Pregnancy comes with its fair share of side effects. From backaches and headaches, to overheating and swollen feet, every woman who has ever had a baby could probably give you a long list of things she went through while she was pregnant. And, those symptoms can be different for everyone. They are mostly nothing more than annoying and irritating, but when added up, can be quite a hassle to deal with.
One of those pregnancy symptoms is dry scalp, particularly during the third trimester. Getting dry scalp during pregnancy is fairly common. It can happen for several reasons, and while it isn’t life-threatening, it can be just as annoying as any other issue that comes along with pregnancy itself.
The more you know about what causes it, and what you can actually do to treat it, the less you’ll have to think about it. Nine months can be a long time to deal with something as irritating as an itchy, flaking scalp. So, focusing on more important things while treating the dryness will likely make for a better experience all around, and will be one less thing you have to worry about when pregnant.
We’ve reviewed two of the best dry scalp shampoos. Find out more about how each of them can help by clicking on one of the links below:
Table of Contents:
- 1 What Causes Dry Scalp during Pregnancy?
What Causes Dry Scalp during Pregnancy?
Your body goes through so many different changes when you’re pregnant. Almost every pregnancy ‘symptom’ you might have to deal with is a result of those changing hormones. Dry scalp is no different. There are a few different possible reasons why women experience a dry scalp when pregnant. Let’s take a closer look at the possibilities:
A poor diet can have a somewhat negative effect on many different aspects of your pregnancy, and a dry and itchy scalp is one of them. If your body isn’t receiving the right nutrients from the food you eat, it can cause localized itching and dryness of the scalp.
Stress & Anxiety
The amount of stress you have in your life during pregnancy can go hand-in-hand with your diet, and have similar effects. It can be stressful enough dealing with other pregnancy symptoms, but that stress can really manifest in the form of dry skin all over – especially the scalp.
Decreased Bowel Function
It may not be the most pleasant thing in the world to think about, but many times, pregnant women will become constipated. Regular bowel movements allow our bodies to get rid of toxins from within. So, when you’re not able to do that as often, your body looks for other ways to release those toxins. Oftentimes, it’s through the skin, which can cause a dry, flaky, and itchy scalp.
It’s extremely easy to become dehydrated during pregnancy. Your body needs more fluids than ever, and not just from water. Your diet should be rich in fruits and vegetables, which can help to provide natural hydration. Being dehydrated, as you may have guessed, also dries out the skin – including your scalp.
Any of these possibilities could cause dry scalp during pregnancy, and they aren’t always easy to get rid of, even with lifestyle changes. There are a few important things to keep in mind, however, when it comes to other possibilities for your scalp being dry.
Skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, or seborrhea can all cause dry scalp, and dandruff. A lack of Vitamin D, or dry air (especially in colder months) can also cause itching and flaking of the scalp. The hair products you regularly use can also become a problem, especially with changing hormones. Be sure to check which chemicals are in your common products. They could be stripping your hair and scalp of its natural oils and nutrients. It’s important to think about every possible scenario and possible cause, so you can understand how to treat your scalp properly.
What Are the Different Treatments?
When you’re pregnant, it’s common to be very aware of different treatment options and medications for just about anything you may have. That is completely understandable, and responsible. Most of the products you’ll find when it comes to treating it are completely harmless.
Best Over-the-Counter Products
Most over-the-counter treatments are going to come in the form of special types of shampoos or conditioning treatments. These products are designed to add moisture, vitamins, and nutrients back to your hair and scalp. However, many of them are also medicinal in one way or another.
Sometimes, simply using a different shampoo from the one you typically use can help, so that is usually the first option you should try. If you don’t see a change, look for a shampoo with a gentle formula. Or, choose one that contains zinc, which can help to clear up inflamed, irritated skin on the scalp.
Another options is to partake in a hot oil treatment. While this isn’t exactly a ‘product,’ it’s definitely a service that can help, even when you’re pregnant. As long as you make sure the oils your hairdresser is using are not too hot, and they are all natural, this can be an incredible option. A hot oil treatment should be done by a professional, especially if you’re pregnant. Trying an at-home kit is risky, as leaving the oils in too long can cause more damage than repair.
If you’re pregnant, natural remedies with ingredients you’re familiar with are always a great idea. The less chemicals you can introduce into your body during this time, the better. There are plenty of DIY remedies for dry scalp that are perfectly safe for you to use over and over again throughout your pregnancy.
As you might expect, many of these home remedies utilize some type of moisturizing agent. One of the best moisturizers you can use is tea tree oil. It not only kills the overproduction of bacteria that can cause dandruff, but it will lock in moisture for your hair and scalp. Read this article:
If you’re looking to get even more ‘DIY,’ don’t be afraid to experiment with other safe ingredients that have plenty of anecdotal success. Everything from raw eggs, to mayonnaise, and even avocado, are all known to help. If you can eat it naturally, there’s a good chance it’s perfectly safe to use on your hair and head.
Become More Aware of the Cause
If you can pin down what is actually causing the problem in the first place, that can be a big help. Changing your diet or other lifestyle habits can sometimes be challenging. But, if you know the cause, you can enlist a support system. This may not seem like a ‘treatment option,’ but when you’re pregnant, getting all the support and help you can find will only benefit you in the long run. Be held accountable for your lifestyle choices, and you may notice many of your ‘negative’ symptoms disappearing.
If you think, however, that the dryness is becoming a serious problem, and you’re really not sure what may be causing it, talk to your doctor. If it is a pre-existing skin condition, or something more, it’s important to find out as soon as possible for your own well-being.
How to Deal with a Dry Flaky Scalp during Pregnancy
At first, having a dry scalp while you’re pregnant may not seem like a big deal. After all, there are plenty of other things to think about, and deal with. But, if it happens, it doesn’t take long for a slight annoyance to become something extremely irritating. If not taken care of, it can lead to excessive (and embarrassing) dandruff. Worse than that, the itching can lead to inflamed, red skin. This can be painful, and could lead to more serious conditions.
Wanting the best for yourself while you’re pregnant is extremely important, because it means you also want what is best for your baby. Taking the proper steps to make sure your scalp is healthy and flake-free throughout your pregnancy will make you feel better, more confident, and give you time to focus on more important matters.
Don’t be afraid to try safe treatment options, or ask your doctor for more information on what you can do to fight back against it. Having a dry scalp during pregnancy is perfectly normal (in fact, about 20% of all pregnant women experience it), but it doesn’t have to stay that way.