Why Do I Have a Dry Scalp After Washing Hair?

Linda White

A dry scalp can be annoying. It often leads to itching, and sometimes even flaking. You might think a remedy is to take a shower or shower more often. After all, more moisture makes sense, right? Unfortunately, washing your hair can have the opposite effect on your scalp. Showering and frequent washing can make it even drier.

A flaky scalp after a shower isn’t uncommon. It may not be the shower itself causing the problem. But, it probably isn’t helping. There are many different reasons people experience a dry scalp. These reasons range from hair products to the weather. What you’re washing your hair with could be part of the problem.

Seeing flakes on your scalp after you wash your hair can be frustrating. It can make you feel unclean and cause embarrassment. You could be making hair washing mistakes without even realizing it.

Everyone knows the importance of keeping your scalp clean. But, by making a few mistakes in washing it, you could be causing dryness and itching. Aside from embarrassing flakes, scratching your scalp can be a problem. If you scratch it too much, you could cause cuts to form. This could lead to infection.

How to Have a Healthy Scalp After Washing

Of course, you need to wash your hair regularly. But, there are some habits you should keep in mind when doing it. Healthy hair habits can start in the shower. There are some dos and don’ts that should be practiced.

Washing your hair can keep it clean. But, it doesn’t always keep your scalp healthy. This guide will focus on ways you can avoid a dry scalp after washing your hair. We will go over some things you may be doing wrong. From there, we will offer solutions on what you can do better. You don’t have to stop washing your hair altogether, but you can get less greasy hair without washing.

Take Less Frequent Showers

One of the easiest ways to combat a dry scalp is to shower less often. Or, if you do shower every day, avoid washing your hair each time. Showering too frequently can cause damage to your skin. It may feel relaxing at the time, but it can lead to dryness all over.

The top layer of your skin has a lot of dead skin cells. This might sound like something you want to wash away. But, they are protecting other layers of your skin underneath. This top layer also helps to keep your scalp moisturized. Every time you take a shower, you’re ‘chipping away’ at this protective layer of cells.

If you shower too much (every day), you could break down this protective layer enough to cause damage to the healthy skin underneath. It will also start to strip away moisture. In turn, that will contribute to a dry, itchy scalp.

Your scalp produces natural oils, called sebum. These oils are needed to protect the skin and encourage healthy hair growth. Showering too much can wipe away these oils. If your scalp doesn’t have enough sebum or production is slowed, it can lead to dryness, itching, and flaking.

It’s best to wash your hair two or three times a week. You likely know your hair better than anyone. If it gets oily or greasy frequently, you can increase how often you wash it. But, if possible, avoid doing it every day. Even this simple change can make a difference in your scalp health.

Take Cooler Showers

Besides washing your hair less often, you should be aware of the water temperature when you do. Water itself doesn’t moisturize your hair and scalp. If it’s too hot, it can cause your strands of hair to seize up and hold onto the moisture inside.

Water that is too hot can weaken hair follicles. This might cause your hair to stop growing properly. It could even lead to hair loss. Washing your hair with hot water can also make your hair dry, brittle, and damaged-looking.

Hot water can weaken the skin of your scalp, too. As it becomes weaker, it also becomes more vulnerable. When it is more vulnerable, other things can damage it more easily. This includes products, styling tools, or even the environment. You may also be putting yourself at risk for possible infections from scratching. Fungal infections can also occur easier on a vulnerable scalp.

Finally, hot water can encourage your scalp to try to fight back. That might sound like a good thing, but it can lead to bigger problems. Your scalp may try to compensate for the dryness by producing more sebum.

Unfortunately, an overproduction of sebum can cause your scalp to become greasy and oily. This is when dandruff occurs. That will only contribute to more itching and discomfort. Dandruff also has a lot of stigmas associated with it. No one wants to be embarrassed by flaking skin.

A hot shower can be comforting and relaxing. But, it can also do a lot of damage to your skin and hair. Try lowering the temperature if possible. Or, at least finish your showers with a minute or two of cooler water. This will help to cool off your scalp and hair before you get out of the water, so the heat won’t stay trapped once you’re done.

My scalp is dry after taking a shower

Use the Right Hair Products

If you’re not showering every day and your showers aren’t blistering hot, it’s time to look at your hair products. They are a common culprit for people who have dry scalp. Even the most expensive products on the market can cause damage to your hair and skin. The price tag of a product doesn’t always mean it will provide hydration and moisture.

People react to certain products differently. What works for someone else may not always work the same way for you. This is because our skin can react to chemicals in different ways. Most cosmetic hair products contain chemicals. They can also include preservatives or alcohols. If you have sensitive or vulnerable skin, these ingredients could cause a lot of damage.

