or psoriasis. The flakiness may be accompanied by itching and discomfort. Experiencing a flaky scalp is more common in winter as dry air can strip the scalp of its natural oils, leading to dehydration and flaking. Proper scalp hygiene, moisturisation, lifestyle changes, and using hydrating dry scalp treatments can help alleviate the symptoms and restore your scalp’s health with ease. However, even the best dry scalp treatment won’t help if you don’t identify or address the underlying causes of flaky scalp.

Causes of Flaky Scalp

While the causes of flaky scalp can be common throughout the year, one may experience them more commonly during the winter. They are as follows –

  • • Reduced Sebum Production
  • The skin on the scalp, like other areas of the body, produces natural sebum to maintain moisture and protect against environmental factors. Several factors can disrupt sebum production. For instance, in cold and dry conditions, the skin's ability to produce sebum may decrease, leading to dryness and flakiness. Following it with excessive washing of the hair and scalp, especially with hot water, can further strip away the natural oils, worsening dryness. Over-washing can also disrupt the scalp's oil balance, making it more susceptible to flaking.

  • • Reduced Sun Exposure
  • Sunlight can have a beneficial effect on the skin and scalp, promoting the production of vitamin D and maintaining skin and scalp health. However, in winters, people tend to spend less time outdoors and receive less sunlight.

  • • Lack of Scalp Care
  • Neglecting proper scalp care routines can make the scalp more vulnerable to dryness and flaking in the winter. Additionally, excessive use of hair products like styling gels, hairsprays, and dry shampoos can lead to product build-up on the scalp. However, regular moisturising, gentle cleansing, and protective measures can help mitigate the effects of cold weather.

  • • Dry Air
  • Cold outdoor air in winter has lower humidity levels, which can cause moisture loss from the skin, including the scalp. Moreover, using indoor heating systems can further reduce indoor humidity, contributing to dryness. Wearing hats, scarves, or other accessories in winter is common to stay warm but these coverings can unfortunately trap heat and moisture close to the scalp, causing excessive sweating and potential irritation.

  • • Certain Skin Conditions
  • Individuals with pre-existing skin conditions, such as seborrheic dermatitis or psoriasis may experience worsened symptoms of flaky scalp in the winter. Seborrhoeic dermatitis occurs on areas of the body that produce a lot of oil, which is why it is common on the scalp, upper back and nose. The most common symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis include redness, excess oil, white/yellowish flaky scalp, pink inflamed patches and a burning or itchy flaky scalp. Another cause of a dry flaky scalp could be psoriasis, a chronic autoimmune disease caused by skin cells multiplying faster than the normal rate. As a result, dead cells build up into red, cracked and often painful scales. These conditions can lead to increased flaking, itching, and discomfort during the colder months.

Dry Flaky Scalp Treatment

If your itchy flaky scalp is due to sensitivity, it’s essential to provide a professional reset to your deregulated scalp while also removing the excess flakes. You can use the best-in-class hair care products from the L’Oréal Professionnel Scalp Advanced range that offers solutions to a variety of scalp concerns such as dryness, itchiness, sensitivity and more.

Infused with natural ingredients and essential oils, and powered by advanced and revolutionary formulations, the Scalp Advanced range packs some of the best scalp care essentials in the form of shampoos, 2-in-1 deep purifying clay, and more, to help soothe and nourish your scalp while giving it the ultimate care and attention it deserves. The range also includes serums such as Aminexil Advanced Anti-hair loss activator serum and Serioxyl Advanced Density Activator serum that can help tackle other concerns like hair loss and hair thinning efficiently.

For professional help and further assistance regarding product details, usage, and more, drop by the nearest salon and let the L’Oréal Professionnel hair experts address your delicate locks in the right way. Our hair pros will provide the best dry scalp treatments that can truly make a difference to your flaky scalp and help you flaunt the hair of your dreams!