Certain ingredients can clog the pores of your scalp. This makes it harder for healthy hair to grow. It can also cause something known as ‘product buildup.’ When product buildup occurs, it clogs up hair follicles. This can lead to hair loss over time. But, it can also cause your scalp to become itchy. You’ll likely notice flakes whenever you scratch your head.

Everything from shampoo and conditioner to post-wash styling products can create a buildup or strip your hair of its natural nutrients. The best thing you can do is to choose products with natural ingredients. The more natural a hair product is, the less likely it will be to cause a buildup. With no chemicals to strip away nutrients, you can enjoy a clean feeling without damaging your skin or hair.

One of the best natural shampoos is Era Organics Moisturizing Shampoo. It uses natural ingredients to cleanse your hair and scalp while adding moisture. If you do have quite a bit of product buildup, you may need to use a clarifying shampoo once in a while to cleanse your scalp.

Contact Dermatitis

Not only can using the wrong products cause a buildup but for some people, it can create even more dangerous problems. In some cases, the wrong product can create a lot of pain and irritation. When a product directly affects your hair and scalp negatively, it is called contact dermatitis.

Contact dermatitis can relate to a potential allergy you may have to a product ingredient. But, it’s more likely your skin is just sensitive to one or more ingredients in a product.

Other symptoms of this problem aside from a dry scalp include:

  • Itching
  • Red bumps
  • Pain
  • Blistering

Allergic contact dermatitis may go away on its own after you stop using the product. Regular contact dermatitis may need over-the-counter creams to soothe the symptoms. Again, be aware of the ingredients in over-the-counter solutions, too. Make sure they don’t contain any of the same ingredients that caused your scalp to become irritated in the first place.

Allergic reactions are also important to keep in mind. They are different from contact dermatitis in general, though they may show similar symptoms at first. Always check the ingredient list of a product before using it. If you know you’re allergic to something, avoid it. If you’re unsure whether you may be allergic, you can get tested through a dermatologist. It could be a single ingredient causing so many scalp problems.

Styling Your Hair After Washing

Even if you do everything else correctly, your post-shower hair routine could cause damage. There are several common mistakes to avoid when treating and styling your hair after washing it.

  • Don’t blow dry your hair. Again, excessive heat can cause damage to your hair and scalp. If you’ve just taken a lukewarm shower, blow drying your hair on high heat can cause new problems. If you have to blow dry your hair, use a warm or cool setting. Additionally, it’s best to give your hair an hour or so to air dry before using the dryer on it right away.
  • Avoid using chemicals out of the shower. Products like mousse, gel, etc., can cause just as much buildup as certain shampoos and conditioners. Go for natural styling solutions that you can use outside the shower.
  • Don’t rub your hair with a towel to dry it. This can cause damage to your hair and even lead to hair loss. Pat or gently squeeze your hair dry before letting it air dry as much as possible.
  • Add a heat-protectant product. Heated tools (like curling and flat irons) will affect your hair health more than your scalp. But, unhealthy hair can lead to itching, which can eventually cause scalp concerns. There are ways to curl your hair without heat.

My scalp is itchy and flaky after washing hair

Can Washing My Hair Make an Already Dry Scalp Worse?

Your washing and showering habits can be the cause of a dry, itchy scalp. But, if you find that you have a dry scalp frequently, other factors could be contributing. A shower or certain hair product could just be irritating your scalp, rather than causing the problem.

It’s important to consider what other factors might be affecting your hair and scalp. A hot shower or chemical-filled products can irritate the skin, but it could be external factors wreaking the real havoc. Protect your scalp from the environment as much as possible. If you’re unsure what is causing your scalp problems, see a dermatologist. It could be an underlying skin condition, such as scalp psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis.

Different conditions need different types of treatment. Scalp psoriasis won’t go away because you stop taking hot showers, for example. So, determining the underlying cause of your dry scalp is essential to finding relief. Once you know the cause, you’ll have a better chance of keeping the symptoms under control.

If you have an itchy, dry scalp when you get out of the shower, you’re not alone. As you can see, there are many things you could be doing to trigger it. The most important thing is that you find out what is causing your scalp to be overly dry.

Thankfully, if you do have an itchy scalp after washing, it’s usually an easy fix. All it takes are a few lifestyle and habit changes. In fact, the changes can often make your life easier. You can shower less often, use fewer products, and have a healthy scalp to show for it.

We hope this guide has given you some insight into what might be causing your scalp to dry out. The right shower routine and the right hair products can make all the difference. Follow the suggestions listed here if you’re struggling with dryness and itching. They can help to heal your scalp quickly. They can also help you to find relief from irritation and inflammation.

Copyright 2018 by DryScalpGone.